Religion, Uncategorized

Jews for Jesus NY Media Campaign: What to Look For

Jews for Judaism has learned that the New York Behold Your God initiative , beginning this week in New York, will incorporate a gospel media campaign utilizing a new look and marketing slogan.
Taking their cue from the NY subway system, the campaign logo will consist of bold-colored letters on a black background with a directional sign:
JJNYBYG Logo1.jpg
This multi-media campaign will involve billboards, radio spots, subway and newspaper ads, and direct-mail pieces all asking the rhetorical question: “Who’s there for you”? with the standard Christian answer: Jesus. The eye-catching twist is the slogan “Jesus for Jews.”
Those who live in NYC and all boroughs are already receiving direct mail from Jews for Jesus (scroll down in the pdf to see sample).
If you live in New York and encounter these media, you can help Jews for Judaism be informed on the BYG campaign in New York by faxing ads/mail to them at 410-602-0578, by calling them at 410-602-0276, or by emailing [email protected].
Jews for Judaism has partnered with the Spiritual Deception Prevention Project of the JCRC of New York to help the greater Jewish community respond to this greatly expanded proselytizing effort which will reach all five boroughs of the city as well as neighboring Westchester, Bergen, Suffolk and Nassau counties, with special ministries targeting the Russian-speaking, Israeli, and Orthodox communities.
Click here for full memo.

36 thoughts on “Jews for Jesus NY Media Campaign: What to Look For

  1. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Jews in America embrace a secular code of liberalism as a standin for Judaism. Given a choice between religious belief and a void, some Jewish souls are mislead into the false path of Xianity. Yes, we can blaim the devious JforJ for distorting xtianity and Judaism to lead those sould onto a false path. But if Jews understood and practiced their religion, those xtains would have much less success in their campaigns.

  2. So its’s the fault of Libralism?
    How do you explain all of those right wing fundy ex-jewish christians?
    Like Pat Robertson’s Jay Sekulow?

  3. Thanks for posting this! I was looking into it as well since I got a letter in the mail a few days back — this really is quite a vast effort! What’s the motive behind this? I mean besides “conversion” I wonder why they are putting so much money and effort into this–meaning who are the people/funders/etc behind this? Do you know?

  4. Reverend Louis Sheldon, leader of the political lobbying group Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), was born in 1934 to an Orthodox Jewish mother .
    Howard Phillips, the head of both the U.S. Taxpayers Party and the Conservative Caucus, is a born Jew who converted to Christianity in his thirties.

  5. My theory about this has always involved people’s notions of biblical authorship. I find that most of the J for J arguments are predicated upon the notion of divine authorship of Biblical texts. To those without any kind of background in contemporary biblical scholarship, and have always (religiously connected or not) kind of just assumed that the bible came from God, because they heard it when they were kids, but never really thought about it further, it would not be difficult to make a compelling argument for the notion of Jesus as savior.
    They draw some very interesting connections/arguments from the Hebrew Bible, that are not easy to defend if you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about, in a sense.
    What has been more successful is the Jewish establishment simply telling us to “stay away from those people”.

  6. Cole,
    I think it’s documented that “Jews” for Jesus is ultimately funded by the Southern Baptist Convention. (I’m going to see if I can find the reference for this) They keep it pretty well under wraps, hiding the relationship between layers and layers of other organizations. But you can look and see the SBC’s many resolutions, on the record, to have all the Jews converted by a certain date.
    It’s this kind of deception that makes me so angry. I went to a Jewish law school and we had a student group called the “Original Law Club”. The president was a woman who had been born Jewish, in fact, her father was a Holocaust survivor (as well as being a parking lot magnate who was in prison for trying to kill his business partner.) Anyway, she had become a fundamentalist Christian, and started this club at my school. The purpose of the club was officially to do bible study from a fresh perspective, or something vague like that. Upon repeated questioning, she continually denied that the club had any proseltysing mission, or even that it was an explicitly Christian group. (Which would have been fine, we had plenty of Jewish student groups.) Well, it finally turned out that her group was indeed connected to Campus Crusade for Christ. Disgusting.

  7. They are, indeed, funded by a variety of fundamentalist evangelical Christian groups, among them the Assemblies of God. The goal is to convert as many Jews as possible, by masking Christianity in a Jewish guise and saying that Jesus is the Jews’ messiah, and that believing in Jesus “completes” Judaism. They consist of apostate Jews and Christians and are trained to say things like “New Covenant” or “Brit Chadasha” instead of New Testament, “Yeshua Hamashiac” instead of Jesus Christ, “mikvah” instead of baptism, the list goes on and on.
    The problem isn’t that people believe highly problematic things, people of course can believe what they want. The issue is truth in advertising–they are selling Christianity and calling it Judaism, soley for converting Jews to Christianity.

  8. Absolutely fucking incredible!! As I’m reading this post just seconds ago, it actually crossed my mind that perhaps here is the single issue that individuals across the entire spectrum of Jewish identity – political, denominational, ideological – would certainly approach with unanimity. And yet, there it is, right in the first comment, yet another impossibly irrelevant attack on secular liberalism from the psychotic Right. What is increasingly evident is that anti-secularism is a cesspool of obsession and hatred, populated by a cult of the clinically paranoid. Unfortunately, it’s easy to dismiss their ravings because of their mind-numbing ignorance, most notable in their deranged fantasy of rolling back the effects of the Enlightenment. Well, it’s time to take these people at their word, accepting as serious their spiritually degenerate assertion that the world would be better off without antibiotics, electricity, civil liberties, human rights, democracy, literacy, computers, railroads, telephones, Zionism, economic prosperity, an abolition of slavery, and dozens of other developments that have largely mitigated the conditions that rendered life solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. God, these are some irredeemably sick human beings.

  9. It’s interesting and I’m glad that folks have background research. I come from the group of people who, like Balaam’s Donkey, was coached not to even talk to them. My conservative shul actually held a large meeting with the hebrew school and brought in people to talk about why we shouldn’t listen to the jews for jesus people–ultimately, to stay away, without really providing this kind of research or background which I think is much more valuable than just telling young people not to do something.

  10. Cole,
    not only do they do it because it’s what they believe but also because they make tons o’gelt from fundrasing.
    Do the leaders of their organizations take vows of poverty?

  11. Look, we all know that jforj engages in fraudulant, deceitful, disgusting tactics to virtually criminally induce certain Jews into their evil little group. And we should counter them by information, often provided by Jews for Judaism. But what makes certain Jews suseptible to JforJ organizations in the first place? Isn’t the overblown reaction to my claim that it’s a lack of religious teaching/belief on the part of mainstream Jews that lies at the heart of the problem the reinforcement that my point is valid? Somehow belief in Judaism does away with a belief in electricity (I guess I don’t believe in the computer I’m typing on)?
    Hasn’t virulent attack on Jewish belief by Jews created the problem we face today as an assimilated, non believing tribe? And how can that tribe survive (and why should we) without a core central belief system (our religion). Somehow a belief in bagels doesn’t quite provide the intellectual framework to counter “missionaries”.
    And the problem isn’t essentially that Jews gave up their belief in Judaism for a replacement relgion, secular humanism; rather, it’s that they gave up their beliefs at all; that it was for liberalism is a historical reality, but it would have been just a bad had the replacement belief been conservatism, or gia the earthg-d.
    Of course we lose some Jews to other religions; but we have already lost most Jews to a miasma of political beliefs, the difference is that the “political replacement” Jews can also be believers and/or return – we lose the religious converts forever. Sad

  12. A further point: yes, to our dismay there are a handful of Jews who have sold their soul to Xtianity, including Robert Novak, one of the most virulent right wing anti semites (along with Pat Buchanin, born and remaining catholic) out there. But to deny the majority of Jews in America are non religious, and “humanistic secular left”, is just silly, any look at the deomographic polling data will confirm that (as well as your own experience).
    Why should a Jewless Jew not be open to other religions (whether xtianity, or eastern or otherwise) when that Jew has been taught by family and friends to disbelieve in Judaism, and to replace that Judaism with political liberalism?
    The theology of the bagel doesn’t work.

  13. FYI,
    The NY subway system zealously guards the use of its trademarks. A shop called F Line Bagels received a cease and desist from using graphics which matched those used in the subway. If someone wished to create a big headache for Jews for Jesus…
    Just a thought.

  14. The NY subway system zealously guards the use of its trademarks. A shop called F Line Bagels received a cease and desist from using graphics which matched those used in the subway. If someone wished to create a big headache for Jews for Jesus…

    My thoughts exactly. Our Christian friends may owe the city some hefty retroactive licensing fees.
    Some background reading:

  15. dirrigible,
    Your tone suggests the possibility that you may not even realize how indescribably offensive it is to assert that my Conservative affiliation renders me a “Jewless Jew” that “has been taught by family and friends to disbelieve in Judaism, and to replace that Judaism with political liberalism?” It seems to be virtually impossible to have a discussion about any issue confronting the Jewish people – even the proselytizing efforts of evangelical Christians – that doesn’t elicit the Orthodox dismissal of Conservative and Reform Judaism as deviant heresies, as well as sweeping and cavalier denunciations of “secular humanism,” “political liberalism,” “assimilationist culture,” and the Enlightenment. I imagine such claims are reasonably equivalent to arguing that Orthodoxy is no more than an aggregation of primitive superstitions, though I can’t recall ever having come across an actual example of such an argument.
    Such claims in this particular context are thoroughly baseless, on both empirical and conceptual grounds. First, the empirical: Is there any evidence of any kind whatever – statistical, anecdotal, even inferential – suggesting that Conservative or Reform Jews are any more susceptible to proselytizing by Jews for Jesus, or anyone else, at a higher rate than the Orthodox? I know of no such evidence, but would certainly love to learn of its existence.
    Second, the conceptual: For a number of reasons, the notion that Conservative and Reform Jews are more frequently persuaded to renounce Judaism – and embrace Christianity – than the Orthodox is wildly implausible. First, there’s the nonsensical claim that Conservatism lacks a “core central belief system,” constitutes a “virulent attack on Jewish belief,” and consists of nothing but “a miasma of political beliefs” or “a belief in bagels;” in other words, that it is merely a negation of Orthodoxy, with no affirmative standards of its own. Of course, while there are undoubtedly those who will find Conservative principles spiritually unfulfilling and impermissibly lenient with respect to questions of ritual observance, it is incoherent and laughably dishonest to suggest that they represent a wholesale rejection of Jewish law and custom. Notwithstanding the hysterical Orthodox claims of theological nihilism, Conservatism “innovations” are simply an adaptation of halacha to circumstances of the modern world that neither existed nor were even conceivable when the Torah and Talmud were recorded. Equally specious is the claim that Orthodox standards are free of such “innovation,” being drawn directly from the Talmud and unmediated by human interpretation. As someone commented in response to another post on this same topic:
    Orthodoxy or Rabbinic Judaism has been on a collision course with God’s Judaism since its beginnings. Who changed the calendar? Who made up the story of Rosh Hashanah being in the seventh month and the Days of Awe? Who has refused to acknowledge what was written on the 2 tables of stone written by the finger of God? Who changed the meaning of many words in the Torah when adding vowels in the Middle Ages? Who compiled a fixed prayer book even though greats such as Maimonides were in opposition? Who embraces dictatorship and rants against democracy in Judaism? Who wants Jews to lead ghetto lives and remain in the Dark Ages? Who practices rituals which the Prophets stated were unwarranted by God? Unless Israel grants equality to all Jews, it is not a democracy. As long as the Orthodox have their way, Israel will never have a Constitution to guarantee the rights of all its citizens.
    Lastly, it seems to me that the seeds of Jewish conversion to Christianity are nourished in the fertile ground of spiritualdesolation, rather than in arcane theological deficiencies of any kind. While I’m not personally all that familiar with Reform practice, Conservative Judaism places a great deal of emphasis on the social and ethical dimension of Jewish observance, its mediation of human relationships, as opposed to the parochialism of the Orthodox worldview, its contempt for everything secular, and its increasingly sterile obsession with obscure ritual. In this circumstance, there is nothing to suggest that Conservative Jews are any more vulnerable to the corrosive appeals of evangelical Christianity than are the Orthodox; indeed, it seems that Conservative Judaism is more culturally vigorous and engaged with the world at large, while Orthodoxy is more insular, more brittle and more detached.
    Incidentally, my observation concerning the reflexive Orthodox repudiation of the Enlightenment doesn’t suggest that Orthodoxy disputes the existence of electricity and computers, but that it necessarily denies the value of those and all other Enlightenment-generated things and ideas.

  16. David, suggest you reread my postings, I’m drawing a line between religious, including Reform and Conservatives, and those who are taught that the Jewish religion is untrue and all that counts is being humanistic and bagel believing. Can’t imagine how you misread my meaning.

  17. And as to your gratuitious attack on the orthodox (I am not), that’s the kind of attitude that diminishes all of us.

  18. Dirrigible,
    Your comments didn’t explicitly identify where you drew the line between religious and secular, and – as you could tell – I assumed you meant between the Orthodox, on the one hand, and the Conservative and Reform, on the other. If that isn’t what you intended, (and I accept that it isn’t, since you say so), I owe you an apology. I was wrong, and I do sincerely apologize. In looking over my comment, though, I can’t see how it constituted an attack on the Orthodox, gratuitous or otherwise, and I’d appreciate if you could explain what made it seem so.
    I think there might be some relevance to the context in which my initial misinterpretation of your comment took place. Specifically, I was in the midst of drafting a response to another post ( addressing the Orthodox v. Conservative/Reform dispute. The nearly 170 comments responding to the article referenced in the post were as fascinating as they were infuriating, as suggested by the following examples:
    The history of both reform and conservative movements is one of complete destruction of everything Jewish. The mad reform and conservative rabbis should stop this nonsense because they represent nobody and their houses of their worship are empty of any spirit or people for almost all year long. It’s ridiculous that people who represent nothing, stand for nothing, and do nothing good in support of the Jewish unity or the state of Israel, may have such demands for respect and status.
    These so called Reform “Rabbis” are responsible for more lost Jewish souls than the holocaust. In America they incorporate non-Jews into their movement and pass them off as legitimate Jews. Within a couple more generations these reform Jews and their rabbis will be assimilated into oblivion. Don’t let them do the same in Israel. It’s our last hope.
    If all reform and conservative Jews would be real Jews we could discuss with them, but even not all of them are Jewish. Why should we discuss with goyim about the values of Torah?
    I have been to workshops for the disabled where individuals do limited tasks and may be paid a few dollars for a full days work. Unfortunately, these limited tasks are all they are all they are capable of performing. Yes, they are “working”. Those of us who are in professional fields are also “working”. Comparing Reformed and Conservative “Rabbis” to Rabonim is like comparing the workshops for the disabled to professional fields.
    In reading all of the article’s comments, you’d find that there is nothing aberrant or exaggerated about these examples; indeed, they are faithfully illustrative of the views expressed by well over 90% of the Orthodox readers responding to the post. It is only this attitude of inveterate rejectionism and intolerance on the part of the Orthodox that I’d intended to attack.

  19. Nice Hobbesian reference david smith. You must have lots a’ that book learnin’ I keep coming across. Unfortunately, despite the fact that I do not believe that secular Judaism is sustainable, I still use computers (even if it is to isit my fave Web site, I can scarce pronounce “Enlightenment” but given all those syllables, I’m pretty sure I must be against it. Same with all that other stuff you mentioned, except for electricity. I can’t surf my Webs without that. Now hang on while I adjust my tin foil hat.
    There. Ok.
    Now, I have to agree with you. There is indeed no evidence that Conservative or Reform Jews are any more susceptible to prosyletization by Christians. In my admittedly non-scientifical experience, most “converts” to Jews for Jesus were, prior to their conversions, certifiably insane, substance or lifestyle abusers, addle minded, actually Christian or any combination of the above. I’ll ignore the fact that the one person I know personally who was involved in Jews for Jesus was in fact affiliated with Conservative Judasim, because I’d like to think that he was exceptional that way. I’ll have to ask him about the people he went to prayer meetings with and stuff, but I’ll willingly concede the point.
    So yes, Reform and Conservative Jews are not significantly more susceptible to proselytization. However, other folks who are into book learnin’ just like you have done these fancy surveys and they found that 38% of Conservative Jews intermarry. The figure is 53% for Reform Jews and 72% for unaffiliated Jews. So yeah, Jews for Jesus can’t be too succesful in that realm because secularism has gotten to them before Jesus could.
    Oh well.
    But then again, what do I know. I’m just some nutter obsessed with obscure ritual. OK, I’m off. Gotta do netilat yadayim. Again. And again. And again….

  20. Just wanted to let ya’ll know that I was the whistle blower on this issue to the MTA. Here is their response in an e-mail they sent me;
    “We appreciate you having taken the time to report this matter. A copy of your e-mail has been forwarded to Lester Freundlich, Senior Associate Counsel for the MTA, with regard to the copy right commissions associated with reproduction of our fonts, colors, logos and maps as it relates the aforementioned organization’s advertisements and flyers.
    Thank you again for having taken the time to report this matter”

  21. It would never have crossed my mind that you’re against the Enlightenment, nor did I suggest that anyone else’s position on the matter was determined by intellectual inferiority or educational deficiency (which was apparently the thrust of your “book learnin’” reference). Nonetheless, you must be aware of how many discussions of Jewish denominational conflict include comments attributing all the horrible traits of modernity – “assimilationist,” “deviant” “heretical,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah – to the decadence and moral relativism of the Enlightenment. And as indicated by the excerpts from the above-referenced Jewlicious post, they also include the usual claims that Conservative and Reform Jews are goyim, are motivated by a desire to bring about the complete destruction of the Jewish People, and have destroyed more Jewish souls than the Holocaust. It was just after reading through this particular set of such comments that I became disgusted and lost my temper (for which I rightly had to apologize to dirrigible). What really sets me off is this: If a the beliefs reflected in these comments are embraced only by a lunatic fringe, why do they seem rarely, if ever, to provoke any censure from their fellow Orthodox Jews? Indeed, I’ve occasionally been party to discussions in which you, yourself, have responded to the most egregious examples of such doggerel by urging some moderation, but not nearly with the frequency and passion of your denunciations of “Orthodox bashing.”

  22. As a non-Christian Gentile who respects Torah Judaism and once volunteered briefly for Jews for Judaism, I would flip the argument around: where are the “Gentiles for Moses”? Specifically, where are the Gentile monotheists who revere the Torah and obey its commandments as applied to them (fundamental morality and basic reverence for the Divine, as understood under the Laws of Noah)?
    I visited my wife’s hometown in Oklahoma during her mother’s funeral two years ago, and took a five block walk through an ordinary residential neighborhood. I counted six churches en route. All of them dedicated to subtlely different contortions of Torah Judaism into, well, another religion.
    Where does a G-d fearing Gentile go to pray? Every human being who is not an atheist would wish to pray, at least sometimes. But no house of prayer in my area is free of idolatry. Every one raises up a man as if he were [forgive me] a divinity. Every one abrogates the Torah. Most (not all) teach anti-Jewish ideas and occasionally animosity toward Jews. I would not go to a Christian house of prayer to pray to my G-d, just as I would not celebrate the Fourth of July at the North Korean embassy. Going there would please my Baptist wife, and make my home life simpler, but I refuse on conscientious grounds.
    Peace be with you.

  23. Bruce–your sentiments echo those of the Noahide, or B’nai Noah, movement–Gentiles who keep the 7 Noahide Laws. Google around for them, they’re a growing group who are fascinating.

  24. Oh david smith! I would urge you to revisit some of the things you’ve written on the topic.
    As for my response to offensive comments by individuals purporting to represent the Orthodox perspective, what can I tell you? Most of the time I just don’t find their comments worthy of a response. They are prima facie stupid and others will more than adequately note that.

  25. Regarding secularism being the road to xtainity (why do the jforjs bother, we are doing it to ourselves), read in todays NYTimes that the son of Michael Eisner (former head of Disney, Jewish, not known for his involvement in Judaism) married the granddaughter of Carrol Rosenbloom (former owner of the Rams and the Colts, Jewish, not known for his involvement in Judaism) in a Catholic ceremony.

  26. dirrigible: what’s really whacky is that there is no indication at all that either the bride or the groom are Catholic. The Rev. Leo J. O’Donovan was a former President of Georgetown U., which both the bride and groom attended. His tenure was notable for his Liberal views. He once allowed a Pro-Choice group to function on campus until direct Vatican intervention forced him to shut it down. He is currently a member of the Walt Disney Corp. board of Directors – of which Eisner used to be the CEO and still remains te largest majority share holder.
    Frankly, I don’t get it. I know Eisner is not a big contributor to Jewish causes, and I know he’s gotten a lot of flack from Christian and Catholic groups about one thing or another. But why have a Catholic priest, even a very liberal one, officiate at a wedding of two Jews?? maybe its the same deal as when the biggest Christmas light displays are invariably put up by the Jeish family in the neighbourhood. I don’t know. I suspect it was a secular event because it was held in the bride’s parents Colorado home – but still, what the fuck kind of retardation is this?
    That’s why I never really worry about Jews for Jesus. Stuff like this gets to our precious yiddles far more than any proselytization.

  27. I saw the notice in the times. To be honest with you, I didn’t see any affirmative evidence that either Breck or Mrs Breck are Jewish. Nu, Breck’s dad is Jewish. That doesn’t mean he’s Jewish (I don’t want to start a fight, I’m just saying that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily jewish). And Mrs. Breck apparently has a Jewish grandparent. Again, that doesn’t mean much to me.

  28. sorry, rokhl, but it should: whether because of outmarrying or non carrying about Judaism, we have lost two more potential souls.

  29. Eisner’s wife, Jane (Tasty) Breckenridge, is not Jewish. She’s of Swedish and Scottish extraction and was raised Unitarian. Eisner himself is of German Jewish extraction – both his parents were wealthy and he was rised on the Upper East side. Organized religion has never played a part in his life although his most moving Jewishy experiences include finding out that several of his relatives perished in Theresienstadt and a visit he took with his wife to the Holocaust Museum in DC. What’s interesting is that his great-grandfather was a significant Jewish philanthropist, with generous gifts to Zionst causes, and whose funeral was officiated by no less than famous American Reform Rabbi Stephen Wise.
    You can read all about Eisner’s Judaism here. In many ways, Eisner’s is a text book Jewish succes story wherein the hero successfully fulfills both the American dream and most vestiges of his and his family’s Jewish identity. Anyhow, read the article, it’s really an interesting snapshot of Americn Jewry.

  30. gaaah. i meant “successfully fulfills both the American dream and rids himself of most vestiges of his and his family’s Jewish identity”
    I really need to sleep more…

  31. All this ancillary talk about: 1) where JFJ gets its funding 2) who’s conservative 3) who’s liberal skirts the real issue: Is Jesus the Messiah?
    If he isn’t, then he was a liar, and nobody, Jew or Gentile, should believe in him. If he is, then ethnicity (i.e., Jewishness) should not be a barrier to believing in him.

  32. You know if You took the time to study Christianity You might find that if God exist, which it’s not that your Jewless Jews, it’s that Your “Godless” Jews. If I meet one more Jewsih Atheist I’m going to throw Up! Given the fact whether You believe in God or not, it’s was the Jewish God that won out! Congratulations and that You were chosen above all the races on the earth to be a people for God! That makes me sick! You who were least among the nations, of impure birth, and most loved by the Creater, scorned your blessing and Desecrated Your inheritance! And in spite of it All, the Supreme Act of Self-Sacrifice, of Grace, of True love to God for Salvation And You All Continue on in Your Priestly pervisions! I used to Hate, but now I pity You all above all the peoples on this Planet. And of two things I know, while the Son of God displayed to the World what You failed to accept, that the RESURRECTION was the sign, but most disturbingly, and Why with every passion of my heart on my pity and Anger for You, that While Christ became for all people, it was for YOU that he came, and that while he had adpoted others through the Spirit it was Your people that Were the Most LOVED!!!! If Jesus is who he says he was then the only hope of life is in him! And while You rejected and scorned him it was all for YOU!!! To reject him is to reject life and the power of God! But that’s okay because my Hatred just like Your unbelief will keep me out for Awhile. See You All In HELL!!!

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