The plaque at Jews for Jesus Headquarters in San Francisco reads “Jews for Jesus: EST. 32 A.D. Give or Take a Year.” Our name tells who we are, who we stand for and what we do. Everything is right up front! While we might have chosen a less controversial name, Jews for Jesus is the one that most quickly, easily and accurately lets people know who we are and what we are about. Sometimes people ask us, “How long has Jews for Jesus been around?” We love that question because it gives us the chance to grin and say: “Since 32 A.D., give or take a year.”
The joke reminds people that a minority of Jewish people have always believed and proclaimed the gospel, and that we follow in that same tradition. Actually, “Jews for Jesus” began as a slogan. In the late 1960s a moving of the Holy Spirit brought thousands of cause-oriented young people to faith in Jesus, many of whom were Jewish. As for our organization, Moishe Rosen officially founded Jews for Jesus in September of 1973. Rosen, a veteran missionary to the Jewish people, was the executive director of the mission for 23 years. He revolutionized evangelistic methods and materials with his creative approach to communicating the gospel, and we believe he was the foremost strategist and tactician in the field of Jewish evangelism.