NEW YORK (May. 15)
Representatives of the Jewish community today cabled Ruth Carter Stapleton urging that she withdraw from her scheduled appearance June 8 at the annual conference of B’nai Yeshua (Sons of Jesus), a Hebrew-Christian missionary group based on Lang Island. Richard Ravitch, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and Dr. Seymour Lachman, chairman of its Task Force on Missionary Activity, stated that this organization has been denounced by Christian and Jewish groups alike for engaging in deception and misrepresentation of Judaism and Christianity.
They pointed out that B’nai Yeshua like other so-called Hebrew-Christian or messianic Jewish groups engages in activities primarily aimed at proselytization in the Jewish community. These groups have been frequently criticized for their exploitation of Jewish religious symbols and sancta, and undermining the relationship of mutual respect of various faith groups.
Ravitch and Lachman expressed dismay that Mrs. Stapleton would associate herself with B’nai Yeshua and serve as keynote speaker at its meeting. They cited the recent statement by the Long Island Council of Churches Board of Governors, which noted “with alarm that certain groups are engaging in subterfuge and dishonesty in representing the claims that they are faith groups. The Board also deplored the pressures which result when any faith group calls into question the right to continued existence of another faith group.”