Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

The Grand Unification Theory of Kiruv

I’ve previously written about three models of Kiruv: – The Chabad like Point Kiruv, where the focus is on performance of single mitzvos. – The widely practiced Circle Kiruv, where the focus is to move people inside the Circle of Torah Observance. – The growth oriented Line Kiruv, where the focus is to get the […]

Four Top Misconceptions About Judaism

A number of weeks ago I attended an excellent seminar in Kew Garden Hills, NY from Project Inspire, a joint initiative of Aish HaTorah and the OU aimed at creating a grass-roots outreach movement. One of the highlights of the evening was a presentation by Rabbi Chaim Samson from Aish about the four main misconceptions […]

A Baal Teshuva’s Letter to His Parents – Part 3

By Rabbi Benzion Kokis Part 1 is here Part 2 is here There are many different levels of observance. Take kashrus for example. The lowest level would be a Jew who eats pork, shellfish, and meat and milk cooked together, in his own home. Next would be someone who buys kosher meat, but isn’‘t choosy […]

Yakov’s Kiruv Dilemma

By Arieh Bauer There is a Rashi in Vayishlach that fascinates me so much. Yakov hid his daughter Dina in a box to protect her from Eisav – and he got punished for it. Why? Because she could have approached Esav from “within”, getting married to him and to pull him over to the “good […]

Forbidden Kiruv

Why didn’t Yaakov simply pass Esav by instead of engaging him? Why did Yaakov send Angels to his brothers rather than humans? Yaakov sent representatives ahead of him to his brother, Esav, to Edom’s Field toward the land of Seir. — Bereishis 32:4 The representatives returned to Yaakov and told him: “We came to your […]

Successful Kiruv Begins With Getting In Line

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Circle, Point and Line Kiruv. Here’s a summary: In the widely practiced circle Kiruv, the focus is to move people inside the Circle of Torah Observance. In the Chabad centered point Kiruv, the focus is performance of a single mitzvah. In line Kiruv, the goal is […]

Circle, Point and Line Kiruv

In September 2014, Mishpacha published an article called “Is the Door Closing on Kiruv?” which is summarized here. In a recent response, four kiruv and Chabad professionals wrote articles stating that the reports of Kiruv’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Points made included: -There is good growth in some measures of Kiruv. -Measuring success just […]

10 Points from “Is the Door Closing on Kiruv?” in the Latest Mishpacha

The latest issue of Mishpacha had an article titled: “Is the Door Closing on Kiruv”. Pere are some points from the article 1. A recent Klal Perspectives’ article claims that half as many young Americans became BTs as compared to ten years ago. 2. A Kiruv activist estimates that the American Kiruv budget is $30 […]

Longing For His Children

By Rabbi Meir Goldberg. More than 100 years ago in the city of Kiev, Ukraine in Czarist Russia, Mendel Beilis was accused of murdering a 13 year old gentile boy and using the blood for matzos. The viciously anti-Semitic government used the trial as a way of not only prosecuting Beilis, but the entire Jewish […]

G-d’s Divine Plan and the Teshuva Movement

By Rabbi Avaraham Edelstein Reposted from Klal Perspectives Kiruv Issue – Winter 2012 There are many pessimists who suggest that the opportunity for American kiruv is rapidly dwindling. They cite decades of American intermarriage and the decreased familiarity of Jews with Torah and Jewish values and tradition (including the decline of Conservative Judaism, discussed below). […]

The Power of Great Torah Teaching in Great Neck

When my wife and were becoming observant, more that 25 years ago, we lived in Manhasset Hills on the North Shore of Long Island. However much of our initial Torah growth occurred in Great Neck under the tutelage of Rabbi Yaakov Lerner and Rebbetzin Abby Lerner of the Young Israel of Great Neck. I would […]

Shloshim for Reb Meir Schuster, Man at the Wall

Ever get the sinking feeling that your efforts don’t really matter? Like you really can’t make a difference? When feelings of futility hit, we can now watch the Shloshim observance for Reb Meir Tzvi Schuster, of blessed memory, which was held yesterday in Yerushalayim. Then we will quickly remember what one person can do. It […]

There’s No Such Thing as Kiruv

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the whole idea of Kiruv lately, due to various circumstances in my life right now. I’ve come to the conclusion that there simply is no such thing as Kiruv, at least not in the sense that most people use the word, where “kiruv” is an action that […]


It was my third month at Ohr Somayach, and I had only recently come around to acknowledging the truth of the Torah and recognizing my obligation to keep the mitzvos. Shabbos was easy; after all, eating, singing, and sleeping didn’t put too much strain on my impulse-control mechanism. Kashrus was easy; I had little money […]

Teshuva, Kiruv and BTs

By Rabbi Shaya Karlinsky This wonderful group is devoted to discussing issues that are important to ba’alei tshuva. And we are now in the season when everyone should be attempting, each in his or her own way, to grow to higher levels through teshuva. There are two Halachoth that the Rambam includes in the laws […]

The JHC After 25 Years – These are the Things Which Have no Shiur

This past Shabbos my wife and I had the pleasure of celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Jewish Heritage Center (JHC) of Queens & Long Island with 300 people at a Shabbaton in Sommerset, NJ. Many of the people there have been close friends over the years. Some have moved from the JHC’s home base […]

Financial support of kiruv – a categorical imperative. Right?

For years after I first became observant it was obvious to me that I should devote more than a token amount of my tzedakah money to kiruv organizations. Live and learn. I have lived a lot since that proposition was obvious to me, and I’ve learned a thing or two, too. One reason for the […]

Thoughts From a Mekarev in the Field

By Rabbi Meir Goldberg Reprinted with permission of Mishpacha Magazine It was with great enthusiasm that I eagerly read the recent edition of Klal Perspectives, kiruv edition. After reading many of the articles and especially the responses by R’ Adlerstein and R’ Ilan Feldman, I was hoping to respond with the some thoughts of a […]

Do We Show Enough Appreciation for Kiruv?

Yes it’s easy to find faults with any Klal institution and Kiruv is no different. But if we stop and think about how much Baalei Teshuva owe to those dedicated to helping people find a path to Hashem and Torah and mitzvos we probably would be much slower to criticize. If we truly realized how […]

Healthy Kiruv…Respecting Those Whom We Bring Closer to Judaism

By Zev Gotkin (Response to “Dishonest Kiruv! The Building of Responsible Jewish Outreach Movements” by Rabbi ShmulyYanklowitz) Many in the Torah-observant world would likely consider me an “outreach success story.” Coming from a secular background I had little knowledge of Jewish teachings or observance when I entered my first year of college. However, I was […]

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