My name is Rabbi Marc Rubenstein. I was the Senior Rabbi of Temple Isaiah, a Reform Synagogue located in Newport Beach, California, for 25 years. I am recently retired.
I met the applicant, Barbara Lanci-Greenblatt in March 2009. Barbara and her fiancé Sam Greenblatt contacted me to officiate at their Wedding which took place on June 13, 2009 in San Diego California. Sam Greenblatt is of Jewish descent and Barbara, although not Jewish at the time, both wanted to have a Rabbi conduct their Wedding service. I officiated at their Wedding.
Barbara had no religious affiliation at this time but had broad knowledge of Judaism and a great respect for it. About a year after their marriage, she contacted me regarding a path to conversion and asked if I would I assist her. I believed in her sincerity to convert and agreed to assist her with studies necessary for conversion and to prepare her to go before the Bet Din.
We met once a week for 2 hours to study beginning in July 2011 and continuing through early November 2012. I had Barbara study about the Jewish faith: our traditions, Shabbat and its significance, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Sukkot, Chanukah, Jewish life & death cycles, Jewish prayers, along with the meaning of additional Jewish holidays and traditions. She spent 3 hours every day studying and researching on her own.
During this time, Barbara and Sam became members of Temple Beth Israel, a Reform Temple located in San Diego. She attended Shabbat Services and a Saturday Minyan service every week, and she studied the Hebrew Aleph Bet, learned key prayers, and attended the Introduction to Judaism classes held at the Synagogue.
Barbara met with the Bet Din In Los Angeles, California, which convened at the Rabbinical Assembly, Pacific Southwest Region on October 24, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. Rabbi Daniel E. Mehlman, Rabbi Gilbert Kollen and Rabbi Diane Cohen were present to question Barbara about her knowledge of Judaism and her desire and sincerity to convert. They spent two hours with Barbara and they were very satisfied with her knowledge and desire to convert.
They bestowed upon her a Certificate of Acceptance into the Jewish Faith and the Hebrew name Ruth Ahuvah. Barbara then had her Mikveh Immersion which was recorded and witnessed on the same day, October 24, 2012.
Barbara has gone on to have a B’Nai Mitzvah, she has read the Torah, and for the last 14 months, she has been a full-time student of the Hebrew language, attending classes in Jerusalem at the Ulpan-Or and through Global Distance Learning provided by the Ulpan-Or.