Posted to Chabad News on

Rabbi Stands Strong on Beliefs – ‘Deceptive’ Practices Outlined

The Coloradoan
Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik introduces Rabbi
Bentzion Kravitz, director of Jews for Judaism,
during a lecture Thursday at Lory Student
Center at Colorado State University. Jews for
Judaism is a counter-missionary group which
counters groups that target Jews for conversion.
Kravitz, rear, spoke to the audience about the
Messianic Christian movement and also how
Jews can respond to missionary Christians.

Ft. Collins, CO — A lecture Thursday at Lory Student Center drew a crowd of curious students and community members interested in learning about Christian missionary efforts to convert Jews.

Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz, author of the “The Jewish Response to Missionaries” and founder of Jews for Judaism, was invited by the Chabad Jewish Student Alliance to speak at the university. Jews for Judaism, which plays on the name of a Christian missionary organization Jews for Jesus, is a counter-missionary group focused on Christian efforts to target Jews for conversion.

Kravitz outlined what he considers to be deceptive tactics of Messianic Christian organizations such as Jews for Jesus and Chosen People Ministries, who claim Jews can believe in Jesus as the Messiah and remain Jewish.

He said Jews are concerned about Christians who misquote Jewish texts or adopt Jewish objects such as wearing yarmulkes, or skull caps, and talleisim, or prayer shawls.

“I view (it) as deceptive,” Kravitz said. “Be clear about who you are.”

Kravitz said he is disturbed by the implication among some Messianic and evangelical Christians that Jews who do not convert are somehow “incomplete.”

“The term for Jews who convert (according to some Messianic Christians) is a completed Jew. What does that say about me?” he said. “There is certain sense of religious intolerance when you believe that yours is the only right path to God and everyone else is going to hell.”

He called on Jews to become more educated about their faith so they can respond to the hard-sell approach of some evangelicals.

“When you don’t have the answer to something and you don’t have the skills to seek the answers, it’s a very uncomfortable position,” Kravitz said.

The lecture drew about 70 people of various faith backgrounds. Some shared Kravitz’s concern about some Christian evangelists.

“If someone approaches you and asks you to tell them about your faith, that’s fine. But I don’t think they should take it and shove it down your throat,” said Jennifer Freeman, who said she isn’t religious but is dating a Jew.

Evangelism is part of following the message of the New Testament, said Christin Deas, a campus staff member of The Navigators, a nondenominational Christian ministry at CSU, in a phone interview Thursday. A passage from the Gospel of Matthew (28:18-20,) known as The Great Commission, calls on Christians to go into the world to spread Jesus’ message, she said.

“We believe unless you have accepted Jesus you are not saved,” she said. “We believe unless you’ve accepted Jesus it doesn’t matter if you are Jew or not.”

One Comment

  • 1. Akiva Shapero wrote:

    For 2000years they tried to convert with a sword. Now they try to convert us with lies. Same old, same old.


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