Exclusive: Kiruv Organization Photoshops Sleeves In, Breasts Out
Jewpiter, a kiruv (ultra-Orthodox Jewish missionary or outreach) organization geared to college students, decided to give a model a more 'modest' dress – and significantly smaller breasts and buttocks.
Originally published at 11:29 pm 8-20-11.
All images can be clicked to enlarge.
The stock photo:
The stock photo after Jewpiter retouched it. Note the smaller breasts and the crop to cut off part of the buttocks and thereby make them look less round:
Jewpiter is a followup program – a "rewards" program, as Jewpiter bills it – to Birthright, which gives college age Jews a free structured trip to Israel.
Birthright trips range from the completely secular to heavily ultra-Orthodox.
Jewpiter 'pays' students for learning Torah through its specified ultra-Orthodox programs. The 'payments' can later be used to get a heavily discounted (or, sometimes, free) return trip to Israel:
jewpiter is an innovative incentive program designed to give Jewish students the chance to ‘learn’ their way towards a highly subsidized trip to Israel. By earning 5,000 jewpiter ‘miles’ through a mix-and-match combo of phone-based learning, as well as online study, campus/community-based lectures, and Shabbatons, members become eligible for a scholarship towards an “immersion trip” to Israel. Hundreds of college students have already signed up.
Here's how college students earn Jewpiter rewards:
How do I earn 5,000 jewpiter miles?
Earn jewpiter miles for each completed activity or qualified referral to the program. 5,000 jewpiter miles = Return trip to Israel
Ways to Earn:
- 1 to 1 learning sessions
- Maimonades classes
- Local Special Events
- Media Projects
- Shabbat and Holiday Meals
- Volunteer Events
Got suggestions for new ways to earn miles?? Email us email@example.com.
"Jessica's jewpiter Miles Log"
An Example of How to Earn 5,000 Miles
Sample Activity Miles Total Just for signing up 500 500 10 jewpiter referrals 50
500 3 Campus Shabbat dinners 100each 300 6 Phone Study Sessions
150each 900 6 Phone Study Sessions
150each 900 6 Phone Study Sessions
150each 900 2 media projects 150each 300 Coffee with jewpiter campus representatives 100 100 Volunteering 3 times at Federation-sponsored soup kitchens 100each 300 2 special events 150each 300 Total 5,000
A successful completion of the jewpiter program requires a minimum of:
- 18 1-to-1 learning sessions, at least 9 over the phone
- 3 months active participation
- 5 media projects
Miles must be logged through the jewpiter website and all mileage submissions are subject to verification.
Sounds pretty good – until you look closely at the fine print on the Partners in Torah website:
By earning 5,000 jewpiter ‘miles’ through a mix-and-match combo of phone-based learning, as well as online study, campus/community-based lectures, and Shabbatons, members become eligible for a scholarship towards an “immersion trip” to Israel. [emphasis added]
An "immersion trip" is an indoctrination trip to ultra-Orthodox kiruv yeshivas like Ohr Somayach for men and Neve Yerushalayim for women.
Students will do some structured day trips, but most of their time is spent in an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva.
Does Jewpiter's website mention this salient fact?
Of course not.
The closest it comes to telling the truth is this:
Use your jewpiter miles to travel to Israel for free*!
Accumulate 5,000 jewpiter miles, then choose from our AWESOME list of free (or heavily subsidized) tour + study trips to Israel.
*Trips includes airfare, room, board and applicable tuition. Maximum jewpiter reward is $500 per student. Students will be responsible for partial payment in the event that applicable program subsidies combined with the $500 jewpiter reward does not amount to total trip cost.
The balance of the money for those trips is either paid for by ultra-Orthodox kiruv yeshivas, related programs connected to those yeshivas, or, in the case of less promising recruits or in time of financial hardship, probably by the recruit himself or herself.
Worse yet, these kiruv yeshivas try to keep kids in Israel and in their yeshiva, and they actively discourage some students from returning to the US.
Despite the appearance given by the above photograph, Partners in Torah and the ultra-Orthodox yeshivas it works with are not Zionist, and most of the time these kids will be in yeshiva, not marching in a parade or hiking in the Golan Heights.
Jewpiter is a good idea.
But it has been misused. Like most ultra-Orthodox outreach, it is deceptive and unethical.
Jewpiter looks like it might be on hiatus due to the financial crisis.
Perhaps when it resumes, Partners in Torah can fix Jewpiter's promotional materials and its website to remove deception.
[Hat Tip for noticing the photoshoped sleeves and finding the original stock photo: Mamzer HaKodesh.]
Here are all the pages of Jewpiter's website as PDF files. The Overview page returns a 404 error, as you can see in the screenshot posted below: