George W. Bush Ducks Spotlight at Jews for Jesus Gala

Messianic Jews Keep Lid on Controversial Speech

getty images

By Ron Kampeas

Published November 19, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Yaakov Ariel, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, says there are signs that Jewish groups have grown more accepting of Messianic Jews in recent years. Ariel notes that a recent call by a British Reform rabbi to be more accepting of the movement stirred little outcry. The World Congress of Jewish Studies, which takes place every four years in Jerusalem, featured a panel on Messianic Jews this year – something Ariel has been seeking for decades.

“It is to be expected,” Ariel said. “There are hundreds of Messianic congregations in America. They have been on the scene for years.”

The major stumbling block remains the Messianic doctrine of proselytizing. Resnik says Messianic groups try to keep a low profile in mainstream Jewish settings, but proselytizing remains a core principle. Especially irksome are bids to convert what are seen as vulnerable populations, Russian and Ethiopian Jews in particular. The Dallas group Bush addressed touts its efforts in that regard prominently on its website.

Mainstream Jewish concerns about conversion inhibit what could be a useful relationship with a movement that over the decades has accrued a good deal of credibility within the Christian world, according to Messianic Jews.

“We’re loyal Jews who have an interest in Israel,” Glaser said. “We should be viewed as allies and not opponents.”

Resnik says proselytizing should not be the determining factor for mainstream Jews in considering a relationship with Messianic Jews. The Jewish establishment also should take into account the longing for Jewish connection and community among Messianic Jews, he said.

“We feel there’s a lot we can do and a lot of engagement we can have with the wider Jewish community other than propagating our Messianic faith,” he said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.