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Blog Archive

About Me

Rabbi Chaim Coffman
Rabbi Coffman has helped people from all across the spectrum to prepare themselves properly for Orthodox Conversion to Judaism. His students admire his vast knowledge and appreciate his warm, personal attention and endearing sense of humor.
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Welcome to Rabbi Chaim Coffman's Blog!

I would like to thank you for visiting my blog, Beyond Orthodox Conversion to Judaism.

The conversion process can be a lengthy and daunting one to say the least and I want you to know that I am here to help you through it.

I have been teaching newcomers to Judaism for over a decade and over the last few years I have seen that conversion candidates really lack the support and knowledge they need to navigate the conversion process and successfully integrate into the Orthodox Jewish community.

I created my mentorship program in order to help make this whole experience as smooth and as painless as possible! (Can't do much about the growing pains, though ;)

Feel free to get to know me a little through the posts on my blog and visit the mentorship and syllabus page if you are interested in possible joining us.

I sincerely wish you all the best in your search for truth and spiritual growth.

Looking forward to meeting you,
Chaim Coffman

My Rebbe, Rav Moshe Sternbuch

In case you were wondering why I have all of these articles written by Rav Moshe Sternbuch, he is my Rebbe, and one of the gedolei hador (greatest Rabbis of our generation).

Rav Sternbuch fully endorses me and supports my mentorship program.

He is the address for all of my halachic or hashkafic (practical and philosophical) questions that I or my students may have.

The articles are based on his weekly talks on the Torah portion that the Rav gives in Jerusalem in his kollel. As a member of the kollel I get first dibbs on the photocopies and I type them up for my blog so you can all benefit from the Rav's erudition and insight.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Can I Convert and Homeschool?

A very common question that comes up when going through an Orthodox conversion is can I still homeschool my child? While many today homeschool, most beis din's will not look to favorably upon this for various reasons. The first reason is that a person converting to Orthodox Judaism needs to integrate into the community as best as possible. Integrating means that the children attend the local Orthodox school or schools in the city in which they live.

This cannot be over emphasized. It is going to be hard enough to fit into the community and this will certainly make one stick out! Another reason that homeschooling is really not an option is because you need someone to be able to teach the child the basics of Judaism and what things mean and why we do them. A parent most likely (unless they themselves are Torah scholars) will not be able to do this. Even to hire Torah scholars to learn with the child is not such a great option because of the integration issue we mentioned previously.

The argument could be made though that there are issues with the schools (whatever they may be) that would prevent a parent from sending their child to that particular school. The only reason that homeschooling may be appropriate is if there is no other place to send them, in that case, the beis din won't convert you anyway until you get to a stronger community.

No school is perfect and there may be a number of issues that we in the Orthodox community have to work on specifically in the realm of education, nonetheless, this is the system that we have and we must make the most of it.

As a convert to Orthodox Judaism and learning about Judaism yourselves, you must make the effort and get the children into a school, run by Orthodox Jews that perpetuate Orthodox Jewish values. If someone is on the outside looking in, keeping the children in a situation where they won't thrive is a mistake.