NEW YORK (Jul. 29)
The New York Jewish Community Relations Council’s Task Force on Missionaries and Cults intensified its efforts to stem the increased evangelical campaign this summer by Hebrew-Christian and Messianic Jewish groups, in particular, Jews for Jesus.
The most recent action was a vigil held Monday outside the Manhattan headquarters of Jews for Jesus. About 100 representatives of the JCRC’s 59-member organizations united to protest the “perversions” of traditional Judaism and to heighten awareness of the “deceptive practices” of Jews for Jesus and less visible Jewish-Christian groups, according to Michael Miller, executive director of the JCRC.
“We feel we no longer can afford to stand idly by as an organization passing off as Jews attempts to destroy Judaism and its conventions,” Miller said.
Miller also noted the apt timing of the vigil as it marked the beginning of the Hebrew month of Av, a period commemorating the destruction of the two Jewish holy Temples in the years 586 BCE and 70 CE. He paralleled the missionaries’ attack on Judaism with that of the Babylonians.
‘A BLOT ON THE RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE’
According to Task Force chairman, Julius Berman, “Jews for Jesus is a blot on the religious landscape. It denies the uniqueness of Judaism, and it stains the memories of all those who have lived and died in a commitment to Jewish ideals.”
Jews for Jesus asserts that the acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah is consistent with Judaism. They claim it allows Jews to retain their culture. Jews can light Sabbath candles, wear yarmulkes and observe Jewish holidays but in their practice,