The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

1995 Audit of
Anti-Semitic Incidents

Missionaries Target Canada's Jews

In 1995, missionary groups continued their proselytizing of Jews in Canada. While these recruitment efforts are NOT counted for the statistical sections of the Audit, heir increased activities are of great concern to the League. While we recognize the rights of all Canadians to practice their faiths, missionary groups are infringing on the rights of others to feel comfortable in their observances of their religious traditions.

Jews for Jesus, a group primarily funded by Christian missionary groups, has been active in recruiting Jews to join their ranks. Other groups, including the Toronto Jewish Mission, have also been targeting Jews to join their congregations. Russian immigrants and university students are often selected by these organizations, who ask their members to participate in traditional Jewish rituals laden with Christian symbolism. While most Jews would never consider joining a Christian sect, these Hebrew Christian groups continue to try to convince Jews that the two faiths are not incompatible, and that Jews can be Christians and still remain true to their original faith. The Jewish community must remain vigilant in counteracting the efforts of missionaries who prey on Jews.

North of Toronto, in Newmarket and Richmond Hill, a group called the Vineyard Ministries tried to recruit in areas with heavy Jewish populations. They put on a Christian missionary play, entitled "Toymaker and Son" in a public park, and tried to get permits to perform the show in several other venues, all of which were near synagogues and other Jewish institutions in so-called Jewish neighbourhoods. The show was advertised with flyers which made no mention of the nature of the play; furthermore, it was targeted at children. The Vineyard also was allowed to present its play in a public elementary school with a large Jewish population. The principal of the school did not screen the script before the performance, and several parents complained to the school board and to the League. There was a mail campaign targeting the Jewish Community in Ottawa as well.

In Ottawa, and also in Toronto a program during Holocaust Education Week was being sponsored behind the scene by the Grail Foundation, an organization dedicated to bringing the world "the Saving Revelation from the same origin as the true Message of Christ". The purpose of the program, a lecture by Micah Rubenstein, was not Holocaust education, but to introduce "In the Light of Truth: the Grail Message" written by German citizen Oskar Ernst Bernhardt under the name of Abd-ru-shin. While the programs did not take place, the appearances during Holocaust Education Week appeared to be a deliberate attempt to have the program endorsed by the unsuspecting Holocaust Education Committee of the Jewish Federation and then use the endorsement in later promotional material. The League played a role in alerting co-ordinators to the role of the Grail Foundation behind these scheduled programs.

It is critical for Jews in Canada to be vigilant, and to counteract the missionary efforts directed at the Jewish community. While it is imperative that all Canadians be allowed to practice their religions, it is also important for members of minority faiths to feel that their rights are not being infringed by governments, organizations, or individuals.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

[ Previous ] Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.