Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Even Messianic Jews Don’t Want Mike Pence’s ‘Rabbi’ — Who Prayed To Jesus

The Messianic “rabbi” who joined Vice President Mike Pence to pray for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting was reportedly defrocked 15 years ago by the organization that ordained him, NBC News reported.

Loren Jacobs, who called for prayers in the name of Jesus at a Republican campaign rally in Michigan on Monday, was dumped over a libel case.

“Loren Jacobs was stripped of his rabbinic ordination by the [Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations] in 2003, after our judicial board found him guilty of libel,” UMJC spokeswoman Monique Brumbach told NBC. It is unknown who Jacobs allegedly libeled.

Pence, who has identified as a born-again evangelical Christian and a passionate supporter of Israel, has been criticized for having Jacobs come onstage to “offer a word of prayer”, and invoke the name of Jesus Christ while delivering a prayer in memory of 11 Jewish victims, at the rally for Lena Epstein, a Republican running for Congress in Michigan’s 11th District. His spokesman reportedly insisted that Epstein, a longtime member of a Detroit–area synagogue, invited Jacobs to the rally.

Messianic Jews believe that Jesus is the messiah and focus on seeking to convert Jews to join Jews for Jesus. Mainstream Jewish groups do not see them as legitimate Jews. Some retweeted stories about Pence’s rally with the hashtag #FakeJews, a play on Trump’s media bashing.

Contact Haley Cohen at [email protected]

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.