The success of Charedi Kiruv
Jonathan Rosenblum wrote about the success of Charedi kiruv in this past weeks Mishpacha magazine. However, his description of how they are successful is very troubling:
I would agree that neither ignorance nor poverty are major selling points for Torah.
involves frequent lectures from Orthodox Jews who have achieved prominence in fields to which the students might aspire. The subliminal message is: Becoming shomer Torah u'mitzvos does not require eschewing the career to which you previously aspired.
The problem is that it is a big lie. All of the examples that they bring are either Baalei Teshiva or people who were brought up in a more Modern home. Using these people as examples of how well religious Jews can fit into society is very misleading when the institutions/mekarvim themselves don't believe in that hashkafa. According to Charedi hashkafa, University study is prohibited and any secular study is very much discouraged, yet those are the examples they site when trying to be mekarev people. If a Baal Teshuva raises his children in a Charedi environment it means that his children cannot follow in his career path or any secular career path because they won't learn any secular studies in school.
Aish Hatorah published a similar article, Women at Work, a few years ago which claimed that Orthodox women can work at any job that they want.
Let's get something perfectly clear: Jewish women work. One of my neighbors is a nuclear physicist. I'm a zoo veterinarian.
And nowadays, like women all over the Western world, they work in every field. Some run their own businesses or are part of a larger corporation. Here in Israel one of my neighbors is a nuclear physicist. Another is a school principal. Several good friends are lawyers. One's a pediatrician. Two are successful artists. I'm a zoo veterinarian.
My point is, little is forbidden to us. We work in the fields we want. We have open choices. We can choose to work part-time or full-time.
Again we see the big lie. Aish Hatorah is a Charedi institution and it's goal for it's students is that they join Israeli Charedi society. The fact is that if Elizabeth had been born to a Charedi family she would not have had a choice to be a veterinarian, a nuclear physicist or anything other then a school teacher. University study is strictly prohibited. In Yerushalayim and Bnei Brak even getting a high school diploma is prohibited. As I mentioned above, all the women that she brings as examples fall into one of 2 categories:
1. Baalei teshuva
2. They grew up in modern homes
None of the women cited grew up in a Charedi home in Israel, because if they had they would not be where they are today.
Charedi kiruv may be successful in attracting the initial generation, however, it is not at all clear that it is successful with the next generation.