Jews for Jesus founder, Moishe Rosen, Dead

Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus, is dead at the age of 78. On May 19th he succumbed to prostate disease that had metastasized into bone cancer. Charisma Magazine called him "the godfather of Jewish evangelism".

Rosen was an ordained Baptist minister who founded Jews for Jesus in 1973. Jews for Jesus is notorious for their aggressive proselytizing campaigns targeting Jews for conversion.

In a farewell letter posted after his death on the
JFJ Web site, Rosen expressed dismay at born-again Christians who support “the efforts of rabbis who, frankly, not only don't know Christ, but don't want to know Him” and he urged those people to think very seriously before they “support any ‘ministry’ that involves Jewish people and doesn't actually bring the gospel to the Jews.” He goes on to cite Romans and states that “… Jewishness never saved anybody. Judaism never saved anybody, no matter how sincere."

When it comes to Jews for Jesus, the varying and divergent religious and political sectors of the Jewish community enjoy rare consensus - they unanimously reject and despise the efforts of the organization.
ADL report censures Jews for Jesus, “the leading organization dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity …because of its aggressive proselytizing with a deceptive message: that Jews who accept Jesus as the son of God and their savior remain Jewish.”

report also notes that, “the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, an umbrella organization that includes Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran and Presbyterian church groups, has condemned Jews for Jesus as promoting activities “harmful to the spirit of interreligious respect and tolerance.” The conference also denounces the group’s “deceptive proselytizing efforts,” adding that when they are practiced on “vulnerable populations” such as the young or the elderly, these efforts are “tantamount to coerced conversions.”

The Board of Governors of The Long Island Council of Churches voiced similar sentiments in a statement about three groups, including Jews for Jesus, that “noted with alarm” the “subterfuge and dishonesty” inherent in the “mixing [of] religious symbols in ways which distort their essential meaning.”

UPDATE: Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz of Jews for Judaism has an excellent oped posted on Arutz 7:

a close look at "Jews for Jesus"


Sadly, as a direct result of Rosen’s pioneering efforts, today there are over 1,000 missionary groups targeting Jews for conversion worldwide. With an annual budget exceeding $275 million, these groups have succeeded in converting hundreds-of-thousands of Jews in recent decades...

This brings me to what I consider to be Rosen’s second most deceptive tactic. On page 52 of his book, Share the New Life With a Jew, he instructs missionaries to not get “sidetracked with discussion on the
deity of Christ.” He continues to explain that as important as this doctrine may be, “correct theology is not what will save your friend.”

Unfortunately, Rosen’s legacy will be that his deceptive tactics have become the accepted protocol in the missionary Christian movement. It is now second nature for church members to tell their Jewish friends,
and Christian students to tell their peers, that they can be Jewish and Christian at the same time...Read the full article

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Comment by Sharbano on May 26, 2010 at 12:25am
He was NOT Orthodox, nor were his parents. They were Reform Jews. His ancestors, on the other hand Were Orthodox. He seem to use the term Orthodox later on in order to give himself a greater credibility. Apparently, he decided to follow the ways of Paul. I remember hearing of the group in about the mid 70's. Just hearing the "name" of the group was enough to bring disgust.

As far as the Talmud; the Only people I've found to have issues with it are those who attempt to read it instead of learning it, which can only be done through a Rabbi. It was Never written to be read.

Penina is Correct, in that Xtianity has used their Own definitions of Hebrew in order to define Judaism in a Hellenistic way. The more I've read of Xtianity I have concluded it to be unlikely that those writers of the text could have been Jews. Considering the popularity of Judaism at the time, and the open conversion process, there were, no doubt, Many who had a basic understanding of some matters, but Not enough to fully understand all its details. We see the exact same thing with Mohammed, who had contacts with Jews and undoubtedly heard many stories from them. Obviously his memory wasn't so great to remember the details accurately, as characters he described are out of sync with the characters real lives. Xtianity, on the other hand, started with some spiritual roots and soon removed all those roots and became the Most primitive of all the previous versions. Rabbi Singer expounded on the vicarious atonement principle with great clarity. He didn't cover the primitive aspect or its history but nonetheless he showed how appealing it can be. I guess we can see how the appeal is so great by the mere fact of the Xtian devotion to this belief without any concern of its truth, any facts notwithstanding, as it were.
Comment by Mordechai Yaakov Allen on May 25, 2010 at 12:09am

I mean, I know I came late to the dance (i.e. Judaism) and never had the chance (?) to, personally, hear the guy sing, but…OY VEY!! Moshe Rosen’s story is mind-boggling! From Orthodox Judaism to Christianity?! His biography should be titled From Frum to Doom in One Measly Lifetime.

B’emmes, I can’t bring myself to say nasty things about him, now that he’s truly g-o-n-e, because nothing vindictively wished for him can possibly compare to the realities justifiably enveloping him even as I write this?

I’m just now learning about Mr. Rosen, and recently read an article that stated, “Rosen was born into an Orthodox Jewish family but converted to Christianity with his wife in 1953 … He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1957”. The article went on to state, “But no matter what others said about him, Rosen never stopped calling himself Jewish.” I wonder why he thought that was important. The Washington Post quoted Mr. Rosen as saying, "You can say I'm a nuisance, a Christian, out of step with the Jewish community, but you can't say I'm not a Jew." Korach couldn’t have said it better.

I wish I could have spoken with Mr. Rosen. I would like to have asked him what, as an orthodox Jew, did he see and ultimately believe about the christian myth that I, as a born-again, evangelical christian , knew and ultimately rejected? In his tortured absence, I would like to ask that question of ANY orthodox Jew who, chas v’shalom, would see and believe the same things as Mr.Rosen. Please, enlighten me.

Sure, he had some trouble with the Talmud, which was offered as a reason of his capitulation. So what? Everybody has trouble with the Talmud. I can’t even read it in Hebrew! There are realities like that; observable, mysterious incomprehensible realities. Those with sight can discuss what blindness is like all they want, but they will never comprehend it. I know a blind man who once told me simply that being blind, “is like looking out the back of your head.” To this day I cannot grasp that. It is utterly incomprehensible! But, having questions about something that is ultimately incomprehensible, like Talmud, is no reason to buy into a rank myth, just because it is easier to read.

Comment by ellen on May 23, 2010 at 10:47pm
Happy Birthday, Jake!
Arafat's death was announced on my eldest son's birthday. So I can relate to your joy.
Comment by Jake Jacobs on May 23, 2010 at 10:04pm
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is DEAD! Yes, we all agree -Jews and Messiantics- that Moish the used lemon car salesman is with jesus now!
I couldn't think of a happier birthday present that I received this year!
Comment by Jewish Israel on May 23, 2010 at 6:57pm
With regards to Yehoshua's comment:
Who are we to censor the Talmud?!
Comment by Jewish Israel on May 23, 2010 at 4:21pm
anybody know if he was from an Orthodox Jewish background or Reform? There are differing accounts
Comment by Yehoshua Friedman on May 23, 2010 at 12:39pm
I have no doubt that he has gone to be with Yoshke in boiling excrement. Praise the L-rd!
Comment by Penina Tal Ohr (Taylor) on May 23, 2010 at 1:09am
What's fascinating is that in typical fashion, even in his final parting words, Moishe has succeeded in contorting the Hebrew Scriptures. He says that being Jewish never saved anyone. But the word Salvation - yeshuah in Hebrew, has nothing to do with being absolved from the consequences of sin, as Christians would assert. The word "yeshuah" means a physical rescue from harm or oppression. It is a physical rescue, not a spiritual rescue, and yes, in direct opposition to what Moishe said, Judaism has resulted in a yeshuah for many Jewish people.

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