Stan Telchin, renowned author, public speaker, and missionary to the Jewish people, died June 4th in Sarasota, Florida. He was 87.
His most popular book, Betrayed, tells the story of Telchin’s daughter Judy, who came to believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, and how Telchin, who served on the boards of many Jewish organizations, set out to prove her wrong. But his research led him to the same conclusion as his daughter.
The book, which sold over a million copies and was translated into 30 languages, is the single most read story of a Jewish person who has come to faith in Jesus in recent history. It opened many opportunities for ministry for 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.
Telchin’s Jewish parents came to the United States from Russia in the early 1900’s. He was born on September 14, 1924, in New York City, the youngest of six children and grew up during the Depression, first on the lower east side of New York, then in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.
In December 1944, home on furlough from the army, Telchin ran into a friend from junior high school, Ethel David. Ethel offered to write to him while he was overseas, and regularly sent him letters and packages. When the war ended and Telchin was discharged, he and Ethel began to date and were married on May 26, 1948.
Two daughters, Judy and Ann, were born to the Telchins, and Stan became highly successful in the insurance business. As he recalls, “Twenty-six years into our marriage, we had a very large home complete with swimming pool, four BMW’s and a full-time housekeeper. Then, just months later, my world felt like it had suddenly come apart.” That’s when Judy, then a student at Boston University, phoned her father to tell him she believed in Jesus.
On July 3, 1975, after months of studying the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the New Testament, Telchin also came to believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. Then, to his surprise, he discovered that Ethel had independently made the same decision. Stan left the insurance business in 1979 for full-time ministry.
After serving as pastor of Living Word Fellowship in Gaithersburg, Maryland, from 1980-1994, he established Stan Telchin Ministries. His focus was explaining to churches how anti-Semitism has made it difficult for Jewish people to respond to the gospel message, and how individual believers can, by demonstrating a change of heart, effectively reach out to them. He received invitations to preach throughout the United States and Canada as well as in England, Norway, Iceland, Russia, Denmark, Germany, the Ukraine and Israel. Stan and Ethel were married for 52 years until her death in 2000. Telchin subsequently remarried his beloved Elaine.
Telchin served with the Jews for Jesus organization from 2003 until his death. David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus, reflected, “Stan had a huge impact on the field of Jewish missions. He will be greatly missed. 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.”
Stan is survived by his wife, Elaine, and daughters Judy and Ann. In lieu of flowers, Elaine has requested, per Stan’s wishes, that gifts be sent to Jews for Jesus.