Patricia and Justin McCammon to complete beit din and mikveh, join UHC as new members

United Hebrew Congregation will formally welcome its newest members on Friday, Jan. 20, when Patricia and Justin McCammon emerge from the mikveh and complete their conversions to Judaism.

Justin and Patricia, who have been together for 13 years and will celebrate their 11th wedding anniversary in June, entered formal study with Rabbi Jordana Chernow-Reader of Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation and appeared before a rabbinic court, known as a beit din, on January 5.

We present Patricia’s and Justin’s beit din essays here.

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The greater Jewish story is now Justin’s story

By Justin McCammon

If there is something greater than ourselves, what is it? How do we fit into the ever-changing world that surrounds us?

How can an individual find peace of mind, a center, a foundation from which to build and grow when they have no established place?

These questions went through my mind as I sought the answers over my life’s course. This is a journey that encompasses personal beliefs, as well as causes one to question what they feel they already know.

It is a search that led me to a place of comfort and peace within the synagogue, a place of learning, of prayer and of community.

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Committed: Patricia’s journal captures her surprising journey to Judaism

By Patricia McCammon

While I considered this essay, my mind kept going in different directions.

I wanted to be heartfelt without sounding cliche. After typing, erasing, re-typing and re-erasing, it hit me: I’ve already written my essay.

I opened my journal and read through entries made over the past three years. While reading, I went from laughing hysterically to bewilderment.

I had forgotten how little I knew about Judaism or how ignorant I was to antisemitic conceptions and remarks. I also noticed trauma responses left by religious organizations present themselves as ignorance, obscenities and absolutes.

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Legally Speaking: Choose your representative well, or that will could get tied up in trouble

By B. Scott Skillman

This installment continues my series about planning for final wishes and the factors people commonly consider when making such plans.

Previous columns covered powers of attorney and healthcare directives/living wills. Both these tools help carry out one’s wishes while alive and well or perhaps incapacitated.

I shift my focus now toward planning how to carry out one’s intentions after one passes.
Today, we’ll address wills in Indiana, and what they’re meant to accomplish.

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