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Jewish Journal

Opinion: Don’t be fooled!

by Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz

November 17, 2011 | 12:03 pm

Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz is the founder and director of Jews for Judaism. He can be reached at la@JewsForJudaism.org.

Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz is the founder and director of Jews for Judaism. He can be reached at la@JewsForJudaism.org.

Evangelical missionary David Herzog stooped to a new low deceiving the Jewish community with ads that intentionally avoided any mention of their Evangelical Christian agenda.

The half-page ads ran for several weeks in The Jewish Journal. They promoted a Beverly Hills event offering “supernatural healings” based on what the ad termed Jewish mysticism.  

The ads were devoid of any phone number or Web site that would have facilitated an easy investigation into the true nature of the program.

It turns out Herzog’s duplicity was intentional. He writes on the In Jesus Web site that “due to the highly sensitive nature of these 100% evangelistic meetings dubbed as lectures to the Jewish community we cannot give out the location or details.”

A number of Jewish students attended the recent event, only to discover they had been duped by the Herzog ads.

As the founder and director of Jews for Judaism, I know this is not the first time a community newspaper has been the target of such duplicity. A number of years ago, we alerted the community that ads for the missionary movie “The Rabbi” were surreptitiously placed in dozens of Jewish newspapers across North America.

Once The Jewish Journal realized Herzog’s true intentions, it refused to accept any more of his ads.

Herzog has appeared on many of the growing number of messianic television shows. He is part of a long line of Christian faith healers running revival meetings. However, in his case, Herzog has a Jewish name and he gloats at his success at conducting major “Jewish outreach” on the East Coast, West Coast and Israel.

“Even the Jewish newspapers are begging us to put our ads for our next Health Lecture,” he wrote online.

In a pitch to solicit donations, Herzog claims his historic outreach meetings will be “packed with unsaved Jewish people wide open to the gospel presented with healings and miracles.”

Speaking of past meetings, Herzog claims, “[M]iracles broke out, many were healed, and American and Israeli Jews received salvation after God powerfully healed them.” 

Although missionaries are less visible on street corners, the Herzog episode demonstrates that attempts to convert Jews have not diminished. They have simply implemented new tactics and taken advantage of the Internet to reach unsuspecting students and young adults, often within the comfort of their homes and dormitory rooms.

As a community, we must remain vigilant and increase our positive educational and spiritual promotion of Judaism. Additionally, missionary claims must be continuously refuted and individuals must be taught to think critically to avoid being fooled and taken advantage of.

Jews for Judaism is already planning a campaign to prepare the community for a Chosen People Ministries crusade scheduled to target the Los Angeles Jewish community in 2012.  This time we have enough notice to plan in advance, and it is imperative that the entire community rallies together and joins us in presenting a strong front.

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