Aish: From Christian Missionary to Observant Jew

Bluma Gordon writes for

Shannon Nuszen’s mission was to convert as many Jews as possible. Her fealty to the truth sent her in an unexpected direction.

The recent story of Michael Elkcohen, the undercover Christian missionary who masqueraded as an Orthodox Jew and infiltrated an Orthodox community in Jerusalem, sent shockwaves around the world. The father admitted his missionary intentions in 2014 but managed to avoid further scrutiny by relocating to the Anglo community of French Hill. A year ago, a journalist familiar with his confession notified Shannon Nuszen, the director of Beyneynu, a new watchdog organization that exposes missionary activity in Israel, about the couple. They had been spotted using two separate Facebook profiles – one with Jewish identities and one with Christian identities.

“We started an investigation to verify the truth,” Shannon said in an interview, “and the week before we planned on releasing the information to leaders, the story exploded in the media when a child who attended the same school as the missionary’s children told her parents that a classmate was telling her friends about Jesus.”

While Elkohen has deleted his social media profiles and now denies the claims, Beyneynu believes they have enough evidence to prove his missionary affiliations – and his act of betrayal to the community that extended their hand to his family. Shannon will release the evidence to the Israeli Ministry of Interior. “It’s my hope that the government and Jewish institutions finally see the need for, at the very least, a department that filters Aliyah applications and stops fraudulent applicants from entering Israel,” says Shannon.

Regarding the Elkohens, Shannon says she hopes that the government will revoke their citizenship and send a strong message to the entire Christian world that although Israel appreciates their social, political, and financial support, they draw the line at missionary activity, fraud, and deceptive tactics against the Jewish people.

I surfed over to and found this:

Beyneynu is a non-profit organization that monitors missionary activity in Israel and abroad. We collaborate with government and community leaders to raise awareness about the dangers of Jewish evangelism and encourage healthy boundaries in our interfaith relationships. While we strive to maintain a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation with Christian allies of the State of Israel, we also recognize the importance of being proactive in confronting missionary influence and movements in the Jewish homeland. Despite ongoing debates over Jewish identity in Israel for the past 75 years, Christianity has always been considered a line that should not be crossed.

From IsraelNationalNews, March 24, 2022:

Fresh off of a mission on the Ukrainian border, a “Messianic” group that seeks Jews to accept Jesus is setting its sights on Jewish New Yorkers.

Chosen People Ministries is one two Messianic groups that announced plans this week to visit New York and share their gospel this summer, causing alarm for some Jews in the city who say that their practices are disrespectful.

CPM and the International Board of Jewish Missions both released materials that detailed their plan to visit New York.

“I think most Jews are not aware of how aggressive they are in campaigns,” said Shannon Nuszen, founder of the anti-missionary group Beyneynu, which first reported the missionary groups’ plans.

From, Feb. 9, 2023:

The Beyneynu anti-missionary organization has sent an urgent appeal to the Israeli Interior Ministry regarding a family of Christian missionaries attempting to infiltrate the haredi community in Jerusalem.

The Dawson family, now styling themselves as the Isaacsons and dressing in traditional haredi garb, were outed 16 months ago in Phoenix, Arizona. Before then, they attempted to infiltrate Jewish communities in Texas, Oregon, and Wisconsin, moving on each time their true identity was exposed.

According to the haredi news site Behadrey Haredim, the family is now in Jerusalem after obtaining three-month tourist visas, and has settled in the neighborhood of Nachlaot, near the Mahane Yehuda open-air market. Nachlaot is an eclectic neighborhood where haredi Jews live alongside religious “hippies,” traditional Jews, and secular Jews, and has in the past been thrown into turmoil after several immigrants from the United States were accused of settling there and conducting missionary activity.

In her letter to the Interior Ministry, Shannon Nuszen, founder and director of Beyneynu, wrote: “We believe that they will ask to immigrate to Israel immediately or at the very least obtain student visas for their children through the Ministry of the Interior.

“It’s urgent that the Ministry of the Interior act immediately to block these people from receiving any visa that would allow them to continue the damage they are causing to Jewish communities with their insidious agenda … We know from first-hand reports from Jewish communities and rabbis in the U.S. that the Dawson/Isaacson family is deceptive, dangerous and very determined to establish themselves in Israel.”

From, Feb. 13, 2023:

Beyneynu issued warnings to the Jewish communities in Jerusalem, apprising them of the situation. The next Shabbat, Calev again turned up at the Kol Rina synagogue and was told that his identity was now known and that he should refrain from causing a commotion and please leave – if he so wished, he could request a private meeting with the rabbi.

Beyneynu has written to the Interior Ministry in the hope of preventing the Dawsons from obtaining Israeli citizenship (which they are not legally entitled to).

“It is urgent that the Ministry of the Interior act to immediately to block these people from receiving any visa that would allow them to continue the damage they are causing to Jewish communities with their insidious agenda,” wrote Shannon Nuszen, founder and director of Beyneynu in her letter to the Ministry.

“We know from first-hand reports from Jewish communities and rabbis in the United States that the Dawson/Isaacson family is deceptive, dangerous, and very determined to establish themselves in Israel,” she added. Nuszen also noted that previous bitter experience has shown that Israeli citizenship, once granted, is extremely difficult to revoke even if it can be clearly proven that it was fraudulently obtained.

Concerned citizen, Michael, sends me a letter dated July 30, 2023 that I just received (and he included photographs of about 60 different Facebook posts and pages that support his arguments below):

Dear Mr. Luke Ford,

I want to inform you about a woman working as an undercover missionary named Shannon Nuszen. She is a covert evangelical Christian missionary who is currently proselytizing Jewish adults and minor children without parental consent to convert them to Christianity. There is currently an open case with the Interior Ministry of Jerusalem for Immigration Fraud to deny this woman her papers to make Aliyah, due to the fact that she is practicing Christianity, although this woman claims to be a devout Jew. She hides in the shadows of Rabbi Tovia Singer, who is protecting her due to fear that she will destroy his already tainted reputation. I am urging everyone not to be fooled by her deceitful methods. She outs other Christian missionaries publicly on mainstream media, such as in Aish HaTorah News and Arutz Sheva, Jews are fooled to believe that she is protecting us from horrible missionaries that want to convert us. Shannon Nuszen is hiding in plain sight while pretending to be an Orthodox Jew. Her organization Beyneynu is a cover for her to receive funding for her organization from missionaries around the world… She pretends to be a devout Orthodox Jew… Shannon is currently galivanting in Israel with pastors from the Texas Evangelical Christian Church which she currently attends… She hosts huge parties where she feasts unsuspecting Jews in her home in order to gain their trust, with her pastors present!

On Oct. 30, I emailed Beyneynu the allegations in the letter above. I have yet to receive a response.

Gavriel Aryeh Sanders emails:


This tripe you just posted about Shannon Nuszen is 100% wrong. My wife and I have been guests in her home several times. There are no missionaries there. There is no Interior Ministry case to block aliyah. She’s been a citizen for years. Beyneynu does legit work. It’s no cover. I would know. I’ve worked with her on several cases. She’s absolutely no covert missionary.

You must take this post down now. With all the grief we’re experiencing in Israel and among the Jewish people right now, you have to add to it with a spurious posting like this?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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