Orthodox Conversion @ ARK Centre

By Ash Shenker & Ivana Krsteska

Our journey with ARK Centre began around five years ago. We were introduced to the community through a close relative and we felt an immediate connection to the core values of the Centre. From the very first moment we walked into the Centre, we resonated with its relatability, inclusiveness, diversity and ruach.

Not only were we made to feel incredibly welcome at the time, but we could clearly feel the community spirit and knew it was something we wanted to be a part of.

As time passed, our appreciation and curiosity towards Judaism grew and we wanted to further our understanding of the religion and culture. ARK Centre offers a wholesome Orthodox Conversion Program that provides the opportunity to deepen our understanding of Jewish life and halachah, and its meaningful application through a mixture of theoretical and practical learning opportunities.

Under the tutelage of Rabbi Gabi and Rebbetzin Mushka, we have thoroughly enjoyed exploring a wide range of topics including Torah studies, prayer and blessings, Mitzvot and Jewish history, amongst many others. Finding the connections between the various aspects of Jewish life has been a wonderful, eye-opening experience for us.

In accordance to the Jewish proverb ‘teach a child according to his way’, the program has allowed for personalisation, where each participant progresses at their own pace and in their own time. The ARK program recognises that no two journeys are the same and has effectively built upon our existing knowledge and practice of Judaism.

Throughout our time with ARK Centre, we have participated in a number of meaningful events, from celebrating Rosh Hashanah at the Kaltmann’s home and Lag B’Omer at a community bonfi e, to volunteering our time for the worthwhile organisation Our Village Kitchen and participating in a thought-provoking debate on Tisha B’Av.

As we experienced each event, alongside our studies and practice, we have developed a stronger connection to Orthodox Judaism and strengthened relationships within the community. About a year ago, we transitioned our already Jewish home to being a fully Kosher one and we take absolute pleasure in hosting Shabbat and Chagim for our family and friends.

Rabbi Gabi and Rebbetzin Mushka make the Conversion Program at the ARK relevant to people from all walks of life through an inclusive and nurturing environment. We’ve been very appreciative of their mentorship and guidance, and the role they continue to play in our ongoing journey.

We look forward to celebrating many more Smachot and Chagim with the ARK Centre community in years to come.

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