Thousands of Israelis visit our centres each year drawn by the extensive collection of our historic glass slides shown on an antique glass projector, depicting the life and landscape of the Holy Land in the pre-modern era. The centres also house models of early Jerusalem, including Conrad Schick's famous Temple Mount.
A Unique Experience
Starting in our peaceful gardens, our professional guides lead local groups through facets of the unique history of their cities which many have not heard before. Interactive dialogue and guiding create the framework for exploring the Protestant presence in the Holy Land. Our visitors learn how early CMJ pioneers brought first-time education, which included Arab and Jewish girls, established trade schools, and introduced advanced medical care.
People also learn how the presence of the Protestant community sparked French, American, Italian, and Russian geopolitical interest, creating an environment that contributed to the rapid development of the region. Israeli visitors are fascinated by their own history. The Heritage Centres provide a safe place where they can have meaningful discussions allowing them to express interest in a Protestant involvement with the Jewish people ongoing since 1809.
William Wilberforce (1759-1833)
William Wilberforce was an English politician, philanthropist and staunch evangelical. He was a member of the influential Clapham Sect that had a profound effect on 19th Century British society. He was passionate about the abolition of slavery and equally passionate for the restoration of the Jewish People. Both restoration of the People to the Land and of the People to the Messiah. Wilberforce was a founding member and vice-president of the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews, today known as CMJ. Wilberforce's wife, Barbara Ann, was personally responsible for establishing more than forty CMJ chapters throughout the UK.
Antique Glass Slide Collection
CMJ Israel owns an extraordinary antique glass slide collection. With over 4,000 slides, it chronicles the history of CMJ's work around the world. The slides are viewed using the Magic Lantern, an antique projector designed to view this historic archive. The slides are kept at the Conrad Schick Library located on the Christ Church campus and at Beit Immanuel in Jaffa.
Exile and the Restoration Movement
Following the death of Herod the Great in 4BCE, Jerusalem was ruled by a series of corrupt and brutal Roman governors provoking the Great Revolt of 66. General Vespasian and his son Titus crushed the rebellion, razing Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE. Another disastrous rebellion in 132 CE resulted in Jewish exile and 1800 years of Diaspora.
The seeds of the Restoration of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel began with the invention of the Printing Press. In the hands of common man, the Bible inspired many Evangelical Protestants of God’s unchanging love and plans for the Jewish nation. Bible-believing Christians, particularly in Britain, joined in the hope of the Jewish people for a homeland in Israel.
CMJ has worked tirelessly across continents and through two centuries to restore the Jewish people to the Land and to restore the Gospel of the Messiah to the Jewish People. This hope has been realised in modern times.
"The real force behind the movement for the restoration of the Jews to Palestine was the 'religious party' ... a body of devout and high-minded English Christians who, looking at the ferment in the East believed that the time was at hand for the fulfillment of prophecy by the return of the Chosen People."
Leonard Stein, Jewish Historian