A Kiruv Response: Don’t Put Our Children on Ice


rabbi-yitzchok-lowenbraun-1By Rabbi Yitzchok Lowenbraun

The Matzav.com reader’s comment on “It’s Time to Put Kiruv on Ice” begs a response. The halachic basis for kiruv is not questionable. It is at the very core and essence of every Jew’s obligation. I once encountered Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l and he asked me what I do. As I was working in kiruv, I said I work with baalei teshuvah. His reaction was very sharp. He said “Mir zenen ala baalei teshuvah, oib nisht darfmin zein.” (We are all baalei teshuvah; if not, we all should be.)

Kiruv is not for “someone else.” It is for us, our children, our talmidim and hopefully our inspiration and spiritual countenance radiates outward to all those who we encounter whether they are observant or not.

I grew up in Crown Heights and was one of the first talmidim of the Bobover Yeshiva. The state of Orthodox Jewry at that time in the 1950’s and 1960’s was not the “new normal.” Klal Yisroel had to be rebuilt and especially the shattered remains of the Holocaust survivors. If what I saw from the Bobover Rebbe zt”l and other gedolim was not kiruv, I don’t know what it was.

There is no question that given our financial circumstances, we must adjust our tzedakah accordingly. A family that needs food, housing or clothing is certainly a top priority along with our yeshivos, rabbeim and other mosdos.

Kiruv, which is already a poor step-child, certainly does not belong on ice. If everyone would contribute a small amount, $10, $25 or $50, we would be able to do a great deal and it would not break the bank. As is, the kiruv movement spends only a tiny fraction on what we spend on chinuch and frum mosdos. As is, kiruv is supported mainly by a few and is not infringing upon the core mosdos in any way.

In fact, the contributions of those who became frum later in life to Torah mosdos far exceeds the amount that is invested into kiruv. In communities like Toronto, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Chicago and Baltimore as well as others, the leadership and main financial supporters of Torah mosdos are baalei teshuvah. The dividends far exceed the investment. As far as the success rate of kiruv, it is without question that at least 10% of all Orthodox Jews became frum through various kiruv organizations. The percentage of those who became frum later in life may exceed 30% in certain communities.

Finally, who benefits more, the mekarev or the mekurav?

Ask anyone who has been involved in kiruv and they will tell you that the inspiration they receive is much greater than what they give. What you will hear is that seeing “baalei teshuvah” with their sincerity, inspiration and mesirus nefesh puts those of us who grew up frum in an uncomfortable position of re-examining our own relationship to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, Torah and mitzvos.

At this time when every parents’ worst fear is our own children leaving our ranks, the question should be “What can we learn from the kiruv movement to re-inspire our youth?” Let’s not put our children on ice.

Rabbi Yitzchok Lowenbraun is the National Director of AJOP, located at 5906 Park Heights Ave, Suite 10, in Baltimore, MD 21215. He can be reached at (410) 367-2567.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. The whole Torah Umesoarah Day School movement lead by all the gedolim with Rav Aron Kotler at the helm was mainly geared for Jewish children across America with a large percentage (and often the majority) of them coming from non observant homes. I guess the original writer would also have been against giving money to the day schools because they were not for only religious kids.
    How many yeshva Bochurim in the early days came from frum homes?
    It is interesting to note how many kids off the derech from frum homes are returning to Judaism through the inspiration of the Baal Tsuvah institutions.
    Once we take this appraoch who knows where it will stop. could be scary

  2. Reb Itchie Lowenbrown should be commended for his courageous response to the pathetic article which was posted earlier!!

  3. Kudos to Rabbi Lowenbraun.

    Had my grandparents made different decisions in early 20th century America, if I were lucky I’d be a BT or ger.

    And had they stayed in Europe, and escaped Hitler by fleeing to Russia, who knows, I could be one of those “Russians” (which is I why I use the term sparingly and carefully).

    I understand how strained our resources are, and on an intellectual level, where the opponents may be coming from. But here’s this to anyone for whom kiruv is a distant concept, not at all immediate in their lives: thank your grandparents, and Hashem for paving their paths.

  4. I don’t think the original writer was Against giving money to baal tshuvah orgs. All he was saying was that in these tight times, we should concentrate first on our (& our childrens) own mosdos, teachers, mechanchim etc. After all, shouldn’t we do our utmost for our own children first so that there is no need later on to be mekarev them? This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t support BT orgs, just that we need to prioritize.

  5. It’s simply not sustainable anymore. The way many of us have become accustomed to and taking for granted is collapsing. We have to be more realistic and prioritize. People are desperate. I’ll be honest – I know there are lessons to be learned but not sure what they are. Until then we need to help each other – those that really need our help. I am old enough to see these changes and it’s scary. I am starving. Will anyone help me? I refuse to cheat. Do I qualify for sympathy these days?

  6. Reb Yitzchok, are you telling me that 10 percent of religious Torah Jews in the world are BT’s or am I reading something wrong (see end of paragraph starting “In fact…”)?

  7. The original writer deserves kudos and compliments for the guts he had to write what is on the minds of thousands but are scared to speak. Kol Hakavod who wrote the original letter.

    Lets work hard to maintain what we already have, then lets focus on outreach. Forget about montary resources that are low. Thsese same people should be focusing on the frum, that they should remain so. People are terrorized by saying their opinion. They are called Baaal Tshuvaphobes.

  8. It’s not so black and white. I don’t know the statistics of how successful kiruv is. I do know about college kiruv programs in certain cities that were going on for YEARS and almost no one became frum. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on Israel trips for college kids and maybe one or 2 kids stay on in yeshiva. So you will say it pays for those few people. But what about the people we’re losing? The person I know who does college kiruv could work wonders with kids at risk, but he needs to support his family, and kiruv is where the money is. On another note, I don’t know if Kiruv as a whole is halachically questionable, but the tznius situation or lack thereof, in college kiruv is extremely questionable. If you think otherwise, you’re in denial.

  9. I appreciate your response and respect you tremendously. I take issue with the insinuation that “the dividends exceed the investment” referring to money.
    Kiruv would be worthwhile even if no money was generated from our talmidim. As a person involved in kiruv, I know that no one in our field are working to make people frum to get their money (ick…it hurts just to type that…chas veshalom)
    Yes, the dividends far exceed the investment. We spend hours of our time investing in Jewish souls and Baruch HaShem, we have frum families to show for it. Frum people who would otherwise not know what they are missing.
    Who cares about the money they give to frum tzedakos? That is not the point and it is sickening to think any other way.

  10. If your child was not Frum C”V, would you want someone to be Mekarev him or her? Every Jew is Hashem’s child. Hashem wants us to bring His children back.

  11. The Chofetz Chaim and the Baal Shem and The Vilna Gaon ZT”L. were just as smart as these kiruv Rabbis. They never worked or advocated kiruv movements in Europe. They also understood this big chochma that Mashiach wont come till all yiden do tshuva.

    First keep what you have. Then work on getting more. Too many at risk kids falling away. But no one wants to do the hard work. Its the easy and exciting work to travel around the world that people run after. The success of seeing some college kid with long hair eat his first chicken soup is more exciting then keeping a frum boy or girl from hanging out in the streets and becoming goyim.

    But it will be shtoddy to bring this frum yids child who has become a shaigetz back to yiddishkeit 30 years later.

  12. boro parker, you need a letter from your rebbe? If someone saw your child walking off a cliff would you want him to get a letter from his rebbe before he saved him?!!?!?

  13. to #10…You don’t always get immediate results from doing kiruv. Somewhere in life the college student may look back and remember the kiruv done and the pintele yid will resurface on another occasion. A story of this nature happened to my family. My husband on Rosh Hashana after davening went on a popular avenue (in a big city out of New York) to blow Shofar for unaffiliated jews. My children went along and began to ask “excuse me ..are you Jewish..have you heard the Shofar today? ” One young lady began to cry that she hasn’t heard the Shofar since she was a little girl. She began coming to our home on many Shabbosim. She was a smart, bright girl and always had questions about Yiddishkeit, arguing about womens rights in a frum society….she was dating a non-jew and wanted to know what was wrong with that…not dressing appropriately for a Shabbos table…this was going on for 7 years and I finally said to my husband “I don’t think this young lady is going anywhere in Yiddishkeit…after 7 years she’s still at the same place” to which my husband answered
    “You never know when the Yiddishe Neshoma gets
    ignited..it may take months, it may take years”
    Shortly after, Our Shabbos guest took an interest in learning how to read hebrew…
    Then she wanted any book we could give her on stories of the Parsha. a little while later she stopped dating the non-jew…then she wanted to try to keep kosher and slowly started to keep shabbos. She met her Jewish husband nice Jewish boy from Midwest
    and was married by frum Rabbonim. They Boruch Hashem have 2 sons (Taharas Mishpocha)and are constantly growing in their Yiddishkeit.
    My husband recently asked her “What took
    7 years for you to start taking an interest in furthering your Yiddishkeit?…to which she
    responded “My interest in Yiddishkeit started 7 years ago the day your children asked me “Excuse me…Are you Jewish”. So sometimes it takes a while to see results of Kiruv work
    but we must ignite the Pintele Yid. We are all
    Children of Hakodosh Boruch hu..Frum or
    not Frum. May we all be Zoche to a year of
    Parnossah B’yad HaRechavah for our families and for all the institutions that need Tzedokah…including Kiruv Organizations.
    Ksivah V’chasimah Tova..L’shana Tova U’mesuka!

  14. Flatbush “Dayin” (sic), On what do you base your knowledge of the avodah in kirus of the giants you mentioned?
    The Baal Shemtov was often criticized by his opposers for reaching out to simple Jews. There are tremendous stories about the Chofetz Chaim in the same area. You don’t need to see the word KIRUV in neon letters do be aware that kiruv rechokim is encouraged and carried by most gedolim.
    Truthfully, I hesitate to post this. It’s beyond my understanding that this took shape as argument.

  15. The Yidden who lived at the time of the Vilna Gaon in Eastern Europe and Russia lived apart from the Goyim so they were not assimilating, even if they were not strong in observance. After Napoleon brought the enlightenment, Germany and other parts of Western Europe collapsed under the bribery and wholesale corruption of the Reform Movement which successfully banned observance of Torah and Mitzvos. Get your history straight. Rav Samson Rafael Hirsch ZTZKL was the first KIRUV Rabbi. He brought back Torah and Mitzva observance to Germany with the establishment of his Yeshivos and Bais Yakov Schools in Frankfurt and other cities in Germany and later other Cities in Western Europe. Today is little different. Go to Brooklyn. What are there a handful of Yeshivos and many millions of Yidden in NYC? Wake up fools.

  16. When we were losing millions of neshamos in Europe we wouldn’t have this discussion.

    I heard s study that over 90% of all Jews in the US don’t know how to say Shema. I worked in “professional” kiruv for a short while. I saw everyone from teens through grown men cry at the end of their first real shabbos. And by the way, most of the people who worked so hard to cook for these shabbatons, house everyone etc didn’t ask for a penny. The organizations I worked at operated on a shoestring budget and every possible penny went into events and programs over staff and overheard.

    This isn’t a question of funding, it’s one of focus and commitment. There is no greater lesson we can teach our children than to learn in order to teach.

    Rav Aaron Kotler was famously once asked by a talmud going out to town to do kiruv about the hardship this places on the family. What will be with these kids raised in the middle of nowhere? He answered that they won’t have a problem. I went to yeshiva with many of these “second generation” kids who’s parents went out to do kiruv. They were better for it.

    As for funding, the gemarah says that when the mitzvah of chinuch falls on the town when there aren’t parents. Rabbosay, I work in company that is almost half Jewish in our NY office. Hundreds of professionals. I am one of three people that are shomer shabbos. We are losing them. We are losing millions of neshamos every day.

    In 20 years from now, what will we tell our children when they ask us what we did? When the conservative and reform movements dwindle into near oblivion, what can we say we did to stop it? Today, nearly half of all Jews in the US don’t identify as Jewish.

    Every tisha ba’av we cry our hearts out over the churban. There is a churban happening right now, right here. In NY! Do you know how many parents are taking their kids out of yeshivas and sending them to charter schools and public schools? Do you know that my son’s friend from pre-school was taken out of yeshiva to go to a charter school (like public school) because his parents didn’t have the money and weren’t feeling the support? This is in Brooklyn! In a frum community!

    Yes, we need to find a better solution. But what lesson are we teaching our children when they all have iPods and we all have expensive glasses and the latest leased cars, and millions of our brothers and sisters don’t even know the aleph bais?



  18. I think people including the person who wrote this article, are making a big mistake here. The idea of the previous article (lets put Kiruv Richokim on the ice) was not to abolish kiruv or even to slow it down chas vichalila, rather it was telling people to make sure to pay full tuition before donating money for kiruv, kiruv should’nt come before the bread we put on our table, and our childrens chinuch should be like the bread we put on our table it’s vital, and yes more vital then anything else, why is there even a negotiation on this matter? Its ridiculous, chinuch of our own children is supposed to be our top priority, would somebody in the Kiruv Richokim movement really say that frum kids should be without a school and be on the street, in order for them to then be picked up and be mikariv, how ludicrous! Well being dan likaf zchus, maybe the wording of the previous article was too strong, putting kiruv richokim on the ice, maybe this sounds more extreme then he actualy meant it to sound.

  19. Trying to tell people not to invest in their childrens extras as commentar #24 is doing at the end of his comment is actualy true but futile, because noone will listen to you, and your comment where you think kiruv richokim should be our top priority, perhaps even more important then our children schools well you seem to contradict yourself when later you are lamenting about how many children end up being sent to public school because their parents cant afford tuition well make up your mind, is chinuch of our own kids meant to be our top priority or not?

  20. @understanding ainyan – This is #24 – I think we’re agreeing.

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t invest in our kids. I’m saying there must be both and we cannot sacrifice one for the other.

    Absolutely, we need to keep our families first. But we cannot put the issue or “kiruv” on ice. For example, while I can’t afford to send my son’s friend to yeshiva, we can invite them to our home for shabbos meals and sunday barbecues. Little by little we can impress upon them the importance of torah umitzvos by example. And I’m SURE there is more I could do if I really invested in this the way I wish I would.

  21. To the Flatbush Dayin who claims the Chofetz Chaim Never advocated kiruv I share the following:

    The Chofetz Chaim describes the outreach effort as a milchemes mitzvah and obligates every “baal Torah” to join the fight.

    Adar, 5686 (February,1926)

    “In truth, when one ponders and understands the status of Torah in recent years, and how it has fallen so much in today’s world, then the obligation on every baal Torah who has learned…is that much greater to fight the battles of Torah…

    “The war being fought against G-d and His Torah is a continuous threat, worsening daily. Therefore it is incumbent upon every person who knows even a little Torah to do all that he can. If he just knows Chumash, he must put together a learning group and teach them Chumash. If he knows Mishnah, he should teach Mishnah…

    “One who has learned a few years in yeshiva, and has thus acquired much Torah knowledge, must never say he is exempt. Rather, he is obligated to go out to the battlefield and lead as many Torah learning groups as he can. Not only that, but he is more obligated than anyone else. It is up to him to urge, awaken and assemble the congregation and show them ‘the right way’…and through this the honor of Hashem will multiply throughout the world. A war like this one is not a milchemes reshus, an optional war; rather, it is a milchemes mitzvah, a positive commandment in which everyone is obligated to shoulder a portion…”

    (Translated from Michtavei Chafetz Chaim, Ma’amar 33, Eis La’asos La’shem)

  22. As a follow up to the Flatbush Dayin who posited that we should focus on maintaining what we have and then focus on outreach: If you study the attached article with the appended demographic chart (everybody likes pictures) you will see that the Jewish people are losing Jews to assimilation at a rate of 1 neshoma every 1.9 minutes. If we wait till we resolve our internal problems within the frum community there will be no one left to be mekarev. If you would like an explanation of what you are reading please feel free to call me to discuss. http://jewtooth.com/articledetail.cfm?ArticleID=33

  23. Just a thought before I run out to shiur, If every single frum Jew was mekabel to fulfill the mitzva of Vahavta Leraiacha Komocho and try to love a Jew slightly different them themselves, then we wouldnt need kiruv organizations at all~~ 13 million Jews– 1.1 million are currently frum— all you gotta do is adopt 12 families; Onea month and try to be mkadesh shem shomoyim lshem kiruv…… then I’ll never need to ask you for money again…If you want to be mishtateph in our avodas H-shem, please call me http://www.survivalthrougheducation.org

    and in the zchus of our wanting to give HKBH nachas from all of His children, may we have nachas from ours

  24. Flatbush Dayin Time,
    It is apparent that you are ill informed of the crisis occurring in the Jewish world. I also assume that you have never read Chomas Hadas by the Chofetz Chaim based on your previous comment. Finally, I suggest that you actually talk to people who are familiar about this topic of kiruv before making your statements. Go to Rabbi Yerachmiel Milstein and listen to him with an open mind.
    Maybe also think about why all these frum kids are going off the derech and then you might realize that doing kiruv- to kerovim and rechokim- will kill two birds with one stone. It will affect all the shaylas and hashkafa issues that frum people have and make them even stronger in their yedios.
    I think it is worth noting that only Avraham was called “ohavay” by Hashem…see the Ramabam why and maybe your mind will be opened up a little…..

  25. Quite frankly I think the guy who wrote this letter “put kiruv on ice” needs a long cold shower.

    # 1 – There are as many baalei tshuvah and balei tshuvah organzations struggling financially as there are frum. This is a simple fact of reality. the financial crisis has not hit specifically FFB mosdos and families

    # 2 – The basis for kiruv rechokim is not questionable – that is a ludicrous statement. It is also one I might add that shows a very cruel disposition towards other Jews.

    # 3 – In as much as this position apparently represents many other frum yidden who have responded to this letter I will only say that Hashem says – “li hakesef v’li hazahav ne’um Hashem”. Hashem has all of the money in the universe. The shortage of funds we are experiencing now is coming from Him. The shifting of attention in terms of financial support away from kiruv that this fellow is suggesting is being a “kamtzan” with Hashem’s money not your money. Why is Hashem not giving it to us????? Maybe it has something to do with our actions, and beliefs? Maybe we are not finding favor in His eyes? Every Jew (regardless of his present matzav) is part of “banim atem l’Hashem Elokeichem”. Is there any one cruel enough to say let me put my son Moshe’s needs ON ICE for a few years since after all he is wayward and doesn’t show me respect, and put all of my time and energy into my son Shlomi because after all he is respectful to me and doing what I want from him???

    If the writer of this article expects to be able to save yeshivos and families only to be able to pass his terribly cruel and ultimately warped value system on to the next generation than quite frankly I think it makes much more sense for Hashem to flush the frum world down the toilet and just put all of His resources into the kiruv movement. At least when you build a person from scratch you end up with a Jew who has correct Jewish values/ beliefs and appropriate compassion for other Jews which is the only way we will get out of this bitter galus anyway.

    BTW It is precisely because of sentiments like the writer of the “kiruv on ice” article that I have stopped giving the bulk of my money to yeshivas and poor families and now give it only to kiruv. This way the future of klal Israel will surely be a brighter one than the one this kamtzan is suggesting.

  26. Kiruv is really wrong. For a start men teaching women, sara taught the women not abraham. A non-jew is not allowed to learn Torah. A non believing Jew is no better. Unless he stops ‘asking questions’ and expects answers he must not learn torah and it is an aviero to teach him. Our effort ought to be concentrated on stopping those leaving first. Oir sameach and its sister yeshiva ought to be closed. They cause more harm than good. One becomes tamei by touching but not holy.

  27. To MR. “argue”. In as much as chazal say that it is assur to have mercy on someone who has no da’as then I will have no mercy on you.

    1) The subject of Rabbis teaching classes to girls is one that has been dealt with by gedolei israel. You are not a man d’amar. Some men do and some don’t based on the rabbanim they follow. this has absolutely nothing to do with the kiruv movement at all.
    2)The subject of teaching a class to jews where a non-jew is also present is a question that gedolei israel have dealt with. None of them side with you.
    3)A non believing Jew is better than a non-jew. Chazal say – Israel af al pi sh’chatah Israel hu”. the Rambam says that it is ra”ui l’karvan” something he certainly didn’t say by non-jews.
    4)I am not aware of any source anywhere in kol hatorah kulah that says you are only allowed to teach jews when they agree to have no questions about what you are teaching them. I know that this is how other religions and cults manage to manipulate and hold on to their followers. It seems pretty clear to me that in your very sheltered upbringing you were stifled from asking questions. The religion called Judaism which unfortunately you have yet to be exposed to encourages people to ask legitimate questions that are bothering them because we have answers. Judaism also admits that there are things which are beyond the human mind to grasp and that is okay.
    5)”Ohr sameach and its sister yeshiva ought to be closed”. Why on earth would you something so absolutely cruel and wrong. I might add that these yeshivas operate with the bracha of all of the gedolei israel and they consult the gedolei israel on every issue that arises in their efforts.

    The only tumah here is in your words. I hope I am not rendered impure by reading them.

  28. To previous poster
    No daas, thanks.
    1 Has been dealt with. Great daas!
    2 Ditto
    3 A renegade Jew is worse.
    4 We don’t have the answers. We are just deluding ourselves. No it doesn’t encourage people to ask questions. You have never heard of emuna pshuta.
    5 They are run by failed rabbonim who are not capable of teaching bnei torah only BT boys and of course GIRLS. This kiruv causes more problems. These BT are not accepted by mainstream orthodoxy and are always classed as second class. Read some other blogs and see what they say about it.

    Your answers are the usual answers for I and 2. The gedolim say so. Now I am asking questions. You say one should ask. I have asked. Now what answer have you given. Is that how you teach in orh sameach. The gedolim say so. The chumash says the opposite our ovos did the opposite but the gedolim say so. Come on. Who are you trying to fool. You have proved my point admirably.
    No I don’t know what you were taught but tumah has to be touched to become impure not read.

  29. I cant even begin to tell you how painful and insensitive many of these comments are.

    While it is perfectly normal to raise questions about the efficacy of the kiruv movement, this sort of knee-jerk wagon circling probably does more damage than good.

    Not too long ago there appeared an article that went a long way to explain why Yeshivishe families should avoid marrying Baalei Teshuva for reasons having to do with family purity. Is that how we are really seen by the Frummeh Velt?

    While I will admit that having a more secular Bubbe and Zaidy has presented my own children with certain situations they otherwise would not encounter, labeling us a Psullim is extremely hurtful and gives the Ribbono Shel Olam no nachas.

    I owe my life to Neveh Zion in Telshe Stone – one of the most outstanding mekomos HaTorah whose mission is inflaming the hearts and minds of disaffected American teens to love Torah. Years ago both Rav Shach Z”L and YBLC Rav Aharon Feldman noted its exceptional track record and claimed that if all other Yeshivos closed, this one would have to remain open. Neveh alumni are choshuve Maggidei Shiur in the most distinguished Torah institutions on the planet. They are Tzaddikim, Baalei Chesed and tremendous Baalei Tzedoko.

    – Yes, many of these same people have parents who still have televisions in their homes – but only the smallest minded person would fail to look at their accomplishments and instead focus on these skeletons (like, Frum yidden have no skeletons to hide from).

    Some people reject Baalei Teshuva because, like Geirim, they bring into the fold different ways of thinking and many even have the “chutzpah” to challenge the old order with their “crazy” ideas about chinuch and Jewish life. Chances are, its on account of a Baal Teshuva that websites like this even exist!

    The Gemara states that Klal Yisroel went into Golus to attract Geirim. There is koach in those ideas to keep our People fresh and constantly reinventing ourselves. Anyone who is open and honest will admit that the most passionate Yiddin are the BT’s among us – those who know exactly what we “gave up” to live this life.

    Many of these concerned posters are worried about the teens at risk problem and feel the money could be better spent working on “saving Unzer” than Yenum. Consider this – why dont you try to get personally involved in Kiruv and make it a family project? Perhaps our teens are running away because they see how empty most people’s mitzvos are – Mitzvos Anushim Melumad. I would venture to say that if you could capture the fire of Avraham Avinu, that would be the greatest chizuk you could offer to your own children

  30. You ever hear the story of the Ponovezher rav re the Kuzari? Someone wanted to give a class on Kuzari to people interested in learning and asked if it was appropriate to teach, or if it would be problematic because it would only raise questions. The Rav said, no problem teaching, just make sure you never end your class on the question.

    While the emunah peshutah is a fine and legitimate practice if practiced well, you do well with more in your arsenal, if only for the sake of your children and grandchildren, who might need a different, equally legitimate approach.

    There is beauty in simplicity, but lotsa problems in going the simplistic route.

    And regardless of your hashkafos on the matter, there is also the matter of onaas devarim.

  31. The Jews who are rechokim today are not renegade Jews they were born to Jewish parents who gave them nothing. They never made a decision to rebel against Hashem, they never knew Him.

    You are misunderstanding emunah pshutah. You have mesorah, which is different. These jews don’t have a mesorah it takes work to get them to connect to the mesorah.

    You have bitter sinas chinam towards other jews what is your makor for that?

    You clearly don’t know the facts about what goes on at ohr sameach and the other kiruv places.

    I will say that I have with my own eyes seen a large number of closed minded emunah pshutah types doing the worst and most chamur aveiros in the Torah b’shat nefesh. Our avos didn’t do these aveiros. I guess the idea is that if somehow you were zocheh to have your neshama be born into a frum family you get to think you are better than other Jews and expect to be able to use that as some kind of justification for many aveiros chamuros. I hope for the sake of your neshama that the beis din shel malah agrees with your view.

  32. Hey schmoiger (comment #5):

    What does “OUR” children mean? Is there a distinction in klal yisroel between supposedly “frum” people and non-“frum” people? Are non-“frum” neshamas less important, and less a part of our family than “frum” neshamas? How do you make the judgment call as to who is one of your children?

  33. To Anonymous (comment #10):

    You say “Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on Israel trips for college kids and maybe one or 2 kids stay on in yeshiva.” Who do think is giving that money? The majority is NOT coming from “frum” people, so how can you complain where the money is going and how successful it is? Maybe if you didn’t see the world as ‘us and them’ then those people would give money to FRUM outreach programs instead of zionist programs…

    Not to mention that your statistics are completely baseless. Perhaps certain organizations have a low “success” rate (assuming we mean that success is measured by frumkeit), but others have extremely high rates.

    Many of you seem to be ignoring the point that the Rabbi made that a huge amount of tzedaka comes from BTs. Do you really think that the kollel world could maintain itself without tsedaka from BTs in the business world? Or forget for a second so-called kiruv” successes”. A lot of money comes from people who were involved with outreach programs and who didn’t necessarily become FRUM, but because of their experiences developed a connection with Orthodoxy and felt compelled to contribute much of their earnings to FRUM groups.

    We are ALL part of klal yisrael. I hope we can all wake up to this reality!

  34. I think it would be much better if we didn’t NEED kiruv organizations. If every frum Jew was a kiddish Hashem, if every frum Jew invited someone they met in the supermarket for Shabbos once in while there wouldn’t be a need to spend money on Israel trips (on that note, I know many people who have become frum from Israel trips and college campus kiruv). Instead of arguing about where kiruv fits into our tzeddakah for the year, every frum Jew should take responsibility for 8 non-frum Jews. According to the statistics, that is all it would take.

  35. To Flatbush Dayin (comment #18):

    You are mistaken to say that the Chofetz Chaim and the Baal Shem Tov etc “never worked or advocated kiruv movements in Europe.”

    This is from the Chofetz Chaim himself:
    “But alas, today, when, because of the Yetzer Hora, the increase in flagrant depravities everywhere is literally like a raging fire that seeks to destroy all that is good, it is very urgent that groups of God-fearing individuals be formed in every community to quench the sheet of fire in their midst.

    In former times when fires were infrequent it was enough for the government to appoint one company of firemen. Today, however, because fires are common everywhere each community has a group of volunteers. The same applies to the Yetzer. Once it was sufficient for the Holy One, Blessed Be He, to select a few chosen individuals in each generation who with the power of their inspired words could quench the flame of passion (the Holy Alshich in his generation, the Sheloh in his generation, the Dubno Maggid in his generation, and others of their caliber), but today, when, because of our many sins, fires are common everywhere, volunteers must be found in every community.” (source: http://www.kiruv.com/forYourInspiration/MitzvahOfKiruv/The_Fortress_of_Faith.asp)

    I encourage you to browse through the many articles here (http://www.kiruv.com/forYourInspiration/mitzvahofKiruv/) from Gedolim both new and old emphasizing the CHIYUV of kiruv.

    Here is Rabbi Berkovits going through the sources if you don’t believe me: http://www.kiruv.com/forYourInspiration/MitzvahOfKiruv/The_Chiyuv_of_Kiruv0.asp But maybe you know better than Rabbi Berkovits too?