Monthly Archives: July 2020

Looking for Answers Only God Can Provide

Dear Friend,

Shalom in His grace. I hope and pray you are well, healthy, and serving the Lord with joy!

I want to share a great story with you of how a young Israeli came to faith through our Isaiah 53 Explained Facebook ads and the follow-up so wonderfully and faithfully carried out by Randall and Luda, two of our staff members in Israel. Randall wrote to me, and I think he should tell the story!

Hi Mitch,

“M” (name left out for privacy purposes) is a young man, twenty-five years old, originally from Uruguay, who immigrated to Israel with his family in his early teens. He was very good at soccer and played professionally. He has some believing family members, perhaps grandparents, but they were not active in a congregation, so there was not much influence on “M.”

Curiously, when he would see pictures of Jesus, he had a feeling that He was somehow watching over him and that, because of Jesus, everything would be all right. After his father’s recent death, we happened to follow up on his request for your Hebrew Isaiah 53 Explained book.

Somehow, Rachel (one of our Israeli staff members) got to the post office during the COVID-19 crisis to send him a Hebrew New Testament. He was delighted, as he had no biblical knowledge other than Bible classes in Israeli school.

“M” is very friendly and, at first, may have viewed us in light of his focus on education—as just an interesting learning experience. However, he was strongly attracted to the Word, the message of the gospel, and the person of Jesus. After several weekly ZOOM meetings, he agreed to pray to ask for forgiveness for his sins and receive Jesus as Savior.

The Isaiah 53 outreach is a great privilege. The book has opened dialogue with hundreds or even thousands of Israelis, apart from the exposure on the internet.

Now, “M” is trying to finish his high school comprehensive exams, which he never did because of chasing his soccer career.

He is between jobs and is also changing apartments soon. Over the next couple of ZOOM sessions, we plan to discuss linking him with other believers.

Please keep us in your prayers.


There are many others in Israel, the United States, and worldwide who have come to faith during the pandemic! Our inability to sit face-to-face or mask-to-mask with people who are ready to give their lives to the Lord does not limit God’s saving power.

He is working powerfully among His chosen people around the globe. If I have learned anything from the pandemic, it is this: all people, including my Jewish people, are looking for answers that only God can provide.

And the harder the times, the more intense the search!


I came to faith during the Jesus movement after almost being killed in a drug deal and finding little meaning in the lifestyle I embraced in my late teenage years. It was a dark time, and I was searching without realizing it. I also had no idea what I was looking for, but I knew I needed a new lease on life—a new beginning!

My two Jewish best friends accepted the Lord during those days and shared the gospel with me. I heard their words, but they did not make sense. As a Jewish person, my impulse was to reject Jesus out of hand. After all, whoever heard of Jews believing in Jesus?! I had not, and I had never met a Jewish person who believed in Jesus before my two friends came to faith.

Thank God, He did not give up on me. After months of searching, answered prayers, and reading the New Testament, I accepted the Lord as my Messiah and Savior. And just like “M,” I grew to love the Bible. From then on, all I wanted was to serve the Lord and tell others about Him! I feel the same today as I did then, almost five decades ago!


I remember when I discovered that the Apostle Paul was Jewish. That was a shock. I understood that Jesus was Jewish, but the Jewish community generally views Paul as a renegade. I continued to read the Epistles he wrote with this new understanding, and along with Abraham, Moses, King David, and (of course) Jesus, Paul became one of my Jewish heroes.

I had many of the same questions that Paul had. For example, Why did the Jewish people not believe in Jesus when He first came? Why have my ancestors and leaders of the Jewish community generally rejected Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah? Has God rejected the Jewish people for rejecting Jesus?

Paul, or Rabbi Saul, answered these questions in the book of Romans, especially in chapters 9 to 11. I was so impressed with his burden for his Jewish people.

Paul wrote,

I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh…. (Romans 9:1–3)

In simple terms, Paul said he was willing to go to hell if it meant that a Jewish person might go to heaven. Paul had a deep burden for his people.

In Romans 10:1, we also learn that Paul prayed for the salvation of his people. He wrote, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.” The apostles struggled through many of the same challenges I had when I first came to faith.

Did all Israel reject Yeshua? Did God reject the Jewish people? No! The proof is that Paul, himself, in Romans 11:1, declared that he was a Jew! Had God rejected the Jewish people for their unbelief? No! Paul was living evidence of God’s faithfulness.

Paul was a Jewish believer, but he also said there is a remnant of Jewish people who believe in Jesus, preserved by God throughout time. Did Paul believe that God rejected His chosen people because they had decided not to follow Jesus? Heaven forbid!

Paul told the Roman believers that there is a remnant today, just as there was in ancient Israel (Romans 11:2– 4). He recounted the story that appears in 2 Kings 18 when, following a great victory over the prophets of Ba’al, Elijah traveled to the desert. He told the Lord he felt all alone, and God showed him that he had company. There were seven thousand men who had not bowed the knee to Ba’al.

Paul stated a principle for the ages based upon this story when he wrote,

“In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice” (Romans 11:5).

I am part of this remnant today, as is “M.” We are not alone, though for now, we are a growing few.

The Lord is preserving a remnant today for His glory, though we know that one day the entire nation of Israel will come to Jesus. In Romans 11, Paul concluded that God has not rejected the Jewish people and that a day is coming when the Jewish people who are alive at the time of the Second Coming will turn to Jesus.

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation— that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved. (Romans 11:25–26)


Paul answered another critical question in this triad of chapters. What is the Gentile believer’s role in God’s plan for the Jewish people?

The apostle said there is a biblical mandate for Gentiles in the Body of Messiah to reach Jewish people with the gospel message. In fact, according to Paul’s statement in Romans 11:11, the Gentiles are to make the Jewish people jealous.

As a mission to the Jews, we understand that we are to help our Gentile brothers and sisters accomplish this great work. It is part of our organizational mission statement to help (empower and equip) our brothers and sisters in the church to evangelize and disciple Jewish people.

Chosen People Ministries hopes to encourage, provide materials, and build strategic bridges with Gentiles in the Body of Messiah to fulfill this mandate in the twenty-first century.

We are partners in the gospel, and together we will reach Jews like me, “M,” and many others for the Savior.

Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support. Let us look forward to the great future God has prepared for those who love Him as we try to help as many as we can to love Him too.


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Filed under evangelism, Israel, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Uncategorized

Serving the Jewish People in Times of Isolation

Dear friends,

Shalom in His grace!

We are ready to move forward! Your Mission to the Jewish People is cautiously reopening our congregations, facilities, and in-person ministries around the globe. Because of this dramatic pause, we were able to take a breath and allow the Lord to show us some new ways to carry out our ministry and even to reorder our priorities. We are often so busy, but because of the pandemic, we were able to focus more on the Lord, our families, and allow an even deeper love for our Messiah, Jesus, to fill our hearts.

I cannot tell you how much I have appreciated the valuable lessons I have learned through this wandering through the wilderness! I am glad it is not forty years in the desert, but the Lord did use that time in the lives of the children of Israel to form my ancestors as a nation. I now have a better understanding of what my forefathers endured and how valuable these times can be for our growth and spiritual transformation.

Let me take a few moments to reflect on the journey of Chosen People Ministries through the past year.

Celebration of our 125th Anniversary

I never expected that in the months following the joy-filled 125th-anniversary celebration of our ministry, we would travel from the highest mountaintop to the lowest plane in such a short time. The changes from July 2019 to June 2020 are head-spinning!

If you recall, Chosen People Ministries was founded in 1894 by Leopold Cohn, a Hungarian rabbi who accepted Jesus on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1892. In 2019, we honored our wonderful heritage by doing what we have done for years—evangelism and Bible teaching from a Jewish perspective.

We hosted Bible conferences in Charlotte, North Carolina (February 23, 2019); Orange County, California (March 29–30); Sandy Cove, Maryland (May 31–June 2); and in the Midwest in Lake Lawn, Wisconsin (October 9–17). We held our most extensive street outreach ever in New York City (July 27–August 10).

Finally, we sponsored a Chosen People Ministries Heritage Tour in New York City (November 13–15, 2019), culminating in a celebration banquet at the Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn (November 15).

We held one additional event at our Brooklyn Center in December (December 4–6, 2019), which could be one of the most important events of our 125th year. Three non-Messianic Jewish scholars, along with some of our staff, presented historical papers on the Life and Times of Leopold Cohn.  Imagine three Jewish scholars who are not believers in Jesus dialoguing with us on the founding of Chosen People Ministries!

The Impact of COVID-19 on Chosen People Ministries

The coronavirus took me and everyone else by surprise. As you know, COVID-19 hit New York City very hard!

At the beginning of March, I was all set to travel to the Holy Land. I began getting phone calls from friends and staff there, telling me that Israel was very concerned about the spread of the virus and that it looked like people who had been in Europe were going to be quarantined upon their return. One of our staff members had this experience because of travel to Europe. Since I planned to fly through London, and I would only be in Israel for a couple of days, it became evident that the trip was ill-fated! So, unfortunately, I had to cancel the trip.

During the week of March 9, we began to see major cities going into a never-before-experienced lockdown, starting with Seattle and then San Francisco.

On March 15, our governor closed the restaurants and bars in New York. I knew that our day was about to come, and so, on Sunday night, March 15, I sent an emergency text to our entire staff and told them not to come in on Monday, March 16. Why risk another week of subway travel? Within a few days, we also closed down our Florida office and moved our Feinberg Brooklyn-based training program online.

Most of us still had little idea of how the virus would impact New York City and our ministry, the economy, and lifestyle in general. Thankfully, we were already using Zoom extensively for evangelism and discipleship in both the United States and Israel. As a result, we were able to switch to digital technology very quickly for most of our communications. By mid-March, we had moved all of our services, Bible studies, and various meetings to the Zoom platform.

I am happy to say that our beloved administrative staff made a smooth transition to working from home. We established a very structured week, beginning each day with a prayer meeting on Zoom, and then ending each day with closing prayer at 4:45 pm. These gatherings became a great way to help those not used to working from home get to work, and end the workday at 5:00 pm to help them create a division between work and personal life. These prayer meetings continue to unite us spiritually as we share personal prayer requests and get to know one another better than ever before.

We have conducted a series of well-attended Bible conferences and other online events. We shared the Messiah in the Passover online with more than 2,000 people!

I am sorry to say that almost 600 meetings in churches were canceled. We were disappointed to lose these meetings as many Christians bring their not-yet-believing Jewish friends to hear us.

So What Have We Learned?

Jewish people have proven to be more open to the gospel because of the pandemic. One Jewish man came to faith through one of our first online services at our Brooklyn congregation. We have also had several other Jewish people come to the Lord as a result of our ongoing evangelistic campaigns over the web. This past month, we had one Jewish woman accept the Lord in America and another man in Israel, where we continue our online campaigns.

We look forward to gradually reopening. We expect to be back in our Manhattan, Florida, and Brooklyn offices by August. We also anticipate our services and Bible studies to resume in-person meetings slowly. We understand that our national recovery will vary depending on the area. We might not be through it, but we can better manage our relationship with this insidious, invisible enemy.

Your prayers for Chosen People Ministries mean a lot. We hope you can give generously during this summer season since the summers are usually financially challenging for most ministries and churches.

Whatever you can give today will make a significant impact as we continue to reach Jewish people with the gospel.  So far, we have not had to cut our staff. Thank God, we can pay our bills and continue our work in the United States and especially in Israel!

This season has also reminded us that online ministries are a great way to reach Jewish people for Jesus. Jewish people like the anonymity of considering Jesus without their family or friends knowing what they are doing. We are using about a half-dozen outreach websites. For example, we receive hundreds of requests from Israelis each month through our Facebook ads for our Isaiah 53 Explained  books, both in Hebrew and Russian! Our wonderful staff in Israel are ready and available to follow up. You will read more about what is happening in Israel for the gospel in the rest of the newsletter.

We have had well over a million people watch our testimony videos on the site and through various social media pages during the last twelve months. We also increased our missionary staff and volunteers, and the congregations we sponsor are growing, too! Most of them had far more people attending their services through Zoom than in person and will continue to actively promote their online services in the days ahead!

We also learned the high value of spending more time with those we love. When you are unable to be near your children, friends, parents, and grandchildren due to mandatory quarantine and for health reasons, you begin to appreciate them more. The same goes for our church members and fellow servants of the Lord.

I know I will never be the same. I will move a little slower and try to spend more time with those I love, including the Jewish people to whom I have a ministry.

Thank you for your prayers and generous support, which has enabled us to reach this point. We are ready for what comes next and look forward in hope to the remainder of our 126th year of ministry and beyond.

Your brother in the Messiah,

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Filed under evangelism, New York City

Moving Forward in Hope

Shalom, dear friend in the Messiah.

I hope and pray that life is getting a little better for you and that you are adjusting to serving the Lord in a world where COVID-19 lockdowns are easing.

This infectious disease and our efforts to mitigate its rapid and terrible impact on human life came at a high cost. The shutting down of society has led to severe economic repercussions and the loss of a sense of wellbeing as a nation. This crisis has been felt across the globe. Hopefully, we are entering a new season where the virus is better understood and controlled, and scientists are closer to creating treatments and a vaccine.

Like you, I am trusting the Lord and approaching the days ahead with hope, looking forward to all He will do through Your Mission to the Jewish People.

Due to the pandemic, there were many missed events, services, Bible studies, weddings, funerals, and family celebrations. However, those losses pale compared to the more than 100,000 people in the United States who died from COVID-19 and the suffering their loved ones have experienced. We suffered considerably in New York City as the virus spread and killed countless moms and dads, grandparents, and others, as we are now discovering.

And we are not totally out of the woods yet! But, thank God, we are on our way.

The brothers and sisters who serve with Chosen People Ministries have also suffered a great deal of loss because of the coronavirus. We have missed seeing our loved ones face-to-face and worshipping in person with our spiritual community. I am especially sad for those who could not visit their elderly parents and for those who lost loved ones from the disease but were unable to have a decent burial attended by family and friends. Some of us are also tired of working from our homes. We are ready to cope with whatever changes will be demanded of us when we get back to our offices, from wearing masks to social distancing and the inability to eat lunch together in our common room!


Due to the timing of the coronavirus lockdowns, Jewish people, including myself, were unable to celebrate the Jewish holidays in person, most notably Passover, which is always such a sweet and joy-filled, family-oriented time. Many of our staff and their families celebrated Passover Seders through Zoom because they were unable to get together physically. It was not easy to enjoy eating our matzo ball soup separated from the rest of our family! I imagine that Gentile Christians felt equally disappointed about
their Easter services, which are significant evangelistic opportunities for so many local churches!

During this Passover season, we were also unable to make our regular visits to a large number of churches. Throughout the United States, churches had scheduled Chosen People Ministries for more than six hundred “Messiah in the Passover” presentations during March, April, and May. All of these were canceled because of restrictions placed on churches during the pandemic. We also had scheduled evangelistic Passover Seders and banquets at our Messianic congregations, centers, and branches in the regions where we minister. Generally, during this season, we would personally meet hundreds of new friends, prayer partners, supporters, and the not-yet-believing Jewish friends of congregants who would view our presentations as an opportunity to bring their friends to church.

These cancellations represent a considerable loss of opportunity to demonstrate the link between the Last Supper and Passover and how Yeshua, the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world beautifully fulfills them both! It was also a loss of funding for our dedicated and faithful missionary staff.

By God’s grace, we did experiment with some virtual Passover celebrations. I enjoyed an online Passover Seder with my family and presented Messiah in the Passover to my broader spiritual family through the wonders of Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube.

I am so grateful for the creative ways our missionaries found to preach the gospel online and reach out to Jewish people through one-on-one conversations by phone and Zoom meetings. They have also expanded their Bible teaching ministries, discipleship of new Jewish believers, and even continued their ministry to local churches using the excellent digital tools many of us have recently discovered.

Yet, we cannot truly recapture what we lost because we only celebrate the festival of Passover annually. You cannot turn back the clock! I am reticent to tell you how much money was lost that would have supported our missionaries during this season. Yet, a beautiful passage of promise in the book of Joel illustrates how the Lord is able and faithful to restore what the locusts have eaten. The prophet Joel wrote:

Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; then My people will never be put to shame. Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other; and My people will never be put to shame. (Joel 2:25–27)


I know the Lord will take care of our staff, and this is why I am planning another online video-based celebration on Thursday, July 23, at 7:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. We will join in Messianic worship and invite Chosen People Ministries missionaries from around the globe to share what God is doing in their lives and their work for the Lord. We will also pray together and have a brief time of questions and answers.

Thank you so much for your love and faithfulness.

Your brother in the Messiah,


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Filed under evangelism, Israel, Jewish Holidays, Passover, Uncategorized