Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus
Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus Photo by
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Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus, died of prostate cancer last Wednesday in his San Francisco home. He was 78.

Rosen officially founded the world's largest Jewish messianic group, which believes that it is not a contradiction to be Jewish and to accept Jesus as the Messiah, in San Francisco in 1973 and led the organization until 1996.

The organization, which has members from both the Jewish and the Christian faith, maintains a print and an online newsletter which is distributed to over 200,000 readers. It has not been well accepted by mainstream Jewish institutions.

The organization runs branches in Israel, the United States, Australia, South Africa, the U.K. and Russia.

The Web site offers extensive explanation and illustrations about the organization's practices, including Evangelistic literature which backs the rationale behind the conjoining Judaism with the Christian based belief that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

Rosen, who was raised to two Jewish parents in Denver, Colorado, converted to Christianity with his wife in 1953, an act which alienated his family. However, Rosen continued to practice Jewish customs, such as the Passover Seder and fasting on Yom Kippur.

He was a practicing Evangelical Christian and received a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary and has published ten books
According to the New York Times, Rosen left instructions that he wished to be buried in his tallit, the traditional Jewish prayer shawl.

Rosen is survived by his wife Cecil, his two daughters, Lyn Rosen Bond and Ruth Rosen, and a son, Don Rosen. They all work for the Jews for Jesus Organization.