Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ex-Jews For Jesus Cannot Be Erased

What once was cannot ever be erased.  

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jackie Mason's Schmucks

Jackie Mason has a brilliant new book out, Schmucks

Guess who gets an honorable mention?

Jackie Mason, humorist, Comedian and winner for his one man Broadway show "The World According to Me", takes on this challenge of pointing out the "Schmucks" of the world in this abridged CD.

In some ways, this seem like an updating of some of "World". He takes on such Schmucks like Bill & Hillary Clinton, Jews for Jesus, Madonna and France with his pointed humor. His wit is razor sharp and so are some of the points he takes on.


You know, as a conservative fellow, Jackie has deep respect for Christians and their values. What he objects to is Jews for Jesus' unauthorized use of his likeness which implied that Jackie was a Christian and possibly associated with Jews for Jesus.

One can imagine his irritation at Susan Perlman's glib response to Mr. Mason's objection:

Susan Perlman, a spokeswoman for Jews for Jesus, said the pamphlet was "good-natured."

"Shame on him for getting so upset about this," she said Friday.


Now Jackie Mason enjoys the last word.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Another Generation Passes

What does it say about an organization where there is a growing two-tier stratification - a dedicated core of aging leaders and an ever rotating group of entry level staff?

It can be interpreted in many ways. In the case of Jews for Jesus, another emerging generation of potential leaders is moving on. A couple of recent resignations of mid-level leaders has widened the gap of the executive staff and the young missionaries which serve with Jews for Jesus.

Their departure can be for any number of reasons and on the best of terms. But is it healthy?

The executive staff is insular and intellectually inbred in the image of their founder, Moishe Rosen. Authority is preciously guarded. New blood could serve to reinvigorate the culture and foster the openness that Jews for Jesus so desperately needs.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Let Us Reach Out to You

The Ex-Jews for Jesus contributors and members have one thing in common - we all worked for Jews for Jesus at some point. Beyond that, there is quite a bit of diversity.

Some members have returned to Judaism, others continue to believe in Jesus as the Messiah and still others just don't know any more.

Our varied perspectives and experiences make us well-equipped to connect with you. If you've had experiences you would like to share or someone to reach out to, please contact us.

The best way to reach us is through this page.

Please bear in mind that correspondence of an offensive or holier-than-thou nature may remain unanswered.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

You Do Not Have My Consent

At times, former Jews for Jesus staffers have requested that their name no longer appear on JfJ publications and especially on the Internet.

Some former staff wish to seek work in secular fields and could find an association with "Jews for Jesus" coming up in a Yahoo search of their name embarrassing.

However, requests to have one's name removed are ignored or in at least one case met with a "tough luck" response.

Something else to consider if you're from a Jewish background and are looking to serve in missions.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Jews for Jesus and the Elephant in the Room

David Bricker in his 2000 article, "I Repent, But for What" tangentally addresses the abuses of Christian staff workers in this quote:


It becomes more difficult, however, if an accusation comes from a fellow believer. Recently, I received a letter from a former staff member who talked about his unhappy service with Jews for Jesus. He was calling on the Jews for Jesus organization to repent because of what he perceived to be bad actions or bad attitudes during his time of service over 20 years ago. Well, if the things that he alleged to have happened really happened, I can express my regrets and sorrow for his pain, but I can't place blame on all of my co-workers in Jews for Jesus because of a past incident.

Can an organization, an ethnic group or a city repent? The answer is yes and no. We can only repent for the wrong that we've done or the wrong that we've allowed. We can regret history but we can't repent for it. It is true that God calls nations to repent. But a nation consists of people, and individuals must decide whether or not they will repent. Leaders can sometimes help and encourage those who follow them to repent, as in the case of Nineveh, when Jonah called the city to repent and the king heeded that call. Leaders might have a greater responsibility to repent when necessary because others may follow their example, but all of us need to live in constant repentance.



(Emphasis mine)

Regarless of whether organizations or individuals can repent, it is an irrefutable fact that there are many, many people who have left the ministry of Jews for Jesus badly hurt and treated in a very un-Christian fashion.

What motiviates my participation in the Ex-Jews for Jesus blog has always been to warn believers to weigh carefully their involvement in the Jews for Jesus organization because of the way they treat their own people. Others participants on this blog have returned to Judaism, others no longer believe in anything, and some still hold to faith in Christ. I consider myself in the latter group.

David Brickner's (and the rest of the leadership by extention) response to accusations of abuse has been to say, "come to me and tell me what's wrong and I'll apologize."

This is both scriptural and correct.

However, this also provides a neat shell game that has allowed the ministry to injure and abuse its Christian staff for four decades.

Many have approached David Brickner and Moishe Rosen directly to address greivances. Yet even when apologies have been forthcoming, the day to day abuses of Jews for Jesus has never ceased.

Why?

This is the Elephant. Many people have been witness to a rotten culture where personal insults, degrading disciplinary actions and inordinate amounts of control are asserted over people. (You can read many first-hand accounts here)

The key word is "culture". Culture is an atmosphere that belongs to an organization. Culture is perpetuated by individuals, but within a culture, behaviors become permissible and provide a cover for inappropriate actions.

Attempts to address cultural issues brings one into Jews for Jesus' shell game.

Hurt by the ministry's culture? Nope, organizations don't sin, people do. Take it up with them.

So then the abused is directed to go to his branch leader and work it out.

What does that produce? Usually a "that's the way the Ministry works" response follows, which puts the responsibility back on the organization.

The leadership then can preserve the status quo and still feel justified. There is no way to change Jews for Jesus' culture until the leadship recognizes how malformed it is both as a social entity and in the model of Christian life.

Sadly, there seems to have never been any recognition of any fault with this culture. It has been my experience that there is an insularity within the leadership of Jews for Jesus which rejects any possibility of wrongdoing.

If you wish to have more information please drop your email in the comments and I'll discuss it with you.

Sorry, Jews for Jesus has at times infiltrated our email group and intentionally tried to destroy the careers of some of our participants. If you wish to dialog, please understand that we need to take precautions.

[Administrator note]
We have a Jews for Jesus staff member who regularly visits this site and harangues the commenters. Since his comments add nothing of value to the discussion, the usual course of action would be to delete the comments and ban this person. However, we believe that there is value to leaving these comments for the world to see.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Exploitation of Others

In my last post I talked about boundary violations as one of the ways that (according to psychologist Nina Brown) destructive narcissists demonstrate their indifference to others. In this post I will talk about another characteristic that Dr. Brown describes, which she calls "exploitation of others."

She writes: "Interpersonal exploitation occurs when others are used to satisfy personal needs and desires without consideration for their rights or personal integrity. Others are perceived as valuable only in terms of what they can give or do. They are not inherently valued as worthwhile, unique individuals." (Brown, 2006, p. 49)

"One obvious example is children who are ordered to do what a parent says or wants, without question or hesitation, and may be punished for not being prompt or for making an error."

One example of interpersonal exploitation is what Brown calls "power exploitation." This occurs "when an individual has achieved a position or status where their needs have priority and others must fulfill these needs regardless of the effort, discomfort, or disruption necessary to do so."

It's clear to many ex-JFJ staff that power exploitation occurred with great frequency in the "old days" of Jews for Jesus. (See the stories at http://exjewsforjesus.org/) The only question now is whether or not it still occurs. There are some signs that it still does happen, although perhaps not with the frequency that it did under the Rosen regime.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Indifference to Others

One of the primary characteristics of the Destructive Narcissistic Pattern (DNP) that Nina Brown describes is indifference to others. She points out three examples of indifference to others that many of you may recognize: boundary violations, exploitation of others, and lack of empathy.

Boundary violations occur when someone's personal space (physical or psychological space) is invaded by another person.

A boss putting his or her arm around you would almost always be a boundary problem.

A coworker or boss coming into your office or cubicle without knocking (especially if your door is closed or if you are clearly working in a focused way on a project) and immediately demands your attention and time would be a boundary intrusion.

A boss comes to your home late at night or very early in the morning, without calling first, and gives you work to do or demands your time.

These may seem innocuous to some readers, but they are evidence of a lack of respect for your personal space and an intrusion of your privacy. (Of course, sexual harassment and physical violence are also boundary violations, but all of us know that these kinds of things NEVER happened in JFJ).

Some other boundary problems that Brown describes:

Not asking permission before borrowing or picking up others' possessions.

Making comments about others' personal characteristics.

Making jokes at others' expense.

Touching someone without their permission.

Speaking for others.


I'll write more about the DNP in the coming days.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern

Nina W. Brown has written a new book entitled Coping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical People: The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern. In it she describes a pattern of behavior which I believe is rampant in Jews for Jesus corporate culture (especially among the leaders of JFJ). I quote from page 3 of the book:

"Constantly makes comments to or about you that are devaluing or demeaning."

"Interactions with this person generally leave you angry, upset, hurt, or resentful."

"You, and others, seemingly have to give their desires, wishes, and needs a lot of attention, care, and priority."

"The relationship began on a high note, you were charmed, but now you cannot do anything to please him or her no matter how hard you try."

"The person cannot be trusted to give accurate information, and frequently lies, distorts, and misleads."

"Demands understanding from you, but gives none in return."

"Uses or takes your possessions without permission and/or fails to return them."

Brown calls these behaviors a "Destructive Narcissistic Pattern (DNP)." Does this pattern sound to familiar to anyone who has worked in JFJ? I'll write more about this in the coming days.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Jews for Jesus apologizes to Jackie Mason

The New York Times reported on Dec. 5th that Jews for Jesus has apologized to Jackie Mason to settle Mason's lawsuit against the group based on a broadside that JFJ had been distributing that bore the words: "Jackie Mason: a Jew for Jesus?" The article states that Mason settled "for a three-paragraph letter from David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus, offering ''sincere apologies for any distress'' the pamphlet had caused."

The NYT went on to report that after the settlement was reached in the federal judge's chambers, verbal jousting took place between Mason and Brickner in the courthouse hallway.

Along with the apology, Jews for Jesus has agreed to "retire" the pamphlet, perhaps the first time in its short history that JFJ has voluntarily censored itself.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Quick Retribution

It appears that after the legal action Jews for Jesus took against the Google over the Jews for Jesus Blogspot site, Jackie Mason has taken them to court for using his likeness on their gospel tracts.

Seems like Jackie doesn't like his likeness and mannerisms (his trademark if you will) being used.

With the rise of the blogs, they'll get more attention for this "controversy" than from their many previous attention maneuvers. Unfortunately, it wont be the good kind.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

More Jews For Jesus Goodwill

JFJ gets more good press from a blog called The Hatemonger's Quarterly. Strangely, it is in the context of government spying:

... we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can monitor the search words e-travelers use to head to our “website.”

We know, we know: You are upset that we have such invasive power over you. But don’t worry: We’ve already sold all of your information to the lovable folks at Jews for Jesus, and they should be over your house any minute with some informational brochures.


Heh.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Is Jews For Jesus Persecuted? The Google Lawsuit

If you've been following the Jews for Jesus lawsuit against Google, you may find this development interesting.

Over at jewsforjesus.blogspot.com, an unrelated but similar site, "Whistle Blower" discusses Jews For Jesus' justification for their lawsuit. "Whistle Blower" points us to an article on JfJ's RealTime site. This quote struck me particularly hard.

"We view this as a spiritual attack coming at a sensitive time in our ministry.
We are headed into our largest evangelistic campaign ever this summer. I guess
it's "par for the course" that we find some of our energy and resources being
tapped. I am sure that Satan as well as our earthly opponents would like to
discourage us just as they would like to see our trademark misused by others to
spread negativity, lies and confusion under our name—a name that exists to make
the name of Jesus known"

You see, this "hostilty" is not a consequence of JFJ's destructive culture. No, it's spiritual warfare. It is a convenient way to pass off taking personal responsibility for misdeeds and paint themselves as the victim.

Many former staff of Jews for Jesus can attest to the ministry's abusive nature.

If you are reading this and are Christian, please ask yourself why this particular ministry has so many "enemies" from within its own ranks?

Christians are persecuted in this world. It was stated plainly by Jesus Himself. But note this difference; Dr. Dobson is vilified primarly from non-believers who disagree strongly with his message. Jews For Jesus, on the other hand, is receiving their negativity from former staff, many of whom are still Christian.

Why?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Is JFJ honest?

Recently Moishe Rosen stated on a public forum the following:

"Jews for Jesus has opposition who are unprincipled and are willing to adopt guises so that they appear to be other than what they are."

I'm not sure what Rev. Rosen is talking about, but it's interesting that JFJ would complain about dishonest tactics given the history of Jews for Jesus. JFJ is proud that they always are (supposedly) upfront and honest about who they are, but JFJ used to commonly practice something that proves this is not the case (I'm not sure if they still practice it). When JFJ musicians or street theatre groups would perform in public, they would commonly use "ringers" to attract attention from passers-by and thus generate a crowd of onlookers. This was especially prevalent during New York City summer "campaigns." These ringers would pretend to be regular spectators but in reality they were usually JFJ volunteers who were asked or told to watch the proceedings in a neutral role, without any identifying clothing such as a Jews for Jesus shirt or jacket.

I'm sure there are other more glaring examples of JFJ's dishonesty, but I never got close enough to the inner circle to discover these.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Yeshua or Y'shua?

Jews for Jesus is unique in its spelling of the Hebrew word for Jesus. They spell it "Y'shua" instead of "Yeshua."

I first encountered the unique spelling of the word "Y'shua" in the book title "Y'shua: The Jewish Way to Say Jesus," written by Moishe Rosen. I will not comment on the CHUTZPA of such a title. I see three key affronts in this spelling.

First, an affront to the Hebrew Language. The name Yeshua, which appears in the Biblical text in the 2nd temple period (The high priest Yeshua ben Yehozadak, mentioned in Ezra 3:2, 10, 18 e.g., appears as Yehoshua in Haggai and Zechariah; similarly, Yehoshua [Joshua] ben Nun is called Yeshua in Neh. 8:17). The standard transliteration of the name in English translations (including the JPS) is Jeshua (retaining the German J, pronounced Y, as in Jerusalem [Yerushalayim]). Since JPS can arguably be considered more of a standard of Jewish usage than JFJ, we would be more fair in saying that "Jeshua" is 'the Jewish way to say Jesus.' Obviously, the substitution of Y for J would better convey the original pronunciation for today's English readers.

Second, it is an affront to accepted standards of Hebrew transliteration. The Yod in Yeshua is vocalized with a Tsere, a vowel which is usually long, sometimes short, but never "ultra-short" as an apostrophe in transliteration might imply. Even the ultra-short sheva, which vocalizes the Yod in "Jerusalem" and "Jericho," is typically rendered by an ultra-short e (as in the English word "believe," unless you come from the deep south).

Third, it is an affront to the English language which requires a vowel following Y if the Y is to be pronounced as a consonant. Without a vowel, the Y itself takes on a vowel function, typically pronounced as a long E, as in "Yves St. Laurent" and "yquem" (pronounced "ee-quem") a "fine, rich sweet white wine", or as a short i, as in "Yggdrasil" (pronounced "ig-drasil"), "the ash tree which, in Scandinavian mythology, binds earth, heaven, and hell." Hence, Y'shua should be pronounced as "EE-Shua," as in "Como estan Paco y Shua?"

Drash: A brief linguistic evaluation indicates that, in fact, the spelling of the name Y'shua actually throws new and important light on Jesus' true identity. Of course we know that in Hebrew the Yod and Vav are often interchangeable depending on their position in the word. When the root Yalad ("give birth") is cast in the passive (niphal) form, the yod is replaced by a vav, vocalized as a vowel (long o), "nolad." Similarly, the Y' in Y'shua, since it must be pronounced as a vowel, may actually represent a long o sound and hence should be written O'.

Turning to the second element of the name, we note that in the Greek transliteration of the Messiah's personal name in the New Testament, an upsilson represents the u of Y'shua. It is well known that the actual pronunciation of the upsilon, even in the second temple period, was a long e sound--hence the second part of the name would be written "shea" (similarly, note that another form of Joshua's name (Yehoshua) was Hoshea (Deut. 32:44)).

Putting the two elements of the name together, we see that the name should actually have been written "O'Shea"--indicating that Jesus was not in fact Norwegian but Irish!

:-)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Shunning

The practice of "shunning" of former employees of Jews for Jesus is described at http://www.exjewsforjesus.org/j4jquestions/shun.html

Another description of shunning is at http://www.exjewsforjesus.org/j4jquestions/#abusive which says that JFJ shunning included "various levels of cutting off communication with these former members, which have ranged from a complete prohibition against communicating with the person to less extreme forms of cut-off. Often rumors were spread about former members to damage their reputation."

Remember that these are former employees of an organization, not members of a church, that are being shunned, and that current employees are doing the "shunning." This shunning is talked about in some of the ex-Jews for Jesus stories. See, for example, http://www.exjewsforjesus.org/stories/mimi.html and also http://www.exjewsforjesus.org/stories/journey4.html

Apparently this unfortunate practice continues. If JFJ is disturbed by accusations that it is a cult, it should discontinue shunning, which is (sociologically speaking) one of the hallmark traits of a cult.