Missionary couple in Jaffa (archive image)
Missionary couple in Jaffa (archive image) Flash 90

A massive Christian missionary center in Jerusalem was shut down recently, following years of efforts by an anti-assimilation organization.

Officials from the Yad L’Achim group announced that after nearly two years of attempts to close the Jerusalem missionary center targeting youths – the largest such center in Israel – they had succeeded in getting the facility closed down.

The story began when information reached Yad L'Achim that Yariv Goldman, a known missionary, had set up a youth center that went under the innocent-sounding name “Adullam”.

Goldman and his team tried to hide their true identities and intentions, claiming to be an "attentive ear" to religious and haredi youths.

Yad L'Achim carefully monitored the center's activities, at first surreptitiously, but the missionaries were cautious, making it difficult to gather incriminating evidence. After a few weeks, though, they let down their guard and were caught preaching Christianity to young people who arrived at the center.

At this point, Yad L'Achim began operating openly against the center. First, it publicized quotes from Christian preachers in the United States singing Goldman's praises, specifically his ability to reach out to people. "Yariv has a special gift, an ability to connect to people," said one preacher. "He has a unique ability to deliver sermons about Yeshu."

Some of these quotes appeared on the missionary group's English-language website to help Goldman raise funds from churches and Christian donors abroad for his activities among Jewish youths. They were erased from the site as soon as Yad L'Achim publicized them.

Meanwhile, Yad L'Achim activists who took up positions at Adullam to alert those entering the place as to its real agenda. It also worked to get other youth centers in Jerusalem to sever ties with Adullam. Finally, it put pressure on the owner of the facility to end his contract with the missionaries.

Attendance declined, and last month, the owner of the building informed Goldman that he was terminating the rental contract as of August 10, despite the great loss he was incurring.

Shortly after the missionaries were evicted, the owner sent Yad L'Achim a picture of the "For Sale" sign he had put up outside the facility, with a note reading: "I did my sacrifice, and daven to Hakadosh Baruch Hu that He should pay me back quickly."