Monthly Archives: June 2021

Blessings in the Midst of the Pandemic

Shalom in the great and powerful name of Jesus our Messiah!

One of my favorite Bible passages has continually proven to be true throughout this challenging time. The Apostle Paul wrote, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Now, this passage does not mean bad things that happen are outside of God’s foresight and knowledge because God is omniscient and omnipresent; He is the beginning, middle, and end of all things, and nothing can take him by surprise. One of my favorite pastors, John Piper, puts it this way:

When the King James says, “all things work together for good,” it does not mean, they work that way on their own, or by some power of fate. It means that God makes all things work together for good. So God is the one working…and what he is bringing about is good, and what he is bringing good out of is “all things.” Paul is not saying all things are good. He is saying all things are turned by God for good.1

I wholeheartedly agree with Pastor Piper. The Lord has taken the terrible and used it for good for our 127-year-old ministry among our Jewish people! The last fourteen months have been challenging but incredibly fruitful for the gospel!

To give you the whole story, I would like to rewind to March of last year and walk you through our 2020 year—scary, I know, but hang on, you will see how God miraculously provided, often in the eleventh hour.

On the Heels of Our 125th Anniversary

For me, it is important to remember that the pandemic erupted right after the wonderful and joyful celebrations of our 125th year of ministry in 2019. We were jubilant! We held numerous events across the country. There was a fantastic concluding banquet with Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, as our keynote speaker. We ended 2019 with a conference on the history of Chosen People Ministries’ founder, Rabbi Leopold Cohn, which was held at the Feinberg Messianic Center in Brooklyn. Out of that conference, we produced a book about Rabbi Cohn called A Rabbi’s Vision Continues. In early February 2020, we had another unique event, the Borough Park Symposium, which included a lineup of several noteworthy, mainstream Jewish scholars—a rare opportunity for the Messianic Jewish community.

We planned an advancement campaign that was to kick off in January 2020. Chosen People Ministries was growing, both domestically and overseas. Our centers, congregations, Feinberg program, and short-term ministries were driving forward, and we had finally moved back into our beautifully renovated Manhattan headquarters. The renovations were costly, and though it took a while to recover financially from the expenditure, we continue operating without debt, even up until today— thanks be to God! All our programs were growing, and we were getting ready to launch new ministries—especially to Israelis traveling around the world and in the United States. We were hopeful, with great vision and excitement about the future.

Enter March 2020

Then it hit! Let me share how I came face to face with the pandemic. I flew up to Toronto for a Canadian Chosen People Ministries board meeting on Friday, February 28, 2020. For some reason, my usual way of entering the country through the preferred traveler program was closed, and I had to stand in line for more than two hours to pass through customs to enter Canada. I was used to some people from various countries wearing face masks, but now it was almost everyone but me, which made me think that I was really missing something and that maybe the virus we were beginning to hear about was getting worse!

I knew that there was a coronavirus outbreak in China and that a few people in Seattle had already contracted the disease. I was supposed to return to Canada the following week for a Bible conference in Vancouver. From there, I was expecting to fly from Seattle to England and then Israel. During that week, news of the virus began heating up, and there were reports of the first deaths in—of all places—Seattle.

Some of our Israeli staff told me that I might have to quarantine if I did come to Israel. There was even a possibility that the government would not allow me into the country at all. All of this was fast-breaking news. I canceled the trip and did the Vancouver Bible conference by Zoom, though I dislike canceling anything!

We shut down our Manhattan headquarters office on March 16, 2020 and the Brooklyn and Florida offices soon after.

We set up a system for our mail to be transferred daily from New York City to Langhorne, Pennsylvania, where our mail was opened and sorted at a firm owned by a friend of one of our board members. All our staff began working from home, and we started meeting every morning at 8:30AM for prayer via Zoom and at 4:45 PM to end the workday.

From that point on, life became very different. Our ministry became primarily digital; our direct ministries, services, and Bible studies went online, primarily through Zoom. We initiated a host of additional online ministries as we already had a strong digital media department and a bunch of outreach websites. We were very engaged in bringing the gospel through the use of social media.

But little did we know that life and ministry would not get back to anything close to what we would consider normal for more than a year.

Time to Pivot

We are all very aware of what has transpired this year, and thank God, even though quite a few of our staff had COVID-19, no one died. Almost everyone has recovered. Many of us, however, lost friends and family to the disease. Unfortunately, we are not yet finished with COVID-19 as some staff members even contracted the disease over the last couple of weeks. We will probably still see other cases, I am sorry to say, though hopefully not among our staff. We especially need to pray for India and,specifically, Andrew and Levanya Yelchuri, our staff members in Goa, India, whose ministry is to reach the hundreds of Israelis traveling through India after their army service. Of course, this is now halted, but we pray the Israeli young people will return when the pandemic lifts in India.

In many ways, it was especially difficult for us as Your Mission to the Jewish People is focused on large and heavily populated urban areas where the majority of Jewish people live. Some of our congregations, Bible studies, and ministries are already meeting in person, particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.

At this moment, we sense the Lord powerfully at work and leading us toward a better and brighter gospel future. I thank God that our staff stayed close to one another and never lost hope in the Lord. We knew He would make a way for us through this season of darkness.

The future is as bright as the promises of God, and it is time for us to look forward and seize the future for His glory.

I hope and pray you are well and that the Lord has preserved you and your loved ones through the pandemic. I am especially sorry if you lost a friend or loved one to the disease. May He wrap His all-powerful arms around you and bring the comfort that only comes from our risen, powerful, and faithful Savior.

So, join me as we look back for a moment and reflect on the good things He has done this past year and peek ahead at some of our advancement plans for the future!

In Messiah Jesus,

1 John Piper, “All Things for Good Part 1,” Desiring God (blog), June 9, 2002,

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Training Tomorrow’s Messianic Leaders

Shalom in His peace.

Chosen People Ministries is committed to training up the next generation of leaders for ministry among the Jewish people and to fulfilling our mission: to pray for, evangelize, disciple, and serve Jewish people everywhere and to help fellow believers do the same. Fourteen years ago, Chosen People Ministries and Talbot School of Theology at Biola University jointly established the Charles L. Feinberg Center for Messianic Jewish Studies. This unique Feinberg educational program offers an accredited Master of Divinity degree and a graduate certificate with a concentration in Messianic Jewish Studies. These courses of study are designed to address the tremendous need for advanced biblical and theological training for those serving among the Jewish people.

Chosen People Ministries owns a strategically located building in the heart of an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. It houses the Feinberg program and accommodates classrooms, student housing, faculty offices, a 12,000-volume library, a dining room and a kitchen, as well as a sanctuary that is used for seminars, worship, and a Messianic congregation where students participate in services and receive fieldwork experience.

The Feinberg program trains future leaders who believe God has called them to serve in Jewish ministry.

Since its inception, more than thirty individuals have graduated from our Feinberg program. Our Feinberg alumni have gone on to serve in leadership capacities in ministries and organizations around the world. Currently, 85 percent of our Feinberg graduates are engaged in Jewish outreach, many with Chosen People Ministries. Some serve as congregational teachers, elders, or deacons, while others engage in planting congregations and centers among the Jewish people.

Some Feinberg graduates work for Christian non-profit ministries. One alumnus is on staff with CRU in London, serving as a spiritual resource to members of Parliament and other international leaders. Another individual oversees a gospel-focused sports ministry in Israel and other places alongside many Jewish people. Four graduates are presently pursuing PhD degrees, and one graduate will soon earn a Doctor of Ministry in Apologetics and has launched our Messianic apologetics website.

We have already had three international students who enrolled and moved to New York to pursue their education at the Feinberg Center. One of our recent graduates from Ukraine moved to Germany after graduation to help lead a new educational ministry that trains Europeans for Jewish outreach. Other international students are from Brazil, England, India, and South Korea.
Some of our leaders with the most potential to take Chosen People Ministries into the twenty-first century, including the editor of this publication, were trained at the Feinberg Center.

We now plan to expand beyond the traditional classroom and offer online options for students who cannot move to Brooklyn to take in-person courses. This new opportunity for virtual learning—a result of the pandemic in many ways—will enable us to serve various Jewish mission fields, including Israel, where Chosen People Ministries continues to reach Jewish Israelis and the growing body of Israeli believers.

Since the 1930s, Chosen People Ministries has served in Israel and currently employs twenty-six people, primarily resident missionaries, through an Israeli non-profit named Beth Sar Shalom (House of the Prince of Peace). We have also established two Messianic Centers, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, where we regularly conduct evangelistic ministries, including short-term mission trips from the United States. Our Jerusalem Messianic Center, established in 2006, serves as our main headquarters in Israel.

There are enough prospective students in Israel interested in the Feinberg program to introduce our courses to them remotely, along with motivated individuals living in other countries or different parts of the United States. Many would qualify for remote study in the Feinberg program or benefit from special seminars or programs offered by professors and special speakers.

We plan to begin offering Feinberg courses remotely, leading to a graduate certificate in Messianic Jewish Studies in Israel, which will enable students who are working and already deeply involved with their congregations and ministries to study without interrupting their lives and families. We believe this is an essential step to continue equipping the next generation for the vital work of Jewish evangelism.

Training seminary students in Israel would have the added benefit of helping us further our outreach in the suburb of Ramat Gan and the greater Tel Aviv area. Our Israeli Feinberg students would have fieldwork requirements. Our Greater Tel Aviv Messianic Center, before the pandemic, was already teeming with activities designed for one-on-one interactions with Israeli unbelievers. Each week’s usual schedule of events included a weekly cafe outreach with live music, Bible studies, seminars for young people and families, leadership training programs, and even a mothers-of-preschoolers program in Hebrew. These activities will provide many opportunities for seminary students to learn ministry tools.

As at the Feinberg Center, mentors would oversee fieldwork experience in Israel, enabling students the opportunity to interact with non-believing Israelis under the guidance of an experienced Chosen People Ministries staff member. A further benefit is that Israeli graduates from the Feinberg program will likely serve as missionaries and become leaders within their congregations and beyond.

For this 2021–2022 academic year, we already have eighteen full- and part-time students enrolled in the Feinberg program. Because of the pandemic, we had only a limited number of students living at the Feinberg Center in Brooklyn during the first half of 2021, with the majority are participating online. We plan to re-initiate in-person classes this fall and to expand to include those taking courses online.

The Charles L. Feinberg Center for Messianic Jewish Studies is marked by a committed and called student body and a dedicated and highly qualified faculty. Its strength comes from a time-tested partnership between the Talbot School of Theology and Chosen People Ministries.

Your partnership in helping us train a new generation of leaders for Jewish ministry—in the United States, Israel, and worldwide—is deeply appreciated. Here are a couple of specific ways you can help at this critical moment in history:

  1. Please pray for all our students and professors. I will be teaching a course on Jewish evangelism this fall, and my wife, Dr. Zhava Glaser, will be teaching one on Jewish history. We would personally appreciate your prayers.
  2. If you know others who might be interested in joining the Feinberg program or have a calling to Jewish ministry, please pass this letter along so they can find out more about becoming students at the Feinberg Center— either in person or online.

In our Messiah,


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