Saturday, July 15, 2006

Jesus for Jews, Part II

More on the Jews for Jesus hitting NYC in NY's Disdain for Campaign Doesn't Deter Jews for Jesus. Join me in praying the the light of the Gospel will shine forth in the Big Apple.

In full ...

A worldwide ministry dedicated to winning Jewish people to Christ has poured virtually all its resources into New York City this month for its largest evangelistic campaign ever.

Jews for Jesus says it has already passed out more than 650,000 tracts throughout the city's five boroughs and the suburbs of Long Island, Westchester, and northern New Jersey. It has also spent $1.4 million to place illuminated panels in the city's vast subway system that read, "Jews for Jesus" and "Jesus for Jews."

Susan Perlman, associate executive director for Jews for Jesus, says her organization is reaching out to several groups in New York through the effort, including the Israeli community, the Russian-speaking Jewish community, and the Hassidic community. "And [the evangelistic campaign] really is the topic of conversation in New York these days," she notes.

Apparently not all that conversation is of a positive nature. The New York Post reports that many Jewish subway riders and community leaders are finding the signs inappropriate. An official with the Jewish Community Relations Council who found the message offensive said "the idea that someone could be a more fulfilled Jew by becoming a Christian is absolutely wrong."

Perlman, a Messianic believer, says she is not surprised that some people are annoyed at the campaign. "That comes with the territory. It's an occupational hazard," she says. "But we know that ... if [those who oppose us] knew what we know about who Jesus is and that He's the promised Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world, they'd be joining us out on the streets handing out pamphlets."

The Brooklyn native explains the focus on the Big Apple, saying New York is a very significant part of the Jewish world. "New York not only has a significant Jewish population -- probably about two million in the greater New York area -- but it's really the crossroads of the Jewish world," Perlman explains. "So Jews from Europe, from Israel, from all over make their way through New York. So what happens here has its ripple effect."

Speaking to the Post about the ad campaign, Perlman said while her organization's message may not be popular with everyone, "we've always felt that the New York community has been very fair in providing free expression." Jews for Jesus, she points out, has long advertised on properties owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.