Berlin Jewish museum cancels concert


The Jewish Museum in Berlin has withdrawn as the host of a concert after learning the performer planned to missionize.

Pianist Sam Rotman planned to talk during the concert about his acceptance of Jesus, according to a statement released Monday by the museum.

The Berlin-based missionary congregation Beit Sar Shalom and the U.S.-based European Initiative, an evangelical group, had arranged to rent the museum’s auditorium for the show.

“It was not known to us that the concert by Sam Rotman would also be used for missionizing,” the museum said in the statement. “After we discovered this and saw that the European Initiative had advertised this as such on their Web site, we decided not to offer the Jewish Museum as a location for the event.”

The statement added that Beit Sar Shalom had been informed of the decision.

A museum spokesman told JTA that it believed the Israeli Embassy in Berlin was supporting the event; the advertising posters include the logo for Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations. But an embassy spokesman said the embassy signed on because it believed the event was being co-sponsored by the Jewish Museum, which gave it the look of legitimacy.

Beit Sar Shalom in its posters noted Rotman’s identity as an “orthodox Jew.” On his own Web site, the pianist describes his transformation to belief in Jesus, and adds that he uses his musical career to talk about his spiritual journey.

The European Initiative on its Web site prominently features the concert, saying that “Mr. Rotman, while raised Orthodox Jewish, came to faith in Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah. He will tell his fascinating story at the concert.”

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