SUBJECT: Missionary Infiltration
PERSONALITIES OF CONCERN: Boaz Michael (a.k.a. Chris Detweiler), Mike Isley, Tommy Waller
AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS: First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ), Texans for Israel, Hayovel
Since 2009, JewishIsrael has been cautioning the Israeli and Diaspora Jewish community about Hayovel's Tommy Waller, his aspirations for a Christian restoration in Israel, and the missionary agenda of so many of his associates. JewishIsrael has provided reports, video materials and given presentations in both English and Hebrew to a broad audience of Jewish rabbis, community leaders, politicians, and activists in Israel and the Diaspora.
In past reports JewishIsrael has drawn the clear connection between Tommy Waller and Mike Isley of Texans for Israel. Isley, a Christian who promotes "messianic Judaism", regularly appears with Tommy Waller in promotional material for Hayovel and is well-connected with a number of Jewish leaders and activists. Isley is closely affiliated with Boaz Michael, founder and director of the messianic ministry First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ), which targets Jews using sophisticated missionary materials. Texans for Israel openly sponsors events for FFOZ and has featured large banner advertisements for the messianic ministry on their homepage.
Isley serves as leader of the FFOZ Hayesod program in Texas, has personally hosted FFOZ events which promote FFOZ’s missionary materials and has made it clear on his Texans for Israel website that he aspires for the day when Jews will recognize jesus.
As of this writing, the Texans for Israel site is undergoing renovations, but even in its current state, the site’s homepage continues to feature Orthodox political and religious leadership in Israel, such as Rabbi Chaim Richman, Jeremy Gimpel and Ari Abramowitz, while promoting the messianic missionary movement and leaders such as Boaz Michael on the site's blog.
Boaz Michael is a notorious "messianic Jewish/Gentile" leader who years ago purchased a bogus conversion to Judaism, made aliyah and lived in Israel for a time. He has since been masquerading as a Jewish scholar and actively peddles evangelizing tools designed for the purpose of bringing Jews to a belief in jesus.
Oh what a tangled web…
Recently, information came to light which further validates our concerns and confirms the disturbing entanglement between Tommy Waller, Mike Isley and Boaz Michael.
Over the past year Boaz Michael has made numerous trips to Israel. He was recently boasting on Facebook about his success in influencing “a leading Torah observant Jewish scholar” with his missionary materials.
Also on Facebook, Mike Isley and recognized Hayovel activists and volunteers, such as Lisa Wertman and Izzy Avraham, indicate their approval of Boaz Michael's agenda to bring jesus to the Jewish people through Michael’s disingenuous methods and to further a Christian restoration in the Land of Israel.
Tommy Waller and Hayovel enjoy the blessing of Har Bracha’s Chief Rabbi Eliezer Melamed. Waller and Hayovel have the support and encouragement from Jewish Israeli activists such as David Ha'Ivri, Moshe Goldsmith, Gershon Mesika and Yisrael Medad, to name but a few.
With the approval of Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, a controversial caravan community has been established in Har Bracha to accommodate Hayovel’s Christian volunteers. Leading volunteers of Hayovel feel at home, describing their volunteer camp as "our hilltop" and "our neighborhood."
Unfortunately, contrary to many a Jew’s wishful thinking, it turns out that these volunteers are still unable to subdue their passion to restore and raise the name of jesus ("Yeshua") in Israel.
Tommy Waller and the Hayovel team have come here on a bridge-building mission to serve the Jewish people in anticipation of the Christian version of end times. The development and presence of a community for these volunteers remains a high-risk venture, because it has become apparent that there is no way to properly monitor the plans and activities of the growing numbers of zealous volunteers and associates committed to a Christian “messianic Jewish” agenda or to ensure that their evolving religious fervor remain in check. Rabbis have expressed a concern that such a venture with Waller would result in Jews and Christians being spiritually drawn to one another, resulting in the eventual blurring of the distinction between Judaism and Christianity. An halachic position has been drafted on the matter.
Tommy Waller's newsletter from January 15th describes a Hayovel sponsored event in the US, featuring the Itamar community’s Moshe and Leah Goldsmith, with the newsletter declaring that "a new day has dawned" between Christian and Jew.
Indeed Moshe Goldsmith and his wife can now be seen on the missionary Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)* expressing a belief that the current Christian evangelical embrace indicates that it's time to "put differences aside" because we have entered the era described in Zachariah 8 when non-Jews will grab onto the fringes of the Jew and ask to be taught Torah. Unfortunately it would appear that Itamar's Mayor Goldsmith is way ahead of the actual present, as pro-Israel evangelicals continue to use age-old missionary tactics and a toxic twist on "Torah" to bring Jesus to the Jews.
Boaz Michael, Mike Isley and a number of Hayovel volunteers often dress like Torah observant Jews.Some of them appear to be well-versed in Tanach. Several of them may even be on the road to authentic Torah Judaism. Nevertheless, as Boaz Michael has made clear in his new book, reviewed and praised by one of Tommy Waller's head volunteers and an FFOZ Hayesod leader, "the Messianic Gentile’s faith must be Christ-centered, not Torah-centered."
JewishIsrael urges Jewish leaders and activists in the national camp to look beyond the vast evangelical funding and support and to please consider the following:
Anyone who chooses to affiliate with, support, or encourage the work of Tommy Waller, Mike Isley, and Boaz Michael and/or their associated organizations (Hayovel, Texans for Israel, and FFOZ), must understand that they are facilitating a Christian Restoration and the raising of the name of jesus christ in the Land of Israel.
* In our next post, "Heads up Arutz 7: CBN finances missionary work in Israel", Jewishisrael will be reporting on CBN and their virulent (anti-Semitic?) programming, which targets Jews, Judaism, and Israel.
Additional material is available upon request. JewishIsrael is available for private presentations with further documentation.
Related reports and videos:
Rabbinic Committee Formulates Policy Regarding the Acceptance of Assistance from Christian Sources
A Document of Principles regarding acceptance of monetary and manpower assistance from Christian organizations or individuals.