Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Modern Orthodox Meshulachim...

...don't laugh, they may be coming to a community near you sooner than you think.

I know that my brain works in a funny way most of the time - but this may be pushing the envelope for taking things too far and twisting them even for me...NEVERTHELESS, we push on (yeah, I ditched that umbrella wielding, top-hat wearing nuisance of a cricket a looooooong time ago)

Okay, so we all have heard about the current economic downturn, the impact that it has already had on the jewish community at large and forecasts for what may be coming in the near future. Given this new reality my ever sarcastic and negatively spinning brain came up with the following scenario and attached question:

It is not beyond possible that institutions from within the Modern Orthodox world (schools, programs, whatever etc.) that to this point had been able to support themselves based solely on donations and standard forms of fund raising may no longer be able to do so. I don't think it would shock anybody if we assume that much of that money came from affluent businessmen/proffesionals or companies - people and entities that may no longer be able to give as much as they once did in the not too distant past. This could, in theory, lead said institutions to consider entry into a field that to this point (as far as I know and have seen) has been used only by the more yeshivish/charedi community...that of sending meshulachim out around the country to raise money.

Here comes the you think that the members of the yeshivish/chareidi community, who are always quick to say that everyone needs to support the mosdos that they are collecting for even if you may not associate yourself with them or use them or even support their ideals because after all it's a yiddishe tzeddakah and we are all yidden after all - these same people who do not hesitate to come collecting in the neighborhoods of people who they under normal circumstances would never WANT to interact with or deign to associate themselves with - will they sing the same tune and come across with THEIR hard earned (or otherwise obtained) money when it's the guy with the srugi or suade yarmulka sitting across the table trying to raise money for a school with Rambam in its name, a shul with Young Israel in its title, any institution that aligns itself with YU or any other of the various mosdos that fall with the Modern Orthodox community.

Will we all still be yidden then? Will they all be yiddishe tzeddakos then? Will everyone be responsible for helping another yid regardless of whether or not you agree with their stance then? - this is the type of stuff that rattles around inside my head at times like these...yeah, I know, I need help.


  1. but this may be pushing the envelope for taking things too far and twisting them even for me

    Has that ever stopped you? (Yes, yes, I know.)

    NEVERTHELESS, we push on

    I'm *shocked*.

    sending meshulachim out around the country to raise money

    I just find it unlikely. The people they're trying to get tend to be more likely to give in more formal ways than people knocking down their door: Events, meetings, fundraisers, etc. I think that the nature of the door-to-door guy now is a holdover from the past and a recognized inability by more yeshivish places to pull off those types of fundraisers, and that this is the only way to get to what is otherwise a closed market for them. Note that the better a yeshiva can present itself the more likely they will steer away from meshulachim. The MO places, while in more trouble, can still present themselves in a way they'd need to even with that shortfall.

    I also think that when a person would knock on their door, the yeshivish/charedi people would do the same as they would to the others (though as with anyone, perhaps more to ones they feel closer to). Of course now, that might mean "sorry, we don't have anything at the moment".

  2. That's the saddest part of the yeshiva fundraising world. They keep using failed methods because that's how it has always been done.

    I used to ask people how many houses they have been in that actually HAVE parlors. My updated version is that its been so long that parlors are starting to come back into style.

    Even more basic, it is tragic that the best and brightest in our Mosdos have to spend all their time fundraising instead of working to develop solutions to our communal problems.

    The answer to your question, is no. MO will not be given money because they are Yiddishe Mosdos, because that is NEVER what the Charediem meant to say. They meant that MO's should give to them because they are the Emesdika Yiddisha Mosdos.

  3. my family and I are Modern Orthodox but my father is pedartic dentist for flatbush and willisburg so he is spealist in dealing with ultra orthodox children. He have no problem to give tzedach or raffle to them so he doesn't see it is conflict to his ideal because he totally respect them and they trying to build school according to thier ideals that's something we have in common we mordern and ultra are striving for truth and ideals to teach our children and there is no right or wrong how to teach certain styles to children so that's why he gave them his very hard earned money to them. BUT he hate chadri people knocking on his private home and calling him on his private home line to bother him which he really need to relax from a long day of office. He likes if they left messege on his office number or send him letter so he is willing to pay more money then door-door man.

  4. My MO neighbor once told me that she sent her kids collecting for Bnei Akiva in a mixed chareidi/chiloni neighborhood and that only the chareidim gave, and gave generously.

  5. Unfortunately door to door collections are way down as well, so it would be rather silly for MO institutions to turn to this method.

    Meshaluchim from Israel are being advised by the drivers (did you know the collector's drivers are the ones actually operating the system, maintaining donor lists and locations) that it may not be worth coming - cost of the trip is now sometimes exceeding the collection.

  6. I don't know about door to door collections, but I do know that when it comes to chessed, the chareidim do believe that "Yidden are yidden". Ezra L'marpeh, Ezer Mitzion, Chai Lifeline, Tomchei Shabbos etc etc etc all help any Jew regardless of whether or not they're religious. I have personally received help from many of these organizations when my son Z"L was sick and they never asked me whether or not I was frum when I called to ask for an ambulance ride, food for Shabbos, medical equipment, or anything else. I also saw plenty of chilonim getting assistance from them and they were always very touched by the warmth and kindness of the volunteers. It made a tremendous kiddush Hashem.

  7. to all:

    --there has always been a diference (on all sides) btwn someone who is not frum at all and someone who is frum but not in your way...usually the not frum at all are accepted for who they are faster and get better treatment.

    --there is a difference btwn tzeddakah for "people with problems" and general tzeddakah for mosdos.

  8. --there is a difference btwn tzeddakah for "people with problems" and general tzeddakah for mosdos.
    Right. Why on earth would I give money to YU? What's the tzedakah in that?

    And Akiva, that's an interesting little point, because the meshulachim in my neighborhood have been working overtime the past week! There seems to be more of them than ever!

  9. G--I can guarantee you that they treated MO people just as well as everyone else. Level of frumkeit was of absolutely no relevance to them.

  10. almost there-

    glad to hear it...i think you missed what i was trying to say, but glad to hear it none the less

  11. Actually, I think I got you loud and clear.

  12. okay, care to hazzard a guess