What are the Issues Facing BTs?

What are the main issues facing BTs and what small steps can we can take to help alleviate the problems. These are some of the things we’ll be shmoozing about at the Beyond BT Shabbaton in Passaic this coming Shabbos. We’re just about out of space for accommodations, but if you live in Passaic we’d really love for you to join us. Email us at beyondbt@gmail.com for reservations or additional information.

Here is the Eruv map for Passaic and the Davening Schedule for Ahavas Israel. We’ll be davening at the 6:37 or 7:00 minyan on Friday (depending on your host), the 8:30 Shacharis minyan on Shabbos and the 6:45 Mincha minyan on Shabbos afternoon.

The first issue we have is not so universal, but a number of us from KGH want to know how long do you think it will take to get to Passaic from Kew Gardens Hills if we leave around 4:00-4:30? Also, what route would you take?

Here are some of the other issues we’ll start to look at:

– Understanding the details of lifecycle events like, Bris, Pinyon Haben, getting into Yeshiva Ketana, Bar & Bat Mitzvos, getting into Yeshiva Gedolah, dealing with teenagers, dealing with school administrations, finding a Shidduch for your children, making a Wedding, taking care of with ederely parents.

– Finding a good Rav for Hadracha (life guidance). This is one of the biggest issues BTs face.

– Filling the gaps in our Torah knowledge.

– Finding a chevra in your community and integrating into the large community.

What are some of the other issues that you feel are pressing.

11 comments on “What are the Issues Facing BTs?

  1. If you are married, you could have an issue with your spouse not becoming religious and/or not traveling the same Jewish path as you. I have never seen this issue treated in depth anywhere, and I sure would like to, if only to find those who are in the same boat as I.

  2. “Filling in the Gaps in our Torah Knowledge” is one of many excellent topics. Looking forward to meeting and seeing everyone.

  3. David,
    My writing is very much, “What you read is what you get.” :)

    My suggestion could have been: The politics of Yarmulkas

    What we gravitate to in our yiddishkeit is a good indictation of who we are.

  4. Hope to see everyone there. Since we are going from midtown, the only way is via the Lincoln Tunnel which can be a wait until you enter the Tunnel. Once you exit the Tunnel and hit NJ Rt 3, it is prety straightforward driving to Passaic. FWIW, I will be davening at the minyan at the regular Zman Friday night.

  5. Sorry I can’t make the Shabbaton, but here’s a suggested issue for discussion:
    Finding a place within Torah Observance while retaining your personality

    Have an incredible Shabbos Kodesh.

  6. Thanks Tzvi – all the mapping software sends one through Manhattan to the Lincoln Tunnel, which didn’t look like a good spot to spend Shabbos.

    What are the issues (in addition to those already mentioned) – a lot depends on the age(s) of the BT, marital status, how long they’ve been frum, family support or lack thereof, shidduch situations either for self or children, adapted hashkafa etc etc. Inotherwords, no matter what you’ve got planned, it will be relevant to many.

    Now, if only my brain would help me get my work done here……

  7. I just want to clarify my previous comment — expect it to take 1 to 1 1/2 hours with typical summer Friday afternoon traffic, but I would highly recommend leaving yourself a generous buffer in case it takes longer.

  8. I don’t claim to have the answers to the hard questions, but regarding the best route from KGH to Passaic on Friday afternoon, I would definitely take the Triboro Bridge to the GW Bridge to NJ. (From there, I would take I-80 West to Exit 61 – Elmwood Park, make a left at the light, go about 1/2 mile and make a left onto Route 46 West, then stay to the right and then to the left to get on Route 21 South to Passaic. You can take exit 11 or exit 10, depending where you’re going in Passaic.)

    How long will it take? That’s a good question. Without any traffic, you could make it in 45 minutes or less. With Friday afternoon traffic, it’s anybody’s guess, but leave yourself as much time as possible. The route I outlined is intended to avoid the worst delays. As always when travelling in the NY area, listen to the traffic reports, and be prepared to take an alternate route if necessary.

    Good luck, and we look forward to seeing you in Passaic!

  9. Another topic: what does a BT high school graduate do next? College? Kollel? Arranged shidduchim versus other avenues toward marriage?

    Just trying to bring in the perspective of the 18-25 year old.

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