A new congregation started last month in the Philadelphia area, just in time for the High Holy Days. The service featured a menorah, a Torah and references to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not to mention Moses.
It also featured references to Jesus and salvation.
While there have been no shortage of attempts by Christian groups like Jews for Jesus and Hebrew Christians to sponsor religious events blending two clashing theologies in the attempt to attract unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, this congregation, called Avodat Yisrael (Servant of Israel), is unique.
A national grassroots campaign by Presbyterians to stop the Presbyterian Church USA from funding missionizing efforts against Jews is gaining steam following a Jewish Week report revealing the secret initiative embedded in the struggling mainline Protestant denomination.
The issue threatens to split the Presbyterian Church between conservative and liberal factions, which already are locked in a fierce struggle over gay ordination, leading church officials told The Jewish Week.