Loren Jacobs, the Jews for Jesus rabbi who spoke this week at a political rally with Vice President Mike Pence and Republican Congressional candidate Lena Epstein, invoking the name of Jesus in a prayer for the Jews murdered in Pittsburgh, was defrocked by the organization that ordained him, Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, 15 years ago, according to NBC News.
“Loren Jacobs was stripped of his rabbinic ordination by the UMJC in 2003, after our judicial board found him guilty of libel,” Monique Brumbach said in an email to NBC.
Jennifer Goldstein of Congregation Shema Yisrael in Bloomfield Hills, a Messianic house of worship, told NBC that Jacobs wouldn’t make any comment. “Our beliefs can be found on our website,” she said.
Messianic Judaism is not recognized by mainstream Judaism. “We don’t even recognize him as a rabbi,” Rabbi Marla Hornsten, past president of the Michigan Board of Rabbis, told NBC News. “Even to call him a rabbi is offensive.”
According to a statement from the Rabbinical Assembly, which represents the rabbis of the Conservative Movement: “Judaism itself is a multi-denominational religion that encompasses multiple forms of expression and belief. Nonetheless, so-called ‘Messianic Judaism’ is not a Jewish movement, and the phrase ‘Jews for Jesus’ is a contradiction in terms, insofar as Judaism does not recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.”