The Jewish Student Union That Isn’t

David Kelsey has uncovered a bit of subterfuge out of the bastion of Modern Orthodoxy. The OU’s NCSY has apparently started a front organization, the Jewish Student Union, to lure unsuspecting high school students into NCSY and Orthodoxy. DK notes that NCSY and the Jewish Student Union share some staff, and that nowhere on the JSU’s website is the relationship between the JSU and NCSY and the OU mentioned.

How’s this for the new NCSY slogan? Abusive and deceptive kiruv – it’s not just for the haredeim any more™.

[I would also add a bit of history. Traditionally, JSUs have been student run and governed. The NCSY version is top down, with programs and leadership coming from adults long past school age. For those of us involved in the JSU movement years ago, this NCSY innovation perverts what JSUs are and are meant to be. And it does so piggybacking on the selfless work done by many students over generations. It is, in fact, a form of geneivat da’at. Just another reason not to trust NCSY.]



Filed under Modern Orthodoxy, Outreach

7 responses to “The Jewish Student Union That Isn’t

  1. Bava Kama Sutra

    The do link to United Synagogue Youth (conservative) and to North American Federation of Synagogue Youth (Reform). The correct name is North American Federation of Temple Youth.

    I do not know if it is honest mistake or maybe they do not approve of Reforms calling their house of worship Temple.

    Ban them !!! (The reforms of course)

  2. Yochanan Lavie

    It was my experience with NCSY that they were not really Modern Orthodox at all. Their leaders wore kippot srugot, but were non-Zionist, and sought to make kids, even MO FFB’s, convert to hareidism. As for child abuse, don’t forget the Lanner affair. I witnessed it, but people ignored me.

  3. Neo-Conservaguy

    I’m happy to report we haven’t observed much like the reported activities of concern in this part of the NCSY world. There is an NYCS trip to Israel that some local kids may attend. The vast majority of the occasional problems we’ve seen were the direct result of local parental power-trips or immaturity with some student advisers. The professional adults involved have largely been good people that have been supportive of positive Jewish self-image and observance without crossing any uncomfortable lines evangelizing right-wing hashgafoth. One of the advisers is clearly influenced by his own rightward tendencies, and that has to be kept in check. Make no mistake about, we’re always watching – as any parent should with any organization that works with children.

  4. DK


    Just watch where they try to send the kids for a year of study in Israel — that’s where they “close.”

  5. C-G

    It’s interesting that they’ve been able to align themselves with bbyo, nfty (nfty???!!!), usy, young judea… check out their links page:

  6. C-G

    Sorry, BKS- just noticed you’d already posted that page. DK- remember a couple of weeks ago, a JSU adviser posted on Jewlicious that they’d formed some kind of alliance with bbyo and a few other groups (going beyond merely linking to them).

  7. Neo-Conservaguy

    I can assure you that if my offspring spend a year in Israel after high school, it will be learning at a Masorti or a very liberal orthodox yeshiva. I expect by then my young neo-conservative warriors would kick the ass – with loving kindness, of course – of anyone that tried to convince them that their approach to Judaism needed some “help”.

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