Friday, April 30, 2004

Kiruv Revisited

Following up in response to comments on earlier posts, I would like to make the following observations:

1. My post was about the Chareidi worldview involved in Kiruv. This is independent of the question of whether Kiruv workers or organizations make any money. I believe that Aish ha-Torah is doing quite well for itself and some involved in Kiruv are no paupers. However, Reb Yaakov is right in that many toil for Kiruv making minimal salaries. I strongly believe that organizations should be free to spend money as they please and we should only object to organizations that we personally support. Therefore I don't donate to Aish ha-Torah.

2. The readers pointed out three perspectives on Kiruv:
a) "We" have the "Truth" and let us enlighten you.
b) Let us help you in your personal and spiritual development.
c) Community building.

So even when a Rabbi comes in to a town with the first perspective, he often evolves into the third.

Aish ha-Torah in their website and in their promotional material promote the second perspective, but in my limited experience with them, they really held the first perspective. Is this a bait-and-switch? Or have they shifted their attitude in the past 10 years?

3. Are Modern Orthodox Kiruv Organizations (e.g. the MJE) different in their attitude towards Kiruv than more Chareidi ones?

4. Lastly, I would like to hear from people who have been Makareiv and whether my critique is valid or not.

Comments-[ comments.]


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