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|People Name:||Jew, English-speaking|
|Primary Religion:||Ethnic Religions|
|Christian Adherents:||0.50 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
Unlike their Australian neighbors to the north, where Jewish people first came as inmates, the first Jews in New Zealand came as traders in the early 1800s. Soon after, there was a charitable organization that subsidized immigration from London to New Zealand hoping to build a religious Jewish community. Other Jewish people came to New Zealand hoping to find gold, but they moved after the gold rush. During the last decades of the 1800s and the early 1900s, there were more efforts to curtail immigration, so the number of new Jewish people diminished. Jewish people also assimilated with the greater New Zealand society, and some became Christians.
Through the decades, Jewish people have come to New Zealand to escape persecution in Germany and Eastern Europe. There have been sporadic incidents of anti-Semitism in New Zealand, but this behavior is not tolerated either by the government or the general public.
Today most of the few Jewish people in New Zealand live in Wellington with smaller numbers in Christchurch and Auckland.
Jewish people in New Zealand have always been involved in the areas of business, medicine and politics. There have even been Jewish prime ministers in New Zealand.
They have had difficulty in maintaining their cultural distinctions. They have established synagogues, but they have trouble maintaining attendees. Unlike their neighbors in Australia, Jewish people in New Zealand often can’t find enough children to attend Jewish schools. The trend is towards assimilation with the general population.
For religious Jews, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate judge of human affairs. Beyond this, the religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary greatly. Orthodox Jews generally follow the traditional religious beliefs and practices found in the Jewish literature that interprets Scripture regarding ethical, religious, civil, and criminal matters.
Reform Jews do not believe that the Jewish Law is divinely revealed. They are not restricted to kosher foods. They neither wear the skullcap (yarmulke) when praying nor use Hebrew in prayer. All religious Jews believe in the coming of a Messianic Age, but only the Orthodox Jews look for a personal Messiah.
In New Zealand and beyond, there are many people who are Jewish culturally, but not religiously. Judaism is part of who they are, but they do not adhere to the spiritual teachings of the Torah. They might celebrate Jewish festivals, but in spiritual matters they are either secularized or New Age.
Pray for the Lord to give the Jewish people in New Zealand hearts that will want to please him. May they look to the Lord for guidance and truth, and not be satisfied with cultural traditions.
Pray for Jewish people in New Zealand to begin a movement to Jesus Christ, finding ways to exalt him while honoring their culture.
Pray for the Lord to move among Jewish leaders in New Zealand to open the doors to Christ’s ambassadors.