Elisabeth Eriksen Levy, CEO
The Messianic Movement in Israel is growing and maturing. Nearly 40 years ago, when the Caspari Center was established, the movement of Jewish Believers in Jesus could have been compared to a small child who needed to be carefully nurtured and spoon-fed. Today, the situation is vastly different. The child has grown up, and is nearly independent – normal development for every child or church or organization.
In missions work, it is typically asserted that when 2% of a people group has been reached, the local churches and organizations should be strong enough to take on more responsibility. Foreign aid, while necessary at first, can begin to phase out or change character. It doesn’t mean that foreign work and foreign workers will no longer be needed. It just means that the work performed by foreigners must change in character, from being primary leaders and decision-makers, to a role that is more supportive in nature.
While the theoretical 2% critical mass has not yet been reached among the local Jewish population, we see it drawing near.* And we wish to support it. We at the Caspari Center know how important it is for the local work to be locally run. Our organization was established in 1982 by foreigners desiring to support and build up the local body of believers. Since that time, our leadership and board have traditionally been foreigners. Watching the development of the local body for years, our leadership recognizes it’s time for some changes on our end.
And so we have arrived at the momentous decision to slowly transition our model of governance to contain more local people. This is a big step, and one we do not undertake lightly. This new model will include a majority of locals on our board (4 out of 7 members will be local, with 3 foreign board members), and will be led by a local CEO. We will aim for this new model to be in place by 2021.
Please join us in prayer as we begin the crucially important process of searching for new local board members and a new local CEO.
* When the survey for our upcoming book, the updated version of “Facts & Myths About the Messianic Congregations in Israel” is complete, we will have a more precise idea of how many Jewish believers in Jesus we have in the land.