A special team of activists, is set to fly to the Ukraine, to counter “Messianic Jews” who have been coming to Uman in recent years to distribute Hebrew-language missionary material.
Over the past three years, there have been reports that the cult has been active at Rosh Hashana on the streets of Uman, distributing flyers where visiting Jews are staying and putting up a booth with missionary material that creates a provocation and draws innocent Jewish passersby into debates on the subject.
This is the second year that counter missionary activists will been active in Uman. Last year, it sent a team for Rosh Hashana which, among other things, put up street posters throughout the city calling on anyone who encounters missionaries to turn to them for assistance.
As expected, the team found widespread missionary activity. “In some cases, our activists patrolled the city and gathered up missionary material that had been spread around places that attract large crowds,” said an official in the organization’s counter-missionary department. “In others, Jewish visitors called the hotline to report cases of missionary activity and the team was dispatched to deal with the incident.”
They noted with satisfaction that the activities of last year’s specially trained team, open and covert, caused the missionaries to withdraw from their intention to set up a booth as in previous years. Instead, they made do with distributing missionary material surreptitiously.
In a statement, Yad L’Achim attacked the chutzpah of the missionaries. “It’s unbelievable. The cults have the gall to come to a place where tens of thousands of Jews have arrived to daven on Rosh Hashana, and badger them with all kinds of nonsense in an effort to get them to convert. Our prayer is that we will merit in the coming year ‘to rid the world of idols.’