Looking to proselytize not only the elderly Jewish Russians but also at-risk Jewish Orthodox teens, the Brooklyn Messianic Center is opening up in the heart of Flatbush.
The Jewish Week points out:
Few leaders or members of Flatbush’s Orthodox community have taken steps to oppose the center or warn local residents about an impending missionary threat, Rabbi Miller and other activists said. Most Orthodox Jews, they said, are accustomed to seeing such Hebrew Christian groups (a term the Messianics themselves avoid using) setting up modest houses of worship and schools in Orthodox areas; Orthodox Jews in an Orthodox milieu are usually considered invulnerable to missionary ploys.
The article explains what many are doing about it:
“We basically ignore them” at our peril, said Rabbi Moshe Shulman, executive director of Judaism’s Answer, an anti-missionary group. “Until now, they have been totally unsuccessful,” bringing few Jews from traditional backgrounds into their fold, Rabbi Shulman said.
Such missionary groups have developed more sophisticated outreach methods, beyond street-corner pamphleteering and sermonizing, and now feel more confident of making inroads into the Orthodox community, Rabbi Shulman said.
It would be nice to see a bit more outrage from the Jewish community concerning the Brooklyn Messianic Center. Perhaps some people in New York could start their own center of Jews for Judaism.