Urgent Request Submitted 4-4-2013

Posted in Urgent Requests | 5 comments

We received the following urgent request this morning from our friends in Israel and ask that you pray with us for this critical concern.  Makor HaTikvah is the only Messianic School in Jerusalem .  The following is an appeal from the principal of the school for urgent prayer as it faces a most unrighteous demand from authorities in the Ministry of Education and a court order to shut down the school.

Dear Friends of Makor HaTikvah:
I know that you, along with many others who support and pray for us, have been waiting to hear if we have received an answer concerning our request for state recognition of our school.  We have, and so I want to let you know what has happened.

As some of you may know, about three years ago, Makor HaTikvah Messianic Day School began a process of seeking official state recognition for our school.  Encouraged by the Ministry of Education to come under their supervision, we felt that this would not only give more weight and legitimacy to our school, which had, by that time, already been operating for 20 years, but we also saw this as a way to gain the much needed financial help that would result from such recognition and state funding.

All throughout this process, we carefully and systematically followed all the procedures which were required of us, including making certain structural changes to our building in order to conform to all of the required standards which were demanded of state recognized schools.  We were happy to receive a final approval from the Board of Health and continued to move forward in order to reach the end of this process.

In that regard, we met with regional officials who interviewed us, filled out voluminous paperwork concerning our course of studies, teacher qualifications, etc., and interviewed many students, by speaking to them personally, and viewing their classes.  They commented about how impressed they were with our school, our resources and our levels and standards and that we’d receive an answer within one to three months.  That was around late October/early November of 2012.

After not hearing beyond that time, we began to inquire in the beginning of February, and it wasn’t until a few days ago that we received a final answer which denied our request for a license and was accompanied by a court order to close our school within 30 days.

Among the reasons given for the denial were:

  1. Our teachers are not certified, qualified or possess degrees (a claim which is entirely false)
  2. The building is unsuitable for a school (certainly not according to the Ministry of Health who already gave us their approval)
  3. Our student body is too small with no hope of significant expansion of enrollment in the future (that is nothing which can be claimed with certainty)
  4. We discriminate by only accepting believing children (state recognition and funding would force us to allow the enrollment of any child, but, of course, we know that non-believing Israeli families would not think of enrolling their children in a school which studies New Testament and prays to God in the name of Yeshua)

Since there is a court order to close our school,  we have retained the help of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, which is led by two believing attorneys Calev Myers and Michael Decker who have vast experience and success in representing schools in Israel in similar circumstances. These lawyers also deeply care about the issue (Calev has two girls who study at the school). They have filed a petition has been filed with the courts in order to freeze this order and appeal the decision of the Ministry of Education. We have already received one answer from the court ordering the state attorney’s office to respond by the 7th of April 2013, which is a Sunday, the day the closure order will be in effect (de facto), as the 5th of April is a Friday. The judge will probably render his decision on the injunction on the 7th of April, and therefore the 7th of April will be a very important day regarding the school’s future.  We are asking you to please be in much prayer about this situation.

This is a process which will require an investment of hundreds of hours of work, and the estimated costs for the administrative appeal and closure order are $30,000 plus 17% tax.  Additionally, there is another $650 for court costs.  Of course, if it becomes necessary to file an appeal with the Supreme Court, further legal expenses will be incurred.  It should be noted that these legal fees are being reduced by 30% since we are a Messianic school.

This order comes just days before the Passover holiday when most government offices are shut down and, therefore, leaves us little time to seek the relief which we must.  Additionally, school resumes on April 3rd, meaning that if such an order would be upheld, it would impact the continuing education of the 82 children who attend Makor HaTikvah, making it impossible for them to finish in June.  Of course, finding a school for so many children who live in many different areas of Jerusalem , would, undoubtedly, cause a break in their studies and cause great hardship for parents who would be forced to find an alternative educational situation for their children.

We are writing to you, our supporters, to let you know just how serious this situation is and to ask you, first and foremost to pray for favor from the judge who will be hearing this case.  Additionally, we are praying that our appeal will be accepted and that our attorneys will be able to show that the claims made are both false and biased.  We know that there are a number of orthodox Jewish schools as well as other schools which have small enrollments and whose building is in far less of a desirable condition than ours which has been significantly upgraded in the past four years.

Satan must not win this battle.  In fact, we believe that this is the last deadly dart that he will be able to throw at us before victory comes.

More than ever, we need you to stand with us now and help us win this battle.  The Jerusalem Institute of Justice which was established to legally take cases which discriminate against Jewish believers has agreed to the burden of financing the legal fees so that the school would not feel the weight of this tremendous load.

We are putting our hopes in God and know that we are waging a spiritual battle – not just a legal one.  Thank you so much for your anticipated prayers, intercession and faithful friendship as we stand together to keep Makor HaTikvah open!  Finally, the Lord gave me this verse just this morning:  Prov. 3 The Message Bible:  “No need to panic over alarms or surprises or predictions that doomsday’s just round the corner, because God will be right there with you.  He’ll keep you safe and sound!”

Many blessings,
Cookie Schwaeber-Issan
Principal, Makor HaTikvah Messianic Day School
Along with the School Staff and Board
www.makorhatikvah.org

5 Comments

  1. Still praying for the school and other problems. Has there been any additional information regarding their status?

  2. It is April 13 today. I will be praying for this critical situation even though the deadline is over. We have a POWERFUL God. I pray that this school will remain open. Nothing is impossible with God. Thank you Lord. Also please pray for America.

  3. Do you have an update on this situation?

  4. I will be a prayer warrior in these next few days as you wait for the judges’ ruling.

  5. I am lifting your cause to our Heavenly Father and asking that He resolve your difficult problems and that your school will remain open. May He continue to bless and lead each of you as you strive to bring eternal salvation and belief in our Saviour, Jesus Christ, to the people of Israel. I have been praying quite some time that people of Israel would read the prophetic messages which described in detail and prove that Jesus Christ is our Messiah, God’s Only Begotten Son, who died on the cruel cross so that each of us can have eternal life because of our belief in and acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

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