Israel Media Ministries was founded in 2011 but the story begins way before that. In 1939, a 12 year old Jewish boy from Germany went on a ship on his way to the land of the Bible. This child’s name was Joseph. A few years later his entire family, his parents and his three brothers and sisters were all killed in Auschwitz concentration camp. His youngest sister, Hadassah, who was born after Joseph’s departure, was assassinated by the Nazis when she was only 2 years old. But that wasn’t the end of Joseph’s family. Joseph got married to Ruth, a young Jewish woman who also came to Israel from Germany as a child. They met in Jerusalem on Israel’s Independence Day in 1955, when modern Israel was only 7 years old. When Joseph and Ruth had children they named them after Joseph’s parents. That’s how I got my name, Ze’ev.
Being a son of a Holocaust survivor and growing up in a secular Jewish family in Jerusalem, I never thought too much about God. After all, how can I believe in God after the Holocaust? Who would believe that today I am writing to you not just as a believer in God but as a believer in Jesus? I came to faith in Jesus (I usually call Him by His Hebrew name Yeshua) in 1999 when I was 27 years old.
At that time I already had 4 years of experience in advertising. I worked in advertising companies in Israel and I was doing pretty well, including winning awards for several campaigns in annual Israeli advertising competitions. Advertising ideas came easy to me, it was obvious I had a gift in that area.
After my coming to faith in Yeshua I stayed in the Israeli advertising field for about 6 more years. It was in 2006 that I felt I must do something more extreme to share Yeshua with the people of Israel. That’s when I began to serve full time with an evangelistic organization in Israel. During those next 4 years of ministry, I was very enthusiastic about taking every opportunity to use a variety of media outlets for sharing the gospel in Israel and drawing people to Yeshua. The media outreaches were very fruitful and led to many one-on-one visits with Israelis that were open to consider Yeshua as Israel’s promised Messiah. I saw people from all spectrums of the Israeli society coming to saving faith in Jesus, secular, traditional, atheists, religious and even Holocaust survivors, including my own father! Joseph came to faith about a year before he passed away in 2010.
Then, one night, a very unusual thought came to me — I knew it was the Lord. That was the first time in my life where I can say that God gave me a personal vision. A vision uniquely tied to who He created me to be – to start a new ministry that will be all about reaching Jewish people in Israel through media and making them disciples of the Jewish Messiah. That was the moment when “Israel Media Ministries” was spiritually born. A journey of faith began that day that took my family and I out of Israel for the sake of Israel… much like the story of Joseph.