There is a growth in both visibility and presence of Judaica and Zionist books and related products in the evangelical Christian marketplace judging by the recent Christian Book Association (CBA) conference in Orlando, Fla.
The e-newsletter Religion Bookline (July 22) reports that one of the most heavily trafficked exhibits was the Tent of Meeting union display. Organized by Barry Rubin, president and CEO of Messianic Jewish Communications, the Tent housed nine different firms under a single, quasi-biblical canopy and was the first time CBA had ever had a combined display of Judaica merchants.
Rubin’s own stall had two plaques asking passersby: “Do You Have Your Messianic Jewish Section Opened Yet?” Asked how many visitors answered that question affirmatively, he said, “About half the people who have come by. It’s Christians looking for their Jewish roots. He added that the biggest sellers are “The Jewish Bible” and “The Jewish New Testament,” followed by books about the ritualizing of time, like haggadahs for Christians.” One San Diego Christian bookseller says that the interest in Judaica has increased every year during her tenure and is now a standard part of her inventory.
She added that about half of the chain of Berean stores now stock Judaica and Zionist materials. Responding to this trend and to the trend toward conservatism in general, New Leaf Press has just opened a new division, Balfour Books, which was making its debut in Orlando. The division will publish both Jewish and Christian authors. The newsletter adds that patriotism was also a big theme in Orlando. The Presidential Prayer Team, a national organization of almost three million citizens pledged to support the president with daily prayer, announced a new partnerships with several Christian book and music publishers. J. Countryman will publish two titles: “The Presidential Prayer Team Devotional” and “The Presidential Prayer Team Prayer Journal.”