I never expected the months after the joy-filled celebration of our 125th year would take us from the highest mountaintop to the lowest plane in such a short time. None of us could have ever imagined we would end up where we are today. The changes from July 2019 to June 2020 are unimaginable! And we have yet to reach our next normal.
Last July began a tremendously promising fiscal year. We had already enjoyed successful 125th-anniversary celebration events in three major cities, while also preparing for our Midwest Bible conference in Lake Lawn, Wisconsin, and Shalom New York, our most extensive evangelistic outreach to date. We finished our 125th-anniversary year with a Heritage Tour and Banquet at Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, followed by a seminar at which three secular Jewish scholars, along with some of our staff, presented historical papers on the “Life and Times of Leopold Cohn.”
At the beginning of the spring coronavirus outbreak, most of us still had little idea of how the virus would impact New York City, and what it would do to our ministry, the economy, and all of the ramifications we have been experiencing since then. Thankfully, we were already using Zoom and online platforms for administrative work and evangelism. We had a Jewish man come to faith through one of our Brooklyn congregation’s first online services. We have also had several other Jewish people come to the Lord due to our Zoom Bible studies, services, and online evangelistic campaigns.
Like many organizations, we quickly set up routines and processes to work from home. We currently have several task forces meeting regularly to consider new ways of getting things done and maximizing the lessons we have learned during the pandemic. We are also studying longer-term issues, as this pause provides us with the opportunity to reflect upon the work we do and the way we do it. We plan on reopening wisely, productively, and safely. Our task forces will spearhead our New York and Florida offices reopening, and our congregations, as well.
We look forward to a gradual return to the office, but we do not expect to be back in our Manhattan, Florida, and Brooklyn buildings until late summer. We anticipate resuming our services, Bible studies, and in-person meetings slowly. However, we will repopulate our offices with three imperatives in mind—we must do it legally, safely, and according to what is most necessary for the work.
Still, Your Mission to the Jewish People has been incredibly busy! I hope you enjoy this summary of our accomplishments since last summer and during this difficult time.
Your Brother in Messiah,
Your Mission to the Jewish People has continued our evangelism and outreach efforts. We want you to know what has been going on:
Online Conferences held this year:
- April 7 — Messiah in the Passover / 7,099 views
- April 13 — Staff Town Hall / 114 views
- April 22 — Donor Teleconference / 8,218 callers
- April 22 — Eschatology Survey / 20,913 views
- May 18-19 — Craig Keener Webinar / 5,406 views
- June 5 — Music for the Mishpocha / 8,623 views
Many people viewed the ministry-wide “virtual” Messiah in the Passover demonstration. We also know of about fifty churches who showed the video to their congregants. The Zoom roll out of our Eschatology survey of 1,000 Evangelical pastors and our Bible conference with Dr. Craig Keener, the current president of the Evangelical Theological Society, were high points.
House of Living Waters
In September 2019, we initiated our new “residential” outreach near the New York University campus in Manhattan. Four young men lived in a rented apartment and ministered on campus during the past year. We received a two-year grant of $140,000 per year for this endeavor, so we will continue in the fall of 2021!
Youth Camps and Programs
- Teen Winter Camp—Kesher Ice held in Maryland / 38 participants
- Teen Outreach New York City—Kesher New York / 15 participants
The Charles L. Feinberg Seminary
We began offering courses by Zoom, enabling those who could not move to Brooklyn to take classes. We will continue to do this as well as provide more standard types of online, asynchronous classes. The total number of matriculating Feinberg students (including recent graduates) is 18.
Church Ministries & Missionaries
Our ministry in churches is uncertain for the moment, as we have yet to see how many churches will reopen and want us to come and preach as planned this fall.
This fiscal year, our missionaries completed only 501 church meetings (as compared to 1,144 meetings last year) that raised only $272,000.
Missionaries in the Field
- US – raising support (paid) 72
- US – raising support (unpaid) 6
- Foreign – raising support 44
- Foreign – deployed from US 13
- Argentina (2) (owned by CPMUS)
- Jerusalem (owned by CPMUS)
- Ramat Gan (rented by CPMUS)
Domestic Ministries Centers
- Brooklyn Messianic Center
- Manhattan Messianic Center
- Boynton Beach Messianic Center
- Chicago Kedzie Messianic Center
Domestic Congregations (8)
- Sha’ar Adonai (Manhattan)
- Beth Sar Shalom (Brooklyn)
- Son of David (MD)
- Kehilat Sar Shalom (Northern VA)
- Beit Hesed (Chicago/Russian)
- Yeshua Ben David (Pittsburgh, PA)
- Shuvah Yisrael (Orange County, CA)
The ministry advertised the Isaiah 53 Campaign, I Found Shalom testimonies, and free booklet giveaways or downloads on Facebook. In response, we received approximately 79,806 contacts since last July.
Hebrew Isaiah 53 Campaign in Israel had 1,395 book requests
- Jewish Believers: 86
- Jewish Unbelievers: 1,158
- Gentile Believers: 111
- Gentile Unbelievers: 40
We now have 105 testimonies online at ifoundshalom.com, which have been watched more than 3,000,000 times on all of our platforms.
Our Hope Podcast
A weekly podcast is now available called Our Hope (ourhopepodcast.com). There have been more than 7,000 downloads to date.
Digital and Social Media
Our social media channels are very active and include YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, blogs, and videos that cross a variety of platforms.
We are developing Beth Sar Shalom, a stage one outreach site, and are still working on Follow Messiah, a second-stage seeker site and Chosen People Answers.