There is an organization that runs jewish clubs throughout the country called the Jewish Student Union or JSU. Kvetcher, among others, have commented that they think that JSU is a part of NCSY and a way to trick public school kids into joining NCSY without their knowledge.
Let me start by saying the following: I think NCSY is great. I think the work they do is great. I think that every person who is not religious and is a teen should join NCSY and that NCSY people are doing the right thing by trying to get more and more teens to join so that they can make them religious.
However, the method of using JSU to “trick” kids into joining NCSY and becoming frum is not the answer. If JSU was merely the name of the NCSY public school arm then I would have no problem with it. But, the way it is described on the JSU site and everywhere else I have seen it is merely considered a partner group with NCSY. Except that Rabbi Burg (national director of NCSY) is also the “dean” of JSU. Seems kinda shady to me.
So if I want as many public school kids to join NCSY, why do I have a problem with JSU? Because it is a form of tricking kids. If we (religious jews) really believe that observant Judaism is the correct way for a Jew to live his or her life, then why would we need to trick people to do the right thing? If we truely believe that the Torah (all of it, including the Gemara and Mishna) are truth, then why does NCSY need to hide behind a false entity named JSU? If we are truely doing G-d’s work then we don’t need to trick people into following us, G-d will open their minds to the words.
Moreover, if JSU truly does allow groups of other denominations into the clubs then these kids will get exposed to USY, NFTY and other groups who’s goals are the complete opposite of NCSY’s. If i was a member of any Jewish group and they didn’t allow me into the clubs I would throw a hissy fit. And if I was a NCSY member and they did allow these other groups in I would throw a hissy fit. This is not ok.
We shouldn’t and cannot be tricking kids. The reason most people go “off’ is because they don’t have a solid foundation in Juadism. Either they just accepted whatever they were told and never used logic and reason to reach the conclusion that religious Judaism is correct, or they were tricked with reasoning that was flawed in its conception. We must correctly educate those teens who aren’t religious so in 10 years when they question their faith they have the backing needed to stay religious.
By tricking kids they can come to resent religious Jews or Jews altogether. This is not ok. If Orthodox Judaism is true, then why lie to kids when teaching it?