The group Jews For Judaism has been on my radar screen for some years. In the 1970’s some Jews who became Evangelicals started a group called Jews For Jesus and led a large well-funded attempt to convert Jews to Evangelicalism. To counter this group, some Rabbis and Jewish laymen formed a group called Jews For Judaism. They didn’t call themselves Jews Against Jesus probably because it’s better to sound positive rather than negative. However, this would be a more honest title. I don’t wish to evaluate any of their apologetics in this post but I want to make some general comments about the group.
First of all, I admire anyone who takes up the mantle of apologetics. It’s not an easy task and requires a lot of research so good for them for giving it a try. They also seem like very kind people. I’d like to sit down with some of them for a meal(kosher of course) if I’m ever in a city they operate in. I also agree with some of their legitimate anger. Many of the groups that want to convert Jews approach them with a façade of Judaism. They wear skullcaps, prayer shawls, call ministers rabbi and their church a synagogue. This is genuinely dishonest and stupid in my opinion for self-professing Christians to do.
At the same time, Jews For Judaism makes me shake my head. In the video that I posted above(at about 1:30), we see two Jews For Judaism staff members at an outdoor Jewish festival. Jews For Judaism staff member Julius Ciss was asking someone if they’ve seen any missionaries. At one point, Ciss said: “We’ve got to be ready for them in case they show up.” I’ve got to hand it to Julius Ciss. He’s ready to engage with any Christian missionaries that show up at that festival. At the same time, people at the festival were waving rainbow flags and it didn’t seem to concern them. If a Jew wants to delve into a homosexual lifestyle, which is contrary to Judaism, Jews For Judaism doesn’t seem to care. After all, they will still be accepted by the majority of the Jewish community and still be invited to Jewish events. On the other hand, a Jew who converts to Christianity will find himself exiled from the Jewish community.
The same goes with Jews who are non-believers such as atheists or agnostics. They are far more numerous than Jews who convert to Christianity. Having listened to many speeches by the Jews for Judaism staff and going to their website many times, the amount of material that I see for combating atheism, agnosticism, or homosexuality is slim to none.
If a Jew becomes an atheist, agnostic, or homosexual, Jews For Judaism doesn’t seem to care one bit. After all, they’re still Jewish. I personally think an atheistic, agnostic or homosexual Jew is an oxymoron but the Jewish community seems to still accept them as Jews. Oh well, how they define their community is up to them.
At the same time, where is Jews For Judaism with these people? The organization has the word Judaism in it so they should be there willing to correct these errors. An atheistic Jew is of little concern to Jews For Judaism. At the same time, if that atheistic Jew converts to Christianity then they are all of a sudden the most important person in the world to Jews For Judaism. As the old saying goes, they just made the list!
Jews For Judaism should change their name. They always like to tell Jews who believe in Jesus to be honest and call themselves Christian. They should be honest and call themselves Jews Against Jesus since that’s essentially what they are.
Here is their mission statement:
The Mission of Jews for Judaism is to strengthen and preserve Jewish identity through education and counseling that counteracts deceptive proselytising targeting Jews for conversion and promotes critical thinking.
Jews for Judaism is an international organization that provides a wide variety of counseling services, along with education, and outreach programs that enable Jews of all ages to rediscover and strengthen their Jewish heritage.
We are a positive resource, utilized and endorsed by all denominations of Judaism. Our warm and open-minded approach successfully reaches out to individuals who have been lured away from Judaism by other belief systems or through assimilation.
Apart from the name of the organization, the word Judaism does not appear until the third paragraph. That is because the organization was never meant to bring Jews to Judaism. It was meant to keep Jews from believing in Jesus and has little to do with Judaism.
To learn more about this group, their website is here: