When you say the word Christian in Israel, what does that mean to people? Illustration - Gershon Elinson/Flash90

When You Say ‘Christian’ in Israel

Fascinating Jewish study course takes a fresh look at Christianity and how it deals with matters of faith


A word loved by millions around the world, but hated too, “Christian” stirs plenty of reaction in Israel. Local believers in Yeshua (Jesus) won’t even use the term because of the negative connotations connected with Christianity among the Jewish people. They call themselves “Messianic.”

I was surprized to receive an invitation to a series of seminars in Hebrew in the heart of Jerusalem on “When you say Christian in Israel.” Was this a Christian group trying to bring the Gospel to the Jewish people? Perhaps another anti-missionary event spreading their misinformation against Christians and Messianic Jews?

Religious Jews interested in Yeshua?

Lo and behold, this was neither, but rathetr a traditional Israeli Beit Midrash, or house of Jewish learning. The series is being presented “by and for Israeli young adults to promote Jewish learning, activism and community building.”

What does a traditional Jewish house of study want with young Israelis knowing about Jesus? “Many of us grow up disgusted with Christianity, unbelief, and not even…