If you’re like most internet-savvy converts(-to-be) that I know, you at one point or another visited JewsByChoice.org. It started up 3 to 4 years ago as a blog with posts from various converts and grew to include a forum that was very active, particularly from those of the Conservative and Conservadox persuasion. Many friendships were forged over its channels and a sense of fitting in, of not being the only one feeling or thinking these things, comforted many of its users.
That site is now gone. It has been shut down. On a couple of different sites, I’ve seen people ask about it. Suffice to say, the project was large, overwhelming, and the efforts of those creating it were probably under-appreciated. These sentiments were poorly conveyed to the site’s general users, and now we’ve all lost a great resource, rather suddenly, and with no explanation.
I’ve belonged, for a number of years, to two other communities that I’d like to recommend as possible alternatives should any reader stumble upon this post.
LiveJournal’s Jews By Choice: a mostly 20s to 30s crowd overwhelmingly from the US but also with a decent British presence. Most are egalitarian, liberal, feminist Reform/Progressive or Conservative/Masorti, but there are a sprinkled few Orthodox in the mix with various worldviews.
Gereitzedek: a mostly 40s to 70s crowd overwhelmingly from the US but also with Latin American and Israeli participation. Most are egalitarian, conservative Conservative/Masorti, but there are a good number of Reform and Orthodox as well. Really good for converts who live in the “boondocks”—many members share their life in the rural areas of the US, or doing conversion online, of moving to Israel, of having raised a Jewish family as a convert. Interesting to read to consider the future, at least for me.
I’ve found these good homes, and my hope is that one of them may speak to you as well. If you’d like to join LiveJournal’s, you have to make a LiveJournal account (which is free). This will enable you to “journal” or blog, and also grant you access to many, many communities on a whole host of topics. I also recommend Weird Jews and Weird Jews 2.
To join Gereitzedek, write to me with your email address at mikvahorbust at gmail dot com. I will send an email to the administrator of the board, and she’ll probably ask for a 2 to 3 sentence blurb to make sure you aren’t some anti-Semitic spammer, but then you’ll be in.