Monthly Archives: April 2019

New York Ministries

Dear friend,

Happy Passover and Easter!

I love this time of year. As a Jewish believer in Jesus, my faith and love for my heritage converge in perfect harmony during the Passover/Easter season. during this season, we celebrate the coming of the perfect Lamb of God, which was predicted in the biblical passages that tell the story of Passover and in Isaiah chapter 53. He is the One who died for our sins, rose from the grave, and ascended to heaven—and now we wait patiently for His return!

Chosen People Ministries will have more Jewish people attend our Passover Seders and come to faith in Jesus during this season than at any other time of year. So please pray for us as we have Messianic Passover Seders in dozens of cities in North America and in sixteen other countries around the globe where we serve among the Jewish people.

Passover in the Bible

Passover is an eight-day festival that combines the one-day Feast of Passover with the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As Moses said to the children of Israel, “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread” (Leviticus 23:5–6).

Jewish people traditionally observe the holiday by celebrating a Passover Seder (Hebrew for “order”), or dinner, on the first two nights of the holiday.

Growing up in a Jewish home in New York City, my family always attended the Seder led by my grandfather in Brooklyn. He was a very religious Jewish man, and I loved him dearly. He had fled eastern Europe before the First World War, as Jewish people were terribly persecuted, and came to the “Golden Land” of America where he hoped to live as a Jewish man without fear.

I am sorry to say he was not very happy when I became a believer in Jesus at nineteen years of age. No matter how many times I explained it and attended all of our traditional family holiday celebrations, my faith was still foreign to my beloved grandparents.

It is not easy being Jewish and believing in Jesus. I often feel like an outsider in my own family and community. But Passover is a great comfort and joy to me since it is evident that Yeshua fulfills the festival in so many glorious ways. The lamb of Exodus 12 points to Jesus. The lamb was killed and it’s blood shed so that the firstborn sons of the Israelites would be spared. Now, we understand that this points to the blood of the perfect Lamb that spares us from the consequences of our sin! As Paul, the great Jewish apostle wrote, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). We have this great gift of salvation through His shed blood and atoning sacrifice.

Jesus was sinless and innocent. According to the prophet Isaiah, this perfect lamb would die an undeserving death and rise from the grave (Isaiah 53:10–12). This is the triumphant message of grace and redemption—for the One who died now lives forever, and we will live forever with Him.

Paul summarized forever the heart of the gospel message to the believers in Corinth when he wrote, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). I know you might be reading quietly, but feel free to give a shout of Hallelujah! I just did!

My Spiritual Forefather:

Rabbi Leopold Cohn

When I first came to faith, I thought I was the only Jewish person in the world who believed in Jesus, aside from my two best friends who were Jewish and led me to the Lord. After a few months, I met representatives of Chosen People Ministries (then called the American Board of Missions to the Jews) and they discipled me.

For a long time, I did not know that Messianic Jews had a history beyond my own generation! It was then that I was introduced to the written testimony and legacy of Rabbi Leopold Cohn, the founder of the Mission I now have the privilege of leading.

Leopold Cohn was a Jewish immigrant from Hungary who came to faith in Jesus the Messiah in 1892. According to his story, while walking the streets of the Lower East Side of Manhattan on his way to visit his rabbi, he noticed a sign outside a Dutch Reformed church that piqued his curiosity. The sign welcomed Jewish people to a meeting inside the building. He listened from outside and was intrigued. Afterwards, he spoke with the fiery young Polish Jewish preacher who gave him a copy of the New Testament. Rabbi Cohn then came to faith and was immediately burdened with reaching his people. He began Chosen People Ministries in 1894.

God has sustained Chosen People Ministries. But the real story of the Mission is a story of God’s grace, mercy, and faithfulness.

There is a story behind the story!

I believe that reaching Jewish people for Jesus is at the very heart of God’s plan for the ages. He never rescinded the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1–3) in which He promised to create a people and grant this people a land. God promised He would one day have a vital personal relationship with His people and that the Jewish people would become His vehicle of blessing to the nations.

We must remember the events that are still to come, as one day God will turn the eyes of the Jewish people to Jesus the Messiah and then the Lord will return. This is the promise in Zechariah 12:10 and described in Romans 11:11–15. In that day, I believe wholeheartedly that our Chosen People Global Ministries family will joyfully be “out of work.”

I believe the reason God is faithful to our ministry is because the Jewish people are critical to His strategic plan for accomplishing His holy purposes. The glorious future promised to Israel will one day produce great blessings for the entire world (Genesis 12:3).

Our future is settled… but…

What about today?

We believe what God said in the Bible will come to pass. Yet, we also have the joy of helping to make it happen! We are called to bring the good news of the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles. As Paul pens, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

This is the “life verse” of our ministry, and we will continue to proclaim His Word until He returns! I especially hope you will pray for our ministries in New York City, which still has more Jewish people than anywhere else in the world. This is why our international headquarters is in Manhattan, and we have more staff based in the greater New York area than anywhere else. Israel is a close second, of course.

This summer, we are hoping and praying to recruit 125 staff members and volunteers for two weeks of front-line evangelism in New York City. It is not too late for you to come! All you need to do is visit http://www.shalomnyoutreach.com. We will get in touch with you and tell you how you can apply to join us!

Thank you for your love for the Jewish Messiah and His people. Your prayers and support mean so much to us. We could not do this work without you.

He is Risen!

Your brother,

Mitch Glaser

 

 

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The Charles L. Feinberg Center for Messianic Jewish Studies

Dear friend,

Shalom in His grace. I hope you are looking forward to the Passover/Easter season this year. We expect hundreds of Jewish people to attend our Passover banquets around the globe. Your prayers for these events are greatly appreciated as we hope that many Jewish people will discover that Jesus is the Messiah and Lamb of God!

We exist to tell Jewish people about Jesus!

Yet, once a Jewish person (or anyone) comes to faith, they need to be discipled and taught the Word of God.

This is why we started the Charles L. Feinberg Center for Messianic Jewish Studies in Brooklyn, New York, in 2007. We have trained dozens of Jewish and Gentile believers, who are now serving the Lord among the Jewish people, and who are capable of discipling a new generation of Jesus-followers!

We named the program after Dr. Charles Lee Feinberg—the first dean of Talbot School of Theology within Biola University in California, and our partner in this wonderful course of study.

Dr. Feinberg was one of my heroes in the faith. He was the reason I chose to attend Talbot after graduating from Bible college in 1974. There was only one person with whom I wanted to study further—and that was Dr. Charles Lee Feinberg.

He was a legend among the young Jewish believers who came to faith during the turbulent days of the Jesus Movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most of us were the only believers in our families and felt completely alone. We definitely did not know any rabbis or Jewish community leaders at the time who were believers in Jesus. My little group of ex-hippie believers longed for an example or two of older Jewish believers we could look to as role models.

Dr. Charles Feinberg became the spokesman and example we were seeking.

Dr. Feinberg trained as a rabbi but interrupted his training when he came to faith in Jesus. He was in the first graduating class of Dallas Theological Seminary, and then taught there for a number of years. Eventually, he earned a PhD in Archaeology at Johns Hopkins University and moved his family west to take up a new role at Biola (the Bible Institute of Los Angeles).

Dr. Feinberg became a believer in the 1930s through Chosen People Ministries, which was then known as the American Board of Missions to the Jews. His books helped shape a generation of Christian leaders, training them in how to understand the Old Testament. Dr. Feinberg’s superb commentary on the minor prophets began as a serial Bible study in the monthly magazine, The Chosen People.

Dr. Feinberg helped me develop a great respect and love for our historic mission to the Jewish people where I now serve as president. His passion to see Chosen People Ministries grow in fruitful service for the Lord was both relentless and infectious.

Those who attend the Feinberg program and complete the rigorous coursework walk in the footsteps of a spiritual giant. But the proof is in the pudding! After reading these testimonies of past and present students, you will see what I mean.

Brian, one of our graduates, had this to say about his experience:

The Feinberg program provided an invaluable exposure to the world of the Bible and to the Jewish and Christian interpreters who have been studying it for millennia. Learning Greek and Hebrew opened up vistas of depth and nuance I never knew existed. And through study, it was a joy to interact with Church fathers and rabbis as they sought to understand the texts. All of this prepared me for a ministry of apologetics to the Jewish people.

Liz, who completed our Certificate program, shares how the Feinberg program prepared her for ministry.

Before attending the program, I had a big heart for the Jewish people but very little understanding of the Jewish people and Jewish evangelism. Now I feel extremely prepared for whatever direction God takes me in ministry. We were also thrilled at the cost of the program. This allowed my husband and me to complete our seminary education with zero debt!

One of the greatest benefits of the Center is that it is in the heart of Brooklyn, with a mission field just outside the door. Toby, one of our current students, puts it this way:

There is no better place in the world to study Messianic Jewish ministry than in Brooklyn. Imagine learning about a specific group of people and the way they think and live, and then walking outside and that same people group is all around you! I have been able to host Sabbath dinners in my home, take part in street evangelism and campus ministry, and most recently volunteer at an Orthodox-run soup kitchen.

Stephen*, one of our new students, describes the ministry opportunities he enjoys through the program.

Since I am a new student, I have been on rotation, participating in college campus outreach, street evangelism, Messianic congregational ministry, and apologetics writing. Participating in ministry activities during our studies that teach us how to practically reach out to Jewish people with the gospel is invaluable.

The benefits of the Feinberg Center reach far beyond the individual students, as the goal of the Seminary degree is to train leaders—theologically and practically—to take us into the 21st century of Jewish evangelism. Dr. Gregory Hagg, Dean of the Feinberg program, writes:

Many of the leaders in the Messianic Jewish movement have little formal biblical training, and often the Jewish studies component is lacking in the education they do have. The majority come from secular Jewish homes and did not receive a broader understanding of Jewish life and faith growing up. The Feinberg Center provides the best of both worlds through Bible-based and Messiah-centered courses, as well as training in Jewish literature and religion. Since the Association of Theological Schools, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and the New York Board of Regents approved the program in 2007, we have graduated two dozen well-trained leaders now engaged in Jewish ministry and almost every graduate is debt free because of your generosity!

THE PROGRAM

Coursework

We designed the Feinberg curriculum to incorporate both Jewish studies and the courses one would usually take through an evangelical seminary, although every class is taught with Jewish evangelism in mind. Our professors are all excellent scholars with years of personal experience in Jewish ministry.

Field Ministry

We situated the Feinberg Center in the New York metropolitan area because the city is home to two million Jewish people and is the center of Jewish life in America. Our Center is in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn, and just living in the midst of the Jewish community provides endless possibilities for students to immerse themselves in Jewish culture and ministry while completing their coursework. In fact, each semester we organize Jewish-focused field ministry programs to help each student put what they learn in the classroom into practice.

The Costs

The Feinberg Center provides our students an affordable education and gives them the opportunity to graduate debt-free. To achieve this affordability, we offer a wide range of scholarships and subsidies to offset student costs. We also provide accommodations for single students and housing for families through rent subsidies. The generous and regular support from our ministry partners makes a debt-free education possible, which I believe is critical for missionaries who raise their own support.

Dr. Charles L. Feinberg demonstrated in both his life and ministry that one could be Jewish and believe in Jesus. He loved the Lord, he loved his Jewish people, and he loved our Mission—Chosen People Ministries. And it is in his honor that we dedicated the training program and our beautiful Center in the midst of a very Jewish part of Brooklyn. We hope you enjoy learning about our New York initiatives!

Happy Passover and Easter.

In Him,

Dr. Mitch Glaser

 

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