It is really astonishing that in most of the countries the first conversion to the Baha’i Faith was from Jews community. Whether it is Hungry, Sweden or US. In Iran too where the Baha’is are being persecuted on charges of carrying out espionage activities for the state of Israel the early converts were Jews.
Shortly after the emergence of the Baha’i Faith, the Iranian Jewish community, along with Iranian Zoroastrians, underwent widespread conversions.
1. The Jewish conversion movement began in Hamadan around 1877, and by 1884, according to the historian of Persian Jewry Habib Levy, involved some one hundred and fifty of the eight-hundred Jewish households there (Levy, Tarikh-i-Yahud-i-Iran 657).
2. From Hamadan, the Bahá'í Faith spread to the Jewish communities of other Iranian cities, including Kashan (where half of the Baha’i community was of Jewish origin), Tehran, Isfahan, Bukhara, and Gulpaygan (where seventy-five percent of the Jewish community was said to have converted) (Curzon, Persia 500).
3. According to the Baha’i historian Hasan Balyuzi, Táhirih was instrumental in converting a number of Jews to the Babí Faith in Hamadan (Balyuzi, The Báb 165).
These conversions do not appear to have had any connection with later Baha’i conversions. It should be noted however, that of all the Babí leaders, Táhirih was the most outspoken in departing from Islamic norms.
The Jewish acceptance movement began in Hamadan around 1877, and by 1884, some one hundred and fifty of the eight hundred Jewish households converted to Baha’i Faith. From there, the Faith spread to the Jewish communities of other Iranian cities.
From 1950s up to the Iranian Revolution, many Jews converted to the Baha’i Faith for various reasons. Quite often the entire Jewish family use to get converted to the Baha’i Faith. Jews, Zoroastrians, and Christians could not get involved in politics except to represent their faith in the Parliament; but Baha’is did not have this restriction as long as they did not advertise their faith. This was one of the reasons why so many Jews and Zoroastrians converted to Baha’i. For example, the longest-serving Prime Minister of Iran, Mr. Amir Abbas Hoveyda, was from a Baha’i family.
During the revolution, most of the Baha’is with birth certificates stating their Jewish Faith, left Iran for Israel and got their Israeli citizenship.
WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT OUR BAHA’I FRIENDS WHO MIGRATED TO ISRAEL THAT WHETHER THEY ARE STILL BAHA’IS OR THEY HAVE RETURNED BACK TO THE FOLD OF JUDAISM. ANYHOW IT IS THE WISDOM OF UHJ THAT WE HAVE LOST SUCH PURE SOULS THROUGH WHICH WE COULD HAVE STARTED INTENSIVE PROGRAMME OF GROWTH AND CHILDREN CLASSES FOR TEACHING THE JEWISH CHILDREN.