The campaign of Democrat David Weprin sent out a press release Tuesday accusing supporters of Republican Bob Turner of organizing an effort to jam the Weprin campaign’s phones. In response, Turner communications director William O’Reilly noted that Jewish residents of the district were receiving phone calls from a phony group calling itself “Jews for Jesus for Turner,” which he called an attempt to scare Jewish voters.I doubt this will have much impact, however it does give me a chance to tell my "Jews for Jesus" story that I posted way back in 2005.
I'll never forget an incident that happened back in 1991 when I got to see this conflict up close. I was asked to fill in as bass singer for a group that had an event scheduled at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. The event was a Christmas banquet for Jews for Jesus, an organization of Jews who have converted to Christianity. Not long before the start of the event, I looked to the back of the room where there seemed to be a bit of a stir. Several people were huddled around a table, and as they backed away, I saw that Irv Rubin, the radical head of the Jewish Defense League, had joined us. Irv hadn't had a sudden conversion - he had bought a ticket to basically come and spy on the enemy.Irv Rubin is dead now, a suicide in jail in 2002 while awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy to bomb private and government property. I guess he knows now whether he was right or not about his anti-Christian hatred.
The organizers were afraid that Rubin would cause some sort of ruckus and actually tried to buy back his ticket, but he wouldn't budge. He never caused a problem, but sat there and glowered and glared all evening in an attempt to intimidate the Jews who had accepted Christ.
Following the event, I walked outside and was greeted by about 20 picketers from the JDL who had shown up with signs that basically accused the Christian Jews of treason and treachery against their faith. There was a little shouting and sloganeering, but no violence. It was very interesting and shed a new light on the experience of Jews who depart their traditional faith for Christianity, and the kind of backlash they face.
I'll have the results from NY-9 later tonight when the totals come in.