web analytics
August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



The Jew Behind Jew In The City

Allison Josephs being interviewed at Jew in the City’s second annual “Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All-Stars” awards evening.
(Photo credit: Elan Kornblum/Great Kosher Restaurants)

Allison Josephs being interviewed at Jew in the City’s second annual “Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All-Stars” awards evening. (Photo credit: Elan Kornblum/Great Kosher Restaurants)

I happen to have a natural hamminess. That’s just how Hashem created me. So I figured I could squelch it and try to make it go away, or I could serve Hashem b’chal levavcha – with my yetzer hatov and my yetzer hara. So I use the external stuff Hashem gave me to get people listening. And then, once they’re listening, I talk about the deep stuff. I think it’s OK as long as I get that the external stuff and the spotlight is not the goal – it’s simply a vehicle to get to the goal.

In terms of tznius, my understanding of tznius is that I have to dress and act appropriately and not run to the spotlight just to be in the spotlight, but if or when you have a message to give over then you must. Does being in the spotlight expose me at times to gross men who are not doing their part in being tznius? Unfortunately. But I try not to focus on that part and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing.

In his speech, Rabbi Daniel Cohen spoke about not imposing but exposing. Do you view what you do as kiruv, at least partially?

Well, I guess it depends on how you define kiruv. I think kiruv ought to be putting out the information honestly and accurately and letting the person figure out what it means to him or her. I think, unfortunately, at times kiruv can come with the idea of “I’m going to make him frum.” So we’re not that kind of “kiruv.”

I’m a big believer in the idea that the Torah sells itself. We’ve got the goods. We just need to shine them up all nice and pretty. So that gets back to your original question about how the event had a feeling of not being “limiting.” We want to show that within the confines of Jewish law, there is more room for physical enjoyment and self-expression than people might realize. The ultimate goal is serving God, but there is still plenty of room for “self” in that mix.

I’ve long felt that most of the kiruv organizations out there (or exposing organizations, if you will) are from the haredi sector, which is certainly well and good. But it can leave both non-frum Jews and the general populace with a narrower picture of Orthodox Judaism. I know many Jews in the Modern Orthodox world who feel they have something to offer.

Most Jewish outreach is being done in the haredi sector. I think many Modern Orthodox Jews feel self-conscious about being too pushy or missionizing, and shy away from kiruv. But maybe some are interested too.

I’m a big believer that there should be many approaches offered. I am an alum of Darche Noam (Midreshet Rachel) and I learned to respect teachers and rabbis from across the spectrum. So any time I guide someone who’s interested in learning more, I suggest they visit all sorts of families and communities. Because what worked for me doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. I wish all people working in outreach had this approach. We shouldn’t box people in. We should hope to inspire them to be growth- oriented, intellectually honest, spiritual people. But what that looks like is not just one type.

In your videos you appear to be open to addressing almost any topic. But aren’t there some topics that are just difficult to explain to the modern Western mind, such as the Torah’s view on homosexuality and bris milah, or the Jewish war against Amalek?

The videos are always made with humor – which we do in order to keep people watching. So I don’t think that is the right place to discuss difficult topics. Because they require sincerity and seriousness and I don’t think that would translate well on film. So we handle those topics through articles and Q&A’s instead.

About the Author: Shlomo Greenwald is associate editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Jew Behind Jew In The City”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
4 yr old Israeli Daniel Tregerman, murdered by Hamas rocket on Aug. 22, 2014.
IDF: Israeli Toddler Murdered by Rocket Fired Near UNRWA School/Shelter
Latest Indepth Stories
Charles Krauthammer

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

David_Grossman

Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.

488px-WielkaSynagoga3_Lodz

In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”

Netanyahu-Obama-030212

Obama never hid his contempt for the Israeli government or the majority of Israel’s voters.

“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”

We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.

The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.

And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?

Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.

The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.

We were quite disappointed with many of the points the secretary-general offered in response.

Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.

His father asked him to read Psalms from the Book of Tehilim every day.

More Articles from Shlomo Greenwald
Israeli flag

Israel’s morality is underscored by its unprecedented restraint and care for loss of life.

book-journey-of-faith

With Journey of Faith in front of you during the shul’s leining, or at home on a long Shabbos afternoon, you’ll enjoy worthy insights and see the entire sefer anew.

How political movements gain footholds remains one of the great true-life mysteries.

Filling two vacuums at once – one of Orthodox women taking a more public role and a second of Modern Orthodox Jews demonstrating the merits of religious Jewish practice – Allison Josephs has transformed her sweet and engaging webisodes and blog into a larger force. Jew in the City is now a franchise.

All the books reviewed in this supplement can serve as great gifts; the books reviewed briefly below do as well.

While we know a lot about our greatest forebears from the Chumash and later biblical generations, even if there are often gaps in their life stories, we know considerably less about the Sages of the Mishnah (the Tennaim) and of the Gemara (the Amora’im), collectively known as Chazal – our Sages, of blessed memory.

Zakheim frequently used his access to ambulances and helicopters to transfer sick or injured individuals to hospitals.

You’ll never get anything you need or want if you don’t ask. You have to ask the questions.

Treasure this advice, because it’s one of the best you’ll get in life. At times it’s thorny and complicated to ask another for something – what if he says no and your request is rebuffed. Rejection is hard to take. And what if you’re imposing or the requestee has a hard time saying no? But you’ll also never get a “yes” without first asking.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/the-jew-behind-jew-in-the-city/2013/12/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: