Earlier this month, Jewish Israel reported on missionary Richard Frieden's agenda of targeting Jewish youth, as manager of the Wave Café in Jerusalem. After Jewish Israel published its report, we received from Frieden this kindly worded “cover-up” email letter, proclaiming his hands are clean, as far as Israel’s anti-missionary laws are concerned.
Our earlier investigation was launched after we received information from Arutz-7’s (A7) radio show host, Yishai Fleisher. Yishai also received a "respectful" email from Frieden and gets major kudos from Jewish Israel for an excellent on-air rebuttal.
Frieden's full, uninterrupted prose to Jewish Israel can be read on this JI page, but our response to Richard Freiden can be read in red below (Frieden's remarks are in black italic):
[Note: In Jewish Israel’s response, we draw from 3 radio interviews conducted in 2010 between Hylan Slobodkin leader of Beit Tikvah Messianic Congregation and Richard Frieden, as well as a sermon given by Richard Frieden at Christ Church of Roswell. It should be noted that between the time of Jewish Israel’s original report on the Wave Café and the publication of this article, one or more files from Beit Tikvah’s website, from which we quote below, have been conveniently removed from Beit Tikvah’s website.]
Shalom Jewish Israel,
In response to the recent article (items) posted on Jewish Israel concerning Wave Cafe:
Please be informed that all our social and community service amongst youth under the age of 18 are done in conjunction with and under the supervision of local and or national social workers and therefore we fully comply with current Israeli law that states: "No one can discuss changing religion with a minor (under 18 years of age) without their parent’s permission."
Mr. Frieden, for lack of a better term, Jewish Israel feels your youth service van and affiliation with the Haifa municipality is used as a "front" for your missionary network. You admit on air that the van is not just for the youth services of Haifa specifically and that "we can take the van and use it as we deem right". You make it utterly transparent that you find the anti-missionary law to be a thorn in your side and that, because of a "real urgency", creatively circumventing that law and moving ahead with missionary outreach to youth is "a risk" that you're willing to take. So, in your own words, "by partnering with the city of Haifa's social service youth department –they know that we're believers in Jesus…we can have personal contact [with the youth]…we can talk with them…".
While you are not passing out actual written tracts, you still accomplish your missionary activity. In addition, you stress that after your stint as part of Haifa's social work squad, your van is then transformed into a vehicle used to openly preach the gospel.
I am Jewish and I have a personal faith in Messiah Yeshua based upon Torah and the New Covenant. I serve our Nation of Israel proudly in our military's reserve duty. I am married and have a wonderful family.
If you were born Jewish but abandoned your faith by accepting Jesus as your lord and savior then you have become a practicing Christian. You may serve in the IDF and have a "wonderful family", but that does not make you any closer to being an accepted member of the Jewish community. In the Christ Church Roswell audio, you repeatedly and openly describe yourself as a missionary committed to building the church in Jerusalem. That makes you the very antithesis of anything Jewish.
It is clear that in a day and age of growing religious intolerance, violence and political polarization in our city of Jerusalem and in our nation of Israel that we should have posted our ‘personal beliefs’ on the Wave Cafe site. We understand that this news has offended some people and therefore we sincerely apologize.
Posting statements of faith and personal beliefs on church websites is standard practice and appears to have little to do with the issue of politics, religious freedoms and persecution. So, we're not sure where you are coming from or where you are going with the above statement.
Our motivation for Wave Cafe as stated on Wave Cafe's web site is to encourage and promote arts, culture and community in our city.
In your audio segments, you clearly state a very different motivation. In church radio shows and different venues you express an uncompromising commitment to preaching the gospel of jesus christ, and describe Wave Café as a bridge for such a purpose. "We want to see people come to know Yeshua. We want to see people walk that bridge, so that's why we're there in that city [Jerusalem]." You also speak about how you send email to those attending your so-called cultural events inviting them to your worship services at Wave Jerusalem.
Wave Jerusalem, our Messianic Kehila, is a separate entity, a place of worship and fellowship and open for all Believers (Jewish or Non-Jewish) above the age of 18.
Again, Wave Café, Wave Jerusalem, Muzik Box and your other “creative” missionary endeavors are not compartmentalized in your public statements, nor in your videos, but rather they are all clearly linked. In the Christ Church video you refer to Wave Café as an "appendage" attached to Wave Jerusalem. You describe Wave Café as "reaching out to Jewish people" and as a "bridge to the church". In your Beit Tikvah interview, you suggest that anyone interested in any of your projects should contact you via the Wave Café website.
We respect and value you for you no matter what your personal, political, spiritual and or religious beliefs.
How very "democratic" and "pluralistic" of you to make such a statement. But you show a total lack of recognition and appreciation for Judaism and a blatant demonstration of disrespect when you try and bring a person of the Jewish faith to a belief in jesus.
I recognize, appreciate and respect that you may not reply to my email or post this reply on your web site.
Well, we just did.
With kind regards and a pleasant week,