Religion, Spiritual Development

JEWS FOR JUDAISM INTERNATIONAL INC

Keeping Jews Jewish

Quick Facts

aka Smart Choices

Los Angeles, CA

Mission

Jews for Judaism strengthens and preserves Jewish identity by responding to religious coercion, promoting critical thinking skills, and providing spiritual guidance and support.

Ruling Year

1986

Executive Director and Founder

Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz

Co-Director

Rabbi Zalman Kravitz

Main Address

P.O. Box 351235

Los Angeles, CA 90035 USA

Keywords

Jewish Educational Resources, Jewish, Support, Guidance, Counseling, Jewish Pride, Counter-Missionary, Religious Coercion, Jewish Identity, Jewish Education, Jewish Outreach, Jewish Preservation, Critical Thinking Skills, Jewish Leadership

EIN

95-4040781

 Number

5548808346

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Jewish (X30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a church.

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Jews for Judaism was founded in 1985 in response to the onslaught of deceptive missionaries and cults targeting Jews for conversion. Sadly, more than 300,000 Jews have converted to “Messianic Christianity” and Jews for Jesus movements. Jews for Judaism has a 34 year proven track record of countering these efforts, returning Jews to Judaism, and ultimately strengthening their connection to Judaism. While missionary groups remain active, (especially on social media and in Israel) the Jewish community is confronted today by more varied challenges: Religious coercion disguised as groups like Scientology, Transcendental Meditation and the Landmark Forum just to name a few. In addition, anti-Semitism, BDS, and other anti-Israel propaganda top the list of challenges confronting our community as they proliferate online and on college campuses.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Counseling

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our organization aims to preserve and perpetuate Jewish identity via three basic pillars: 1) Responding to Religious Coercion 2) Promoting Critical Thinking for Life Challenges 3) Providing Spiritual Guidance and Support for Life Crises

Each year Jews for Judaism delivers over 18,000 client services and reaches ten of thousands of individuals through 175 educational programs offered to teens, college students, millennials, community-based Jewish organizations and synagogues and Jewish professionals. Counseling Services - Jews for Judaism’s Specialized Counseling is at the forefront helping individuals return to Judaism, and providing spiritual guidance to families and individuals confronted by real-life challenges; including serious illness, financial difficulties, mortality, bullying, and religious coercion. Israel Programming - In response to growing missionary activity in Israel targeting secular Israelis and immigrants (more than 20,000 Israelis have converted to Messianic Christianity through groups like Jews for Jesus -Tel Aviv and OneForIsrael.org - Netanya), Jews for Judaism has produced and distributed materials and videos in Hebrew. We collaborate with Israeli outreach organizations and travel annually to Israel for speaking tours and to provide counseling and training. Videos - Our YouTube Video Channel has more than 300 videos viewed by 3K people each day. Some of our videos include “The Real Messiah and Why He is Not Jesus,” “Taking it Personally: Torah Tools for Spiritual Growth,” “Intermarriage: Why Marry Jewish,” “Jerusalem: Eternal Capital of Israel & The Holy Temple Forever” and more. Live Presentations - Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz and Rabbi Zalman Kravitz captivate communities all over the US with unique presentations that are relevant, informative, entertaining and inspirational. They have an uplifting approach which empowers individuals and enhances spirituality and strengthens Jewish identity and involvement. Some of their topics include: • The Power of Persuasion • Adventures of a Real Cult-Buster • Why Jews Rejected the Christian Messiah • Empowering Students in the Age of BDS • Jewish Spirituality and Personal Growth The Jewish Response to Missionaries Handbook - With over half a million printed and available for free download in nine languages, this clear, concise and easy to read handbook is an excellent resource for rabbis, educators, parents, students and young adults. It's information is both educational, effective and a superb inoculation against missionary efforts. Website & Online Community - jewsforjudaism.org is an excellent resource for individuals seeking answers online. Annually, we have 730K page-views and over 400K users. Most of our users are ages 25 - 44, 57% are female and 43% male. Our most popular content includes “The Major Differences Between Judaism and Christianity,” “Why a Jew Can’t Accept the New Testament,” ''Belief in Heaven,” and “The Jewish Concept of the Messiah.” We are constantly improving the experience our website provides and updating our archives with new articles and content. Additionally, Jews for Judaism’s Facebook and Instagram communities reach more than 15,000 people every month.

Our capabilities can be best demonstrated via insights from individuals we have helped in the past as a representation of the types of individuals we continue to help daily. SMARTalks Name: Paris Biographical information: Paris grew in Kansas City and recently graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and was the former student president at Aish Pittsburgh. Paris happened upon the Jews for Judaism and the SMARTalks websites and found many of the answers that she was looking for. “SmartTalks and Rabbi Z have not only provided me inspiration on social media and conversations to continue my learning but thought-provoking ideas that are somehow always applicable to my life. With topics, such as text-based concepts on strengthening our characters traits, or how, I, a young adult, can best contribute to the world, SmartTalks offers timeless knowledge for Jewish millennials and beyond.” Name: Terra Biographical information: Terra is a musician and a social media influencer. She met Rabbi Zalman Kravitz at an event. Rabbi Zalman shared the SMARTalks show with Terra. “I listened to the podcast while I was cooking dinner last night, and it's great! Actually inspired me to try Modeh Ani this morning, in place of my usual meditation. I think it's really true of this generation -- we're so into meditation and yoga and other kinds of spirituality, and we overlook what's right in front of us, in Judaism. My mom tried to tell me this in the past, but I never took her seriously, because she was always pushing religion on me, and I wasn't interested. But seeing it from this angle, as part of spirituality and meditation, makes sense..." Counseling Name: Esther Biographical information: Esther grew up in the Chassidic community of Belz. She was in an abusive relationship that let to opioid addiction. Not long after getting divorced, Esther drifted away from the orthodox community. “Having been brought up Orthodox, the last thing on my mind was to leave the Frum world. But, after some twists and turns, I found myself adrift, without a compass to steer me back to my roots. Jews for Judaism did just that. With warmth and support, they gently guided me back to my family and my heritage. More than just being grateful for regaining the treasure that is my birthright is the knowledge that, without their help, it could've been lost to me forever.” Name: Sharon Biographical information: Sharon grew up in California attending a Conservative synagogue. She was involved in Christianity for four years. “Jews for Judaism’s website and YouTube videos provided me the answers I needed when I was confused. I was won over when the rabbi invited me to join his family for a Shabbat dinner where I experienced first-hand the Judaism I was searching for.” Name: Rabbi Zalmy Kudan Organization: Chabad of S. Barbara “The more than 100 people who attended your presentation in Santa Barbara really enjoyed and gained from your unapologetic pride in

Our organization knows with certainty that we make progress when we are: 1.) Succesful in our counseling efforts. In this case, success means that we were able to help that individual come out of hardship happier, and with confidence and clarity. 2.) We are able to see how many individuals are reading and downloading our anti-religious coercion materials. If those numbers are still up, we know we are doing well. 3.) We are able to to see how many individuals are engaged in our social media - how many people are liking, commenting and sharing all of our posts. 4.) We are also able to measure progress via program participation - how many individuals show up for our lectures, galas and other events.

Since 1985, we have built a flourishing and well-respected counseling service, written hundreds of educational articles with more than 730K page-views and over 400K users, including The Jewish Response to Missionaries Handbook, which has over half a million printed and available for free download in nine languages, built a Jewish Millenial community that is engaging more than 15K with Jewish content daily, our YouTube Video Channel has more than 300 videos viewed by 3K people each day and we fly around the world teaching kids and adults about the importance of critical thinking and the beauty of Judaism. At its core, Jews for Judaism’s founding mandate is to counteract missionary activity and bring Jews back to Judaism. We are constantly evolving and adapting our approaches to keep in touch with the ever-changing environment of Jewish outreach. Yesterday it was Christian Missionaries, today it is also Transcendental Meditation, Scientology, BDS and so many more well-funded and Millennial-savvy companies that are infiltrating Jewish communities. We keep a sharp-eye on evolving technologies and social media, so we can “talk the talk” and stay relevant. While programming is updated annually, the overarching mission of our organization is the same as it was in 1985: to strengthen and preserve Jewish identity.

External Reviews

Financials

JEWS FOR JUDAISM INTERNATIONAL INC

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable