NEW YORK (Jul. 1)
An in-depth investigation to determine the facts about the full scope of so-called Hebrew-Christian activities in the United States and Israel is being started by the New York Jewish Community Relations Council’s Task Force on Missionaries and Cults.
Julius Berman, Task Force chairman, in announcing the probe, said the purpose of the investigation is to alert both the Christian and Jewish communities concerning the deceptive tactics used by the Hebrew-Christian and “messianic” groups seeking converts among Jews.
Berman said there is already a great deal of evidence that thousands of uninformed Jews are joining such groups. Berman said “it is the task force’s belief that these groups are misrepresenting and distorting both Judaism and Christianity, espousing that one can remain a Jew and at the same time believe in Jesus.”
Berman said the investigation “is not in any way designed to deny personal rights, freedom of religion, or even to deny the right to proselytize.” He explained that the investigation will be an effort to demonstrate by objective proof the rampant use of deceptive tactics that these groups employ in proselytizing activities.
Berman emphasized that “their aims and intentions must be clearly stated and, until they act forthrightly, we will respond in a strong, yet positive and scrupulously fair, fashion.” He said the task force will make a three-pronged inquiry into the Hebrew-Christian movement.