Every ally of this movement needs to own a copy of the manifesto written by David H. Stern . Messianic Jewish Manifesto, written in the mid-1980s, is needed more today than when it was first published.
While a re-tooled version of the manifesto was later published under a different name, the activism and nature of our times demand the language of a manifesto. For more than thirty years, the book has served as a nearly prophetic road map for those serious about the movement. Stern is a man of both vision and action; he continues to be an inspiration for our community living in Jerusalem.
As an organization, FFOZ has had the privilege of creating many of the needed resources and publications specifically mentioned by Stern in his manifesto. We have published a magazine and journal along with needed educational materials, and the biographies of rabbinic figures who first envisioned this movement, all of which the manifesto specifically called for . Messianic Jewish Manifesto describes itself as “a radical solution” and looks forward to a movement that will be led from Jerusalem . FFOZ Friends and supporters are responsible for advancing that vision with the creation of the Bram Center for Messianic Jewish Learning in the heart of the city. This space is a center for community and learning here, and it houses the David H. Stern Library.
With wild cultural shifts taking place in the United States, Israel is gearing up for a massive aliyah (immigration) coming from the west, and this will include Messianic Jews and Jewish Christians, many of whom will be redefining for themselves what Messianic Judaism is and can be in the land as a fully Messianic and fully Jewish expression. For those allies who remain outside the land, connection and real community will be vital. For this purpose, FFOZ has developed some programmatic materials only hinted at by the manifesto and communications media unimaginable during those times.
Join a Club
Taking real action for the movement is a community effort. While Torah Club materials have been around for more than twenty-five years, the program has recently been reformed. Now clubs are easy to find, organized, and in sync. Torah Club allows Jews, Christians, and other Messianic thinkers to get active about learning in community while maintaining membership within churches and synagogues. For others previously isolated, a club can be a real life-line and opportunity to connect. Clubs are smaller by design, and new clubs are formed as larger clubs divide.
A traveler can contact clubs in any location to connect with our growing network of students putting the Torah into action. Currently, there are clubs all over the United States, with new international clubs forming daily. A club can be formed in a prison, an apartment complex, or a business lunchroom. With the instability of social and political platforms, Torah Club will prove a vital resource for what may be at times, and in various places, an underground movement.
Communications through Club Hub
Torah Club is about the kind of real community formed by those institutions described in the manifesto, but it uses online communications and a networking platform called Club Hub. Why give all your information to Zuckerberg when you can share photos, questions, and information on a secure and private platform? At the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Torah Club was able to quickly shift gears and operate online. Videos and communications were shared through the Torah Club website and in the “Hub.” Fires are always burning somewhere. This secure platform makes it possible for anyone with internet access, including those who are homebound or geographically isolated, to connect with leadership and students around the world at any time.
Learning to Throw a “Mazel-Tov Cocktail”
The image above is a representation of a “Banksy” piece originally painted on a wall in Bethlehem, Israel, the birthplace of Messiah. While Bethlehem now harbors a largely anti-Semitic culture, the Messianic Jewish Manifesto describes the unique ability of our position to bridge gaps and bring peace where peace might seem impossible. Stern explains how activating the Messianic aspect within Jewish and Arab communities will bring about an unprecedented unity and space for conversation and acts of kindness .
Movement allies are combating anti-Semitism on all fronts, including anti-Semitism within the church. Through those programs mentioned above and others, FFOZ is declaring the Jewish people irreplaceable and dismantling false teachings built upon replacement theology. Ideas are not harmless! Take action! Understand the vision of the movement, connect with a solid educational platform like Torah Club, find real community, and begin to transform ideologies through active engagement with those around you.
- David H. Stern, Messianic Jewish Manifesto, (Jerusalem, Israel: Jewish New Testament Publications).
- Ibid., Chapter VIII, D “Literature We Need.”
- Ibid., 187.
- Ibid., 94-95.
Source: First Fruits of Zion