Our Founding Coordinator
Justin Kron is a follower of Jesus who grew up with one foot in the Jewish world and one foot in the Christian world thanks to his parents—and he is convinced that there is much that Christians and Jews can learn from each other despite their theological and/or cultural differences.
When not coordinating the Kesher Forum, Justin is a frequent speaker on topics related to the Jewish heritage of the Christian faith, the history of Christian antisemitism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Christian-Jewish relations.
He has led over 20 tours to the Holy Land and is currently producing a documentary on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict due out in the spring of 2021.
Justin and his wife, Judy, have three children, and have been participating members of Willow Creek Community Church for over 30 years.
For more about Justin and scheduling him to speak at your church or group, you can visit his website at www.justinkron.com.
Our Core Values
Jesus was Jewish, so his Jewishness matters to us
I can no more understand Jesus apart from his Jewishness than I can understand Gandhi apart from his Indianness. I need to go back, way back, and picture Jesus as a first-century Jew with a phylactery on his wrist and Palestinian dust on his sandals.
—Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew
Jewish people deeply mattered to Jesus, so they deeply matter to us
As I got to know Jesus, the realization sank in that he probably did not spend his life among Jews in the first century merely to save Americans in the [twenty-first].
—Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew
Kesher is the Hebrew word for connect—and we desire to...
Connect followers of Jesus to the Jewish heritage of their faith
Connect followers of Jesus with their Jewish friends and neighbors
Connect followers of Jesus from a Jewish background with each other
Connect followers of Jesus from a non-Jewish background with those who are
Connect members in the Jewish community with Christians who care about similar interests and causes irrespective of their theological differences
What We Talk About
Jewish culture and social issues
Jesus in his Jewish context
Jewish foundations of Christianity
Jewish perspectives on the Jewish and Christian faith
Why some Jews follow Jesus and others don’t
Although our gatherings are hosted at a church and most of our presentations are geared to a Christian audience, we always welcome those from any background to come and engage in healthy and respectful dialogue.
Why Is This Needed?
The Christian community often struggles with effectively relating to and engaging with the Jewish community, and the Jewish community is sometimes skeptical about engaging with Christians because they're fearful of being proselytized. We want to see that change.
There are also many followers of Jesus from a Jewish background who attend local churches or those in interfaith marriages who desire to have fellowship with others from a similar background. Oftentimes they feel misunderstood within their local church and the wider Jewish community at-large; and there are many non-Jewish followers of Jesus who would benefit from having more direct interaction with these individuals and learning from their stories about how to be more sensitive to the Jewish community around them.
There is also a desire among many Christians to better understand the historical and theological foundations of the Christian faith.
The Kesher Forum gatherings provide a venue to do this.
How Do We Want To Do This?
Encourage Jewish followers of Jesus within local churches to stay connected with their Jewish heritage and identity
Expose non-Jewish followers of Jesus to the spiritual journeys and struggles that Jewish believers sometimes face as a result of being misunderstood and/or ostracized for their faith in Jesus
Equip all followers of Jesus to engage the Jewish community with greater sensitivity and understanding in the spirit of Jesus’ teaching to “love our neighbors as [ourselves]”