On December 18 2010, Kay Wilson, (also known by her nickname, “KishKush”) and her colleague and friend, Kristine Luken, were brutally attacked by Arab terrorists in a forest near Beit Shemesh in Israel. Luken was butchered to death. Wilson was repeatedly stabbed and lived to tell of the horrors of her personal ordeal and of watching her friend die before her eyes.
It was widely reported in numerous articles in the mainstream international, Israeli, and Christian press that both women worked for the Christian missionary organization, The Church’s Ministry among Jewish People (CMJ). CMJ is affiliated with the Anglican Church and was formerly called the “The London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews”. CMJ is an organization dedicated to tearing Jews away from their faith and spreading Christian belief in Israel.
Extensive media coverage at the time referred to Luken as a missionary. Kay Wilson herself was identified as an Israeli “messianic Jew” who was serving at the time as the main educator and tour leader for CMJ’s sub-ministry, Shoresh Tours.
Since the 2010 attack, Wilson has appeared in and assisted in the production of a Shoresh Tours promotion video. Wilson first makes her appearance in the video at the 1:38 mark, giving a new testament based tour to a group of Christians visiting northern Israel. At the 3:35 mark, Shoresh’s narrator proclaims that “all Shoresh staff members are committed disciples of jesus” – a claim repeated in an article interviewing Kristine Luken’s parents.
Leading Christian missionary ministries and personalities, such as Joel Rosenberg and Chosen People Ministries placed a special emphasis on both victims’ beliefs in Jesus, with Israeli messianic leaders, such as Asher Intrater, the messianic publication Israel Today, and Leah Ortiz referring to Wilson as a “messianic sister” and a “believer” in jesus. The Caspari Center, a leading evangelical missionary organization in Israel which monitors the Israeli press, stated that the Hebrew versions of Ha’aretz and Yisrael Hayom reported that many members of the messianic community came to visit Kay at the hospital and that she was a member of the messianic community
Over the years, neither Wilson nor her friends, colleagues or employers have challenged the label “missionary” or “messianic”. As recently as August 2014, the Messianic Times was still referring to Wilson as a “messianic Jewish tour guide”.
Damage Control, Denial and a Lot of Unanswered Questions
Since the terror attack, Kaye Wilson has been on the speaking circuit for a number of Israeli organizations such as One Family, Stand with Us, and Magen David Adom. JewishIsraelassumes that the Jewish leaders of such organizations do not want to be perceived as empowering and legitimizing the messianic missionary community in Israel. We assume that Kay Wilson knows this too. And so references to Wilson as a messianic and her Christian missionary affiliations have recently and very quickly been disappearing from the Internet.
For example, an article in the Christian messianic publication Israel Today, “American Christian killed by terrorists, Messianic friend wounded“, was still accessible on December 20, 2014 but was “removed” a few days later. JewishIsrael has posted a copy of the original article. Israel Today’s December 2012 feature article, “Messianic terror victim relives attack” has now dropped the term “messianic”, although the publication Messianic Times continues to carry those headlines.
With the social media somewhat ablaze over the question of her faith and agenda, Wilson, in a recent Times of Israel blogpost, shed her “messianic Jewish” persona and morphed into a humanist everywoman kind of Jew. In highly poetic prose she denied that she is Christian, Messianic, Torah Observant Jew, Secular, Atheist, Right Wing, Left Wing, etc…
But Wilson is an expert in the new testament and fond of quoting Paul, so we would like to be assured that she has not taken on the deceptive approach of becoming “all things to all people”, or that her everywoman persona is not in reality a version of the new testament’s “one new man” in christ.
A Call for Accountability
Kay Wilson was a victim of the worst kind of man’s inhumanity to man and she may well be in a process of rethinking and reworking her beliefs, political ideology and affiliations. But under no circumstances should the fact that she widely preached the new testament and headed an educational branch of one of the most virulent and established missionary organizations in Israel be forgotten or disregarded by Jewish organizational leaders. This is especially true, since Ms. Wilson has yet to come out over the past four years with a clear renunciation of her previously known affiliations and beliefs.
JewishIsrael’s Public Relations Director, Shulamit Leibler, who has a longstanding relationship with One Family, commented:
“No one can accuse JewishIsrael of being insensitive to the plight of terror victims. In fact, I worked closely and have been intimately involved with One Family from its inception. I volunteered for One Family as a social worker, visiting wounded and bereaved families. I was a member of One Family’s allocations committee, spoke many times to donors and took terror victims on trips abroad. I remain in close contact with One Family staff members. After the recent massacre in Har Nof, I facilitated between the victims’ families and the Jerusalem coordinator of One Family. Because of my experience in helping terror victims, I am deeply concerned that anyone who was a part of a messianic missionary group would, G-d forbid, have access to vulnerable Jewish terror victims or be able to provide details of their vulnerabilities to missionary ministries.”
Jewish community leaders and activists who would like to discuss or see further documentation on this issue are welcome to contact JewishIsrael.