CLINTONVILLE — Camp Shoshanah (Hebrew for “rose”) has instructed Jews and non-Jews about the messiahship of Jesus for 40 years.
The summer camp, located in Clintonville, is operated by Ariel Ministries, a Messianic Jewish organization directed by Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum and based in San Antonio, Texas.
Daily through Saturday, Aug. 17, the public can attend the camp meetings and learn about the messiahship of Jesus.
Fruchtenbaum also leads a conference on “Prophecy and the Jew Part II” Sundays in July at the Living Water Baptist Church in Champlain, where the Rev. Pat Huggins is pastor.
Fruchtenbaum was born in Siberia, Russia, after his parents’ release from a communist prison. As a young boy, he received Orthodox Jewish training. His family relocated to New York in 1951.
He trained in theology at Cedarville College and Dallas Theological Seminary. He holds a doctorate from New York University.
At the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he was studying Hebrew, archaeology and ancient history when the Six-Day War erupted between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and Syria in June 1967.
“I was living in the city of Jerusalem in Israel and teaching a class, ‘The Life of the Messiah from a Jewish Perspective,’” Fruchtenbaum said. “Meanwhile, there was a lot of Jewish people coming to believe in the messiahship of Jesus. After the Six-Day War, it caused a lot of Jewish people to search for their Jewish identity and also look at the scripture and the New Testament.”
Ariel Ministries’ mission is twofold.
“To share the message of the Messiah with Jewish people, but secondly, teach the scriptures for Jewish and Gentile believers from a Jewish perspective. So that’s how this camp program began in the Adirondacks.”
Worldwide, a conservative estimate of Messianic Jews is 150,000. The United States has the majority of believers.
“There was a massive increase after the Six-Day War that I mentioned,” Fruchtenbaum said. “It has kind of leveled off here. There are still Jewish people coming into the faith, but not in the same numbers. When communism fell, that created the context for many Jewish people in the former Soviet Union and different countries to also come to believe in the messiahship of Jesus.”