Update from Berlin

Today concluded four days of business meetings for the International Messianic Jewish Alliance (IMJA) in Berlin, Germany. It was wonderful to connect with friends, reconnect with old ones, and make many new friends. It was also truly interesting to listen to various reports from delegates representing Messianic Jewish alliances around the world.

These meetings were very encouraging and inspiring, particularly regarding discussions pertaining to the early years in the IMJA’s formation. Founded in 1925, the IMJA was formed to unite the several already existing Alliances in the world.

I have previously blogged on the world of Jewish believers before World War II. Although we often give much lip service to the birth of the modern congregational movement, actually the golden age of Jewish believers was in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. There are estimates that by the late 1800’s there were between 300,00 – 500,000 Jewish believers in Yeshua – or more!

The influence of these early Jewish believers was so great that the early meetings of the IMJA often drew dignitaries and other officials. When Sir Leon Levison, one of the founders of the IMJA and an influential Jewish believer, once visited Budapest, Hungary, he was met by 3,000 people at the train station and by numerous members of the media. And when he needed financial backing to start the IMJA, he went to another fellow Jew who wrote him a check to cover all the expenses (around $50,000). We are not often aware of, or appreciate, how much clout Jewish believers actually used to carry in Europe.

The oldest Messianic Jewish alliance in the world is the British Messianic Jewish Alliance (originally called the British Hebrew Christian Alliance), which was formed in 1886. However, an earlier organization of Jewish believers in England was formed in 1813 when forty-one Jewish believers in London founded an association called Bnei Abraham, which later grew into a whole community called Palestine Place (pictured below).

This trip has inspired me even more to help continue the legacy of many great Jewish believers who have gone before us, and to assist in preparing the way for an even greater movement in the future.

L’Shana tova tikateivu – May you be inscribed for a sweet New Year!

About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Simchat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue in West Haven, CT, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.
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1 Response to Update from Berlin

  1. Joshua says:

    So inspiring. Thank you for sharing. I want the MJ community to celebrate these heroes. Communities need history, and for a movement so young we cannot afford to forget the great leaders and communities that have gone before us.

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