A new ministry center in Ramat Gan in the greater Tel Aviv area will provide more opportunities for ordinary Israelis — families, singles and students — to engage in seminars, courses and conferences on issues relating to everyday life, while also mingling with Messianic believers who share an interest in music and film, or simply want to enjoy café evenings.
The center — part of the ministry of Beit Sar Shalom (Chosen People Ministries Israel) — is located on a main thoroughfare in Ramat Gan, with good bus and train connections. The area has a mixed population of sabras (native-born Israelis) and immigrants. It was dedicated earlier this month.
“There will be activities for every age group and sector of society, from story-time for kids and coffee night for young adults to seminars for parents and even events for retirees,” according to the team at Beit Sar Shalom. “Our goal is simple, help build the kingdom of God, one person at a time through outreach and discipleship.”
Jason, a team member at the center, said an upcoming two-day workshop on child rearing, led by a professional psychologist, will address the challenges parents all over the world experience, but with specific reference to the context of Israel. He emphasized that parenting lessons once learned need refreshing and bad habits need breaking.
“Many who come will have never met Messianic believers and it is important to break down barriers,” he added. “We are very open about who we are and the content of the workshops draws from both modern psychology and the Tanach (the Bible).”
Ramat Gan is highly populated and full of families. The parenting workshops will take place in August. Like all events at the Ramat Gan Center, attendance is free.
Beit Sar Shalom intends for the Ramat Gan Center to provide a forum for mingling.
“Israelis tend to have misconceptions about Messianic believers thinking they are all missionaries, paid huge sums to gain converts,” said Jason. “In reality those believers taking part at the center will be ordinary people, perhaps working in high-tech or another regular job, and we will naturally share our faith through meaningful and lasting relationships.”
The center has three full-time and one part-time staff member. Each attends his or her own kehila but they all share responsibility for the work of the center.
The team wants to partner with other organizations and is always on the lookout for creative ideas as to how to serve the public. For example, the Messianic organization E.L.Y. Israel will be hosting a seminar later in the summer on family financial planning. Another idea being implemented is a course for soldiers preparing for a post-army trip.
Also on the horizon is a business English course starting in September.
All events are conducted and advertised in Hebrew and new events are posted on the Beit Sar Shalom website.