Controversial Efforts of Jewish Conversion During High Holy Days

September 23, 1999

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On September 23, 1999, The Christian Science Monitor published an article on the Southern Baptist Convention's push to convert Jews. The prayer guide for Jewish conversion asks members to focus on praying for a Jewish population in a particular place in the world each day and "to pray each day for Jewish name." The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) intends to do the same for Muslims during Ramadan, for Hindus during Divali, and for Buddhists during the Festival of Lights. Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, stated: "We are shocked and deeply offended by the call...It's an arrogance of spirit which is contrary to pluralism." Foxman also expressed regret because of the increased dialogue that had been taking place between Baptists and Jews to improve relations after a 1996 SBC resolution to make Jewish conversion a priority: "This flies in the face of dialogue...We should be seeking to share and understand and respect one another. Why dialogue if the end result is that we have no value unless we become 'they'?"