The Shabbos Project is NOT About Kiruv

Shabbos ProjectRemember kids, the Shabbos Project is NOT about kiruv, the organizers said so themselves numerous times in their website. So please keep that in mind as you read these suggestions from Rabbi Klatzko on how to make sure your non-Orthodox Shabbos Project guests don’t realize you’re trying to be mekarev them. 


From Rabbi Klatzko – Suggestions for Hosting guests at your Shabbos Table

1- NEVER speak about these four things:
1- Women’s issues- eg. agunah, mechitza,
2- avoid speaking about denominations (reform, conservative, etc.)
3- don’t speak about homosexuality
4- don’t speak about Chareidim and the army

2- General Rule- NEVER GO NEGATIVE
people don’t remember arguments- they remember IMPRESSIONS
were you disparaging, bullying.
– don’t assume people have preconceived notions about being frum
– Stay in your element- don’t try too hard, be yourself- don’t put on a show
– Stay away from stories that are difficult to believe! They can’t relate to them.
Speak about moral ideas- how to have compassion,  how to treat others, etc
Suggested reading: Zelig Pliskin- “Love Your Neighbor” – moral in each parsha

3- Things that make big impressions:
– seeing the husband helping out- eg setting or clearing the table
– wife should thank husband for buying flowers OUT LOUD
– Thanks to guests for coming AND thanks to your wife for making the shabbos

4-  Everything you do on shabbos should be done with PURPOSE and JOY
sing with feeling, say kiddush with feeling; make them feel comfortable.

5- Don’t flinch if they do something against halacha. They are not chayav for aveiros-
should they turn on a light, use cell phone, let it go

6- Don’t sing your usual zemiros- they will tune out. Choose a popular Hebrew song,
eg. Oseh Shalom, Haveinu Shalom Aleichem, David Melech Yisroel,
Ushavtem Mayim Bsason, Moshiah Molshiah aya ya ya ya yae,
Lo yisah goi el goi cherev, Adon Olam, Hava Nageela, Hine ma Tov,
Siman tov umazel tov, Am yisrael Chai, Etz Chaim Hi….
OR:  Teach them a new song without words, hum along.

7- Goal is that they should want to incorporate this experience – yahadus- into their lives:
People choose religion because of:
1- who our heroes are (Rev Moshe Feinstein, gedolim in Eretz Yisrael)
2- what is the ultimate vision of our religion for the world. Judaism- vision of peace
3- they look at the user experience- are people enjoying practicing their religion
4- do ideas translate into action- the proof is in the pudding- does it work?
5- people are looking for truth- Judiasm is emes. If you don’t know an answer to
their question, be honest- say you will find out.  But only give honest answers.


H/T Fred MacDowell

Find out more about how to disguise your kiruv work at