Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

Deceptive Proselytization of Jews

Adopted by the CCAR at the 96th Annual Convention of
the Central Conference of American Rabbis
1985

The Jewish community is concerned about ongoing deceptive efforts to proselytize Jews. We recognize the constitutional right of religious groups to practice their faiths and to share their beliefs with others, but we condemn the deceptive practices employed by certain Christian missionary groups in their zeal to win converts.
        
Of paramount concern to the Jewish community is the claim of certain Christian missionary groups that they legitimately represent Jewish tradition. So-called "Jews for Jesus," "Messianic Jews," "Hebrew Christians, " and other such groups, in claiming to be part of the Jewish community, make four misleading claims: 1) They misrepresent themselves as another branch of Judaism alongside the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist branches. 2) Some of their leaders misrepresent themselves as duly ordained "rabbis." 3) They deceptively call their places of worship "synagogues."" And 4) they misquote and misinterpret traditional Jewish sources to support their beliefs.
        
The accepted bodies of Judaism, while differing on points of theology and practice, unanimously agree that belief in Jesus as God, the Messiah, Savior, or the Son of God is Christian doctrine, which is wholly apart from Jewish tradition and theology. Therefore, any movement that professes such belief cannot be considered a part of Judaism and cannot legitimately represent itself as such.
        
The use of these deceptive practices that distort Judaism in order to convert Jews is a moral issue of great concern, not only to the Jewish community, but to society at large. We call upon our congregations and organizations to publish this stand in their newsletters and temple bulletins. We call upon our colleagues to share this statement with leaders and friends in the Christian communities. We call upon all fair-minded Americans to condemn deception in the name of religion and not to support or sponsor such organizations.