Many Jewish families in the north Toronto community of Thornhill were targetted by Israel Restoration Ministries (IRM) with a deceptive package. The envelope depicted the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem and a large blue Star of David in an effort to entice Jews to open their missionary package. The contents which included a proselytizing letter, DVD and a missionary booklet greatly disturbed Jewish residents who expected something promoting Israel and alyiah instead of a plea to accept Jesus. This campaign is part of a North American-wide "door-to-door" crusade by IRM.
Thanks to the efforts of a concerned member of the Thornhill community, a specially designed counter-missionary pamphlet was produced to alert commmunity residents about Israel Restoration Ministries' misleading missionary enterprise. It encourages Jewish people to contact JEWS FOR JUDAISM to access our vital counter-missionary resources. This incredible volunteer is going house to house, and leaving the brochure at every house in her neighbourhood that has a mezzuzah.
JEWS FOR JUDAISM urges anyone who is concerned about thwarting the efforts of these missionaries (over 1,000 strong in North America) to forward to us any missionary materials that they may receive, either on the street, via acquaintances, through the mail or at their door. With your cooperation in sending us these important proselytizing materials, we can know what the missionaries are doing in your neighbourhood and plan effective ways to counter their efforts.
MISSIONARY CONCERT IS CANCELLED.
A concert, originally scheduled for August 9, 2011 (Tisha b'Av), in Earl Bales Park in Toronto, by 'Jew for Jesus' missionary Dan David, has been cancelled due, in part, to the successful and unceasing counter-missionary efforts of JEWS FOR JUDAISM to thwart this Hebrew-Christian missionary's event.
The original warning, issued to Toronto's Jewish community leaders, on July 29, follows:
WARNING TO THE TORONTO JEWISH COMMUNITY:
UPCOMING "JEWISH-FLAVOURED" CONCERT AT EARL BALES PARK IS NOT WHAT IT APPEARS TO BE
“Israeli Folk Music” Performer Scheduled for this August 9th Event Is Actually a Local “Jew for Jesus” Missionary!
When Julius Ciss noticed the huge poster promoting a “Jewish-flavoured”concert at Earl Bales Amphitheatre displayed in a Toronto kosher eatery, it wasn’t only the August 9th date – Tisha b’Av, the fast day of national Jewish mourning – that shocked him. As the Executive Director of Jews for Judaism, Canada’s counter-missionary organization, Ciss immediately recognized the kippah-wearing performer featured in the poster, Dan David, a rising star in Toronto’s “Hebrew-Christian” missionary community.
This concert is being presented by the City of Toronto’s Parks Department as part of its summer series. The City’s promotional listings describe Dan David as simply an “Israeli Folk Group.” David’s promotional poster is obviously designed to attract a Jewish audience. Aside from the prominent kippah on David’s head, the performance promises “Jewish-flavoured music” and claims that a “portion” of the proceeds will be donated to benefit Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas in Gaza since 2006.
However, even a casual glance at David’s websites and Facebook page reveals that he is anything but a simple Israeli folk group. His self-presentation focuses on how he came to faith in Yeshua (Jesus) and explains how he uses his music to "encourage [Jews] who don’t know Yeshua to seek after him.” David describes his work as a “ministry” and his Hoshiana Ministries explains how he sees himself working in tandem with “other [evangelical Christian] ministries that share the gospel of the Messiah.” David regularly performs throughout North America for Christian missionary organizations that target Jewish people for conversion. It seems clearly evident that he is guilty of a lack of full-disclosure in promoting this concert.
An article about David in a Christian publication “The Messianic Times” revealed that he was born in Ukraine in 1977 to Jewish parents. His family name is Aronovitch, and they moved with him to Israel when he was one-year old. Eleven years later, they resettled in Montreal. He later came to Toronto and enrolled at York University. David was exposed to Christians in the music industry and eventually embraced their faith. At first, his parents were strongly opposed to his religious explorations, but eventually they also converted after watching him perform on a Christian television show. Today, they all attend a missionary church called the City of David “Messianic Synagogue” in Thornhill, Ontario.
Rabbi Michael Skobac, Director of Education and Counselling at Jews for Judaism, explained that the primary danger inherent in this event will not come from David’s performance. “Most of those attending will be his fan base from among fellow Messianic Jews and evangelical Christians. However, it is highly likely that they will mingle with Jews attending the concert and use the event as an opportunity to befriend Jewish people and share their Christian faith with them.”
Fortunately for us, Dan David’s monumental blunder was to schedule his concert on August 9th, which coincides with Tisha b’Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. As most Jews are aware, music is prohibited on this historical day of national mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
“Jews for Judaism is concerned that some members of Toronto’s Jewish community will fall prey to this ruse and be duped into thinking that this deceptive missionary ploy is actually a bona fide Jewish concert sponsored by the City of Toronto,” warns Julius Ciss. “Many secular Jews and recent Jewish immigrants are not aware of the solemnity of the fast day of Tisha b’Av. Unfortunately, these vulnerable Jews will not know that any reputable Jewish musician would never perform on this very sad day in the Jewish calendar.” To learn more about the Hebrew-Christian and Jews for Jesus movements and how to respond to Christian missionaries who challenge Jewish faith, visit the various pages on this Jews for Judaism website,
For further information, please contact us.
HELP JEWS FOR JUDAISM
TO COUNTER MISSIONARIES ON THE STREET
Throughout the year, the “Jews for Jesus” missionary organization, and many other similar Hebrew-Christian missionary groups, actively target Jews across North America on street corners, at ball games, concerts, public events and door-to-door as well. These missionaries are well trained and can stymie many Jews with their well-rehearsed, pointed questions when they confront Jewish passers-by or visit them at their door.
We are seeking to train volunteers to serve on our counter-missionary “Rapid Response Unit.” JEWS FOR JUDAISM is seeking two types of volunteers. Those who will act as “Spotters” – who will notify us where and when the missionaries appear, and/or those who will act as “Counter-Leafletters” – who will distribute our counter-missionary literature in a non-confrontational manner on the street beside the missionaries.
This his how it works. Volunteer "A" is driving to take her daughter to the doctor at an office downtown. She "spots" Jews for Jesus missionaries on a particular street corner. She calls us to let us know of the exact location. We call Volunteer "B" who works a few blocks away from the location. Volunteer "B" has a counter-missionary response kit with him at work, consisting of a "Counter-Missionary Task Force" T-shirt, shoulder bag and effective counter-missionary literature. He goes to the corner, stands near a missionary and hands one of JEWS FOR JUDAISM's pamphlets to every passerby that the missionary hands a pamphlet to. Inevitably, there are Jewish passersby who express how grateful they are to see us in action.
Regardless of whether you wish to volunteer or not, if you have recently received literature from these missionaries, either on the street, at your door, in the mail or through an aquaintance, please forward the actual brochures (along with any accompanying letter, envelope or literature) to JEWS FOR JUDAISM so that we can include them in our archives and better-know what activities these various missionary groups are conducting in your city.
Jews for Judaism (Canada)