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Is there anything in Jewish law restricting Jews from working for other religious organizations? Some examples: can a Jew work as a receptionist at a Mosque? As a gym teacher at a Catholic school? As a professor at a Mormon university? etc.

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    wonderingjew, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for this interesting question! I've wondered about this myself while contemplating the opposite case - highly-valued employees of, e.g. Jewish schools who are themselves devout Christians. Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. I hope you'll look around and find other content of interest, perhaps starting with our 92 other employment questions – Isaac Moses Mar 2 '15 at 17:20
  • For one thing, a critical part of the answer would entail a discussion about what is and is not considered idolatry vis a vis modern monotheistic religious practice. – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 2 '15 at 17:23
  • This would depend on where the job was being done and what it entailed. For example, my wife was allowed to be a math teacher at a Catholic school. However, if the teacher was required to take the class to church services (and remain there during the service), that would be a different matter. – sabbahillel Mar 2 '15 at 17:41
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    Let's assume all the work is entirely secular. – wonderingjew Mar 2 '15 at 17:43
  • I know some religious Jews who work for Catholic schools and health-care organizations here in St. Louis, such as Saint Louis University and SSM. But I don't know on what authority they do so if, indeed, they thought to ask at all. – msh210 Mar 3 '15 at 4:00
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No, (it may not be considered proper by some, but) there is no such specific restriction.

There are several cases in the Tanach in which even "Gdolei Hador" have worked in various places, from Yaacov at Lavan's, Yosef at Pharaoh's palace and onward...

When talking about a Mosque or a Church, one should know that there is a din restricting entrance to a place of foreign worship (See Gmara, Avoida Zara page 11b) and since for example christianity is Idolatry, it is forbidden to enter a Church. The Rambam states (Mishna, Avoida Zara, Ch. 1, Mi. 4) that you are almost not allowed to even look at it.

Regarding a Mosque - there is a debate among the poiskim if it is included in that definition, so for some poiskim it may be that one can enter a Mosque, and perhaps even work there in case it is a necessity.

See more info in this and that, Din site Q&A

  • @daniel, I beg to differ - the first word already answers your question. The rest is general knowledge. – Einbert Alshtein Jul 12 '15 at 4:20
  • @Daniel - What sort of explanation would you like? As stated above, the problem can arise from situation where there is a doubt regarding Avoida Zara. On top of that there is a general instruction not to develop freindship with gentiles since it raises chances of inter-marriages etc. But again, there is no such law restricting it out front. – Einbert Alshtein Jul 12 '15 at 4:57
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JPS Tanakh 1917:

And God spoke all these words, saying:
I am the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

For Jews specifically, this should be the number one thought. It is so important Daniel refused the king's meat, and the 3 young men refused to bow to the statue of Nebekenezzer.

That's the first part of the foundation of my argument. When you place yourself under the authority of someone who serves another god, you are submitting to that authority. As potential evidence I give you Job. He was tested by the adversary. In that testing all he had was touched and destroyed. That included his children, his livestock, his home, and his servants. His employees.

When I worked for a Christian, he refused to work on Sunday because it was his holy day. By not working, I passively was honoring that day with him. This is an example I am using to make a point. If you work for a Catholic charity, you will be under the authority of an organization that practices Idolatry, claims the Jews have lost their place as the Children of God, have claimed they can change the word of God, the seasons of God and the Laws of God and hold up the Sunday command as proof of this.

They have consistently been against your people in every single point since the exile. They were at Spain, they crowned the emperor of France, Constantine, and all who followed answered to Rome. Even now Rome sides with your enemies. Why would you want to work for someone who considered their Pope the Vicar of God, the only voice between Man and God?

For now that's my answer. I hope it answers it. It is not good to serve anyone, unless you are willing to leave the moment they demand you bow to their god. and tyat means the moment they expect you to do what their god demands or expects. God is not God only one day a week, or only during prayers. He is God always. And if you need a reference for that, I have no way to help you understand better. Ask God.

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya! Perhaps consider adding sources to make this answer more meaningful. Without sources, all we have is your personal opinion which doesn't meant that much to most of us who don't know you. Consider reading this to learn more about answering questions on the site. Or consider taking the following short tour of the site. For general help see here. In the meantime perhaps consider editing it... – mevaqesh Jul 12 '15 at 2:26
  • Hope to see you around the site. – mevaqesh Jul 12 '15 at 2:26
  • Thanks for the edit. I removed the introductory part that seemed to be more a response to a comment, and I fixed a few typos. Welcome to the site. – Monica Cellio Jul 12 '15 at 4:11

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