I've known Susan Perlman, one of the co-founders of Jews for Jesus, since the early 1980s. I remember visiting their headquarters in San Francisco, and it made a huge impression upon me.
This past week, Perlman had an opportunity to return the favor by visiting our offices here in Lake Mary, and I had the privilege of interviewing her for my Strang Report podcast. We talked about a great many things, including today's cancel culture in America and also about her longtime association with Jews for Jesus and its co-founder, Moishe Rosen.
Perlman has been with Jews for Jesus since around 1970, at the height of the Jesus Movement, and she now serves as the first assistant to Executive Director David Bricker and on their executive leadership team, so she's been a key part of the organization for more than 50 years.
For years, she worked with Rosen, who died in the early 2000s. Prior to Jews for Jesus, Rosen served as a veteran missionary to the Jews for 17 years.
But during that time, Rosen realized he needed to do something different to reach the Jewish people. He took radical action.
"He [Rosen] put on some jeans and a jean jacket embroidered with a statement by Jews for Jesus that said, 'Jesus made me kosher,'" Perlman says. "He went out on the college campuses, and he talked to young people and listened to what they had to say about life and faith. It really was quite an eye-opener for him.
"He realized that he wasn't communicating to the people he most wanted to reach," she says. "So we started writing literature that was a little different than what was then the traditional gospel tracts with small type and lots of Scripture verses. He hand-wrote these pamphlets, and they were written in the voice of a 9-year-old boy. He had statements like, 'If being born hasn't given you much satisfaction, then try being born again.' It was very creative.
"He wrote one that was titled, 'A Message From a Square,' Perlman adds. "He had this little stick figure with a square head to it. He talked about what was really important in life. People gravitated toward those tracts, and they were eager to talk more. He had the time, and he would center on park benches or on campus quads and just talk with people who needed to hear."
What Rosen had to say must have made a tremendous impact on a great number of people. More than 50 years later, Jews for Jesus is still going strong. The Jews for Jesus staff helps raise awareness of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah and helps provide spiritual care and meet needs in local communities.
Perlman is passionate about reaching the Jews about our Messiah, Yeshua. She says you might have some Jewish friends and believe it's impossible for them to consider serving Jesus. But remember, nothing is impossible with God.
"I'm a living example," Perlman says. "Keep praying for them. Prayer is really powerful, and look for opportunities to share the Good News with them. Most Jewish people are less secure in what they don't believe than you are in what you do believe."
Click here to listen to this entire podcast with Susan Perlman. Please spread the word about it to your followers on social media. Be sure to subscribe to the Strang Report on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast platform for more podcasts to inspire you to experience the power of the Holy Spirit.
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