Moishe Rosen, a controversial figure and founder of Jews for Jesus, died this past May. At The Guardian, Jonathan Romain discusses the movement and its controversial standing within the Jewish community:
The death of an extraordinary hate-figure has just occurred. Moishe Rosen was one of the most detested figures in recent decades in some Jewish circles – for religious reasons rather than for murderous policies.
His “crime” was not that he attempted to convert Jews to Christianity – the church had been doing that for centuries – but that he added a new and subversive element to the missionary campaign by asserting that those who did so were not reneging on their Jewishness but fulfilling it.
It meant that he removed one of the great barriers to any Jewish individual contemplating conversion – guilt at denying their roots and rejecting their family. He claimed that they could remain Jews, and even become better Jews, by accepting Jesus as the messiah.