SHOCKING! Christians Posting As Rabbanim Outed In Phoenix: Peformed Giyur, Taharos, Gittin

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Calev and Michael Isaacson posing as frum Jews. (Photo: Beyneynu)

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A Christian family, including a father and son posing as Rabbanim in the frum community in Phoenix, Arizona, were recently outed by the Beyneynu anti-missionary organization.

The Isaacson family (previously Dawson), who is is in the process of making aliyah to Israel, have infiltrated several frum communities across the US, including Dallas and Houston in Texas, Portland, Oregon and Wisconsin, Milwaukee before settling in Phoenix.

The father and son, Michael and Calev, have served on Batei Din and performed giyur, marriages and divorces, carried out multiple taharos of niftarim and wrote mezuzahs and Megilllahs and at least one Sefer Torah. They have led tefillos, blown the Shofar and hosted frum guests for Shabbos meals. Michael even served as a mashgiach kashrus for the Houston Kashrus Association.

Michael Isaacson before (L.) and after his transformation to a “frum Jew.” (R.) (Photo: Beyneynu)

The family has provided documentation of their “Jewish” background to leaders of frum communities, including members of the Beis Din in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where members of the community expressed suspicion about their identity.

“Their entire background has been proven as fraudulent and it’s been confirmed that the family is not Jewish at all and they have strong ties to the Lutheran church,” Shannon Nuszen, founder and director of Beyneynu told B’Chadrei Chareidim. “Out file has the family’s marriage and burial records from the Lutheran church.”

Michael Isaacson, his wife Summer, and their kids on a visit to Israel. (Photo: Beyneynu)

Despite this, the family has succeeded in obtaining documents from various Rabbinical authorities testifying to their “Jewish” identity. One Rav in Dallas, Texas, who was convinced they were Jewish arranged a kesuvah for them. Michael and Calev somehow even succeeded in obtaining semicha in Phoenix.

“Unfortunately, our investigation into this case reveals many problems with a Rav of one of the Jewish communities in Phoenix, enabling the missionaries to take on authoritative roles within the Jewish community, including involvement in performing brisos milah, giyur, and weddings,” Nuszen said.

Michael and Summer’s Lutheran wedding announcement when they still went by their true last name of “Dawson.” (Photo: Beyneynu)

“Many Jewish families in Phoenix told us that they have mezuzahs and Megillahs written by Michael. Furthermore, they witnessed him write at least one Sefer Torah. Our organization found photos of a mezuzah and a Sefer Torah written by him.”

The true identity of the Issacsons would periodically be outed in the various communities they lived in. When that happened, they didn’t deny their Christian beliefs. Instead, they would disappear from the community and move on to the next one.

A letter sent by Beyneynu investigators to Israel’s Chief Rabbanut office says that the Issacson family was questioned in the past by those who grew suspicious about their true identity. “They do not deny their beliefs in Jesus and give detailed explanations regarding their belief that Jesus is the Jewish messiah,” the letter states.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


19 COMMENTS

  1. What, I can’t understand, would be their motive? What have they to gain? What’s in it for them? It’s not that lucrative a line of employment to have trained to be a sofer. And as goyim, it must have that much more daunting. The story surfaced some time ago – soon after the other charlatans in Israel were caught.

  2. There needs to be a criminal lawsuit against them. They should be imprisoned! And how are there so many fake rabbanim who are willing to be fooled?! Be wary of fake Rabbis! Are they going to take responsibility for all the mamzerim they caused?

  3. Just so we are clear, how a person “looks” on the outside does not mean they are a frum jew- in fact they may not be a jew at all!

    Lets take note from another luther- martin luther king jr. “Do not judge them by the color of their skin (or how “frum” they dress) but by the content of their character.

    A real jew is found on the inside. Fake jews have to flaunt their jewishness on the outside.

  4. I can just imagine how this happened. People thinking they are doing kiruv helped them become baalei teshuva. And then they integrated in the community and afterwards other communities.

    I have been writing about the dangers of kiruv in these modern times. From “transgender” changes when the kids were young and therefore oftentimes hard to know the real gender of these people when they are grown, to people who think they are Jewish but they are not ( could be adopted in previous generations and not know it), to Christian missionaries, it is the time to stop kiruv.

    In previous generations there was no such thing as kiruv. It worked in the 21st century for a few decades where we gained beautiful Jewish souls who came back to the Torah, they should be accepted and integrated and not have to feel like second class. However, now the movement needs to stop. Please help current balei teshuvas and their children, help OTDs who want help, help those frum and who are searching for answers, but stop with the kiruv in colleges, stop with kiruv and in the boondocks of rural America, just stop.

  5. The boy looks like a regular Erliche Bochur. Reminds me of the Seporna on Viyisem Li Segulah Mikol Ho’amim, that we should influence the Nations to become Oivdei Hashem and stand and Daven just like that.

  6. Too wacky to believe, mohel,semicha,sofer,mashgiach…can someone from Phoenix or Dallas fill is in
    Anyone here think they can be fooled by a goy to be a mohel…

  7. As a resident of Phoenix for almost 10 years, I can confirm this story to be a bunch of hype and lies !!
    This guy had no connection to the frum community in Phoenix. He lived in a far out corner of the city where no frum families reside.
    The “rabbi” that gave him semicha is a man that is a Notorious scamster in the community. Everyone knows to stay far away. He has 4 followers in his garage on a good week.
    As usual, don’t believe everything you read. No frum people where impacted by these idiots!

  8. What a contrast: “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.” This is from the letter to the Corinthians written by Paul.
    To engage in deception in order to deceive us is a hallmark of Notzrus.
    We say twice daily ה א-לוקכם אמת! What a contrast. The seal of Hakodesh Boruch Hu is אמת whereas the church fathers have written in their Fake Testament that you are supposed to deceive people.
    May Hashem Yisborach save us from all enemies!
    We have to keep our eyes open and be on guard very much. Who are the Jewish people in our town, what are their children telling your children. As Rabbi Tovia Singer שליט”א says even in Erets Yisroel it is a stage four cancer ר”ל.

  9. There is something not right about this story. If they “acted” as Jews did all the things that are claimed where did they learn it all. Many of these things take years and years of learning and training.

  10. [email protected]: Ohr HaTorah in Phoenix imported that so-called rabbi years ago from Israel to be the rov of the shul. Then, claiming he had failed to win the hearts and minds of the tzibbur, he broke away and reestablished himself in a garage. Where was the vetting process before that person was installed in that position of shul rov?

  11. I’m going through this with a close friend. Some suspicious situations happened around friend & I started having an internal voice keep asking “Is this person even Jewish?”. I finally went online this morning & found friend’s whole family is openly J4J’s! And, sadly, found an article of friend teaching a J4J pesach class to goyim. I did report it to this organization, but emotionally I’m a wreck because I’m heartbroken I lost a friend, and also mad that someone deceived me like that & I fell for it.

  12. @Swings A Posik once told me that a bochur had been learning in his yeshiva (near Beit Israel/Me’ah Shearim) for a while & nobody ever questioned anything. However, the posik told me that 1 night he heard a knock on his door & when he answered it, nobody was there. Just a big fat photo album on his front porch. He was shocked when he opened it & found that one of these organizations had followed this bochur around the world & took pics of him meeting with Christians. In the album was included information that the bochur was actually a son of a big pastor & they somehow devised a plan to get the son into the haredi world & learn as much as he could (he somehow got into classes for becoming a schochet so he could teach xtians)…I actually found out that several of my friend’s knew this bochur well & they were absolutely shocked the guy was an undercover missionary.

  13. There needs to be across the board checking of EVERY Rabbi’s semicha & other credentials. The same needs to be done for everyone who appears in a community and wants to join a shul, register kids in school, join N’shei etc. Yes it’s a major administrative nightmare, but it has to be done.

    And while they are at it, no weddings should be performed -ANYWHERE- without checking the authenticity of ketubot. That includes here in Israel, US, UK, everywhere, from MO to Satmar. It is done in the UK & I personally know of a case where the geirus wasn’t done by a reputable “Rabbi” (the Kallah’s mother believed she was Halachically converted after the war!)

    Do you hire a bookkeeper without references? A principal? A nanny? So why allow people to just show up and be accepted on their say-so, or on the say-so of someone they conned? They are stealing our neshamos and the neshamos of our children!

  14. Phoenix is a very small Jewish community, just a couple of small frum schools, no bais din, small kashrus organization and all with little outside oversight. Unfortunately small communities like this can be susceptible to people like this.