OUR HISTORY

It was the 1930s, and the face of Europe was changing. The winds of war were blowing, and caught in the crosshairs were the Jewish people.


Filled with concern, Pastors and Christian businessmen gathered in Philadelphia. Requests for help were coming in regularly, and these believers knew they had to act. Verbal support was not enough.

The tipping point came on November 9–10, 1938. Kristallnacht. The night of the broken glass. The Nazi-led pogrom spread throughout Germany and Austria like wildfire as mobs burned down thousands of Jewish synagogues, homes, and businesses and killed hundreds of Jewish people. Adolf Hitler’s intentions became crystal clear.

These pastors and businessmen decided now was the time to act. They would help Jewish people who were scrambling to escape the surging Nazi threat. Many Jewish people were trying to immigrate, but the United States required they have a sponsor who could guarantee the desperate immigrants would not become financial burdens to the U.S. Government.

The men meeting in Philadelphia knew their decision would have consequences. Time, money, and resources would be needed in order to make a difference. So they made room in their busy schedules because they knew the need was urgent.

These men—among them, Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder of Dallas Theological Seminary; and Harry Ironside, beloved pastor of Moody Church in Chicago—all made a choice to stand with the Jewish people and give them much-needed help and relief as they fled Nazi tyranny.

The men met on December 1, 1938 to begin the ministry and called themselves The Friends of Israel Refugee Relief Committee.

They knew the Jewish people occupied a special place in God’s heart as His Chosen People. His Word makes it clear. Their theological conviction resulted in compassionate action when it counted most. They used their pulpits to make the needs known and confirm to their congregations God’s plan for the Jewish people. They called on Christians to give generously so the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would know they had friends they could depend on during troubling times.

Christians responded. And The Friends of Israel was able to work with like-minded organizations in Great Britain and Europe to supply clothes, food, passports, and passage out of Europe for Jewish people desperate to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

Today the same God-given passion that moved our founders to establish The Friends of Israel moves us to compassion for His people, “the apple of His eye” ( Zech. 2:8). It was our honor to serve them then, and it is our mission never to stop today. To paraphrase Jesus, “When you help one of the least of My Jewish brothers, you help me.”

It was the 1930s, and the face of Europe was changing. The winds of war were blowing, and caught in the crosshairs were the Jewish people.

Filled with concern, Pastors and Christian businessmen gathered in Philadelphia. Requests for help were coming in regularly, and these believers knew they had to act. Verbal support was not enough.

The tipping point came on November 9–10, 1938. Kristallnacht. The night of the broken glass. The Nazi-led pogrom spread throughout Germany and Austria like wildfire as mobs burned down thousands of Jewish synagogues, homes, and businesses and killed hundreds of Jewish people. Adolf Hitler’s intentions became crystal clear.

These pastors and businessmen decided now was the time to act. They would help Jewish people who were scrambling to escape the surging Nazi threat. Many Jewish people were trying to immigrate, but the United States required they have a sponsor who could guarantee the desperate immigrants would not become financial burdens to the U.S. Government.

The men meeting in Philadelphia knew their decision would have consequences. Time, money, and resources would be needed in order to make a difference. So they made room in their busy schedules because they knew the need was urgent.

These men—among them, Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder of Dallas Theological Seminary; and Harry Ironside, beloved pastor of Moody Church in Chicago—all made a choice to stand with the Jewish people and give them much-needed help and relief as they fled Nazi tyranny.

The men met on December 1, 1938 to begin the ministry and called themselves The Friends of Israel Refugee Relief Committee.

They knew the Jewish people occupied a special place in God’s heart as His Chosen People. His Word makes it clear. Their theological conviction resulted in compassionate action when it counted most. They used their pulpits to make the needs known and confirm to their congregations God’s plan for the Jewish people. They called on Christians to give generously so the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would know they had friends they could depend on during troubling times.

Christians responded. And The Friends of Israel was able to work with like-minded organizations in Great Britain and Europe to supply clothes, food, passports, and passage out of Europe for Jewish people desperate to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

Today the same God-given passion that moved our founders to establish The Friends of Israel moves us to compassion for His people, “the apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8). It was our honor to serve them then, and it is our mission never to stop today. To paraphrase Jesus, “When you help one of the least of My Jewish brothers, you help me.”

Get To Know Us

Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;

I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

–Genesis 12:1–3

Join with us in blessing Israel