Betrayed!: A Retrospective

by Jews for Jesus | July 31 2012

Betrayed!  one of the most influential story books ever written, is now in its third decade!

The Story

Stan’s first wife Ethel was a huge part of this story, as well as a faithful partner in ministry until she died in 2000.  Stan Telchin’s daughter Judy came to believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah when she was 21 years old. Her father was a pillar of the Jewish community and had served on the boards of many Jewish organizations. His first response to his daughter’s announcement of her new faith was a feeling of utter betrayal. But love for his daughter prompted him to help her as best he could. He decided to calmly and methodically gather all the evidence that he was certain existed to show Judy that she’d been deceived, and “win her back.” But Stan’s dogged determination for the truth led him to the same conclusion as his daughter.

Betrayed! is the fascinating and inspirational story of how Stan and his wife Ethel (also Jewish) discovered that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.

The book, first printed by Chosen Books in 1981, has sold over a million copies and was translated into numerous languages including Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, French, Polish, German, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Farsi, Korean, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Turkish, and Dutch. As far as we know, it is the single most read story of any Jewish person who has come to faith in Jesus in recent history.

This book opened many ministry opportunities for Stan Telchin, including hosting a daily radio program on WCTN in Potomac, Maryland, for eight years and appearing on national television in the United States, Canada and the Ukraine.

David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus, reflected, “Stan had a huge impact on the field of Jewish missions. Even while Stan was in failing health in recent years, his book, Betrayed!, remained a strong witness to Jewish seekers and I’m convinced it will keep on making an impact on the lives of our Jewish people in the years ahead.”

An Inside Look

We asked Judy Taillon (neé Telchin) for a bit of background about the book, since the story really began when she came to faith.

Judy said, “A dear friend of my mom and dad’s who was there from the beginning pointed out an interesting fact. At the time we all came to faith in Jesus, many books and testimonies were telling stories of people who were down and out, on drugs, and had come from violent and abusive pasts.

“These testimonies were powerful, but my parents’ lives were much different and therefore stood out. My Dad was at the height of his career; he had everything that money could buy, as well as all the love and respect that money could not buy. He had it all. Coming from this strong place, he was not afraid to explore in his search for truth, even if it meant researching ideas he had not been exposed to before.

“And since he had taken copious notes during his search for the truth about Jesus, it was easy to write the book. It was a natural process for him. My dad was a scholar and a teacher. He wrote everything down. The written word was precious to him. My father put his ALL into everything he did. He was a brilliant man, an excellent writer and was passionate about what he wanted to say. And because his story was unique, the publishers were thrilled to work with him.

“Before I even told my dad about my decision to receive Jesus, my pastor told me that my father was going to have a huge ministry. The entire experience [of coming to faith] was so incredible that nothing surprised us. The book flowed out of him and into the lives of countless people.

“Early on, I used the book to explain to people what had happened to our family and what we believed …  and why! Elaine, my stepmother and Dad’s wife of nearly twelve years after my mother passed on, continues to receive cards and letters from individuals whose lives were changed by the book.”

People Who Read the Book Said:

“A few years ago my wife and I gave Betrayed! to her father after years of witnessing to him about Yeshua. (Stan had recently spoken in our church and we bought extra copies.) Dad read it on the train back home and it was instrumental in moving him closer to faith.” – Dan Coggins

“I read Stan’s book, Betrayed, as a young Jewish believer. Not knowing how to share with my parents, I gave them the book. It was rejected BUT seeds were planted. On July 11, 2010 my beloved father received the Lord Jesus into his heart as Lord and Savior, 90 seconds before the Lord took Daddy by the hand and brought him home.” – Leah Polasik

“I read Stan’s book when I was a brand new believer and I think it was also very instrumental in my coming to faith. I later sent a copy to my father and although he never read it, my mother did, and she came to faith as well. The fruit of that work is that now my husband and I are in ministry too and have three children we are raising in the Lord.” – Rhonda Gordon

I will always be indebted to Stan for his book Betrayed which brought me to faith in Yeshua! – Nici Smith

When I was searching for the truth, one of the books I read was Betrayed! It definitely had an impact on my life and I will be forever grateful that he wrote that book.
Sheri Glick

“I gave this book to a Jewish friend of mine who at one time had declared that Jews for Jesus were traitors. After reading this book, she has become very open to learning more about it, and has passed the book on to other members of her family. This is evidence that the book presents its assertions to Jews in an effective, non-offensive manner.” – R.E. Roades

“This is an excellent resource for understanding why the Jewish people have a difficult time accepting Jesus as their Messiah. With the insight gained, you will have a better idea of how to approach and witness to them.” – Helen J.

“Telchin does an excellent job of expressing his personal autobiography of acceptance of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. He outlines a study approach and then leads the reader through his discoveries. A must for every Jewish non-believer to read, and great for believers, too!” – S. L. Weinman

“This book was recommended to me by a Jew who came to faith in Christ. I was looking for books that explained Christianity and Judaism from the perspective of a Jew, not a Gentile. It has a good bibliography also.” – J. Lewis

“This is one of the best books I ever read for spreading the gospel to anyone, not just a Jewish person but anyone.” – Fonda Monrow

“Stan Telchin discovered that Jews can believe Jesus was and is the Messiah AND stay true to their Jewish culture and roots! It doesn’t matter what religious background you are from… you will want to hear this simple, yet… emotional and intellectual journey from this Jewish businessman. I wish that everyone was as honest as Telchin was in his search.” – David Flowers

Across the Pond

Betrayed! has made an impact worldwide. We are especially grateful that the book has been widely distributed in Great Britain because two Brits who came to faith after reading the book joined our staff.

Ziggy Rogoff was brought up in a kosher-observant home in Redbridge, Essex, but by the time he turned twenty, he had become an atheist. Still, he accepted a friend’s invitation to church, where he completed a course called Christianity Explored.” Though not convinced, he was no longer an atheist. Ziggy then read Mark’s gospel and wondered: “Have I found the Messiah?” But he reasoned, “How can I accept Jesus as the Messiah when the rabbis have been rejecting him for the last two thousand years?” It took reading Betrayed! for Ziggy to realize it was possible to be Jewish and believe in Jesus!

Julia Pasco was born in London where she grew up with her secular Jewish mother, who died when Julia was just 16. For many years, Julia questioned God’s existence but finally cried out to Him for help. Soon after, she met a Christian who told her about Jesus and insisted she read the book Betrayed! She read the book, was impressed … she became a believer two years later.

It’s no surprise that our missionaries in London (and many of our other branches) often use Betrayed! as a resource in their visits. Also, London is one of many cities that Stan and Elaine visited during the first phase of our Behold Your God campaigns.

Near the end of the London BYG campaign, we held a special evangelistic night of music and story with Helen Shapiro and Stan Telchin at All Souls, Langham Place, a congregation in central London. Helen Shapiro, another Jewish believer, is well known for her singing career and for her strong faith in Jesus. Betrayed was instrumental in Helen’s coming to faith. At least three people came to faith in Jesus that night, two of whom were Jewish.

Betrayed! – As Relevant as Ever!

Stan Telchin continued sharing the gospel for as long as his health permitted … one of his more recent reports (2007) shows how his book continues to minister to people decades after it was published.

Stan reported,

“A little over a year ago, I began a friendship with a Jewish man whom I will call ‘Phil,’ a secular Jew who’s highly regarded in our community.

A few months ago, my wife Elaine and I went out to dinner with Phil and his wife. He asked about all of the traveling I do, and I explained about my work with Jews for Jesus. Afterwards, when we got to our cars, I gave him a copy of Betrayed!

“A few weeks later, he told me that he thought Betrayed! was a terrific book and that he and his wife both enjoyed it. I then gave him a copy of my second book, Abandoned. About a month later, I invited Phil and his wife to join us at church. Phil was eloquent in his praise for the pastor’s message and said: ‘It’s almost as if he was speaking directly to me.’

“Recently, Phil joined me at church again, and afterwards we went to lunch. I sensed the time was right, so I asked, ‘Phil, would you like me to pray with you to receive Jesus as your Messiah and Lord?’ He said, ‘Where shall we go?’ I replied, ‘We can do it right here in the restaurant.’ He looked surprised, but said: ‘Okay.’ After he received the Lord he couldn’t get the smile off his face.

“A few days later, I rejoiced to receive the following note from Phil: ‘Dear Stan, I will be eternally grateful to you for helping me to find the Truth. I was truly lost until God, through you, my friend, led me to Jesus, whom I have accepted as Messiah and Lord. Bless you.'”

Further Reading:

This content was adapted from an earlier Jews for Jesus article.