Sunday, November 12, 2006

Memories--the "BT movement"

Hat tip to my husband re: Baalei Teshuva Resources on the Web on Beyond BT.

Here's the comment I put on the post:
NCSY was probably the first organization with youth "kiruv" (before the term was used) as a goal. Rabbis Stolper, Wasserman and Ginsburg were the pioneers nationally. "BT" wasn't a term yet; we "became religious." That was in the mid-60's. In NY the YU seminars worked in parallel, and some of us went to both types of events. I was an NCSY officer in 1966-7 and made aliyah in 1970. So
that's my perspective. When discussing youth, the period of time is so
short, that everyone will have a different perspective.
Of course, like everything else, NCSY evolved and Chabad strengthened and "graduates" of Ohr Sameach, Diaspora Yeshiva, Neve Yerushalayim and Aish left Israel for the states influencing further.

For some of you it's probably very ancient history. I was also a student in the early months of Neve Yerushalayim after I quit ulpan. We were living in the "Old City." It wasn't called "HaRova HaYehudi" in 1970. It was "easier" for me to get all the way to Bayit VeGan than to Beit HaAm, where the ulpan was. I used to walk to the Jaffa Gate and then straight up to Beit HaAm. There wasn't any bus I could take. It was winter (think rain) and I was pregnant.

Going to Bayit VeGan, where Neve Yerushalayim was then on Rechov Uziel, was a bit easier, since I only had to walk all the way to Sha'ar Shechem. Yes, I could walk there freely and alone. Then I took the #12 bus to the last stop. I think it was still the last stop, near the big park. Then I walked down the park. Less than a year later we were living next to the park, but that's another story.

We were also involved with the Diaspora Yeshiva. It wasn't too far from us, and Rabbi Goldstein had been my husband's 9th grade teacher. Rabbi Goldstein asked if we could house the female students in the Betar house for a bit.

Then when we were in Bayit VeGan we ended up on the list of Shabbat hosts for Neve, since I never said no.

Yes, ancient history.

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