Our History

How Are You Helping my People?

Arthur Michelson

It was a very simple question from a Jewish believer named dr. Michelson that provoked Jacob Klein Haneveld (1918–1988). Israel was one of his favorite subjects to teach on, yet dr. Michelson’s simple question put him on the spot: “Through him, the Lord opened my eyes. It was not enough to simply teach about Israel’s future, we also had a responsibility for Israel today,” Klein Haneveld would later write.

Dr. Michelsen, who was raised in the Jewish-orthodox tradition, came to believe in Yeshua through reading the New Testament. Although he was taught that it was an anti-Semitic book, his curiosity got the better of him. To his amazement, he discovered that the New Testament was quite the opposite.

After Klein Haneveld became convinced that true love for Israel meant they needed the gospel message, he started a foundation called ‘Eerst de Jood’ [the Jew first] in 1969, together with Wim Griffioen en Klara van Dijk-Engi. They changed the name to ‘Israël en de Bijbel’ (Israel and the Bible) in 1970. All three founders have since passed away.
From 1972 on, there was a close collaboration with Margaret de Kock en Joke Goedhart. During their ministry, which that lasted for 43 years, they distributed more than 100.000 bilingual New Testaments worldwide.


In the late 1980’s, there was a stream of Jewish refugees from behind the Iron Curtain. They mainly went into Israel, Germany, the United States, Canada and Australia. A small news story from a local Dutch paper reported on several hundred Jewish refugees who were stranded in an Italian seaside resort called Ladispoli in 1989. After careful deliberation, the board of Israel and the Bible sent Ton Stier and Piet Beker to Ladispoli. Hundreds of Hebrew Russian New Testament were distributed among the refugees in only a few days’ time. Since then, Bible distribution became an even larger priority.


Together with the English publisher the Society for Distributing Hebrew Scriptures, new Bible editions quickly followed. Our travels expanded into the Ukraine, Germany, Morocco, Turkey, Australia, Canada, North and South America, and many other countries.
In 1992, we also opened our second office in the Ukraine. From there, Lesya and Sergey Dariy support the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe through Bible distribution, translation work, serving local Messianic congregations, and the Russian IB magazine.

Israel and the Bible in the 21st Century

As our work grew in the last decades, we discovered that more was needed than merely offering the Scriptures in the right language. Different subgroups require different formats, designs and translations. Through partnerships and careful consultation, we developed our own Bible versions, e.g., for backpackers and the Haredim. As a result, Israel and the Bible now cooperates with many different organizations worldwide.