Jews for Judaism

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Jews for Judaism, established by Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz in 1985, is an international organization designed to counter Christian missionaries whose evangelistic efforts are directed toward Jews. They aim to help Jews strengthen and rediscover their Judaism. It is the largest counter-missionary organization in existence. It provides counseling services, education, and outreach programs to all Jewish denominations.

The organization attempts to counter the efforts of "Jews for Jesus" and other Messianic missionary organizations which believe Jesus to be God and one part of a Trinity, and attempt to proselytize Jews, claiming to be legitimate forms of Judaism, but are considered by most Christians and Jews to be forms of Christianity. "Jews for Judaism" maintains that these Christian groups that attempt to convert Jews specifically target unaffiliated, unobservant, old and young Jews, as well as specifically the Russian Jewish immigrant community.[1][2]

The name Jews for Judaism was developed from Jews for Jesus, one of the principal missionary organizations it was founded to counteract. One of its prominent early members, Larry Levey, was a Jewish convert to Christianity who then converted back to Judaism and led the Baltimore office of Jews for Judaism for a number of years.[3][4] In addition to its activities in response to Christian missionaries, Jews for Judaism has also been noted for its critiques of the Kabbalah Centre.[5][6][7]

Offices[edit]

Jews for Judaism has 6 international offices located in: Los Angeles, California, Baltimore, Maryland/Washington in the United States; Toronto, Canada; Jerusalem, Israel; Sydney, Australia and Johannesburg, South Africa.[8]

Directors[edit]

  • Los Angeles, California, United States - Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz.
  • Baltimore, Maryland, United States - Ruth Guggenheim.
  • Toronto, Canada - Julius Ciss, a former Messianic Jew.[9]
  • Sydney, Australia - Rabbi Eli Cohen.
  • Johannesburg, South Africa - Darryl Frankel.

Be-True[edit]

Jews for Judaism formed the student organisation, Be-True as a response to missionary activity on university campuses. The organisation runs primarily through student representative volunteers. There are currently Be-True representatives in the United States, Canada and Australia.[10]

Jews for Judaism forums[edit]

Jews for Judaism Forums served as a home for many observant Jews, Noahides, practicing Jews, non-practicing Jews, and converts. The forums discussed issues pertaining to interfaith couples and helped inquisitive minds answer their questions about Judaism. Additionally, there were frequent debates on the site between the members and visiting Evangelists. In 2007 Jews for Judaism decided to shut down the forum.

Jews for Judaism has recently started a blog which is now no longer active.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Max Gross, "Countering Christian Missionaries and Messianists: Jews for Judaism’s Counselors Help Bring the People of the Book Back Into the Fold", The Forward, August 8, 2003.
  2. ^ Barry Yeoman, "Saying ‘Shema,’ preaching Jesus", Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 15, 2007.
  3. ^ Carol Brzozowski, "Former Convert Fights Christians Who Convert Jews", South Florida Sun-Sentinel, March 04, 1988.
  4. ^ Jan Hoffman, "Inside Jews for Jesus", New York, April 28, 1986.
  5. ^ Tom Tugend, "Fraud Arrest at Kabbalah Centre", The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, November 10, 2005.
  6. ^ Gaby Wenig, "Against the Stream", The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, July 25, 2002.
  7. ^ Nadya Labi, "What Profits the Kabbalah?", TIME, November 24, 1997.
  8. ^ Worldwide Centers, Jews for Judaism website, accessed November 14, 2010.
  9. ^ Namm, Lesiah (9 February 2001). "Former Messianic Jew now battles [Christian] missionaries" (PDF). aztorah.com. Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Centers - Jews for Judaism". be-true.org. Be-True, Jews for Judaism. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Jews For Judaism (Blog)". Jews for Judaism. Archived from the original on 22 December 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 

External links and references[edit]

Kosher Information Resources about Judaism Online