Special Reports

Far Away yet near at heart

Over 7,000 kilometers away from Jerusalem, the small community in Kaifeng, China, never lost their Jewish identity. Today, Kaifeng’s young people desire to reconnect with their Jewish roots and come home to Israel.

Twenty-seven year old Li Jing is the oldest of five Kaifeng residents who recently made Aliyah. “Ihaveknown since I was very little that I am a Jew,” says Li. “My father told us our ancestors came from Israel. Still, I have a lot to learn. When my father first told me I was filled with pride. But then I was a bit puzzled. I mean, what does it mean to be a Jew?”

Growing up, Li’s parents did their best to retain their Jewish identity. “We kept the Sabbath and celebrated all the holidays –Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Passover – all according to Jewish Law,” she says. Although isolated from the rest of the Diaspora, they managed to preserve their faith.

The history of the Kaifeng Jews began 1,000 years ago, when the first Jewish community from Persia or India took root in Kaifeng, a busy city off of the main trade route. Europeans knew nothing of the existence of these Chinese Jews until 1605, whenan Italian priest came across a Jew from Kaifengwho told him about his flourishing community. The collective, which began to erode in the 19th century due to assimilation and intermarriage, currently contains approximately 100 Jewish families totaling about 500 people who, like Li, are rediscovering their Jewish roots.

In 2010, seven men were the first Olim (new immigrants) to arrive in Israel from Kaifeng. Six years later, the happiest moment of Li’slife was the arrival of her letter of permission to make Aliyah. As Li now settles into her new life in Israel, she is confident her journey will positively impact her fellow Kaifeng Jews, many of whom take Hebrew language courses and religious studies in preparation for moving to Israel.

Please consider making a contribution to ICEJ’s Aliyah work which assists the Kaifeng Jews who long to come home. They depend on our support! www.icej.org/aliyah

 

 

 

 

S ons of Manasseh come home!

Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled today, because Christians from around the world are listening to the voice of God.

In the late 1970s a small people group in Northeast India began to research their heritage and origins of their ancient traditions, which led to an ancestral connection to Israel! Under the Persian rule, their ancestors had travelled through the Silk Route of modern day Afghanistan, Tibet, and China, finally settling in India. This group, called the Bnei Menashe (Sons of Manasseh), is believed to be part of one of the lost tribes of Israel.

And now, members of the Bnei Menashe are coming back to their ancestral home in Israel. Your financial contributions provide flights for them to return, just as the Prophet Isaiah foretold: The nations bring Israel’s sons in their arms and carry Israel’s daughters back to their land. (Is 49:22)

The ICEJ is committed to supporting their journey and your financial partnership makes this possible! Support us today to bring Jews home to Israel: www.icej.org/donate/bnei-menashe

From Jerusalem to Ephesus and its surrondings

Earlier this year, I had a unique opportunity to represent ICEJ and minister at a conference for pastors in Turkey, the multifaceted country with rich Christian history. Only a few kilometers away from the biblical town of Ephesus, dozens of pastors gathered to attend the event; together with ICEJ partners in Turkey, we shared the message of God’s love for Jerusalem.

The ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus, one of seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation, are a great reminder of its significance in the history of Christianity, as well as unfortunately the sad spiritual condition of the surrounding areas. Modern Turkey, where all seven biblical churches were located, has a very small Christian community today and life can be challenging for the local followers of Jesus. Many of the 200 registered churches in Turkey, which average between 30 and 150 members, still teach replacement theology and anti-Semitism is not uncommon, even among Christians.

At the Conference for Pastors, I had the privilege to introduce the ICEJ ministry to the attendees and play some music from Israel, including worship songs. For an hour and a half, the participants’ attention was turned towards Jerusalem! For some of them it surely was a challenging time, but most of them welcomed the message of the ICEJ with tears and joy.

The "Israel question" about the nation and role of the Jewish People in God’s plan was always a topic of secret discussion for the Turkish churches. Christians in Turkey are hesitant to openly discuss the Hebraic roots of Christianity, for fear of being accused of Zionism, which is a crime in Turkey.

Today, around 20 thousand Jews live in Turkey, mostly in the city of Istanbul. In the midst of great instability in the region, anti-Semitism is increasing, and Turkey also faces the dangerous spread of Islam and the Islamic State. The current and potential new ICEJ representatives in the cities of Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara and Alanya are in great need of our prayers. As in the days of the first disciples of Jesus, the ICEJ is reaching this incredible nation with the message of hope and reconciliation. 

A Day to Honour Israel

During the annual Global Prayerquake in Nigeria, one day was set aside to honour the nation of Israel. On Thursday, 14 January 2016, the Ambassador of Israel attended the conference to give a keynote speech, which was a first in the history of the Global Prayerquake.

Israel’s Ambassador Uri Palti said he was moved to tears when he walked into the conference hall which was filled with over 4,000 Christians from different nations of the world, all loving and honouring Israel. Ambassador Palti expressed his gratitude and thanked the Nigerian Christians for standing with Israel, especially through the difficult times experienced by both Israel and Nigeria. He further urged the Nigerians to stand together against violence in order to bring lasting solutions to their current challenges.

The ICEJ-Nigeria Director Rev. Dr. Mosy Madugba had an opportunity to pray for the Ambassador at the event. Rev. Madugba is also the International Head Coordinator of Ministers Prayer Network, together with Pastor Jeff McGee, the Ministers Prayer Network Coordinator for Houston-Texas, USA.

During the event, Ambassador Palti and Rev. Madugba laid a cornerstone in the ground for the foundations of the Gilgal Medical Centre Complex at MPN International Convention Centre (ICC). When built and completed, the Medical Centre will provide free medical care to those who cannot afford it.

 

REACHING OUT TO YOUNG FINNS

ICEJ Arise Director Jani Salokangas was a main speaker at this winter’s Young Adults Conference Loppiaistapaus in Finland. The conference theme was "Brave" and indeed the organizers agreed it described everyone who attended the event, as the outside the temperatures dropped to -30C (-22F) on those days. 

More than 400 brave young adults from all over Finland came to the conference to learn, worship and connect with other believers. Many attendees were deeply moved by the Spirit of God during the event, and left feeling renewed by the power of Christ.

Salokangas inspired the young generation to walk closely with the Lord, and introduced them to the topic of God’s plans for Israel. The work of the ICEJ though the Arise young adults ministry is making a huge impact in Finland.

ICEJ Canada and ICEJ Ireland leave their mark

ICEJ Canada has been a blessing to Jews and Israelis from ‘the great white North’ for many years. Since 2006, ICEJ’s historic and unique partnership with Yad Vashem in Jerusalem has resulted in significant gains in Holocaust education and awareness in Canada. Dr. Susanna Kokkonen, Director of the Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, arrived in Canada recently for a speaking tour on Holocaust Education Week (HEW), while the ICEJ-Canada team identified church partners from Halifax to Vancouver to host Holocaust Survivor speakers.

Monthly “Intercession for Israel” meetings remain a big part of ICEJ Canada’s work all year round. These meetings draw attention to all forms of anti-Semitism and threats to the State of Israel, coupled with fundraising efforts for worthy causes. At the same time, Christian-Jewish joint action in Ontario included participation in UJA’s Walk for Israel, the annual Israel Rejoicing Celebrationin a Toronto Jewish Park and in rallies against terrorism in Israel while supporting victims of terror.

Through vibrant praying communities and faithful volunteer reps, ICEJ Canada has grown across vast provincial landscapes. The faithful vision and communication, spread through education, media and sharing, have left an indelible mark in Canada, in Israel, and in Christian-Jewish relations. The Jewish community, Holocaust survivors, church leaders, and intercessors work together to bridge a very large chasm and have shaped enduring friendships. 

 

ICEJ IRELAND HOSTS ANUAL CONFERENCE

ICEJ-Ireland hosted two hundred attendees at their annual conference at the Ballymascanlon Hotel in Dundalk. The theme was “Modern Israel – A Sign of Hope to the Nations” featuring special guest speakers ICEJ International Director Rev. Juha Ketola and the Vicar of Baghdad, Canon Andrew White. Rev. Ketola highlighted how the Lord’s dealing with modern Israel today is a message of hope and encouragement to build up faith in the Body of Christ. Canon White posed a serious challenge to Christians regarding the persecuted church in the Middle East today, expressing a need to respond to their cry.

The ICEJ-Ireland Director Brian Silvester welcomed the Israel Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Mr. Zeev Boker to the conference. The Ambassador brought greetings on behalf of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and spoke about the positive contribution that Israel was making to the business world despite ongoing security threats in the Middle East. A gift of appreciation was presented to the Ambassador by Paul Coulter, Deputy Director of ICEJ-Ireland.

After the Conference Rev. Ketola also ministered at Karmel City Church in Belfast. The powerful move of the Holy Spirit at the end of the service inspired Pastor Glen Dunlop to re-affirm the commitment of the church to Israel. At the People’s Church in Newtownabbey, led by Pastor George McKimm, Rev. Ketola shared his testimony, how through surrendering his life to the Lord Jesus he was led into revelation of the Biblical significance of Israel and the Jewish people. 

Exodus in the Time of Moses and today

When the Lord God of Israel brought his people out of Egypt, a whole nation was taken out from under the rule and control of that era’s superpower. This massive exodus took place roughly 3500 years ago, and never in the history of humanity – before or since – has anything similar occurred until today.
 
It was unheard of! Even the Lord Himself said: “For ask now concerning the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether any great thing like this has happened, or anything like it has been heard” (Deut. 4:32). This was for all Israel and for all the Gentile nations to know that the Lord Himself is God, and there is none other besides Him. He will stay forever faithful to His covenant promises to His people and will fulfill them (Deut. 4:35, 37).
 

THE GREAT GOING OUT

This great exodus (from the Greek “going out”) shook Egypt to its core – from Pharaoh down to his people. There was no one who could stand in the way of the exodus; no military power nor political leader, no wise negotiator nor skillful sorcerer could stop it! The idols of Egypt came tumbling down, the power of men and evil spirits was broken and brought to naught by the Lord, and His people walked free from their oppression, bondage, and slavery.
 
They were now on the threshold of a long journey, which the Lord would use to form this unorganized group of former slaves into a well-functioning nation, under His wisdom and dominion and as an expression of His Kingdom and rule on earth. And today, after so many thousands of years, enlightened with the knowledge of history of mankind before and since, we can see how these events and what followed has changed everything for all people – for good! Israel has become a blessing to all of the families of the earth!
 

REVELATION AT SINAI

After Israel left Egypt they received divine revelation from the Creator Himself. They received wisdom and understanding beyond anything they had known. Under the leadership of Moses the people of Israel first received a greater understanding of who God truly was as their Creator, and who they were as human beings. He then revealed to them the true value of each individual, the beginnings and purpose of the whole creation, and finally, blessed them with the Ten Commandments.
 
Prior to this encounter, mankind had worshipped the sun, moon, and stars, as well as animals, and all sorts of vain imaginations and idols. They also had not understood that every man, woman, and child were created in the image of God, and as such had an incomprehensible value.
 
Nations were in hopeless darkness and lacked the wisdom to discern what was good and beneficial, and what it was that was breeding destruction, chaos, and confusion. Thanks to the journey of Israel however, we were edified in order to see and understand.
 
Mankind was given directives on how to prevent needless suffering, distress, and sorrow. As a result of the exodus from Egypt, Israel was the very first nation out of many to receive this wisdom and knowledge in order to pass it on to the rest of humanity (Exodus 19:6; Deut. 4:6; John 4:22; Rom. 9:1-5). Israel was and is God’s instrument in His divine, eternal plan.

PASSED OVER

As the Feast of Passover approaches, we remember both the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt as well as the lessons they carried. The Lord introduced the people to the concept of righteousness, sin, and forgiveness, which is what the Feast of Passover commemorates. The blood sacrifice, which covers the lawless deeds of trespassing the Lord’s commandments, was powerfully introduced to God’s people that very night, when they were about to leave Egypt. The Lord instituted Passover, with its message of forgiveness, as a way out of oppression for His people. Today we know that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the ultimate fulfillment of all animal sacrifices – He is the propitiation for our sins.
 
Right before the first, historical exodus, each Hebrew family was to take a lamb without blemish and kill it at twilight (Exodus 12). The innocent lamb’s blood was then put on the two doorposts and across the lintel of each house, because the Lord had promised: “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13).
 

SACRIFICIAL LAMB

Every family living in the land of Egypt – among both the Egyptians and the Israelites alike – faced death, which would enter into each household to take their firstborn son. The judgment of God was about to fall on the land because of idol worship. The Book of Ezekiel explains that since the Israelites in Egypt had also fallen into the same snare and temptation of idol worship, their families were also under the curse of death (Ezekiel 20:7-10). But God provided a way of escape for His people and all the Israelite families were spared.
 
The penalty of death and the judgment of God could be transferred over from their families to an innocent lamb, which was slaughtered on their behalf. Their sins could be avenged only with a sacrifice. However, it wouldn’t be with a member of their own family; not the firstborn, nor the father or mother, but a male lamb. The sins of each Israelite – as well as the condemning punishment of death – were transferred over to the lamb and, in exchange, the innocence of the lamb and its will to live were transferred to the family. The lamb had to die so the whole family, including the firstborn, could live!
 

THE POWER OF THE BLOOD

Later that night, as the angel of death passed through the land destroying life among the Egyptian families, wherever he saw the lamb’s blood on the lintel and doorposts of the Hebrew homes, he passed over. A sacrifice had already been made so the destroyer would not strike a second time – the families inside were perfectly shielded!
 
In the centuries that followed, the blood of innocent animals was regularly spilled on the altar in accordance with God’s instructions given at Sinai. The Lord had said, “I have given [the blood of the sacrifices] to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). When God saw the blood, it was the sign indicating His righteous requirements had been met, justice had been performed, and the price for iniquities had been paid. God was now free and just when placing His blessings and protection upon His righteous ones! 
 

ULTIMATE SACRIFICE

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul clarifies this principle and emphasizes: “Indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7). The punishment for our sins was transferred onto Jesus on the cross, and in exchange, His life and righteousness was transferred over to us through His resurrection. When we believe His life is in us, the life we live is His and we will never die! (Galatians 2:20, John 11:26).
 
This definitive sacrifice of Jesus is more than a blood covering for our sins however. It is more than a reminder of forgiveness of sins – His death and resurrection has taken our sins away, and our consciousness of sin has been replaced with consciousness of righteousness (John 1:29; Psalm 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:1-22). Jesus ultimate and final sacrifice is the fulfillment of all the sacrifices in the Law of Moses. His sacrifice happened once, and for all, and it is accessible to all the families of the earth! (Gen. 12:3, Gal. 3:8).
 

THE JEWISH PEOPLE

After centuries of exile, the restored nation of Israel is once again flourishing, despite unfavourable conditions in the Middle East. However, the mission of the Exodus as it were in the time of Moses continues today. The Jewish people are still returning to the land of their promise. Just as the great Exodus from Egypt a millennia ago was a sight to behold, the modern day exodus from dozens of different countries in the world has shaken the nations. Especially the Muslim nations!
 
Again, we ask: “Has any great thing like this happened before or has anything like it been heard?” What nation or language group in the history of humanity, despite being away from their homeland for two thousand years has returned to the same location, speaking the same language, and worshipping the same God as when they left? Believers and agnostics alike must agree there is one example and one alone: the Jews. This has been true only of the Jews, God’s chosen and beloved people. 
 

NEW EXODUS

As in the time of Moses, again no military power nor political leader, no wise negotiator nor skillful sorcerer will be able to stop the return of the Jews to their land. No one can prevent them from exodus – coming out from the nations and entering their Promised Land! The God of Israel has cut a covenant with His people and He will remain faithful to His promises to bring them back. He commands us to declare it: “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock’” (Jer. 31:10).
 
The Word of God foretells how this new exodus from the four corners of the earth will once more change the landscape of humanity. The regathering of the Jewish people will eventually turn into their salvation and usher in righteousness and peace to all nations (Ezek. 36:24-28; Rom. 11:26-27; Isa. 2:1-4). Not only will the Kingdom of Heaven be expressed in an unprecedented way on Earth, but the King Himself will return and be welcomed by His sons and daughters (Matt. 23:39; Acts 1:11; Prov. 8:30-31). Through His dealings with Israel, God the Creator and our Redeemer shall truly bless all the families of the earth!
 

ASCEND TO THE LAND

By faith in God’s Word, we at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem have been aligning ourselves to God’s plans for decades. We know enough to be sure of this: God is faithful to His covenants. We have been helping the Jewish people return to Israel, and together with your faithful giving have already helped approximately 120,000 olim hadashim (new immigrants) to make Aliyah (return, or literally ascend) to the Promised Land.
 
We have also celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles here in Jerusalem since 1980, together with our Jewish friends, and all the families of the earth. Thus, we are publicly aligning ourselves with His Word, and confessing that we believe the modern day Israel has been gathered by the God of Israel Himself! It is a fulfillment of His covenantal promises, and that He remains faithful in His loyal love towards His own people. We understand enough of this plan!
 
So come and join hands with us powerfully again, and let us continue in bringing the Jewish people back home! As we do this, plan on bringing your whole family to Jerusalem, to celebrate this year’s Feast of Tabernacles under the theme “All the Families of the Earth.” Mark it down in your calendars: October 16-21, 2016. Trust that the Lord will do it – He will bring all of the families of the earth to Jerusalem!
 
Remember, your family is safe, protected, and blessed through the blood of the Lamb of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  
- by ICEJ International Director, Rev. Juha Ketola

Please join the ICEJ in assisting Jewish people who want to return to Israel.

Support the Extensive Aliyah Work of ICEJ

The ICEJ is active in helping Jews make Aliyah from all over the globe and we are motivated to partner with the Lord in this amazing work.

INDIA

In northeastern India, 712 members of the group known as the Bnei Menashe have been approved for Aliyah and will soon begin to arrive in Israel.  The Bnei Menashe believe they are the descendants of the tribe of Manasseh. Overall, there are still about 7,000 Jews remaining in that community which suffered a 6.7 magnitude earthquake in January, which damaged or destroyed many homes. These precious people are more than ready to come to Israel to start their new lives.

RUSSIA

The drop in Russian currency, inflation and a weakened economy now in recession is influencing many Jews to move to Israel. Many Jewish parents feel there is no future for their children in Russia, and Aliyah has more than doubled in the past few years. ICEJ has been working in Russia since before the fall of the Berlin Wall and helps more that 1,000 Jews a year from its oldest Aliyah base in St. Petersburg.

CHINA

Another group of Jews from the ancient Chinese capital of Kaifeng will soon arrive in Israel. Although this community is quite small, the interest in them and their Aliyah is remarkable among the Chinese people. Ezekiel prophesied long ago that the return of the Jews to their land would be a witness to the unsaved (Ezek. 36:23-25) and this is what is happening in China. As northern China experiences a major spiritual revival, the Holy Spirit is also opening their eyes to God’s plan for Israel and the Jewish People.

FRANCE

Aliyah numbers from France and other Western European countries continue to increase, fueled predominantly by high levels of anti-Semitism and a weak economy. The government of Israel has expanded its efforts to improve the quality of absorption for the European Jews to successfully integrate into Israeli society. The ICEJ has been very active in helping low-income Jewish families, who are living in dangerous neighborhoods, such as the suburbs of Paris.

You can join us in being a part of the fulfillment of prophecy and help finance more flights! Visit www.icej.org/aliyah

 

New wave: Ethopia 

Ethiopian Jews came to Israel in several waves, assisted by the Israeli government. The ICEJ has supported the Ethiopian absorption in Israel since 1992, but many Jews in Ethiopia are still waiting for their journey home.

Last November the decision was made to bring them home. Our help is needed to gradually and steadily help them move to Israel and adapt to the new cultural environment.

Please help us bring the Jews of Ethiopia back to Israel. You can donate at www.icej.org/ethiopia

New Immigrant, M.D.

A Jewish couple from Ukraine, Anton and Dafna (names changed) are both doctors. Well-educated and respected in their profession, they struggled with the decision to move to Israel. Although Israel has a superb reputation in the medical field, they were concerned about fitting in.

NEW DOCTOR IN TOWN

The Physicians Program works to ease the absorption of new immigrant doctors; it was this program that convinced Anton and Dafna to take the step of faith and make Aliyah. Upon arrival in Israel, new immigrant physicians and their families take up residence at an absorption center, where they study Hebrew, receive help preparing for the medical relicensing exam in Israel and are then assisted in finding employment.

“The first five months were spent at an intensive ulpan (language school), and then we participated in a course teaching us the necessary [medical] terminology in Hebrew, giving us a very important base to start practicing medicine in Israel,” Dafna explained. “Being in the absorption center with the help of the incredible staff made our integration to Israel simple and enabled me to spend my time studying for the upcoming exam, with almost no worries.”

MEDICAL PRACTICE IN ISRAEL

The deficit in the medical field in Israel is a growing concern. Due to a convergence of factors, such as population increase, the retirement of immigrant physicians, and the current trend of trained professionals abandoning the field of medicine, Israel is anticipating a shortage of trained medical practitioners in the near future.

Doctors require a great deal of encouragement when it comes to the prospect of building their life anew in Israel, as the move constitutes a more considerable challenge than it does for the average newcomer. In addition to overcoming the initial hurdles of language acquisition and cultural adaptation, the Ministry of Health and the Israel Medical Association require that new immigrant physicians pass a relicensing exam before they begin practicing medicine in the country.

Immigration of Jewish physicians to Israel is a real win-win situation. While Israeli universities produce some 120 doctors annually, some 300 of doctors from abroad make Aliyah each year. The periphery needs doctors and participants are anxious to practice in Israel, with most of them interested in living in the periphery. The Physician Project provides new immigrant doctors with the opportunity they need for achievement, while allowing Israel to welcome the invaluable resource presented by newly licensed medical practitioners.

THE PHYSICIANS PROGRAM

The program helps level the playing field for new immigrant doctors by providing them with the tools necessary for a successful absorption and subsequent career in Israel. The fact that an alarming 37% of test takers fail their initial attempt is highly disconcerting. The added burdens of financial obligations and general absorption responsibilities during the course of study only fuel the fire of pressure and anxiety.

Through in-depth Hebrew language study, a specialized course for learning field-related terminology in Hebrew, and a unique course to prepare newcomers for the Israeli medical relicensing exam, this project provides an effective solution for physicians who want to move their lives and careers to the Jewish homeland. Upon completion of this course, the number of physicians passing the test is over 90%.

NEW SUCCESS RATE

“The program gave my family support in many different ways. The group support of the participants, the continual help and support of the staff, the professional studies preparing for the exam, and the living conditions have made this an incredibly positive experience,” Dafna said with excitement. “Without the Physicians Program I am not sure I would have had the courage to come [to Israel] and am sure that I would not be in the position I am today – safe, secure and happy in my new homeland.”

In the past year this Physicians Program had 130 Olim (new immigrant) doctors who went through the courses, and 97% of them passed the medical exam on first attempt. All of them then joined the workforce in Israel, having immediately found employment in areas of their choice. Our goal at ICEJ is to sponsor more physicians coming to Israel, to produce a high rate of success among beneficiaries taking medical relicensing exams in Israel. A blessing to them, it will also turn into a blessing for the whole nation, as they close the growing deficit of doctors in the country.

 

Join the ICEJ and sponsor the absorption of new immigrants in Israel. You can donate at www.icej.org/absorption

Aliyah from Ukraine

With ongoing fighting in the east and a severe nationwide economic recession, the large Jewish population in Ukraine is particularly vulnerable to this rising instability. The Jewish Agency for Israel continues to rely on the ICEJ for vital assistance in rescuing Ukrainian Jews, and ICEJ continues to seek new ways to support the Jewish people in that region and help them come back to Israel.

The Jewish Agency for Israel continues to rely on the ICEJ for vital assistance in rescuing Ukrainian Jews, with our current project divided into three main parts, according to Aliyah Director Howard Flower. Our direct support has helped almost 1,000 Olim make Aliyah since the crisis broke out, at about $750 per person, and our ICEJ laborers on the ground faithfully bring families to Kiev so they may then fly on to Israel. One family that made Aliyah with the help of the ICEJ was Lily and Sergei Krivoruchko from Kremenchug, in Ukraine’s Poltava region.

“We have always accepted that Israel – our small homeland – is the Promised Land for all Jewish people, and we knew that sooner or later we would be there,” they told us. In 2014 the “economic and political situation in Ukraine changed catastrophically,” Sergei added. “The quality of life has dropped significantly and we realized something needs to change.”

Thanks to donations made to ICEJ, the Krivoruchko family received urgently needed transportation assistance to the airport in Kharkov. Without ICEJ’s help, they would been forced to either remain in Ukraine or leave behind nearly everything they owned. This family is very grateful for the support they received from ICEJ’s Christian donors.

“In our world, there are very few good and helpful people,” said Sergei with gratitude for the outpouring of generosity and compassion which they thought was so rare in today's world.

Many more Jews in Ukraine await our help. By making a generous donation to the Aliyah work of ICEJ you can bring those families home to Israel. Donate today: www.icej.org/ukraine

Help Families in Israel Celebrate Passover

Poverty rates in Israel remain one of the highest in the developed world, and the income disparity among households is also among the highest in the Western world. Over 20% of Israeli society is living under the poverty line; in the Arab sector almost half of the population lives in poverty, and in the Haredi Orthodox community the numbers reach over 70%.
Expenses exceed income in the average Israeli household, partly due to a sharp rise in housing costs. Also, in the past decade food prices have risen as much as 50% for dairy products and 45% for breads, grains, and baked goods.  

HELPING THE POOR

Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics showed a disproportionate number of citizens living outside the workforce, stating that some one million Israelis were either chronically unemployed or employed in the lowest paying jobs, which contributed to their poverty.
The ICEJ has partnered with both the government and the Joint in an initiative to create employment services to resolve the unique barriers to the workforce and ease poverty within the following groups: Arab Israelis (primary focus), Immigrants (particularly from Ethiopia and Caucus Mountains), Israelis with disabilities, Haredim (religious Jews), and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

HOLIDAY DISTRIBUTION

Every year as Passover approaches, we turn our attention to families in Israel who cannot make ends meet. Whether it is poor families with many children, new immigrants, single-parent homes or the elderly, we want to be there to help them celebrate these important holidays with joy and dignity.

During the holidays, families sit together at the table to enjoy a festive meal. However, not every family has the means to actually set their table with the traditional dishes. Thousands of families rely on donated food in order to celebrate the holidays. Passover is especially meaningful to Israelis; but more importantly, God gave specific instructions on how to celebrate the Passover Seder meal, which includes specific foods, or types of food Jewish families are required to have in order to adequately observe the holiday.

The ICEJ works with local social workers and spiritual leaders in the community to assure that we are reaching out to those who need our assistance the most. In the weeks leading up to Passover, we focus on providing food baskets and food coupons to families that cannot afford to prepare the Seder meal by their own means.

“Thank you from the bottom of our heart for standing with us for so many years,” Refael Ben Shitreet, the mayor of the city of Beit Shean, thanked the ICEJ and Christian supporters of Israel at the time of Passover last year. “We value your donations which enable the families to celebrate the festival in an honorable manner.”

We believe the holidays should be a time of plenty for all, but many suffer from serious lack. We want to make sure that again this year, as many families as possible can celebrate Passover with joy and gratefulness to God!  

Partner with the ICEJ and help Jewish families celebrate Passover this year as commanded in the Bible! 

How Often Do You Get a Chance to Fulfill Biblical Prophecy?

“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the Lord,
give yourselves no rest,
and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.” (Is. 62:6)

Isaiah 62 is a movement of watchmen designed to raise global prayer warriors to petition before the Lord on behalf of Israel. By joining our community of Jerusalem watchmen you are fulfilling this prophecy spoken almost three millennia ago by Isaiah!

Every month, the ICEJ sends out a prayer update with guidelines to help you focus your prayers on urgent matters. With prayer partners like you and your church or home group, Israel is brought before the Lord’s throne by thousands of intercessors in over 80 nations!

Join the Isaiah 62 movement if you haven’t done so already! Go to www.icej.org/isaiah62to sign up!

 

Seven reasons why this movement is so important:

1.      Prayer is a powerful tool emphasized in the Word of God on numerous occasions and the Bible specifically instructs us to pray for Jerusalem, the apple of God’s eye.

2.      Joining this movement – which is a direct fulfillment of God’s command – will change lives, including yours.

3.      The outstanding prophecy of Isaiah 62 and Jerusalem’s restoration is yet to be fulfilled. As Christians, it is an honor and an obligation to pursue the fulfillment of this prophecy.

4.      The body of Christ is a community. Don’t stand alone in this battle; join other believers in the world in covering Israel with your prayers.

5.      Israel has been surrounded by enemies throughout her existence. She is constantly under attack, both physical and spiritual. Prayer with faith is the strongest shield, and the Word of God is our weapon!

6.      The Isaiah 62 guidelines inform you of specific needs in the region, and give you realistic insight into Israel’s circumstances.

7.      Salvation was brought to us through the Jews. We can show our gratitude by standing with the Jewish people in prayer. God promises to bless those who bless the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

 

You can join the Isaiah 62 Prayer Movement in five easy steps:

1. Go to our website, www.icej.org/isaiah62. Click on “Pledge to Pray.”

2. Fill out the form with your information and press “save.”

3. Share Isaiah 62 with your friends and family or church group so you can pray together. Click on “Tell a friend” and send them an email directly from the website.

4. You will receive a prayer letter at the start of each month, which will equip you to know how to pray.

5. Sometime on the first Wednesday, fast with us, host a prayer group at your house or simply pray at a convenient time for you. 

 

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