FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

People often have questions about B’ney Yosef North America. If you have a question, feel free to submit it to info@bneyyosefna.com. Below are some of the questions we have received along with their answers. (Click on the question to see more detail and the response.)

  1.   At a high level, what is the vision for BYNA?
  2.   Where/who can we direct someone who has questions about the legitimacy of BYNA?
  3.   Is BYNA moving ahead of the Messiah?
  4.   Has anyone been appointed as the communications person to answer questions about BYNA?
  5.   Initially, how will the donated funds to BYNA be used?
  6.   Do the Elders of BYNA envision BYNA functioning as the greater umbrella for Hebraic roots fellowships and congregations?
  7.   What does BYNA envision the goals of the National Shabbats to be? How does BYNA envision interacting with local fellowships and congregations?
  8.   What will be the role of individuals, fellowships, and congregations toward helping to unify BYNA?
  9.   Within the mission, will there be future plans to interface with the State of Israel (i.e., supporting specific needs in the land)?

 

    1. Question:
      Various discussions have taken place as to what the actual vision is for B’ney Yosef North America (BYNA). For example, discussions have included BYNA establishing its own bank, providing services for members, and establishing community. At a high level, what is the vision for BYNA?

      Response:  
      BYNA exists to assist the emergence of the reconstituted people of Northern Israel – the House of Ephraim, or Yosef (Joseph). As our name indicates, we seek to do this on behalf of and in cooperation with that part of the returning House of Yosef located on the continent of North America. In time we hope to develop community and commercial structures, but for now our vision is limited to the educational function of promoting Ephraimite awareness, and the spiritual function of nurturing repentance and reconciliation among the fragmented elements of our people. In accomplishing these twin functions, we seek to establish and strengthen ties with all of YHVH’s people, including the various streams of Hebrew Roots and Messianic fellowships, as well as the traditional Christian church and non-Messianic Judaism. Ephraimites may be found in all of these elements, and each plays a role in the completion of the Almighty’s plan of redemption for the Whole House of Israel. BYNA works to cultivate good relationships wherever and whenever possible, while maintaining our core belief in the promises of YHVH that He will restore all Twelve Tribes of Israel, and that many people of the returning Lost Ten Tribes of Yosef/Ephraim are now found within the Christian church and the emerging Hebrew Roots Movement.

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    1. Question:
      There is much skepticism around the formation of such organizations as BYNA. There have been other seemingly legitimate organizations or persons that have come before BYNA; but only turn out to be false endeavors. How is BYNA different? Where/who can we direct someone who has questions about the legitimacy of BYNA?

      Response:  
      BYNA is not the vision of a single person, nor is it established to promote any particular teacher, doctrine, or agenda. Those who came together to form BYNA did not intend to establish a new corporation, denomination, or any other organization. We have established this continental network in response to what we collectively believe is the urging of the Ruach HaKodesh to partner with Him in assembling the dry bones of the Ephraimite people. We do not know exactly how that will proceed, which is why we do not promote a firm program or agenda.
      The Scriptures are clear that Messiah Himself will complete the regathering of all of Israel’s tribes and the reunion of Yehuda (Judah; the Jewish people) and Yosef. We believe these promises, and we believe that one day the entire nation of Israel, of which we are a part, will reside in the Land promised to Avraham (Abraham), Yitzhak (Isaac), Yakov (Jacob), and their descendants.
      BYNA does not promise to make that happen as other organizations may have done in the past. We do not claim to speak for all Ephraimites in the world, and not even all Ephraimites in North America. We do not seek to dominate, supplant, replace, or eliminate any other organization, ministry, teacher, or fellowship. Instead, we offer ourselves as a vehicle for promoting the identity of the Lost Tribes, and for achieving peace and reconciliation among the brethren so that we may all begin to think of ourselves as one people. In other words, BYNA does not come with answers to all the questions of how the people of Ephraim will return to the Land of our fathers, but rather with a humble call for unity and for cooperative efforts to find those answers together.
      Our Elders welcome the opportunity to engage in dialogue with all who have questions about our legitimacy, or anything else they would like to know about BYNA. To contact them, please visit our website at bneyyosefna.com, or send an email to info@bneyyosefna.com.

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    1. Question:
      We have encountered people who say they are waiting for the Messiah to return to bring us back to the land. They ask, “Is BYNA moving ahead of the Messiah?” What explanation does BYNA give to these people? What are the scriptures to back up the explanation?

      Response:  
      We do not believe we are moving ahead of Messiah. First of all, we are not making concrete plans for a return to the Land. That is the business of the Almighty, and Him alone. However, He has given tasks for human beings to do in partnership with Him (Deuteronomy 29:29; Psalm 115:16; Matthew 25:14-30; Revelation 3:20).
      In the process of restoring the Whole House of Israel, YHVH has consistently worked through human agents. He used the Zionist Movement and various Jewish individuals and organizations to achieve the national restoration of our brethren of Yehuda. Why would we expect Him to do differently in the restoration of Yosef? BYNA is but one part of that process.
      Already the Torah Awakening of the past several years has quickened the hearts of multitudes around the world to their Israelite identity. BYNA represents the next step in that awakening: the coming together of those moved to proclaim with boldness that they are part of the reconstituted people of Northern Israel.
      This, too, is consistent with the record of Scripture. We are looking forward to the Second, or Greater, Exodus (Jeremiah 16:14-15, 23:7-8), and we expect that the patterns of the First Exodus from Egypt will in some way be repeated (I Corinthians 10:1-13). Exodus 3:16-18 and 4:29-30 tell us that YHVH sent Moshe (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron) to the Elders of the children of Israel. When they arrived in Egypt they gathered the Elders to explain to them what the Almighty intended to do. This tells us that even though our fathers of ancient Israel were oppressed in Egypt, they still managed to establish a high degree of organization.
      If the pattern of the First Exodus holds for the Greater Exodus, then those whom the Almighty sends to take His people back to the Land will find them organized and ready to receive instruction. The hope of BYNA’s leadership is to promote and assist the process or organizing our people.
      We do not claim to be agents of the Greater Exodus commissioned by YHVH in the same way as Moshe and Aharon. At best we are forerunners called to facilitate the process of gathering and helping to organize the people of Yosef in North America in anticipation of our Messiah’s return to complete the regathering of all Israel in the Messianic Age.

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    1. Question:
      Has anyone been appointed as the communications person to answer questions about BYNA in the future? Is so, what is the contact information for this person(s)?

      Response:  
      Each of our Elders and Administrators is qualified to answer questions about BYNA. (You can learn more about our elders by viewing the Elder Biography page.) Initial inquiries will be addressed by the Elders, each of whom has responsibility for the following geographic areas:

Greater Northeast (Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nunavut, Labrador Newfoundland, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia)
Elder: To Be Announced

The Greater Northwest (WA, OR, ID, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory, Northwest Territory, Alaska)
Elder: Dr. Iglaliq Suuqiina

Northwest US (NV, UT, WY, MT, ND, SD, MI, MN, WI)
Elder: Dr. John Conrad

Northeast US (CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT)
Elder: Mark Webb

West Coast US (AZ, CA, HI)
Elder: Ed Boring

Southwest US (CO, KS, MO, NE, NM, OK, TX)
Elder: Johnny Marrs

Midwest US (AR, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, OH)
Elder: Frank Houtz

Mideast US (PA, MS, NJ, TN, VA, WV)
Elder: Barry Phillips

Southeast US (AL, GA, FL, NC, SC)
Elder: Dr. David Jones

Questions can be submitted through our website (bneyyosefna.com), or by email to info@bneyyosefna.com

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    1. Question:
      Initially, how will the donated funds to BYNA be used?

      Response:  
      Our initial vision for use of donations is, first, to establish a fund for assistance of widows, orphans, and others in need among BYNA’s affiliates. Second, donations will be applied to the costs of doing business as a nonprofit faith-based corporation. Expenses already identified include normal administrative expenses, official travel of BYNA representatives to events such as Revive 2016, trademark and copyright protection, website development and maintenance, and video production. Future expenses could include lease of office space, lease or purchase of equipment, and salaries for employees. BYNA’s leaders (Administrators and Elders) currently serve on a part time basis without compensation other than reimbursement for expenses they have incurred on official business.

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    1. Question:
      As the Elders of BYNA formulate the mission, do they envision BYNA functioning as the greater umbrella for Hebraic roots fellowships and congregations? If so, what type of services do the Elders foresee providing for individuals, fellowships and congregations? Will these services overlap with services of existing organizations?

      Response:  
      BYNA’s expansion is not according to an established plan, but we have considered the possibility of serving as an umbrella organization for fellowships, congregations, and other organizations. Our intent is to facilitate building connections among existing entities rather than creating something new to replace or duplicate them.
      We would like to promote connections to the Land and people of Israel and to the Jewish community in North America through participation in or support of initiatives like Lev Haolam, HaYovel, and the Taglit Birthright program. BYNA may, in time, develop programs like these on our own, but for now we see the wisdom in working through existing organizations like the Messianic Covenant Community (MCC), Hebraic Roots Network, Hebrew Nation Radio, and Alliance of Redeemed Israel to promote, assist, and help grow the services already offered.
      Our most ambitious vision may be the establishment of a Chamber of Commerce to encourage the economic development and networking of Hebrew Roots fellowships, congregations, and communities. It will take time to reach that goal, so our initial expectations are more modest. For now we are content to serve as a forum for making connections and a facilitator for removing barriers to cooperation among the many different elements of the Hebrew Roots Movement in North America.

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    1. Question:
      What does BYNA envision the goals of the National Shabbats to be? How does BYNA envision interacting with local fellowships and congregations?

      Response:  
      The National Shabbats are the main vehicle for BYNA’s growth. This happens not by establishing membership procedures, but by setting aside a time each month when believers from across the spectrum of Messiah’s Body can join together as part of His covenant people, Israel, to worship our King on the day He sanctified.
      The National Shabbat initiative does not seek to compete with any local fellowships or congregations, but rather enhance the work of local fellowships by promoting unity and facilitating connections among individuals and organizations. These connections are already beginning in many areas, often thanks to a similar vision. We would welcome the opportunity to connect with fellowships and congregations working toward city, state, province, or regional unity to see if they would want to affiliate with the National Shabbat initiative.
      To find out more, visit the National Shabbat website at http://nationalshabbat.com/.

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    1. Question:
      What will be the role of individuals, fellowships, and congregations toward helping to unify BYNA?

      Response:  
      The first thing individuals, fellowships, and congregations can do is to ask questions and offer ideas in the interest of promoting our mutual identity as Israelites of the returning House of Yosef/Ephraim. By embracing that identity, our people will come together as a distinct people.
      There is room for doctrinal differences and diverse practices of Torah observance based on the many valid forms of Scripture interpretation. Diversity should not be a cause of division, but a vehicle for unity as we seek to understand one another and the parts each of us play in the Almighty’s Kingdom plan.
      As Ephraimites, we share a love of the Torah given by YHVH through Moshe, and a devotion to Messiah Yeshua, Who lived out that same Torah and taught His followers to imitate His example. We also share a love for our brethren of Yehuda and a desire to be reunified with them when Messiah Son of David makes the Two Sticks one in His hand (Ezekiel 37:15-28).
      Any difference of opinion or practice which does not contradict these things we hold in common should not serve as a means of division. It remains to be seen whether we can pass that test and learn to live together in love as Torah requires and as our Messiah and His apostles taught. If individuals and fellowships/congregations can do so, then they will not only be helping to unify BYNA, but will be fulfilling the greater purposes of our King in unifying His people worldwide.

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    1. Question:
      Within the mission, will there be future plans to interface with the State of Israel (i.e., supporting specific needs in the land)?

      Response:  
      There is a desire to interface with official and private entities within the State of Israel, but how that will happen is yet to be seen. Currently there is no official BYNA outreach to the Government of Israel or to other organizations, but BYNA leaders have been blessed with the beginnings of relationships with Jewish counterparts in the Land. We anticipate that this “behind the scenes” relationship building will be the Almighty’s means for us to establish credibility and trust with our Israeli brethren and with the Jewish community at large. This is the example we have seen in the work of organizations like HaYovel and the Kibbutz Beth-El Christian community in Israel. We seek to work with and learn from organizations like these so that we may join them as part of the bridge YHVH is building between the two parts of His people. As we do so, we will be on the alert for doors that open to Jewish organizations looking for the return of the Ten Tribes or seeking to promote interfaith dialogue with Christians and Messianic/Hebraic believers, and also to officials of the Government of Israel.

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