Category Archives: Anti-Semitism

Esther: The Right Place at the Right Time

Your Mission to the Jewish People will soon celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim. This holiday is one of the most joyous on the Jewish calendar. I am sure you know the story, but please allow me to summarize these critical events in Jewish and biblical history and share a few thoughts and lessons we can learn from them.

INTRODUCTION

During this festival, Jewish communities read the entire background of Purim in the book of Esther. The story describes the Jewish people’s deliverance from certain destruction at the hand of Haman, a leader in the Medo-Persian Empire during the reign of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes). Ahasuerus ruled from 486 to 465 bc.

In the story, lots (or purim in Hebrew) were cast in the presence of Haman to help select the date for him to carry out his plan to destroy the Jewish people. Hence the name of the holiday, Purim, comes from the Hebrew word for “lots.”

It is important to recognize the tale’s heroes and how God used them to deliver the Jewish people from Haman’s wicked plan. By God’s providence, Ahasuerus chose Esther to be his new queen through a national beauty contest. She replaced Queen Vashti, who had refused the king’s command to appear at a banquet celebration. The other hero is Mordechai, Esther’s cousin (Esther 2:7), who raised her and played a critical role.

But the true hero of the story is God Himself, who sovereignly arranged all the events to work toward the good of the Jewish people. The name of God never appears in the book of Esther, but His presence and providence are evident throughout the book.

He is not silent! We hear His voice through the actions of Esther and Mordechai!

JEWISH PURIM TRADITIONS

Jewish people celebrate the deliverance from Haman’s evil plot by reading the book of Esther, shaking groggers (noise-makers), and yelling out “boo!” every time the reader mentions the name of Haman and “yay!” when we hear the names Esther and Mordechai. During Purim, we also eat hamantaschen, cookies shaped to resemble Haman’s hat or ears. Children celebrate by dressing up in fun, colorful, and creative costumes and by putting on plays that re-tell the story of Esther (yay!) and her triumph over wicked Haman (boo!).

In Israel, people flood the streets in costume to celebrate, and some ultra-Orthodox Jewish men drink alcoholic beverages until they cannot tell the difference between Mordechai and Haman.

THE MAJOR THEMES OF PURIM

During this time, we center on God’s power to orchestrate the events of life while remaining behind the scenes! Purim shows us how the hidden hand of God guides, empowers, protects, and accomplishes His divine purposes on earth.

The festival of Purim focuses on God’s covenantal faithfulness. It celebrates the deliverance of God’s chosen people and shows the Lord’s faithfulness to the covenant He made with Abraham in Genesis 12:1–3:

Now the Lord said to Abram, “. . . I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Gen 12:1–3)

The promises of this magnificent covenant play out through the story of Purim—the destruction of Israel’s enemies, the exaltation of the nation’s heroes, and the blessing upon those who bless Israel, like King Ahasuerus.

THE RIGHT PERSON IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME

One of the great lessons of Purim and the book of Esther is that God puts His children in the right place at the right time to do His will. The first puzzle piece is that the king chose Esther as queen and put her in the right place at the right time.

The God of Esther is still putting His people in the right place at the right time today! Revisiting the book of Esther during Purim greatly encourages us to accept the places where God puts us as well as the people He puts in our lives!

Mordechai also saved the king’s life by being in the right place at the right time to hear the plot of the two assassins who had lost their jobs in the palace (Esther 2:21–23). Of course, Esther was in the right place at the right time to receive the information from Mordechai to save the king’s life. Ahasuerus was also the right “pagan” king for the right moment—another king might not have ultimately listened to his wife!

The story reaches its zenith with Mordechai telling Esther, “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). As a result, Esther took the challenge and approached the king even though she could have died for visiting uninvited!

The Lord went before Esther, and she received a favorable outcome to her request to save the Jewish people. So, the Lord switched the lots. Haman was hanged on the very gallows that he prepared for Mordechai, and the king permitted the Jews to fight back and destroy their enemies. So, Mordechai became the king’s most valuable advisor instead of Haman.

Purim is a reminder that God’s all-powerful and invisible hands hold and guide us during difficult times. The Lord is always good and has a purpose for our lives, just as He did for the Jewish people. Indeed, He often allows us to experience suffering so that we may become more and more like His Son.

HEROES FOR THE MESSIAH

Esther was a heroine and was willing to die for her people. Yeshua also loved His people and was ready to perish for them. The history of the Jewish people, the church, and Chosen People Ministries is filled with stories of brave and godly women who served the Lord faithfully, who faced dire and challenging circumstances, and even risked their lives to bring the gospel to the Jewish people.

Allow me to introduce you to one of these godly ladies, a founder and early pioneer without whom Chosen People Ministries would not exist today. Her name was Augusta Sussdorff.

Born in 1867 to German immigrants, Augusta Sussdorff was one of the Mission’s earliest workers. Rabbi Leopold Cohn spoke at her youth group at Hope Baptist Church and invited people to come and sing at the Mission. Augusta and a friend volunteered. Their presence drew more Jewish women and girls to the ministry. Previously, the Mission’s audience was primarily male. Rabbi Cohn was passionate about women studying Scripture and encouraged Augusta to join the Mission full time, which she did around 1912.

She conducted many programs at the Brooklyn headquarters, including mothers’ meetings, sewing school, and Bible classes. Augusta also made home visits, greeted people at the medical clinic, brought clothing to the poor, helped English-speaking immigrants find jobs, and served on the board of Chosen People Ministries when this was quite unusual within Christian work.

She served with the Mission for more than fifty years and continued volunteering long after her retirement.

Ms. Sussdorff was incredibly dedicated to faithfully serving the Jewish people so that they would experience the love of Jesus and hear the message of salvation. To honor Augusta Sussdorff, we are creating a scholarship in her name for women in the United States, Israel, and around the globe who are serving with Chosen People Ministries but have trouble raising their missionary support.

This scholarship is part of our Foundations ’22 campaign, as encouraging godly women to serve the Lord with Chosen People Ministries is a part of who we are. We are praying that more and more women will join the ranks of Chosen People Ministries as missionaries, students at our Feinberg program, volunteers in our VIP program, and so much more.

What better way to re-affirm our back-to-basics approach to 2022—refocusing on evangelism, discipleship, and training—than to help future Augusta Sussdorffs give their all for the salvation of Israel!

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Filed under Anti-Semitism, Brooklyn, evangelism, Holidays & Festivals, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jewish Holidays, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, New York City

Hope in Suffering

Everyone from the angelic-voiced Mahalia Jackson to the great Louis Armstrong sang the traditional African-American spiritual entitled, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” The lyrics are worth noting:

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows my sorrow
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory Hallelujah

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory Hallelujah

This great song poignantly expresses the loneliness and heart-rending nature of suffering. Have you ever tried to tell your story of personal pain to another individual, especially someone who is not very close to you? Have ever you felt like your story sounds hollow and trite as soon as you begin to recount it to someone else, even though the experience was deeply agonizing for you? If you have, then you know the feeling of emptiness when you realize the other person simply cannot appreciate your pain.

In moments like these, when the gap in understanding is so deep and wide, we might just decide to give up explaining and suffer in silence to avoid trying to give good reasons for why we are hurting. Nobody likes having their suffering minimized by someone else’s inability to empathize and feel their pain. We should never be put in the position where we need to justify why life hurts.

The moving lyrics of this old spiritual and its haunting melody breathes authenticity into its testimony of pain. We know it grew out of the bitterness of slavery and a desire to rise above that hateful circumstance and turn our hearts to God who alone understands life’s trials. It is sad but realistic as it seems the only time our hearts reach out to heaven is when life’s solutions are elusive or shrouded in darkness, and we have come to the end of our proverbial rope.

Everyone suffers, but the history of the Jewish people is best understood only through the lens of national suffering. The saying, “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!”—always mentioned with a wry smile—is tender, touching, and true. So much of Jewish life tells the story of survival, celebration, and remembrance. “Never Again”—declared in remembrance of the Holocaust—is a mantra that befits the Jewish experience and helps us seize the future with defiance and hope.

Our Jewish people have been enslaved, persecuted, oppressed, and virtually destroyed during the Holocaust. The prayers, poems, and songs of our people encourage us to turn toward God who is above and beyond all and gives meaning to the pain and suffering that would otherwise be meaningless.

The Shehechiyanu prayer expresses our corporate gratitude and acceptance of the destiny God allows. Along with heartfelt mourning, our tradition reminds us to be thankful that we are still alive! This sentiment is captured in one of our most familiar prayers when we recite,

Baruch Atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech Ha’olam, shehechiyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higianu lazman hazeh.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, who has given us life, sustained us, and allowed us to arrive in this moment.

This traditional Jewish response to good times and bad, to suffering and celebration, is prayed at almost every Jewish holiday. Recognizing God’s hand of protection upon the Jewish people as we have lived to enter another year’s holiday season, it speaks of the faithfulness of God. He is the rock in the midst of our suffering.

The Mourner’s Kaddish, another well-known prayer, is prayed at perhaps our greatest times of suffering as we come face to face with the death of a loved one.

There is nothing like death to make us appreciate life.

The Mourner’s Kaddish is a magnificent, eloquent, and hopeful prayer that is mistakenly understood as a prayer for the dead. The opposite is true. It is a prayer of praise to God for life itself. The Kaddish is life-affirming, and it is at the heart of the Jewish response to suffering and death. The Kaddish lifts our hearts as the words we say glorify God and extol the virtues of His divine perfections. The prayer gives voice to our suffering by reaffirming our acceptance of His plan for us personally and as a people. This acknowledgment enables us to be thankful to God in the face of great loss and the worst of human pain.

The ability to recite the prayer in a heartfelt and sincere way is in itself a victory over the potential emptiness of suffering that can consume us. Although the Mourner’s Kaddish is only recited once at the end of synagogue services, versions of the Kaddish are repeated throughout. At the heart of every variation of the prayer is the following statement about the character of God:

Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, honored, elevated, and lauded be the Name of the Holy One, Blessed is He—above and beyond any blessings and hymns, praises, and consolations which are uttered in the world; and say Amen.

When we pray these words together as a family and community, it becomes easier to accept the isolation and desolation of suffering.

I believe this Jewish approach to hope is found in the Bible—in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. The well-worn words of Job, the master of theodicy, enable us to walk into the “whirlwind” of distress with faith and hope in the character of a good and gracious God. Job, in a perfect illustration of submission to God’s will, said, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him” (Job 13:15).

We might understand suffering today in deeper and more profound ways than ever before. COVID-19 has shattered many of our lives in so many ways. Some of us have unfortunately lost loved ones. We have also recently witnessed terrible floods, earthquakes, fires, and wars we thought we would never have to fight again.

Yet, we can have hope in the midst of suffering!

Bitterness, hopelessness, and anger are self-destructive options , but there is a whole range of life-affirming choices we can make as well. We might never quite understand the why of our pain, but we can still find peace in suffering when we entrust our souls to the God who made us.

The story of Jesus as told in the four Gospels is worth reading as you will see how the God of the universe chose to suffer on our behalf and repair the damage brought about by sin. In fact, He clothed Himself with humanity and endured pain and loss and injustice, just like we experience. He did even more for us. He died for our sins and rose from the grave to pave a new way into the presence of God. His suffering is the ultimate solace for our suffering! Once healed, this new and personal relationship with God through Yeshua the Messiah will become your greatest source of joy and give meaning to your suffering.

As the venerable rabbi and apostle Paul wrote so many years ago,

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3–5)

Like most of us, you are probably suffering in one way or another today. How can you avoid it? You do not have to be a weak person to suffer—we all have our limits. Loss and disappointment are a part of life, and we desperately need to find ways to cope. I and so many others affirm that knowing God intimately and personally, through Jesus the Messiah, is not only true—it will transform you!

I was searching and quietly suffering when I read the following for the very first time. Growing up in a Jewish home, we did not read the New Testament, of course! Jesus said,

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

These words were so comforting, although at first, I did not even know who said them! I hope and pray you will discover what the Messiah promised to be true for you as well.

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Warning: Global Antisemitism Is Growing!

Dear friend,

Shalom in His grace. There is another unseen virus wreaking destruction upon God’s chosen people today that demands our attention. That virus is antisemitism.

This newsletter will look at the unfortunate growth and virulence of modern antisemitism in North and South America. We will also look at contemporary European antisemitism, including the United Kingdom.

We witnessed synagogue members in Pittsburgh murdered in 2018 simply because they were Jewish. Anti-Jewish slogans and graffiti regularly mark our college campuses today, fueled by hatred of the Jewish people and often further inflamed by posts on social media.

Antisemitism all too often expresses itself through political opposition to the State of Israel. It leads to various movements such as BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) and other groups actively opposing the Jewish state. But antisemitism is not a term we want to throw around lightly, as this “oldest hatred” is now considered a hate crime.

The U.S. State Department in cooperation with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), developed a non-legally binding “working definition” of antisemitism in 2016, which is generally accepted across the globe: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”1

The Anti-Defamation League also provides an excellent definition of antisemitism, defining it as “the belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish. It may take the form of religious teachings that proclaim the inferiority of Jews, for instance, or political efforts to isolate, oppress or otherwise injure them. It may also include prejudiced or stereotyped views about Jews.”2

Antisemitism is on the rise in the United States, and it is essential for us as a Jewish mission to address this crucial topic. My people often blame Christianity for antisemitism because of tragic events like the Crusades, Pogroms in Russia, and the Holocaust. WE believe that loving Jesus the Jewish Messiah is incompatible with antisemitism. Yet, the fear of Christianity because of past actions by alleged Christians created a deep antipathy on the part of Jewish people toward the gospel, which is why it is so crucial for us to dispel this association between Jesus and antisemitism.

The Spiritual Roots of Antisemitism

We always need to view life’s critical issues through the lens of Scripture. The roots of antisemitism are ancient and have changed dramatically over the centuries. What started as Greek and Roman disdain morphed into theological anti-Judaism in the early and medieval church. It became racial antisemitism in the nineteenth century leading to the murder of more than six million Jewish people. At the time Adolf Hitler implemented his catastrophic “Final Solution,” antisemitism was primarily racial. If you had a Jewish mother or father, or even a Jewish grandparent, you were declared Jewish, placed in a concentration camp, and likely put to death.

But, if we pull back the curtains of time and history and consider the role God gave to the Jewish people in the redemption of the world, it becomes evident that the roots of antisemitism are spiritual and satanic. When God chose Abram to become the father of the Jewish people, the devil chose the Jewish people to be his perennial enemy (Genesis 12:1–3).

Throughout biblical history, we see attempt after attempt to destroy the Jewish people, which was predicted by the ancient Jewish prophets, especially Daniel. He envisioned the Jewish people’s oppression by Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome in the post-Old Testament period. The Bible never mentions the antisemitism-inspired activities of the Crusaders, the Russian and Ukrainian pogroms, or the Holocaust. The Bible also did not predict the attacks in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life Synagogue on October 27, 2018, when eleven Jewish people were killed. Nor did it foresee the attack at the Chabad congregation in Poway, California, on April 27, 2019, when Lori Lynn Gilbert-Kaye was killed, and others shot, only for being Jewish.

The reasons for hating the Jewish people have changed over time, but the source remains the same. The devil is not all-knowing like God, but he truly believes he can thwart God’s plan. That is why he has focused on destroying the Jewish people throughout the ages. Satan hates the Jewish people because he knows that it was through the Jewish people the Lord revealed Himself through the Scriptures. At the right moment in history, God unveiled Himself through His Son by choosing a young Jewish virgin to give birth to the Jewish Messiah (Isaiah 7:14)!

God is not finished with His chosen people. There is so much more to come! One day, the Jewish people whom God promised to preserve—will repent, recognize Jesus as Messiah, and the Lord will return and establish His Messianic kingdom on earth (Romans 11:25–29).

Antisemitism is satanic. A good friend of mine once said, “We need to love what the devil hates!” As followers of the Jewish Messiah, we have a holy duty to bless the Jewish people, which fulfills His sacred purposes and demonstrates our loyalty to the One who chose the Jewish people for His divine purposes.

What Can We Do Today to Counter Antisemitism?

1. We should counter antisemitism and enlist the help of the church to do the same.

2. We should counter antisemitism as a witness of God’s love for Israel and the Jewish people.

3. We should help mobilize Christians to stand with the Jewish people in opposing antisemitism. These activities could save Jewish lives.

4. We should post messages of love and support for our local Jewish communities on Facebook, Twitter, or even encourage our pastors to use their church marquees.

5. We should provide believers with information about the Jewish people and antisemitism. Good communication helps believers better understand God’s love and plan for the Jewish people.

A Call to Action:

Some things are just too horrible to let pass! 

That was the theme of an article that appeared in a newspaper.3 The horrible act that could not go unnoticed was the writing of antisemitic statements on a subway car’s walls in New York City—my hometown. Several good Samaritans saw the remarks and came up with the idea of erasing them, using hand cleaner that had high alcohol content to cut through the thick, waxy strokes of a sharpie pen. I cannot tell you how happy I am that New Yorkers took the initiative to act on their outrage and eradicate these despicable statements. Their quick-thinking act of righteousness demonstrates to me that New Yorkers—and Americans, in general—believe we have a culture of freedom, respect, and goodness that is worth preserving. We are willing to put our most cherished values into action.

As a Jewish New Yorker who follows Jesus the Messiah, I am impressed by what these good citizens did on behalf of the Jewish people, especially since the newspaper does not indicate that those who erased the graffiti were Jewish. I long for my fellow believers to take the same kind of actions when we see antisemitism rear its ugly head in our local communities. I would love to see local churches make a public stand against antisemitism. What a testimony that would be of Christ’s love to your local Jewish community!

When believers in Jesus take personal or public stands against antisemitism, they express God’s heart for His chosen people, which is one way to bring your Jewish friend another step closer to thinking about Jesus.

Thanks for your prayers and generous support! I pray that you and your family will have a safe, healthy, and fruitful 2021.

In Him,
Mitch

1 “Defining Anti-semitism,” U.S. Department of State, https://www.state.gov/defining-anti-semitism/.

2 “Antisemitism,” ADL.org, https://www.adl.org/antisemitism.

3 Mark Sundstrom, “Police Investigating Anti-Semitic Graffiti in Upper West Side Subway Station: Officials,” Pix 11, November 11, 2019, https://www.pix11.com/2019/11/11/police-investigating-anti-semitic-graffiti-in-upper-west-side-subwaystation-officials/.

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Defeating the Darkness of Antisemitism

Shalom dear friend,

I am sure you remember or know the opening line of Charles Dickens’ 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I think the entire quote is worth reading:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

As I write to you this morning, I completely identify with these words. A certain darkness has settled upon my soul as I write with a broken heart about the repeated antisemitic attacks in the New York City area!

Like you, I was trying to enjoy the recent holiday season with my family. Yet, over the course of a few weeks, I was shocked to hear about the latest series of antisemitic attacks in New York City, where I live and where Chosen People Ministries has our world headquarters. It became a daily nightmare to discover that another attack against my Jewish people had taken place!  I suppose I was hoping they would just end once and for all!  But this is not the case.

It seems to me that our world is going mad and Satan is again freely roaming the earth as when he discovered Job! These antisemitic incidents are inspired by the enemy of our souls who seeks to destroy all that is good and holy. He has the deepest hatred for the Jewish people and the role God’s chosen people play in His plan of redemption. Every time you think the evil one is done and the Jewish people are finally safe, a new legion of Haman-like characters emerges on the world scene. This time, the demonically inspired hatred of Jewish people is perched on our very doorstep, in our land of the free and home of the brave.

Early on Sunday morning, December 28, I awoke to this headline: “Five Jewish People Attacked in a Home During the Festival of Lights.” My Orthodox Jewish friend, and someone I have grown to love and appreciate through our many debates, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, sent out an alert that his son, a Hasidic rabbi, lived five houses away from this attack. Shmuley, of course, reacted to the attack very personally. We all understand that when things like this happen, we feel horrible. But when it happens close to home, we also feel terribly threatened…and grateful to God for His protection over our loved ones.

I live in Brooklyn and my family lives in New York City and nearby areas. The Jewish community is my community and God’s chosen people, and I am sounding an alarm—an alarm that will hopefully spur us on to action and to pray for the Jewish people. We simply cannot allow this to continue without raising our voices in prayer to God and in opposition to those who are perpetrating this evil or creating the climate that encourages violent and aggressive attacks against the Jewish people.

This past summer, we held a rally against antisemitism by the courthouses in downtown Brooklyn and lower Manhattan, and we were joined by hundreds of Christians and many Jewish people who might not have agreed with us on the messiahship of Jesus but they appreciated our willingness to stand with the Jewish community.  We are planning to take action once again and hope you will join us in opposing this “oldest hatred”— antisemitism! I will tell you what we plan to do and how you can help. But first, let me give you an overview of the events that transpired a few months ago that we are now working to counter!

Remember, the following took place within eighteen months of the killing of eleven people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and since the murder of the precious Jewish woman who tried to protect her rabbi during the attack on the synagogue in Poway, California. According to Kenneth Jacobson, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, there have been thirteen arrests of white supremacists intended to attack synagogues since the Tree of Life shootings.

The Antisemitic Attacks

Allow me to list the specifics of the attacks that took place in 2019 immediately before and during the Hanukkah-Christmas season. There were many news sources reporting on the incidents, but I prefer to share information gathered locally by the New York NBC affiliate, beginning with the vicious attack at the Hasidic rabbi’s home during a Hanukkah party.

  • The Monsey home attack: Authorities say five people were stabbed at a rabbi’s home late Saturday night in Monsey, New York, “the latest and most violent in a string of antisemitic attacks in the greater New York City area in the last few days. Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel said the suspected attacker entered the residence around 10 p.m. armed with a knife. Saturday was the seventh night of Hanukkah and was being widely observed in Monsey, a hamlet that is home to thousands of Orthodox Jews.” The Hasidic organization Chabad, citing sources in the community and witnesses at the scene, said someone in the home threw a table at the attacker, chasing him off. He then allegedly tried to gain access to the synagogue next door, but the occupants barricaded themselves inside.[1]
  • The Jersey City Kosher market attack: “Authorities identified the suspects as David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50. Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Sealswas killed Tuesday shortly before officials say the suspects attacked the store. The victims in the store were identified Wednesday by authorities as Mindy Ferencz, 31; Miguel Douglas, 49; and Moshe Deutsch, 24. According to three sources, Anderson was a one-time follower of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, whose members believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites, and his social media pages include anti-police and anti-Jewish writings. Investigators are looking to see if it was Anderson himself who posted that material.”[2]
  • Upper East Side attack: “The first attack of Hanukkah was on Dec. 23 on the Upper East Side, according to the NYPD. A 65-year-old man was hit in the face with a closed fist after the suspect made an anti-Semitic remark, then was kicked while on the ground. The victim suffered cuts to his face and hand, police said.”[3]
  • Brooklyn attack: “A 34-year-old woman and her 4-year-old son were attacked in Brooklyn Thursday by someone who yelled anti-Semitic slurs and hit the mother in the head, the latest in a spree of hate during the Jewish holidays that has the community and city officials alarmed.”[4]
  • Brooklyn attack: Another attack took place in the early morning in Brooklyn “when a 25-year-old Jewish man was walking on the sidewalk when he saw a large group of people walking toward him, police said.” That man told police that members of the group yelled curses at the obviously Jewish man “before hurling a Slurpee at him.”[5]
  • Brooklyn attack: “A man in his 50s was standing in front of a building on Union Avenue in a Hassidic neighborhood when he said he saw as many as six people approach him after 5 p.m. on Dec. 24, according to police. One of the people who came up to the man punched him in the back of the head, and the group took off.”[6]

What Can We Do Together to Oppose Antisemitism?

This is a critical moment for those who love the Jewish Messiah to show the Jewish people their concern and opposition to the rise of antisemitism. Whereas we are grateful for all legislation that identifies and even defines antisemitism as illegal activity, this is simply not enough. As followers of the Jewish Messiah, we need to act now on behalf of His “kinsman according to the flesh.”

Antisemitism has been the concern of Your Mission to the Jewish People for more than a century. One of the early leaders, Joseph Hoffman Cohn, the son of our founder Rabbi Leopold Cohn, often appealed to evangelical churches in the United States in the 1930s to take a stand against antisemitism. He took many trips to Europe at that time attempting to rescue Messianic Jewish leaders from the terrible times ahead. Joseph did not know exactly what was coming, but early on recognized the serious threat to the Jewish people in Europe.

One of our ministry’s values is to “seek the welfare of the Jewish community.” We are now doing this by shining the light on modern antisemitism and calling Christians to action!

And so, we must act!

We intend to continue holding rallies in New York City against antisemitism. I also encourage you to consider initiating some type of anti-antisemitism event at your local church or in your community. We have found that Jewish people who are not yet believers in Jesus are willing to stand with our efforts to protest antisemitism. So, do not be surprised if Jewish people in your community will want to be involved with your efforts to counter antisemitism.

Chosen People Ministries would be happy to help you organize this event. It can be as simple as a prayer meeting where you invite folks from your church and the local Christian community to pray for God’s protection of the Jewish people. Contact us for additional ideas.

We are immediately launching a digital petition campaign and will continue the campaign for the foreseeable future.

We are praying that we will move at least 50,000 people to sign this petition of concern for their Jewish friends as a very tangible way of demonstrating God’s love for His chosen people. 

I cannot tell you how much your efforts on behalf of the Jewish people are appreciated. Jewish people, especially those who do not believe in Jesus, will align themselves with us in our joint opposition to the growing antisemitism in our country.

Thank you for your prayers and for your generous support to help us combat antisemitism—in the name of Jesus! Thank you so much for standing with the Jewish people and with Your Mission to the Jewish People as well. I know this will be a wonderful testimony to your Jewish neighbors.

In our Messiah,
Mitch

[1] Jonathan Dienst and Ken Buffa, “5 Stabbed at Rabbi’s Home in Ny; Suspect Charged: Police,” NBC New York, December 28, 2019, https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/mass-stabbing-at-jewish-synagogue-in-rockland-county-ny-reports/2251668/.

[2] Jonathan Dienst and Minyvonne Burke, “Jersey City Suspects Targeted Kosher Store Where 3 Died, Officials Say,” NBC News, December 11, 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/jersey-city-suspects-targeted-kosher-store-where-3-died-motive-n1099606.

[3] Erica Byfield and Myles Miller, “‘Open Season On Jews’: Outrage Over Spike in NYC Hate Attacks,” NBC New York, December 27, 2019, https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/open-season-on-jews-reports-of-anti-semitic-attacks-during-hanukkah-cause-for-concern/2250584/.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

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Ministry Update: Shalom New York & Oppose Antisemitism

Shalom from New York City, the home of more than two million Jewish people. Throughout July and August, we have enjoyed the privilege of sharing the gospel intensively with Jewish people throughout the metropolitan area. Our team of more than 125 staff and volunteers have spoken to hundreds of Jewish people about the gospel. I wish you could have been here!

Good News from the Streets of New York City

We are in the midst of following up with the many Jewish people who indicated they are interested in hearing more about Jesus.

We also had two major events that drew many Jewish seekers. We sponsored a well-attended dialogue between scholars about the value of the Old Testament Scriptures. We also held a debate between Messianic apologist Dr. Michael Brown, and Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. The title of the debate was, “Is the New Testament Antisemitic?” This is a hot issue in the Jewish community today as antisemitism is on the rise. The purpose of this debate was to show that the New Testament and Jesus Himself are Jewish.

Showing Jewish People the Love of the Messiah

So, how do we respond to common historical and theological objections Jewish people have from considering Jesus? This is done one heart at a time. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans of the critical role believers, especially those who are not Jewish, play in the salvation of individual Jewish people. The Apostle writes:

I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous” (Romans 11:11).

This passage may encourage Gentile believers to share the love of Jesus with their Jewish friends from a heart of gratitude for what God has done through the physical seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

During our recent outreach campaign in New York City, we had dozens of Gentile believers on the streets of New York City speaking to Jewish people about the Lord. They also brought food to the poor and elderly and cleaned homes for those who cannot keep up because of age or illness. Showing love in practical ways gave power and authenticity to our proclamation!

Hundreds of us also marched over the Brooklyn Bridge in an effort to call upon the public and Christians to oppose antisemitism!

Oppose Antisemitism

Christian opposition to antisemitism is a powerful witness to our Jewish family and friends. This reshapes the gospel playing field by showing from the start that real Christians love the Jewish people and condemn antisemitism.

Would you stand with us against antisemitism? Believe me, our actions as the Body of Messiah will make a difference in how the Jewish people feel about the Messiah Jesus.

Think Globally, Act Locally!

You can help put a stop to antisemitism in your community! Let me suggest a few ways to do this:

  • Educate your church on the evils of antisemitism—we have great materials on our online store.
  • Encourage your pastor to preach about this issue from the pulpit.
  • Pray for the Jewish people in your community.
  • Attend Jewish community events in order to build bridges with the Jewish people.
  • Say something if and when antisemitism arises in your community.
  • Make sure the Holocaust is taught in your local school systems and especially at Christian schools and homeschooling associations.
  • Encourage your church or Messianic congregation to teach about the history and current expressions of antisemitism from a biblical perspective.

It is critical that we make our Christian community aware of the problem and that you positively engage the Jewish community where you live so that you can build loving and respectful relationships with the Jewish people.

Our love will be used by God to create a bridge for the good news.

Partners in the Gospel

Thank you for taking the time to hear my heart for my people! I hope you will pray for the Jewish people and for Your Mission to the Jewish People as we share the good news in nineteen countries across the globe.

I pray the Jewish people in your community will take notice of your efforts to stand with them and to finally see that true Christians love the Jewish people!

Thanks for caring!

Mitch Glaser

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The Holocaust Remembered

Shalom in our Messiah, Jesus. I am so grateful for all those who have sent us messages of goodwill in honor of our 125th anniversary as a ministry. I am also very grateful for those who have given to our CPM 125th Advancement Campaign.

We have already engaged with more than 75,000 individuals online. To be specific, we now have their names, home addresses, and e-mails for follow-up. By God’s grace, two thousand of them are Israeli non-believers who we met through our Hebrew Isaiah 53 campaign.

We are expecting to meet thousands more as 125 staff and volunteers will pour out into the streets of New York City during the last week of July and first week of August for our Shalom New York outreach! The volunteers are subsidizing themselves, but we are providing the funds needed for our staff to come from across the globe. We will even have a team of Israelis from Israel reaching Israelis in New York City.

If it sounds exciting—it is! Our local New York missionaries, congregations, Bible studies, and disciple-makers are ready to do the follow-up with those seeking the Lord. So please pray often, give generously, and consider joining us for Shalom New York! There is still space available for you. Visit shalomnyoutreach.com for more information!

Holocaust Memorial Day

The United States Congress established May 2 as Holocaust Remembrance Day. Many of us have expanded this to the entire month of May and are holding various lectures and memorial services to commemorate this terrible moment in Jewish history.

As a Jewish person, I grew up under the dark shadow cast by the Holocaust. My grandparents were pre-Holocaust European Jewish immigrants to the United States. Like so many others, they never talked about those tragic days. They did not walk through it personally but knew a lot more than they would ever tell us. Perhaps they wanted to spare us from the horrific details of this nightmarish chapter in Jewish history. I was raised with photographs of my aunts and uncles that I would never meet because they died in the Holocaust.

As a Messianic Jew, I wondered if my relatives who lost their lives in the midst of Nazi terror ever heard of God’s grace through Jesus the Messiah—either before or during the days of the Shoah (Holocaust). Knowing the answer to this question became somewhat of an obsession for me over the years.

I began to wonder if there were instances of God’s presence during the Holocaust. As the president of Chosen People Ministries, with access to our archives stretching back to 1894, I knew that our Mission had a significant ministry during those desperate days.

I began looking through these documents to try and discover what transpired through our ministries in Europe at that time.

I was astounded by what I found. I want to share these amazing accounts of grace and mercy with you. There are so many stories of how our ministry served Jewish people during the Holocaust.

Chosen People Publications

The publications reflect the writings of Joseph Hoffman Cohn, the son of our founder, Rabbi Leopold Cohn. Joseph became the director of the Mission after the death of his father. The reports are from before, during, and after the Holocaust and are drawn from The Chosen People newsletter and The Shepherd of Israel, an evangelistic publication.

If there was one outstanding lesson I gleaned from these stories, it was simply this—the Lord uses tragedy to draw us to Himself. The story of the Jewish people during the Holocaust can be compared to the Book of Job. God created and chose the Jewish people to be His light in a dark and broken world. He made promises to our forefathers that He would never allow His people to be destroyed (Jeremiah 31:31–37, Romans 11:28–29). God confirmed His Word again through the prophet Jeremiah: “‘If this fixed order departs from before Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever’” (Jeremiah 31:36).

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob assured us that He will be faithful to His promises.

Hitler murdered at least six million Jewish people, but never completed the job he started, as God would not…and could not…allow it!

God’s grace is sometimes hidden in the midst of life’s greatest difficulties. Tragedy opens our eyes to His presence in ways that good times never will. It is during the difficult times that we recognize He is always present and powerful, and that even death and destruction cannot keep us from Him. This is why the Apostle Paul writes so powerfully,

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Remembering the Holocaust

It is good to remember the Holocaust and evil intent Satan has in mind for God’s ancient people. The Devil still wants to destroy the Jewish people to prevent God’s promises from unfolding. This should motivate us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and to remember His grace in the midst of life’s difficulties.

We must never lose hope as He is still Lord and in control, even though humans and Satan himself are guiding humankind on a path to total destruction.

In reading these stories, you might very well be brought to tears. I was! I also hope you discover the Lord of all comfort who will point your heart and soul to His goodness and the salvation He brings through the death and resurrection of His only begotten Son. If we learn one thing from the cross, it is that great suffering leads to even greater glory.

God’s best for Israel and for the Jewish people is still ahead, as Paul promised,

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; just as it is written. (Romans 11:25–26)

I pray you will find the reports meaningful and that you will oppose antisemitism whenever and wherever you see it! Thanks again for your faithful prayers and generosity!

In His grace,
Mitch

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Understanding the Significance of Purim

Jewish people around the globe will celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim for two days beginning Saturday evening March 11 and concluding Sunday evening March 12.

This is one of my favorite holidays as it focuses on God’s faithfulness and the preservation of the Jewish people during a difficult and dark season.

The original story of the Purim holiday, found in the Book of Esther, describes the ways in which Queen Esther and her “smart-as-a-fox” uncle, Mordecai, outwitted the evil Haman and shifted the balance of Persian power, enabling the Jewish people to survive an attempt to destroy them.

Purim is a joyous festival and loved by young and old. We put on plays, children dress up as Esther, Mordecai, and even Haman, and we eat what is called “hamantaschen,” a delicious cookie filled with fruit and supposedly shaped like either Haman’s hat or ears!

An Expression of Hope

Along with these joyous expressions of deliverance and hope, the message of accountability for how Israel and the Jewish people are treated should be sobering to us all.

I believe the most stunning and bone-chilling line in the inspired story is when the fate of evil Haman, who had tried desperately to destroy the Jewish people, is described.

Then Harbonah, one of the eunuchs who were before the king said, “Behold indeed, the gallows standing at Haman’s house fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai who spoke good on behalf of the king!” And the king said, “Hang him on it.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai, and the king’s anger subsided. (Esther 7:9-10)

Haman dies on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai. This is an epic end to the life of a man who had made himself an enemy of God by becoming an enemy of the Jewish people.

This is a timeless principle attached to a covenant that has never been rescinded or changed (Genesis 12:1-3)! When individuals or nations curse the Jewish people, it is implied that they could be cursed with similar judgments brought upon the children of Israel for their disobedience (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28).

I am not suggesting that judgment will fall upon those who disagree with Israel’s leaders over an aspect of policy. This is expected and since Israel is a democratic nation, dissent is woven into the very fabric of the modern state.

I am referring to something deeper. We are expected to have a fundamental respect and love for Israel and the Jewish people. Perhaps the Apostle Paul expressed the rationale for this heartfelt attitude when he wrote,

From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:28-29)

This means we must reject the idea that God no longer has a plan for His chosen people, and practically speaking we must reject any suggestion that the Jewish people do not have a biblical right to the Land of Israel. As the spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham, we cannot affirm one part of our inheritance while denying another.

Purim Today 

We must also oppose any hint of antisemitism, which is making an unfortunate comeback in our present day. In fact, the Jewish people are still threatened by Persia — as in the story of Esther:

Iran is the new face of ancient Persia. Unfortunately, the threats to Israel and the Jewish people do not end with Iran: almost every fundamentalist and radical Islamic movement in the world today, from ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, are intent on seeking the destruction of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.

The potential danger to the Jewish community and Israel extends to the West as countries like France, England, and even the United States are also afflicted by the rise of a new grass-roots antisemitism that has Israel in its crosshairs.

I do see some immediate hope for the future as the European Parliament finally produced a statement condemning modern day Iranian antisemitism. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, 

With 590 in favor, 67 against and 36 abstentions, lawmakers at a plenary in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed the amendment, put forward by Dutch Liberal parliamentarian Marietje Schaake, that the house “Strongly condemns the Iranian regime’s repeated calls for the destruction of Israel and the regime’s policy of denying the Holocaust.”

European Jewish Congress President, Dr. Moshe Kantor, expressed great enthusiasm over the statement saying:

“We welcome this amendment, as it is essential to couple Iran’s extremism, Holocaust denial and call for genocide with its nuclear program and relations with the international community. It is vital that Iran is pressured to improve its human rights record and belligerency towards Israel and the region before the European Union resets its relations with the Islamic Republic.”

We live in perilous times and yet we also live in times of great opportunity. Jesus told us what to do in a world that is far from its Creator and in need of redemption. He calls us to be a light to the nations beginning with the Jew first and also to the Gentile (Romans 1:16). 

God Is Working Among Jewish People Today

Thanks to the love and compassion partners like you have for Jewish people everywhere, we are seeing God’s Spirit at work. With your help:

  • We are reaching out to elderly Holocaust survivors.
  • We are engaging secular Israelis through our online campaigns.
  • We are touching the lives of young adults and families through our new Tel Aviv Messianic Center.
  • We sponsor trips to India, New Zealand, and Latin America where Israelis are traveling. We meet them with love and the Gospel message!
  • We are planting Messianic congregations.
  • We are working on campuses, teaching Bible studies, and much more through our Brooklyn Center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn, and in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston, where there are large Jewish communities.
  • We are now in 18 countries and 25 cities in North America and we are officially 123 years old as a ministry. I know…we do not look that old!

Again, we live in perilous and difficult times…just like the days of Queen Esther and Mordecai. But, we serve an all-powerful God who gives us a message of forgiveness and hope for His ancient people. Thank you for helping to share it with Jewish people today!

May God bless you for caring, and for your prayers and support.

Mitch

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Anti-Semitic graffiti in NYC Subway

Some things are just too horrible to let pass! This was the theme of an article, which appeared in a recent copy of the New York Times. The horrible act that could not go unnoticed was the writing of anti-Semitic statements on the walls of subway cars in New York City. A number of good Samaritans saw the remarks and came up with the idea of erasing them utilizing hand cleaner which has high alcohol content and is able to cut through the thick, waxy strokes of a permanent marker.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that these everyday New Yorkers took the initiative to act on their outrage and eradicate these despicable statements. In fact, one of those who was part of this admirable neighborly act took some pictures with his phone of the graffiti being erased and posted it on his Facebook site. Thankfully, more than a half-million people – and growing – took note of what was done and affirmed his actions and those of the others who would not allow these horrific statements to stand and be seen by others.

As a New Yorker, a Jewish person and a follower of Jesus the Messiah – I am impressed by what these good citizens did on behalf of the Jewish people. By their names, it does not seem that any of those who took action were actually Jewish themselves.

It seems to me that as long as we have brave souls who will not sit back and allow others to vent their hate in public – actions which tend to embolden those who already have twisted racial views including anti-Semitism – I believe that our country has hope!

You have probably heard the overused statement that all we need to do to allow the cancer of tyranny and hatred to destroy our souls in our community – is nothing. There are two verses in the Bible that these brave souls put into action – probably without knowing it – that might inspire our continued noble resistance to hatred against Jewish people and others.

First of all, the Jewish prophet Micah, writes,

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

Additionally, Jesus the Messiah said,

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. (Matthew 5:13)

Clearly, I am not neutral on the actions taken by these goodhearted, just, kindness-loving, humble, and I might add, brave, New Yorkers and appreciate their immediate actions on behalf of the Jewish people and against racial hatred in general. Erasing those remarks took courage. Their quick thinking acts of heroism demonstrate to me that New Yorkers, and hopefully Americans in general, believe we have a culture of freedom, respect, and goodness that is worth preserving.  And we are willing to put our action to our most cherished values.

 

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February 7, 2017 · 4:41 PM

Antisemitism On the Rise in the UK

MitchGlaser_Portrait copyShalom in His wonderful grace. Today I write to you with a broken heart and a deep concern for the survival of the Jewish people. Just when you thought the world was safe for them—it is NOT!

Recently, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported the following,

Since 13 September 2015, 40 people have been killed in terrorist attacks and 511 people (including 4 Palestinians) injured. There have been 155 stabbing attacks (including 76 attempted attacks), 96 shootings, 45 vehicular (ramming) attacks and one vehicle (bus) bombing.1

All too often today it seems that innocent Israelis and Palestinians are being attacked by pedestrian terrorists, blinded by a mixture of radical Islam and misguided nationalism! How I wish this were not true…I would much rather speak about the great things God is doing among Israelis and Israeli Palestinians.

And believe me—there is much good to speak about as both the Israeli and Palestinian church continues to grow in the midst of violence and unrest within Israel. Yet, the attacks against Israelis have, in reality, been attacks against Jewish people as proven by what has taken place recently in countries like France and England. This growing group of anti-Semites claim to be politically motivated against Zionism when in fact it’s just old-fashioned racially driven antisemitism!

Though some of the most vicious attacks are taking place in Israel and France, antisemitism continues to rear its ugly head in Western countries—especially in the United Kingdom. A virulent form of antisemitism, racist in nature, has been growing by leaps and bounds within England and has recently come to light in reports by concerned officials in the UK.

The British government has formed a committee to study the issue and make recommendations. They have produced an extensive report detailing the growing antisemitism in the UK.2

This group affirms the findings of Community Security Trust (CST), an organization which operates within the Jewish community to report on antisemitism. In their most recent report, they claim that,

There were 924 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2015, the third-highest annual total CST has ever recorded. The total of 924 incidents is a fall of 22 per cent from the 2014 total of 1,179 anti-Semitic incidents, which was the highest annual total recorded by CST. The second-highest annual total recorded by CST was 931 anti-Semitic incidents in 2009.3

In fact, the current mayor of London, a Muslim, said the following in a recent interview,

Sadly, for many people here in London, anti-Semitism is a very present problem. Over the past five years, anti-Semitic offenses in the capital have increased by 153 percent with 267 more offenses in 2015 compared to 2011. There are schools in London that need security simply because they are Jewish faith schools. There are places of worship that require protection simply because they are synagogues. This simply isn’t good enough.4

There is no doubt in my mind, as I travel to London three or four times a year to help with our growing ministry there, that this is even worse than is being reported.

Thank you for your love, faithfulness and deep concern for the Jewish people.

Now is a critical time to reach out to the Jewish people. The hardships they are now facing because of the growth of antisemitism are causing them to be more open to a hope beyond this world—a hope even greater than the Land of Israel—a hope that is only found in the Lord Himself.

We know that the one who is behind all antisemitism is the devil and he is trying to destroy the Jewish people because he understands that God has a continuing role for them.

We still believe that the turning of the Jewish people to Jesus will lead to the very return of Jesus, according to the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 11:25-27.

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; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, HE will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” This is MY covenant with them when I take away their sins.

All of history is leading up to this great day of deliverance. The Jewish people survive because God is faithful to His promises! But that does not mean we will not face difficult times ahead.So please pray for the Jewish people and support us during these dire times so we can continue to reach out to Jewish people with the love of Jesus the Messiah. NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND WITH THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND TO TELL GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE ABOUT THE MESSIAH!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring, standing up and praying for the Jewish people at this time.

Your brother in the Messiah Jesus,

Mitch

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The Gospel and the Jews of France

Dear friend of the Jewish people,MitchGlaser_Portrait copy

Shalom from our headquarters in New York City. It is always a joy to write to you in our Chosen People Ministries newsletter each month. My wife and I just returned from Israel where we had a very encouraging time with our 20+ staff members serving in the Holy Land. It would be impossible to try and communicate to you all that these dedicated servants of the Lord are doing in reaching our Jewish people in Israel. We are beginning to see many young Israelis interested in the Gospel!

One of the most notable changes in Israel is the rise of the French Jewish population. French Jews are now the largest group of Jewish people taking advantage of the Law of Return, immigrating to Israel each year. Israel is a safe haven for Jewish people around the globe who are experiencing antisemitism and persecution, simply because they are Jewish. The arrival of the French Jewish population has been one of the most significant demographic changes within Israel.

CPM-Newsletter-04

Did you know that France has the largest Jewish population in Europe? In fact, after Israel, the United States and the countries of the former Soviet Union, France has the largest Jewish population in the world. The Jewish people in France thrived after the end of World War II, but now the fate of the Jewish people in France is fragile due to the rise of militant Muslims.

To make matters worse, the evangelical church in France is small and struggling, and there are fewer than twelve people dedicated to Jewish ministry there at this current time. My dear brothers and sisters, it is time to pray fervently for the Jewish people of France.

To meet these needs, Chosen People Ministries has initiated a number of new strategies. Along with our direct missionary and publication ministries that have been going on in France since the 1930s, we now have two websites in French that are touching the lives of French Jewish people in many ways.

The first is an Isaiah 53 website where we are offering the book Isaiah 53 Explained in French through Facebook ads, which include the testimonies of French Messianic Jews who are part of the website. These ads are reaching French Jewish people in France, Israel, Montréal and around the globe. Hundreds of French Jewish people have already ordered the book.

We also have initiated an online aliyah helpdesk that allows us to engage with French Jewish people trying to move to Israel. In 2014, 7,500 Jews made aliyah from France, the highest number in 30 years, making France the number one country for Jewish immigration in the world. In 2015 that number was exceeded and it is expected that the 2016 immigration number will be even higher. We are offering these immigrants helpful information, both online and on the ground. Through the relationships that we build we hope to tell them about the Jewish Messiah who loves them and who died and rose so that they might have everlasting life.

We need your prayers and support for both of these efforts.

CPM-Newsletter-05

Let’s look at some recent events to better understand why so many French Jewish people are leaving France.

The 2006 murder of French Jew Ilan Halimi was a major wake-up call for the Jewish community who no longer felt safe in France.

In 2012, the “Toulouse Massacre” of seven people, including a rabbi and three students at a Jewish day school, reinforced the reality that France had a problem keeping its Jewish community safe.

The January 2015 “Charlie Hebdo” massacres included a kosher supermarket hostage situation and resulted in the death of four Jewish patrons.

Then there was the November 2015 attack that claimed the lives of 130 people. It is widely believed that the main thrust of the terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert venue was organized to hurt the two owners of the place who happened to be Jewish (incidentally they had sold the place a few months prior).

CPM-Newsletter-06

My heart goes out to the French Jewish community. It has been my prayer for many years to be able to reach that very community with the Gospel of Yeshua. Because of the rebirth of antisemitism in Europe and its current exponential growth, French Jews, among other European Jewish communities, are scared and hopeless. But together, we can offer them hope.

Your generous gift today will enable us to reach more French Jews with the story of Yeshua – and provide hope in the midst of persecution.

As always, we need your continued support to keep our missionaries in the field as they serve the Lord in the United States, Israel, France and in the other 13 nations where you are helping to reach Jewish people with the Gospel.

We deeply appreciate your prayers and loving support.

Many blessings,

Mitch


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