A Quiet Ministry
ISSUES is an eight- to twelve page high-quality journal that we send to Jewish people who do not yet know our Messiah. It uses artwork, poetry, literature, essays, book reviews and testimonies written in Jewish style to explain that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Savior for everyone.
We want to acquaint our friends with this facet of our ministry, but we cannot send ISSUES on a regular basis to those who already know the Savior. This publication is an expensive but effective evangelistic tool. We feel that our contributors would want us to spend the necessary time and resources to achieve the highest quality possible, and we do just that. Whereas our Jews for Jesus Newsletter is printed by an outside lithographer in only two colors, we print ISSUES on our own presses, using four-color artwork on higher-quality paper.
While ISSUES is more than a tract, many of the essays it contains become tracts or pamphlets. Although ISSUES is published bi-monthly, we would like to increase its frequency, but we are not sure this is possible. Often the burden of maintaining such high quality has caused our art department to work overtime, and we wonder if we have the needed personnel to publish it more often.
How Do Jewish People Receive ISSUES?
Sometimes they request it after hearing about it by word of mouth from other Jews who are receiving it. Sometimes they are introduced to it by our missionary staff. But for the most part, the ISSUES mailing list has been built by you! When you send us the names and home addresses of your Jewish friends, we send each of them a personalized letter of story and a sample copy of ISSUES. We include a postage-paid card so that they can decline to receive further literature from us. Most recipients, however, do not decline, and they go on our list to receive ISSUES regularly.
ISSUES is a quiet, nonconfrontational ministry. Some of the poems and articles merely convey Jewish thoughts and would be appropriate to any Jewish journal. Yet every edition contains something to communicate the truth of the New Testament or the messiahship of Yeshua.
One edition of ISSUES addressed the subject of our environment. It included a poem about an old lady on her knees trying to dry the grass with a towel, and a story about Vaysechvoos, a fictitious village in czarist Russia that had an ecology problem. The lead article Whose Earth Are We Ruining?” made our important spiritual statement. It focused not only on the ecological balance of our planet, but on the plight of our very souls. Its closing comments told the reader:
“When we look at the spiritual state of our souls, we must come to grips with the reality of our defilement, that we have been polluted with the toxic waste called sin, and say along with King David, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me’ (Psalm 51:10).”
We have received many positive responses from Jewish people who read ISSUES. Here are just a few:
Ellen has been receiving ISSUES for almost four years. Until a recent letter from her, we had thought she was a Jewish person who did not believe in Jesus. Ellen straightened us out with her response:
“How can I tell you how much I appreciate and value your marvelous publication? It is precisely what I needed and wanted! It filled a void that no other essays have for me. The history, research, skilled presentation and excellent writing are a deep delight! I’ve reread your article, “Still Jews, Forever Jewish” for the beautiful spiritual experience it was for me and the profound move of love it generated in me.
—Sincerely in Yeshua’s love, E.D.”
Eight years ago a young woman saw one of our evangelistic ads in her newspaper. She filled out the coupon and requested the book we offered. In addition to the book, she was presented with a free subscription to ISSUES. After reading ISSUES for sometime, in recent months she came to the place where she was ready to accept Yeshua as her Lord and Savior. Lisa Opton of our Washington, D.C. branch has been ministering to her.
Mrs. Greenberg had also been receiving ISSUES for sometime, and one of our missionary staff “dropped by” her home to see if she was interested in speaking with someone about the articles she had read. That very day she had called a Unitarian minister for guidance. She told our worker that she felt she could not accept Jesus and remain a good Jew, and it was important to her to be a “good Jew.” Her daughter, who happened to be visiting at that time, expressed interest in taking part in a one-on-one Bible study. The mother is still searching, but her daughter accepted Yeshua seven months after that ISSUES drop-in visit!
Shannon, a believer in Jesus, strongly endorses our ISSUES ministry. She has sent us the names of many of her Jewish friends who need to hear the gospel. She writes: “I can never thank you enough for all the blessings in understanding and sharing that have been mine through ISSUES during the last three years. Be encouraged and steadfast in your commitment to bringing messianic Jewish perspectives to print. You are impacting more than you can know this side of heaven, and many who come into the faith relationship with Yeshua that his lovingkindness provided will owe the accomplishment of this purpose to the dedicated staff of ISSUES.”
This Ministry Needs Your Prayers
Would you pray with us for the more than twenty thousand who p
resently receive ISSUES, that God will use the printed word to bring them to a place where they can respond to his personal call? The following is a sampling of their sentiments. I hope they motivate you to keep this ministry on
“While I could not say I was a ‘believer’ as you call it, I do find the ISSUES magazine very thought-provoking; and I enjoy reading it.”
Rochester, New York
“I enjoy reading ISSUES. Thank you for sending them. I will be 80 years old next birthday—Glad I can read!”
Stewartsville, New Jersey
“Thank you very much for your magazine. I especially like the poetry. While I’m not in full agreement with your viewpoint, i.e. I couldn’t call myself a Christian, Jesus has brought great joy and understanding into my life.”
“I would appreciate receiving ISSUES. After reading it, I pass it on to a relative in Portland. Thank you for past issues.”
“I enjoy reading and discussing your paper. I do not fully agree with all you say, but I respect your effort.”
“Many of your articles are very thought provoking and I like to continue reading them at the age of 88.”
New York, New York
“I learned a lot from reading the ISSUES—Found a lot of answers!”
Hackensack, New Jersey
“You people touched our lives with your subscription.” Folsom, California
“We find the contents of ISSUES very interesting. I was born in the Orthodox environment. When I reached my 20s and married, we transferred to the Conservative preachings. There is room for all of us!!! We try to follow the Ten Commandments and reach out to our neighbors by perfoming mitzvahs [good deeds].”
West Palm Beach, Florida
“I am a Conservative Jew and I intend to remain such for the remainder of my life. However I have 100% tolerance of your belief and I am interested in learning more about it.”
“Keep sending ISSUES—education is a continuing process and I hope to be further enlightened.”
Dell Rapids, South Dakota
Would You Like a Sample Copy of ISSUES?
To get a sample copy of ISSUES, send a self-addressed stamped envelope with $0.45 postage and a note to the address on this newsletter.
There is another sure way to get ISSUES: The first time you send us the name and home address of a Jewish friend, we will send you a copy of the letter of witness along with a copy of the edition of ISSUES we mail to them.
Director of Communications, Missionary
Susan Perlman is one of the co-founders of Jews for Jesus. Susan is the associate executive director of Jews for Jesus and also director of communications for the organization. She also serves as the editor in chief of ISSUES, their evangelistic publication for Jewish seekers. She left a career track in New York City to help launch Jews for Jesus in San Francisco in the early 1970s. See more here.