We just received this notice on YouTube stating if we don't present them with 501C3 documentation by August 15th new will be pulled from the platform. From the language of the email it seems this is a new thing they are doing for faith based channels they deem to be a problem. As you know, YouTube has messed with our channel often. It started with them first deleting thousands of subscribers on our channel we went from a couple thousand to only a few hundred in the time frame of 24 hours. Then our initial channel was booted for supposed "copyright claim". Then we launched another one and were immediately removed for "hate speech". There has never been anything on our channel even remotely being tied to hate speech, in fact the video that got us taken off the second time was of there North American Rebbe, Christopher Fredrickson, speaking out against the Anti-Semitism in American society today.
Now we have never relied on YouTube, we are on several platforms such as Vimeo, iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn Radio, Roku and the only one that has ever given us problems is YouTube. Upon relaunching a second time, thousands of old subscribers re-subscribed and then the shadow ban happened again. closer to 2,500 subscribers were taken off our subscription list, and notifications from hitting the bell icon ceased to function only for the Ani Judaism YouTube channel but not for other channels.
In November of 2019, Ani Judaism's founder Rabbi Yossi was booted from YouTube and the two teachings he had had up there since 2007 were taken down and his account suspended without warning. This has happened to other religious leaders and groups as well.
Then today we received this email (below)
Now from what we can see, nowhere on their terms of service do we see that a person has to have a 501C3 in order to teach on the YouTube platform of things of a religious nature. But it is said if we do not comply we will be taken off the platform once again.
Now, let me make the position of Ani Judaism very clear. First of all we are not a conspiracy theorist organization, you want something like that the Hebrew Roots will serve you well in teaching you whacky things based on speculation and not fact. We area chassidic jewish group who sees the New Testament through chassidic lenses. That is what we teach, we teach how to live chassidic lifestyle and how Yeshua HaNotzri taught chassidim. We are the bridge between Christians and authentic Judaism. We don't believe either should compromise and that both are in Hashem's will. Period!
Now with this we also remember our history and know who our ultimate authority is. As it is written:
"They were saying 'Caesar.' He said to them; 'Therefore give to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to Alaha (G-d) that which is Alaha's (G-d's)."
(Matthew 22:21; Ani Judaism Aramaic New Testament)
Though a tax exempt statues would be nice, we also realize at the same time we mustn't enter into an unstable covenant with an outside secular entity. This is reiterated in the Mishna and Talmud rather often. As well as within Tanak.
In certain places in the world certain subjects are not allowed to be taught in the synagogues and churches because use of that covenant between the government and the religious affiliates. It is indeed a give and take relationship. And sometimes one doesn't know what they are giving up until it is too late. We strive to teach authentic Judaism without a secular entity dictating to us what we can and cannot discuss and what side of the isle we have to be on in terms of the agenda of ever changing administrations.
So, for the reason to not be limited in our teaching and limited to what is allowed and not allowed we have chosen a long time ago not to be a part of 501C3. Yes, often it makes it harder to grow and costs us a lot more, especially when we don't get breaks in pricing of materials and resources to do what we do because we are not 501C3 it is difficult but it is the right thing for us. Other's may take a different route and that is fine for them, but we have a unanimous commitment from our Beit Din on this matter so that is never changing in Ani Judaism International.
I would encourage our YouTube subscribers to migrate over to our Vimeo channel and also add our Roku channel or subscribe on iTunes or do all three. All three are 100% free also.
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah the North American Rebbe of Ani Judaism