Jews for Jesus
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Jews for Jesus

Jews for Jesus

Underhanded tactics lure unsuspecting Jews into joining a Christian movement.

by

No matter how disconnected a Jew may be from Judaism, he is still likely to be appalled by the idea of worshipping Jesus. And that poses a great dilemma for Christian missionaries seeking to convert Jews.

Given this problem, some missionaries got the idea to try a backdoor tactic. They invented "Jews for Jesus," which uses a whole lexicon of Jewish-sounding buzz words in order to make Jesus more palatable to Jews. For example:

  • Members of Jews for Jesus don't go to church, they go to a "Messianic Synagogue."
  • Prayer is not held on Sunday, but on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.
  • They say that by accepting Jesus as Messiah, you're not converting to Christianity, you're instead becoming "a fulfilled Jew."
  • The New Testament is called Brit Chadasha (Hebrew for "New Covenant").
  • It's not the cross, it's "the tree."
  • It's not baptism, but immersing in a mikveh.
  • It's not a communion wafer, but matzah.
  • Congregants wear a tallit and kipa, and bring a Torah scroll out of the Holy Ark – just like every other synagogue. After all, they proudly proclaim, Jesus himself was a Jew!

Media Tactics

Their missionary campaigns are well-funded and relentless. The Jews for Jesus organization has spent millions of dollars in print and radio advertising, and has run a campaign of banner ads in New York City subways and on major web sites. If you see one of these ads, you should write a letter of protest to the host organization.

It is the responsibility of all Jews to take a stand.

Comedienne Joan Rivers started screaming on the air after a commercial for Jews for Jesus aired on her radio show. The ad featured two Jewish men arguing over whether Jesus is the Jewish messiah, while the Jewish song Hava Nagillah played in the background. "Do not proselytize on my show," Rivers ranted. "I was born a Jew and I plan to die a Jew. How dare you advertise on my show. I find this disgusting, I find this offensive, and I find this ridiculous!"

The Real Messianic Jews

Jews for Jesus is a subversive organization. The missionaries' approach to ensnare unsuspecting people includes quoting Torah verses out of context and gross mis-translations.

These deceptions are most successful with Jews who have no knowledge of their own Jewish heritage. In Russia, for example, where Jewish education had been suppressed for 70 years, missionaries sponsor "Jewish revival meetings," where a tallit-clad clergyman asks throngs of unsuspecting Russian Jews to "accept Jesus into your heart."

The sad thing is that tens of thousands of Jews (including an estimated 50,000 in Israel today) have fallen for this falsehood.

Ironically, Jews really could be called "Messianic Jews." One of Maimonides' classical "13 Principles of Faith" is:

"I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he may delay, nevertheless I anticipate every day that he will come."

There are two excellent organizations which counteract missionary activities and have succeeded in attracting "converts" back to Judaism. You can find them online at jewsforjudaism.org and outreachjudaism.org.

Published: January 18, 2000


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Visitor Comments: 55

(50) Anonymous, April 29, 2014 4:01 AM

Jews for J

The members of this type of organization know a lot about the language and daily practice of different kinds of orthodox Jews. eg the difference between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews. I noticed this when searching around the internet .
But if you study about authentic Judaism from authentic Jewish sources , it will be very easy to spot the difference even the subtle ones.
But I would recommend any Jewish person to learn about Judaism in-depth and your own heritage, what is taboo in Jewish faith and culture so that you can tell the difference and not become prey to groups that are seeking Jewish converts . I have a feeling they target the non religious Jews.
Don't be naive either if they are very nice to you. A Jewish convert is seen almost like a trophy , used to promote the 'superiority' of christianity. It may sound harsh but this is quite common. I hope this helps.

(49) Mati, April 9, 2014 6:46 AM

Complaining to the host organization is not J4J

The host organization would be the ones who are paid for them to put on the signs. DO NOT EVER complain to the J4J organization for once they have your name and address, the wil NEVER stop mailing you their garbage to try to convert you. I finally got them off my back by complaining to the US Postal Service that they were sending me obscene material but they would NOT take my complaint. After arguing with them that obscenity is an opinion and that regardless of their opinion on what is obscene, they MUST by law take my formal written complaint and address my issue and responding to me in writing what was done about it. That FINALLY, after years of complaints to J4J to stop sending me that trash, got them to stop.

(48) Ron Roth, November 1, 2013 3:39 AM

I was once a Jew for Jesus

After my first trip to Israel, and upon learning that there probably WAS a historical Jesus, my interest was kindled. I checked out the Jews for Jesus movement. It took a while, but I eventually concluded that Jesus was no messiah by any definition. Now I am confident in my beliefs about the Torah being a guidebook for a happy life, and honored that my blessed ancestors were chosen to bring this message to the whole world.

(47) J LaLone, August 23, 2013 7:18 PM

I find the Jews for Jesus and Christians who lie and deceive to convert truly evil

Those people make me so angry. They are on the Internet, too. We have to be careful when researching Jewish topic online. Those groups are slyly setting up sites just looking to trick Jews of every sort into establishing a relationship with them. They are unethical, immoral, and they are working for Satan, not HaShem!!!

(46) Cindy, October 3, 2012 11:29 PM

Stop Converting

I think this is a lesson for all monothestic religions: Stop trying to convert! For thousands and thousands of years Jews have been forced to convert to another religion under violent circumstances. I think that if all religions (Christianity- especially christianity...dont forget about how they occupied all the native lands and converted but thats another story, and Islam). We can all co-exist and live in peace if everyone will just respect us and let us live and pray in our way. We will not try to convert you, so don't try to convert us. Its especially offending in this manner, as Jews for Jesus- as if its saying join us and you won't be christians. Next thing you know, they'll be introducing the new testament in the synagouges and putting those so-called "trees" (crosses) on the walls. Ridiculous.

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