As Jewish believers in Jesus in Israel and around the world, our Jews for Jesus staff have been directly and deeply impacted by the war in Israel. We have lost loved ones, been displaced from our homes, and been called to active military duty. And we’ve experienced the shock and pain of rising antisemitism across the globe.
Our hearts are heavy, but our faith in Jesus compels us to bring practical help and spiritual hope to our communities right now. We’ve heard so many questions from people all over the world asking, “How can I help?” and “Can you help me understand what is happening?”
Here’s what you need to know.
On October 7, Hamas, the terrorist organization that governs Gaza, attacked Israel. Over the next few days, Hamas launched thousands of rockets, murdered over 1,400 Israeli citizens, and kidnapped 240 civilians as hostages, including babies and children. Israel responded by declaring war on Hamas. As Hamas and Israel continue in conflict, Palestinian civilians are caught in the middle.
October 7 was the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust, and Jewish people everywhere are in shock as they grieve with their Israeli brethren. Israel was created to be a “safe haven” from antisemitic violence that Jewish communities have endured for centuries, but that safe place has now been violated by a brutal massacre that’s difficult to comprehend. As Israel mobilized to defend itself, a surge of antisemitic protests and violence erupted throughout the world, putting Jewish people everywhere on edge.
Everyone in Israel, including our staff there, has been impacted by the events of last month. Jews for Jesus is the largest Christian organization of Hebrew-speaking native Israelis in the country. In the massive military mobilization, eight of our staff or staff family members were called to active military duty. A Hamas rocket hit and destroyed the home of one of our staff members, and other staff have spent prolonged periods in bomb shelters. Thankfully, all of our staff are currently okay, but we carry a high level of concern for those still on the front lines.
Our 50-person team in Israel has mobilized hundreds of volunteers and is serving alongside partner organizations and local congregations. Every week, we’re providing 5,000 care packages with essential items to soldiers and to displaced Jewish and Arab families. We’re also cooking 2,000 meals per day for the chronically homeless and those who are trapped under rocket fire. And we’re helping to secure temporary shelter for hundreds of families who’ve been evacuated from their homes.
In addition to providing meals and shelter, our team is providing vital emotional and spiritual support to those who are grieving and suffering from the effects of trauma. This includes providing resources for children in Jerusalem, caring for the chronically homeless in Tel Aviv, visiting the wounded in hospitals, hand delivering copies of the New Testament in Hebrew to those who are requesting them, and holding Bible studies and prayer times for soldiers and others in need of spiritual support.
In New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Sydney, and more global cities, we are housing displaced Israeli families and hosting events and support groups for those coping with the heartache of loss. And we are helping mobilize Christians across the world to stand in solidarity with the Jewish people and to fight back against antisemitism.
If you are Jewish, you can help raise awareness about what’s happening in Israel and what you’re experiencing as a Jewish person. You can speak out against antisemitism. You can look for opportunities to stand in solidarity with other Jewish people during this time and help inspire and equip non-Jewish friends to be supportive of Israel and the Jewish people.
If you are a believer in Jesus, you can make sure your local church or congregation is informed and positioned to help. Encourage your pastor to call local rabbis and offer support. Suggest that your church post something on their website and social media platforms to show they care. Organize a prayer night for Israel and mobilize your friends to pray and give to relief efforts. Consider volunteering for a local Jewish organization. And make sure to reach out to Jewish friends and express your concern and support—it goes a long way.
You can also support the critical work that we are carrying out right now by making a special gift.
No. In fact, we’ve provided critical aid to both Palestinians and Israelis alike. We’re deeply grieved by the loss of any innocent lives. We pray for true peace to be achieved, and we’re doing everything we can to meet the critical needs around us.
The goal of Hamas is not the welfare of the people they govern but the global expansion of Islam through violent means. Hamas perpetuates antisemitic propaganda and calls upon Muslims around the world to kill Jewish people across the world. We firmly believe that all people should speak out against this type of blatant racism that fuels violence like the terrorist attacks of October 7. We don’t believe the vision of Hamas represents the aspirations of all Palestinian people, and we pray for justice to be enacted upon evildoers and for peace to be established.
For those not living in the midst of the crisis, perspectives on what’s happening in Israel and Gaza are formed by whatever narratives we see in the news or on social media. We must all bear in mind that media outlets are businesses, and, as such, they often publish sensationalized and manipulative rhetoric. Social media is driven more by virality than accuracy. We encourage everyone to do their own research and educate themselves from diverse and reputable sources and to use great discernment when it comes to consuming news and social media.
Our organization doesn’t take specific stances on foreign policy. Our focus is on sharing the hope and love found in the message of Jesus and on helping people who are hurting in the ways we are equipped to do so.
We live in a broken world. It wasn’t meant to be this way—the weight of grief, pain, and trauma are evidence of that. But when God created human beings with free will, it meant that we could use it to exercise both love and hate. But He doesn’t just stand outside the world watching evil happen—in fact, He’s done quite the opposite. He faced evil head-on through His Son, Jesus, who entered the world to suffer and die in order to break the cycle of injustice and oppression, even to the point of defeating death itself. For those who know and love Him, we can experience that hope and freedom from fear, even in the midst of evil.
For comprising only 2 percent of the world’s population, Jewish people have long experienced a disproportionate amount of hatred. And it’s no coincidence. The Bible gives us a framework for understanding these latest events as part of the ancient conflict between God and Satan.
God has staked His reputation on the perpetuity of the Jewish people, and Satan, by inciting people throughout history to destroy them, has been working to make God out to be a liar. God has promised the Jewish people: “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).
Satan and all those who side with his evil plan are under God’s curse. Regarding the land of Israel, God said, “I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:8). We stand with the Creator of the universe and believe His promise to preserve the Jewish people (Jeremiah 31:35–37; 33:25–26).
While we don’t know when Jesus will return, we do know that we get closer each day. Our job is simply to serve God with our lives until that time comes.
Even before these current events unfolded, global antisemitism had been on the rise. As a new era unfolds before our eyes on the ground in Israel, in our local communities, and on social media, we look expectantly to the Lord.
We know that the God of Israel will never leave us nor forsake us. He watches over Israel and neither slumbers nor sleeps. We don’t know what the future holds, but we have faith. God has always been faithful to preserve and sustain our people.