Heichal Shlomo to Host Missionary Group and Christian Worship Service (UPDATED)

Jewish Israel has revised this original posting due to new information received on August 30th. The management at Heichal Shlomo was aghast at reports that their facilities – including their Renanim Synagogue – were to be used by missionary Christine Darg and Women of the Walls for a worship convocation and banquet. The management at Heichal Shlomo at no time agreed to such usage of their facilities, nor had they seen the publicity and invitation advertising the events.

An advertisement and invitation has been disseminated by parties associated with Christine Darg, indicating that Heichal Shlomo is to be hosting a Christian “worship convocation” and banquet sponsored by evangelical missionary Christine Darg of Exploits Ministries. The event is scheduled for October 1, 2009 (a day before Erev Sukkot), and is being promoted as a prelude to ICEJ’s Feast of Tabernacles. The advertisement for the event calls for an afternoon “Daughter of Jerusalem” Worship Convocation in the 18th Century Renanim Synagogue of the Heichal Shlomo, followed by a banquet at the Heichel Shlomo. The original "Daughters of Jerusalem" promotional video can be viewed here.

Jewish Israel alerted our Rabbinic Advisor, Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold. He immediately notified the relevant parties of this urgent and distressing matter. More details and a full report (with a likely positive outcome) is forthcoming.

Heichal Shlomo is a complex which for years served as the seat of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and currently houses the Great Synagogue, the Jewish Heritage Museum, the Renanim Synagogue and a number of rabbinic offices.

A poster advertising “The Daughter of Jerusalem” Worship Convocation and Banquet can be seen here. The Daughter of Jerusalem facebook page created by Christine Darg was also carrying a graphic of the inivitation to Heichal Shlomo ( see advertisement page).

According to the ad, other known “messianic”(Christian) and evangelical personalities will be featured at the event. Also participating is at least one Knesset member and Jewish community leaders - including Josh Reinstein the Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. Christine Darg and her husband Peter regularly work with the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and organize events for them.

In the past Reinstein has consistently denied working with missionary groups and has upheld the position that “The Christian Allies Caucus…refuses to work with the messianic Jewish community on the grounds that it actively seeks to convert Jews. ‘We believe they work against the interests of the State of Israel.” David Rotem, the current Chairman of the Knesset Christian Caucus also reaffirms that “the caucus's guidelines bar any connection with missionary groups.” And the Caucus admits that “it is legally bound to refrain from all connections with missionary groups in order to have NGO status”

However, according to a trustees report for Exploits Ministries, Christine and Peter Darg describe Exploits as “a missionary society.” Their objectives include taking "the Good News of Jesus Christ back to the Bible Lands where the Gospel began, to both Jew and Arab …”. A similar message is prominently featured on the Exploits Ministries web site homepage.

The Dargs have been directly involved in projects which target the Jewish people for conversion. Christine can be heard on radio describing her work and declaring that, “The Russian Jews are the most open Jewish people group to the gospel on the face of the earth at this moment. The Russians today were begging us for New Testaments … ". Peter Darg can be seen on video promoting a missionary publication on the New Testament in Hebrew, “It’s heartbreaking…that Jewish souls will be lost to eternity unless they come to know him [Jesus] as their Jewish Messiah…I encourage you to sponsor a chapter of the much needed bible so that you can show the love of Yeshua to the Jewish people here in Israel…”

Rabbi Glick of the Temple Institute can be seen in a video clip participating in a highly unorthodox ceremony with Christine Darg. The video was entitled, “Exploits Watching for the Return of Jesus to Jerusalem”

Other featured participants in the advertised Worship and Banquet event include the Christian Embassy’s Charmaine Hedding, Christian worship leader Rosalind Hershkovitz, Female Christian vocalist Vesna Bühler, and “messianic Musicians” Merv and Merla Watson.

Jewish Israel feels that the management of Heichal Shlomo was deceived and that it is more than disturbing that an Orthodox landmark and synagogue in Jerusalem was almost used for a Christian or interfaith worship gathering . This should serve as a wake-up call to the Jewish community to become aware of the prevalence of evangelical missionary deceptions and it should alert the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and Knesset members to be fully aware of the evangelizing intentions and agenda of a number of the individuals and organizations that they work with.

The management of Heichal Shlomo reported that they had received numerous calls and emails from concerned parties (we have removed Heichal Shlomo's email and phone number in anticipation of a positive outcome to this matter.)

Jewish Israel will continue to keep you posted. Contact us at info@jewishisrael.com

[note: The following is an exclusive Jewish Israel report. Please credit Jewish Israel with a link if you choose to use and disseminate this information]

(Thanks to a special Jewish Israel member who tipped us off on this story)

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Comment by Jewish Israel on September 11, 2009 at 12:24am
As far as we know, there was no coverage of this of particular item on Arutz 7.
Dunno why is wasn't covered.
Comment by Jake Jacobs on September 11, 2009 at 12:08am
why has this not appeared on Arutz Sheva, or has it?!
Comment by Orah Zipper on August 31, 2009 at 6:24am
I am posting about this new development and linking your site; thank you for keeping us informed (I don't have any idea how this evangelical event scheduled for Heichal Shlomo could have gotten past the management. It's a "shanda!")
Comment by Ya'aqov Ben-Yehudah on August 28, 2009 at 5:01pm
Excellent. Thank you for your efforts.
Comment by Jewish Israel on August 28, 2009 at 4:25pm
Rav Simha Kook of Rehovoth is certainly on our side and will be receiving this report in Hebrew.
We will also be sending the report to a number of rabbis in both Israel and the Diaspora, and suggest that concerned visitors to Jewish Israel send this report to their local rabbis as well as the Chief Rabbinate. We will be making the Hebrew translation available to the public next week.
Shabbat Shalom from Jewish Israel
Comment by Ya'aqov Ben-Yehudah on August 28, 2009 at 3:33pm

I think it's really important that someone contact Rav Simha Kook of Rehovoth. He speaks English.

08-9362665 tel.
08-9362755 fax.

Rav Kook sat on the Rabbanuth Committee which ruled against participating with this daughters organization, and then Ruth Matar was all upset about it, writing a public letter to him.

Rav Kook is an ally, and we need to have him included.

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