The Jewish community at large offers welcome and mazel tov, as well as blessings for health and happiness, to Dan McGrady, who completed the process of conversion to Judaism this Shabbat.
Dan McGrady has been practicing Judaism for over 14 years, which is when he met his wife Rochelle Schwartz. What finally prompted him to convert? “Well,” says McGrady, “my then 11-year old said, ‘So are you really going to convert Dad?’ I realized I absolutely wanted to be called to the Torah for an aliyah when he became a Bar Mitzvah, so I got serious.”
Getting serious meant taking Haver’s conversion course, Ikar, and studying privately with Rabbi Lynne Goldsmith, one of the rabbis at Adventure Judaism. “Although we have always celebrated Shabbat, we upped our practice,” says McGrady. Rabbi Lynne chimes in, “And Dan read and read and read. He is an ardent reader who thinks deeply and always poses fascinating questions for us to explore.”
Finally, McGrady sat before a Beit Din – Rabbi Deborah Bronstein, Rabbi Lynne Goldsmith, and Rabbi Jamie Korngold. “His answers were so profound,” said Korngold. “We couldn’t wait to welcome him to the tribe!”
Next, the group headed down to the mikvah for a beautiful (albeit freezing) mikvah in the river. “That water is pure and alive,” explained Korngold. “It was fitting for this profoundly spiritual man who has experienced so many moments of awe in the wilderness.”
Finally, McGrady stood in front of his home congregation community, Adventure Judaism, at Shabbat services on Friday night and accepted his place in the family of Jews. “There was not a dry eye in the house,” said a member of the congregation.
If you are interested in studying for conversion, please visit here to learn about Ikar, the Boulder Rabbis’ joint conversion course, and here to learn about Adventure Judaism, an innovative congregation offering rituals like natural mikvehs.