Connecting to Judaism
Taste of Judaism class sparks lifelong Jewish commitment
Sometimes a little nosh can be perfectly filling, but in other cases it only sparks one’s appetite. In August 2017, Sharon Cohen took the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s two-day Taste of Judaism class, and it turned out to be the catalyst that ultimately satiated her desire to find a clear religious identity.
The MJCCA changed my life and helped me become an active member of the Jewish community.Sharon Cohen
“I had been struggling to find where I fit in terms of faith for a long time. Although I had been married to a Jewish man for 15 years, I had not converted,” she reveals. “Taste of Judaism was advertised as welcoming to anyone curious about Jewish traditions, values, and spirituality; and that was exactly my mindset at the time.”
Sharon appreciated how the instructor, Rabbi Brian Glusman, asked the class to share questions they had about Judaism. “He made it a safe environment and took time to answer every question. I repeatedly felt this overwhelming sense of, ‘Yes, this is what I was searching for, and these are ideas I’ve believed my whole life!’ I loved Judaism’s focus on family, community, history, and doing the right thing. I walked out of that class feeling like I belonged, and I was ready for more.”
Compelled to explore this connection further, Sharon took the MJCCA’s more in-depth Derech Torah classes, and had more heart-to-heart discussions with Rabbi Glusman. During this time, she also began the formal conversion process through her synagogue. “In the early stages, I kept asking Rabbi Glusman for detailed instructions on how to be a good Jewish woman,” she admits. “He told me to focus less on steps and just immerse myself in the Jewish community. After that, it was like a light bulb clicked. I relaxed and was able to enjoy my journey.”
Sharon completed her conversion in October 2018. “I am proud of what I accomplished,” she beams. “The MJCCA changed my life and helped me become an active member of the Jewish community. My family now has a sense of belonging like we never had before. My positive experience with Taste of Judaism showed me how amazing the MJCCA is, and I plan to be a big part of it for a long time. I am forever grateful.”
99% of our Lisa F. Brill Institute for Jewish Learning students reported their identification with Jewish traditions, values, ideas, and experiences has been enhanced.