The Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din of Southern California was founded in 2002 on the premise that conversion to Judaism can and ought to be an experience that transcends denominations. The organization adheres to clear, universal standards and is directed by a professional rabbinate that guides and welcomes conversion candidates with sensitivity and gentleness. We are proud to welcome new Jews from diverse racial, cultural, ethnic, and class backgrounds. We welcome new Jews from diverse gender histories and expressions, and we are proud to work sensitively and individually with all candidates to bring them, body and soul, into the Jewish people.
Rabbis from the Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform movements, as well as transdenominational rabbis, have agreed on standards and procedures; this assures that converts will be welcomed by the great majority of the Jewish community. Our pluralistic, permanent sitting court is virtually unprecedented.
The Sandra Caplan Community Bet Din of Southern California was founded in 2002
Sandra Caplan (1952–2001) was a convert to Judaism who led an exemplary Jewish life. Her premature death was widely mourned. This Bet Din was named after her, and our work honors her memory. (To read more about her, click here.
Our Dayanim (Panelists or “Judges”)
Our Bet Din consists of about 130 rabbis. Our members take turns serving on the panel that meets with each candidate for conversion (or with their parents, in the case of children). Our members have been specially trained for this purpose. When they serve on a panel, they are known as dayanim.
Our dayanim are volunteers. They serve on our panel because they know that meeting with conversion candidates is almost always one of the most gratifying and inspiring aspects of being a rabbi.
Some of members also serve as sponsoring rabbis. That is, they work closely with individual candidates to ensure that each one is ready, and then they sponsor those candidates to come before our panel.
Operated in cooperation with:
Board of Governors
Rabbi Elliot Dorff Rabbi Stephen Einstein
Rabbi Lynn Brody Slome