My name is Anna Rajagopal, and I am a convert to Judaism.
Whew. That sentence? It's still hard for me to type. Owning my identity as a convert to our tribe is still something I struggle with, after years of hiding followed continued degradation for revealing who I am. Because all too often, there's stigma attached to being a convert to Judaism.
But that's part of the reason I'm founding this website. I want to create a safe environment for converts of every denomination (or lack thereof), race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and nationality to be able put their stories to paper (or screen, in this case).
Being a convert intersects with our unique identities in a myriad of ways, and I hope that the diversity of our peoplehood can be captured in this space. For example, in addition to being a convert to Judaism, I am also a South Asian Jew, I am bisexual & queer, and I am neurodivergent & chronically ill. As a result, much of my identity as a convert is shaped by my race, sexuality, gender and disability. All of these aspects of myself define who I am just as much as being a convert does, and my hope is that My Beautiful Conversion will be a place where I can talk about these nuances, and you can talk about yours.
I converted to Judaism as a child, when I was around ten years old, but my conversion journey began at age nine, when I felt an inexplicable tug at my very being that I attribute to my Neshama (soul) being present at Har Sinai (Mount Sinai) when G-d revealed Themself to the Jewish people. For me, conversion was G-d calling me home, after thousands of years in exile. Where's the shame in that? (Spoiler alert: There is none).
Converting as a child was by no means easy, so I understand how difficult, overwhelming, confusing and even upsetting this process, and subsequent life can be. I want to cultivate a space where warmth, community and ahava (love) are encouraged — where we can actually talk about both the difficulties and triumphs of being a convert, rather than hiding these things for fear of judgement.
I also know that the conversion process can feel scattered, and often, it feels like no one is there to guide you or to help you. This website's mission is to create a centralized set of resources for you — from books to read all the way to what to expect when you first speak with a rabbi. I want this space to be one of true support, so that you never feel as though you're alone in this.
I hope we can build this home together, and create a community constructed on love and understanding.
Read uploads from converts from around the world.