24 November 2004

As Hannukah approaches, ISFSP alerts Jews throughout the world to be cautious for targeted missionary activity.


Contact: pressroom @ isfsp.org

As Hannukah approaches, the International Society for Sephardic Progress would like to alert Jews throughout the world to be cautious for missionary activity, as missionaries tend to use this season to take advantage and proselytize to the Jewish community.

For decades a division of Christian missionaries have disguised themselves and their "Hannukah Parties" as something which are Jewish. They will dress like Jews and decorate their halls and churches with Jewish cultural items, all in an attempt to get Jews to come in to their dens where they can then proselytize them. To throw a curve to those Jews who should know to reject such obvious lies, this breed of missionary changes 'Jesus' into ridiculous Hebrew sounding names. To the missionary, it is easier to lure the gullible by calling Jesus by Hebrew sounding names such as: Yeshua ben Miriam; Yahshua the Messiah; Rabbi Yeshua, etc.

Messianics typically act very pro-Israel and include an unusually high number of Jewish symbols such as the Star of David, Torah, shofar, kippah (yarmulke), mezzuzah, and Shabbat candles. They exploit the use of Hebrew, Ladino and Yiddish languages to assure prospective converts that they are not renouncing Judaism by accepting Jesus. Nonetheless, according to Jewish law and tradition, such an acceptance is indeed a renunciation of Judaism. Like the wolf that dresses up in sheep's clothing, the missionary of today now dresses himself up in the garb of a religious Jew, complete with black hat and beard to reach his prey. Messianics call their clergy rabbis rather than priests or ministers. They refer to Christian saints by Hebrew names. Thus, John is called Yochanan, Paul is called Sha'ul, etc. Many try to observe the Jewish dietary laws (kashrut) in a further effort to convince the unsuspecting.

Missionaries who call themselves "messianic Jews" or say they are "Jews for Jesus" are nothing more than Christians spreading Protestant Christianity in disguise. Former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Lau and former Chief Sephardi Rabbi Bakshi-Doron declared, "There are Christian groups that call themselves 'Messianic Jews' whose faith is totally alien to the Jewish faith." They exist in every corner of the globe, highly financed and strategically targeting Jews for conversion. Upwards of one billion dollars is spent annually to missionize the Jewish people. From the subways of New York to the beaches of Los Angeles and from St. Petersburg square in Russia to the Old City of Jerusalem, missionaries are in an active and ongoing campaign to convert Jews away from the religion of their forefathers. They come speaking English, Hebrew, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and all other world languages.

Their tactics have been criticized by mainstream Christian movements around the world, as well as severely criticized by Jewish organizations. To confront this epidemic in the Jewish community head on, Jewish parents have the responsibility to inoculate their children with knowledge; the children have the responsibility to listen and learn from their parents; and as Hannukah approaches, the Jewish leadership has the important role of providing education to those in need, and the vital role of warning their community.

The International Society for Sephardic Progress wishes Jews across the world to have a physically and spiritually safe happy Hannukah.


The International Society for Sephardic Progress is a Jewish agency developed to serve the Sephardic community--the descendants of the Jews of historic Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Levant who share both common religious and cultural bonds. Although based in the United States, the ISFSP is an advocacy organization representing Sephardim internationally. "Advocates for the Sephardim, activists for the Jewish people."

The ISFSP is a a non-profit organization.


Keywords: channukah hanukah chanukah hanukia menora menorah chanukah chanuka hanukka hannukah


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