Jews for Jesus targets the Detroit and Ann Arbor Jewish communities



Special to the Jewish News

An international effort targeting Jews and Judaism is coming to metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Sept. 3-24. And no matter how much you try to avoid them, the “Jews for Jesus” will be working hard to make sure you can’t.

“The goal is to make Y’shua (Jesus) an unavoidable issue,” says local co-leader of the effort, Loren Jacobs, whose congregants at the “Messianic” Congregation Shema Yisrael in Bloomfield Township call him rabbi. According to Jacobs, local “Messianic Jews” and members of supportive Christian congregations as well as Jews for Jesus missionaries from other states will be arriving to share the message that “believing in Jesus is the most Jewish thing a Jewish person can do.”


The U-M Hillel is also preparing for the campaign, says Hillel Assistant Director Rabbi Jason Miller.

“Historically, they have been successful at targeting college students,” he says. “They know how highly impressionable college students can be.”

During Ad Hoc Committee meetings, “the discussion focused on the difficulty of denouncing the JFJ effort without aiding in their publicity effort,” says Rabbi Miller. “We Jewish leaders do not want to do for JFJ what the conservative media did for Michael Moore’s film [Fahrenheit 9-11].”

“Rather than devising our own strategy to combat the BYG campaign, [Hillel] will follow the Jews for Judaism playbook” by printing its “7 Answers to Jews for Jesus” brochure [see sidebar] to distribute at all of its welcome-back events this fall.

“We will make students aware of the upcoming JFJ campaign through our e-mail network,” says Rabbi Miller, who will address the subject during his Rosh Hashanah sermon. “We have over 1,500 students attend services here, but we also need to reach the unaffiliated students who will not likely attend holiday services.”

Community leaders are confident the BYG campaign will not succeed and may be less extensive than in other cities. But they are prepared for whatever might occur and are flexible enough to adapt.

Again, the consensus is expressed clearly in Schiffman’s document: “Hebrew Christianity constitutes a profound challenge to the Jewish community with its heritage of open mindedness and its desire to embrace all Jews no matter how close or how far from our tradition. Yet there are times when a line must be drawn, when a barrier must be erected.

“Our history tells us that when confronted with Jews who have adopted another faith and who seek to lure others to follow that same path, we must stand firm in asserting that this other faith is not Judaism; and that its adherents, even if of Jewish status, forfeit their privileges as Jews.

“How much more so is this the case when our ancient rabbis already confronted the very same phenomenon in the form of Jewish Christianity and pronounced it loudly and clearly to be another faith, and when our modern rabbis stand united behind these principles.”

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |

Announcements in the London Tube

From Jeremy Fogel’s “Just-Stam” blog:

As seen on Dvorak Uncensored

Anyone who has been on the London Undergound, affectionately called the “tube,” knows that this list of announcements currently going around the ‘net as “fact” may be real.

A list of actual announcements that London Tube train drivers have made to
their passengers…

1) “Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologise for the delay to your service. I know you’re all dying to get home, unless, of course, you happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you’ll want to cross over to the Westbound and go in the opposite direction”.

2) “Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from E & B syndrome, not knowing his elbow from his backside. I’ll let you know any further information as soon as I’m given any.”

3) “Do you want the good news first or the bad news. The good news is that last Friday was my birthday and I hit the town and had a great time. The bad news is that there is a points failure somewhere between Stratford and East Ham, which means we probably won’t reach our destination.”

4) “Ladies and gentlemen, we apologise for the delay, but there is a security alert at Victoria station and we are therefore stuck here for theforeseeable future, so let’s take our minds off it and pass some time together. All together now….’Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall…..’”.

5) “We are now travelling through Baker Street, as you can see Baker Street is closed. It would have been nice if they had actually told me, so I could tell you earlier, but no, they don’t think about things like that”.

6) “Beggars are operating on this train, please do NOT encourage these professional beggars, if you have any spare change, please give it to a registered charity, failing that, give it to me.”

7) During an extremely hot rush hour on the Central Line, the driver announced in a West Indian drawl: “step right this way for the sauna, ladies and gentleman… unfortunately towels are not provided”.

8) “Let the passengers off the train FIRST!” (Pause …) “Oh go on then, stuff yourselves in like sardines, see if I care – I’m going home….”

9) “Please allow the doors to close. Try not to confuse this with ‘Please hold the doors open’. The two are distinct and separate instructions.”

10) “Please note that the beeping noise coming from the doors means that the doors are about to close. It does not mean throw yourself or your bags into the doors.”

11) “We can’t move off because some idiot has their hand stuck in the door”

12) “To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage – what part of ’stand clear of the doors’ don’t you understand ?”

13) “Please move all baggage away from the doors (Pause..) Please move ALL belongings away from the doors (Pause…) This is a personal message to the man in the brown suit wearing glasses at the rear of the train – put the pie down, four-eyes, and move your bl**dy golf clubs away from the door before I come down there and shove them up your a**e sideways”

14) “May I remind all passengers that there is strictly no smoking allowed on any part of the Underground. However, if you are smoking a joint, it’s only fair that you pass it round the rest of the carriage”.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |

Britney’s Tattoo

Britney Spears’ new Kabbalah-inspired Hebrew tattoo actually has the letters reversed, making it meaningless.

It’s proof once again of how hard it is to find a tattoo artist who graduated from a decent Hebrew School.


(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |

Great Quote

“You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts”

-Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927 – 2003)

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |

Clinton on Daily Show

Bill Clinton will be on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Monday night at 11:00 PM EST.

Bill Clinton has been all over television promoting his new book. But one show he won’t be visiting is “Saturday Night Live.”

The former president has turned down an invitation to be guest host of the NBC sketch-comedy series next season, spokesman Marc Liepis confirmed Friday. No reason was given for Clinton rejecting the offer, first reported by TV Guide Online.

But far from going into retreat, Clinton will sit down with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” Monday at 11 p.m. EDT, presumably to say more about his best-selling memoir, “My Life,” as well as global affairs and the presidential race.

This appearance comes on the heels of Clinton’s guest shot on CBS’ “Late Show” Tuesday, when he brought a copy of his book as a birthday gift for host David Letterman’s 9-month-old son. Meanwhile, Clinton gave Letterman a rare ratings win over NBC’s “Tonight Show,” delivering the biggest audience for the “Late Show” since last March, when Janet Jackson drew a crowd for her first post-Super Bowl interview.

Fueled by Clinton’s ongoing publicity blitz, his book has sold more than 1.5 million copies since its June 22 release.

© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(c) Rabbi Jason Miller | | Twitter: @RabbiJason |