Pushing Interfaith Conversion?

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5 Responses

  1. Ron Coleman says:

    For too long Jews discouraged non-Jews from seeking to convert. Even in this modern era that outmoded policy lingers in our psyches. This has limited our ability to passionately encourage those closest to us to convert to Judaism. We can no longer afford that complacency born of a historical insecurity. Not as a movement, a people, or a religion. Not if we truly care about survival.

    It reminds of the people who look at the history of assimilation and Jewish survival and say, “The problem here is there have been too many walls between Jews and gentiles, so they end up hating us” — or perhaps, “Communism doesn’t ever really fail; it’s just never been tried.”

    Yaakov, as an intellectual matter this is like shooting fish in a barrel. Turning away converts hasn’t been a problem for the non-orthodox world for a generation. Turning on Jews has.

  2. Steve Brizel says:

    Obviously, the rabbinic and lay leadership of R and C have been in a sort of convergence on this issue for years. Contrary to Ron’s comments, kiruv works, albeit in different approaches for different people.

  3. Ron Coleman says:

    Oh, Steve, believe me, believe me — I believe in kiruv. Some of my best friends, etc.

    I don’t, however, think this article has anything to do with kiruv.

  4. Joshua Josephs says:

    I must agree with the above post that conversion is unlikely to stem the tide away from Judaism. Since an Orthodox conversion is unlikely to occur why should the people who convert have any incentive to insure that their children remain Conservative at all. I have to say that education is likely the best answer. I am a product of a good day school Beth Tfiloh in Baltimore and believe that this type of school is the way to go. Children from all branches of Judaism attend and in my class at least virtually all are more religious now several years after graduating than they were during our time there. Even those students who have not become Baalei Tshuva take their responsibility to Judaism far more seriously.

  1. February 12, 2007

    […] I have said in the past that reaching out to non-Jews is an ineffective way to ensure a Jewish future—comparable to “treating a patient with a spurting arterial wound by giving him a transfusion.” […]

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