To the Jew First

Your Mission to the Jewish People has experienced more than 125 years of the
Lord’s loyalty and love! We have enjoyed a wonderful year of joyous celebration.
On November 15, we concluded our year of gratitude with a banquet in Brooklyn,
the birthplace of our ministry. We heard from Jay Sekulow, founder of the American Center for Law and Justice, and Janet Parshall of Moody Radio. Chosen People Ministries’ staff workers in Israel, former board members such as John Holbrook, as well as friends of our ministry including Ken Barun of the Billy Graham Association and Wayne Hilsden of the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries (FIRM) gave testimonies of God’s transforming power through Chosen People Ministries in the lives of Jewish people worldwide. Finally, we “met” Leopold Cohn himself, our founder, through the one-man dramatic presentation by staff member Alan Shore.

Very Humble Origins

Chosen People Ministries was founded by Rabbi Leopold Cohn, who came to
the United States from Hungary in 1892. Not long after he arrived, he heard a Polish Presbyterian missionary and preacher on the Lower East Side of Manhattan proclaiming the gospel inside a Dutch Reformed Church. Once the Lord captured the rabbi’s heart, he committed himself to a lifelong ministry of reaching Jewish people with the gospel. Years of reports indicate that Rabbi Cohn had baptized almost 1,000 Jewish people before his death in 1937! His second eldest son, Joseph, led the Mission until his passing in 1953. Harold Pretlove, Daniel Fuchs, Harold Sevener, and Sam Nadler all faithfully led Chosen People Ministries, and in 1997, I became the mission’s seventh president.

Personally speaking, I know the significance of Chosen People Ministries. The
Mission discipled me, paid my way through Bible college, provided opportunities to serve the Lord, and has equipped me with the skills to lead and enable others to share Jesus with their Jewish friends and family.

My wife, Zhava, was raised in a Jewish home in Argentina and moved to Los Angeles with her family as a young teenager. She came to faith through the work of a Chosen People Ministries missionary. This missionary trained a group of Korean Christian teens to proclaim the gospel to Jewish people, and they shared the good news with their classmate, my wife.

As president of Chosen People Ministries for twenty-two years, I am excited as ever about the growth and potential of the mission. The world is changing dramatically and the Jewish community is too. Chosen People Ministries is changing as well, and its relevance continues today.

Yet, along with all the dynamism of change, the biblical essentials of the Mission remain the same as in the days of Rabbi Cohn! The board, leadership, and staff remain committed to the unchanging gospel best expressed in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, where the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures….”

Our strategies, methods, and tactics are changing in order to reach a new generation of Jewish people with the gospel, but the message remains the same. The writer of Hebrews declared: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

My dear friends, we need your prayers more than ever to help us, support us, and love our people and ministry. Your partnership enables us to accomplish our calling. We are serving the Lord among Jewish people in more than twenty-five cities in North America and nineteen countries around the world. As we step into our 126th year of ministry, we are ready to serve Jesus the Messiah by initiating a Romans 1:16 “To the Jew First” campaign in 2020.

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