Blog

They Tried to Kill Us, They Failed, Let’s Eat!

A Purim Celebration with Holocaust Survivors

By Bethany

After interviewing Israel Roytman and hearing about his work with Holocaust Survivors, he invited me to come to a Purim celebration with the Survivors that he cares for in Jerusalem. I was thrilled! I have had very few experiences with this group of people but my heart leaps at the opportunity to be with them and hear their stories. 

On the day of the celebration, I was late due to difficulties in finding parking in downtown Jerusalem. I figured it shouldn’t be a problem; perhaps I would just slip in the back door (if there was a back door) and joyfully observe from a hidden spot in the back of the room. I followed directions to the location, climbed the stairs to the entrance, and carefully opened the door. The moment I was in view, the whole room lit up as if it was my surprise birthday party. An elderly man came straight away to take my arm and escort me to my seat while Israel introduced me on the microphone to those present in the room.

CBN Israel PurimI was seated and handed a gift basket they had put together of wine and chocolates not for Purim, but for International Women’s Day. I was still in shock by the grand welcome when Israel invited me to greet everyone on the mic. Still in a daze, I shared greetings from CBN Israel and spoke of our love and prayers for them. I returned to my seat and exchanged greetings with those at my table. I was surprised to see several people that I knew and loved in the room. I felt so welcomed by the Survivors and by everyone present. It was really something to see the life and joy on each person’s face. 

The formalities were over, it was time to celebrate! Israel and a few of the Holocaust Survivors gathered around the mic and began to sing songs together to their hearts content in Hebrew or Russian. We danced the Hora (a Jewish folk dance step), we sang and sang and sang some more. We ate, we drank and we laughed. It was truly a memorable experience.One of the sayings that sums up nearly every Jewish holiday is this:

“They (Israel’s enemies) tried to kill us, they failed, let’s eat!”

CBN Israel PurimTo see Holocaust Survivors singing and dancing, eating and drinking and living to a good old age gives us a very strong message. No matter what Israel’s enemies have tried to do to destroy this people and their God, His word of truth still stands. There will always be a remnant. The people of Israel and their God lives! 

If you wish to contribute towards giving food vouchers to Holocaust Survivors in Israel, please do so here. 

God bless you! 

Read more

Debt and Disease Are No Match for God

*Marcos and *Paula Katz made Aliyah from South America ten years ago. They were living a good life; enjoying the land and their work. They had established solid friendships and were blessed by the children that were born to them in Israel. Suddenly, life took a turn. Levi came down with a debilitating disease that completely halted his ability to work. Government welfare and Paula’s single income were not enough to cover the family’s expenses and soon, exorbitant debts loomed over their heads. 

Marcos and Paula knew of the work of CBN Israel and contacted us for help. We sat together in their home and heard their difficult story. We prayed for God’s wisdom and intervention and began to work on a budget. Together, we went to rearrange their debts at the bank and asked for donations from partner organizations in order to help lighten their financial burden. 

Not only did the banks agree to work with us in helping this family, but the donations that came in cleared over half of their debts! Today, the family is staying within their budget, and the financial situation has become stable. 

Marcos and Paula were full of joy and gratitude. They expressed, “All this help is like giving us a chance to start over. And now, we are more equipped to make wiser decisions.”

Do you want to make an impact on the lives of Israelis? Partner with us! Every donation we receive goes towards helping people like the Katz family in their times of need. Consider giving a gift today! 

God bless you! 

*Names altered for privacy

Read more

From Debt in His Bank to Tears in His Eyes

The Love of God is Canceling Debts

A Surprise Gift for Aaron

*Aaron lost his parents when he and his siblings were still young. Being the oldest child, he took on the responsibility and financial weight of caring for his family. He found work, but it wasn’t enough to cover all the expenses that were now on his shoulders, nor did he have time or money to study for a profession which would earn a higher paying job. Debt began to accrue. 

Aaron heard of the wonderful works being done at CBN Israel and came to us for help. We met with him and gave him food vouchers. We worked together on a budget for his everyday living and we requested donations from partner organizations to help clear his debt.

Just days after our initial meeting with Aaron, we were scheduled to give a financial seminar for all the members of a congregation in central Israel. We asked Aaron to come be a part of that seminar and to meet with us afterwards in order to give him a gift we had received for him. Aaron came. After the seminar, Aaron met up with us and remarked,

“I have never heard anything like what you shared here tonight. This message will change my life.”

We then handed him his gift as promised. Aaron took the envelope, opened it up and looked inside. In his hand was the full amount of donations we had received for him which was more than what was needed to cover his debt.

With tears streaming down his face he said, “Never had I thought that this could happen so quickly!” 

With his debt paid, we are prayerfully considering how we can help Aaron gain a better education and a better paying job to prevent debts from accruing again. 

Here at CBN Israel, we see God doing a work of restoration in the lives of His people every day. Please prayerfully consider partnering with us through a donation to help more people like Aaron.

God bless you! 

*Name altered for privacy

Read more

TV Musician Spends Free Time Serving Survivors

Israel Roytman is a Ukrainian Jew and a musician who made Aliyah twenty-three years ago. Though he was reared in a Jewish home and attended the neighborhood synagogue, he was an atheist until the Lord called him. From that moment, his life was changed.

After attending Bible College in Estonia, he came to Israel to visit his family who lived in Tiberias, a northern city in Israel. The moment Israel came off the plane and his feet touched the ground, his heart was griped with love for this land. He was home. Shortly after that visit, Israel made Aliyah and took residence in Jerusalem where he still resides today. 

As a musician, Israel held concerts all throughout the country as well as in countries around the world. But on one particular occasion while performing in Jerusalem, he saw the Holocaust Survivors that came for the music and Israel was moved with love a strong desire to serve them. His own grandparents had died in the Holocaust and here before him were Survivors who are living in Israel alone. 

Israel began to work towards gaining permission from the Israel Holocaust Survivor Association to learn who lived in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas that he could bless. After several visits to the Association, they granted him the opportunity to work with Survivors, four years ago. 

The first few visits with the Survivors were challenging. They were skeptical of Israel and of his motives. Israel decided to break the ice by asking if he could serve them in painting their homes, or providing a new appliance. He took them on trips to spas and served them catered food. Today, together with CBN Israel, the Survivors are provided with food vouchers and enjoy all the holiday festivities together. 

“These people have become my family and I am theirs”, Israel expressed. “They are like the grandparents that I lost in the Holocaust and I am like the family they don’t have in Israel. When they have a need, I am their ambulance. I stop what I am doing, change direction and go to help them.” At times, the Survivors are in tears for joy because of the blessing that Israel brings and is to them. They ask, “Why do you do this for us? We know you are on TV as a musician and travel the world? Why make time for us?” Israel responds plainly, “I am just a simple man like everyone else.” 

Through the work that Israel is doing, God has used him to bring reconciliation between those that survived the Holocaust and those that are considered war refugees. He brings them together for various events and occasions so they can see that no matter what they each lived through, they must now come together in love.  

One of the prayer requests that Israel shared is the need for additional volunteers and organization. “We are only a few people serving Survivors in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. Please pray that God would send us people who have a heart for these survivors and are joyfully willing to serve.” 

If you would like to give a gift toward the work we are doing together with our partners in serving Holocaust Survivors, please do so here. 

God bless you!

Read more

After Aliyah: From Crisis to Opportunity

One family’s Rescue from a Debt Avalanche

Troubles After Aliyah to Israel

It was one distressing predicament after another.  A family accident disabled the parents, hindering them from earning an income for a long period of time. They made Aliyah and brought an invalid grandparent to live with them in Israel. But before the Grandmother obtained Israeli citizenship, she fell and was hospitalized for another extended period of time. The medical expenses accrued an exorbitant amount of debt that the family had no means to pay. Loans were taken out but with no income, their debt was heading for an avalanche. The family was about to lose everything they had; their home, their vehicle, their access to bank accounts…everything.

A single mother who we work with was personally acquainted with the *Goldstein family and their situation. We met together and heard their story. We knew we needed God’s wisdom and guidance in order to successfully navigate through this challenging terrain. In His faithfulness, He was with us.

In the middle of this bottomless black hole, God provided an elevator. Since our first meeting, the family has worked with us on assessing the situation, finding work, making a budget, visiting government agencies that can help them and declaring bankruptcy in order to freeze the interests from increasing. God has been gracious throughout the whole process. Today, the Goldsteins are able to keep their home and maintain access to their bank accounts.

The process is not over, however, so we do ask that you would stand with us in prayer for this family.

  • Pray that the husband will quickly find work that is easily reachable by public transportation.
  • Pray that God would heal the family from all lingering side effects from the accident.
  • Pray that God would see this family all the way through to financial freedom!

On behalf of the staff of CBN Israel, we thank you for all your love and support.

God bless you!

Read more

It Was Hard for Her to Walk Away, Would You?

In the Multitude of Counsel There is Safety

“We believe that God, in His mercy, spared Ruth from making a devastating, financial decision and possibly a life threatening one.”

 

An elderly woman, who was recently widowed, came to us excited about the possibility of purchasing a new home. *Ruth had received a large sum of money and was eager to buy a place in order to turn it into a ministry house for women. She had her eyes set on a specific property. “The price is right,” she said, “and the place is huge!”

Ruth invited us and another friend to visit the property that she was eager to purchase. Along the way, we crossed into territory that was not considered safe for Israeli citizens. Before we ever arrived, we felt concerned with the location of the home. With enthusiasm, Ruth toured us through each room and expressed how she envisioned the place to be. By the end of the walk-through, we realized that it was our responsibility, out of love for Ruth, to inform her of the high risks.

CBN Israel Single momIf Ruth purchased the home, she would be throwing away all that she had and would find herself in a financial bind. Its current condition was such that it needed to be completely leveled and rebuilt from scratch. Because of the location, it would be unsafe for Ruth to stand alone waiting for the morning or evening bus. And in addition, it would be unsafe for others to come to her for ministry. 

Tears welled up in her eyes. It was difficult to let go of the dreams she had for this home. But she made the decision to walk away and wait for something better. 

We believe that God, in His mercy, spared Ruth from making a devastating, financial decision and possibly a life threatening one.  We praise Him that He helped her to let go of what she wanted in the here and now in order to wait for His best. 

 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

– Proverbs 11:14.

We are now on the journey of helping Ruth find her home. Please pray that God would lead us in unity to the place that God has for her. We trust that His plan for her is only good and will lead us and guide us in the direction of His perfect will. 

God bless you!

*Name altered for privacy

Read more

Shabbat Devotional by Bethany at CBN Israel

On the Outside Looking in

~by Bethany

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”- Romans 8:15

Word has gotten around the neighborhood that our back door is a cat hangout. My family and I can’t help but feel compassion for the hungry and homeless neighborhood kitties. Because we have adopted several cats of our own, we have extra food to spare and willingly put out a handful for those who come looking for it. Most of the time, the cats treat us like a soup kitchen, not as a permanent residence. They are skittish when we open the door and they don’t come to eat until the door is properly shut.

There are a few who have come for a closer look into the life of a family cat. One particular kitten stood peering through the glass door, daily watching as our adopted cats played, received cuddles, were given a warm lap to sleep on and had all the food they could eat. We saw it looking in and invited it to join our family. But it just couldn’t overcome its fear. We tried to coax it, show gentleness, offer our hand, but it just wouldn’t trust us. So day after day, it stood in the cold looking into our warm, loving home.

On another occasion, after an evening meeting, a kitten who had the exact same coloring as one of our own cats, walked in the front door as people were leaving and began helping herself to a bowl of cat food. Because of how comfortable she felt in our home, we did not realize it was a stray for quite some time. When it dawned on us that this kitten was considerably smaller than our cat and was considerably dirtier, we were shocked! This kitten had no fear of us at all! She felt as if this was her home all along. When we picked her up, she purred. When we put her down, she couldn’t stand to be separated from us, so we picked her up again for an additional cuddle. As you can imagine, we felt no choice in the matter than to adopt yet another kitty. We felt as though WE were the ones being adopted!

Through these two experiences, I felt the Lord was speaking to me. You see, it takes faith and trust to be a part of the Lord’s family. Through the sacrifice of His Son, we are offered adoption into God’s kingdom. We are told we have nothing to fear because He cares for us. We are offered love, peace, eternal security, food, shelter, clothing, and all that we need! But fear keeps us on the outside looking in.

Friend, don’t let fear rule your heart. God has so much in store for you if you will only trust Him. He is a good, loving, heavenly Father who knows your needs before you ever ask. He is trustworthy, faithful, and always available to you. He is slow to anger, abounding in mercy and is the greatest caretaker you will ever know. Even if you walk through the most difficult time in life, His grace will most certainly be sufficient for you. He promises to never leave you, never forsake you, and never let you go. Today, if fear has had you in bondage and has kept you on the outside looking in, I encourage you to confess it to the Lord, ask Him for the courage to face your fears and then trust Him that you won’t face those fears alone. He will be with you and will empower you to overcome.

Father, I pray that You would set Your people free from torment and slavery to fear in the name of Yeshua. Help us Lord, to trust You, to know You, and to walk in the abundant life You offer. Do this for Your glory, Lord, and for the joy of Your people! Amen.

God bless you!

Read more

How One Families Debt Was Nearly Gone in a Day

From Hopeless to Blessed

When Jesus walked the earth, He was surrounded every day by the hurting, the sick, the lost and the hopeless. Though He obtained the power to heal, to deliver, to save and to make all things new, what we see Him doing on the day in and day out was giving teachings and instruction. And then in the midst of the day in and day out, God would work a miracle.

Every day, our staff set out to meet with families in financial crisis in order to encourage them and to help them the best we can. We teach and instruct with the wisdom that God has given us and then we call on the Lord to move the mountains. For many, it’s a process of taking one step in front of the other towards freedom. Yet every now and again, we are witnesses to a miracle.

Recently, we met with a family who was burdened by a mound of overwhelming debt. We worked together on a plan to help them progress towards financial freedom. But stirring in the wife’s heart was determination to press in and to present her case to God. In desperation, she sought a place to be alone and to pour out her heart before Him. Our merciful, living God heard her prayers.

A few days after the wife petitioned the Lord, we received a phone call from a lawyer with whom we have an established relationship. His words stunned us. He said, “Someone who wishes to remain anonymous desires to give a great sum of money specifically to this family in order to pay off the majority of their debt. The only request is that you follow up with them and continue to give them instruction.”

Wow! We stand amazed by the Lord’s great mercy. A mountain of debt that seemed nearly impossible to overcome, was knocked down to a mole hill by one act of generosity. Isn’t it just like God to pay a debt man could not pay?

If stories like this one touch your heart, would you consider being a part of the next one? Would you consider giving to the work that God is doing through us here at CBN Israel?

God bless you!

Read more

Young, Busy Mother Makes Time to Serve Holocaust Survivors

Meet Our Partners Serving Holocaust Survivors in Haifa

Letter from Alona

“My name is Alona. I am one of ten people who visit and serve the Holocaust Survivors in Haifa, Israel. Leaders from my congregation told me about the opportunity to work with Holocaust Survivors and I felt in my heart to serve in this area.
For the past three years, our group has been distributing food to Holocaust Survivors in Haifa. We visit them in their homes and sometimes they meet us somewhere to receive our gifts. We give them bags of food such as sugar, flour, oats, oil, etc., or a food voucher so they can buy whatever grocery items they need.
Many of the Survivors do not need money or food as much as they need attention. There are many who are willing to receive prayer from us. When we visit them, we sit and talk and they share their stories about their lives. We have heard countless, chilling stories about the people who helped these Holocaust Survivors escape during the war.
Alona

I remember one particular story about a grandfather who shared how he lived in a church warehouse. A Priest hid him there and cared for him because he was worried about his safety. During the three years of hiding in that warehouse, the Priest taught him many things from the Bible about God. A life-long bond formed between them. The grandfather/survivor is forever grateful to that Priest for saving his life.
The work we are doing with the Survivors is so satisfying. Sometimes it’s difficult because they are not always open to us because they are afraid. Its takes time and then they start to talk when they feel safe with us. We love our work and we are so happy to work with them from our hearts.
The survivors say that they are very surprised and thankful for the help. At first, they thought we were sent from the Israeli government to serve them. But we explained that we come in the name of the Lord, not out of duty or even payment, but with love from our hearts and the gifts we give them are from God.
Please pray that we will have wisdom regarding how to speak with them and to know how to get through to their hearts. Every person is unique and special, so we really need wisdom to know how to reach each one. Pray also that we will have more people to help us serve.

With love in Messiah,
Alona

Read more

It Was the Sixth Night of Hanukkah

A Hanukkah Poem

It was the sixth day of Hanukkah, and all through Beit Sar Shalom, everyone was mingling, the single mothers felt at home.

Spread across the table, were salads, breads and more, enough for every person to come and eat round four.

The Hanukkiah candles were lit to start the evening, and then the staff led the moms in choruses singing;

“Banu Choshech Legaresh” and “Maoz Tzur Yeshuati”, these were the songs that were sung by all, oh so joyfully.

After came the meal to everyone’s delight, and then Hanukkah donuts to top it off just right.

When everyone was satisfied and had eaten their fill, the room came to a hush and many felt a chill;

As testimonies came forth of miracles and amazements of what God had done on their behalf in healings and salvations.

One woman shared how God saved her life from a near death experience; another woman shared how God healed her child from an illness that was serious.

On went the testimonies one after another and then the natural progression was to worship God again together.

No matter what one goes through or what troubles one may face, God is still good, at work in our lives, and is worthy of all praise!

Amen!

At the close of the evening, each of the women received a gift card to be used to buy clothes for themselves and their children. It was such a beautiful and heartwarming experience to be both with these women, and in the presence of God. The women were touched, and God was glorified. This was a Hanukkah celebration to remember.

God bless you.

img_1890 vero-and-arik-hanukkah-with-single-mothers

img_1931 cbn israel hannukah

Read more