David Nekrutman

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David Nekrutman
David Nekrutman
David Nekrutman, February 2019
Born
דוד נקרוטמן

(1973-11-28) 28 November 1973 (age 45)
Brooklyn, New York
NationalityAmerican and Israeli
EducationOral Roberts University (M.A.)
University of Pennsylvania (MSW)
John Jay College of Criminal Justice (B.A.)
Occupationtheologian
writer
director
public speaker
columnist
OrganizationCJCUC
Day to Praise
Blessing Bethlehem
Parent(s)Natalie Bell
Allen Nekrutman
RelativesJoseph Nekrutman (brother)

David Nekrutman (Hebrew: דוד נקרוטמן; born 28 November 1973) is an American-Israeli Orthodox Jewish theologian,[1][2] writer, director, columnist, public speaker, and pro-Israel activist. He is a prominent figure and pioneer in the world of Jewish-Christian relations, and is the executive director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC), co-founder of the Day to Praise global interfaith initiative, and founder of the Blessing Bethlehem aid organization. In addition, Nekrutman is a columnist who has written for The Jerusalem Post, Charisma Magazine, and The Times of Israel.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

David Nekrutman was born on 28 November 1973 in Brooklyn, New York, to Natalie (née Bell) and Allen Nekrutman. He is the younger brother of Joseph Nekrutman. Throughout his elementary and high-school years, Nekrutman attended a Yeshiva, where he adorned, in his words, "a black hat", which is significant of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish denomination.[3]

Education[edit]

Nekrutman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.[4]

In 2013, Nekrutman was accepted into Oral Roberts University's theology program, taking a Master of Arts in Biblical Literature, with a concentration in Judaic-Christian Studies.[5]

In May 2018, Nekrutman became the first Orthodox Jew to graduate from Oral Roberts University with a master's degree in Christian Studies.[6]

Jewish-Christian relations[edit]

In the early 2000s, prior to his work with CJCUC, Nekrutman served initially as Director of Political Affairs, and later on as Director of Christian Affairs, for the Consulate General of Israel in New York, a position he acquired after attending a Christian "Night to Celebrate Israel" event at a local community church in Brooklyn. Initially, it was Nekrutman's boss at the consulate, Alon Pinkas, who was intended to take part in the event, but an emergency situation in Israel at the time prevented him from going, and he asked Nekrutman to take his place.[4] After placing a call to his rabbi, Gerald Meister, Nekrutman received the necessary dispensation to attend the event at the church. After attending the event, Nekrutman was later approached by Pinkas and his director of media affairs, Ido Aharoni, and informed that they are changing his portfolio from Director of Political Affairs to Director of Christian Affairs. After hesitation in regards to whether or not he wanted to accept the position, Nekrutman turned once again to Rabbi Meister, who told him that he had been entrusted with a sacred responsibility, and that he could go by way of two paths: "Covenant Theology", in which both Jewish and Christian communities believe they are covenanted; or by way of a "Kodak Moment", and get his picture taken in the paper. Meister told Nekrutman that he preferred he go by way of the first option.[3] Nekrutman eventually accepted the position. While serving as Director of Christian Affairs, he was instrumental in the launching of The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, The Israel Experience, The Christian Jerusalem Day Banquet, and The Watchman on the Wall program with Reverend Robert Stearns of Eagles' Wings, resulting in millions of Christians praying for and supporting Israel and the Jewish people.[5][4]

CJCUC[edit]

David Nekrutman, speaking at the central Day to Praise event at "HaZvi Israel" synagogue in Jerusalem, 23 April 2015.
CJCUC Chancellor & Founder, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, and CJCUC Executive Director, David Nekrutman, meet with Pope Francis in Rome, Italy, 26 October 2016

Since 2008, Nekrutman, under the auspice of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, heads The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, or CJCUC, an educational institution at which Christians who tour Israel can study the Hebrew Bible with Orthodox rabbis and learn about the Hebraic roots of Christianity. The center was established in Efrat in 2008 by Riskin, who has developed a reputation as "the most prominent rabbinic spokesperson to Christian Zionists".[7] CJCUC partners with major Christian interfaith organizations such as Christians United for Israel and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.[7] Its mission is rooted in Isaiah 1:18: "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord."

In 2011, Nekrutman spoke to Korean Christians at a pro-Israel rally held in Seoul.[8] Nekrutman was the first Orthodox Jew to speak at the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) conference and discuss the importance of visiting Israel. In April 2012, he was the main speaker at CUFI's first international event in Nairobi, where over 1,500 Africans attended to support Israel.

In 2013, Nekrutman, was accepted into the Oral Roberts University online Graduate Theology program.[9]

In October 2013, Nekrutman published a controversial appeal for funds from Jews to support the purchase of a permanent site for the Christian-Arab church of Pastor Steven Khoury.[10][11]

In a September 2015 piece for The Times of Israel, Nekrutman appealed to the Israeli Ministry of Education in regards to budget cuts and equal funding for Christian schools in Israel, citing these budget cuts as "collateral damage" of internal political issues and stating that these issues "should never oppress minority populations".[12] Later, together with The Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF) and the Galilee Center for Studies in Jewish-Christian Relations (CSJCR), CJCUC initiated an international campaign urging the Israeli Prime Minister and Education Ministry to Save Christian Education.[13]

Since Rabbi Shlomo Riskin's retirement as president of Ohr Torah Stone in 2018, Nekrutman has taken over as head of all CJCUC activities.[14]

Day to Praise[edit]

In April 2015, Nekrutman along with CJCUC Chancellor and Founder, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, launched the Day to Praise global initiative.[4][15] The initiative takes to form in an annual event on Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel's Independence Day) in which Christians world-wide are called on and invited[16] by Rabbi Riskin to recite Hallel (Psalms 113-118) with the Jewish People in a celebration to praise God for the State of Israel.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28]

Blessing Bethlehem[edit]

In the autumn of 2016, Nekrutman along with CJCUC associate director, Rabbi Pesach Wolicki, founded Blessing Bethlehem, an initiative with the purpose of providing humanitarian aid to the persecuted and impoverished Christian Arabs of Bethlehem and the surrounding communities.

Personal life[edit]

From 2006 to 2013, Nekrutman worked in e-marketing for a major high-tech company in Israel.[5]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Prophecy in the News Conference: David Nekrutman (1:25)". Breaking Israel News on YouTube. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  2. ^ Berkowitz, Adam Eliyahu (18 May 2018). "Should Christians Celebrate Shavuot?". Breaking Israel News. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b "A New Dawn on Jewish-Christian Relations". YouTube 5:40–8:30. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d LOVE, MYRON. "Yeshiva graduate David Nekrutman helping to break new ground in Jewish-Christian dialogue". Jewish Post & News. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Day to Praise – Staff". Day to Praise. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  6. ^ Berkowitz, Adam Eliyahu (10 May 2018). "Building Bridges: Orthodox Jew Graduates Evangelical University". Breaking Israel News. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  7. ^ a b Shapiro, Faydra L. (2012). "The Messiah and Rabbi Jesus: Policing the Jewish-Christian border in Christian Zionism". Culture and Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 12 (4): 463–477. doi:10.1080/14755610.2011.633537.
  8. ^ "Thousands Celebrate Israel in Seoul, Korea". The Jerusalem Connection. 2012. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  9. ^ Garber, Mckensie (Spring 2014). "Online Learning Reaches into Holy Land" (PDF). Excellence Magazine: 13.
  10. ^ Nekrutman, David (October 2013). "A Call to Action". The Jerusalem Post Christian Edition. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Director of Rabbi Riskin's Interfaith Center Appeals for Funding to Build Church in Jerusalem". Jewish Israel. 27 October 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  12. ^ Nekrutman, David (12 September 2015). "Collateral Damage". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  13. ^ "International Campaign Urges Israeli Prime Minister to Save Christian Education". Christian News Wire. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  14. ^ SHARON, JEREMY; HALON, EYTAN (28 February 2019). "INTERFAITH RELATIONS: EVANGELICAL-JEWISH RELATIONS AFTER ECKSTEIN". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Rabbi Riskin Launches 'Day to Praise' Initiative". Christian Newswire. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  16. ^ Poch, Raphael (23 March 2015). ""Day to Praise" Calls on Christians, Jews Worldwide to Unite in Prayer". Breaking Israel News. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Calling on Christians and Jews to Recite 'Hallel' on Israeli Independence Day". Breaking Israel News. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  18. ^ Nekrutman, David (23 March 2015). "A Day to Praise: Join Israel in Thanking God For His Continuous Protection". Charisma Magazine. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  19. ^ Mitchell, Chris (23 March 2015). "Day to Praise Initiative". CBN News. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  20. ^ Posselt, Ilse (24 March 2015). "Initiative Unites Christians and Jews to Praise God for the Miracle of Israel". Bridges for Peace. Archived from the original on 27 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  21. ^ Darg, Christine (29 March 2015). "THIS IS HISTORIC! "Day to Praise" Calls on Christians & Jews Worldwide to Unite in Prayer". Jerusalem Channel. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  22. ^ "The Difference between Prayer and Praise". Voice of Israel. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "以色列獨立日 全球猶基要齊讚美神" (in Chinese). Kingdom Revival Times. 25 March 2015. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  24. ^ Poch, Raphael (8 April 2015). "INSPIRED BY PSALM 117: "DAY TO PRAISE" CALLS ON CHRISTIANS AND JEWS TO THANK GOD FOR ISRAEL'S PROTECTION". Breaking Christian News. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  25. ^ "Inspired by Psalm 117: "Day to Praise" Calls on Christians and Jews to Thank God for Israel's Protection". The Christian Observer. 9 April 2015. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  26. ^ "以色列獨立日 全球猶太人基督徒要齊聲讚美神" (in Chinese). TaiwanBible.com. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  27. ^ Wolicki, Rabbi Pesach (19 April 2015). "Praise Hashem All Nations". Breaking Israel News. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  28. ^ Weisz, Tuly (20 April 2015). "Realization of Biblical Prophecy, God's Promise Coming to Life in Israel". Breaking Israel News. Retrieved 10 November 2015.