“Jesus Camp,” this year’s Academy Award-nominated documentary, underscores an alarming trend. Christian youth, eager and well-trained, are determined to proselytize their friends. This bold, new effort is affecting Jewish students, and parents are turning to Jews for Judaism for help. Here are three recent, real life scenarios:
• When a mother noticed that her son was crying himself to sleep for several weeks, she knew something was terribly wrong. Finally, he confided that a girl in his class was taunting him, saying he was going to “burn in hell” because he was a Jew who hadn’t accepted Jesus. Her son was 8 years old! The following Sunday, the family met with Rabbi Kravitz who explained to the son some of the reasons Jews don’t accept Jesus and the need for classmates to respect each another’s religious differences. Strengthened by our meeting, her son found the courage to tell his classmate that he was proud to be a Jew and that her remarks were hurtful.
• A 16 year old public high school student was placed in the uncomfortable position of having to read the King James New Testament as literature. Concerned that some evangelical Christian students might take advantage of this situation and try to proselytize their son, the family turned to Jews for Judaism for guidance and support. We provided him with an understanding of the differences between Judaism and Christianity as well as the tools to recognize and withstand any proselytizing efforts.
• An 18 year Jewish college student was attracted to Christianity by a Christian boyfriend. Although she was reluctant to meet with a Jews for Judaism rabbi, the counseling we provided her parents encouraged their patience, open communication and unconditional love.
Eventually, we arranged a meeting with their daughter that broke the ice and addressed her negative stereotypes about Judaism and rabbis. After several meetings and Shabbos meals at the homes of Jews for Judaism’s rabbis, she re-examined Christianity, her attitude toward Judaism, and returned to her roots.
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation funded a recently completed evaluation report on Jews for Judaism’s counseling services. Consultant Dr. J. B. Whitney described us as an organization that offers, “a unique combination of counseling methods tailored to a very specific threat to the Jewish community.” Dr. Whitney’s evaluation ranked Jews for Judaism with a 67% success rate which compares favorably to the results of two treatment outcome studies ofcounseling cases.
Jews for Judaism is dedicated to keeping Jews Jewish, and our counseling services provide an answer.