The Jewish people have been coming back “Home” to the Promised Land since the 1880s by the millions…and they are still coming. Sometimes they don’t really know why. It’s like a great shofar (ram’s horn used in Bible times to assemble the people) has been blown by God in the heavens, and His people are following the sound back home. For others, it’s a life-long dream, not just for themselves but one that has been dreamed for generations in their family.
God promised to bring them home, and He is not One to forget His promises. “Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back” (Deuteronomy 30:4, NIV). Though He promises this throughout the books of the prophets, these words were written way back in Moses’s time, long before the Israelites were ever dispersed. What a comfort those words must have been to those who heard them! Moses goes on to say, “He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers” (v. 5).
That’s God’s desire, but when most new immigrants start their lives over in Israel, it’s a long, hard road to prosperity. In Israel, everything is new: the language, the lifestyle, even the food. New skills for jobs are required. Different degrees are needed. There’s furniture to be bought. There are new rules on how to do everything. For some, the euphoria of a dream-come-true turns sour all too soon.
This is where you and I come in. This aliyah (immigration to Israel) movement is an opportunity for Christians to help make life easier in the process of starting over. Through our Adoption Program, we are, in effect, working side by side with God to help His people “possess” the Land. God, in fact, planned it to be so. Isaiah 60:10 says, “Foreigners will rebuild your walls, their kings will serve you…” It has been said that of all aid to help bring the Jewish people home, half of it has come from the Christian community.
It takes several sponsors to support one individual or family for a whole year. The combined funds provide substantial assistance: a large food supplement including meat, dairy, canned goods, baked goods, paper products, and fresh fruits and vegetables; bus tickets; special financial aid when needed; and encouraging friendship from our multi-lingual staff. Sponsors and recipients correspond, and our staff translates the letters.
Many of the individuals we help are from the younger generation, who are students, such as 24-year-old Talia from New Zealand.
I am currently in my second year of undergraduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, majoring in political science and Islamic and Middle Eastern studies. I also worked for 2 years as an update-editor on The Jerusalem Post’s website. Fitting in both work and school has been an intense pressure, but now with your assistance, I can work fewer hours and focus more on studies without worrying about extra expenses.
I would like to thank you for your kindness. I also feel it appropriate at this point to mention the wonderful aspect of this program which connects the Christian and Jewish communities. We live in difficult times, and it is the bonds that our religions share that give strength to us in face of our adversaries.
Many new immigrants come with little understanding of their Jewishness because it was either lost generations ago when anti-Semitism forced them to hide it, or their parents and grandparents were not religious. When they arrive in Israel, it’s a whole new education, not just about how to live, but about their history and what it means to be Jewish in a Jewish Land. Nekhama, born in the village of Bratzlov in Ukraine, however, was raised with the dream.
The Almighty G-d gave me happiness to be raised in the home that used to belong to my great grandparents. May their memory be blessed! At home they spoke Yiddish; and in their home I saw Jewish prayer books, ate Jewish food, and learned about the Jewish festivals. There I became filled with love for Almighty G-d, His people, and His land. They were very special people with an exceptional culture and way of life. I cannot forget my grandparents, their eyes and the love that I felt in them.
My grandmother told me much about her experiences of WW2; how they fled from the Nazis to Uzbekistan, how they survived and what difficulties they faced. My great grandfather (my grandmother’s father) taught at a religious Jewish school for boys. He was killed simply because he was Jewish.
I lived in Moscow till the age of 29. Since childhood, I had a long-cherished dream to come and live in the land of Israel. Finally, I made aliyah to Israel on January 2006—it was so exciting for me to hear the Hebrew language. And even though I had never been to Israel before my immigration, I know that it is my land and my dream has come true. I love this land with its bright blue skies and beautiful flowers, I love the beautiful Hebrew language and love my nation. Blessed is G-d who let me come here and live here.
Now I study alternative medicine, and I hope to find a job in this field after my graduation from college. In conclusion, I want to thank you with all my heart for the help given me and to wish you prosperity and success, and may all your dreams come true. May the Almighty G-d bless you for your kindness that you share with us, and may He reward you and give you His goodness.
What a letter to warm the heart! Don’t you want to help make someone’s dream come true too?
Until now, our Adoption Program has been limited to families within the Jerusalem area. This month, we are happy to announce that we are starting that program in Karmiel, where our second food bank is located, just 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the Lebanon border. After the Second Lebanon War in 2006, we felt an urgency to increase our aid in the North. For a year, we’ve been expanding our food storage and distribution in Karmiel, but now we are expanding our Adoption Program to the first city outside of Jerusalem.
Karmiel has a population of 51,200 with 40% of them immigrants from 75 nations. Most of them come from the former Soviet Union. So, it appears God has planted us in the midst of a people we are uniquely equipped to help. Supporting immigrants in two cities, of course, requires many more sponsors. It requires US $60 per month for a year’s sponsorship, but if you cannot support someone for a year, you can give a one-time gift, which we will use for special needs. Do what you can, and God will bless and enable you to give.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
International President and CEO
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