Missionaries Aiming at Kiryat Shmonah
The Christian missionary organization "Jews for Jesus" is specifically targeting Jews in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona on Tuesday, according to an internal proselytizing directive acquired by Israel National News.
The memo informs the reader that on Tuesday the group is "beginning to send a team everyday to Keryat Shmoneh (a small town in the north) where a Rabbi and his students have been causing trouble..."
'Each Number Represents a Person'
According to the memo, which was sent to the group's supporters in Israel and abroad, "The first full week of the campaign is over.... Please remember that each number represents a person and these serve for our encouragement...."
The memo goes on to boast that the missionaries "handed out 21,700 gospel tracts" and "have contact information of 995 Jewish people who told us that they want to know more about Jesus."
Moreover, the group proudly proclaimed that it succeeded in "leading 18 Jewish people and 3 Gentiles to Y'Shua" – the organization's Hebraicized name for Jesus, with its double play on the Hebrew word for "salvation."
'Aggressive Effort to Evangelize in the Holy Land'
Anti-missionary activist and Israel National Radio talk show host Rabbi Tovia Singer warns that "as a result of their multi-million dollar campaign, many Jews have been affected by their aggressive effort to evangelize in the Holy Land." In 2006, Rabbi Singer made a 20-part counter-missionary series available for free on his website. He is an author of the book and accompanying audio CD series Let's Get Biblical, as well as the founder and director of the anti-missionary organization "Outreach Judaism."
Rabbi Singer says that close to 20,000 Jews have been persuaded by evangelical missionaries in Israel to abandon their faith and convert to Christianity since 1970.
The so-called "Jews for Jesus" appellation, he adds, is really a clever misnomer used by missionaries to mislead Jews into thinking they will still be practicing their Judaism even if they believe in Jesus. "Nothing could be further from the truth," he adds.
"It's a Baptist mission to the Jews," explains Singer. "The group is an arm of the Baptist church, plain and simple, devoted to converting Jews to Christianity." Although it is one of the more aggressive evangelical organizations, the group -- which Singer estimates has approximately two thousand volunteers in Israel alone -- is only one of more than a thousand Christian efforts to convert the Jews.
And more are on the way. "Thousands are coming in the next couple of weeks for Sukkot," Singer says, "for a big Christian evangelical parade. Each one is willing to volunteer in the effort to lead a Jew away from his faith."