Dear friends, Boni and I have traveled to many parts of the world that can be considered exotic destinations: from India to Papua New Guinea, to Central Africa and Central America. Despite the remoteness of some of these places, we were always able to meet with people who have studied Judaism and come to the conclusion that the traditional Jewish way of life was filled with beauty, profundity and truth and is the way they want to live. Becoming Jewish, however, is not easy. Not only does it demand diligence and self-sacrifice, but the potential convert has to deal with Jewish communities and organizations that, at best, do not know how to deal with them and at worst, put up an obstacle course of organizational rules and regulations, that are not part of Halacha, but present the potential convert with additional mountains to climb. Yet despite the difficulties, most do not give up. They so deeply believe in the way of life our Torah teaches that they persist. This situation is not confined to remote places in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Versions of it exist in Europe where conversion has become next to impossible, in the US and even in Israel. In a world which is increasingly anti-Semitic and increasingly distanced from any kind of religious belief and practice, one would think that those who wish to join our faith and people should be welcomed with the greatest joy and appreciation. These are some of the reasons why I have helped organize a conference on the conversion crises, under the auspices of the Union for Traditional Judaism. At the conference, to take place on May 17 in Manhattan at 2pm at Congregation Ramat Orah, 110th St. and Broadway (see flier for details,) leading Rabbis will present their views on this important subject. I hope that many of you will be able to attend. Soon we will celebrate the Shavuot holiday, which commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. We are told that at the foot of Sinai, the entire people willingly accepted the Torah for themselves and their descendants. Those wishing to convert to Judaism have made the same commitment. When our own commitment lags, when our vision becomes blurry, when we become lazy in our observance of our traditions, those who wish to overcome great obstacles in order to join the Jewish faith and people should serve as our inspiration.