Best Defense: Take Pride in Being Jewish

Shortly after reading the JT’s “Who’s that Knocking at the Door?” (June 20) about Israel Restoration Ministries, I experienced the soliciting of their proselytizing message. Arriving by car at my home in the Stevenson area around 11 a.m. on June 23, I was accosted on my driveway by a number of African-American adults and youths from an Evangelical church, who insisted on speaking with me and giving me the IRM materials described in your article.

They refused to leave my property when I asked them, so I drove my car into my garage and closed its door.  Once in my house, I opened the front door to see if they had left and found their proselytizing materials on my porch but no trace of them. Their materials quickly wound up in my trash can; they had no success with me.

Our Jewish community needs to do more to expose the motives of the groups involved in the proselytizing and missionizing and who their backers are. If members of our community are made more aware that “Messianic” Christian missionaries are passing themselves off as “completed” Jews and are being aided by volunteers from mainline evangelical churches, perhaps fewer Jews will fall prey to their sales pitch.

Our religious leaders also need to do a much better job of making our youth take pride in our religion and in being authentically Jewish. Instead of only emphasizing what our religion prohibits and reasons why the missionaries are wrong, they need to better present Judaism as a treasured belief system that will help our people build a meaningful and successful Jewish life for themselves.

Marcia R. Greenfield

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