The Bram Center
The Bram Center for Messianic Jewish Learning is at work this summer in the heart of Jerusalem. It’s a place where people can gather to study, learn together, and share a sense of community under the name of Yeshua.
Here in Israel, we are finding homeless Messianic Jews who desire to be in a movement that is firmly rooted in Torah and some form of traditional Judaism. They don’t want to give up their Jewish identity and amalgamate into a church-like environment. There are a few congregations here in Israel that are Torah-positive, but not many.
Last week at the Bram Center we hosted a lecture given by Israeli historian and Messianic Jew Dr. Gershon Nerel. Gershon specializes in the history of Messianic Judaism—or Jewish Believers in Yeshua (JBY), as he prefers to call them—in the modern State of Israel.
We mourned, but our mourning was not as intense as it could have been. Redemption is distant, but it is drawing near. As Jews, we can walk into our ancient city; we can go near to our ancient wall, we can see the Temple Mount, even if we can not easily access it. We can see that the situation has changed since Jeremiah’s day.
We can, through learning, directly express our admiration for God; we can, through learning, directly receive revelation. Whether it is undertaken individually or corporately, learning itself is a spiritual act, an act of worship. True spiritual learning is an incredibly meaningful experience. It draws one close to God in openness and praise.
There are four components to the “light of the world”: the Jewish people, the Torah, the land of Israel, and Messiah. Any combination of these things increases the light of the revelation of God in the world, but the full potential is realized only when all four unite as one.
We love to host these types of events at the Bram Center. This is where we shine—when we can provide teaching, enable discussion, and provide excellent teachers with a platform to speak. We have so much occurring at the Bram Center every day, and this is just one of our many functions.
The focus of the Bram Center is to seek our own community, while challenging evangelistic theological paradigms. We must be aware of the many influences that have, perhaps incorrectly, shaped our thinking. And, we must be willing to challenge them in a thoughtful and coherent manner.
Toby Janicki’s recent trip to Israel with his family featured the debut guest-lecture event of the Bram Center in Jerusalem. The young demographic of Israeli Yeshua-disciples attending the lecture offers hope for the future of Messianic Judaism in Israel and around the world.
The work that The Bram Center has begun and will continue to advance is absolutely ground-breaking. It has the opportunity to break into the Jewish community at large, stir the pot, and bring the message of Yeshua into the forefront of the dialogue as a recognizably Jewish faith.
A place to rediscover Yeshua, to find resources and assistance, to provide a theological and communal backbone for Messianic Judaism in Israel: this is the vision of the Bram Center that, with God’s help, my friends and family and I are building here.
He knew no other world than that of Orthodox Judaism—then his world was rocked as he met Yeshua his Messiah, engaged in discipleship, and then one day he disappeared. Where is Michael today? Did our community serve him well, or did we drop the ball?
Messianic Jews in the land of Israel should be exemplary advocates for Torah. Yet to date, due to a multitude of social, religious, and cultural pressures, Israeli disciples of Yeshua have drawn back from exploring the beauty of the Torah and the life it describes.
David provided a spark that lit a still-growing fire in today’s Christian and Messianic Jewish world. However, he has taught us all perhaps a more important lesson through the example of his steadfastness and consistency, through showing us what it looks like to have a dream and to work toward it.