Two weeks ago, a family calling themselves "Isaacson" arrived in Jerusalem from the United States and settled in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Nachlaot. This would be an unremarkable piece of news, were it not for the fact that the "Isaacsons," who dress in traditional haredi clothing, are in fact not Jewish at all. Worse still, they are missionaries.
On their first Shabbat in the capital on February 4, the family turned up at the Kol Rina synagogue in Nachlaot for prayers. At that point, the community was not aware of their true identity and the son Calev, a teenager who has adopted a Chassidic appearance complete with long peyot (sidelocks), was given an aliyah to the Torah (an honor often given to guests - but only if they are Jewish, as Jewish law prescribes).
Meanwhile, the Beyneynu organization had become aware of the family's attempted infiltration and that the family, whose real name is Dawson, is in the process of trying to obtain Israeli citizenship, based apparently on documents fraudulently obtained in the United States which have since been rescinded.
Indeed, the Dawsons have been revealed as impostors several times previously, in Texas, Oregon, and Wisconsin, moving on each time their true identity was exposed.
Beyneynu issued warnings to the Jewish communities in Jerusalem, apprising them of the situation. The next Shabbat, Calev again turned up at the Kol Rina synagogue and was told that his identity was now known and that he should refrain from causing a commotion and please leave - if he so wished, he could request a private meeting with the rabbi.
Beyneynu has written to the Interior Ministry in the hope of preventing the Dawsons from obtaining Israeli citizenship (which they are not legally entitled to).
"It is urgent that the Ministry of the Interior act to immediately to block these people from receiving any visa that would allow them to continue the damage they are causing to Jewish communities with their insidious agenda," wrote Shannon Nuszen, founder and director of Beyneynu in her letter to the Ministry.
"We know from first-hand reports from Jewish communities and rabbis in the United States that the Dawson/Isaacson family is deceptive, dangerous, and very determined to establish themselves in Israel," she added. Nuszen also noted that previous bitter experience has shown that Israeli citizenship, once granted, is extremely difficult to revoke even if it can be clearly proven that it was fraudulently obtained.