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 much the Klal has benefited from the enthusiasm, growth orientation and contributions of Baalei Teshuva we would probably be much more supportive of the efforts of those in the field.

Do you think people express the proper HaKoras HaTov to those working in Kiruv?

If you think people are not supportive enough, why do you think that’s true?

Is the problem the general negative perspective often held by the Klal or is it something specific for Kiruv?

We can we do as a group to be more supportive if you think that’s the correct perspective?

7 comments on “Do We Show Enough Appreciation for Kiruv?

  1. Judy Resnick’s last point is well taken. Cost containment in line with available internal resources is a general need that few communities seem to have a handle on.

    We can’t pretend, for example, that government going broke from top to bottom will do much for communities going broke. Voucher and special aid advocates have to face that hard reality.

  2. Judy Resnick-I would not dispute the economic reality that you mentioned. I would maintain that having at least empathy for the other ( being “nosei bol chavero) and having Hakaras HaTov for the role of kiruv are values that should always be factored into the discussion of what constitutes proper values in the FFB world.

  3. One problem which arises is very much like Yaakov Avinu in the Chumash bestowing a multicolored coat upon Yosef: the lavishing of extra attention, money and time upon potential Kiruv subjects. It’s only human to feel jealous when that happens.

    Imagine if you’re a typical frum family struggling to pay the Yeshiva tuition for all of the kids, and then you read about how a Kiruv organization took care of the tuition bills for some public school kids. Your reaction might be something like, “Why their kids and not my kids?”

  4. I think that most, if not all BTs, are quite appreciative of whatever and whoever had a positive influence on their religious growth. When one sees ads that provide assurances that a life long FFB can “do kiruv” , that points to a still held POV within the FFB world that Kiruv and BTs are some sort of exotic universe not yet within the FFB planet.

  5. I may not be the typical reader here because I didn’t become closer to God and His Torah through what would normally be thought of as “kiruv” organizations or professionals (that’s just the way it worked out for me, I certainly have nothing against those organizations or professionals).

    But having stated that, I feel that I cannot ever repay my debt to those who gave me my start in Torah education. I have tried to support them to the extent I can financially over the years. I even feel a sense of indebtedness to earlier influences (for example, a non-orthodox Jewish youth group I was part of as a teenager) whose approach I strongly disagree with now (and for this reason I don’t support these organizations), but without whose influence when I was younger I likely wouldn’t have been open to learning about Torah when I became a young adult.

    Without the right influences and circumstances, today I wouldn’t be involved regularly with Onkelos, Rashi and Ramban al haTorah, with Rashi, Tosefot and other Rishonim al haShas, with the ideas of R’ Yehuda HaLevi and the Rambam, with the Biur Halacha, with Shabbos and Yom Tov, with tefila and kriat shema and tefilin and the privilege of trying to raise children according to the Torah (something Avraham Avinu (!) wasn’t blessed with for many many years), and I could go on and on and on….

    When I stop for a moment and look at it this way, I have an overflowing feeling of thanks to all the people who made this possible, and especially those who were most instrumental.

    The thanks of course most fundamentally goes to God, but that’s for Modim and Birkat Hamazon, etc. and is not the subject of this post.

  6. The assertion was made based on reading thousands of comments here over 7 years, and constantly talking to BTs and mekarvim about the subject.

    If you think BTs are very supportive or appreciative please provide your evidence. Is the support verbal, written, financial?

    If you yourself feel you are supportive and appreciative then we would love to hear how you show that appreciation in the verbal, written or financial realms. Start with a data point that you can provide to support the opposite assertion. If you’ve already said it in the past here, then say it again.

    Of course it won’t conclusively prove or disprove the assertion, but life is full of unproven assertions.

  7. How can we know if other people are supportive or appreciate enough of their kiruv mentors, or of someone else’s? What blogs say might not be typical.

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