Jewish people are returning home from different countries and different cultures. Despite the efforts of the Israeli government to assist in the transition, these new immigrants (olim chadashim) are facing a new culture and many harsh challenges. As a result, they find themselves on the outskirts of Israeli society, not yet having found a “home” in their homeland.
As a congregation we understand that spiritual support and a sense of family and belonging are important to people, in addition to having their physical needs met. That is why one of the priority areas at “Return to Zion – Shavei Zion” Ministry is serving the new immigrants. We believe that the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is not only a fulfillment of prophecy (Ezekiel 20:34, Isaiah 11:11-12, Isaiah 43:5-6,21), but also an opportunity to reveal to these people the light and love of Yeshua the Messiah.
In recent years, a large, new wave of immigrants has begun to arrive in our country. People are fleeing armed conflicts, anti-Semitism and difficult conditions in Russia, Ukraine, France and elsewhere. Therefore we have decided to consolidate this part of our ministry into a separate branch, expand our staff, and allocate additional resources for serving new immigrants.
The aid we have been able to recently extend to new immigrants has included distribution of blankets, new kitchenware and food packages to over a hundred families. Our Haifa humanitarian warehouse is open several days each week.
One of the new directions of this ministry is offering lessons in Biblical Hebrew on a regular basis. This endeavor both responds to the desire of new olim to learn Hebrew and enables them to study the Bible in depth. From February to October 2017, we organized six educational trips, the purpose of which was to introduce them to the Promised Land, and to help develop a sense of belonging in this country and connection with biblical history. During these outings, while visiting the sites of events described in the Bible, we talk about our calling as a nation to serve the Lord.
For example, we took a group of new immigrants to visit Gilgal, the place where the people of Israel renewed their covenant with God before entering the Promised Land (Joshua 5). This reminds us that, even today, new immigrants returning to the land, should also renew their covenant with God.
For the New Year of 2018, we have set new goals for ourselves. We want to place a bigger emphasis on attracting young immigrant families. We are planning to offer seminars on topics that are relevant to young people: meetings with family counselors, legal experts and business coaches.
The strategic goal of all these projects is to awaken spiritual thirst among these fledgling Israelis. We are also inviting them to an “Aleph (Alpha) Course,” with the aim to share the Good News, thereby allowing them to restore their relationship with the Lord.
We invite you to pray for this work of reaching out to “Olim” and to help finance the educational and humanitarian projects of “Return to Zion Ministry” as you are led.
|At the Garden Tomb||Shabbat celebration meal||Meeting new immigrants|