"The MJCCA changed my life and helped me become an active member of the community."
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.
“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.”