Orthodox Judaism outreach
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Orthodox Jewish outreach, often referred to as Kiruv (Hebrew: קירוב "bringing close"), is the collective work or movement of Orthodox Judaism that reaches out to non-Orthodox Jews to encourage belief in God and living according to Orthodox Jewish law. The process of a Jew becoming more observant of Orthodox Judaism is called teshuva ("return" in Hebrew) making the "returnee" a baal teshuva ("master of return"). Orthodox Jewish outreach has worked to enhance the rise of the baal teshuva movement.
Rabbi Noah Weinberg was one of the pioneers of this movement with Aish HaTorah. Ohr Somayach has also played a major role in the baal teshuva movement through its education of generations of students.
The world's first baal teshuva yeshiva for men was Hadar Hatorah which opened in New York in 1962 under Rabbi Yisroel Jacobson, and continues to operate today. Other baal teshuva yeshivas include the Diaspora Yeshiva, founded by Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein in Jerusalem's Old City in 1967, and Dvar Yerushalayim, established in 1970. Baal teshuva yeshivas for women include Neve Yerushalayim, founded in 1970, and EYAHT, affiliated with Aish HaTorah and founded in 1982.
Concurrent with the opening of baal teshuva learning programs in Israel in the 1970s, a small number of Orthodox outreach workers began approaching English-speaking, college-age students visiting the Western Wall and inviting them to experience a Shabbat meal with a host family or to check out one of the baal teshuva yeshivas. These outreach workers included Rabbi Meir Schuster, Baruch Levine, and, beginning in 1982, Jeff Seidel.
Within Modern Orthodox Judaism, the Union of Orthodox Congregations created the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) to reach Jewish teenagers in public schools. Founded by Rabbi Pinchas Stolper the movement also developed its in-house literature geared to the newly observant mainly written by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan.
In 1987, an organization called National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP) was founded by Ephraim Buchwald.
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, 6th leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch branch of Hasidic Judaism, and then his successor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson were responsible for turning Chabad's activities toward outreach. Each in turn sent out rabbinic emissaries, known as "Shluchim", and their wives to settle in places across the world solely for the purpose of teaching those who did not receive a Jewish education or to inspire those who did. The vehicle chosen for this was termed a "Chabad house."
Since the 1940s, Chabad has been active in reaching out to Jews through its synagogues and communal institutions, as well as more direct outreach efforts, such as its Mitzvah tanks. The organization has been recognized as using free holiday services to reach out across denominations. Chabad led the first Jewish outreach organization in the United States following the Holocaust, to date it remains the most successful with a world wide presence.
- Chabad.org Official homepage for the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement, providing daily, date-specific information relevant to each day from Jewish history, daily Torah study, candle-lighting times, and forthcoming Jewish holidays. It receives over 43 million visitors per year.
- Association for Jewish Outreach Professionals (AJOP) was established in 1987 to unite and enhance the work of outreach rabbis and their wives.
- Gateways (organization) an international organization whose self-declared mission is it to "raise Jewish consciousness."
- Project Genesis is a Baltimore-based kiruv effort to increase the numbers of baalei teshuva.
- Kiruv Organisation was founded in 1995 by Yossef Mizrahi in New York for the purpose of connecting Jews to Judaism and Torah, and teaching musar.
- Lev Echad is an Israel-based umbrella organization for the Lev outreach network to develop and facilitate innovative Torah educational programs in Israel and abroad.
- Neve Yerushalayim, founded in 1970 in Jerusalem, is an Orthodox school for secular Jewish women seeking a college-level introductory program. Its founder and guiding dean is Rabbi Dr. Dovid Refson. Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller is a teacher at the school.
- EYAHT College of Jewish Studies for Women, a subsidiary of Aish HaTorah, was founded in Jerusalem in 1982 by Denah Weinberg, wife of Aish HaTorah founder Noah Weinberg.
- Machon Chana of Crown Heights (founded 1972), Bais Chana Women International (formerly of Minnesota) are Lubavitch women's yeshivos which have taught thousands of Jewish women who are beginners in their knowledge of Judaism.
Torah Umesorah: The National Society for Hebrew Day Schools was founded by Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz. It is an American Orthodox organization which has opened hundreds of day schools and provides resources to many different Orthodox Jewish day schools. It has an outreach effort called Partners In Torah whereby volunteer Orthodox men and women learn on the phone for an hour a week with a non-Orthodox study-partner. A similar program run by Chabad is called Jnet. Torah Umesorah also sponsors the SEED Program whereby young Yeshiva students spend a few weeks during their summers teaching. This is similar to the Chabad Lubavitch "peace corps" which are Yeshiva-student pairs that visit remote Jewish communities over the summers to help develop Jewish communities by teaching.
Orthodox Rabbis in outreach
- A list of some Orthodox rabbis who have been/are involved can be found here
- A history of involved rabbis, organized by time period, with greater detail, can be found here
- Baal teshuva movement
- Conversion to Judaism
- Kiruv Organisation
- List of Baalei teshuva
- Repentance in Judaism
- Ben Harris (November 27, 2007). "Focusing on Orthodox outreach". JTA.org.
draw nonobservant Jews closer to their heritage
- "Hadar Hatorah Celebrates Golden Jubilee • CrownHeights.info - Chabad News, Crown Heights News, Lubavitch NewsCrownHeights.info – Chabad News, Crown Heights News, Lubavitch News". crownheights.info. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
- Lange, Armin; Diethard Romheld, K. F.; Weigol, Matthias (2011). Judaism and Crisis: Crisis as a catalyst in Jewish cultural history. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. p. 330. ISBN 3525542089.
- Winer, Todd (9 February 1996). "'Hunter' at Kotel Seeks Shabbat Dinner Guests". Chicago Jewish News. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- Rossoff, Dovid (2001). Where Heaven Touches Earth: Jewish Life in Jerusalem from Medieval Times to the Present (Revised ed.). Feldheim Publishers. p. 537. ISBN 0873068793.
- Pensak, Margie (27 December 2014). "BJL Exclusive: Jeff Seidel and Yohanan Danziger Miraculously Escape Jerusalem Arab Stoning Unharmed". Baltimore Jewish Life. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- Fishkoff, Sue. "‘Praying without paying’ becoming a more popular option among shuls", Texas Jewish Post. Accessed September 22, 2007. "Many people credit Chabad-Lubavitch with spearheading the movement for free holiday services across the denominational spectrum."
- Hebrew Musar (מוּסַר), from the book of Proverbs 1:2 meaning moral conduct, discipline, instruction.
- William Grimes (August 26, 2016). "Esther Jungreis, 'the Jewish Billy Graham,' Dies at 80". =The New York Times.