"First, we are moving to Israel as a family. For the last several years, we have sensed God calling us to immigrate to the land of Israel (to “make Aliyah”) and follow the path of our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Based on my Jewish roots on my father’s side, the State of Israel has granted us citizenship. We are now dual citizens of the United States and Israel, and are deeply grateful to the Lord for making this possible in His timing and by His grace." ---- Joel Rosenberg, August 13, 2014
Joel Rosenberg, a renowned "end-times" author and missionary, who promotes proselytizing the Jewish people and dedicates resources to targeting Israelis for conversion, has managed to make Aliyah with his family.
Like messianic attorney Jamie Cowen, Rosenberg is an influential evangelical leader who hails from the Washington DC area and who apparently immigrated to Israel as a believing Christian via a loophole in Israel's Law of Return – a law which was ripped open in 2008 by Evangelical/messianic attorney Calev Myers of Israel’s Yehuda Raveh law offices and the Jersusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ). Rosenberg's testimony of his family background can be read here.
Like evangelist Mike Evans, Rosenberg is a best-selling author who writes biblical prophecy fulfillment novels which tie in to current news events, usually from a "pro-Israel" perspective. Like Evans, Rosenberg is involved in a number of "charitable outreach" missions in Israel. Also like Evans, Rosenberg flaunts the endorsements he has received from high-ranking Israeli diplomats and politicians.
Rosenberg has been transparent about his missionary activities in Israel. As far back as 2007 he posted about his involvement with the messianic organization Shemen Sasson, founded by the parents of attorney Calev Myers. At the time, Rosenberg boasted about the numbers of Jews coming to a belief in Jesus and the missionary targeting of young people at New Age Festivals in Israel. In the spring of 2014, Rosenberg was featured in video clips endorsing the proselytizing of Jews. Rosenberg was prophesizing on Jews accepting Jesus for Chosen People's Ministries (CPM), an organization whose mission is to target the Jewish people for conversion. While this week saw headlines on the Brooklyn Jewish community's battle with CPM, that very same organization is already active in Israel and has their sights set on Jewish children. In July 2014, Rosenberg, founder of the Joshua Fund, ran headlines of his partnership for the development of a website which will spread the gospel message to Israelis in Hebrew, Russian, English and Arabic.
Rosenberg boasts that several years ago his partners "provided leather-bound copies of the Bible, including the New Testament, to each member of the Israeli Knesset." JewishIsrael staff members were present at a Jerusalem Municipality meeting at the time when a member of the city council showed us the leather bound Christian missionary scriptures, written in Hebrew, which had been "gifted" to each Knesset member. At the time JewishIsrael was told that some religious members of the Knesset were burning those missionary texts as prescribed by Halacha.
Years ago when missionary bibles were distributed into everybody's mailbox in Efrat, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Shlomo Riskin, ruled that the bibles which included both the Hebrew and New Testament scriptures should be burnt, as a bible which is written on a heretical basis is sacrilegious.
So it is both terribly ironic and unfortunate that a mere five months ago on April 1, 2014, Rabbi Riskin granted legitimacy to Joel Rosenberg by sharing the podium with him at New York’s West Side Lincoln Square Synagogue in an interfaith theological exchange sponsored by Ohr Torah Stone’s Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC). A leading missionary leader in attendance clearly saw this as a victory, declaring, "I never thought I would hear a clear testimony for Jesus in a modern Orthodox synagogue (the type of synagogue in which I was raised!). Joel did a wonderful job of explaining the Gospel and was winsome and generous in his approach."
Rosenberg claims to have worked with a number of Israeli political personalities, including Prime Minister Netanyahu and Natan Sharansky. Indeed, in 2010 JewishIsrael reported when then Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon participated in Rosenberg's endtimes Epicenter Conference focused on blessing Israel in the name of jesus.
It should be noted that just last week, Joel Rosenberg reported on a quiet breakfast he had with Mike Huckabee and a meeting with Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women of America, a Christian activist group. Rosenberg has reportedly been asked to assist Huckabee and Nance in their upcoming Stand for Israel Rally scheduled for October 5, 2014.
A Ray of Light for the New Year
This past year, JewishIsrael's reports focused on Jewish leadership's continued cooperation with missionary entities and the costs involved in pursuing such interfaith relationships sans appropriate borders and guidelines. With Christian aliyah apparently on the rise and the criteria for Jewish conversion being hotly debated, there is much to be concerned about.
However we were pleased to see the results of a new poll published last week by BINA, the Center for Jewish Identity & Hebrew Culture, which seemed to indicate that younger Israelis are increasingly more faithful to Jewish tradition and Halachic criterion when it comes to the question of "who is a Jew". According to the poll’s results, when compared with the adult participants, "the younger respondents chose less 'civilian' characteristics such as IDF military service, speaking Hebrew and living in Israel as elements of their Jewish identity. They gave more weight to the Jewish mitzvoth, culture and tradition."
We hope our young people will step up and take a stand for Judaism and the Jewish Law, because it is clear that a number of our established leaders are continuing to fail us and our tradition.