Exploring Congregation Beth Chofesh Hello and welcome to my web-site! Beth Chofesh is a Messianic congregation in Wyckoff, New Jersey. On their webpage they state
"Beth Chofesh (House of Freedom) is a Messianic Davidic Congregation celebrating the One New Man, Jew, and Gentile as one in Messiah....Where God's ancient people find reconciliation in Messiah Yeshua while preserving the heritage of our fathers."
Their leader is "Rabbi" Felix Halpern and they use multiple Jewish symbols in their presentation. So, are they Jewish? Not at all! They are completely a Christian organization, designed to covert Jews! I will present the evidence, from their site and other Christian sites, to prove this.
As a start, Beth Chofesh is a Christian congregation. It is an official church of the Assemblies of God movement, which is part of the Pentecostal movement. In fact, Beth Chofesh is listed on the offical Assemblies of God directory! Here is the link to the proof:
Similarly, they are listed in the Assemblies of God New Jersey District Council website. Here is the link to their site; you will find them in the "Name" section under "Congregation Beth Chofesh":
Clearly, only a Christian church would be a part of a Christian movement, not a real Jewish synagogue.
Felix Halpern advertises himself as the "rabbi" of Beth Chofesh. In truth, he is not a Jewish leader but a missionary leader of the Assemblies of God movement. Here is his listing on the Assemblies of God website as a missionary to the Jewish people:
Interestingly, he is not even Jewish. According to his biography on the Beth Chofesh website:
"Rabbi Halpern's Jewish heritage is on his father's side..."
The problems is that in Judaism, you are Jewish if your mother is Jewish. Religious heritage is traced via the mother, not the father. So, Felix Helpern does not even qualify as a Jew, let alone as a "rabbi." Moroever, according to his biography:
"He currently serves as President of the National Jewish Fellowship as well as on the International Board of Ethnicity for the Assemblies of God."
Again, the Assesmblies of God is a Christian movement, not a Jewish group. As I have already shown he is one of their many missionaries. Further The "National Jewish Fellowship" is also part of the Assemblies of God movement. Here is the link to the quote, the first quote is in the first paragraph and the second quote is from the second paragraph:
Here is the link to the Assemblies of God webpage which highlighs the National Jewish Fellowship as one of it's missionary branches
Where They Meet
Beth Chofesh meets at the Bethany Church, here they state it on the Beth Chofesh web-site:
Not suprisingly, Bethany is also part of the Assemblies of God movement, just like Beth Chofesh. Here is the link to the proof, from the Assemblies of God directory
Would a real Jewish group operate out of a Pentecostal church? Would a real Jewish group be allowed to operate out of a Pentecostal church? The answer to both questions is "No!" Would a Pentecostal group masquerading as a Jewish group operate out of a Pentecostal church? Yes!
Christian Advertising and Listings
Congregation Beth Chofesh has advertised their upcoming conference on Christian Activities Online. Pretty safe bet that no real Jewish group would do this. Here is the link to the evidence, they are the second to last listing on the page:
Similarly, you can find Beth Chofesh listed on Christian websites, such as Worthy Links. Here is the link to the listing, they are the last listing on the page. :
A real Jewish synagogue would never be listed on Worthy Links.
Now that Beth Chofesh has been clearly proven to be a Christian group, I will provide counter-missionary information. If you would like a local contact to discuss Beth Chofesh, Messianic Judaism and Judaism in general, Rabbi Chanoch Kaplan of Chabad in Franklin Lakes has graciously volunteered to speak with anyone who has questions. To reach him, you can either
Click here or, if you do not have Outlook or a similar program, you can reach him at [email protected]
Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus
There are many reasons why Jews do not accept Jesus, and the links below are some of the better explanations on this topic. Of course, if you have questions that are not covered on the links, you can always e-mail me with your questions.
An Answer from Rabbi Stuart Federow Click Here
An Answer from Rabbi Shraga Simmons Click Here
Ask the Rabbi from Ohr Somayach Click Here
An Answer from Rabbi Tovia Singer Click Here
There are a number of groups that provide Countermissionary Counseling. Here are links to a few of them:
Jews for Judaism
Alternatively, you can call them at 1-800-4PROOF1 with general questions about missionary claims.
Torah Life and Living
Great Sites, Priceless Information
Here are a number of great sites that counter missionaries and explain the differences in belief between Judaism and Christianity, including addressing the Biblical verses that missionaries try to use against the Jews and explaining why the missionaries are incorrect. For the most in-depth analysis of verse by verse questions, go to Messiah Truth (sections on Counter-Missionary: Multi-media training [this can be read without being "multi-media"], Knowing Your Orchard and Judaism's Answer), Jews for Judaism (in their Reference Section (please note that the Isaiah topics tend to be under "Suffering Servant" part of the "Proof Text" section) and the Q & A section of Outreach Judaism.
Jews for Judaism
Counter Missionary Reference
Messianic Verses in Tanach
Escape From Counterfeit Judaism
Talking to Kids About Missionaries