13 thoughts on “Dollar Yomi

  1. That reminds me of a friend I grew up with whose family is Hindu. The parents tried to cajole him into learning Sanskrit, and finally openly offered him money to do it. He never did.

  2. As a teen, a few friends and I were paid to attend an AM minyan. At the time I enjoyed the $ and the sponge cake. But it backfired horribly. I remember thinking: “Shit, my religion is in such sorry shape that they have to pay 14 year olds to attend services (I also felt the adult were pathetic for not being able to motivate their own). And it backfired. I’m the only one out of my friends (who were paid) who takes an interest in Judaism. But I still dislike going to shul in the AM. And I’m sure those “get paid to pray” services contributed to my apathy.
    Better to let a shul die than to make it one more cog in the wheel of commerce.

  3. This is unfortunate. Not all places in the midwest have to do this. In Iowa City, where I live, there are a few free classes and lectures, but Sunday School, Hebrew School, classes offered at the University, etc. are not cheap. For those who don’t know where Iowa is, we share a border with Wisconsin, we don’t grow potatoes, and neither Cincinatti nor Cleveland are in this state.

  4. Yeah that makes me sad too.
    I’m from the midwest also (Minnesota) and they have programs like “lunch and learn” where they rent out a place downtown where a lot of Jewish people work and serve a free lunch to shiur attendees. That’s hamish, this is so overt that it’s disturbing and it doesn’t sound like it’s working.
    If there were quotes like “At first I went for the money but now I love torah” it would be a lot different than “I felt obligated to stay since they PAID me.”

  5. Dont be so sad. Lunch-N-Learn’s arent the end of the world. Very often businessmen dont have time for a regular Torah study schedule, combining it with lunch just makes it possible.
    Everytime I have participated in one, I, as well as others, contributed to the organizers.
    As far as paying minyan comers, that is unfortunate, but not sooo terrible. Our shul was having trouble with the tenth man, we payed an old russian guy at a Jewish retirement home, who was really un-interested, to drive some of the other folks who would have liked to come.We got our minyan, these old dudes got to come, and this one old dude got some gas money.
    smiles everywhere. Have a happy day.

  6. It seems to this program is simply a short-term version of the traditional Kolel program. The message from the community is that we would rather people be working for Torah than working for McDonalds.
    But, like the article suggests, it’s only making it easier for people who want to be there to come, and may not be the most effective kiruv messege.

  7. Sausage, I see Rabbi Blesofsky from time-to-time, but haven’t had a conversation with him. The last time I saw him was at the Matisyahu concert here last month. Chabad has a presence here, but not a very large one. We have a hard time finding people to put together an Orthodox minyan, let alone every shabbat. Also, I tend to be more of a rationalist than a mystic. That makes Chabad-Lubavitch less appealing to me.

  8. Merliner- I didn’t say I disliked lunch n’ learns at all.
    I said they were “hamish” which I meant to be complementary.
    It’s the bribery that gets me….

  9. Ariela, yes. It is good and the people there do good things. I have their “Innocence Betrayed” documentary and a couple of their books. They’ve got excellent stuff on how gun control was used to prepare for the Holocaust and on how the US 1963 Gun Control Act is largely patterned after Nazi gun laws. http://www.jpfo.org is a good site.

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