JCF Newsletter—April 2019

Tel Maresha

Tel Maresha

Examine the Flowers
of the Field

Spring is a season of growth and promise—illustrated by singing birds and blooming buds. During this time, nature is filled with hope as new life lays ahead. Yet, in this very moment of supreme opportunity, Jesus perceives something ironically debilitating his followers—worry. ‘What shall we eat?’ ‘What shall we drink?’ ‘What shall we wear?’ These are seemingly innocuous questions…but are they? While Jesus would agree that survival is not to be ignored, perhaps, on this occasion, he is alluding to something more insidious at the foundation of these worries.


Charity Report: Your Gifts Helped these Ministries, Individuals, and Families from January to March 2019

JCF helped cover some of the dental fees for the two daughters of an Arab Christian family living in the Old City of Jerusalem ($300).

JCF helped cover some of the Christian school tuition fees for the children of an Arab Christian family living in Jericho ($300).

JCF gave $558 to Beit El Ethiopian Messianic Congregation in Jerusalem to help purchase an instrument for the congregational worship team as well as financial needs of the community.

Alice is a mother with four children between the ages of 3 to 19. She was born in Ethiopia and at the age of 13 married a 47-year-old man. They immigrated to Israel when she was 14. After her first two children were born and severe spousal abuse, she divorced at 16.  At 20 years old she was involved with another man and became pregnant. That man became abusive during the pregnancy, and they separated. Four years ago, she met another man and became pregnant again. The couple were going to get married but after the birth of her son, they separated. Three months ago she lost her job and has had a hard time finding another. She is currently in court requesting child support from the father of her son. JCF is helping cover part of the 2 months of rent that she owes her landlord ($845).

Makor HaTikvah is the only messianic school in Israel. JCF helped cover the cost of for the two-day field trip, including the two buses and entrance fees to sites ($2,000).

JCF gave $1,000 to Ziv Neurim, an Israeli non-profit program helping impoverished youth at risk by providing group activities on the Mediterranean Sea. Over 5,000 Jews and Arabs, boys and girls, religious and secular youth have participated in groups of fifteen youth at a time.

JCF contributed $1,000 to Yozmot Atid, an Israeli entrepreneurship program empowering low income Israeli women to launch, run, and grow their own businesses.  The program is highly professional with several hundred mentors from around the country available to assist the women, whether they aspire to be cosmeticians, computer technicians, event organizers, or accountants.

Fanny is an Israeli woman, now separated from her abusive husband.  JCF is helping cover part of her utility bills ($285).

Isabella is an Israeli mother who has three children ages 7, 5, and 9 months. After her husband was let go from several jobs, the family has experienced financial difficulties.  Social services is helping the family with a plan to find adequate employment. JCF is helping cover some basic needs of the family ($427).

Howard is a Christian Arab orphan from Bethlehem with no extended family to support him and his own growing family.  JCF helped cover his family’s school registration fees for the coming year ($455). 

JCF is covering an electric bill ($200) for an Arab Christian family living in the Bethlehem who have had many financial difficulties.

Henrietta is an Ethiopian woman who came to the country in 2011 with her Jewish husband, and discovered that she was HIV positive.  Because her husband then divorced her, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior took all her rights away and has been trying to deport her.  She has no work permit, yet is looking for some work in order to survive. She lives alone in a small basement apartment. JCF helped cover part of her February rent ($400).

JCF provided food vouchers for forty needy families for the upcoming Pesach holidays from the south of Jerusalem ($1,132).

Danielle is a struggling Israeli single mother with two children and no family or community support.  Due to her financial challenges, JCF helped cover part of the cost for a new refrigerator ($707).

JCF supported a gardening course for the Tiberias Blind Club where a therapist works with the members to learn about different kinds of plants and gardening techniques in order to improve their quality of life ($453).

JCF helped cover part of the costs for a House of Light youth camp with 65 Arab and Jewish counselors ($2,000).

JCF is helping cover the cost of installing a new roof for the toddlers’ outdoor play area at Little Hearts Preschool ($2,000).

News in Israel

  • Israeli Elections are today, Tuesday, April 9th. The Blue and White Party, led by Benny Gantz, Israeli general and former Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), is running neck and neck with Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s Likud Party. Gantz recently said in an interview with the Times of Israel that the future of Israel as a democracy is at stake in this election. Prime Minister Netanyahu is being indicted with corruption charges by Israel’s Attorney General this year.

  • 37 Years Later, Missing IDF Soldier Zachary Baumel’s Remains Are Returned to Israel. Israeli intelligence officers searched for the remains of fallen tank commander Zachary Baumel, who went missing in the 1982 Battle of Sultan Yacoub against the Syrian army in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. With the help of Russian forces in Syria his body has now been located and returned. More.

  • Trump signs proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights. “This was a long time in the making and it should have taken place many years ago,” Trump said before signing the proclamation. More.

  • Cable Car over Jerusalem? Currently, there are plans to build a controversial cable car from First Station over Mount Zion ending at the Dung Gate. More.

  • Surprise wet winter raises hopes and the water level of the Sea of Galilee. Lake Kinneret is now 316 centimeters below its maximum level, according to the Israel Water Authority. More.

  • Millions of butterflies flutter through Israel’s skies on Purim. Painted lady butterflies cover Israel's skies on their migration from the Arabian Peninsula to Europe. More.

  • Israel claims title of world’s largest salt cave from Iran. Malcham salt cave near Dead Sea finally measured at over 10 km, beating Iran’s 3N Cave; cavers downplay politics of find, saying this was an act of international cooperation. More.

  • Large Hasmonean-era agricultural village found under Jerusalem Arab neighborhood near Biblical Zoo. Archaeologists discovered an impressive burial estate, an olive press and many jar fragments, ritual baths, a water cistern, rock quarries, and a dovecote, all dating to circa 140 BCE–37 BCE. More.

  • Ancient Shiloh, the first home of the Tabernacle, grows in popularity with Evangelical tourists in the last decade. Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Tel Shiloh with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and settler leaders, calling it Israel’s “first capital.” More.

  • Historical Proof of King Josiah? A rare seal impression with the name Nathan-Melech from the 8th century BCE was recently found at Jerusalem’s City of David. In 2 Kings 23:11 Nathan-Melech is described as one of Josiah's officials that lived near the entrance to the temple, close to the courtyard where horses connected to idolatrous sun-worship were removed and their chariots burned by Josiah. More. See a video about the discovery, here.

  • 2,000-year-old image of 9-stem menorah found in rare Jewish site in Beersheba. More.

  • In Beit Shemesh, new highway collides with surprise biblical-era settlement. Just months prior to the planned construction of a massive expansion of the existing Route 38, archaeologists uncovered unprecedented evidence of a thriving First Temple (8th-6th century BCE) settlement in the Kingdom of Judah, thought to have been laid waste in 701 BCE. More.

  • Israel has the West's worst traffic jams. Transportation density in Israel averages 2,800 vehicles per kilometer of roads, 3.5 times the 800 vehicles per kilometer of roads average density in the OECD and almost double the average density of 1,300 vehicles per kilometer of roads in Spain, which has the second worst road density in the OECD after Israel. More.

Mary is pictured on the left and Larry on the right. Mary's cousins, Dean and Gretchen Samuelson, who were part of the group, are in between them.

Mary is pictured on the left and Larry on the right. Mary's cousins, Dean and Gretchen Samuelson, who were part of the group, are in between them.

JCF News: Larry and Mary Ehrlich Bring 20th Tour Group to Israel

Larry and Mary Ehrlich, JCF's U.S. Director and U.S. Administrator, led a JCF Study Tour to Israel this past month. Larry first visited Israel in 1964 when he was in college. After visiting Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, he entered Israel in 1964 through the Mandelbaum Gate of Jordanian-controlled Jerusalem. The Ehrlichs went to Israel together for the first time in 1982 joining the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles. Since then, they have hosted about 20 Israel tours together, as well as other personal visits.