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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 12:00 am
There was a family in a conversion program in our shul. They have completely integrated into every aspect of this small Orthodox out of town community.

The children attend the day school and have developed close relationships with many of the children here.

It came out...that the father was a messianic Jewish Rabbi for a very long time...and that he never told the sponsoring Rabbi of the shul here that he had changed his name to a Jewish sounding name, had been a Messianic Rabbi, and been involved in a ministry. Then more and more and more information was found...and finally after about 6 months, the Shul Rabbi terminated their conversion recently.

Now it is this strange situation, and I am wondering how others would feel/what you would do. I am thinking I need to talk to a Gadol to get direction.

Basically, the family is still very integrated and immersed in the community. They still attend the day school, the girl's Jewish high school, and NCSY. I honestly don't believe that everyone in the frum community knows the conversion has stopped or that they were messianic Jews for a long time--and hid that from everyone.

The Shul Rabbi said he consulted another senior rabbi, and that rabbi said the humanitarian thing was to allow the children to continue school so they could finish out the year.

So they are learning Torah, befriending frum children...there has been rumors that one of their sons is dating a frum girl.

What would you do?

The whole situation is very strange. Our family is not Modern Orthodox, so I don't know if speaking to our (from a different town) Rabbi would help, as I don't know if the Modern Orthodox Shul Rabbi (Young Rabbi) would listen.

Thank you for reading.
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amother




Aubergine
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 12:11 am
I'm unclear. They were genuinely wanting to convert but covered up their past? (And conversion termporarily on hold until all cards are on the table?) Or they were trying to infiltrate your community and get people to become j4j? Because if it's the last thing, I think they all just need to go now and everyone should be made aware of course.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 12:16 am
They were attempting to convert but the conversion was terminated.

Based on various comments, it seems that they were trying to convert so that they and their large family would be able to make aliyah.

They didn't seem to be missionizing here BUT they did hold a Torah class in their home on Shabbos for children, and it is not known what they taught. They definitely have made a kesher with many of the children in the community, many of them spending a lot of time away from their parents, in this family's house.

I am trying to decide if I should pressure the Rabbi to make some sort of announcement about this family to general shul community. He has called various families but not everyone knows.

The family lives in the Eruv. All their boys wear Kippot. Their girls dress in skirts and dresses. The husband had been wearing tallis and tzit-tzit. I believe he still does as well as his sons.

This family's adult daughter is married to a Messianic Rabbi's son who does a lot of J for J messianic proselytizing on the internet.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 12:23 am
This is a community day school and thus the boys and girls are together (in school) until 8th grade.
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amother




Aubergine
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 12:23 am
hazelj18 wrote:
They were attempting to convert but the conversion was halted.

Based on various comments, it seems that they were trying to convert so that they and their large family would be able to make aliyah.

They didn't seem to be missionizing here BUT they did hold a Torah class in their home on Shabbos for children, and it is not known what they taught. They definitely have made a kesher with many of the children in the community, many of them spending a lot of time away from their parents, in this family's house.


So.... again, confusing. Converting for aliyah... not converting for sincere desire to be jews? Not missionizing here.... but might missionize in Israel?

You're right. This is complicated. Let the rabbis figure it all out. In the meantime, don't send your kids over there to play. As to telling others about the situation.... I don't know. Try to trust the rabbis on this too.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 12:28 am
They were converting to become Jewish...but there is a large group of Messianic Jews that live in Israel, trying to convert Jews to believe in Yashka.

The conversion was completely stopped/terminated.

They never told the Rabbi or the Beis Din that they had ever been Messianic Jews--let alone Messianic Rabbi/Clergy. It was found out by others. They have not been honest before, so it is possible they will hide their intentions again.
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groisamomma




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 1:16 am
The rabbis are willing to take this risk?? IMHO if they felt strongly enough to terminate the conversion, then shouldn't people have the right to know so they can protect their children? I'd be horrified if my teen girl was dating their son and others hadn't told me what they knew about the family. "Humanitarian reasons" is a heter to risk missionaries in their midst?

Something is wrong here. Very wrong. Please consult Daas Torah yourself. I'm not sure I'd trust rabbis that would risk the Yiddishkeit of little children by not publicizing this so other parents obliviously send their kids over to this family's house!
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amother




Ivory
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 2:56 am
they covered up that they were (are) missionizing
they were trying to convert to move to E"Y
their daughter is married to a missionizer

I would get out the word ASAP!

this is not okay

I would definitely want to know -- while I feel for their poor children I would definitely prioritize to protect our children and community first!

B"H the truth came out

and what is to stop them from moving to another small community and trying to try their scam on them? there needs to be networking and publication of their names/faces etc to stop them in their tracks
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 4:24 am
Not your business to get mixed up in their conversation status, but do treat the children as individuals. They're in Jewish schools, and probably have their own Jewish identity at this point. Even if the parents' motives are suspect (which is, again, between them and the Rav), the adolescent children can and should be allowed to choose their own life path - be it Jewish, or away.
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 4:28 am
groisamomma wrote:
The rabbis are willing to take this risk?? IMHO if they felt strongly enough to terminate the conversion, then shouldn't people have the right to know so they can protect their children?


It doesn't take a lot to terminate a conversion. There can be many factors that the OP is unaware of. While I agree that she should proceed with caution, it's not necessarily a clear and present threat.
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ectomorph




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 4:38 am
Speak to several rabbis and the principals of the schools.make sure a cover up isn't going on.
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 6:03 am
I'm confused about which rabbi you spoke to, and how much he knows.

It sounds as if you spoke once to your own rav, but not to the neighboring town's Young Israel rav who might somehow get involved? Nor to the rav in charge of the day school -- is that also the shul rav? Is that right?

It also sounds like there's an awful lot of rumor and gossip going on. Some of which is surely l"h if not motzi shem ra.

No, I'm not getting confused about using those terms for non Jews. I'm talking about the rav or rabbeim and administrators who actually know all the details, and apparently are being maligned by some of the community as having placed children and families in spiritual danger by concealing the truth. That's a heavy accusation, and one that is subject to all such laws.

If in fact, a boy from that family is dating a frum girl, then her family should be immediately told of the situation. But if it's more, "well, maybe he might date someone", then that's different. This sounds like a very sensitive situation.

I feel for those poor children. Can you imagine how confusing their lives must be? I can't quite picture that everyone saying "how horrible, Jewish classmates actually spent time unsupervised in that home!" is then saying "so let's support those classmate families in inviting and closely supervising playdates with our children in their own homes, so they don't lose all human connection."

Personally, I think it might be kinder to kick the kids out of the day school altogether than subject them to that kind of ostracism.

And I think that's the conversation to have with your rav, or to the rabbeim who are directly involved, if you are deeply concerned.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Wed, Jan 22 2020, 10:36 am
I am going to try and meet with the local Shul Rabbi. I also hope to speak to a Gadol.

It is super complicated and I cannot share all the details here.

The children are not being ostracized. It is like nothing happened.

The Shul Rabbi (sponsoring Rabbi) did terminate the conversion and told me that directly. He said he terminated because he did not trust them...because there had been so many lies.

Thank you all for your support and words of advice. I really appreciate.
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