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.
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.”
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.
“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)