“How long will a conversion take?” This is the most common question asked and is such a difficult one to answer. There are so many factors at play, both within and outside of the candidate’s control. The short answer is the it will take about a year of full observance and integration into an Orthodox community. This gets more complicated as it takes different people different lengths of time to achieve observance. For example, for some, eating kosher can take place within a week. For others, it might be a gradual process of slowly eliminating non-kosher food before transitioning to a fully kosher diet, both in and outside the home. The same applies to keeping shabbat and integrating into a community. These milestones must be achieved by the conversion candidate and by their Jewish partner if they have one. It is not uncommon for the candidate to be ready and the conversion is waiting for the Jewish candidate to move to (or return to) full Jewish observance.

Additionally, nearly all rabbis who are involved in conversion do so on a voluntary basis, in addition to their other jobs. Practically, this means that they are often overworked and with little time to meet with candidates. Coordinating multiple schedules of all the necessary rabbis can be a difficult task, particularly around Jewish holidays or other busy seasons. This can build in delays even when a candidate has done their requisite work.