Mr. David Nekrutman
What is the main focus of your activities today?
How long have you been doing that?
What are some of the successful related programs or projects that you have done this year and in past years?
Besides bringing hundreds of Christian pastors to Israel, The Ohr Torah Stone Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) has pioneered several projects, including:
- A Christian academic program that brings professors of Bible, Theology, Church History, Preaching, and other related disciplines to Israel in order to incorporate the experience into the classroom
- The first positive Orthodox Rabbinical statement on Christianity
- The first Hebraic Bible studies program in Israel to engage with Christian tourists
- Advancement of Israeli Jewish-African American Christian relations
- The first pro-Israel resolution in the United Methodist Church
- The first Orthodox Jewish program to deliver food care packages to Christian Arabs in Bethlehem who are experiencing financial difficulty
- The Day to Praise, in which Christians adopt Israel’s Independence Day by reciting Hallel (Psalms 113-118) with the Jewish people
How did you get to where you are today?
I have taken the time to learn about Christianity and the theology of different movements as well as served this calling, in humbleness and mystery, under the basis of a relational paradigm.
What is your “testimony”?
My calling in Jewish-Christian relations began with a “yes” 19 years ago when the Israeli Consulate in New York asked me to take the Israel-Christian relational portfolio after attending a 2001 Night to Celebrate Israel at Bay Ridge Christian Center in Brooklyn, New York. With a medieval understanding of Christianity and much prejudiced against Christians, it was my rabbi, Dr. Gerald Meister, who encouraged me to accept this calling. The Israeli Consulate also gave me the time to learn the tenets and history of Christianity to develop a relational model to engage with them. In 2002, I began a specific path in developing a relationship with people who affiliate with Spirit-filled Christianity. This led me to work with Reverend Robert Stearns of Eagles Wings to unfold the International Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, the Watchman on the Wall and the Israel Experience.
In 2007, Rabbi Riskin asked me to join Ohr Torah Stone to establish the first Orthodox institution to engage with Christians on a theological and religious basis. We inaugurated the CJCUC in 2008 with 26 pastors. Since then, I have graduated from Oral Roberts University’s theology program. Under the vision of Rabbi Kenneth Brander, the new President of Ohr Torah Stone, I am creating the first curriculum to teach rabbis and Jewish educators on how to properly engage with Christians.
What do you think God is doing with regard to Jewish-Christian relations?
Hashem is moving us incrementally forward in fulfilling Zechariah 14:9 – And the Eternal shall be king over all the earth; on that day there shall the Eternal be one and His name one.