This newspaper article was written following my father's testimony at Calvary Chapel Crossfields in New Jersey. During his testimony, he stated that he was at one point "Man of the Year" for the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Washington, DC. For many years, my father has stated he was "Man of the Year" but he never ever stated what organization gave him that award. In his book "Betrayed!" on page 32 he wrote "My work within the Jewish community had earned me a 'Man of the Year' award..." (click here to see that excerpt) The 25 year mystery of what organization it was that gave him this award was solved on July 26, 2006 when he spoke at Calvary Chapel Crossfields and said it was from the Hebrew Home for the Aged, in Washington DC. There was only one problem; the Hebrew Home for the Aged not only never gave him that award but they have never even had such an award. My farher's chronic lying and dishonesty led me long ago to write him and demand of him that he stop making me a part of his testimony. He refuses.
My father needs to explain this apparent contradiction, as I believe, he was caught lying not only at Calvary Chapel but also I believe what he wrote in "Betrayed!" is a lie as well. Stan Telchin should quickly produce his "Man of the Year" award from the Hebrew Home for the Aged and settle this matter once and for all. To think he lied to a church congregation while giving his personal testimony is something that cannot be tolerated. His apparent lying would fit into a pattern of other questionable statements he has made in other churches, as discussed here. You can order a CD copy of Stan's testimony at Calvary Chapel by clicking here.
Family members of a well-known staff missionary for Jews for Jesus are challenging claims he made during a recent New Jersey appearance, saying they fit into a pattern of deception that led to the closing of his ministry in Maryland in 2001.
Chris Lee, son-in-law of missionary Stan Telchin, contacted NJ Jewish News after reading an article on the newspaper's Web site about Telchin's July 26 speech at Calvary Chapel Crossroads, an evangelical church in South Brunswick.
Lee challenged Telchin's assertions that he had once been named man of the year and served as a board member at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville, Md.
He also disputed his father-in-law's account that his check to the United Jewish Appeal, now part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, was returned by the organization.
Both institutions also dispute Telchin's account.
Lee and his wife, Ann Telchin Lee, operate a Web site, AToxicFaith.com, to dispute many of her father's claims, including his account of the close-knit Telchin family as depicted in two of Telchin's books, Betrayed (click here for Ann Telchin's response to her father's book 'Betrayed!') and Messianic Judaism Is Not Christianity: A Loving Call to Unity. (click here for Ann Telchin's response to her father's book 'Messianic Judaism ...')
In an ad promoting the elder Telchin's appearance that ran in the Sentinel, a Middlesex County weekly, Telchin explains that he began to question his own Jewish beliefs after his "21-year-old daughter," whom he identified at the South Brunswick program as his oldest daughter, Judy, told him that she believed in Jesus.
At the South Brunswick program, Telchin again credited Judy for his conversion and added that his wife, Ethel, and younger daughter, Ann, also came to believe that Jesus was the messiah. (Click here to read my letter to Stan written February 8, 2004, demanding of him that he stop making me a part of his testimony. He has refused my demand and here, years later, he still stands in public and lies and makes me a part of it.)
Lee, who called from his home in Las Vegas, declined to say whether he and his wife were practicing Christians but affirmed they were not allied with Jews for Jesus.
"He is the only one in the family affiliated with Jews for Jesus," he said of his father-in-law, with whom he and his wife have not spoken in six years.
In a phone conversation, Ann Telchin said, "I want him to quit lying about my family. I don't want to be part of his public testimony, and I call for the restoration of our family. I haven't spoken to my sister since my mother's funeral [in 2000], and I miss her and my father. I have a 15-year-old son whose grandpa hasn't responded to him in six years. When this all happened, we could have gotten together and discussed matters and avoided all this heartache. Until there is restoration of my family, I want him to stop using me to perpetuate his ministry."
On their Web site, Ann Telchin also called her father's second book, Messianic Judaism, "one of the most anti-Semitic things I have read in a long time."
According to the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish and interfaith groups, Jews for Jesus uses "duplicitous" and "ethically immoral" tactics to attract Jews of marginal observance, such as members of the Russian immigrant community.
Lee said he had obtained an audiotape of Telchin's South Brunswick appearance through the church (click here for the church website), which he said was a standard fund-raising practice of many such churches.
Lee said he contacted Washington's Hebrew Home and federation after reviewing Telchin's talk.
"I discovered that saying the United Jewish Appeal returned his funds is an absolute lie," he said. "They said to me they accepted money from Catholics, Muslims, Lutherans, atheists."
Reached by NJJN, a Washington federation spokesperson (click here for the Federation website) said no record of Telchin's donations could be found because of the large span of time that had elapsed. But the federation released this statement: "We never refuse donations on the basis of race or religion. It is the policy of the Jewish federation to accept all donations regardless of ethnic origin or religious affiliation."
Marilyn Feldman, the director of public relations at the Hebrew Home (click here for the Hebrew Home's website) , said she could confirm Telchin had never won the institution's major annual award, the Hymen Goldman Humanitarian Award, but said the home had a volunteer men's club affiliated with it years ago, the records from which she did not have.
"He's gone back just far enough," said Feldman. "I don't find his name among our board members as far as I can research. I just don't have the men's club records in my archives. Possibly he received some sort of award from the men's club, but I don't have the records that would completely disprove his statements. I can tell you I cannot find his name in any of my archives, and I've been at the home since 1985."
Coming on the heels of a July 14 appearance by Jews for Jesus in Highland Park, where missionaries passed out literature on Raritan Avenue, Telchin's presentation caused enough alarm within the Jewish community that the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County sent out an alert to its rabbis and synagogues.
It also came at the tail end of a $3 million campaign conducted in July by Jews for Jesus in the greater New York area, where representatives from the missionary organization distributed leaflets in Essex, Bergen, Union, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties.
An actor by training
Lee said he and his wife also disputed that Telchin earned (click: here for more information regarding Stan's doctorate degree claims) a doctoral degree, a claim he has made in several evangelical churches that they name and post on their Web site. Telchin received a bachelor of arts degree in speech from George Washington University in 1949 and a master of arts degree in drama from Catholic University. (click: here for Stan's bio)
"He was training to be a Shakespearean actor," said Lee, whose Web site even contains a photo of a much younger Telchin as Macbeth.
Lee said the advanced degree is an honorary one presented in 2001 by the American Christian College and Seminary in Oklahoma. (click: here for more information on the school that gave Stan his honorary doctorate degree)
More significantly, Telchin's daughter and son-in-law challenge Telchin's claims to have been ordained (click: here for information regarding Stan's ordination) as a minister at Christ Church in Washington, DC, in 1979, saying the church has no record of Telchin's ordination.
"For a number of years, Stan Telchin has presented himself as the Rev. Stan Telchin, so you can imagine our utter shock and disbelief when investigators of the Internal Revenue Service based out of St. Petersburg, Fla., while conducting an investigation of his handling of donor money for his ministry, raised the ordination issue," said Lee. "One of the reasons we wanted to know more was because he married his daughter and me."
When NJJN called a phone number listed to an S. Telchin in Sarasota, Fla., Telchin picked up the phone and said he was in Missouri. He questioned the motivation for doing such a story and said the Lees' allegations were all "lies". He insisted he was, in fact, ordained at Christ Church. All lies? How does he explain the audit findings as documented by the former treasurer and board member of Stan Telchin Ministries? (click here) He insists he was ordained at Christ Church. I insist he refuses to produce his ordination credentials because he was never ordained and has none to produce (click here). It seems to me that if his ordination claim is being challenged by so many people in public, he would have produced his credentials long ago and posted them on his website and put this matter to rest.
"Why would you want to get into this garbage and filth and nonsense?" he asked. "Why do you want to attack the messenger? It's not me that's the issue, but the message I share. For six years this man [Lee] has been trying to discredit me, but he doesn't know what he's talking about. He just makes allegations with no basis in fact." Again, my husband is not the only person making serious allegations against Stan. Read this and note how the former treasurer and board member of Stan Telchin Ministries calls Stan an outright liar (click here) and read this section I wrote to donors of Stan Telchin Ministries (click here).
"It's all lies": The angry wake of a father-daughter split
THE DISPUTE between Jews for Jesus representative Stan Telchin and his daughter and son-in-law, Ann Telchin Lee and Chris Lee, extends well beyond Telchin's recent South Brunswick appearance.
Their Web site, a toxicfaith.com, maintains a list of allegations and documents pertaining to Telchin and offers a peephole into a simmering family feud.
The most serious allegation is that Telchin misappropriated funds (click: here for a detailed letter written by the former treasurer and board member of Stan Telchin Ministries) as head of Stan Telchin Ministries, which closed down in 2001 (click here to see IRS and corporate dissolution documents).
"There was an ethical reason this had to be pursued," Chris Lee said in an interview, acknowledging he also had a more personal reason for challenging his father-in-law.
"He had asked Ann to serve as secretary of his ministry, and she agreed," he said. "She was the co-signer on the account. She opened envelopes and deposited donations. She was an officer only because she wanted to help him. I knew my wife was in potential grave legal jeopardy because officers and executives can be held liable for such misuse of money. I felt I turned him in not because I wanted to, but because I had to."
In the years since, the couple requested that Telchin stop referring to Ann in his talks. When he did not desist, they started their Web site.
"Since then I cannot tell you the e-mails and phone calls we have received from all over the United States, Europe, Israel, South America, and Hong Kong, including pastors," said Lee. "[Telchin] has not spoken to his daughter in six years. She wrote him a letter, but it was returned unopened."
Lee said his most startling discovery came on Nov. 18, 2000, while Telchin was away on his honeymoon with his second wife. He said he walked into his father-in-law's office and set down his coffee cup on the desk; the impact jarred on the computer screen.
"Imagine my absolute horror when I discovered in 1999 the State of Maryland in which Stan Telchin Ministries operated forced it to close down," said Lee. "I actually got a copy of the certificate of forfeiture, which is like having your medical license suspended for failure to file proper government documents."
Telchin, however, insisted he decided to leave his ministry to join Jews for Jesus and voluntarily forfeited his pulpit.
"I stopped paying for my accreditation," Telchin added. "These are just lies out of the pit of hell. The IRS never cancelled my corporation. If that were true I'd be in jail. It's all lies. Why would you want to do something so evil, low, and rotten as to discredit me? [Lee] thinks he's correct, but as God is my judge, he is not." The fact Stan is not in jail is not the customary standard practiced by those in ministry that makes for any determination that someone is fit for public ministry. The standard is personal integirty and integrity of witness as established by Scripture. It is a well established fact that Stan has been caught repeatedly lying and for him to claim "God as witness" that he is not lying is deeply troubling.
A copy of the Maryland forfeiture notice, which suspended the corporation, was obtained by NJJN. It was signed by Paul B. Anderson of the charter division of the state Department of Assessments and Taxation on April 11, 2001, and was affixed with the official state seal. In it Anderson wrote, "Stan Telchin Ministries is not in good standing with the department for the following reasons: The corporation has been forfeited."
Lee alleged he discovered that money had been misappropriated for personal auto leases, home improvements, cell phone calls, and trips, all of which are documented on the Web site. (click: here for more information regarding what was discovered in the financial records of Stan Telchin Ministries)
Lee said his father-in-law "failed to make it right" after moving to Florida, so the son-in-law filed a complaint with the Manatee County Sheriff's Department about the financial wrongdoing, which led to an FBI investigation. Lee said David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus, was sent all documentation of Telchin's inaccuracies and financial records to Jews for Jesus, but the group has never responded.
In several calls to Jews for Jesus' national headquarters in San Francisco, NJJN was told someone would respond to the allegations. However, an official response was never received.
An appearance by a Jews for Jesus missionary arranged by an evangelical church in South Brunswick angered local Jewish leaders, who pledged to expand counter-missionary education efforts within their own institutions.
Coming on the heels of a July 14 appearance by Jews for Jesus in Highland Park, where missionaries passed out literature on Raritan Avenue, the July 26 talk by Stan Telchin to members of Calvary Chapel Crossroads caused enough alarm within the Jewish community that the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County sent a letter asking its rabbis and synagogues be on the alert for such activity. It also asked to be kept informed if Jews for Jesus representatives were spotted in any Middlesex County community.
An ad promoting the Calvary Chapel Crossroads appearance by Telchin, founder and former president of the now defunct Stan Telchin Ministries, ran in the Sentinel, a weekly newspaper published by Greater Media Newspapers. In the ad, Telchin describes how he as a Jew reacted when his 21-year-old daughter confessed a belief in Jesus and how the event spurred his own acceptance of Jesus. The ad included a phone number, address, e-mail address, and Web site for Jews for Jesus.
"The ad was so deceptive it made my blood boil," said Rabbi Mendy Carlebach of the Chabad House of North and South Brunswick. "We cannot tolerate this kind of deception; telling people they can be both Jews and Christians is totally wrong. Even different priests I know are very angry about it because its very deceptive."
Carlebach said he had been undecided on how to handle the situation and even considered attending the July 14 meeting. However, in the end, he decided education and community unity was the answer.
"Its very clear they're hoping to attract people who are really lost, and what really worries me is that people who are not comfortable with one thing can, God forbid, fall into this trap," said Carlebach. "This is the first time I'm facing a missionary project. I think its of the utmost importance that the Jewish community get together to fight this at every avenue possible because this is a clear and present danger. This is a war on all fronts. While our brothers and sisters in Israel are under physical attack, we are under spiritual attack."
The Calvary Chapel Crossroads congregation, which does not have its own building and uses a Plainsboro post office box, rents facilities at Pierre's Restaurant in the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick.
Chabad of South Brunswick also rents the facility for some of its major functions, according to its spiritual leader Rabbi Levi Azimov. A caller who identified himself as the rabbi called the restaurant's owner the day before Telchin's appearance and threatened to pull Chabad's business if Telchin's appearance wasn't canceled.
"It wasn't me," said Azimov. "I found out when the owner, who's a nice guy, called me very upset. He doesn't know anything about this. He just rents to this church."
Cantor Bruce Rockman of Congregation B'nai Tikvah in North Brunswick was also angered by the event. "We're very disappointed that people would come into our community in a country based on freedom of religion and try to take their religion away from people," Rockman said. "They're robbing them of their heritage. It splits families. I don't understand their point. How do they think they can save people by cutting them off from their families and ostracizing them in their own communities?"
Telchin's talk came at the tail end of a $3 million campaign conducted in July by Jews for Jesus in the greater New York area. The group conducted missionary activity in communities in Essex, Bergen, Union, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties.
However, virtually all the 80 or so people who attended Telchin's appearance seemed to be church members. Many of those interviewed said they held strongly pro-Israel and pro-Jewish positions and seemed surprised the Jewish community has taken umbrage at the speaker and at Jews for Jesus in general.
"We're very pro-Israel and pro-Jewish," said its pastor, Joseph Deprosimmo. "We pray for the Jewish people every day." Deprosimmo, who is a South Brunswick police officer, said his church's sentiments were based on biblical scripture.
Bobbi Lawrence of North Brunswick, a member of Calvary Chapel and Jews for Jesus, said she recommended asking Telchin to speak at her church. Lawrence, who was born Jewish, grew up in West Orange and became a bat mitzva at Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston. Today, she follows both Jewish and Christian practices, she said.
She and her current husband were married in a Jewish wedding ceremony under a huppa by two pastors including "a Jewish pastor of the Gospel." Lawrence said she was turned off to traditional Jewish practice when she found herself widowed at age 33, after the sudden death of her 600-pound husband. Unable to immediately find a casket to fit him, the two families' rabbis disagreed about what to do, one insisting a coffin without metal must be found and the other stating that he had to be buried within 24 hours.
"So I started searching for the truth," said Lawrence. "I had already come to the Lord when I found out about Jews for Jesus."
Denise Toth of Dunellen, who belongs to another church, Calvary Chapel in North Plainfield, was volunteering at a table covered with Telchin's two books and literature promoting Jews for Jesus, including a pamphlet called "Jesus Made Me Kosher." Although a member of Jews for Jesus, Toth said, she still considered herself to be Jewish, adding, "I was born a Jew and I'll die a Jew."
Tactics vs. beliefs
Etzion Neuer, director of the New Jersey office of the Anti-Defamation League, said he wasn't surprised that "Telchin's hosts were not aware of the strong feelings aroused by Jews for Jesus within the Jewish community." He emphasized that despite disagreements over religious philosophy, the ADL's main concerns were not the missionary groups beliefs.
"Our problem is less with the Christian participants than with the outreach tactics directed at the Jewish community," said Neuer. "They make the messiahship of Jesus a central issue, and some within the Christian community are attracted to this type of message because to them it is recognition of the Jewishness of Jesus, which is an indisputable fact. It's not our role to judge what makes people go to this particular path of faith. What they are really after is to convince Jews that Jesus is God, along with the father, son, and Holy Ghost, when nothing is less compatible with Judaism. The focus of Jews for Jesus is on proselytizing and the trinity."
According to the ADL and other Jewish and interfaith groups, Jews for Jesus uses "duplicitous" and "ethically immoral" tactics to attract Jews of marginal observance such as many within the Russian immigrant community.
Scott Hillman, executive director of Jews for Judaism, a Baltimore-based organization dedicated to countering the tactics of Jews for Jesus and other proselytizing groups, said his group had been alerted to the South Brunswick event by community members. He warned that although the July campaign has ended, the missionary group has planted its seeds.
"They've had four weeks to build up a strong grassroots network of Hebrew-Christian congregations or new Christians, who will now go after their Jewish friends," he added. "They have new evangelical churches to work with."
However, when asked if the church was giving Jews for Jesus funding, its assistant pastor, Anthony DiBrito, said, "When a person comes around, we don't ask for money from the congregation." However, another man, who identified himself as a church elder, asked, "Why is that any of your business?"
Carlebach said he was considering contacting Christian colleagues in North and South Brunswick to issue an interfaith statement.
"I've thought about this quite a bit ever since I saw that ad," said Carlebach. "When the Jewish people all come together with one heart, we have the power to overcome many things."