Last week our Jews for Jesus team joined with the Upper West Side of Manhattan to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day.

Rachel Friedlander reported from our New York branch, “It was nothing like the weather in Israel (which was pleasantly in the mid-60s). In fact, it was freezing and windy. But that didn’t stop crowds of New Yorkers from celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut on the shore of the Hudson River yesterday evening.

“Jews for Jesus headed to the Upper West Side to join in the celebration of 67 years of Israeli independence. There at the Boat Basin, we handed out mini Israeli flags and matching stickers (so everyone could both wave and wear their love for the State). We were there to rejoice and commemorate freedom—both that which was won in 1948, and that which was offered at the cross by our Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus).

“Three women approached us, reaching for the flags. Then one of them stopped short. ‘Jews for Jesus—you can’t believe in Jesus and still be Jewish! You guys are a cult!’ she said.

“The second woman piped up: ‘Um, Lisa converted to Christianity.’ She gestured to indicate the third friend in their group. (Guess you learn new things about your friends every day, huh?)

“Lisa herself spoke up, then. ‘You don’t convert if you believe in Jesus—you’re still Jewish! You just believe in the Messiah.’ This sparked an intense conversation between the three that continued as they walked away.

“One man in his 20s-30s, Nathan*, was waiting for his friend when he saw Sam, one of our New York team, handing out Israeli flags nearby. Nathan had lots of questions and listened as Sam explained about the work Yeshua did, what it means to be Jewish and believe in Yeshua, and why it’s important. 

“The rest of the team handed out Israeli flags and flag stickers, practiced their rudimentary Hebrew, and talked about love for Israel and Israel’s Messiah as people came and went.”

Please pray for God to water the gospel seeds our New York branch planted at Israel’s Independence Day celebration.

*not his real name