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Jews for Jesus:
Targeting Jews for Conversion with Subterfuge and Deception

UPDATED: September 05, 2008

About Jews for Jesus

Activities and Tactics
Christian Response

Legal Cases

Jews for Jesus, the leading organization dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity, has long been a concern because of its aggressive proselytizing with a deceptive message: that Jews who accept Jesus as the son of God and their savior remain Jewish. The group produces videos, publishes four periodicals, maintains 22 offices around the world at which it employs about 200 people, and sells products through an extensive online bookstore. It sees its primary work however, as preaching to Jews in the streets, with the aid of a network of 175 volunteers. The group claims in 2007 it converted 591 Jews and handed out 3,627,000 pamphlets describing the group's beliefs.

Founded: 1973
Leadership: David Brickner, Executive Director (since 1996); Martin "Moishe" Rosen, Founder
Headquarters: San Francisco;
International branches worldwide
Budget: $19,643,103 in 2006, the last year for which records are available
The executive director of Jews for Jesus, David Brickner, took over leadership of the group in 1996 and he regularly appears at churches around the United States to promote the group’s work. He gained widespread attention for appearing in August 2008 at the Wasilla Baptist Church in Wasilla, Alaska, where former Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin is a member. During his talk, Brickner reportedly said that recent terrorist attacks in Israel were God’s “judgment” against Israelis for failing to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. (Michael Goldfarb, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, subsequently stated, “Governor Palin does not share the views [Brickner] expressed, and she and her family would not have been sitting in the pews of this church for the last seven years if his remarks were even remotely typical.”) Following the media attention, a message was posted to the Jews for Jesus Website in which Brickner said his remarks had been taken out of context and that it was not his belief that “God is judging and punishing Israel via terrorist attacks.” Brickner’s presentation was entitled “The Jerusalem Dilemma” and he is currently scheduled to deliver the talk to five more churches through 2010.

Brickner made similar remarks during a sermon to the Marcus Pointe Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida in March 2008, soon after a gunman broke into a seminary in Jerusalem and murdered eight unarmed Jewish teenagers. He said, "We see that desolation, that judgment played out in situations like… last week when a gunman broke into a seminary and shot up and murdered 8 young Jewish boys studying the Torah." The remarks came after Brickner repeatedly quoted Jesus as saying "your house will be left desolate" to those who did not believe he was the Messiah.

Jews for Jesus is an official member of several Christian evangelical umbrella organizations, including the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association and the World Evangelical Alliance, which took out a full-page ad in The New York Times on March 28, 2008, that defended targeting Jews for conversion to Christianity. On August 26, 2008, the World Evangelical Alliance issued a statement from Berlin calling for "renewed commitment to the task of Jewish evangelism." A press release accompanying the statement said that "messianic Jews" had been involved in the drafting of the statement.

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