Thursday, January 17, 2013

In the beginning, there was innocence. And then there was outreach.

Jewish outreach.
Think about it.
Reaching out to fellow Jews. Bringing them closer.
Kiruv. The Hebrew for outreach. The Hebrew for bringing closer.

But bringing closer to what?

To Israel? To your Jewish heritage? To your history?
Perhaps you think that the nice religious family inviting you to their home for a Shabbat meal really wants your friendship. Or maybe that new Jewish club at your child's school just wants to give your kid a place to hang out, maybe make a few Jewish friends post-Bar/Bat Mitzvah. And maybe you believe that the leaders of that overly subsidized trip to Israel to study about Jewish culture in the heart of Jerusalem(!) really just want to make your daughter an empowered young college student.

But what if you're wrong?

In Steve Lipman’s article, “The New Face of Jewish Outreach,” Rabbi Steven Burg, the international director of NCSY, the Orthodox Union’s (OU) teen outreach organization, states that “the kiruv movement is all about marketing Orthodoxy.”

Marketing orthodoxy?

"That can't be," you're thinking. "They just want to teach about Jewish culture. This organization (insert one of a huge list of organizations here) is just trying to...."

And this is where this new project begins. 
At the beginning. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy to see this blog and look forward to reading your future posts.


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