kiruv

Definitions

  • 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

Etymology

קירוב (pronounced keyruv in Hebrew)

Who Uses This

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

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

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

Notes

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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