|Project Inspire's Kiruv Mishloach Manos ad.|
The most noticeable part of the box given to the outreach professional's "less-affiliated co-worker, friend, neighbor, doctor, or lawyer" is the four paragraph explanation of Purim and its customs on the front. In typical outreach fashion, the explanation is simplified. I find the paragraph entitled "Food, Glorious Food" to be most troubling. It states the following:
We give treats of food to one another on Purim. This expresses our respect and love for those around us--that every person is unique and special and that by giving and caring for one another we express ourselves most fully. Only when we are united with our brothers and sisters can true joy be achieved.1
|The front of Project Inspire's Kiruv Mishloach Manos package.|
As an aside, I'm sure that there will be readers who will find this post problematic. "So, what's wrong with showing another Jew a Jewish custom?" some will ask. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with sharing holidays or traditions. But, as I've said before, people involved in kiruv/outreach work have an ulterior motive: to get you to change your belief system and practice as they practice. Project Inspire is a program run by Aish HaTorah. Aish is known for their yeshiva programs and their outreach programs to non-orthodox Jews. A book that they put out, "The Eye of the Needle: Aish HaTorah's Kiruv Primer"explains issues related to doing Jewish outreach and gives advice to kiruv professionals.
1. Kiruv Mishloach Manos. Project Inspire. Aish HaTorah. accessed 2/11/2013.