When Klal Perspectives was launched in Fall 2011, our primary objective was to present a range of thoughtful perspectives on one important topic in each issue. Our broader goal, however, was to stimulate higher-level conversations about these topics that would lead toward implementation of well-developed solutions for the pressing challenges facing our communities. And, as mentioned in our Mission Statement, we intended to seek and publish “input from the broader community… in order to broaden the discussion and enlist as many talents as possible in developing strategies for the future.”
More than any of our previous four issues, the Fall 2012 Review of Kiruv inspired many to follow up on this invitation, offering to submit full-length essays as well as more pointed Letters to the Editor to further this important conversation about the relative effectiveness of current or potential kiruv initiatives. We are pleased to present here a dedicated follow-up issue of Klal Perspectives entitled Conversations: Readers Respond to a Review of Kiruv.
This is not a regular issue of Klal Perspectives, but a collection of reader responses. The difference is significant, in that our approach to a regular issue is far more rigorous in seeking out the most important ideas and contributors, providing extensive feedback to first drafts and offering ongoing support in the development of the final article. For this special issue, we welcomed unsolicited contributions, made no specific demands on the writers, and present their offerings here essentially in the form in which they were submitted.
It is our hope that this process of developing and sharing ideas leads to significant enhancement of kiruv efforts within our community’s ongoing commitment to promote Torah values, l’hagdil Torah ul’haadirah.