Photo Credit: courtesy, Yad L'Achim
Yad L'Achim field coordinator Rabbi Shimon Abergil at the entrance to a new missionary office in Jerusalem.

The organization “Jews for J,” one of the main preaching arms of the “Messianic Jews” cult, recently opened an office in the heart of Jerusalem aimed at getting Jews in the capital to convert out of their religion.

Information on the office reached Yad L’Achim by way of classified documents from the cult, together with intensive field work on the part of the organization’s counter missionary department. This information led to the precise location of the office, whose address was not publicized even in internal missionary publications.

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In material obtained by Yad L’Achim, Yoel Ben David, one of the leading missionaries in the country who was chosen to head the office, is seen declaring that throughout all his years in Tel Aviv, one thing bothered him: “When will we get to Jerusalem? When will we bring the Christian gospel here…? We all wanted to reach Jerusalem. And throughout my seventeen and a half years of service in the organization this is something we talked about a lot.”

The missionaries appealed to Christian supporters from around the world to donate so as to enable them to increase their activities among Jews in Jerusalem: “Donate and pray for us here in Jerusalem for the work that we can do here.”

“No less serious is the fact that the office rented to the missionaries is owned by the Jerusalem Foundation, which was set up to promote the development of the capital,” said Yad L’Achim in a statement, adding that its calls to the foundation went unanswered.

“The Jerusalem Foundation receives many donations from Jews around the world who want to contribute to the development of the city,” said an official with Yad L’Achim. “It is clear to us, beyond any doubt, that they have no idea that missionaries have been given the opportunity to operate out of property purchased with their money.

“It is also clear to us that the Jerusalem Foundation made an innocent mistake and was unaware that its facility would be used by missionaries. We hope that, as a result of this exposure, the foundation will move quickly to evict them.

“The missionaries, in coming to preach to Jews and get them to convert out of their religion, harm the delicate fabric of life in Jerusalem and cause unnecessary stress.”

The official added that “missionaries are once again trying to infiltrate the hearts of ignorant people with lies and deceit; we hope that as a result of this publicity the missionaries will quickly be removed from the property that the Jerusalem Foundation is renting them.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.