Jews for Jesus is a global nonprofit made up primarily of Jewish people from different backgrounds who have all come to believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. It is our passion to share this belief with our Jewish people around the world.
We relentlessly pursue God’s plan for the salvation of the Jewish people.
We’re passionate and dedicated to sharing the hope we’ve found in Jesus, the Messiah, with our fellow Jewish people. But it’s not only our passion, it’s what God has clearly stated He intends to accomplish. God’s plan will result in the salvation of Jewish people and all that that encompasses: forgiveness of sin, peace with God, the hope of being in His presence for all eternity—as well as the promise of abundant life here and now. God is not willing that any should perish. He’s committed to seeing the very best for His people, for them to flourish in the fullest sense of the word, and so are we.
The Story of Jews for Jesus
The phrase “Jews for Jesus” began as a simple slogan in the early 1970s, coined by the media. It became the rallying cry of a movement, and eventually, the name of the organization founded in 1973 by Dr. Moishe Rosen. Starting as a small cadre of young Jewish believers in Jesus in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco, the organization grew globally, and in 1996, David Brickner stepped in as executive director.
Jews for Jesus history
Do you identify as Jews or Christians?
The term “Christian” derives from the Greek word Christos, a translation of the biblical term “Mashiach,” or Messiah. Christian literally means “follower of Messiah.” All of the first Christians were Jewish – just like Jesus. So yes, we’re Christians. We’re also Jewish.
We believe in truth in advertising. All of our missionary staff are born Jewish or married to Jewish people. Within our organization, we embrace Jewish culture, practice and symbols because they reflect who we are as Jewish people. Jews for Jesus also uses Jewish symbols in the same way Jesus himself did—to explain biblical truth.
What is the difference between Jews for Jesus and Messianic Jews?
Jews for Jesus is a nonprofit organization that has been around since 1973. But Jews believing in Jesus has been a thing since, well… Jesus.
Today, a broad term for a Jewish person who believes in Jesus is “Messianic Jew.” Messianic Jews aren’t necessarily a uniform group and those who would identify as such express a wide array of beliefs, traditional adherence and background. We at Jews for Jesus certainly don’t speak for all Messianic Jews. Rough estimates have shown that between 30,000 and 125,000 people identify as Messianic Jews worldwide. The largest population of Jews who believe in Jesus is in the United States, followed by Israel.
Does your organization convert Jews to Christianity?
We do not believe that a Jewish person would need to undergo a conversion process to become a follower of Jesus any more than, for example, someone from China would need to renounce their Chinese heritage in order to embrace Jesus. Jewish identity can be ethnic and religious – or both. Our Jewishness is a matter of birth. Our faith in Messiah is a matter of choice. Besides, if Jesus really is who he claimed to be, the Jewish Messiah, becoming his follower would be a continuation of our Jewish faith, not an abandonment of it.