Posters in Uman warning Jews of missionary activity
Posters in Uman warning Jews of missionary activity Yad La'Achim

A special team of Yad L'Achim activists is to fly to the Ukraine to counter "Messianic Jews who have been coming to Uman in recent years to distribute Hebrew-language missionary material.

Calls to Yad L'Achim over the past three years reported that the cult has been active at Rosh Hashana on the streets of Uman, distributing flyers where visiting Jews are staying and putting up a booth with missionary material that creates a provocation and draws innocent Jewish passersby into debates on the subject.

This is the second year Yad L'Achim has been active in Uman. Last year, it sent a team for Rosh Hashana which, among other things, put up street posters throughout the city calling on anyone who encounters missionaries to turn to them for assistance.

As expected, the team found widespread missionary activity. "In some cases, our activists patrolled the city and gathered up missionary material that had been spread around places that attract large crowds," said an official in the organization's counter-missionary department. "In others, Jewish visitors called the hotline to report cases of missionary activity and the team was dispatched to deal with the incident."

Yad L'Achim notes with satisfaction that the activities of last year's specially trained team, open and covert, caused the missionaries to withdraw from their intention to set up a booth as in previous years. Instead, they made do with distributing missionary material surreptitiously.

In light of last year's success, Yad L'Achim is flying the same team to Uman. If the missionaries show up again, they will be confronted by Yad L'Achim, the organization says.

In a statement, Yad L'Achim attacked the chutzpah of the missionaries. "It's unbelievable. The cults have the gall to come to a place where tens of thousands of Jews have arrived to daven on Rosh Hashana, and badger them with all kinds of nonsense in an effort to get them to convert. Our prayer is that we will merit in the coming year 'to rid the world of idols.' "

Meanwhile, Yad L'Achim urges the general public to call the organization's Israeli number any time they encounter missionaries. "Our activists are available at all times, and will arrive within minutes to deal with the missionary activity," Yad L'Achim promises, inviting the public to call 050-574-3962.