Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

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 […]

The Importance of Pace and Learning Torah in the Spiritual Growth Process

An important comment by Rabbi Shaya Karlisnky from this post in 2007. Menachem Lipkin referred me to this wonderful blog. And with over thirty years of experience in teaching Torah to ba’alei tshuvah, I would like to make some comments on this most important thread. The Rambam teaches (Hilchot Talmud Torah, Ch. 5, Halacha 4): […]

Teens at Risk and Baalei Teshuva Parents

Back in October, the AJOP newsletter sent out an announcement about a study that would be presented by Dr David Pelcovitz on Teens at Risk and Baalei Teshuva. We wrote a post about it, and speculated about the results. At the time, I was a little concerned about the study because I thought it would […]

How Would You Make Good Kiruv Even Better?

We (David & Mark) will be speaking at this year’s AJOP Conference sharing what we’ve learned from and through the Beyond BT community over the past six years. Our sense is that most BTs are very thankful to the people who have taught them and helped in their Teshuva process, but there’s always room for […]

Why Kiruv Sometimes Fails

By Shira. After getting married, Shira’s husband became a BT. They’ve worked together to patch a semi-frum lifestyle together which includes attending an orthodox shul, keep a kosher home, and keeping shabbos. As a BT who went off, daughter of another BT who went off, and having encountered more than a few who were BT, […]

Can’t You See the Truth?!

In order to fulfull undergrad credit requirements, I once took a course in classical music, and was bored out of my mind. As announced in the beginning, our final exam would be to identify the composer from records which had been played throughout the term. In the end, I was still bored, but at least […]

Three on Kiruv and Ba’alei Teshuva

By Jonathan Rosenblum This year’s Association of Jewish Outreach Programs (AJOP) convention included a broader than usual spectrum of kiruv workers across the Orthodox spectrum. For instance, Hart Levine, a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, described in one session a project he initiated while an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania of Orthodox […]

He Who Has Sinned Can Teach

By Will Gotkin In his book, Rebbes and Chassidim: What they said what they meant, Rabbi Abraham Twerski, M.D. quotes the following from King Solomon: “It is better to hear the rebuke of a wise man than one who hears the song of simpletons” (Ecclesiastes 7:5). Twerski writes that Rabbi Bunim of Pschis’che pointed out […]

The Benefits of Buy In for the Newly Observant

Originally Posted on Orthonomics. My husband brought home some reading material for me on Shavout. One of the pamphlets available at our shul was from a well known Kiruv group. The first column was regarding setting priorities. The scenario set up is as follows: A man’s tefillin are stolen and he decides to replace his […]

No Easy Way Out

Dear Rabbi Brody, I’m not religious, but I get a kick out of your column and your broadcasts, even though I disagree with you plenty. One thing I particularly don’t like is the fact that you’re always hounding Jews about keeping all of the 613 commandments. So what if I’m Jewish? Why can’t I just […]

The Roots of Chabad Outreach

What are the roots of Chabad Outreach? Perhaps the best way to understand it is to hear how the Rebbe himself describes it (from his collected talks, Shabbos Parshas Behar-Bechukosai, 24th Iyar, 5740)… (The words of the Lubavitcher Rebbe…) In certain segments of the Jewish community, the expression ‘Kiruv Richokim’ — drawing close those who […]

My First Encounter with Orthodoxy – Shlomo Carlebach and NCSY Circa 1960

By Rabbi Leonard Oberstein Baltimore, MD I grew up in Montgomery,Alabama in the 1950′s. Today I am an orthodox rabbi and father and grandfather of a large family. However, my first experience with orthodox Judaism really came about because I went to one single NCSY National Convention a year after my Bar Mitzvah and that […]

Kiruv for the Already Frum

Too often, after a BT has joined the ranks of the observant, he/she is left to work out major life challenges without an adequate support system. FFBs forget that a BT doesn’t come from a family background with frum values, and may need a surrogate family (maybe just one family, but more often in the […]

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