Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 09/14/2012

Connect Your CHURCH to Its JEWISH ROOTS

Perhaps you’ve seen Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein on TV asking for help to feed and comfort elderly Jews and/or Holocaust survivors in Israel, especially at the time of the high holidays. Rabbi Eckstein is a godly and compassionate man, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which I support wholeheartedly. There is a Church Education Department, directed by Rev. Jerry Clark, which is constantly exploring new ways to help churches and individual believers connect to the Jewish roots of their faith in a life-impacting way. As one leader asked, “How can we know where we are going until we know our heritage, where we have been?”

Many Christians are realizing for the first time that Jesus was and still is a Jew, that He lived as a Jew, went to synagogue, studied Torah, had His bar mitzvah, celebrated all the feasts and holy days and wore a prayer shawl with tassels (tzitzit). Rev. Clark says “I can see the hunger in the eyes of believers for more knowledge about their Jewish roots. It’s thrilling to see the light go on as they begin to understand their Bible better and get excited about their faith.” Actually, it’s impossible to explain Christianity or understand the New Testament without reference to Judaism.

Rabbi Eckstein

Rev. Clark and others on his teaching team have been traveling and speaking to church groups for 11 years. Topics such as Passover and other feasts and how Christians can relate to them are among the teachings. He recently visited a Sunday school class in Flint, Michigan, in a church that has raised funds to bring 100 Jews to immigrate to Israel. He has also conducted Passover Seders for Christian groups, including the ceremonial foods, the music, the full presentation. He also has a speakers’ bureau of pastors and other leaders who are available to help Christians understand their Jewish roots. The material can be presented during a Sunday or mid-week service or in a one day seminar on a Saturday.

Although it was not through IFCJ, I attended a series of classes on the Jewish feasts and how they relate to Christianity in 2009, taught by Rabbi Peter Oliviera of Mishkahn D’avid in RI. Read about his congregation in a previous post at Mishkahn D’avid —– a very REAL place of worship!. These teachings were amazing and eye opening, very exciting to learn about. Also, please re-visit my most popular post on Rosh Hashanna,  which will be celebrated this coming weekend at Rosh Hashana – FEAST OF TRUMPETS.

If your church, Sunday school class or other Christian group would like info about the teaching material or speakers’ bureau of IFCJ, please contact their Church Education Department at 312-641-8573, or send an email to jerry.clark@ifcj.org.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: