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Jews for Judaism

May 25, 2012 – 9:46 am22 Comments

Jews for Jesus campaigners

In the following article, Rabbi Eli Cohen looks at how Christianity, which started as a Jewish group, morphed into a non-Jewish movement and how Christian missionaries are still targetting Jews.

Today over 1,000 Christian missionary groups spend over $300 million annually, targeting Jews for conversion worldwide. In recent decades, they’ve succeeded in converting hundreds of thousands of Jews.

Many of these organizations camouflage themselves to appear Jewish in order to allow Jews to feel “at home” when he or she joins the group. They may call their clergy “rabbis” and refer to their churches as “synagogues.”

They often celebrate Jewish holidays with a Christian spin, hold Shabbat services and wear Jewish skullcaps and prayer shawls to create the impression that a Jew can become a Christian and still maintain his or her Jewish identity.

These missionaries operate widely over the internet, through television and radio programs, run large public events, send their field workers to distribute missionary literature and visit people at their homes and work places.

But for most Jews, the person asking us to embrace Jesus won’t be a missionary, but will usually be a Christian friend, neighbour, fellow-student, or business associate.

Jews for Judaism provides educational programs that promote both critical thinking and a greater familiarity with the Jewish scriptures and Judaism.  These programs are geared to help inoculate our community against aggressive and targeted evangelistic efforts to convert Jews.

The two presentations that Jews for Judaism will be presenting at Limmud Oz will explore how Christianity, which started as a Jewish group, morphed into a non-Jewish movement, and how missionaries today are trying to blur the distinctions between these two mutually exclusive religions.

Rabbi Eli Cohen is the Director of Jews for Judaism Australia as well as a consultant to Jews for Judaism International. He studied at rabbinical colleges around the world, including the Rabbinical College of America and the Rabbinical College of Canada. He is also the Rabbi of the Newtown Synagogue in Sydney.

As part of the lead up to Limmud Oz 2012, we are publishing some articles by presenters in order to give our readership a taste of some of sessions on offer. If you are a presenter and would like to write an article about your upcoming session, please contact the editors.

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