Believing ministries that help the poor in Israel – Part 3
One for Israel Passover food distribution in Netanya, Israel (Photo courtesy)
In Part 3 of KNI’s series on believing organizations that help the poor in Israel we highlight the humanitarian work of Christ Church Jerusalem Mercy Fund, One for Israel, Joshua Fund and Dugit.
Israel’s National Health Institute reported last year that some 1.8 million Israelis live in poverty. Here’s how the believing community is reaching out to them.
Founded in 1838 Christ Church has a long history of serving the poor and needy in Jerusalem and surrounding areas. These days the church community has a Mercy Fund to help those who “fall between the cracks” of society, systems and bureaucracies.
Under the guidance of church Rector David Pileggi, the Mercy Fund team assesses needs and allocates funding and material goods as the Lord provides it. The fund supports a wide variety of the population including Israelis, Arab Christians, Messianic Jews, those who are escaping the sex trade and ministries of reconciliation such as Shevet Achim.
“People come to us from Bethlehem and Ramallah in the West Bank as well as from in and around Jerusalem,” fund coordinator Kayra Niebur told KNI. “We really want to connect as a bridge and never be one sided. We are the Lord’s people and we try not to be political.”
The fund helps individuals in need and also supports ministries or people who, in turn, help others. In January CCJ was delighted to purchase a water boiler for an elderly woman.
“Being able to dedicate so much to a single person demonstrates how Christ focuses on each of us,” the Mercy Fund prayer letter explained.
But the organization doesn’t only provide physical needs.
“Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them, pray for them and encourage them to keep going,” Niebur said.
The fund also features a project of the month in which it assists a ministry that is serving the poor, such as Be’ad Chaim, Israel’s believing pro-life association. The project for March 2018 is Oasis of Hope, an organization that reaches out to Christian Arabs in Jerusalem who struggle with addiction.
Based in Netanya, One for Israel is a grassroots organization comprised of Jewish and Arab believers focused on sharing the Gospel in Israel through its media center. The ministry also runs the only Hebrew language Bible College for educating new Israeli believers.
However, One for Israel also helps the poor through humanitarian relief. The team works with the Netanya municipality to identify and help those in need, including many Holocaust survivors.
As they visit the lonely and impoverished bringing food and other goods, One for Israel staff members also bring “comfort, encouragement, and love in the name of the Lord.”
With a warehouse and distribution centers in Israel, the U.S. based Joshua Fund was founded in 2006 by author Joel Rosenberg and his wife Lynn who wanted to move Christians to “bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, according to Genesis 12:1-3.”
The Joshua Fund works with Jewish and Christian groups in Israel and other parts of the Middle East and the world. Partnering with local Israeli congregations and other organizations, the fund uses a large portion of its finances to order, stock and transport food to distribution centers across Israel. The food is then given to those in need.
Since its inception the Joshua Fund has raised millions of dollars to help the “elderly, single mothers, homeless people, widows, orphans, and other poor and needy Jews, Muslims and Christians” in the land.
Dugit – “little fishing boat” in Hebrew – is an evangelistic outreach center in downtown Tel Aviv. The center was opened by Israeli-born Avi Mizrachi, Messianic leader and pastor of the Adonai Roi congregation.
A key purpose of the Dugit center is to create a welcoming environment for Israeli Jews and Arabs to learn about Yeshua over coffee and a chat or through live music and fellowship evenings.
Dugit, however, also provides material relief to the poor through its Distribution Pantry. Eligible families receive monthly food parcels as the Dugit staff “do everything they can to express the agape love of Yeshua to the poor of Tel Aviv.”
In addition to prayer and donations, volunteers are welcomed to help with practical matters such as organizing shelves, folding clothes and cleaning.
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes or daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” – James 2:15-16
Read part 1 of this series: Five believing organizations that minister to the poor in Israel
EDITOR’S NOTE: This list is not exclusive. Many other Messianic ministries serve the poor in Israel. Click here to visit the KNI Directory of Messianic ministries in Israel to find other such organizations.
Karen Faulkner is a British Israeli citizen. She has a Master's degree in Human Rights & Transitional Justice from Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
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Hope blooms in Tel Aviv – opening of new counseling center
Tel Aviv, Israel - Aerial view of Ramat Gan district from 49th floor of Circular Tower, one of three skyscrapers of Azrieli Center complex in Tel Aviv
Anchor of Hope Counseling Center was officially launched in 2014 in a former pornography shop that was right across from the King of Kings worship sanctuary, the Pavilion. Since that beginning we have had over 650 sessions with clients who were ministered to in Hebrew, English and Russian. We have served believers from fourteen different nations, and helped in areas such as relationships, addiction, bereavement, transitions, depression, family issues, couple counseling, and more. God has brought together a wonderful team of counselors.
We realized over the past 2 years that more and more clients were coming from the Tel Aviv area. Sometimes the traffic was difficult, but nevertheless people came. The need was definitely there for a branch of Anchor of Hope in Tel Aviv.
God had just the right person in mind to manage that branch. Joanna Sa’ada completed the thirty-week Anchor of Hope Biblical Counseling Course in 2015 and began volunteering at Anchor of Hope counseling center. She helped many people and loved doing so. She expressed that she wanted more training. And so after much hard work, last summer, Joanna received her MA in Family Counseling. From Liberty University. She accomplished this while working full-time and continuing to volunteer at the counseling center.
When the vision for providing counseling in Tel Aviv was shared with Pastor Chad Holland of King of Kings and with Avi Mizrachi of Dugit Ministries, the way opened up. Avi generously donated office space for our new branch.
We are overjoyed to share that Joanna is now overseeing the Anchor of Hope, Tel Aviv office. We are beginning with one day and hoping to expand our hours. Joanna is already seeing clients and offering her trained expertise and godly counsel.
Yeshua tells us that the Kingdom of God is like a tiny mustard seed that eventually grows to a big tree that can provide shelter for many. In His timing the mustard seed that is Anchor of Hope has begun to sprout, and hope is blooming in Tel Aviv.
Dr. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with an MS in Education and Fuller Theological Seminary with a Ph.D. in Marital and Family Counseling. She has over 10 years clinical experience. Her work experience includes Chaplaincy in the National Institutes of Health, Clinical Research Center, Bethesda Maryland, Assessment Supervisor at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, D.C. and Employee Assistance Consultant in the Federal Government. Dr. Snyder holds dual citizenship with the United States and Israel. She became an Israeli citizen in 1983. Her vision for a Messianic Counseling Center began in the 1990’s, and is seeing fulfillment in the Anchor of Hope Counseling Center and Lay Counseling Training Program.
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KNI Israel Prayer Corner :: Feb 27, 2018
Prayer for Community News
Purim upcoming and the ‘Haman’ threat still lives. Even as we write, there is breaking news of arrests of terrorists who planned to attacks on the Temple Mount and a synagogue in Tel Aviv. Although the Purim holiday has been somewhat reduced to festivities, the truth is exactly as this 11-year old Israeli writes, “… we have the festival of Purim to remember our victory against our enemies, and instead of thinking about costumes, we should be thinking about Mordechai and Esther.” There is no problem with the joyful Purim celebration, but that is not the purpose or spiritual message God wants to communicate. Please keep prayers for the Israelis who will be celebrating en masse on the streets throughout the land this week. Many in the believing community will be holding times of intercessory prayer with fasting before Purim. They will be praying for protection of their fellow Israelis — for God’s protection against the enemies of God and Israel. Let us join our prayer with theirs, Christians with Israeli Messianic Jews, for as Yeshua said, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19)
There are many humanitarian outreaches that the community of faith in Israel conduct during all the major biblical holidays and Purim is no exception. Humanitarian aid is distributed through those who call upon the name of Yeshua, for in every city from the largest to the smallest, there are many needy going without. Some 1.8 million Israelis live below the poverty line. Many of them are immigrants who came to the Jewish homeland with little, not even speaking Hebrew and unable to be employed as well as in the nations they left. But they come seeking refugee from growing anti-Semitism worldwide. There are many ways to participate in the outreaches of the believers either through donations, prayers and some even by volunteer work while in Israel. Two recent KNI articles detail some of the ministries who help the poor Part 1 and Part 2 . Please pray for these outreaches and for the people they touch to be awakened to the goodness of the Messiah. “One who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and Adonai will reward him for his good deed.” Proverbs 19:17 Surely it is true as Paul said in Romans 2:4 that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance.
Prayer for Israel News
Prayer for Israel is always a mix of good news and bad news. The crops of wheat and tares, of faith and evil, always mature together. (Matthew 13:24-30). That is why we love to rejoice and thank God for the breakthroughs of faith, which we believe the announcement this week about the US Embassy relocation to Jerusalem will now coincide with the May 14th, 70th Anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day. It took faith to step out of the hesitation among the nations to back Israel, but on May 14, 1948 President Truman recognized Israel. Now 70 years later on May 14, 2018, President Trump is relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem. These are not only two historic decisions, both are declarations of faith that God has declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Jeremiah 3:17, Psalm 122:3-5, Isaiah 62:1&3) Praise God for His continued love for Israel and all who are faithful to His Word. (Psalm 119:160, Revelation 22:6, 2 Timothy 3:16, and Psalm 19:9)
The ‘Isaiah’ seal recently discovered is thought to be that of the prophet Isaiah and is idea is bolstered because it was found in close proximity to a seal belonging to King Hezekiah. In ancient days, important people like Kings and Isaiah had seals called bullas that authenticated their written communications. Israeli excitement over the find is because it verifies the biblical narrative of the Judean king and the Jewish connection to ancient Israel. Spiritually speaking it is exciting because it authenticates the biblical account of the prophet Isaiah, who prophesied to King Hezekiah. (2 Kings 19-20, and Isaiah 37-39). Might we even consider the Isaiah seal discovery to be sign of God speaking to us once again? Because Isaiah prophesied during a time when God’s people were being severely threatened by Assyria which is part of today’s northern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran and northeastern Syria. Is it a coincidence that these are exactly the nations posing threat to Israel today? Even as God answered the desperate prayer of King Hezekiah, He will also answer our prayers against the same ancient enemies with the community of faith in Israel and for Israel by the international Church. (Isaiah 38:31-32) “For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.” (Isaiah 37:35)
An astounding Op-Ed in the Jerusalem Post last week proposed that Israeli Messianic Jews should be considered assets rather than a religious threat. Two response letters to the editor posed important issues that Christians should take note of. The first response “…Evangelical Christian support of Israel is rooted in a recognition of the Bible’s promises to the Jewish people… not in a missionary effort to achieve the Jews’ conversion.” This has been a major problem for the Israeli Messianic Jews for decades, Christians willing to turn a blind eye to them to keep favor among religious and governmental Israel in particular. While there is a shift taking place in Israeli public opinion, we must continue to pray for Christians who love Israel to show it first by favoring the household of faith in Israel. This is a powerful witness to Israelis in itself. (Psalm 146:8, 2 Corinthians 3:16 The second response letter critiques the Ministry of Interior: “The huge loss of Jews by simple assimilation or absorption into non-observant status dwarfs the few who join Messianic groups… In an increasingly anti-Semitic world, we can ill-afford to reject one group we can count on for support.” This is a matter of simple compassion, for Hitler did not care if a Jew believed in Jesus or not, he wanted the death of all Jews. This too is an area of prayer we can focus on that more Israeli Jews will embrace the receiving all Jews – including those who embrace Yeshua. (2 Kings 6:17, 1 Peter 2:9)
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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Messianic couple welcomes legal victory in Israel
In a direct challenge to Ministry of Interior policy, an Israeli court of appeals has ruled in favor of a Messianic couple in a family reunification case.
The couple, of whom one spouse is Israeli and the other a foreign national, appealed a Ministry of Interior decision to reject the foreign spouse’s request for citizenship. The request was denied on account of the spouse’s faith, something not unusual in many cases involving Messianics’ applications for Israeli citizenship.
The Ministry of Interior (MOI) went further and used the original application to open an investigation into the Israeli spouse’s citizenship — this after 15 years of citizenship, living in Israel and serving in the Israeli army. The MOI claimed the spouse lied on his immigration application since he was already a Messianic at the time.
The MOI even called for investigations into the citizenship of the Israeli’s spouse’s extended family, including his mother and a brother.
The couple, represented by Adv. Shira Schwartz-Meirman from Yehuda Raveh & Co. Law Offices, filed an appeal saying that the MOI’s conduct in this case was illegal and contrary to Israeli citizens’ rights of equality and freedom of religion.
In somewhat expected fashion, the MOI refused to submit a response to the appeal.
The plaintiffs asked the court to rule on the matter anyway and requested damages for anguish caused by the investigation.
On Feb. 22 the court ruled in the couple’s favor:
- The likelihood that the Ministry of Interior will be able to revoke the Israeli spouse’s citizenship more than 10 years after immigrating to Israel is negligible.
- The MOI cannot give any weight to religious beliefs when conducting an interview for family reunification requests.
- Expenses in the amount of 8,000 shekels ($2,000) — a relatively high amount in such cases — were ordered in favor of the appellants.
The positive ruling is expected to influence other cases and will hopefully give the MOI pause before it pursues other investigations against Messianic believers.
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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A matter of life or death
*Chaiya was pregnant with her second child and was among the protesters in a pro-abortion rally when she met *Shoshi from the organization, Be’ad Chaim. “If you keep the baby, we will help you”, Shoshi told her. Chaiya was young and unhappy with life. She had already suffered so much, how could she possibly add another child to the mix of her struggles? But Shoshi’s words played over in her mind and compelled her to pursue the offer. Because of Shoshi and the help of Be’ad Chaim, Chaiya’s baby is alive today.
Last week, the staff of CBN Israel were invited to speak to a group of mothers who have all declined abortion with the help of Be’ad Chaim. Chaiya and her two small children were among those who came. Staff member Arik Peled shared his personal story of how he too faced difficulties in his life as a child and young adult. He suffered abuse and parental absence which caused him to look to other means to fill his needs. But one day, Arik realized his life was his own responsibility and the decisions he made would affect his personal future. He could no longer blame others for the life he lived. His choices were his to bear. Arik went on to give examples for the women of ways they can start taking control of their lives, giving them hope for a better future.
After the meeting, several of the women shared how the message had impacted them. Chaiya however, was in tears. “That message was very deep”, she said. “It was as if everything you shared was just for me”.
Chaiya related to Arik’s personal story as she too suffered abuse from a family member, causing her to leave home at a young age. She wanted to blame others for her struggles, but after hearing this message, she desires to take responsibility for her life and the choices she makes for her children.
Chaiya needs our prayers as she still has a challenging road ahead of her. Pray with us that she will have courage to act out the message she heard and to forgive all those who have hurt her.
Thank you for all your prayers and support as we seek to make a difference.
*Names altered for privacy
This article originally appeared on CBN Israel, February 20, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Since its establishment in March 2012 CBN Israel has helped thousands of people through its various operations. As the foundation of Project Light Shine, CBN Israel gives help to the community through three avenues; Humanitarian aid, education and economic development. CBN Israel serves with a spirit of humility and love. Their mission is to prepare the Land and the people of Israel for the coming of Messiah Yeshua and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. The vision of their work is to see the hungry fed, the needs of the needy met, businesses established and to improve the spiritual, physical and financial situation of the local body.