The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc.
The Friends of Israel is a worldwide Christian ministry communicating biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while fostering solidarity with the Jewish people. The Friends of Israel (FOI) speaks against anti-Semitism in all its forms, explaining the unique, biblical role of Israel in God's plan and encouraging Christian to pray for Israel and support her biblical, historical, and moral rights to live within secure borders. It is a nonprofit organization and contributions to it are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. In addition, it is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).
PO Box 908
Bellmawr, NJ 08099-0908
Phone: (856) 853-5590
CEO/President: Dr. Jim Showers
Chairman: Mr. David R. Benner
Board size: 13
Year founded: 1938
Tax deductible: Yes
Fiscal year end: 12/31
Member of ECFA: Yes
Member of ECFA since: 1989
The Friends of Israel is a worldwide Christian ministry communicating biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while fostering solidarity with the Jewish people. The Friends of Israel (FOI) speaks against anti-Semitism in all its forms, explaining the unique, biblical role of Israel in God's plan and encouraging Christian to pray for Israel and support her biblical, historical, and moral rights to live within secure borders.
FOI places a strong emphasis on the teaching of biblical prophecy through their conferences, publications, and worldwide radio programming. In the process, FOI is committed to sharing the love of the Messiah with Gentile and Jewish people.
The Friends of Israel was founded in 1938 by Christian leaders in response to the desperate needs of Jewish people afflicted by the raging torrents of Nazi hate. Through this Christian ministry, funds were raised and aid was distributed to Jewish refugees in their darkest hours of need.
FOI is a nonprofit organization and contributions to it are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. In addition, it is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).
FOI uses the following to communicate its mission:
The Friends of Israel is a worldwide Christian ministry communicating biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while fostering solidarity with the Jewish people.
Statement of faith
We believe that the Bible, consisting of sixty-six books, is the inspired Word of God; that every part is fully and equally inspired; and that every single word of Scripture was produced under the control of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21).
We also accept the Scriptures in their entirety as being inerrant (in the original writings) and infallible. For this reason we are committed to the Bible as our final authority in all matters of doctrine, faith, and practice (Mt. 5:17; Jn. 17:17).
We believe that there is only one true, eternal, living God, who is sovereign over all things. God can be known through the many absolute and relative attributes revealed in the Scriptures (Ex. 3:14; Dt. 6:4; Col. 1:15-17).
God is the source and sustainer of life. He, according to the counsel of His own will, decreed whatsoever comes to pass, including both His permissive will and His causal will (Isa. 14:24, 26-27; Eph. 1).
We believe, although there is only one true God, that God consists of three distinct persons, each of whom is coeternal and coequal.
We believe that the Father is God, that the Son (Jesus, the Christ-Messiah) is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God (Dt. 6:4; Jn. 1:1; 14; 6:27; Acts 5:3-4).
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be absolute Deity, the eternal Son of God, who became man without ceasing to be God. In the incarnation, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Isa. 9:6-7; Mt. 1:18-25; Jn. 3:16; Heb. 1:8).
We believe that Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man at the same time (Phil. 2:5-8).
We believe that He was totally holy by virtue of His miraculous birth and sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15).
We believe that Jesus Christ voluntarily laid down His life, the just dying for the unjust, making it possible for man to be saved (Jn. 10:17; Heb. 9:14, 28; 1 Pet. 3:18).
We believe that He rose bodily from the dead on the third day after death, and that He ascended into heaven to the right hand of the Father (Jn. 2:19-22; Acts 1:9-11; Heb. 1:3).
We believe that, presently, He is our Intercessor and Advocate, the only true Mediator between God and man (1Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:14; 7:25; 1 Jn. 2:1).
V. Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is Deity, a divine person of the Godhead. He is not a force, but is truly a person and is equal with the Father and the Son (Acts 5:3-4).
We believe that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to all believers at the moment they are regenerated, and that these gifts are to be used for the edification and perfecting of the believers in the Church. We believe that the miraculous and sign gifts were given for a unique purpose to the first-century Church, but that they ceased at the end of that century (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12--14; Eph. 4:7-16; Heb. 2:3-4).
We believe that God created man directly and instantaneously from the dust of the ground. Man was created in the image of God and was able to have intimate fellowship with God (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7).
We believe that marriage is a gift and act of God, joining two people together to make one flesh. God designed marriage to be an exclusive covenant between one biologically-born man and one biologically-born woman for life and that sexual relations are permissible only within the bonds of marriage (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6; Heb. 13:4).
We believe that all of humanity fell away from God when Adam first sinned, and that the fall resulted in both physical and spiritual death for man. In this fallen condition, man was left totally depraved and unable to remedy his own situation (Gen. 3:6-13; Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:21-22; Eph. 2).
We believe that sin is anything that does not conform to the character and nature of God (1 Jn. 3:4).
We believe that all mankind sinned in Adam, the head of the human race, and that each human being has a sin nature, and also has committed personal sin (Rom. 1:18; 3:23; 5:12; 1 Jn. 1:8-10).
We believe that salvation is the act of God whereby man is brought into a proper relationship with God. It is that act where spiritually dead man is made spiritually alive (Ps. 3:8; Jon. 2:9; Eph. 2:1-2).
We believe that this is accomplished by the grace of God through man's faith in the death (shed blood), burial, and bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:8-10).
We believe that salvation involves three things for the believer: deliverance from the penalty of sin at the moment of regeneration; victory over the power of sin during the Christian life; and deliverance from the presence of sin at glorification.
We believe that salvation positionally sanctifies the believer, but that the believer needs to experience, in his daily life, progressive sanctification (Rom. 6:14; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:20-21).
IX. Satan and Angels
We believe in the existence of the person of Satan. He was created by God as the greatest of angels, but later rebelled against God. After he fell, he organized his own kingdom, which consists of both evil angels and unregenerate man. He is currently the ruler-god of this age. Satan's ultimate goal is to overthrow God. He seeks to keep the unsaved from becoming saved. He seeks to hinder and destroy the Christian's testimony and ministry for God.
We believe that both Satan and his evil angels will be consigned to the eternal Lake of Fire after the Millennium (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Mt. 25:41; Jn. 8:44; Rev. 20:7-10).
We believe that there is an innumerable host of angels who remained faithful and true to God. They are servants to the Most High God and are ministering spirits to those who are heirs of salvation (Ps. 91:11-12; Mt. 4:6; Acts 12:7-10; Rev. 7:11).
We believe that the true Church is a universal, invisible, living organism and that it is the "body of Christ" who is Himself the head of this body. The universal Church is made up of regenerate, redeemed believers only (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23; Col. 1:18).
We believe that the Church began on the day of Pentecost; that every believer was indwelt/baptized by the Holy Spirit into the one body of Christ, which is the Universal Church (Jn. 14:16-17; Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4; 1 Cor. 12:13).
We believe that the Scriptures teach that there are to be local churches. These churches are to be the visible representation of the body of Christ in the local community. Local churches are to observe the ordinances of Christ and seek to do the will of God (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 1:2; 11:23-28).
We believe that the local church should be totally committed to the edifying (developing to maturity) of the believers and also should have an active outreach in evangelism (1 Cor. 14; Eph. 4:11-16).
We believe that Israel is God's chosen national people (Gen. 28:13). In God's sovereign will, Israel serves as a channel of His blessing to the entire world (Gen. 12:3) for His glory (Isa. 43:7), and His witness to the nations (Isa. 43:10). God's election of Israel for this unique relationship is irrevocable (Ro. 11:28-29).
We believe Israel is distinct from the church and central to God's plan, past, present, and future. The unfulfilled prophecies given to Israel in the Old Testament will find their literal fulfillment in Israel at a future time (Ps. 105:6-10).
We believe in the premillennial and pretribulational return of Jesus Christ. This means that Christ's return for His Bride (the Church) is imminent and therefore can happen at any moment (1 Th. 4:13-17; 5:6).
We believe that, following the Rapture of the Church; the seven-year Tribulation Period (Daniel's 70th week, or the Time of Jacob's Trouble) will take place (Dan. 9:24-27; 2 Th. 2:3-4).
We believe that following the Tribulation, the Millennium will begin. It will be brought about by the literal, physical, visible, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth to rule and to reign for one thousand years (Zech. 14:1-4; Rev. 19:20).
XIII. Eternal State
We believe in the eternal punishment of the lost and the eternal bliss of the redeemed (Jn. 3:16; Rev. 20:11-15).
Financial efficiency ratings
|Category||Rating||Overall rank||Sector rank|
|Overall efficiency rating||260 of 423||23 of 34|
|Fund acquisition rating||144 of 423||14 of 34|
|Resource allocation rating||297 of 423||23 of 34|
|Asset utilization rating||293 of 423||25 of 34|
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|Receivables, inventories, prepaids||$773,520||$1,009,524||$1,373,886||$888,654||$540,405|
|Other current assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total current assets||$13,526,649||$12,120,249||$12,460,549||$11,832,045||$12,163,857|
|Other long-term assets||$191,417||$185,597||$172,867||$173,891||$164,987|
|Total long-term assets||$5,931,578||$4,463,279||$4,335,056||$4,331,357||$4,215,025|
|Payables and accrued expenses||$752,873||$625,686||$654,904||$585,486||$558,741|
|Other current liabilities||$346,187||$214,647||$304,402||$321,774||$339,731|
|Total current liabilities||$1,099,060||$840,333||$959,306||$907,260||$898,472|
|Due to (from) affiliates||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Other long-term liabilities||$5,647,405||$5,783,404||$5,810,375||$5,643,375||$5,915,725|
|Total long-term liabilities||$8,894,394||$8,587,576||$8,729,260||$8,690,686||$9,193,052|
|Revenues and expenses|
|Program service revenue||$1,381,286||$1,405,789||$1,512,270||$1,683,272||$1,871,357|
|Total other revenue||$1,517,629||$1,500,840||$1,632,702||$1,802,079||$2,443,974|
|Management and general||$2,366,483||$1,752,356||$1,783,580||$1,928,715||$1,694,208|
|Change in net assets||2017||2016||2015||2014||2013|
|Other changes in net assets||$0||$354,049||($999,985)||$31,450||$0|
|Total change in net assets||($588,082)||$48,580||$662,303||$278,098||$1,849,074|
No response has been provided by this ministry.
Origins of the ministry began around 1938, first known as The Friends of Israel Refugee Committee, later to become The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry (FOI).
The following is the history and context of the ministry as stated by FOI.
By 1938 Adolf Hitler was on a rampage against the Jewish people, bearing a grudge and a promise. His promise: to create an Aryan, 1,000-year Reich by exterminating European Jewry under the guise of fostering, in British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's terminology, "peace in our time."
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the world chose to look the other way, hoping that silence and concessions would satisfy the Nazi dictator's lust for land and power. Of course, the vast majority was wrong. The Nazi regime's cruelty was visible and premeditated. Nazi doctrine rested on an evil, three-pronged axis: deception, fabrication, and brutality.
- Deception played on the naivet of decent people who believed Germany was an oppressed nation desiring nothing more than to break free from the economic stranglehold imposed on it following its defeat in World War I. Many viewed Hitler's purges and military buildup as merely an attempt to rebuild national pride and self-confidence. Unfortunately, these people operated on the premise that Hitler meant what he said and would keep his promises.
- Fabrication was central to the Nazi scheme, which revolved around propagating the "big lie." Hitler needed a scapegoat through which to birth his "superrace" and fuel his delusions of national grandeur. He found it in European Jewry. Every conceivable evil afflicting Germany was blamed on the Jewish people, whom the Nazis claimed contaminated the hallowed Aryan ground. Eliminate the Jews, Hitler declared, and utopia would quickly become reality.
- Brutality was the Nazi modus operandi. That people bought into the regime's gargantuan lies threw open the door to an inferno of savage cruelty the likes of which had never before been displayed in modern times. Brutality became so infused in the nation's psyche that the stench from the death-camp ovens and the stacks of Jewish skeletons being carted to mass graves were excused by another lie: We didn't know what was going on.
One of the great tragedies of the run up to World War II was that major national political leaders, clergy, and citizens in the Christian West--including Americans--joined the masses behind the wall of silence that doomed 6 million Jewish people and traumatized virtually the entire world.
There were, however, others who saw the situation through a different prism, one of care and compassion for people unable to help themselves.
Thus, in 1938, a group of evangelical Christian men in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, decided to break the silence and rescue as many Jewish people as possible from the inferno engulfing Europe. The Friends of Israel Refugee Committee (FIRC) sought to aid displaced Jewish people in a host of countries. A quote from Israel My Glory, established in 1942, read as follows:
We are anxiously awaiting the end of the war, preparing to go to the stricken lands of Europe with spiritual and material comfort for the little remnant of Israel, which, we pray, will have survived the greatest calamity in Jewish history.
While awaiting that eventuality, FIRC workers ministered to Jewish soldiers and allied troops waiting to take part in the invasion that would liberate Europe.
As a Christian organization, the ministry functioned under two inalienable mandates: the obligation to "comfort, yes, comfort My people" (Isa. 40:1) and the command to "preach the gospel to every creature" (Mk. 16:15).
The times were impeccably expressive of the prophet Jeremiah's lament during the stresses of another dark chapter in the history of Israel: Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which has been brought on me (Lam. 1:12).
Friends of Israel relief was distributed in many material and practical ways. Food, clothing, housing, medicine, and other forms of aid and comfort were basic features of the program.
And as an evangelical organization, there was (and remains) the spiritual aspect: to make the Messiah known to Jewish people, on an equal footing with ministry to all people the world over. Jesus' command is to propagate an equal-opportunity message: "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'"
In fact, the apostle Paul established a sense of indebtedness to do so. "I am a debtor," he wrote, "both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise," and to his kinsmen: the Jewish people (Rom. 1:14).
An interesting footnote to the early beginnings of The Friends of Israel is that in 1938 there was no State of Israel. Therefore, those who attempt to make this organization a dupe of Israeli politicians, claiming we believe Israel right or wrong, do so completely without factual substance. Our founders had one goal: to reach out to people in the utmost distress. Not a single shred of evidence exists to the contrary. This ministry was never about politics. It was, and remains, about helping people in need.
Foundation and Function
Dr. Victor Buksbazen, born in 1903, became the general secretary of the ministry in March 1943. For the next 33 years he set the course for the work and epitomized the integrity, clarity, dignity, and trustworthiness upon which the organization is fixed today.
Born and educated in Warsaw, Poland, Victor was a classical scholar in the best sense of the word. After receiving a bachelor of divinity degree at the University of Warsaw in 1926, he became assistant professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at the university. An expert in linguistics, Victor was fluent in Polish, English, Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Russian, Greek, and Latin.
Dr. Buksbazen manifested the same intellectual acumen as another Hebrew-Christian scholar, the renowned Alfred Edersheim. Both were steeped in the life and culture of their people and shared a passion for biblical and historical accuracy that Gentile theologians do not possess in quite the same way. Victor's superb commentary, The Prophet Isaiah, remains a legacy for generations to come.
Sensing the imminent danger facing Polish Jewry, Victor immigrated to England in 1937. There he could continue to write and minister to the increasing numbers of refugees forced to flee Nazi occupation. As was the case with many who left before the concentration camps became operational, he had close emotional and physical ties to kinsmen who were unable to escape the coming terror. His personal attachment undergirded his work with a foundation of compassion and concern that others were incapable of experiencing in the same acute way.
I suppose one could say that such personal attachment defines a ministry, as opposed to an organization that is simply benevolent and philanthropic. A passion for the survival of family and friends caught in a desperate situation does more to produce action, depth, and sensitivity than merely observing from afar.
God's gift of Victor to the helm of The Friends of Israel was richly augmented by Victor's wife, Lydia. Lydia was an English Jewess who possessed all of the positive refinements of European grace and quality that enhanced the growing ministry. She, too, had a family history punctuated by the isolation and treachery of marauding anti-Semites. In Lydia's experience, it was the pogromists in Russia who put her people to the sword. Her book They Looked for a City tells her gripping story in ways that have moved the hearts and changed the lives of thousands.
So, under the duress of the Nazi reign of terror, God raised up an organization fitted with all of the tools necessary to build for the future. FOI was not created as a personality-driven movement that would rise or fall on the strength or weakness of individuals. And though others would eventually embellish what the early founders began, it was the founders who positioned the ministry to build for the future.
For Such a Time As This
When this Mission was born, the future of the Jewish people was in serious jeopardy. They were without a homeland and were crying out in desperation for hearts to care and hands to help. As we celebrate The Friends of Israel at 70, how much has really changed?
Admittedly, the players are different. But the playbook remains the same. The world's condition is unaltered. Deception, fabrication, and brutality are still the enemy's main tactics. This time it is the Western confederation of nations, led by the UN, that is swallowing the land-for-peace delusion. Palestinians and other Islamists claim to be the oppressed people who wish only for a nation to restore their pride and self-worth. All the while they dangle the carrot of good intentions and promise peace and prosperity--until they get what they want, which is everything.
The big lie is still at center stage. Replace the name Hitler with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who rants against his selected scapegoats, Israel and the Jewish people, blaming them for every iniquity and offering the only "acceptable" solution: genocide and annihilation of the Jewish state. His desire is not for a 1,000-year Reich but for a global, Islamic caliphate.
Now the door is open to unbridled brutality. It is endemic in every sector of the plan to eliminate Israel and the Western democracies. Look at the situation in the Jewish communities bordering the Gaza Strip. Thousands of rockets have assaulted Israeli citizens, indiscriminately causing an untold number of casualties.
As we launch into the eighth decade of FOI's service, we can only conclude that this ministry has been well prepared to meet the uncertainties of the future. Today we are able to minister to more people by more means than ever before. Our international staff, media technology, and literature penetration enhance our worldwide stature, building bridges to Israel and the Jewish people. And the times we live in are providing opportunities that were inconceivable 70 years ago.
That having been said, I'm sure that if we could stand today among that heavenly cloud of witnesses who saw it all begin, we would hear the words As good as it has been, the best is yet to come.
FOI's accomplishments and programs include some of the following:
Israel My Glory:
A dynamic, bimonthly magazine that keeps you on the cutting edge of Biblical teaching, and world events as they impact Israel and the Jewish people.
FOI publish a wide array of books, brochures, and audio and DVDs and downloads designed to help people deepen their understanding of the Bible and God's Chosen People.
The Friends of Israel Today Radio Program:
The Friends of Israel Today is a magazine style radio program/podcast made up of multiple segments, including: Bible teaching, Q&A, Interviews and dramatic readings of Zvi Kalisher's articles entitled "Apples of Gold." The program was intentionally crafted to revolve around God's Word and how it affects our lives today.
Conferences & Events:
The Friends of Israel actively invests in the edification of Christians by teaching Scripture that exemplifies why loving the Jewish people and supporting Israel is integral to the Christian faith. This is why we offer conferences and events to help strengthen your walk in the Lord as well as give opportunities to minister to the Jewish community.
Tours to Israel:
Spending time in God's land among His Chosen People.
Today the ministry stands on the threshold of unparalleled opportunity. Our greatest needs are time, qualified workers, and friends who will enable us with their gifts and strengthen us with their prayers. The task at times seems overwhelming. But still, the Gospel remains "the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek [Gentile]" (Romans 1:16). We therefore are compelled to proclaim His truth with every fiber of our being and through every resource available to us.