Thursday, October 29, 2009

EJF's aggressive new relationship with kiruv


5 Towns Jewish Times

For 100 Jewish youth from the former Soviet Union, many of them students, Shabbos Bereishis was an opportunity to plant deeper roots in their commitment to Judaism. The occasion was a Shabbaton sponsored by the Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE) of Gateways and Horizons/Eternal Jewish Family (EJF) at the Stamford Hilton. From the inspirational song and dance at Kabbalas Shabbos led by Rabbi Avrumi Jordan to the moving havdalah by Rabbi Yisroel Cherns, it was an important Shabbos in the lives of the youth.

For RAJE, this was a key event in their ongoing programs for youngsters from the former Soviet Union. Every Sunday nearly 400 youth gather in Brooklyn for several hours of lectures and programming. The change in the youngsters, say the devoted mentors who are part of Gateways, "is nothing less than sensational." For Horizons/EJF this was the next chapter in an aggressive new partnership with kiruv organizations that in addition to Gateways includes Ohr Somayach, Arachim, Lev Le'achim, Hidabroot, and Nefesh Yehudi. Similar seminars have been held in cities throughout Israel, in Baden, Austria and Odessa, Ukraine. It is part of a program to assure that youth build strong Jewish ties, most importantly by marrying Jewish. [...]

9 comments:

  1. Gateways is the same thing as ArachimOctober 29, 2009 at 9:01 PM

    Or at least it is the Arachim division for chutz laaretz.

    When it comes to Gateways and Suchard, "aggressive" is the right adjective.

    I cannot accuse Suchard of pocketing the money himself. I don't know, maybe he directs it back to kiruv programs, but he acts like one of the biggest profiteers you could meet.

    They have a very bad reputation with hotels and contractors who they try to chisel down on price relentlessly. How many times did contractors stop working for him. How many hotels refused to take them back? It is actually revolting to watch him in action chiseling away. I have seen it. The same thing goes for being mechanef ashirim, even if they have to do improper things that is a contradiction to their mandate.

    ReplyDelete
  2. lama sakeh rayecha?October 29, 2009 at 9:22 PM

    one year i was at a gateways event and i was surprised that they did not kick out a guest who was acting like a rasha. he started an argument with someone in the middle of a shiur that rav akiva tatz was giving to about 500 people in the hotel shul and punched him out. besides all the issurim for hitting another yid it was hamalbin pnei chavero barabim. the guy who was punched out was so ashamed over the incident and that nothing was done about it that he packed his bags and drove away from the hotel on the second day yomtov shel galus.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Besides the high price that Gateways charges when compared to other Pesach hotels, they shake down the guests for money like you have never seen. They have an appeal during davening where they use all kinds of pressure tactics and guilt trips.

    Suchard also tracks down guests by the seudos that he thinks are well to do and twists their arms to give even more money on top of the exorbitant fee plus the appeal. Farshteit zich that people were so turned off that they never came back.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Recipients and PublicityOctober 30, 2009 at 1:47 PM

    Does anyone have reliable information about the known controversies surrounding Suchard while he was still in Israel?

    That was before he came to the US supposedly working for Arachim, but he broke off, and broke them, and created his own new "Gateways" organization.

    It was a blow from which Arachim has bever recovered, unabe to create an American base and presence, as Suchard went about implementing Arachim's methods of weekends and retreats at hotels that worked well in Israel that Suchard was supposed to implement for them in America, but instead he ran off the with the Arachim patent for himself to the tune of millions.

    Guess anything is possible in America.

    It is defintely the height of cynicism for Suchard to drag his Gateways into an open alliance with Rabbi Tropper and EJF at the very time when Rabbi Tropper and EJF are facing their worst crisis.

    Suchard is no dope, he learned in Israeli yeshivos, so how does he account for and explain to anyone who would ask him, how he can get into an alliance with Rabbi Tropper and EJF and disregard the warnings from the full BADATS?

    Myabe it is just simple, as always, it's just the fact that too many people have tired of his shtik so he needs Rabbi Tropper to give him access to Tom Kaplan's big money and in return Rabbi Tropper and his EJF are allowed to enter into Gateways kiruv programs, creating the unavoidable conflcit of interets between the kiruv agenda of Gateways with the conversionary and proselytization agenda of EJF.

    This is not good for Klal Yisroel and the rabbis who work on Gateways programs, like Jonathan Rietti and Ephraim Brecher should be asked to put pressure on their boss Suchad before their own personal reputations get dragged into the mud with Rabbi Tropper on board with them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is no "Ephraim Brecher". There is however a Rabbi Mordechai Becher, a brilliant (and funny) talmid chochom who must have a photographic memory.

    Rabbi Becher works freelance too although Gateways must be a nice portion of his income. I don't think that Rabbi Becher is in any position to tell Suchard what to do. I guess that Suchard would get rid of him in a second and hire another speaker.

    Mordechai Neugroschel on the other hand is heavily involved with both Suchard and Tropper.

    ReplyDelete
  6. One of Suchard's main financial backers is a family that has a long history of stock fraud violations, so their money is not exactly clean.

    In my yeshiva days, there were murmurings of anger and resentment against the Suchard family among the bochurim in Kol Torah & Brisk. This pertained to a shidduch that was said to be mekach taus, with the alleged prior knowledge of the Suchards, including the father Dayan Tzadok Suchard from Johannesburg.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The question has been raised whether Suchard personally cashes in on points for the blocks of hotel rooms that Gateways books. Guests have complained that Gateways would not let them have the points for themselves.

    Considering that Gateways books entire hotels at a time, the Suchard family could conceivably be getting free travel for life if cashing in these points. They might even be able to stay in presidential suites in Yerushalayim when not booked by Tropper or Guma.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Recipients and PublicityNovember 1, 2009 at 9:37 PM

    This post, "EJF's aggressive new relationship with kiruv" October 29, 2009 from the 5 Towns Jewish Times is at least the third time it's been inserted into Orthodox ppaers recently.

    It was in The Jewish Press as posted on this blog EJF mixes kiruv & geirus - RaP (October 29, 2009)

    It has now appeared again, with minor changes, in the latest:

    "HAMODIA, Community, October 28, 2009:

    Horizons/EJF and RAJE Work Together" by Elie Appleson.


    For 100 Jewish youths from the former Soviet Union, many of them students, Shabbos Bereishis was an opportunity to plant deeper roots in their commitment to Judaism. The occasion was a Shabbaton sponsored by the Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE) of Gateways and Horizons/Eternal Jewish Family (EJF) at the Stamford Hilton in Satmford, Conn.

    From the inspirational singing and dancing at Kabbolas Shabbos led by Avrumi Jorda, to the moving Havdalah by Rabbi Yisroel Cherns, it was an important Shabbos in the lives of the partcipants.

    For RAJE, this was a key event in their ongoing programs for youngsters from the former Soviet Union. Every Sunday nearly 400 youth gather in Brooklyn for several hours of lectures and programming. The change in the youngsters, say the devoted mentors who are part of Gateways, “is nothing less than sensational.”

    For Horizons/EJF this was the next chapter in an aggressive new partnership with kiruv organizations that in addition to Gateways includes Ohr Somayach, Arachim, Lev L’achim, Hidabroot, and Nefesh Yehudi. Similar seminars have been held in cities throughout Israel, in Baden, Austria and in Odessa, Ukraine. The program is part of an effort to assure that young people build strong Jewish ties - most importantly, by marrying Jewish.

    The EJF/Horizons message was delivered by Menachem Lubinsky, who introduced the program, Rabbi Doron Kornbluth, author Why Marry Jewish, who painted a picture of how crucial it was to marry Jewish and Rabbi Leib Tropper, Rosh Yeshiva of Kol Yaakvov/Horizons and Chairman of the EJF Rabbinic Committee, who pleaded with the youth “not to abandon our ancient tradition and our Father in Heaven.”

    In sessions, participants interacted with an impressive slate of world-renowned lecturers including Rabbi Jonathan Rietti, Rabbi Mordechai Suchard, Rabbi Mordechai Becher, and Rabbi Reuven Ibragimov.

    “This historic partnership between Gateways and Horizons/EJF is destined to have a major impact in our efforts to stem the tide of assimilation,” said Rabbi Suchard, executive director of Gateways.

    “We are delighted to partner with organizations like Gateways in helping them extend their important message of kiruv to assure Jewish continuity by encouraging the Jewish youth to marry Jewish,” said Rabbi Tropper.

    Following the Shabbaton, the two organizations announced plans for many other similar programs in the future."

    ReplyDelete
  9. Recipients and PublicityNovember 1, 2009 at 10:57 PM

    The relationship between Rabbi Suchard and Rabbi Tropper heats up to the point of blind loving passion as Rabbi Tropper places and pays for many ads and infomercials in the Jewish media praising EJF new-found love story with Gateways and in turn Rabbi Suchard lends Rabbi tropper some importnat support at atime when he is under sige and needs it most, as Rabbi Tropper posts on his blog an letter of thanks (hopefully it's genuine and not forged like some other correspondence he produced in the past) praising EJF and Rabbi Tropper to the sky. He post the original and its words type out again:

    "Gateways Thank You Letter to Rabbi Tropper: Posted by Rabbi Tropper Posted in rabbi tropper Posted on 29-10-2009

    Rabbi Leib Tropper
    Rosh HaYeshiva - Yeshiva Kol Yaakov
    29 West Maple Avenue
    Monsey, NY 10952

    October 23, 2009

    Dear Rabbi Tropper Shlit”a

    Thank you for collaborating with us in sponsoring a most successful Shabbos retreat.

    The presenters were well received and captivated the attention of the students. The Shabbos experience was very powerful. The students were inspired, uplifted and motivated to continue their journey in Judaism.

    Your talk, Motzei Shabbos on Jewish Continuity was a highlight. The participants were especially taken in with your candid and straight forward approach. Your passionate plea to them, that it’s their responsibility to themselves and the Jewish people to at least marry Jewish. This message struck a chord and penetrated their hearts. It is such a novel and Refreshing approach. This talk needs to be a staple in all our educational programming.

    May we continue to accomplish together.

    With Thanks and Torah Blessings,

    Rabbi Mordechai Suchard
    Founder & Director
    The Gateways Organization"

    ReplyDelete

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED!
please use either your real name or a pseudonym.