About CMJ SA

Church's Ministry among the Jewish People

Our Vision & Values

CMJ SA works inter-denominationally with congregations to increase awareness of the Jewish roots of the Christian faith, to combat antisemitism in society and foster respectful conversations between Jews and Christians about our common and divergent beliefs.

CMJ SA seeks to equip individuals and local congregations to:

  • Understand and value the Jewish roots of the Christian faith, countering common misperceptions about Judaism and the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament).
  • Fight growing antisemitism in the church and South African society, including Holocaust denialism.
  • Foster respectful conversations between Jews and Christians about our common and divergent beliefs.

We affirm the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds as essential and sufficient statements of faith.

We affirm that the Church has always been comprised of Jews and Gentiles. The truths and practices of historic Christianity have been handed down to us by the Jewish people for which we are indebted. Being supported by the root (Romans 11:18), we affirm our identity as found in our Jewish heritage.

We acknowledge Christian arrogance and antisemitism towards the Jewish people and Judaism and are determined to uproot this negative attitude from our sphere of influence and encourage other Christians to do the same.

We value the work of Jewish commentators and scholars throughout the ages who have enriched the Church and our understanding of the Bible. This does not mean that we agree with everything they propose, only that it is possible for Christians to learn much from Jewish people.

We support the right of the Jewish people to a homeland in Israel while always insisting that Israel act in a moral and ethical way towards the Palestinians and its neighbours, as we would any other country.

We categorically reject any form of deceit, manipulation or trickery in making known our particular understanding of Jesus among the Jewish people.

Church's Ministry among the Jewish People

Board & Staff

CMJ South Africa is a registered trust (IT1412/2013). Governance is provided by the CMJ South Africa Trustees and is supported by a Board of Reference.

  • Rev John Atkinson (Founding Trustee)
  • Mr Barry Jessop (Trustee)
  • Mr John McPetrie (Trustee)
  • Mrs Di Duncan (Trustee)
  • Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe (Board of Reference)
  • Pastor Murray Tessendorf (Board of Reference)
  • Prof Eric Bateman (Board of Reference)
  • Mr Thomas Fehrsen (Treasurer)
  • Canon Peter Houston (National Director)
  • Ms Edith Sher (Staff)
  • Mrs Sue Penzhorn (Staff)

CMJ SA works through Shoresh Tours in Israel.

Our Tours
Shoresh Tours in Israel.

Shoresh is the Hebrew word for "root" and, with our in-depth Bible teaching by believing and qualified tour guides, you'll discover more about the Jewish roots of the Christian faith than ever before - right in the place where it all happened, the Land of Israel.

What you will experience on your Shoresh tour:

  • In-depth Bible teaching.
  • Study of Jesus in His First Century Jewish context.
  • Understanding the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.
  • Exploring modern and ancient Israel, primarily biblically authentic sites.
  • Learning how the God of the Bible is very much active in Israel today.

Here are some sample itineraries to whet your appetite for Shoresh Tour's wide range of Israel Study Tours.

Simply click download in the section below:

The Life and World of Jesus

Introducing the life and times of Jesus the Messiah.


God's Faithfulness

Visit the places where important Biblical events took place.


The Roots of Faith

Old Testament and New Testament survey tour.


Young Adults Tour

Israel Adventure tour designed for young adults.


CMJ SA is part of a global CMJ family.

Like any family, we have a certain family likeness but also have distinct emphases in what we do as we have grown up differently over the ages from our origins in Mother England.
CMJ Israel
CMJ Australia-NZ
CMJ Ireland
CMJ Canada
CMJ Hong Kong

Church’s Ministry among the Jewish People

Our History
Our History

Founded in London in 1809, the Church’s Ministry among Jewish People (CMJ) has been active in the Land of Israel since the 1820s. Moved by an awareness of God’s faithfulness to His covenant purposes, Christians recognized that God had promised to restore the people of Israel to their land, and to their Messiah.

Moved by compassion for the plight of the impoverished Jews in Palestine, CMJ established modern clinics, the first modern hospital in the Middle East, farms, workshops, vocational training, and schools for boys and for girls. CMJ also brought modern architecture, archeology, a library and more into the region. These efforts benefited all the people in the land – Arabs, Druze, Armenians and others. CMJ actively opposed antisemitism in the region and many of its supporters were key in promoting the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in the Holy Land.

In 1841, Michael Solomon Alexander was appointed as the Anglican bishop of Jerusalem (the first Jewish bishop in Jerusalem since 135 CE), and together with the Prussians, CMJ built Christ Church Jerusalem, the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East. Although life in Israel is vastly different today, CMJ remains as committed, and its work as varied, as in the past.

CMJ South Africa is a relative newcomer to the global CMJ family. It was started in South Africa in 1978 and has developed a reputation for teachings that help churches from all denominations to reconnect the Bible to its Jewish context. CMJ SA is also at the forefront of advocacy against antisemitism both in the Church and in Society.