Source: Jackson Hole Star-Tribune
Wire Service: AP
When Randy Brown visited Hispanic Pentecostal congregations in Southern California, he was stunned by displays of Star-of-David flags, fervent prayers for peace in Israel and Hebrew words in their church names.
Brown, an executive with the American Jewish Committee, saw an opportunity to build Jewish-Latino relations and combat anti-Semitism among the immigrants, who generally have little exposure to Jews in their predominantly Roman Catholic native countries.
"I was amazed at the affinity these congregations have for Israel," recalled Brown, director of interreligious affairs for the Los Angeles chapter of the Jewish advocacy group. "I wanted to take this to the next level."
The Los Angeles office has since worked to forge new bonds: They recently took a group of Pentecostal Hispanic pastors to Israel, offered a course called "The Essence of Judaism" at a Southern California Pentecostal seminary, and invited Hispanic pastors and their families to Passover seders and Sukkot harvest celebrations.