More Israelis asking for copies of the New Testament after October 7, Messianic Jewish group says

The faith-based nonprofit Jews for Jesus, an organization that shares the Gospel with people of the Jewish faith, says it has seen an increase in the number of New Testament orders from Israelis since the war between Israel and Hamas began last October.

Jews for Jesus, affiliated with the Messianic Jewish movement, is an organization dedicated to helping Jews continue to live their faith by believing in Christ, the Son of God.

According to the nonprofit websiteThe international headquarters of Jews for Jesus is located in San Francisco, but the group has various branch offices in cities worldwide, including New York, London, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem.

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The organization engages in conversations about Jesus in public spaces such as university campuses and parks and hosts events to create opportunities for dialogue. The group is dedicated to demonstrating Christ-like behavior through charitable acts, such as cooking and serving Holocaust survivors during their last days of life.

Jews for Jesus offers the New Testament for free to Israelis through its website and the websites of its ministry partners, One for Israel or Tree of Life Ministries. According to data provided to The Christian Post, the organization has seen 1,230 New Testament commandments by Israelis since the war between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas began in October.

Israel launched a military operation to root out Hamas after the terror group killed around 1,200 people and kidnapped more than 240 others in a surprise attack on October 7. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry claims that more than 37,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began. but did not differentiate between combatants and civilians.

Jews for Jesus Executive Director Aaron Abramson told CP that one possible reason for the increase in requests is that Israelis seem to have many questions, including spiritual ones, since the October 7 attack by Hamas.

“But there's also a kind of desperation,” Abramson said. “Israel prided itself on its ability to defend itself, so October 7th was a real blow to that for people. You had people asking if they should stay in Israel and if it's safe for them. You have people who once lived in Israel. other countries and experienced anti-Semitism that were like, 'Well, where do we go from here?'”

“And so, if you can't trust maybe, let's say, a political solution, you can't trust like a military solution, or if you can't trust an economic solution, then where do you put your trust?” he asked. “And I think that's why a lot of people started to kind of dig into those spiritual questions.”

Abramson said many of the organization's staff in Israel have wives, husbands or children in the Israeli army who were called up after October 7. He said the nonprofit decided to “switch gears” in supporting those affected by the terror attack, partnering with groups like Samaritan's Purse to help those in need.

In addition to helping kibbutz residents relocate after Hamas destroyed their communities, Jews for Jesus helped provide food after residents moved into hotels. The non-profit also helped set up makeshift classrooms so that the children of the kibbutz communities could continue to go to school.

Jews for Jesus transformed its Moishe Roshen Center in Tel Aviv into a place that provided resources to those affected by October 7, such as toiletries and medicine. Abramson said the group even set up an art gallery to help people express themselves and hosted barbeques for military units.

“So for us, it was really how can we create a space for people to come in to struggle through deeper questions and how can we speak to those spiritual needs, as well as meet some of those emotional and physical needs?” Abramson said.

A nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching Jews about Jesus is not without controversy, however.

The nonprofit CEO said the group has received some pushback from some Orthodox communities that oppose Jews for Jesus' missionary work.

In the past, he said, the organization tried to do outreach in Jerusalem, and a whole yeshiva of about 20 or 30 guys came out to stop them. A yeshiva is a traditional Jewish educational institution that usually includes the study of scriptures such as the Talmud.

“I'm not trying to make the claim that Judaism is about following Jesus,” Abramson explained. “I realize that most of the different branches of Judaism would disagree that Jesus is the Messiah.”

“But that does not change the fact that there are a significant number of Jews in Israel and abroad, in the United States and elsewhere, who have found meaning, life and hope in Jesus as their Jewish Messiah,” he added.

When it comes to sharing the Gospel with Jews, Abramson said there is no “one-size-fits-all approach,” highlighting the variety of Jewish communities who believe different things.

For example, a secular Jew may have questions about the existence of God and the conversation may take a different turn compared to a discussion with an Orthodox Jew.

“So, I think there are a couple of things that I encourage people to do,” Abramson said. “One, don't be afraid. Jews are like everyone else, you can talk and bring things up.”

“And, you know, I wouldn't say just ignore the social signals that you're getting,” the CEO continued. “You know, try to get an idea. Does it seem like they want to interact around it? You can always throw a seed out there. Even the smallest thing.”

“There are moments when God can inspire you just to be bold and say, 'Hey, I just want to tell you, I don't know if you've ever thought about this,' … and people will come to faith. that way.”


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