When Gabe and I got engaged we decided that it was time to get some answers to all of these questions. Gabe had been attending Kol Emeth for shabbat services, so he contacted Rabbi Booth to find out if we could talk to him about the conversion process. We were very open with him about the fact that I did not know if I wanted to convert, but I was ready to start learning. We began meeting with Rabbi Booth for an hour once a week, usually at his home, and he would have a specific topic to discuss. Sometimes our topics involved upcoming holidays or important Jewish concepts like kashrut, or sometimes they were about important Jewish values that play a part in your everyday life. I felt very comfortable with Rabbi Booth and I knew he was the exact person we had needed to help us define Judaism's role in our life together. He was warm and funny and full of smiles every time we saw him. He would invite us over to watch football with his family and was always interested in what was going on in our lives. He was extremely passionate about his Jewish studies and was constantly coming up with new analyses and ideas that he wanted to share with us. Each week we engaged in intellectually stimulating conversations that Gabe and I would continue at home as we continued to think through everything he had presented to us. He packed so much information and ideas into each hour that we often felt we needed the rest of the week to sort through and digest it all! Rabbi Booth made me realize that Judaism is a modern religion that grows and evolves with its people. It is a growing, living religion to which each person contributes as they engage in study and form their own beliefs.
I always felt that Rabbi Booth was very connected to our situation and our process. I left each weekly meeting with inspiring new ideas about how I wanted to live my life and excited about what I was discovering about myself. Rabbi Booth never pressed me to commit to converting, and instead just let me know that he would continue to study with me as if I were a conversion student until the day I came to him and told him that it just wasn't for me. He said he would be sad to see me leave, but he would completely respect my decision. After a few months of studying, I realized that I loved the life I was living as a Jew and I wanted to continue to learn about and practice Judaism for the rest of my life. I felt that the Jewish ideals I was learning about had been a part of me all along and now Gabe and I were embarking on this amazing journey to discover more and find out how we would create our life together. We continued to study weekly and Rabbi Booth even met with us through video chat when we moved to DC a few months before my conversion date so he could continue to guide us in our journey. The entire process was an amazing experience that has changed my life forever. Rabbi Booth has a special place in my life and we are so happy that he will be marrying us in June.