At a time when the Jewish state is challenged by boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), venture capitalist and entrepreneur extraordinaire Jonathan Medved has been doing more than his share to keep the Israeli economy moving forward. In addition to his many successful business endeavors in both Israel and America, Medved serves as the CEO of OurCrowd, a crowdfunding platform enabling venture capital investment in Israeli start-ups.
Throughout April and May, OurCrowd is scheduling a series of events in Israel and America, including a Passover Breakfast at the newly opened Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem. According to the OurCrowd promo, Attorney Calev Myers, a senior partner of Yehuda Raveh & Co, is scheduled to give guest remarks. Myers is a messianic Christian leader in Israel and an active advocate for messianic Christian rights in the Jewish state.
Searching JewishIsrael’s website turns up no less than seven pages of reports, video excerpts and documentation on Myers.
Jon Medved may want to hear some of Myers opening remarks and speeches at other venues before he hands over the podium to him on Sunday morning. Some examples:
[*NOTE: at the time of that publication, renowned history professor Richard Landes, a member of Jewishisrael’s board, described Myers’ newsletter as “an appalling piece of hate speech”]
Of course Myers is also an active and articulate PR advocate on behalf of Israel, who enjoys a relationship with members of the Israeli government. However, due to Myers’ outspoken advocacy for messianic rights in Israel, several prominent Jewish leaders and organizations dropped out of a planned 2011 anti-Durban protest in New York when it was revealed that Myers was a scheduled speaker at the event and that Myers’ organization, the Jerusalem Institute for Justice (JIJ) was a sponsor. Myers speech at the event was eventually cancelled.
It’s likely that Myers is appearing at the OurCrowd investment breakfast, not as a messianic leader, but in his capacity as an advocate for Israeli law firm Yehuda Raveh. That prestigious firm is not only concerned about Israeli economics but has also been involved in high profile cases concerning religious freedoms and the democratic nature of the State of Israel. A number of messianic attorneys hold positions and got their start at Raveh.
While Myers may not be spouting the gospel or witnessing his faith at OurCrowd’s Sunday breakfast, it is important that Jewish investors and leaders carefully consider the costs involved in giving a messianic leader and activist such as Myers legitimacy, knowing that he has an agenda to establish a serious Christian foothold in Israel and that he is determined to change the nature of Judaism and the Jewish state.
Rejecting the evangelical-inspired Christian charade of "messianic Judaism" is something Jewish leaders from across the political and religious spectrums, both in Israel and the Diaspora, have consistently agreed upon. That consensus should be reinforced and continue.