Jews for Jesus Faith Movement

Overview of the Jews for Jesus Evangelistic Organization

Jews for Jesus
Symbols of Messianic Judaism. Image: © Sue Chastain and Mary Fairchild

Jews for Jesus, the largest and most prominent organization of the Messianic Judaism movement, tries to convert Jews to Christianity. During its nearly 40 year history, this nonprofit has angered Jewish groups, which see it as a direct assault on Judaism.

Number of Worldwide Members:

Jews for Jesus is a nonprofit evangelistic organization with over 100 staff members, but because it is not a church, the number of its Messianic Jewish converts is unknown.

Founding of Jews for Jesus:

Jews for Jesus was officially founded by ​Martin "Moishe" Rosen, a Jewish convert to Christianity and ordained Baptist minister, in 1973. A plaque on the group's San Francisco, California headquarters building reads, "Established in 32 AD, give or take a year."

Prominent Founders:

Martin "Moishe" Rosen (1932-2010)

Geography:

Founded in the United States, Jews for Jesus has nine branches in major U.S. cities. It also has offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Russia, and the Ukraine.

Jews for Jesus Governing Body:

A 15-person Board of Directors governs the group, including the executive director. Nine of those directors are Messianic Jews and six are non-Jewish Christians. The seven-member Jews for Jesus Council advise the executive director. That council is elected from among senior missionaries.

Sacred or Distinguishing Text:

The Bible.

Notable Jews for Jesus Ministers and Members:

Moishe Rosen, executive director, 1973-1996; David Brickner, executive director 1996-present.

Jews for Jesus Beliefs and Practices:

Jews for Jesus believes in the Trinity. The group holds that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah and died an atoning death for the sins of humanity.

Judaism does not accept Christ as Messiah and is still waiting for Messiah to come.

Jews for Jesus affirms the Bible as the inerrant, inspired Word of God, and contrary to most Christian denominations, believes that the Jews are "a covenant people through whom God continues to accomplish His purposes."

Jews for Jesus carries out its evangelistic work through street missionaries who distribute pamphlets and speak with Jews, and through direct mail.

Jewish groups have strongly opposed the organization, claiming that Judaism and Christianity are incompatible. Many missionaries who left Jews for Jesus have criticized the group for the degree of control it exercises over its workers and its involvement in their personal lives.

To learn more about what Messianic Jews believe, visit Messianic Jews' Beliefs and Practices.

(Sources: JewsForJesus.org, JewishVirtualLibrary.org, WashingtonPost.com, ChristianityToday.com)

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Zavada, Jack. "Jews for Jesus Faith Movement." ThoughtCo, Feb. 9, 2017, thoughtco.com/jews-for-jesus-faith-movement-700973. Zavada, Jack. (2017, February 9). Jews for Jesus Faith Movement. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/jews-for-jesus-faith-movement-700973 Zavada, Jack. "Jews for Jesus Faith Movement." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/jews-for-jesus-faith-movement-700973 (accessed November 20, 2017).