Religion & Beliefs

Reform Woman Decries Big Aish Deception

Aish HaTorah is the largest ultra-Orthodox "outreach" movement outside of Chabad. But unlike Chabad, Big Aish does not reveal that it is an ultra-Orthodox proselytizing organization. Preferably, Big Aish does not want you to know that it is Orthodox at all.  In fact, … Read More

By / July 3, 2009

Aish HaTorah is the largest ultra-Orthodox "outreach" movement outside of Chabad. But unlike Chabad, Big Aish does not reveal that it is an ultra-Orthodox proselytizing organization. Preferably, Big Aish does not want you to know that it is Orthodox at all.  In fact, Big Aish will blatantly lie about it.

Via Failed Messiah,  jweekly reports,

I should have known that a trip advertised on the side of my Facebook page would not be what it seemed, but it just looked so enticing.  How could I not take advantage of a trip to New York (everything but the flight) for only two hundred dollars?  I decided to apply for the Women’s’ Future Jewish Enterprisers two-week trip in New York. [...]

I am a Reform Jew, and I appreciate the denominational diversity of the Jewish people, but I was informed at the beginning of the trip that Aish HaTorah does not have any affiliation with any particular denomination of Judaism, so I was less than thrilled when bombarded with Orthodox Jewish opinions. 

Why does Aish resort to such deceptive techniques? Because they work, and no one that matters in either the Orthodox nor the Liberal/secular Jewish world seems to care. The State of Israel rewarded Aish with Kotel-front property for their efforts to "engage" Anglo-Jewry by hook or by crook.  There are more religiously radical groups than Aish to be sure, but with the one exception, Aish is the most deceptive any major Kiruv organization.

The first prize for deceptive behavior, of course, goes to NCSY. Like Aish, NCSY – the youth group movement of the Orthodox Union – operates under an ecumenical front. The difference is, Aish targets adults, some of whom – like Elizabeth Katzki – are wise to cult-like tactics, even when coming from a Jewish source. But NCSY targets underage students through their Jewish "Student" Union (JSU) in our public schools.   

Not surprisingly, NCSY and Aish HaTorah have a long history of partnership in "outreach."

Birds of a feather flock together.  For them, lying in the name of Kiruv is a higher truth.