Chosen People Ministries’ History in the United Kingdom
The following history of the work of Chosen People Ministries in the United Kingdom is a compilation from the official history of the mission from its founding in 1894 to 1994.  In general, the text footnotes of this article have been taken directly from that work.
The ministry of the American Board of Missions to the Jews (ABMJ) in England began shortly before the Second World War. In 1938, the then director of ABMJ, Joseph Cohn, received a letter from Leon Awerbuch. Awerbuch was one of the Jewish believers in Yeshua (JBY) who belonged to a colony of believers in Kishineff, Bessarabia, founded by Joseph Rabinowitz (1837-1899). Since the colony was at the brink of financial disaster due to increased persecution in Russia, Leon was appealing for aid. This was not the first time that Awerbuch had been in contact with Cohn. 
Shortly before the German war machine moved into Bessarabia, Leon and Marie Awerbuch escaped to England where they began working with the Barbican Mission to the Jews among the Jews of London. From London, Mr. Awerbuch again wrote to Joseph Cohn, stating that he would continue the Mission’s relief efforts to the colony of Jewish believers in Kishineff for as long as he was able. In his letter Leon Awerbuch said:
We thank you for your letter, and also for the check. I will forward the money to Kishineff as soon as possible, after the crisis of war is settled, and the brethren also will write to you. We have learned from their latest letters that there are great persecutions for the believers. The authorities ask for such formalities and conditions to have religious meetings, that it is hard to fulfil. Several preachers have been put into prisons for having prayer meetings, which now are illegal. We do not know what may happen with our community at Kishineff. It is impossible to stand all the new regulations. In spite of all the difficulties the brethren are very brave, and grow spiritually, thank God. 
It is not clear when the Awerbuchs left the Barbican Mission and joined the ABMJ, but it was sometime between 1939 and 1941.When the Awerbuchs could no longer get relief funds into Russia and Europe, they continued working with the Mission by carrying on a relief ministry among the growing Jewish refugee community within London – a work they faithfully carried on until August 16, 1941, when the Lord called Leon Awerbuch home. Mrs. Marie Awerbuch shared her thoughts of that sad hour in a letter to Joseph Cohn. She said:
My dear, dear friend, my all I had on this earth is now with the Lord. He will suffer no more, and no calumny or calamity will hurt him anymore! He was only fifty six years old, but the doctor said that he is worn out. Certainly not by years! He was conscious to the end. He asked me for a piece of paper as he wanted to write something. It was very difficult for me to decipher his writing, but I managed it. It was in Hebrew: “The Lord Jesus Christ is Victory.” When I read it to him he said, “Yes, that is for you and for me.” That small piece of paper is such a treasure to me!.
He was ill six months and oh, how patient he was – always thinking of others! My joy, my pleasure, was to help my husband, and when I saw he was content and pleased with it, that was my best reward. 
The persecution was clearly increasing as Chamberlain’s “Peace in our time” began to ring hollow. In 1942 Cohn wrote in retrospect:
It was our privilege to fellowship with the Kishineff brethren! We purchased for them a plot which was dedicated for a number of uses. Among them was a portion set aside as a cemetery for Jewish Christians, another portion for a children’s playground and picnic area, and on still another piece of ground is the tombstone covering the place where rests the body of their beloved Rabinowitz. We also were able from time to time to send generous gifts to help in the carrying on of the work, until the war made further support impossible. 
In the same year, just a few months after the death of Leon Awerbuch, Joseph Cohn appointed Marie Awerbuch to carry on the Mission’s outreach among the refugee Jews in London. Reports of her experiences appeared within many of the issues of The Chosen People magazine. Her love was demonstrated in her selfless acts of charity, and through her witness, many Jewish people came to faith in Yeshua.
By 1945 Joseph Cohn was planning “post war strategy” for the Mission’s European outreach. His plans included using London as the base for a European Headquarters of the Mission. He began laying the groundwork in London by hiring additional staff. Rev. Peter Smoljar, who had served as a missionary in Russia under the Mildmay Mission to the Jews of London, had also returned to London as the war engulfed Russia. Joseph had hired a young Jewish believer, Abraham Gradowsky, to work for the Mission in Birmingham, England.  When Joseph learned that Peter Smoljar was in London, he asked him if he would be willing to train Abraham Gradowsky to be one of the Mission’s post-war missionaries to Europe. Nothing more about either person is mentioned in A Rabbi’s Vision and it may be surmised that the work in Europe did not prosper as planned, as the devastation of the Shoah became increasingly apparent.
By 1946 the plight of the colony of Jewish believers in Bessarabia was revealed in the ABMJ periodical, The Shepherd of Israel, which stated that:
A colony of believing Jews was formed, which existed all through the passing years, until only a few years ago the Nazis swept down upon the helpless town, and with savagery unprecedented tortured these very Jewish believers, until all were done to horrible death. 
The ministry of the ABMJ had begun in England as a direct result of Nazi atrocities on the Continent.
The ministry in England was growing, and in an effort to ensure the continuation of the Mission’s outreach there, and to bring about the realisation of Joseph Cohn’s dream for a European Headquarters in London, the Board passed a motion at their August 30, 1950 meeting to immediately seek to have the Mission registered as a foreign corporation in England. They also authorized Mark Kagan to locate and move toward the purchase of a building for the ministry in London. 
Properties suitable for the ministry were sought. Mr. and Mrs. Galyord A. Barkley (M. Barkley became a member of the Board of Directors in 1943) had already offered to donate one fourth of the purchase price on a property.  Instead, Joseph Cohn secured some rented rooms in a building that belonged to the Mildmay Mission to the Jews.  The Mission did, however, obtain registration in England. It was registered as The American Board of Missions to the Jews, Limited. 
The Mission’s hesitancy to purchase property in London evidently generated some difficulty with the staff there. Although nothing is mentioned in the Minutes or in The Chosen People magazine regarding the workers in London being disgruntled, the February 1952 issue of The Chosen People magazine, in a section entitled Transition, states:
In London, our newly appointed missionary is Joshua Wilkowsky, a brother who has known the Lord for over 35 years, and who has the respect of the Jewish population of London wherever he goes. Miss Rayner is no longer with us. 
Joshua Wilkowsky was born c. 1891, having come to faith in the Messiah at the age of seventeen. At the time he was hired as the Mission’s worker in London, he was a man of sixty-one years of age. There is no mention of his background in either the official Board Minutes, in correspondence, or in The Chosen People magazine. Nor is there any mention as to why he was hired. It would appear, however, that he was to be a “transition” worker until such time as Joseph could put a staff and a work back together again – action that was never taken due to Joseph’s untimely death in October, 1953.
Although Joshua Wilkowsky remained on staff until 1963, Joseph Cohn’s death essentially effected an end to the Mission’s outreach in London. Wilkowsky’s main duties were to visit Jewish shop-keepers, to do hospital visitation, and to distribute copies of The Shepherd of Israel, tracts, etc. He also maintained a monthly prayer meeting for the ministry. His wife assisted him in the work, and they faithfully reported on their activities to the readers of The Chosen People magazine. In 1956 the Wilkowsky’s reported:
The prayer fellowship which takes place the first Saturday in each month has been growing steadily.
To sum up the year’s activities: over 2000 calls have been made at Jewish homes; 4000 copies of The Shepherd of Israel have been distributed, and about 2000 tracts handed out. For all of this we thank the Lord. 
Subsequent to Daniel Fuchs’ appointment as Missionary Secretary of the Mission in 1957, he made several trips to London to assess the work and the prospect for continued outreach there. Following one of his trips, the Board approved the following action regarding the Mission’s work in England:
Mr. Fuchs told of his feeling that some changes should be made in the organization of our English work and that an aggressive effort should be made to interest the churches and people in the work. Rev. Alexander Marks is going to England and Ireland for his vacation this summer. Mr. Fuchs met a very fine Christian man who was anxious to do deputation work for the Mission on weekends while he was in England. The Board appropriate[d] a sum not to exceed $500 for deputation work in England this summer, and Mr. Fuchs should try to arrange for Mr. Fields to accompany Mr. Marks on visits to churches while he is in England. 
At their October 1963 meeting, after lengthy discussion on the matter, the Directors voted to retire Mr. Joshua Wilkowsky, placing him on a pension from the Mission’s Canadian funds.  Further action was taken at the annual meeting of the Board held on January 29, 1964. At that meeting a motion was made and unanimously passed to,
“terminate our English work as of February 29, 1964 and that a letter be sent to our mailing list in Great Britain informing them of this change.” It was also moved that a gift of £100 (equivalent to £4000 in 2007) be given to Mr. Kagan in appreciation of his services as our honorary director. 
With this action, the Board brought the Mission’s Gospel outreach in England to a close. In subsequent years, several attempts were made to revive the ministry there, but the consensus of Board opinion was that since the British Societies to the Jews are still actively involved in reaching the Jewish community of England, the Mission’s resources are better utilized in evangelising other areas of the world.
Joseph Cohn’s dream of a post-war ministry throughout Europe, particularly in London, was never realised until the 1990s, when Adrian Glasspole was appointed as shliach in Manchester. Chosen People Ministries was registered with the Charity Commission on 27th July 2000 as Charity Number 1081737, and removed from the register on 19th November 2003. Chosen People Ministries (UK) was incorporated on 6th December 2002, as Company Number 4611406 and was registered 28th January, 2003 as Charity Number 1095644. After Glasspole resigned in 2005 the charity was located to the much larger Jewish community of London. Daniel Nessim was appointed to lead the work there. He began employment on 1 January, 2005, and first arrived from his previous home of Seattle with his wife Deborah and son Samuel, on 12 January that year.
This work currently consists of one-to-one outreach, meeting people by networking with others, and establishing a local body of Jewish believers in a congregation named Beth Sar Shalom (the House of the Prince of Peace). Looking ahead, it is hoped that the ministry will effectively reach the Jewish people of the United Kingdom as effectively as it has elsewhere around the world until Messiah comes again.
 Sevener, Harold. A., A Rabbi’s Vision: A Century of Proclaiming Messiah, A History of Chosen people Ministries, Inc. (New York, NY: Chosen People Ministries, 1994).
 In 1928, for some months the Awerbuchs lived in New York in the Mission’s home for Jewish Christians. The Hewes House was known as such because of its street address. It was there that “Mr. Auerbuch preached and sang and played his violin. With the approval of the executive committee one hundred dollars was given to Mr. Auerbuch at the Communion Service on Sunday morning, to purchase a cemetery plot for the burial of Hebrew Christians in Kishineff. Conditions in Bessarabia are very serious and the people in great poverty.” Minutes of the Executive Committee, March 19, 1928, p. 79.
 The Chosen People, Vol. XLIV, No. 4 (January, 1939), p. 8.
 The Chosen People, Vol. XLVII, No. 4 (January, 1942), p. 9.
 The Chosen People, Vol. XLVII, No. 4 (January, 1942), p. 8.
 The Chosen People, Vol. L, No. 3 (December, 1944), p. 12.
 The Shepherd of Israel, Vol. XXVIII, No. 7 (March 1946), p. 9.
 Minutes, ABMJ (August 30, 1950), p. 75.
 Minutes, ABMJ (April 27, 1943), p.3.
 Minutes, ABMJ (April 23, 1952), p. 92.
 The Chosen People, Vol. LVII, No. 5 (February, 1952), p. 17.
 The Chosen People, Vol. LXI, No. 7 (March, 1956), p. 7.
 Minutes, ABMJ (May 23, 1962), p. 211.
 Minutes, ABMJ (October 23, 1963), p. 224.
 Minutes, ABMJ (January 29, 1964), p. 229.