Immersion, Dignity, Power, Presence, and Gender

Rabbi Ethan Tucker

A Tale of Female Converts in Five Parts

Join Ethan Tucker as he assesses the state of conversion today, the history that brought us here, and steps for the future—specifically regarding the issue of a court of three men being present in the room with a female convert at the moment of immersion. Listen to this online shiur to learn about this issue that has caused so much controversy in the American Jewish community.

You can also read the full essay, that appeared abridged in Times of Israel, with substantive treatment on five aspects of the conversion process:

Immersion: How did immersing in a mikveh become part of the conversion process at all?
Dignity: Why does this immersion have to be done naked?
Power: What is the role of a court in the conversion? How did it come to be?
Presence: Does the court have to witness the conversion first-hand, even in the case of a female convert?
Gender: What are the arguments that women can't be judges? How should we think about this question in the modern world?