Called to Controversy, by Ruth Rosen, is an excellent biography of her father, Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus. Moishe were born into a non-observant Jewish family, and he and his wife Ceil converted to Christianity soon after they married. Moishe became a missionary for the American Board of Missions to the Jews, and eventually left to found his own organization, which became known as Jews for Jesus.
Called to Controversy is more than a biography. Rosen shares her father’s failures as well as successes, and shows how he grew as a leader. Moishe’s leadership lessons are woven throughout his story. Moishe had little formal leadership training yet led a world-wide organization for decades. I found it fascinating to follow his evolution as a leader and compare it to my own growth.
Moishe Rosen’s ministry faced several unique problems. The largest obstacle was to overcome the perception that Judaism and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Another was the misperception that Jewish traditions had to be abandoned if Jesus was recognized as the messiah. Moishe’s message was so controversial that anti-missionary protesters came to disrupt his speeches.
When I picked up this book, I expected a biography of Rosen and a history of Jews for Jesus, an organization I have long admired. In addition, I found excellent advice for new and growing leaders.
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