College’s hiring of missionary to teach religion irks rabbis

By August 11, 2006

A northwest suburban community college has hired an evangelical missionary to teach doctrines of Judaism and Christianity, irking local rabbis who fear the instructor’s “subtle evangelism” will creep into the classroom.

Jhan Moskowitz, head of Chicago’s chapter of Jews for Jesus, a missionary group that seeks to convert Jews to Christianity, will teach a one-time comparative religion class at Harper College in Palatine on Sept. 21.

College administrators say Moskowitz, 57, has assured them he will teach the basics, not preach the Gospel. To Moskowitz, his academic credentials are more relevant than his full-time job running the evangelical group.

“If I tell you I don’t want to increase my sphere of influence in the lives of others in order to make what I believe clear to them, I’d be lying to you,” he said. “But the classroom is not the venue in which I do that...