Many people see Ruth as the first convert to Judaism. Actually, Abraham is the first convert, as well as the patriarchal founder, of our religion. Rabbi Gordy is married to a convert, has two children who have each married converts, and has performed many conversions throughout his career. He is welcoming to all people who are interested in Judaism, even if it is not for conversion purposes.
Those who decide to convert with Rabbi Gordy will find a sensitive, knowledgeable, and engaging teacher to guide them on their journey to becoming part of the Jewish people. The process generally takes a year of study and living through the Jewish calendar, though those who have already been studying and participating in Jewish life may find that time significantly reduced. Topics include Jewish history, values, rituals and observances, and more. Students are required to write a personal essay about their journey into Judaism.
When the period of study is completed, Rabbi Gordy will arrange for a bet din (rabbinical court) to evaluate candidates. Once accepted by the bet din, the person goes to a mikveh (ritual bath) and receives a Hebrew name. Males are additionally required to have a circumcision, or symbolic one if already circumcised.
Fees for conversion vary. The study period is paid directly to Rabbi Gordy for teaching (and can include significant others, too). Different ritual bath houses have different charges that are paid directly by the convert. A mohel (ritual circumciser) also has a separate fee for services. A token honorarium is often given to the bet din, but is not required.