“The French philosopher and writer Blaise Pascal once said, ‘A servant can do two things: He can go behind, carrying the suitcases, or he can go in front, carrying the lamp.’ My hope and dream is that the Caspari Center will do both. We are in the land to serve the Messianic communities and the Jewish believers in Jesus, according to their needs,” says Elisabeth Eriksen Levy, the new Caspari Center CEO from Norway, of her vision for the ministry.
“I have always been very interested in Judaism and the Jewish people, in their history and traditions,” says Elisabeth, who entered into her new role in August. Elisabeth’s history with Israel and also with the Caspari Center began a long time ago. As a young adult in Norway, Elisabeth became acquainted with the Norwegian Church Ministry to Israel, the organization under which Caspari Center was established. As a student at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she took part in a study group led by Caspari Center’s first director, Ole Christian Kvarme. Elisabeth also worked for the Bible Society in Jerusalem for six years. And now, having just moved back to Israel from Norway, Elisabeth, her Israeli husband, and their two teenage daughters feel that they have returned home.
Elisabeth’s vision for Caspari Center is twofold. “We will keep on serving Messianic congregations as we have always done. I would like to help the Messianic movement to become even more united and to help build strong relationships with both church and synagogue.” When asked to formulate her hopes for the ministry she has taken over, Elisabeth continues: “I dream about a ‘change of paradigm’ – that one day it will be totally acceptable in Israel to say, ‘I am a Jew, I believe in Jesus, and I am proud to say so!’ I dream that the Jewish people would discover Jesus as their greatest rabbi and that they would discover the New Testament as the Jewish book that it is. I dream that we will see more Jews in the land finding their Messiah, and that Caspari Center will have a role in all this.”
Elisabeth’s dreams and visions resonate strongly with the other key area of Caspari Center’s calling. “I’d like to see Caspari Center play a vital role in helping Christian communities and churches find
their Jewish roots. I would like Caspari Center to grow to become a platform and a meeting place for Christians and Messianic Jews, and even for secular and observant Jews! I hope to see our library filled with students from the land and from abroad, all of them eager to study more about Jesus and the Jewish background of the New Testament.” Elisabeth continues: “I see that Christian churches have a lot to learn from the Messianic movement. Messianic believers are the ‘missing link’ in church history, as too often the church has forgotten her roots. In order for the body of Messiah to be whole, Messianic believers need to find their own place in the body of believers.”
Elisabeth concludes, “In the past 30 years, Caspari Center has done a lot of excellent work toward fulfilling these hopes and dreams. With the grace of God, I hope that what is already good can become even better.”