Step Up Summer Activity In City
- The Jewish
NEW YORK - Summer has come to this city and so have the
Christian missionaries whose sole purpose is to proselytize
and convert Jews. The missionaries say they're also Jews
- Jews for Jesus.
On street corners throughout Manhattan, members of the
messianic cult are distributing brochures to passersby.
They are also soliciting money from New Yorkers and residents.
The brochures are illustrated, humorous and deal with
Jewish stereotypes. For example, one brochure discusses
mothers and how even they are not "free from sin."
The Jews for Jesus are also paying for full-page advertisements
in major newspapers, including The New York Times.
Peggy Tishman, president of the Jewish Community Relations
Council of New York, said Jews for Jesus use deception
to win converts. "Due to Jews for Jesus' misleading name,"
she said, "many individuals are not aware that the group
is in fact a professional missionary organization whose
avowed purpose is the conversion of Jews to the tenets
of fundamentalist Christianity."
Dr. Philip Abramowitz, head of the JCRC's Task Force
on Missionaries and Cults, said the Jews for Jesus are
also entering suburban and rural communities and attempt
to proselytize to Jews "who are not certain of their heritage."
For example, he said, Jews for Jesus have established
what they call a messianic synagogue in Twin Falls, N.J.
called Beth Simcha. The synagogue offers free meals after
Sabbath services and counseling for congregants with emotional
"They mingle and socialize there," Abramowitz said. "One
person who lost his child to leukemia joined the group."
In addition, the group has a cable television program
in which a man wearing a skullcap discusses Jewish issues
without mentioning Christian beliefs. (Continued on Page
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