The Godfather of Jewish Evangelism

by | Mar 1, 2010 | Evangelism, Israel & Jewish Roots, People & Stories

Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus, looks back on his confrontational career with plenty of satisfaction—and few regrets.

Moishe Rosen spends a lot of time resting now as he copes with the effects of prostate disease that metastasized into bone cancer. Last fall, he nearly died after surgery for an intestinal blockage.

Although outlasting the doctor’s prediction in January 2008 that he wouldn’t live past Thanksgiving, soon after that surgery Rosen considered hospice care. Ultimately, he rejected it, reasoning he didn’t want it until he was unable to get out of bed.

“At 77, how much longer should I live?” asks the outspoken founder of Jews for Jesus (JFJ), who turns 78 if he survives until April 12.

“Do I mind going?” he asks. “I don’t know if I’ll like the journey, but I’ll let you know when you get there.”

That humor demonstrates the wit that long ago prompted Brooklyn’s Jewish Press to declare that Rosen was obviously using Madison Avenue advertising writers. No simple evangelist could write so persuasively, the newspaper theorized.

Though the Press didn’t know it was praising Rosen, his flock of admirers has no such reticence. They know that this somewhat cantankerous guy is one of the true fathers of Jewish evangelism in the modern world.

For Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), memories of Rosen go back to 1987, when the two men stood outside the U.S. Supreme Court building. Sekulow had just completed oral arguments in defense of JFJ’s right to distribute gospel tracts at the Los Angeles International Airport.

“Moishe turned to me and said, ‘I think you’re going to be here often,’” Sekulow recalls. “I laughed because nobody was here that often, especially in those days. One out of 10,000 lawyers maybe argues a case, and that’s probably an overstatement.”

Sekulow not only secured a victory for JFJ, he has returned to the high court 13 times while serving as a thorn in the side of liberal activists.

Marveling at Rosen’s insight, Sekulow remembers later walking by a building at Second Street and Constitution Avenue. Noticing a “for sale” sign, Rosen remarked that his attorney ought to buy it. Though Sekulow scoffed, close to a decade later ACLJ did just that.

“The guy had tremendous foresight in a whole lot of areas,” Sekulow says. “And he was relentless. I never saw him take a setback as something that was going to be a permanent situation.”

Add to that toughness a pioneering spirit, says JFJ board member Lon Solomon. When the suburban Washington, D.C., pastor became a believer in 1971, he reasoned that he must be the only Jew who believed in Christ as Messiah. After all, he didn’t know any others who did. 

Now if a Jew makes that decision, it is no secret that he has company. Solomon credits this shift in cultural awareness to JFJ’s overt, unashamed proclamation of the gospel to Jews.

“More than any other single person, Moishe has been responsible for putting the idea of being Jewish and believing in Jesus on the map,” says Solomon, pastor of McLean Bible Church in northern Virginia. “He has inspired several generations of young Jewish men and women to have a burden to reach their own people. He has been a marvelous example.”

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

Let’s talk about a subject most people want to avoid. Let’s talk about pornography. According to Covenant Eyes, statistics show that 28,258 users are watching pornography every second, and 20% of mobile online searches are for porn. Among Christians, 20% of youth...

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

As I look back, I realize that God has given me a career path with some rather unique experiences. I have built bridges at the intersection of faith and government my whole life, and I have learned that serving people through a role in government can be just as...

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

If you have received Christ as your Savior, then you have an enemy. Did you know that? I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about the devil, but he is real and it’s important for us to face the truth about him so we can have a victorious life in Christ. Now,...

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

Note: As we move towards Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, Grant Berry, a Messianic believer, speaks about the deeper repentance needed in the Messianic part of the family. As you have read part one of this article during the month of Av and are now reading part two in the...

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

The most sobering and troubling statement in the Olivet Discourse is where Jesus says, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). This statement cries out for an...

Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life

Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe34pxhddd4 With Hurricane Ian slamming Florida, it's a time to reflect on the storms of life. As I was preparing for the hurricane, I documented some thoughts about standing strong in the storms of life. Whether you're dealing with a...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

God doesn’t care if I am fat. He wants me to enjoy my life. He wants me to live, love and be happy. Food makes me happy so I’m just doing what He wants me to do. That was just an excuse and at its...
Mario Murillo Sends Special Urgent Message to Kingdom Leaders

Mario Murillo Sends Special Urgent Message to Kingdom Leaders

Attention. Several hundred leaders are registered for our special brunch on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 10 a.m. Seats are filling up and we must give our host a final number of meals to prepare. Please do not wait. Make your reservation now for this free brunch. I have a very...

How to Position Yourself to Receive the Issachar Anointing

How to Position Yourself to Receive the Issachar Anointing

The key to being positioned to receive the Issachar anointing has to do with timing and seasons. Those who carry the Issachar anointing understand the times and seasons we are in. They have discernment and knowledge, enabling them to lead well. They seek the wisdom of...

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams turned heads last week in Atlanta when she defiantly announced during a political event that an unborn baby doesn’t have a heartbeat at six weeks gestation. “There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” said...

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

We are kingdom citizens, and not of this world. We don’t abide by this world’s economy and the natural things that happen. Repeatedly, over the last four weeks, I’ve been hearing not to look at the circumstances of this world. We are not of this world. Get your eyes...

What Praises of Thanksgiving Mean for Your Soul

What Praises of Thanksgiving Mean for Your Soul

We tend to think of gratitude as an obligation as opposed to a weapon of warfare. A nicety, not a ferocious force for transformation. We are wrong. From our earliest days we are trained that polite people say “thank you.” Certainly, this is true and proper. Those of...

Pin It on Pinterest