Restorers of Zion FAQ Page

People have asked us....

1. What is it that you hope to "restore"?

2. Can you serve and/or work with believers who don't identify with everything in your 7-fold vision?

3. Your vision is so large and broad, how can you expect to do it all?

4. If you are encouraging Jewish things so strongly, how do you relate to the non-Jewish believers in Israel?

5. What is your position on the deity issue that has split the Israeli Body for years?

6. Are you affiliated with a congregation or organization?

7. Do you get paid for the work you do in Restorers?

8. What about all those rumors of conflict between Restorers and the Nehemiah Fund?

9. We see that you switched funding partners. What happened to your other partner, NCC?


1. What is it that you hope to "restore"?

We are dedicated to a 7-fold vision:
1. Restoring economic, spiritual and emotional stability to troubled Israeli believers.
2. Restoring the Jewish believers to the Land.
3. Restoring Biblical integrity among Israeli believers, especially in business.
4. Restoring unity and teamwork in the Israeli Body.
5. Restoring the Covenantal signs to a place of honor in the Messianic community.
6. Restoring full Gentile partnership in this calling.
7. Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel in Israel. 

2. Can you serve and/or work with believers who don't identify with everything in your 7-fold vision?

Yes.  We realize that not all followers of Yeshua are going to identify with all of our points.  There can be acceptable reasons for this, such as a different focus for ministry.  Or perhaps it's the first time certain believers have ever been presented with some of these as Scriptural mandates, and they need time to think and pray about it.

What we do ask such people is whether they can work with us, or be served by us, knowing everything that we stand for.  If so, we do not require them to do anything more than (a) to allow us the freedom to follow our convictions, and (b) to refrain from activities that would sabotage any of the things we are working to restore.

3. Your vision is so large and broad, how can you expect to do it all?

Actually, we don't expect to do it all.  No ministry could possibly cover all the areas mentioned above.  It's doubtful that we could cover even one area completely.

We are called to be facilitators of all these goals.  Our job is to find the needs and match them up with the resources (and vice versa - there are people who want to serve the Israeli Body and have asked for help in finding those who need them).  Once the two halves have found each other and are working together, our job is finished.

When setting out to match needs and resources, we usually begin locally; wherever possible, we try to link people in the Land to help each other.  If there is no answer locally, we turn to our partners and supporters abroad.  When the Lord moves us, we become part of the answer ourselves, and make our personal time, talents or funds available for the Lord to meet the need.

Sometimes this facilitating effort takes a sustained amount of searching and praying and waiting, while at other times it happens almost effortlessly.  But for every need, we turn first to the Lord for wisdom on how to proceed and where to direct our efforts.

For certain needs that are widespread and continual, such as requests for financial aid, we work in partnership with others to whom we can delegate the job of identifying and verifying the needs.  We believe that this is a proper function of the "deacon" in a congregation (or "shamash" in Jewish terms).  Not only are we meeting needs more efficiently this way, but a responsible leader in a congregation is sure to know the members far better than we ever could - even if we were to personally meet with each one requesting help.You can learn more about our Shamash Network by clicking here.

4. If you are encouraging Jewish things so strongly, how do you relate to the non-Jewish believers in Israel?

One of the Jewish concepts that needs to be restored to Israel is the understanding that we are obligated to care for the ger toshav, the Torah term translated as "the stranger that dwells among you".  In the same passages that affirm our claim as Jews to the Land of Israel, we are also commanded to love the stranger.

To our sorrow, there are segments of the Israeli population who are ignorant of this responsibility before G-d.  And even though the government formally supports equality among Jewish and non-Jewish citizens and residents in the Land, there is often a habit of neglect and discrimination toward non-Jews.  It is true that most countries of the world tend to look after their own and leave foreigners to look after themselves, but we are not called to be like other countries.  Wherever G-d admonishes Israel to look after those most likely to be poor and needy, the "stranger" is always found in that list.

The Israeli Body of Messiah should be leading the way in restoring this understanding to Israel -- and all the more so because in Messiah, the "wall of division" between Jew and Gentile doesn't even exist anymore.  While we are still obligated to continue in our various earthly callings (I Cor. 7:17-24), wherever citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven comes into play, there is no distinction in rights and responsibilities.

We at Restorers have had the opportunity and privilege to demonstrate this oneness by serving several congregations in Israel that minister to Israeli Arabs, foreign workers, refugees from South Lebanon and non-Jewish residents from the former Soviet Union.  Likewise, we are working hand in hand with both Christian and Jewish believers as partners, without distinction - one Body working together to meet the needs of the Israeli Remnant.

5. What is your position on the deity issue that has split the Israeli Body for years?

We are convinced that the Scriptures teach that Yeshua is fully G-d, and that He came in the flesh as fully human.  Moreover we have established that it is a thoroughly Jewish concept to regard the Messiah as both G-d and man (a concept with strong rabbinic support, although this is a well-kept secret in the Jewish community...).

We are also convinced that the more we try to capture the oneness of G-d and Yeshua in words, the more muddled we can become, moving farther and farther from the Big Picture into one narrow corner or another.  The apostle Paul wrote of "mysteries" that G-d has revealed to us (but not explained).  It is a mystery that we are contemplating here.

Therefore, we prefer to stand in awe and humility before Him, rather than try to "explain" how such a thing could be.  The image that we have been given by Yeshua Himself (Father and Son being One) cannot be improved by human commentary.

It is a Greek (logic-based) approach to try to "fix" the "contradictions" so that the ways of G-d can be made more intelligible to our rational minds.  It is a Jewish (Torah-based) approach to let G-d's mysteries stand just as they are, taking the difficulty or paradox as proof that His ways are indeed beyond our understanding.

But where understanding cannot reach and the mind is unfruitful, those born of G-d in the Messiah have a major advantage over both Jews and Greeks.  The Holy Spirit can feed our spirits directly with the richness and the wonder of His nature, enabling us to defy logic and to "know the love of Messiah that surpasses knowledge", causing us to become walking "contradictions" ourselves -- finite beings who are nevertheless filled with "all the fullness" of the boundless and infinite G-d (Eph. 3:19).

6. Are you affiliated with a congregation or organization?

No.  The individuals who work with Restorers come from various backgrounds and theological persuasions.  The core members are members of a small, intimate home fellowship that has been together for over 20 years, one that grew independently of any congregation or organization in Israel or abroad.

This lack of affiliation is a freedom that enables us to serve many different factions and groups who wouldn't necessarily receive service from someone identified with "the other side".  In this way, we can become a bridge to foster greater unity in Israel.

7. Do you get paid for the work you do in Restorers?

No. During the years that Restorers was an "amuta", or registered charity in Israel, all the board members were volunteer. Now that we have discontinued the amuta framework, it is even more true (if it were possible to say that). The co-directors, who are responsible for leading ministry operations, earn their living in regular Israeli jobs. 

8. What about all those rumors of conflict between Restorers and the Nehemiah Fund?

This question has come up on a regular basis for the last 7 years, so for the sake of transparency we will briefly explain the circumstances of those rumors and how we dealt with them.

The only connection between these two Israeli ministries is that RZ director Hannah Weiss had previously served on the executive board of the other ministry (NTCF or Nehemiah Trustee Covenant Fund). She left in a clean way, stating her reasons for resigning in straightforward manner and leaving no "unfinished business" with NTCF.

Some months later, Restorers of Zion was established. At that time rumors began circulating both in Israel and abroad that Restorers had appropriated funding resources belonging to NTCF, and had also sabotaged relations between NTCF and their former funding partner in the US (who had officially parted ways by then).

These charges were proven false in a mediation meeting which took place between NTCF and Restorers leaders in March 2004 in Israel. But due to pressure from certain Messianic leaders, the mediation proceedings and results were never made available to the wider Body of Messiah, and the rumors have continued to circulate until today.

Anyone interested in obtaining more detailed information, including the mediation process and its outcome, is invited to contact us.

9. We see that you switched funding partners. What happened to your other partner, NCC?

In 2009, we started directing US donors to send their gifts for Restorers of Zion through Road to Zion, rather than  our original funding partner, Nehemiah Covenant Corporation (NCC).  Due to disagreement among RZ board members, we were delayed in publishing a statement which ought to have accompanied and explained this move.

We are now able to post a belated explanation, which is necessary in order to prevent any misunderstanding of our reasons for the switch.

First, we want to emphasize that we had a wonderful and edifying relationship with NCC since the earliest days of RZ.  We would be continuing that partnership to this day, if it were not for the fact that NCC closed its doors.  The circumstances of their shut-down make it important that we clearly express our support for them, and also that we explain what happened to bring about their closing (a story that has never been made public before).  

A brief history of NCC's ordeal:

This US-based ministry served the Messianic community in Israel for many years with distinction, raising over a million US dollars for needy Israelis believers, and showing love to our community in many other ways. 
 
In 2003, after a series of internal conflicts, the NCC board were forced to replace their president.  This saved the ministry from IRS penalties and other problems, but it led to retaliatory lawsuits that continued for more than 5 years, costing NCC board members over $150,000 of personal funds. 
 
The reputation of NCC among the believers was greatly damaged during that time, because of false rumors concerning the lawsuits which were accepted without question among the Lord's people.  In spite of that handicap, the NCC ministry continued to serve the Israeli believers to the best of their ability, and Restorers was able to meet some serious financial needs thanks to their efforts.
 
The controversy was officially resolved in May 2006, when the NCC board were cleared of all charges against them in a civil court (Arizona District Court, Phoenix).  The IRS likewise issued an audit statement that showed they had acted properly.  Two appeals were filed in an attempt to overturn the court's decision, in the Arizona Appeals Court and later in the Arizona Supreme Court. Both higher courts upheld the ruling that vindicated NCC.  (We have the documentation, made available by the courts as public-access information, for anyone who is interested.) 

But although NCC leaders were declared innocent repeatedly by the authorities of this world, there was no corresponding move by Messianic leadership to confront the continuing rumors of wrongdoing, lay them to rest, and enable NCC to return to full ministry.  Two full years after being cleared (and commended) by secular authorities, NCC leaders were still being shunned by many Messianic and Christian groups.  

By the end of 2008, the NCC board decided it was best to shut down, and over the following months they dissolved the organization.

We want to publicly express our appreciation and gratitude for the sacrificial love of the NCC board members and their spouses - Tom & Janice, Sherri & Steve, and Lin & Jim.  We thank them for serving the Israeli believers for as long as they did, and for persisting in their service under such hardship.  

We are mindful of what they have suffered, and we pray for their renewal and encouragement, and for restoration of the personal funds that they were forced to spend in order to prove their innocence.  Most of all, we pray for new doors to open for them so that they can freely minister in the area where their hearts have always been: building up the Body of Yeshua in Israel.


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