We Jews for Jesus love the High Holidays, and have traditionally invited everyone we know to attend our Rosh Hashanah celebrations. This year our San Francisco branch did something a little different. Rather than holding a Messianic service at a local church, we had a very different event, not unlike the Shabbat dinners we’ve told you about.

About 50 adults and a dozen children came to a dinner party that included a brief service with the blowing of the shofar and some concise comments on the weekly text. Somewhere between ten and fifteen of the guests were not yet believers in Jesus, just Jewish people looking for a place to do something meaningful and fun for the holiday. They knew they were at a Jews for Jesus event but no one felt pressured. Significant spiritual conversations just happened as a natural part of the evening.

One guy, Nathan, heard about the event through our post on “Meetup.” He described himself as “spiritual but not religious” and said that most of the options for the High Holidays were cost prohibitive. “The only free events I could find were Messianic Jewish and Chabad [ultra-Orthodox],” he said. “After going back and forth over which to attend, I finally decided that Messianic Jewish would probably be more laid back than Chabad.”

At one point, a Jewish believer guest was talking to Nathan and was surprised to find out he had attended our event even though he didn’t believe in Jesus. “Why wouldn’t I come?” he asked, almost offended by her surprise. “I’m open minded.”

Some of the Jews for Jesus branches had very traditional High Holiday events while others chose to try something different, like we did in San Francisco. Either way, the holiday was a great opportunity to reach out to people in a meaningful way. Please pray that God would continue working in the hearts of everyone who heard about Yeshua (Jesus) this Rosh Hashanah.

Names are changed to protect privacy.