kiruv (KEY-roov)


  • n. Outreach work meant to encourage non-religious Jews to become religious, [lit. "to bring closer"].

Example Sentences

  • "She went to do kiruv on the college campus."

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • קירוב (pronounced keyruv in Hebrew)

    • Who Uses This

      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America


      • Frumspeak: The First Dictionary of Yeshivish, by Chaim Weiser (Northvale, 1995).


  • Kiruv is usually associated with right-wing Orthodox groups. This is a rare example of a textual Hebrew word that is used in Jewish English and was not used in Eastern European Yiddish. Orthodox Jews began to use it in Jewish English as the nominal form of "being mekarev" on analogy with other pi'el verbs, like shiduch, yichus, chizuk, chiyuv, iyun, kibud, chidush, kitzur, sidur, and even four-letter shorashim like dikduk and pirsum, not realizing that the Hebrew form would be keruv. The Conservative movement uses "keruv" to refer to outreach to less engaged Jews, especially intermarried couples.

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