This man’s alleged religious conversion efforts seem far from kosher.
Rabbi Michael Elkohen, a self-proclaimed “good Jewish boy from New Jersey,” has been outed as the missionary in Jerusalem who led an alleged down-low effort to convert Jews to Christianity, according to a bombshell new report from the Bergen Record.
Born Michael Elk in southern New Jersey’s Salem County, Elkohen moved to Israel in 2006, and spent 15 years allegedly leading a bizarre double life living in an ultra-Orthodox area of Jerusalem. Not only did that include wearing a hat and growing his hair into side curls, but he was also reportedly tapped to perform bris circumcisions and even write Torah scrolls.
Elk, 42, is the father of five children and has been the subject of investigations by two missionary watchdog organizations. He’s called the allegations against him “a lie.” He’s also said that he “was born Jewish” and that, “seven or eight years ago,” he “repented” for his missionary work in the past.
“The family has been under surveillance for at least seven years,” said Shannon Nuszen, a researcher at one organization, Beyneynu, said in a statement to the ultra-Orthodox website Behadrei Haredim, in a report last week that first uncovered Elk’s alleged aims. ‘[We have been] investigating the case of a covert missionary in French Hill for many years,” but opted to go public in 2021 “due to one of the missionary’s children proselytizing in school.”
As also reported in Behadrei Haredim, Elk’s 13-year-old daughter had told a classmate that Jesus Christ “accepts everyone, even if they are wrong.”
According to the Bergen Record, the act of missionizing is allowed in Israel, but there are exceptions. For instance, there’s a ban on proselytizing to children. Elk could face charges including falsifying his identity, immigration fraud and performing ritual circumcisions illegally. In the case of Elk’s daughter, any attempts to convert a minor in Israel are illegal unless there’s parental consent.
One of the other watchdog groups monitoring Elk was Outreach Judaism — and its director, Rabbi Tovia Singer, said in an interview that Elk instructed other missionaries on where to go in Israel.
“The idea of these messianic groups is to blur distinctions in order to lure Jews who would otherwise resist the Christian message,” said Singer.
Elk and his late wife, Amanda — who said she was the daughter of Holocaust survivors and died in February of cancer — allegedly moved to Israel with forged documents and with the assistance of Morningstar Missions in South Carolina. The Record reports that Elk seems to have previously worked as a minister in Washington State and attended a Christian college named Eastern University.
Also part of his personal history before heading to Israel: admitting that he had faced a “downward spiral,” which included drinking and a failed marriage.
In Israel, Elk ran a school for Messianic Jews — and, according to the watchdogs’ allegations, wrote anonymous blogs about his work as a down-low evangelist. In a 2011 video for Morningstar Ministries, for example, Elk is seen in observant Jewish clothing and says to “stir the Jewish people to jealousy” and “bring them back to [Jesus] once again.”
Nuszen believes there are some 30,000 missionaries in Israel, as well as 300 groups driven to evangelize Jews and 200 websites that aim for conversion.
- Two Chibok girls bag degrees from US university 7 years after escaping Boko Haram (Video)In Education, Nigeria NewsMay 10, 2021Two former students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state, have graduated from Southeastern University in the United States ...[Read more]
- Bayelsa Councillor rejects fundraising after she built bridge with funds meant for her official carIn Nigeria NewsMay 10, 2021A Bayelsa State councillor, Onem Miracle Tyna, has rejected offers of a GoFundMe or any other fundraising campaign planned on her behalf by members ...[Read more]
- Villagers stunned to find giant frog as big as ‘a human baby’In LifestyleMay 10, 2021Frogzilla! Solomon Islands villagers were flabbergasted after encountering a frog as big “as a human baby” during a hunting expedition, the ...[Read more]
- I’m Still Your Crush, Don’t Try To Play Me – Olakunle Churchill ClaimsIn Nigeria NewsMay 10, 2021ADVERTISEMENT Newly married Olakunle Churchill has come through with some shades saying he knows he’s someone’s crush asking the person not to try ...[Read more]
- Biafra, Oduduwa: Hypocrite, Nigeria must break up – Pastor Giwa replies T.B JoshuaIn Biafra, NewsMay 10, 2021The Senior Pastor of the Awaiting the Second Coming of Christ Ministry, Adewale Giwa, has responded to T.B Joshua’s declaration that Nigeria will not ...[Read more]
- UK Army tests suit that can make their soldiers fly in the air (Video)In Viral News, World NewsMay 10, 2021The British Royal Navy and Royal Marines may soon be using a kit that would give their officers an aerial advantage during operations. According to ...[Read more]
- Paris court tries anti-racism activist for statue attackIn LifestyleMay 10, 2021PARIS — A French activist for Black rights went on trial in Paris on Monday for defacing a statue of a historical figure from France’s colonial, ...[Read more]
- Elevator packed with law enforcement officers collapses in BrooklynIn USAMay 10, 2021An elevator collapsed in a Brooklyn building Monday morning with about two dozen members of federal and local law enforcement agencies inside, ...[Read more]
- Women’s FA Cup Round of 32 draw heldIn GhanaMay 10, 2021Advertisement The draw for the round of 32 of the 2020/21 Women’s FA Cup season took place on Monday, May 10, 2021. The Teams were grouped into five ...[Read more]
- Why are people getting choked up watching this Extra gum commercial?In LifestyleMay 10, 2021This one hit hard. An epic new commercial for Wrigley’s Extra brand gum that celebrates the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 is giving cooped up ...[Read more]