The Orthodox world has often stressed the importance of kiruv – that is, working to help non-Orthodox Jews become Torah observant. But Rabbi Yonah Bookstein, the rabbi of the Pico Shul in Los Angeles, wants to make a distinction between kiruv and outreach; he personally stresses the latter in his important work with Jews across the spectrum of religiosity.
What does that mean? How can we avoid being judgmental when we believe that Torah Judaism represents the proper way to actualize Judaism in our lives? What is defined as successful outreach – and are the terms “success” and “failure” even appropriate at all? Scott spoke with Yonah about these and other important topics regarding the future of outreach.
(Make sure to check out part two of this interview, dropping later this week, where Rav Yonah talks about his experiences in reaching Jews through Shabbat Tent at music festivals across the country, how music festivals can be compared to the Jewish People in the desert as seen from Bil’am’s viewpoint – yes, really – and what music festivals have in common with Matan Torah – yes, really, again.)
Please listen to and share the podcast, and let us know what you think on the Orthodox Conundrum Discussion Group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/432020081498108).
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Music: “Happy Rock” by bensound.com