Saturday, August 05, 2006

Jews Reaching Jews Campaign Wins Hundreds for Christ

Jews Reaching Jews Campaign Wins Hundreds for Christ. In full ...

Thousands of blogs, media outlets, churches and synagogues were all talk about one of the most controversial and intensive campaigns that more than 150 Jesus-believing Jews made “unavoidable” this past month.

The result of the "Jesus for Jews" July campaign: 502 first-time decisions for Jesus Christ – 241 of them being Jews – and incessant talks about the Gospel throughout the cities.

"Our goal to make the messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to Jews of the Greater New York area this summer, I believe was accomplished," commented Susan Perlman, associate executive director for Jews for Jesus. "Jewish people as a whole are committed not to believe in Jesus. So we're reaching into a Gospel-resistant community. That that many have indicated that they're willing to make this kind of radical decision is significant."

Just beating the scorching heat wave that caused record-breaking temperatures in the East Coast this week, Jews for Jesus on Monday made their grand finale for the "Behold Your God" evangelistic campaigns, which covered 54 cities outside of Israel with a Jewish population of 25,000 or more.

Jews for Jesus missionaries from around the world distributed more than 1.8 million Gospel pamphlets in all five boroughs along with Westchester County, Northern New Jersey, and Long Island. The $1.4-million campaign not only got the ministry contact information from 11,755 people with whom they met door to door, over the phone, via e-mail and snail mail, and on the streets, but also televised coverage by 13 news programs.

"People who would not walk into a church but would turn on their TV and watch a news clip" would hear the Gospel, said Perlman, still "numb" from the campaign. "And every time we had an opportunity, we tried our best to use it not as an opportunity to boost Jews for Jesus but to bring the Gospel to people."

"I got to say that 'Jesus rose from the dead and died for our sins' many times on national TV," Perlman added. "That was pretty cool."

Although the outreach was a major Jews for Jesus effort, Perlman highlighted the collaboration of the entire Christian community, with some emboldened to share their faith with a Jewish colleague or friend as campaigners made themselves and the Gospel known throughout the New York Metropolitan area.

The concerted effort with over 700 churches and local believers continues as follow-ups are currently in progress including literature distribution, connecting those who indicated interest with churches, and conducting Bible studies and prayers. The follow-ups themselves have been fruitful with more Jews coming to faith in Christ, according to Perlman.

While the name "Jews for Jesus" and "Jesus for Jews" became widespread throughout media and among New Yorkers, not all were approving of its message, especially the idea of a Jew being a Christian simultaneously.

"The evangelistic campaign did not escape the disapproval of the leaders of the major Jewish groups in the city, who called the missionary group 'deceptive,'" noted Perlman. But, "I feel their strategy did not work because anyone that saw us in our very obvious T-Shirts ... or heard the message that we communicated knew that we were very forthright about our faith in Jesus and that was the message we wanted to communicate as Jews.

"There's just nothing deceptive about it."

Following what the ministry considered a "successful" campaign, Jews for Jesus plans to open a Brooklyn branch in addition to its Manhattan office in the fall. More and continuous outreach will also be done in New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester.