Home

[Solved] How to handle non-jews showing up to kiruv events.
1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Relationships -> Manners & Etiquette


View latest: 24h 48h 72h

amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:03 pm
I don't know in which thread to put this. if it should be moved, please let me know.

But basically-the title.
I'm supporting some friends who are starting up a kiruv initiative in a small town, and because it's in the very beginnings, they need to do outreach in big ways: paid ads, local advertisement, etc. They want for the actual jews that they might not know of to see the ads wherever they can, and show up.
So, the ads are visible to a very wide public, in order to hopefully reach the local jews. And BH it's been working well in finding jews who were hidden and far away. They've come to our kiruv initiative and it's been so beautiful.

However, there's a couple of non-jews who are interested in judaism who are showing up and are incrusting themselves in the initiative. They want to come to events, be in the group, and just "be in". They have no intention of converting, it's not like that. They just like judaism and figure they can come in. Like chvs it's a church where everyone and anyone can walk in. But we're trying to reach the local jewish community and see to their needs. Our resources are limited and so we'd like to be able to help the local born jews first.

So, I'm wondering how to handle the situation?
We can't straight up tell them no, and tell them it's because they're not jewish. It would rub them the wrong way, and the local jews too.
But logically speaking it's not sustainable for us to include them, what we're doing is not for them. We don't know what to do.

Maybe some experienced shluchim can give us some advice?
we've tried to be nice while keeping some distance but it hasn't worked. Last time we saw them they insisted on being added to our groupchat, and one of the non-jewish women is even inviting more non-jewish friends to "join in".

It's getting to me a little.

I'm wondering what to do?

Please advice if you are in a position to do so. Thank you in advance.
Back to top

DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:12 pm
That sounds very awkward. I am not a kiruv expert, so feel free to ignore:

What % of the participants at these events are non-Jews? Are we talking about 5% of the people or are we talking about 20-30%? If it's a small number, can you just ignore them? Do they actively participate or just observe?

Can you gently suggest a local community college course on Jewish History or Comparative Religion for people who are just there out of academic interest in Judaism?

For the group chat: can you adjust the setting so only the group admin can add others?
Back to top

FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:18 pm
You need to explain to them that they are welcome, as long as they are in a conversion program with a sponsoring rabbi. They'll need a letter of introduction from the beis din they are converting with.

If they can't do that, there are always books or YouTube videos that can give them more information on Judaism.

This book is recommended by the Aish website: https://www.amazon.com/exec/ob.....hhat/

It might even be worth it to buy a bunch to have on hand, so that when you have to send someone away, they have something to take with them. That takes the sting out of the rejection.
Back to top

MitzadSheini




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:26 pm
You said "a couple" of non Jews. This doesn't sound like a big deal to me to let them join in. Much better, IMNSVHO than rejecting them!!! But clearly it's a big deal to you. Can you explain why? What sort of events are they? WHY is it unsustainable? Also- are you sure it is still necessary to do the highly visible advertising if the Jews in the community already know who you are?
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:30 pm
DrMom wrote:
That sounds very awkward. I am not a kiruv expert, so feel free to ignore:

What % of the participants at these events are non-Jews? Are we talking about 5% of the people or are we talking about 20-30%? If it's a small number, can you just ignore them? Do they actively participate or just observe?

Can you gently suggest a local community college course on Jewish History or Comparative Religion for people who are just there out of academic interest in Judaism?

For the group chat: can you adjust the setting so only the group admin can add others?



It is very, very awkward. Particularly since one of our jewish participants is kind of bummed out at their presence, and I don't blame her.
So far it's only one non-jewish lady (out of about 15 jews) who has been very pushy since the beginning, and now she's brought two other people, and her daughter.
The head of the shlichus had no choice but to add her to our groupchat, as she ambushed him at our last event (over chanukah).
We're sending packages and shabbos things and it feels very off to include her and her friends. But if we don't include her, she goes to the other jews and complains about being left out. And the other jews then come to us to ask why she's not here and we can't tell them that it's because she's not jewish, as they're secular and don't really understand the halachic implications for us.

We really don't know what to do and how to handle it as we get bigger. We've been giving in so far, but it is not sustainable for us to keep giving in.

Thank you for taking the time to write back
Back to top

amother




Rainbow
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:31 pm
I would call someone or an organization that does kiruv on college campuses- this comes up a lot there. Along with the fact that a lot of the people who comes think they're Jewish, or at least half, but aren't (I heard someone tell me that when a kid who knows little to nothing shows up with a Jewish last name, he's more nervous than when it's not, because so often it's just the father who is Jewish.)
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:32 pm
FranticFrummie wrote:
You need to explain to them that they are welcome, as long as they are in a conversion program with a sponsoring rabbi. They'll need a letter of introduction from the beis din they are converting with.

If they can't do that, there are always books or YouTube videos that can give them more information on Judaism.

This book is recommended by the Aish website: https://www.amazon.com/exec/ob.....hhat/

It might even be worth it to buy a bunch to have on hand, so that when you have to send someone away, they have something to take with them. That takes the sting out of the rejection.



Oh but the thing is, they're not converting and don't even think about it. They just think judaism is nice and the holidays are cute, so they come. They don't realize the implications. That's why I said chvs they think we're a church, you just come in and out.

So that's why I don't even want to mention conversion. I would absolutely not want to encourage them to convert, as that's not what they're interested in right now. It's just awkward so far.
But thank you for the recommendation, we will keep it in mind
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:36 pm
MitzadSheini wrote:
You said "a couple" of non Jews. This doesn't sound like a big deal to me to let them join in. Much better, IMNSVHO than rejecting them!!! But clearly it's a big deal to you. Can you explain why? What sort of events are they? WHY is it unsustainable? Also- are you sure it is still necessary to do the highly visible advertising if the Jews in the community already know who you are?


Well when it was just the one non-jewish lady, we didn't make it a big deal. But she's been bringing people in and that is problematic for us. We're trying to build a community for the actual local jews, show them they're not alone, and they have us as a resource if anything. We're doing events for holidays and it's just not for non-jews, you know.
Back to top

MitzadSheini




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:38 pm
Ok now that you have explained a bit more it seems like the "pushiness" is what is really bothering you, would that be correct?
Back to top

chanatron1000




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:39 pm
Is introducing them to Noachidism an option?
Back to top

MitzadSheini




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:41 pm
chanatron1000 wrote:
Is introducing them to Noachidism an option?

And enlisting them, as they seem "the type" to actually organise their own, parallel Noachide group. Keep them busy and out of your way?
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:44 pm
MitzadSheini wrote:
And enlisting them, as they seem "the type" to actually organise their own, parallel Noachide group. Keep them busy and out of your way?


This is actually not a bad idea at all. Thank you!!
Back to top

MitzadSheini




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:45 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
This is actually not a bad idea at all. Thank you!!


All credit to Chanatron1000 I just piggybacked her idea!
Back to top

FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:47 pm
I became frum through an established kiruv group, and I've seen some of the things the rabbis have had to deal with.

OP, you need to contact a kiruv group that has more experience, and get some advice from people who have BTDT. Kiruv is always a tricky thing, and you need someone who can give you guidance as you establish your community. Things will always come up, so having some kind of mentor on speed dial is a good idea.

Also, I would really like to know why my post got hugged. Scratching Head Whoever it is, hugs right back at you. Hug
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:51 pm
chanatron1000 wrote:
Is introducing them to Noachidism an option?


Thank you for this, this is a very good idea!
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:54 pm
FranticFrummie wrote:
I became frum through an established kiruv group, and I've seen some of the things the rabbis have had to deal with.

OP, you need to contact a kiruv group that has more experience, and get some advice from people who have BTDT. Kiruv is always a tricky thing, and you need someone who can give you guidance as you establish your community. Things will always come up, so having some kind of mentor on speed dial is a good idea.

Also, I would really like to know why my post got hugged. Scratching Head Whoever it is, hugs right back at you. Hug


You're right, thank you!
Back to top

NotInNJMommy




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:55 pm
I agree with continuing to be welcoming to them, even if you focus your energies on the known jews. As long as they are polite, not trying to missionize, culturally appropriate, or pretend/mistakenly decide they are jewish. There are definitely some other more experienced folks out there who have seen "it all", etc. who probably have specific tips. The fact is you never know if you might discover that she/they may be Jewish, or may want to convert at some point, or may influence a Jewish friend or acquaintance, or be able to be helpful to your family/organization as non Jews. Also, non Jews looking to see how Torah can apply to them as non Jews needs to be through Jews teaching them Torah---a lot of it is in Oral Torah so it must be learned from a Jew who knows the Oral Torah.
Back to top

FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:56 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you for this, this is a very good idea!


This book is recommended by the Aish website: https://www.amazon.com/exec/ob.....hhat/

It might even be worth it to buy a bunch to have on hand, so that when you have to send someone away, they have something to take with them. That takes the sting out of the rejection.
Back to top

amother




Marigold
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 2:56 pm
I want to be careful in my response and just give you one perspective.

Long story short, I was not born hallachically Jewish. (My mother converted reform). I was raised reform Jewish & always considered myself Jewish.

In college I got involved with Chabad and other kiruv-related Jewish organizations. I learned through them I wasn’t hallachically Jewish, but NONE of those organizations treated me differently when they found out my situation. They were always welcoming and treated me the same as other other Jewish (or non-Jewish) guest. I so appreciated their kindness, compassion & consideration.

Shortly after college I had a halachic conversion. I am married, have children & live in a lovely Jewish community.

These kiruv organizations did not pressure or try to get me to convert. But because of their compassion & outreach I was able to learn about my Jewish heritage and find my path to becoming frum. And now I have beautiful kids that would not be around if it wasn’t for organizations that do this kind of work.
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Dec 06 2021, 3:03 pm
Thank you all for your (really, very good) responses. I got the advice I was looking for.

I never know how to close these anonymous threads. Is it possible?
Back to top
Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next Recent Topics

View latest: 24h 48h 72h


Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Relationships -> Manners & Etiquette

Related Topics Replies Last Post
Name of a pull thing to use as a handle 2 Yesterday at 5:55 pm View last post
How do I handle this type of behaviour? Update...
by amother
62 Fri, Nov 25 2022, 10:08 am View last post
S/O Jewish Music: Which songs are from non-Jewish sources?
by amother
109 Thu, Nov 24 2022, 5:58 am View last post
Non-academic seminary in Israel 22 Wed, Nov 16 2022, 3:57 am View last post
ISO Non-Chicken Chicken and Rice
by myname1
22 Sun, Nov 13 2022, 6:06 pm View last post