A UK Jewish leader has condemned a Jews for Jesus promotional video showing Jesus carrying a cross at the gates at Auschwitz.
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, the senior rabbi for Reform Judaism, criticised the three-minute YouTube clip during a Radio 4 interview on Friday morning.
She attacked the video, which has been released ahead of Holocaust Rememberance Day (Yom Hashoah) next week, for connecting the Holocaust with the idea of punishment.
"I think it’s disgusting," she said. "If [Jews for Jesus] completely understood how Jews felt, they would take it off the internet and apologise.
"In the video – the Holocaust is brought as a punishment and Jesus is there to bring peace. Any theology, that connects Holocaust with punishment, I totally reject."
In the live Radio 4 Today show, Julia Pascoe, director of Jews for Jesus in the UK, defended the promotional video.
She said: "I’m well aware of the response and opinion of the majority of the Jewish community. Jesus has been wrongly accused for the Holocaust. And we want to put that right.
“We want our Jewish people to have the opportunity to consider who he really is."
The ‘That Jew Died For You’ video, which has had more than one million views on YouTube, opens with actors recreating scenes of Jews being deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.
Each wearing a star of David, they approach the concentration camp gate as figures in Nazi uniforms holding up machine guns, shout orders in German.
One actor, dressed as Jesus Christ holding a large wooden cross, suddenly appears. The Nazi officer directs him to the gas chamber. “Just another Jew,” he says.
According to its official mission statement, Jews for Jesus intends “to make the messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide”.
Watch the video here.