Flatbush: Will it be the Missionary Center or a Kiruv Center?

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Chosen People Ministries (a Jews for J missionary group) has spent $2.1 million to acquire a building and an additional nearly $1 million more on renovations to construct an 11,000 square foot missionary center in the heart of Flatbush; it will house a “synagogue,” Sefer Torah, classrooms, and dining hall with the specific intention of attracting the general Orthodox community and particularly 1) unaffiliated local Jews and 2) adults at risk from frum homes who have abandoned Yiddishkeit or are on the fringe. Vulnerable Jews will be invited for deceptive Shabbos and Yom Tov meals and services. Will they join? Who would turn down free meals and a warm, friendly, and welcoming atmosphere?

The missionary center, located on Coney Island Avenue between Avenues P and Quentin (in the former Yablokoff Funeral Home) makes it clear in their promotional material that Jews in Brooklyn are their prime targets, because there is little or no Kiruv going on in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn is the only metropolis in North America without an all-encompassing Kiruv center. Denver, Colorado, for instance, has a tiny fraction of Jews compared to Brooklyn (proportionately there are more nonobservant Jews in Brooklyn than anywhere in America) and yet Denver has three Kiruv centers. Brooklyn has no major center.

Brooklyn Jewish Xperience (BJX), Brooklyn’s outreach organization, is at the forefront of outreach, reaching out to Brooklyn’s non-observant and less observant Jews. Almost 70% of Brooklyn’s Jews are non-observant. Every day BJX works around the clock, engaged in inreach and outreach, teaching Torah and Judaism to both those born to secular families, as well as young adults that were raised in religious homes but grew disenchanted or felt disenfranchised. Brooklyn Jewish Xperience’s innovative classes and programs and its warm, dynamic leadership has inspired countless to learn more about their heritage, prevented intermarriage and ensured Jewish continuity.

BJX is changing the fabric of Brooklyn. Roger bought Tzitzis; Jessica affixed a Mezuzah to her door. Sarah is going to study in Neve; Sammy is joining our chavrusah program. Paul, Erica, Danny, Boris, Angela, Mark, Debbie and numerous others enrolled in our “Laws and Philosophy of Shabbat” series. And that’s not all—students from frum families on the brink of giving up Yiddishkeit are now well adjusted frum adults.

Brooklyn Jewish Xperience needs your help to thwart the plans of the Missionary Center about to open in Flatbush. Instead of the fighting the missionary center by picketing and protesting we will foil their efforts by establishing Brooklyn’s first all-encompassing Kiruv Center. Thanks to the tireless and devoted efforts of pioneering community leaders Moshe Caller, Shimon Lefkowitz, Leon Goldenberg, and Eli Goldbaum, Brooklyn is close to having a Kiruv Center. The BJX Kiruv Center will host BJX’s Kiruv Shul, daily classes, learning programs, and events for the unaffiliated and for frum people desperately in need of Kiruv and Chizuk. The Center will be located at 2915 Avenue K. Construction began last week. Now BJX needs support from the community to help build the BJX Kiruv Center so we can put the missionaries to shame. This is your chance to be part one of the greatest and most seminal endeavors in Jewish history.

The Chafetz Chaim declared that every Jew has a Torah obligation to reach out to their non-observant brethren. Today, with the threat from local Jewish missionaries, the fire of assimilation burning out of control, and the rampant off-the-derech phenomenon, every Jew must heed his call and respond.

BJX is endorsed my Moreinu Harav Yisroel Belsky, shlita and prominent community Rabbonim.

BJX is a 501c3 organization, under the leadership of Rav Yitzchok Fingerer. Your donation is tax-deductible. You may donate securely online at http://www.thinkandcare.org./make-donation.html, send checks to Brooklyn Jewish Experience 998 East 21st Street Brooklyn NY 11210, or call 646-397-1544 with your pledge. The fire is almost out of control. Please donate now to save our Jewish heritage.

(YWN Desk – NYC)



7 COMMENTS

  1. This is absolutely insane! Prior to my moving to Five Towns I lived in Midwood. I had three neighbors on my block that were ireeligious Jews. All their kids, aside from one intermarried. Generations of lost Yidden! It could have been avoided had their been kiruv going on here. It is absurd that the the missionaries are doing more than us frum Jews!!! A chilul Hashem…

  2. There is no religion called “J for J”. Rather it’s a phony, deceptive, rogue fake name for an aberration unrelated to its chosen name. Both religions that it purports to represent, consider it blasphemous. The local and greater community should vigorously demonstrate against it.

  3. koltuv12- it is insane. And what have you been doing about it? Did you try to start up a kiruv mission? Did you invite your neighbors regularly for Shabbos meals? Did you offer to learn with them? A lot more would be done if we all were personally involved, instead of just voicing outrage.

  4. Simcha…unfortunately, you are incorrect when you say that J for J is blasphemous for them…Mainstream organizations in that world spend tens of millions of dollars a year in “missions” aimed at us…and the J for J component(not just one organization, by the way) is a large part of it…there is nothing theologically offensive to Ch……s abiut it.

  5. I hink yungerman1 is too harsh on koltuv12. Even if people attempted to reach out on their own they still need a Center and Rav to send the people to for classes and hadracha and davening. I am shcoked by this article and will give all of my maaser money to this cause.

  6. Has anyone ever heard of Chabad-Lubavitch? And if I am not mistaken, do they not have a substantial presence in Brooklyn, somewhere near Eastern Parkway? By what measure can the author of this article say that there is no “all-encompassing Kiruv center” in Brooklyn?

  7. to reply to nfgo: 770 Eastern Parkway is by no means an “all-encompassing Kiruv center”. I am a BT and forgive me for saying that if someone brought me to 770 I would have ran out pretty turned off. Go anywhere out of town or even to Manhattan and you’ll see what a Kiruv Center is. Kiruv Centers offer crash course in Hebrew reading, beginners services, Friday night dinners, classes in Jewish law, events and holiday programs and a Rav who is very tolerant and know pretty much everything about everything in order to answer all the questions seekers have.