Category Archives: New York City

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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Reaching Jewish People in the Other Holy Land

MitchGlaser_Portrait copyDear friend in the Messiah,

I’m writing to you on behalf of those who would never communicate with you.

I’m writing on behalf of my mother and father, grandparents, uncles and aunts and literally hundreds of thousands of Jewish people who were born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City—the current home of almost a million Jewish people.

I’m writing on behalf of hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish people and Russian Jewish immigrants—many of whom cannot write in English and are already quite elderly!

By now you realize I’m writing to you on behalf of the many Jewish people in the borough of Brooklyn, who do not believe in Jesus.

These are the people who would never ask you to send them a missionary!

1606PZLW_BrooklynTVMovieTourJuniorsBelieve me, so many of these dear, precious Jewish people in Brooklyn are very able to communicate. As you well know, there have been many famous Jewish people from Brooklyn, who are teachers, professionals, thinkers, artists, and musicians. Within the Jewish community, we know that most of our leading Jewish rabbis and Jewish theologians either come from or still live in Brooklyn, which I affectionately call the other Holy Land.

There are also hundreds of thousands of Jewish people in Brooklyn who are more secular and do not think they need a relationship with God at all.

Allow me to tell you a quick story about one of my favorite Brooklyn Jewish family members—my father.

Whereas my mom was raised in a more Orthodox Jewish home, my paternal grandpa was a tailor and a butcher and did whatever it took to help his family survive. He was a good man, but not religious, though his family, of course, celebrated all of the Jewish holidays. My dad followed suit.

Some years before my father passed away, we were sitting in his car in an area of Brooklyn called Bensonhurst, where he lived. I was speaking to him about Jesus, and the conversation went on for about 15 minutes. He listened attentively, and I actually thought that he was more open to the Gospel than ever before. I was excited! So I kept on talking.

By the way, this is a mistake some of us make when sharing the Gospel with non-believers. We should make sure to take a breath every once in a while and ask the person we are speaking to if they are still interested in what we are saying!

Eventually, I paused, and my father looked at me and said, “Son, I really love you, and I know it makes you happy to talk to me about your faith; I’m always happy to listen.”

I stayed quiet for a moment to see what else my dad would say and thankfully he kept talking! He continued, “It’s not that I have anything against Jesus, but I don’t even believe in God.”

I was stunned and disappointed because I thought that he was becoming more open to the Lord. I thanked my dad for being so honest. He knew I would not be happy with his position, but loved me enough to tell me the truth.

My dad was typical of many secular Jewish post Holocaust men and women who live in Brooklyn, in Israel and around the world! A recent study of Israelis reported that 50% of those living in Israel claim to be secular Jews. This does not mean they do not identify as Jews—as my father had a strong Jewish identity. It simply means that they do not practice the Jewish religion outside of celebrating many of the holidays which are viewed as part of the Israeli national calendar.

Those who need the Gospel the most do not know it…and would never ask us to send them missionaries. We know Jesus said the field is ripe for harvesting and the laborers are few, but those who are part of the harvest are SILENT.

They will never issue the invitation for us to come!

My dear brothers and sisters—the initiative is ours to take, as Jesus has already told us to go!

Shalom Brooklyn
Your Mission to the Jewish People has been preaching the Gospel to Jewish people day in and day out…in Brooklyn and throughout the world for almost 123 years! Sometimes we intensify our efforts, as we will this summer in both Brooklyn and Israel.

1606PZLW_SB-Prayer-Brooklyn-DSC08141Would you please pray for our intensive summer outreach in Brooklyn called Shalom Brooklyn?

The Hebrew word shalom means “peace” and Jesus is the Prince of Peace according to Isaiah 9:6. These verses adorn the plaque on the front of our Brooklyn Messianic Center, in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn. Isaiah writes,

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Dozens of Chosen People Ministries’ staff and volunteers will be on the streets of Brooklyn for two weeks proclaiming the Good News of Jesus the Messiah to both religious and secular Jewish people. We will be reaching out to both Russian Jewish and Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn. Additionally, we will be placing evangelistic ads on Facebook directed towards Jewish people in the greater New York area.

We expect there will be hundreds of Jewish people who will be interested in receiving a copy of Isaiah 53 Explained and in learning more about the Lord.

I would also appreciate your prayers for our two short-term mission trips to Israel this summer. Chosen People Ministries’ staff and volunteers will be reaching Holocaust survivors, young secular Israelis and religious Jewish people who will listen.

Give on Behalf of Those Who Would Never Ask for Help
We also need your financial support. This summer of outreach is going to be a huge investment, especially as we enhance the work on the street with our Facebook ad campaigns. We are offering a free copy of Isaiah 53 Explained in English, Hebrew and Russian. We can deliver this book into the hands of a Jewish person for $5, inclusive of printing costs as well as the ads.

1606PZLW_SB-EVANG-DSC08406Your gift of $50 will enable us to send ten books and your gift of $500–100 books. We also need your support to help
underwrite
the evangelistic outreaches on the streets of Brooklyn and in Israel. We have budgeted $10,000– $25,000 per week for these efforts, and we have four weeks of outreach planned between Brooklyn and Israel.

Thank you for your willingness to pray and give generously so that we can reach Jewish people with the Gospel of Jesus our Messiah. I especially want to thank you on behalf of those who would never ask or thank you—until they come to faith in Jesus the Messiah.

Have a joy-filled summer in the Messiah and please pray for our summer outreaches!

Yours on behalf of those who are SILENT…but desperately need the Lord,

Mitch

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New Life in the Other Holy Land

Dear friend in the Messiah,

Shalom from the city with the highest concentration of Jewish people in the world! It is not Jerusalem or Tel Aviv—it is New York City! In fact, Brooklyn, one of the five boroughs in this city, has more Jewish people than Jerusalem! I often joke about Brooklyn being the other holy land!

Brooklyn is a wonderful place to reach Jewish people with the Good News of Jesus the Messiah—the Gospel that we love, cherish and proclaim. This is why we established a Messianic outreach center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn—and the Lord is blessing the ministries of the Center.

Shalom Brooklyn

We have just completed two weeks of intensive evangelistic outreach in Brooklyn. During the first week we had over 50 short-term missionary volunteers and staff involved with our efforts, and almost the same number during the second week. We distributed Gospel tracts on the streets of Brooklyn, set up book tables in busy areas, ministered in the parks and beaches and shared the Gospel with hundreds of Jewish people.

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It was surprising to see how many conversations our Brooklyn volunteers and staff had with religious Jewish people. There seems to be a real growing hunger on the part of Orthodox Jewish people for the Gospel. There is actually a whole movement under the radar of young people raised in religious Jewish homes—especially in Brooklyn—who are beginning to seek the Lord. We keep meeting these young people during the school year at Brooklyn College and throughout the greater New York area.

Isaiah 53 and I Found Shalom in Brooklyn

As you probably know if you have been reading our newsletter, we are using social media and websites to do evangelism on a regular basis. Our two evangelistic websites are Isaiah53.com and ifoundshalom.com. We have learned how to utilize Facebook and other online advertising tools to drive people to our websites to learn more about the Gospel. The Isaiah 53 site, of course, does this through introducing Jewish people to the great prophetic passage in Isaiah chapter 53, which predicts the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah in phenomenal detail. We also offer a free book, Isaiah 53 Explained, which I wrote to give further information about this great chapter and how the fulfillment of this chapter in Jesus can transform our lives.

The ifoundshalom.com website is focused on the testimonies of Messianic Jews from all walks of life who have found Jesus to be the true Messiah of Israel. We have literally had thousands of individuals exploring these testimonies each week, and we also offer a free booklet people can request.

We now have dozens of Jewish people that our missionary staff are following up as a result of the on the ground Shalom Brooklyn effort and our cyberspace web-based outreach campaigns. What a great day we live in!

Chosen People Ministries and Jewish Evangelism

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If you are new to Chosen People Ministries, perhaps the best way to help you understand what we are all about is to share with you our mission statement:

Chosen People Ministries exists to pray for, evangelize, disciple and serve the Jewish community and to help others do the same.

This mission statement is based upon some of the great missionary passages of the Bible, including Matthew 28:19-20 (the Great Commission) and Acts 1:8, where Jesus told His disciples to begin preaching the Gospel first in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and then the uttermost parts of the world.

For over 120 years, we have taken this mandate both literally and very seriously. May I share one other critical passage of Scripture with you that will help you understand our ministry?

In Matthew 23:37, our Savior and beloved Messiah Jesus reveals His heart for His own people when He says,

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

If anybody asks me, “What drives your ministry,” I would certainly refer them to the above passages of Scripture. Most importantly, we seek to evangelize and disciple the Jewish people because of God’s heart for them. He chose the Jewish people for a great purpose—to bring the blessings of Messiah to a sinful world—knowing that the vast majority of those He chose to be His bridge of grace to a broken world would fail to respond positively to the Messiah until just the right moment.

This is what drives us! We believe that moment is in the process of unfolding. God’s word will not fail. He is touching the lives of Jewish people even now, in anticipation of that great day.  

I wholeheartedly believe that what we are doing online and in person is part of God’s process in turning the nation of Israel to Jesus. Regardless of what will happen in the future, we want to see Jewish people believe in Jesus—today!

I hope this helps you understand what our mission is all about. We exist to bring the Good News in a Jewish way to the Jewish people so that the entire world will be blessed.

Your Prayers and Support Are a Blessing to Us!

We deeply appreciate your financial support as without your help we would not be able to reach the Jewish people in Brooklyn, New York City and in so many of the more expensive urban centers where my people live.

We recently entered our new fiscal year and have budgeted $20,000 per month to run the Brooklyn Center. This includes the utilities, staffing, outreach, advertising of events, the hosting of our Seminary training program and more!  But remember, we have no debt on this facility thanks to your generosity. So, all that you give goes towards the ministries of the Feinberg Brooklyn Messianic Center! Please pray about giving a generous donation today to our evangelistic work among the Jewish people. Not just in Brooklyn, of course, but for the more than 25 branches in the United States and Canada and our ministries in 15 other countries across the globe. You can do this through a one-time generous gift or consider giving regularly through our Watchmen for Jerusalem program.

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Thanks so much for caring and also remember to pray for your Jewish friends during the High Holiday season that begins this month. We will have many Jewish seekers attending our services—many who heard about the Lord through Shalom Brooklyn and our online campaigns. Pray that God would open their hearts this month to the Savior!

I also hope you will visit our website and take full advantage of the wonderful information we have provided for you which includes videos, charts and so much more. We also provide some tips for you on how to share the Gospel with your Jewish friends through the vehicle of the Jewish High Holidays.

Blessings in our Messiah Jesus,

Mitch

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Pray for those who persecute you

Shalom from the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn, where I have been part of a prayer meeting with our staff at the new Charles Feinberg Messianic Center. As you will see from the attached article, the religious Jewish community is well aware of our presence in the community, and they are responding in a variety of ways.

One group sent out a video opposing our work, and this same group rented space nearby in order to counter our efforts. Another group, we recently discovered, also rented space across the street from our Center in order to oppose our efforts to tell Jewish people about our beloved Messiah Jesus.

This is to be expected!

So, how do we feel about this intense and very public opposition?

I believe the words of Jesus speak loudest in this instance, as He told us,

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

We are blessed, and our burden has deepened for our fellow Jewish people to open their hearts to the Messiah. We understand that our people do not really understand the message of Jesus.

It is hard for most Jewish people to distinguish between the historic bad behavior of nominal “Christians” who treated the Jewish people so poorly throughout the ages and authentic Gentile Christians who love the Jewish Messiah and the Jewish people. My people simply do not know the difference between the two.

And more importantly, they do not understand that Jesus is Jewish, His earliest disciples were Jewish and that believing in Jesus as the Messiah is not only acceptable for a Jewish person, but the right thing to do!

The question I want many people to think about is not whether it is permissible to be Jewish and believe in Jesus – but whether or not Jesus is the true Messiah of Israel. If my fellow Jews come to this conclusion, then they will choose to follow Him – as I did.

So, please pray for the Jewish people with us!

We are not upset or angry or feeling competitive as described in the article. There is only one Messiah, and we believe with all our hearts that it is Jesus and that He is the One sent from heaven to save us from our sins. My hope and prayer is that my people will be drawn to this loving, forgiving Messiah and find salvation in Him.

We are about to begin the Jewish High Holidays, starting with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) beginning Wednesday evening. Please pray with us that during this time, when the Jewish people think seriously about atonement and forgiveness, that the Lord would open the hearts of our Jewish people – especially those who oppose us – and reveal to them that Jesus is the promised Messiah for both Jews and Gentiles.

Please read the article, which we feel is balanced and accurate in describing the situation… but of course not a true reflection of our heart and motives for establishing the Charles Feinberg Center in the heart of Brooklyn.

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Let’s Keep the Discussion Going

I am grateful for all of you have commented on the recent blog where I respond to the religious Jewish people establishing the Kiruv Center near our new Charles Feinberg Messianic Center on Coney Island Avenue and Avenue P in Brooklyn. There was quite a bit of interest in the topic and a willingness to discuss the issues.

The dialogue has been excellent, but there are so many responses I really cannot answer each one. Let me try and summarize some of the key issues that seem to be under discussion.

1. Can you be Jewish and believe that Jesus is the Messiah and God in the flesh?

2. Is there a good case for Jesus begin the Messiah predicted in the Tenach? (the Old Testament for those who are not Jewish)

3. In what ways can you express yourself as a Jew if you believe in Jesus? Can/should you do this religiously and if so in what tradition of religious Judaism? How do we combine belief in Jesus with being Jewish?

4. Did Yeshua call upon Jeiwsh believers to abandon the Torah?

5. Can Jewish people who believe in Yeshua and those who do not, find non-acrimoniuos ways to relate to one another and even help one another where responding to mutual concerns; Israel, anti-Semitism etc.?

6. Can you be forgiven of sin without an atoning sacrifice?

7. What is the difference between the Jewish view of salvation and that of Messianic Jews or Christians?

For these and other questions please take the discussions to http://isaiah53.com/forums. This will be a better venue for our ongoing discussions.

Thanks!

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Filed under Brooklyn, Israel, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, New York City

Orthodox Jewish Group Opposes Chosen People Ministries’ Brooklyn Messianic Center.

A new website has just been posted entitled The Missionary Threat. It is sponsored by an Orthodox Jewish group that is trying to counter our efforts to share the Gospel with Jewish people, as well as for their own aim of trying to influence more secular Jewish people to become Orthodox.

They have posted a video that focuses on the ministry of our new Charles Feinberg Center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn:

This is not the first time that this group has leveraged our efforts to bring the Gospel to the Jewish people in Brooklyn to enhance their fundraising drives. I cannot blame them – in fact, I think it is quite entrepreneurial!

The last time this happened, I wrote to the leader of this group, which is located only a few blocks from our new center, and invited him to meet with me so that at least he would see the face of his alleged enemy. I never received a response back, and can only assume that it’s a lot easier for people to attack an unknown person rather than someone they have met and might even grow to like as a person – though disagreeing with their message and perspective.

How I feel about this?

In fact, I think I am the Jewish person who is alluded to in the video.

First of all, I’m actually not really upset at all. I find it easy to love and appreciate these folks who are so dedicated to their task that they feel part of what they must do is oppose us as we bring the Gospel to the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn. They are simply doing what they believe the God of Israel is calling them to do! After all, I feel the same way.

However, I do not want to minimize the seriousness of the matter. Chosen People Ministries believes that no man or woman, Jew or Gentile, can go to heaven or have an abundant relationship with God outside of believing that Jesus (Yeshua) is the promised Messiah. It is through His death and resurrection for our sin and believing in Him that we can enter into a deep and personal relationship with God. These are the eternal issues that are at stake – and it is no joke!

Perhaps it’s easier to see the black-and-white issues when you are involved with reaching Jewish people for Jesus, especially those who are more Orthodox. You see, Orthodox Jewish people believe in the God of Israel as revealed in the Bible. They accept the Bible as God’s word, and most are very sincere about keeping the Law and pleasing God.

Orthodox Jews usually have wonderful families, good ethics and share many of the same values as true followers of Jesus. In many ways, we are in the same trenches together with the Orthodox Jewish community when it comes to fighting against the growing decadence and secularism of our modern culture and calling for people to draw close to the Lord!

In fact, I will keep praying that the Lord would create some bridges of friendship and fellowship between ourselves and those who have chosen to oppose us, because we have so much in common. Please pray that we might even be able to work together with these folks in areas of common concern both within the Jewish community and in society.

I knew that the Lord was leading us to establish this Center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn. Our “opponents” are correct in reporting how expensive the project was, and how I and many others within the Chosen People Ministries family believe in the profound importance of shining the light of Messiah in the midst of this intense concentration of religious Jewish people – perhaps one of the largest in the world.

I hope that you will watch the video and pray for our Orthodox Jewish friends. Their efforts remind me of the ways in which Paul describes some of his fellow religious Jewish enthusiasts when he wrote in the book of Romans,

Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Messiah is the end (the fulfillment) of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Romans 10:1-4).

A few of our very wise and experienced staff members asked me to reconsider sending out this website and video. The reason is that they were concerned that our Gentile Christian friends would in some way get a negative view of Jewish people, especially Orthodox Jewish people, as a result of this video.

I understand that some who are reading this letter may not know many Jewish people personally, but I want to assure you that if you did know some of the Jewish people who are opposing us – you would really like them. They are good people, but they simply need to know that Jesus is the Messiah. I hope you’ll think positively of them and that you will join us in prayer.

It’s important to remember that Jewish people have had some very bad experiences with Christianity. From the Crusades, the Pogroms and ultimately the Holocaust, Jewish people have developed a mentality that Christianity is antagonistic towards the Jewish people. And quite frankly, when describing “institutional and more nominal Christianity,” this is not far from the truth.

This means that we have to demonstrate through our lives and action that true Christians love the Jewish people. We must make sure our Jewish friends understand that we do not want anyone to change religion, but to follow a person – Jesus the Messiah. We are preaching a relationship, not a religion. This is so important for Jewish people to understand – and for you to try and help your Jewish friends comprehend.

The basic and most fundamental reason why Jewish people do not believe in Jesus is because of the fear that once a Jewish person starts believing in Jesus, he or she gives up being a Jew. This is not true (Romans11:1), but it’s up to us to communicate this to our Jewish friends, relatives and neighbors.

Now, since the founders of this center did such a great job of encouraging others to fund their work of bringing Jews back to Orthodox Judaism, let me return the favor. It is obvious to me that we are doing the right thing, and I hope that you will support us and in particular support the work of our Messianic Jewish center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn.

Please write Charles Feinberg Center in the “Special Designation” field

We not only need your financial support, but we are desperate for your prayers – as what we want most in life cannot be accomplished with money. We want the God of Israel to open the hearts of our Jewish friends and family so that they too will believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah.

Your brother,

Mitch

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Filed under Brooklyn, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, New York City

Hurricane Sandy: One-Year Memorial

Dear friends,

It was only one year ago when Hurricane Sandy stormed through the East Coast of the United States, leaving terrible destruction in its wake. The homes and hopes of families were destroyed, tens of thousands were out of work, personal property – from family pictures to cherished memorabilia – were swept away in the floods, and many were left homeless and helpless for weeks.

In the midst of this tragedy, God’s people were faithful and generous, as many followers of Yeshua the Messiah gathered clothing, food, electrical generators and so much more – distributing them to needy families in many areas. Chosen People Ministries focused on the thousands of Russian Jewish homes lining the shores of Staten Island, New York City, where there was tremendous loss and suffering because of the hurricane. We cleaned homes; distributed food, blankets, electrical generators, heaters, small refrigerators and stoves; and wept with those who wept… prayed with those who did not know how to pray… and stood alongside the victims of this terrible event that still traumatizes many of the families who suffered the most.

In the midst of what was a very difficult season, we saw God’s faithfulness and care for individuals and families, which was nothing short of amazing. Believers from all over the country came to the eastern seaboard, and many focused on some of the poor residents of Staten Island – mostly Russian Jewish people, who suffered tremendously – and showed God’s love in the most tangible ways.

Our ministry developed many personal relationships with folks who needed help, and those relationships continue until this day. Very few of us on the Chosen People Ministries staff were experienced in disaster relief, but we knew that God wanted us to love those who were hurting. We spent weeks and even months serving the hurting, and it was really wonderful to see how that love was received by many Jewish people in particular… who knew that the One motivating our love and actions was the Messiah Jesus – the Savior of the world.

We actually distributed tens of thousands of dollars to those who needed to rebuild their homes and lives, from paying contractors to rebuild their homes and having funds to survive!

I want to thank those who helped support the hurricane victims during this very difficult and dark time – because of you, the Light of the Messiah was able to shine brightly through us and others who served the suffering of Staten Island and many other communities during this time.

As we look towards November and the celebration of Thanksgiving – which of course falls on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah – I remember setting up tables outside with Hanukkah menorahs, gifts for children, hot chocolate and some Hanukkah foods in devastated neighborhoods of Staten Island. It was during those dark and gloomy nights that the lit candles on these tables reminded me of Messiah’s presence among us in ways that I personally will never forget. This passage from the writings of the prophet Isaiah became very dear to me:

But now thus says the Lord,

 he who created you, O Jacob,

he who formed you, O Israel:

 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

 I have called you by name, you are mine.

 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

 when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

 For I am the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior… (Isaiah 43:1-3)

Please remember to keep praying for some of the victims who have yet to rebuild their homes and be restored in their finances, jobs and family lives.

Perhaps one of the lessons that we learned from this tragic event was that God wants us to be willing, and though we may not always be able or have the resources to do all we want – we can always do something, and that something might make a huge difference in someone’s life. I learned this lesson as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and I’m grateful to God for all that He did through so many to show His presence in the midst of the storm.

Your brother in the Messiah,

Mitch

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