The origins of Messianic Judaism in Canada comprise a story that begins in oppression, continues as a spark in the lives of key Jewish believers and grows into a small flame before the Shoah, until a reigniting in the Boomer generation. It is a significant story, because it sits between the poles of American and European Messianic Judaism, affected by both, forming a unique narrative that is a microcosm of developments in those other spheres.
Canada today has the world’s fourth largest Jewish population, centered primarily in Toronto and Montreal, with Vancouver a distant third. In contrast, 260 years ago, there were no Jews legally residing in the country, which would remain a British colony until 1867, 91 years after the American Declaration of Independence in 1776.
In the story of Canadian Messianic Judaism’s origins can be seen the pintele yid, or Jewish spark, that could not be extinguished in the lives of numerous Jewish believers in Yeshua. Before Hebrew Christianity ever came to Canada, Jewish believers maintained awareness of their identity, viewed themselves ever as Jews while also Christians, and liaised with one another. While every generation of Jewish believers had to renew this for itself, generational continuity being an impossibility before Messianic Judaism, their situation speaks to their specific calling and identity within the Body of Messiah. Theirs was an enduring longing, a yearning for Messiah, for Hashem, and for Israel. The evidence of this yearning is seen in their endeavors to associate with one another and to maintain their identity.
This story brings us up to the turn of the 21st century. Messianic Judaism today continues to develop and mature, albeit in asymmetrical ways. The story has not yet ended. We cannot extrapolate from past events to divine what will happen in days to come. Nevertheless, from the past we learn about ourselves today and how we have become what we are.
Although no organized form of Jewish Yeshua-believing community existed in Canada before confederation (when the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick united into one country), a history of Canadian Jewish believers would not be complete without the inclusion of notable Jews who came to the colonies. Their stories, reflecting an important phase in Canada’s origins and the origin of its Jewish community, provide a backdrop and context for the Hebrew Christianity that later developed.
During the colonial period the French and British colonies in what was to become Canada in 1867 were still closely linked to Britain and France culturally, ethnically, and economically. This continued despite the British capture of the French colony of Quebec in 1759 and the strong influence from the United States following the War of Independence in 1776. The Canadas were also linked religiously with Europe and Britain, most notably through the established Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.
In this environment Jews found themselves facing many of the same prejudices and stereotypes concerning them that prevailed in the old world. Such Jews as lived in the French colonies prior to British rule, as may be adduced by their names, were doubtless converts to Catholicism. This was assured by Le Code Noir (The Black Code), established by King Louis XIV in 1685 to limit the freedoms of free blacks and to exclude all non-Catholics and Jews from the French colonies. In the British colonies, Jews were not so disadvantaged. While little is known of the earliest Jewish believers in the colonies, some early events give clues as to the environment and role they found themselves in. Three stories have been preserved and are illustrative.
Illustrating the resistance of Jews to Christianity is the famous attempted immigration in 1738 of a French Jewish girl posing as a man. Under the innocuous name of Jacques la Farge, Esther Brandau is the first directly named Jewish immigrant to the French colony for, as noted above, during the French occupation, “neither Protestant nor Jew was allowed to dwell in that country.” Brandau’s guise did not last long, and soon the new immigrant was faced with a choice: convert to Catholicism or be deported back to France. She was sent to a convent in the colony, where the “nuns, unable to persuade the flighty girl to convert, declared her deranged and returned her to the court.” Having displayed unusual courage for one so far removed from her community, refusing to convert to Christianity, Brandau returned as a Jew to France at the King’s expense and no more was heard of her.
A Dutch Jew
In another instance a Jew, being discovered aboard a French vessel bound for Acadia in 1752, did not have the same freedom of choice. Aaron Hart, Commissary-General in Halifax and one of the few Jews in Canada was “shocked to learn” of the Dutch Jew at the French fortress of Louisburg, on Cape Breton Island:
The ship’s officers compelled him to swear on the New Testament to be a true Christian “after he had been enlightened with the truth of the Roman Catholic and horror of the Judaic religion in which he had hitherto confessed faith.”
Such an event, while isolated, served to reinforce Jewish concerns about Christian missionizing. Extreme actions as those of the ship’s officers were liable only to reinforce memories of persecution and injustices that had taken place in Europe.
A few years later a third Jew played a significant part in the history of Canada. Sir Alexander Schomberg was knighted in 1777. The son of the deist Meyer Low Schomberg, a German-Jewish physician who had once served as physician to the Great Synagogue of London, England, he had attended St. Paul’s school in London and, possibly due to the teaching he received there, converted to Anglicanism. This opened up the possibility of a career in the British Navy, in which he excelled.
Under General James Wolfe, Schomberg served as captain of the frigate Diana, leading the British fleet up the St. Lawrence river to confront the French in 1759. According to some accounts, he was the first of the British ashore and distinguished himself as he led the troops up the bluffs to conquer Quebec. While Schomberg had adopted Christian faith, and there is no hint that his faith was a matter of dispute, it is worth noting that his Jewish heritage was clear to all. He thus bore the dubious appellation of “Wolfe’s Jew.” His faith did not cause his identity with the Jewish people to fall into dispute, and in the longer term his place in Encyclopedia Judaica and other Jewish documents acknowledges his role in Jewish history, if not his faith.
Ironically, in the French forces the British were confronting, General Montcalm had as his aide the Brigadier General Gastogne Francois de Lévis, descendant of Henri de Lévy, Duke of Ventadour, who was Viceroy of New France (1625–1627) and a member of a family of New Christians that “openly hinted of their Jewish ancestry as represented by their centuries-old coat of arms.” It may thus be that Christians of Jewish ancestry were to be found on both sides of the warring parties. As with New Christians in general however, the genuineness of this family’s faith would always be a matter of suspicion. Many such Jews had become Christians for the sake of safety or social freedom, yet marrying only other New Christians and maintaining what they could of their Judaism under strict secrecy.
Following the French defeat and capitulation to the British in 1759–1760, the immigration of Jews to Canada greatly increased. This was due to the abolition of Le Code Noir in the widened English regime. Thus, even with the first British soldiers, Canada’s Jewish population began to grow. These earliest Jews however, in their varied encounters with Christianity, provide a background for the very spotty relationship between Jews and Christians, and between Jews and Christianity, in these early years. What is remarkable is that in all three life stories (or four, including de Lévis), the distinct Jewish identity of these persons could not be denied or shaken off. To this day they are all remembered as Jews.
Following this early period, the memory of three Jewish believers in Jesus forms a backdrop. All three were voluntary converts by conviction, and they were specifically those noteworthy enough in their accomplishments and role in the Canadian church to leave an accessible legacy. Further, it was in their decades, directly preceding Confederation, when these converts were gaining notoriety in the Canadian church, and when British and American missions to the Jews were growing in influence, that organized attempts to convert Canadian Jews to Christianity began.
These first notable Canadian Jewish believers that can be documented were all immigrants, and only one of the three became a believer while in Canada. Remarkably dissimilar, they were all born within a very short time of each other. The Rev. Charles Freshman was born in the year 1819 in Hungary and distinguished himself as a Canadian Methodist. Jacob Meier Hirschfelder, born in Baden-Baden, Germany, also in 1819, became an enigmatic but notable professor of biblical studies at the University of Toronto. Isaac Hellmuth, the second Anglican Bishop of Huron, was born in December of 1820 near Warsaw, Poland, and is most remembered for his role in establishing Huron College, later to become the University of Western Ontario. Each of these is to be discussed in some detail.
Charles Freshman (1819–c. 1880)
Charles (Karl) Freshman was born in St. Micklosh, Hungary (now Chynadiiovo, Ukraine), in 1819. The record of his life comes from his own autobiography, a lengthy tome of well over 300 pages which never seems to run out of anecdotes or endearing recollections. Written in 1868, it unfortunately does not record the last decade of Freshman’s life. Freshman was a fascinating character, and this work is colored by his own personality and some degree of vanity.
As was more common to his age than after the destruction of European Jewry during the Holocaust, it is clear that Charles Freshman was raised in a strict and orthodox Jewish home. Hungary was part of Eastern Europe, an area where the Haskalah had less influence than further west, but was still a notable force. Freshman’s description of the traditional nature of his upbringing within a tightly knit community fits what is known of the time. While his father was a businessman, his paternal grandfather was a rabbi, and his maternal grandfather a synagogue sexton. Accordingly his upbringing included all of the rites and traditions of Judaism, a fact that Freshman stresses, stating “My early religious training was strict in the extreme” and quoting Paul as a compatriot, “according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.”
Freshman’s prejudices were the same as would be expected from a traditional Jew of his time and place. Evidently, he was raised on the stories of Toldoth Yeshu, and he recalls being taught that “Jesus . . . was a bastard” (a claim of the medieval Jewish work “Life of Jesus”). All this served as a foundation for his description of the great gulf of antagonism that separated him from Christianity before his conversion.
From an early age Freshman was enrolled in training for the rabbinate. Thus it was that when in 1855 he arrived in Canada with his family, he promptly found a position as rabbi in the Jewish congregation of Quebec City. That congregation was made up of a number of nationalities of Jews, but most predominantly English and German. There he worked for about three years trying to get his Sabbath desecrating congregants to obey the Torah as they would have done in Europe, but with little success. While in Quebec City he began to read a Bible, including both the Testaments, which he had received in Cashaw, Hungary, from an unnamed Jewish missionary employed by the Scottish Church. His openness to Christian doctrine must have been evident, for he was solicited not only by Mr. Elliot, a Wesleyan minister, but also by at least two women, Mrs. McLeod and Miss Clapham, who would visit him and his wife and pray for her salvation (while being unaware that he was still not a Christian). Through the agency of a Mr. Elliot, he eventually took a public stand as a believer in Jesus.
Soon Freshman became thoroughly enamored with the Wesleyan Methodists, and began to take an active part in ministry among Protestant churches. He became an avid student of Wesleyan theology, as well as of the English language. Because of his facility in German, however, he eventually found himself a missionary to the Germans in Canada. The type of work he performed over the years was recorded in his own words in 1868:
It will be eight years next conference since I began the German work in Canada. Then there was not a single German Wesleyan Methodist. Now, thanks be to God! (sic) we have eight missionary labourers in the vineyard, several local preachers and class-leaders, and over two hundred members in the society . . . Then we had not a single church or appointment; now we have twelve churches, and thirty congregations, . . . Besides all this, other German churches, which were becoming cold and dead, have been awakened and quickened through our instrumentality.
It thus appears that Freshman had a significant influence upon the early Canadian church. Indeed, he quite expected that due to the efficacy of his labors, certain Lutherans would wish him dead! This gives a clue as to the dynamism of his character and possibly the controversial nature of his methods. A rough comparative statistical measure of Freshman’s influence can also be advanced: “On the eve of Confederation Lutherans had some twenty pastors at work in more than sixty congregations and preaching stations.” Freshman by his own account established thirty Methodist congregations.
Freshman always valued his ties with his people and considered himself a Jew. Indeed, part of his ministry was to preach the Gospel to his fellow Jews. At one point he writes of the “Singular Conversion of a Rich Jew, from Berlin.” In another he writes of a “Lecture to the Jews” in Detroit. Both are indicative of his continuing interest in the salvation of his “brethren after the flesh” and his identification with them.
When he could, Freshman both gave and drew moral support from other Jewish believers. He describes Dr. Isaac Hellmuth as “A friend indeed to me, and a beloved brother in Christ Jesus – ‘An Israelite indeed.’” He describes Ephraim Epstein, mentioned later in this chapter, in more detached terms, and also mentions meetings with other Jewish believers in Yeshua. What is evident from this is that, while scattered, Jewish believers in Canada at this time were already making the effort to stay in touch with one another on the basis of their shared heritage.
In a later publication by Freshman, The Jews and the Israelites (1870), it is apparent that he had come to believe in the national restoration of Israel, “even before the mass conversion of his former coreligionists.” Thus even though he had not previously focused his efforts on Jews, their conversion was clearly a concern close to his heart. An independent biography affirms that several Jews were “led to Christ through his efforts.” The subsequent events of his life are not known, nor how and when he died. It is known, however, that his son Jacob became a minister.
Seemingly, Freshman’s convictions concerning the value of his Jewish identity and the need of Jewish people for the Gospel were passed down to his son Jacob, as is borne out by a small item in 1882 in the Jewish Messenger of New York indicating that “Freshman” had proposed to begin a Hebrew Christian movement there. This work of his son Jacob Freshman, who had moved to the city in 1881, had begun as a mission in the city. Evidently his work bore fruit as he dedicated the “Hebrew Christian Church” on October 11, 1885, describing it as the “First Hebrew Christian Church in America.” This was about the same time as Joseph Rabinowitz began a Messianic congregation in Kishinev, Moldova.
Though it was a viable work in 1888, Jacob Freshman wrote to Rev. William McLarin in Canada requesting financial assistance for Samuel Fries who was about to graduate from Union Seminary in New York in spring of the next year. Tellingly, the last words of this letter are: “The struggle is really very great for me to do all I wish to do in bringing my Jewish Brethren to Christ.” Ultimately the mission was incorporated as part of the New York City Mission.
If Jacob Freshman did not get this overwhelming concern for evangelizing the Jewish people from his parents, it would be difficult to account for. His labors were widespread, and he organized bands to “pray and labor for the salvation of his brethren” in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, and Montreal. According to Mitch Glaser, the mission that Freshman started was eventually instrumental in winning Leopold Cohn over to Christianity. Leopold Cohn in turn established a mission which would become by some measures the most significant in Canadian and American history, today known as Chosen People Ministries. A.E. Thompson, writing in 1902, thus stated that through him “[t]he foundation was being laid for a great work in America which others have commenced to build.”
Jacob Meier Hirschfelder (1819–1902)
The second notable Jewish believer in Yeshua for whom records exist in the
mid-nineteenth century is Jacob Meier Hirschfelder. Stephen Speisman describes him as one of only three German-Jewish Toronto residents in the 1840s. Like Freshman, he was European born. Unlike Freshman, he was an Anglican. There is no record of his conversion in Canada; it is not known where or how he converted. In surviving records, he always appears as one with an established identity as a believer who saw himself as part of the church. Hirschfelder first came to Canada in 1837 and lived either in Montreal or Quebec City until 1842.
Hirschfelder had a natural aptitude to teach. This he advertised in The Toronto Patriot of August 8, 1841, as a youth of only twenty-two years. In Toronto he offered instruction in Hebrew and German. His abilities even at that young age must have been notable, for by 1844 he was appointed as a lecturer in Oriental languages at King’s College, and soon he was a fixture upon the scene of Canadian Biblical Studies.
Unfortunately, a “total lack of private papers” hinders our knowledge of Hirschfelder’s person. It is known, however, that he was “somewhat of a bon vivant in the cultural circles of early Victorian Toronto.” He had both notable and intellectual friends. It is also known that his wife’s name was Marjory Anne Smith, and that she was a “Montreal Belle,” suggesting that she was not Jewish.
The fact that Hirschfelder was well versed in several Semitic languages suggests that his training in Europe was that of an educated, Haskalah Jew. No one has yet been able to locate any record of the school at Eslinger where he claimed to have received his education. Thus it may be that his education was of a more religious than secular bent, and possibly via Jewish institutions. His academic career in Canada is well documented, however, and he produced a considerable number of publications.
Hirschfelder was not one to avoid controversy. Whereas few Canadian teachers of biblical languages in that period published, he was not afraid to enter the academic fray as his publications attest. Further, his views did not go unnoticed. In 1874, the same year that Hirschfelder published on the issue of creation, John Marshall, a Judge in Nova Scotia, wrote an impassioned rebuttal. It appears that Hirschfelder was a proponent of the “Gap” theory. Marshall, evidently not a Hebrew student himself, criticized Hirschfelder for his “vanity” in presuming to criticize several instances of mistranslations in the English Bible—putting “himself above the eminent translators.” Far from being lax in his esteem of Scripture, however, by his critique of Bishop Colenso’s inflammatory work Hirschfelder proved his commitment to its authority. In this his concerns converged with those of the conservative Judge Marshall.
There is ample evidence that Hirschfelder valued his intellectual heritage as a Jew. Well acquainted with the documents of Judaism, he referred to them, held them in high regard, and did not hide his familiarity with them. According to the private papers of one of his students, his library included “the celebrated 18 volumes [the Talmud] and a number of interesting Jewish works.” Although writing to a Christian audience in his attack upon Colenso, Hirschfelder did not hesitate to draw upon his resources. Thus he quotes not only Maimonides, but also Ibn Ezra, David Kimchi, Rashi, Moses Ben Nachman, and Isaac Abarbanel, along with scholars of the Christian faith. This leads to two observations: One is that he was secure in his faith and knew that his attention to Jewish sources would not call his faith into question. The second is that he still respected those sources, and was in some part asserting his Jewish heritage by using them. The latter point is important as it demonstrates his affinity for his own people. These sources are referred to in Hirschfelder’s sarcastic question: “. . . had the host of eminent modern Jewish commentators their wits, not to have seen those terrible things in the five books of Moses which Dr. Colenso seems to have discovered?”
Hirschfelder was clearly one who identified himself both culturally and religiously with Christianity and Christian culture. There is no evidence that he had any concern with proselytizing the Jewish community nor maintaining relations with it. Rather, the impression one has is that Hirschfelder had a lot to gain academically by professing Christianity, and actually did quite well for himself as a professor whereas he would not have done so without converting. Nevertheless, he did not disdain his Jewishness. Thus in some ways he remains an enigma.
Bishop Isaac Hellmuth (1820–1901)
The third Jewish believer in Yeshua to be discussed is Isaac Hellmuth, the first Bishop of Huron (December 14, 1820–May 29, 1901). Born in Eastern Europe, near Warsaw, he did not grow up poor or without a thorough Jewish upbringing. His heritage accounts for much of his abilities and understanding of Judaism, as his father was “a Rabbi ‘of a highly respected Jewish family. Claims were made by his family for a descent traced from the house of Judah and the Royal House of David.’”
Through the agency of Dr. S. Neuman, a Hebrew Christian and missionary with the London Society, Hellmuth became a believer while studying at the University of Breslau. There he was (as might be expected) promptly turned out of his home and disowned. From there he went to England, which was a natural expediency since it was the home of the London Society. In England he was greatly encouraged by Hugh McNeile, a strong Evangelical, and one of the first Anglican clergymen to accept premillennialism. Thus, Hellmuth inherited a keen Evangelicalism, for which he became well known. After a time in England, which was for him a place of refuge, he came to Canada in 1844.
Hellmuth had a strong desire to present the Gospel to other Jews. In what amounts to the first indication of any Hebrew Christian community in Canada, Crowfoot records that “He came to know some Jewish Christians in Montreal, and they convinced him that there was a rich harvest in Canada’s growing metropolis and that he was the man to reap it.” In 1846 Hellmuth was ordained a Deacon and “Priest in the Church of God.” In reference to this event Bishop George Mountain said, “He hoped to lead the Jews of Montreal to a knowledge of the Messiah.”
Beginning what was to be an illustrious career in the Anglican Church, in the same year (1846) Hellmuth took a position as Vice Principal and Professor of Hebrew and Rabbinical Literature at Bishop’s College in Lennoxville, Quebec. This position he held until 1854. Thereafter he became the General Superintendent of the Colonial and Continental Church Society in British North America, a post which he held until 1861. Subsequently during that year, the first Bishop of Huron, Bishop Cronyn, found that Hellmuth was unemployed. Using his opportunity, he persuaded Hellmuth to undertake the “campaign for funds for the establishment and endowment of his [Cronyn’s] projected college.” The fundraising effort was quite successful, and on December 2, 1863 the College was formally opened without any debts incurred. The then Archdeacon Hellmuth thus became part of the first staff, beginning classes in January 1864. There he contributed as only a Jewish believer could, as can be seen in the testimony of one of his students:
I found the value of his instructions, especially in Hebrew language and literature; for he was a full-blooded Jew, brought up in the “straitest sect of his religion” in Poland, and did not embrace Christianity till he was over twenty-one years of age. He was well-versed, not only in the Hebrew Scriptures, but also in Talmudic and Cabalistic lore. He was always quoting “Rashi” (which is short for Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac), “Kimchi” and a lot of other learned and mystical Jews of the Middle Ages.
The school did not prosper financially, however, particularly in the economically depressed mid 1870’s.
Hellmuth continued to serve the Anglican Church of Canada, becoming Cronyn’s successor as the second Bishop of Huron in 1871. Far from losing all interest in his Jewish brethren, and despite his many other activities, Hellmuth stirred up much interest in the London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews (LSPCJ, or “London Society”) and its Canadian Auxiliary. He was thus counted as one of the influential patrons of the society’s first halting steps in its noteworthy efforts to evangelize Canadian Jews.
The central Canadian bishopric was of great importance in the Anglican Church. While in this post
he furthered a plan initiated by the faculty and graduates of [the financially troubled] Huron College to found a University of which the College would be a part, to meet the needs of the western counties, now rapidly increasing in population.
In this way Hellmuth was the key facilitator in establishing both Huron College and the University of Western Ontario. Huron College is part of the University to this day. As Bishop he resided in London, Ontario, until his unexpected resignation in 1883, for the sake of his wife’s health, to become Coadjutor Bishop of Hull. Shortly after the death of his wife on May 21, 1884 he moved to England and died at the age of 81 on May 29, 1901 at Somerset.
Throughout his life, Hellmuth’s sympathies never departed from the Jewish people. While he was in London, England, in 1877, the Dominion Churchman reported that he “delivered a lecture in the city hall, on the restoration of the Jews to their own Land, with special reference to Jerusalem.” The following comment demonstrates that his concern for Israel was perceived as distinct from the typical interest in Israel among Evangelical clergy of the era:
He believes in the restoration of the Jews to the fatherland, at no distant period. A belief in this he firmly maintains in common with other Jews, whether believing that the Messiah has come or is yet to come to restore the kingdom to Israel.
Isaac Hellmuth clearly did not seek to conceal his heritage. His indebtedness to, encouragement of, and influence upon the LSPCJ upon his final return to England is well documented. He associated with and influenced other Jewish believers and cannot have failed to impart a significant degree of self-respect and reinforce to them the legitimacy of maintaining their cultural distinctiveness within the church.
Charles Freshman, Jacob Hirschfelder, and Isaac Hellmuth were all influential in the Canadian church and in Canadian history. Freshman was a key part in the growth of the Methodist church in Canada. Hirschfelder is credited with being the founder of Biblical Studies in Canada, and Isaac Hellmuth served as an Anglican Bishop and founded a university that today boasts a student body of some 24,000.
A Flame Grows, Fanned by Jewish Missions
Following this earliest period, missions to the Jews rose in prominence, being embarked upon by three parties: The Anglican-based London Society, the Anglican Diocese of Toronto, and the Presbyterian Church.
Early Missionary Efforts
Motivations to seek Jewish conversion to Christianity were complex. This was in part because Christians were affected by eschatological expectations which had been heightened following the French Revolution. In part, also, they were motivated by a Christian Triumphalism, bluntly attested to by the publication of the substantial volume Memories of Gospel Triumphs Among the Jews During the Victorian Era in 1894. Both of these factors were amplified by the suffering of Jews in Europe and the Moslem world, leading to pity for the suffering Jew. Thus, Johnstone Vicars, a tireless worker for the London Society refers to the Jews in a tract as his late sister-in-law’s “perverted, persecuted and perishing people”
Given the cultural and linguistic obstacle Christians had to overcome, it is no wonder that during this period Jewish believers in Yeshua became prominent as the most effective missionaries to their own. On the other hand, not all were suitable for the task. The Presbyterian mission for example had a Jewish leader who would gain both fame and notoriety, and after the mission was transferred to the LSPCJ, it prospered under the leadership of this Rev. I.T. Trebitsch, a Jewish believer of Hungarian descent whose father had been a “wealthy and zealous Rabbi.” Although an extremely unstable and ultimately self-centered individual, Trebitsch was also very capable in whatever he set his mind to do. Since he had previously assisted the Presbyterian mission in the same city, the work was guaranteed continuity. In the long term, Trebitsch proved to be a fatally flawed and unstable individual.
As disappointing as Trebitsch was, Shabbetai Rohold proved highly effective. About 1907, the Presbyterians revived their work in Toronto. Events began to move quickly, and the next year saw the opening of a mission in the heart of the Toronto Jewish Community. Paul Dekar describes Rohold thus:
[the son] of a Jerusalem rabbi, Rohold received the best rabbinical education available in Jerusalem. He became a respected Talmudic scholar and went to England to continue his education. There, at the age of twenty-three he was converted to Christianity after a period of crisis concerning Biblical passages which refer to the promised Messiah. His personality was such that, unlike many Jewish converts to Christianity, he maintained friendly relations with Jews.
Rohold was concerned that the salvation of his people should not be dependent upon their becoming Christianized in a cultural sense. Therefore, he made it clear that acceptance of the Gospel did not abolish a Jew’s Jewishness, and referred to his work as a synagogue.
This was only the beginning. Just one year later the Hebrew Christians of the city presented a petition through the agency of Dr. J. McPherson Scott to the Presbytery of Toronto for whom Rohold worked, “asking permission to organize themselves into a Hebrew Christian congregation.” It is quite possible that their motivation came from the well-publicized example of the Messianic Movement in Kishinev, which had received international attention under Joseph Rabinowitz in the last fifteen years of the nineteenth century. The petition was passed unanimously, evidencing a high degree of trust by the Presbytery in the stability and quality of the Hebrew Christian community. Out of this grew a congregation, and one of the outstanding results of Rohold’s work in Toronto was the establishment of this Hebrew Christian Synagogue in June, 1913. According to Jacob Gartenhaus, this was at the time the only institution of its kind in North America.
Clearly, the congregation served a substantial Hebrew Christian community, and in 1914, when a special (the first) communion was held at the Hebrew Christian Synagogue, Rohold was able to count “114 Hebrew Christians and friends who participated in the service.” The reception this synagogue received was not unambiguously positive, and the Presbytery sought to intervene. Rohold by virtue of his influential position was obliged to answer some telling questions for the sake of the Christian community. These were:
- Have you anything peculiar in your ‘Christian Synagogue’?
- Are you advocating what is called the ‘Messianic Judaism’?
- Have you created a middle wall of partition?
To all these questions Rohold answered in the negative. In my estimation this demonstrates that the Synagogue was Presbyterian in form and liable to see itself as part of the church, not distinct from gentile congregations. That it was not advocating “Messianic Judaism” indicates that the Presbytery had a negative view of Rabinowitz’s work and movement, and that Rohold was able to allay their fears. It is quite reasonable that while beholden to the church, Rohold in fact had much sympathy for his European counterpart. In this he was in lockstep with Jewish communities in various other major Jewish population centers, where Hebrew Christian synagogues were being established at this time.
In 1918 Shabbetai Rohold summarized the Hebrew Christian Synagogue’s accomplishments:
It has pleased God to show us some visible fruit of our labors. We have been privileged to listen to the testimony of hundreds of Jews confessing faith in Christ and to witness the baptism of forty-two, adults and children.
In the same year Scott, the mission’s key patron, evaluated the mission as being “one of the most ably conducted and most successful Missions to the Jews on this continent,” having “a vigorous Hebrew Christian congregation. There are twenty-five names on its honor (sic.) roll.” The synagogue remained under the direction of Shabbetai Rohold until 1920, when he left “to do special work in Palestine under the British Jews Society.”
In a parallel development, during these years The Hebrew Christian Alliance of America—the most significant sign of developing Hebrew Christian community in its day—was fast taking form, and Rohold took a leading role in its development. In that community he appeared as “a leader, a kind of senior statesman.”
Two strands of Hebrew Christianity were developing. One more concerned with Jewish continuity and identity, and another more assimilationist. This was a real concern to Rohold, and part of his motivation for the establishment of an American Alliance (which included Canada). Rohold was elected on April 7, 1915 as the Alliance’s first president. In a 1916 address to the second general conference of the Alliance, Rohold suggested that Hebrew Christian community had existed in an unorganized fashion before the Alliance’s formation, which he says “was the result of long aspiration.” That was indeed true, for “in America an American Hebrew Christian Association was formed in New York in 1855, but we have no record of its history. Further, Rohold pointed to the fact that for many Hebrew Christians, assimilation was the natural order of the day, and they did not share these aspirations.
The Flame Flickers
In the years preceding the Second World War, the center of Canadian Hebrew Christianity was undoubtedly Toronto, which had Canada’s second largest Jewish community, numbering 34,377 in 1921. To a large degree this was due to the intense missionary effort the Jews of the city were subjected to. The notable work at this time was conducted by what was known as the Nathanael Institute. The Nathanael Institute quite arguably became the most influential center of Hebrew Christian life in Toronto after the First World War.
Established by the Anglican Church following years of missionary effort by the London Society, it maintained a continuous presence until the 1960s. Nevertheless, immediately after World War I, it declined in viability as an effective mission organization, before recovering. As seen in the annual reports, attendance and participation in Nathanael Institute’s classes increased notably over the following years.
The reports that document this growth also exhibit a disturbing trend, as their lines reveal an increase in Canadian Christian antipathy to the Jews. Approaching the early 1930s, comments regarding Christian prejudices against the Jews were increasingly mentioned as a handicap to the work. By 1931 the Institute suggested that there were a number of Jews who might believe in “Jesus as the Messiah” but remained secret believers. This was because baptism meant estrangement from the Jewish community, yet far too often the fellowship of Christian people was also denied them even after baptism. As Canadian Jewish believers in Yeshua were thus reminded of their Jewishness by the church itself, it was inevitable that they should increasingly view themselves as a distinct group.
In 1935, Morris Kaminsky and his wife took charge of the Nathanael Institute. Under his direction the Institute began to conduct baptisms. In its surviving baptismal register, it records as its first entry Edward Daniel Brotsky, baptized in St. Stephen’s parish, on the ninth of September 1938. Also baptized in St. Stephen’s was Morris Paul Chernoff, on the 26th of March 1939. Both of these men, and the entire Chernoff family, were to have an immense impact on not only Canadian, but also American Hebrew Christianity.
The Brotsky and Chernoff baptisms were conducted just months before the outbreak of the Second World War. At this time Rohold’s Hebrew Christian Synagogue was no longer active, and Jewish believers in Yeshua tended to gravitate to the Nathanael Institute. Thus, in 1949 Morris Kaminsky was able to report “a little flock of Hebrew Christians in Toronto.”
World War Two was a watershed, a six-year conflict that formed the climax of “The War against the Jews” and the Nazi “Final Solution.” In the wake of the Shoah began a period in Jewish history leading to the Jewish people’s victory from the ashes in the Six Day War of 1967. These years were foundational for what would become the Messianic Jewish Movement in Canada. During these years, in 1957, Dr. Jacob Jocz was appointed as Morris Kaminsky’s successor at the Nathanael Institute. In that role he became heir to “a small Jewish Congregation meeting on the premises.”
Trouble was in the wind for this Hebrew Christian group, however, for the diocese hired Jocz with an ulterior motive, in part because he was less than a “militant ‘evangelical,’” Jocz was an appropriate candidate for a church re-evaluating its commitment to Jewish evangelism. Thus Jocz’s leadership in evangelizing Jews was quickly undercut by theological and missiological changes in the Anglican Church. In part this theological change was brought about by exposure to European theology which Jocz himself helped introduce. His was a short employment, and his resignation in 1960 paved the way for a fundamental transformation of the mission. Thus, Jocz’s tenure at the Institute, against his will, initiated a period of transition that eventually distanced the Nathanael Institute from Jewish believers in Yeshua.
Because of the impact of the Holocaust on the church, both Anglican and Presbyterian missions had begun to downplay traditional evangelism of Jews. This left a widening field to such independent missions as the American Board of Missions to the Jews (ABMJ, later called Chosen People Ministries) and later Jews for Jesus. Such were supported by Evangelicals, who continued to bluntly assert that Jews needed to “know Jesus Christ.” Meanwhile, Canada’s Hebrew Christian community grew increasingly independent of all, even these Jewish-run, missions.
As can be seen from the story thus told, Canadian Hebrew Christianity was fostered by the missions. This was also its downfall, as when the agenda of the missions changed following the Holocaust, Hebrew Christianity declined. Meanwhile, World War II, the Holocaust, and the establishment of the State of Israel enhanced the self-awareness of Jewish believers. It is during this period that they began to form real communities, with organizations, activities, and ideals of their own. Previously, Hebrew Christian leaders, usually in the employ of the missions, had used their opportunity to foster a nascent “messianic” identity among Jewish believers. By participation and leadership in the International and American Hebrew Christian Alliances, the establishment of Jewish Christian congregations, and activism on behalf of Jewish concerns such as immigrant aid and antisemitism, they asserted the Hebrew Christian’s right to retain his identity as a Jew. Thus, during this critical period, Hebrew Christianity developed beyond the self-awareness and concerns of individual Hebrew Christians into a true community, most developed in Toronto.
Reignition: Independence and Growth
The 1960s brought many changes to the growing Hebrew Christian community of Canada. Under the leadership of numerous individuals, it began to form its own social consciousness and develop into a multi-faceted movement with numerous autonomous congregations across the country, many social associations, and an enduring trans-denominational Alliance. As the movement gained new dimensions and characteristics, many Jewish believers began to repudiate the term “Hebrew Christian.” In its place the term “Messianic” or “Messianic Jew” became more common. Jewish-Christian congregationalism gained adherents.
As the missions declined in influence, Jewish believers increasingly used their own resources to develop their communities. As Ben Volman stated:
Now a new emphasis, the consequence of years of mission work, has emerged onto the Canadian church scene: a dynamic ethnic congregational movement that crosses denominational lines.
Hebrew Christianity grudgingly made room for the much more organized and higher-profile Messianic Judaism. As a result, where Messianic congregations were established, they often took a significant role in creating a milieu in which Hebrew Christians could meet on occasion. Messianic Jews, motivated by a desire to maintain their Jewish culture, increased their association with one another and worked towards the establishment of Messianic congregations.
Most notable in Canadian history was the establishment of Congregation Melech Yisrael (CMY) in Toronto. Firmly in the tradition of Messianic Judaism, Melech Yisrael was the first fully autonomous Messianic congregation in Canadian history. Yet it had roots all the way back to Rohold’s Hebrew Christian Church before the First World War. Melech Yisrael resulted when two small Messianic congregations, one pastored by Malvern Jacobs, and the other led by Hans Vanderwerff, merged. The group led by Jacobs, established in the 1960s under the auspices of the Nathanael Institute, by itself had 25–50 members in attendance. This was the group that Jocz had led for a time. After a time in Calgary, Ed Brotsky moved to Toronto in 1976 and revived an organization called the “Hebrew Christian Witness,” picking up where Rachmiel Frydland had left off. It was his work that helped lay the foundations for Congregation Melech Yisrael, which for decades was Canada’s most notable Messianic synagogue. Melech Yisrael eventually managed to purchase its own synagogue building, and has been the largest and oldest Messianic congregation in the city.
Not without opposition in the Jewish community, the congregation received city-wide publicity in a Toronto Star article in 1980. In that article, the congregation was accused by Rabbi Immanuel Schochet of “trying to convert Jewish youth under false pretenses.” It was this congregation however, where a member, Zev Isaacs, got the vision to start a Messianic newspaper, and from here the internationally known Messianic Times was born.
In general, about a decade behind developments in the United States, congregations were established across Canada. In 1987 Montreal’s first Messianic congregation was established by Hanan and Haya Itescu. This congregation would eventually become Kehilat She’ar Yashuv, and from this start multiple Messianic congregations would be founded in that city.
In Vancouver, Kehillath Tsion was founded by Elie Nessim in 1986 as the outgrowth of a charity established by Jewish believers in the city who wanted independence from the city’s Jewish mission. By the 1990s, the membership of the congregation numbered in the fifties, over half of whom were Jews. Today the congregation continues as the city’s only Messianic synagogue, with a larger number of members but with fewer Jews.
In Edmonton, Alberta, Congregation Beit Mashiach (now B’nai Chayim) was established by the Goldberg family and the Velie family. This congregation is affiliated with the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) under Rabbi Mike Terret’s leadership, as is the congregation Rabbi Cal Goldberg currently leads in Calgary. Beth Shechinah in Calgary was established by the Goldbergs in 1994, maintains close ties to the congregation in Edmonton, and is also affiliated with the International Association of Messianic Jewish Congregations and Synagogues (IAMCS). In collaboration with another Messianic congregation in the province and the online Rocky Mountain College, they are able to offer accredited courses from a Messianic perspective.
Other congregations across the country are currently thriving. In Toronto, the UMJC congregation Kehillat Eytz Chaim led by Rabbi Ben Volman is newer on the scene but has a firmly established presence. Other congregations in the area are IAMCS affiliated, one being City of David, and the other Rosh Pinah, led, notably, by Andrew Zeidman, who is related to Morris Zeidman, a previous leader of the congregation at the Nathanael Institute.
There are too many congregations across the country to list, but the overall picture is of stability with a healthy number of new congregations being added over time. It is a far cry from the early years where before 1967 in Calgary Edward Brotsky unsuccessfully attempted to establish a congregation in that city with its smaller population.
By the 1990s, many cities that had never even had a sustained missionary effort aimed at the conversion of Jews had fledgling Messianic congregations. A growing sense of community developed among congregations nationwide, and by 1994 serious talks were underway exploring the possibility of an association of Canadian Messianic congregations.
The origins of Messianic Judaism in Canada are bound up with antisemitism and forced conversion, but the story rapidly develops into a narrative of shared identity and Jewish conviction simply waiting for liberation. That liberation, and the oxygen for the flame, came with the turning point of the Jewish people’s life-affirming victories of the Six Day War. In this new environment, what had long been a yearning for association and independence developed into a thriving Messianic Jewish community, which has had impact not only in Canada, but to some degree upon Messianic Judaism around the world.
Daniel Nessim, a third-generation Jewish believer in Yeshua, lives in the Seattle area with his wife Deborah, and leads Kehillath Tsion in Vancouver, British Columbia. Daniel recently finished his PhD in Theology and Religion at England’s University of Exeter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 After the American revolution, Britain retained her hold on the continent with what was to become the nation of Canada. In British North America there were no major grievances, and there was a loyalist background. Thus, while American influence was strong, “feelings of resentment and even fear towards the United States” reinforced imperial loyalty. See Edgar McInnis, Canada: A Political and Social History (New York: Rinehart, 1959), 173ff.
2 Benjamin Gutelius Sack, History of the Jews in Canada, trans. R. Novek (Montreal: Harvest House, 1965), 5.
3 Sack, History, 3.
4 Stanley B. Ryerson, The Founding of Canada: Beginnings to 1815 (Toronto: Progress, 1960), 171. See also David Max Eichhorn, Evangelising the American Jew (New York: Jonathan David, 1978), 171; Sack, History of the Jews in Canada, 6ff.
5 I. Harold Sharfman, The Frontier Jews: An Account of Jewish Pioneers and Settlers in Early America (New Jersey: Citadel, 1977), 5. For a full account, see Sack, History of the Jews in Canada, 6–9.
6 Sharfman, 27; See also The Jew in Canada: A Complete Record of Canadian Jewry from the Days of the French Régime to the Present Time, ed. Arthur Daniel Hart (Toronto: Jewish Publication, 1926), 4. There are some minor variations between the two accounts, but in essence the same story is told.
7 John Charnock, Biographia Navalis: or Impartial Memoirs of the Lives and Characters of Officers of the Navy of Great Britain From the Year 1660 to the Present Time, vol. 6 (London: Faulder, 1798), 272.
8 Built in the seventeenth century to serve London’s Ashkenazi community, this synagogue no longer exists, having been destroyed in the Blitz of London during World War II.
9 Hart, ed., The Jew in Canada, 14.
10 Hart, ed., 27, 30.
11 Hart, ed., 27. The coat of arms displayed both a lion—symbol of the house of Judah—and three Stars of David.
12 e.g. Aaron Hart (not to be confused with Arthur Hart, above), a commissary officer and fur trader. See Ben G. Kayfetz, “Hart, Aaron,” in Encylopædia Judaica (Jerusalem: Keter, 1972); See also Hart, The Jew in Canada, 14.
13 Charles Freshman, The Autobiography of the Rev. Charles Freshman (Toronto: Rose, 1868), 1.
14 John S. Moir, A History of Biblical Studies in Canada: A Sense of Proportion (Chico, California: Scholars, Press 1982), 3.
15 Freshman is candid enough about his pride, stating “I must have been endowed with a large development in that part of the cranium where self-esteem is located.” Freshman, Autobiography, 5.
16 Haskalah is the Hebrew term for The Enlightenment movement as it was internalized by European Jewry beginning in the 1770s. Shmuel Ettinger, “The Modern Period,” in Encyclopedia Judaica (Jerusalem: Keter, 1972), 776.
17 Freshman, Autobiography, 1.
18 Freshman, Autobiography, 5–6.
19 Freshman, Autobiography, 7.
20 Freshman, Autobiography, 13.
21 Freshman, Autobiography, 50–51.
22 This was doubtless the city of Quebec’s first Jewish congregation, established in 1802. Louis Rosenberg, Canada’s Jews: A Social and Economic Study of the Jews in Canada (Montreal: Canadian Jewish Congress, 1939).
23 Freshman, Autobiography, 81. It is a curious coincidence that this lady bore the name of Clapham, similar to that part of London that had been the center of British Evangelical activism for many years, suggesting the possibility that Freshman is here using a pseudonym.
24 Freshman, Autobiography, 119.
25 Freshman, Autobiography, 312. It may be that Freshman portrays himself as more effective than he actually was, minimizing the important contributions of others and events beyond his control; yet there is clearly some factual basis. Freshman’s autobiography was presumably published for the very people who would be most able to verify or dispute his claims.
26 Robert T. Handy, A History of the Churches in the United States and Canada (New York: Oxford, 1977), 252.
27 Handy, History of the Churches, xiv–xv.
28 Freshman, Autobiography, 94.
29 Freshman, Autobiography, 120, 135–137.
30 Michael Brown, Jew or Juif? Jews, French Canadians, and Anglo-Canadians, 1759–1914 (New York: JPS, 1987), 18.
31 Sean O’Sullivan, “Rabbi Charles Freshman,” in Good News: The Magazine with a Message (Johannesburg: Good News Society, n.d.), 47.
32 Freshman, Autobiography, 12.
33 A.S. Isaacs, ed. “Love’s Labor Lost,” Jewish Messenger (Jan. 6, 1882), quoted by David Rome, Jacob’s Opponents (Montreal: Canadian Jewish Congress, 1986), 35.
34 Mitchell Glaser, “A Survey of the History of Missions to the Jews in New York City 1900–1930,” LCJE Bulletin, no. 38 (Nov. 1994): 18.
35 Eichhorn, Evangelising the American Jew, 163.
36 Charles Freshman, Letter to Rev. Wm. McLarin, DD, Dec. 8, 1888, Hebrew Christian Church, 17, Mark’s Place, New York. If Freshman did convert Fries, his work must be given credit. Fries had studied for seven years in the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau and Berlin and officiated in American synagogues prior to his conversion.
37 Freshman, Letter to Rev. Wm. McLarin, 1888.
38 Glaser, “Survey.”
39 A. E. Thompson, A Century of Jewish Missions (New York: Revell, 1902), 237.
40 Glaser, “Survey.”
41 Sadly, “Dr. Jacob Freshman . . . died in poverty and was buried in the pauper’s grave near Buffalo,” Glaser, “Survey.” See also Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, “History of the American Board of Missions to the Jews 1894–1917,” A Special Report prepared for Martin Meyer Rosen Department of Missionary Training and Recruiting, American Board of Missions to the Jews (Charlotte, NC: ABMJ, 1968).
42 Stephen A. Speisman, The Jews of Toronto: A History to 1937 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1979), 15.
43 There are some hints, but no firm evidence that he may have been converted in Canada. See Mel Starkman, “A Meshumad at the University of Toronto,” Journal of the Canadian Jewish Historical Society 5, no. 2 (October 1981): 88, n. Speisman states that the circumstances, place and date of his conversion remain a mystery. Speisman, Jews of Toronto, 15.; Speisman, op. cit., p. 15.
44 Moir, History of Biblical Studies in Canada, 3.
45 Starkman, “Meshumad,” 73.
46 Starkman, “Meshumad,” 73.
47 Starkman, “Meshumad,” 73.
48 Starkman, “Meshumad,” 72.
49 Starkman, “Meshumad,” 72.
50 For a partial listing see Daniel Frank Jonathan Nessim, “The History of Jewish Believers in the Canadian Protestant Church, 1759–1995” (M.C.S., Regent College, 1995), 45, n. 50, http://www.lcje.net/papers/2004/nessim.doc.
51 Moir, History of Biblical Studies in Canada, 4.
52 John G. Marshall, Review and Refutation of Lectures by Professor J.M. Hirschfelder, of University College, Toronto, on Creation (Halifax: MacNab, 1874), 6. The “Gap Theory” holds that Genesis 1:1–2 represents a long time span before the six days of creation starting in Genesis 1:3ff. It attempts to reconcile evidence of vast geologic ages with creationism.
53 In his two-volume refutation, Hirschfelder attacks the “heretical work from so eminent a prelate,” Jakob Meier Hirschfelder, The Scriptures Defended: Being a Reply to Bishop Colenso’s Book on the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua (Toronto: Rowell, 1863), iii.
54 Starkman, “Meshumad,” 80.
55 Starkman, “Meshumad,” 23, 25.
56 The writer does not wish to overdraw this line of thought, however. At this very time Europe was waking up to the value of Jewish interpretations for Christian theologians, especially in Germany, under the influence of Franz Delitzsch, who had both an academic and missiological interest in the Jews. See Siegfried Wagner and Arnulf Baumann, “Franz Delitzsch, Scholar and Missionary,” Mishkan, no. 14 (1991): 46–55.
57 James W. Talman, “Western,” 1878–1953: Being the History of the Origins and Development of the University of Western Ontario (London, ON: University of Western Ontario, 1953), 5.
58 J. B. Richardson, A Jubilee Memorial (London, ON: Diocese of Huron, 1907), 78. Quoted by A.H. Crowfoot, This Dreamer: Life of Isaac Hellmuth, Second Bishop of Huron (Toronto: Copp Clark, 1963), 2. It should be noted that claims to Davidic ancestry are generally to be taken with a pinch of salt due to the desirability of the claim and the lack of means to prove it.
59 William T. Gidney, The History of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews, From 1809–1908 (London: LSPCJ, 1908), 167, 583. See also Jacob Gartenhaus, Famous Hebrew Christians (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), 91. This account is contradicted by Richardson’s who credits Hellmuth’s conversion to Mr. Berling, “a missionary supported by the Basel branch of the Society for the conversion of the Jews.” Richardson, A Jubilee Memorial, 2.
60 Crowfoot, Life of Isaac Hellmuth.
61 Talman, Western, 62. Talman, op. cit. It should be noted that Talman, incorrectly, by Hellmuth’s own testimony, gives the place of Hellmuth’s conversion as England, on the same page.
62 Crowfoot, Life of Isaac Hellmuth, 6.
63 John Irwin Cooper, The Blessed Communion: The Origins and History of the Diocese of Montreal, 1760–1960 (Montreal: Archives Committee, 1960), 170.
64 Owsley Robert Rowley, The Anglican Episcopate of Canada and Newfoundland (Milwaukee: Moorehouse, 1928), 53.
65 Spencer Ervin, The Political and Ecclesiastical History of the Anglican Church of Canada (Amber, PA: Trinity, 1967), 85.
66 Ervin, Political and Ecclesiastical History of the Anglican Church of Canada, 85.
67 Talman, Western, 5.
68 Talman Western, 7.
69 George Jacobs Low, A Parson’s Ponderings (Toronto: William Brigg, 1908), 159.
70 Crowfoot, Life of Isaac Hellmuth, 10–11.
71 Brown, Jew or Juif?, 46.
72 A. F. Burt, Our Montreal Mission (London: Operative Jewish Converts Institution, 1903), 4.
73 Gidney, The History of the London Society, 325–26. Hellmuth was officially on the roll as a vice-patron as of 1872.
74 Ervin, The Political and Ecclesiastical History of the Anglican Church of Canada, 85.
75 Rowley, The Anglican Episcopate of Canada and Newfoundland, 53–55. Also, Crowfoot, Life of Isaac Hellmuth, 77.
76 Dominion Churchman, Vol. III, No. 16 (April 19, 1877), 187.
77 Dominion Churchman, 187.
78 Gidney, The History of the London Society, 328, 501, 503–504, 507, 583.
79 John Dunlop, Memories of Gospel Triumphs Among the Jews During the Victorian Era (London: Partridge, 1894).
80 Johnstone Vicars, Report, LSCPJ (Toronto, June 30, 1885), 4–5.
81 A. F. Burt, The Montreal Jewish Mission (Montreal: LSPCJ, 1902), 13.
82 David Lampe and Laszlo Szenasi, The Self-Made Villain: A Biography of I. T. Trebitsch-Lincoln (London: Cassell, 1961).
83 Paul R. Dekar, “From Jewish Mission to Inner City Mission” Canadian Protestant and Catholic Missions, 1820s–1960s,” in Toronto Studies in Religion, ed. Donald Weibe (New York: Lang, 1988), 247–48.
84 Sabeti Benjamin Rohold, Missions to the Jews. Historical Sketch. The Story of Our Church’s Interest In Israel (Toronto: Christian Synagogue, 1918), 16.
85 Kai Kjær-Hansen, The Herzl of Jewish Christianity: Joseph Rabinowitz and the Messianic Movement (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995).
86 Gartenhaus, Famous Hebrew Christians, 155.
87 Gartenhaus, Famous Hebrew Christians, 156. Quoting the minutes of the Presbytery.
88 Rohold, Historical Sketch, 15.
89 Rohold, Historical Sketch, 16.
90 Rohold, Historical Sketch, 20.
91 J. McPherson Scott, “The Jew Today,” The Presbyterian and Westminster (August 22, 1918): 172.
92 Presbyterian Church in Canada Board of Foreign Missions, Records re: missions to the Jews, 1888–1920 (1979), 10.
93 Robert I. Winer, The Calling: The History of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, 1915–1990 (Philadelphia: MJAA, 1990), 7.
94 Harcourt Samuel, “History of the International Hebrew Christian Alliance,” Mishkan 1 (1991): 74.
95 Hart, The Jew in Canada, 496.
96 Diocese of Toronto, Journal of the Incorporated Synod of the Church of England in Canada in the Diocese of Toronto (1931): 161.
97 Morris Kaminsky, Nathanael Institute Baptismal Register, begun by Morris Kaminsky. In 1992 this was to be found in the Church of England archives, Toronto.
98 Elizabeth Louise Myers, “The Literary Legacy of Jacob Jocz” (M.A. thesis, Fuller, 1989), 21.
99 Christian-Jewish Dialogue, Anglican Diocese of Toronto Archives (Toronto: n.p., c. 1970), 13.
100 George Stevens, “The Gospel and the Jew,” Christianity Today, March 28, 1960, 9.
101 Ben Volman, “Messianic Jewish Congregations: A New Dimension of the Church in Canada,” Faith Today (November / December 1992): 30.
102 Personal interview between Daniel Nessim and Malvern Jacobs, March 20, 1992, Toronto.
103 “Jews Protest Christian Recruiters,” Toronto Star, January 19, 1980, G4.
104 Nessim, “The History of Jewish Believers in the Canadian Protestant Church, 1759–1995,” 144.
105 Personal interview between Daniel Nessim and Dr. Edward Brotsky on March 25, 1992, Toronto.