4. Creation of Noahide Laws and Life Cycle Course
Many people in the Noahide world are asking how and why is Yeshiva Pirchei Shoshanim and Netiv working together? Everyone knows that it was Noahide Nations who brought the Noahide Laws & Life Cycle course to the worldwide Noahide community.
I am going to share a thumb nail sketch of how this course got off the ground and then talk about how it came to pass that Netiv got involved.
In 2014 Noahide Nations was approached by Yeshiva Pirchei Shoshanim to form a partnership to launch a Noahide Laws course. Fishel Todd flew out to Dallas and he, Rabbi Avraham Bloomenstiel and myself, Ray Pettersen, met in my office to discuss the necessary steps for the creation of this course and how it would be introduced to the world. In my mind I thought about "why it took so long for the Jewish people to come around?". So, I asked that very question but neither one had an answer for me. I moved on to my next question, why did they select Noahide Nations to partner with? Fishel told me that they had investigated other Noahide groups and concluded that Noahide Nations was the one they could trust the most and that we would do the work necessary to get the course off the ground. He was right in both cases. We drafted a contract and began work. My real point here is that Noahide Nations was there from the very beginning, even before the first word was even put on paper.
Noahide Nations put forth a significant effort and expenses to promote the upcoming course to the Noahide community. I, myself, spent weeks talking with Noahides all across the country to get students registered for the course. Our first class had 22 students. A pretty good start considering the course wasn't even complete and had certainly never been taught before. For this effort Noahide Nations was given 20% of the proceeds. By the way Noahide Nations has never broken even on revenues vs. expenses. But, to get this information out into the world was far more important.
All three parties had their role to play; Noahide Nations would seek and register students, Rabbi Bloomenstiel researched and authored the course and Pirchei Shoshanim was to provide the virtual conference room, advertise and help get students registered as well as sign graduation certificates. Pirchei provided a terrible conference platform, never registered a single student but Fishel did sign his name on certificates. For their effort Pirchei received 80% of the proceeds. After a very short time we were forced to bring the classes onto the Noahide Nations education platform, 'The Academy of Shem'. This was fine because we used the course to implement our Nagid clergy program.
Then it came to light that Fishel Todd had been arrested, tried and convicted of multiple felony fraud charges for stealing millions of dollars from innocent people. This is when everything changed for Noahide Nations, myself and Rabbi Bloomenstiel. Noahide Nations, basically took the entire program under its wing and kept the program going, including paying Rabbi Bloomenstiel to continue researching and fine tuning all the text for the course. We had taught this course, live, for six years before turning it into a self study course.
Enter Dennis Humphreys who I allowed to participate in the course for free. He harped on me for several months that I should give the course away. My response was that we get very little support, in the way of donations, from the Noahide community and virtually none from the Jewish world. There are, of course, exceptions but we try to pay the bills with book sales and any revenue generated from the course. The main reason I told him no was the fact that in giving it away we would have marginalized its value to Mankind and people would not take it seriously. This was certainly the case with Dennis.
Before I move on to the players in this fiasco I would like to share that even when Fishel Todd was serving time in prison we carried this program on our backs and his son Yoseph took care of the day to day business at Pirchei. Additionally, that terms of the contract had to be changed so that Noahide Nations was now receiving the 80% and Pirchei the 20%. They deposited Noahide Nations checks through February of 2020.