Branches of the Vine

The story of Rivka, personal assistant to David Zadok

I was raised in a believing home to Jewish parents who taught me, from an early age, to love the Messiah of Israel. My maternal grandparents were believers and my mother was a Holocaust refugee who survived the war years by hiding behind a false identity. My father grew up in the East, far away from the war, and completed his education in England. My parents met, as young believers, in a small home church in London, founded by a couple who had lived for many years in Jerusalem and had raised a family of Jewish and Palestinian orphans. My parents brought me up to appreciate and love both my heritage and my people, and some of my earliest memories include celebrating the Jewish holidays and participating in rallies organised by the Jewish community in support of Israel.
I immigrated to Israel immediately following high school in order to join our wider family and to be a part of the people of Israel without the baggage of “Christianity”. It was almost two years later, after an agonising time of soul searching and inner conflict, that I was convinced from the Scriptures that indeed there could be no Messiah of the Jewish people other than Yeshua of Nazareth. I was delighted to discover that many other young Israelis had also placed their faith in Yeshua!

My first contact with HaGefen Publishing began when I was invited to serve on the Editorial Committee of the youth magazine, some eighteen years ago. Following that, when Bracha Maoz resigned from her secretarial work at the office, I was asked to step into the part-time position of personal assistant to the Field Director, Baruch Maoz. Shortly after that, Baruch returned to the helm of HaGefen Publishing. I was able to work from home, going into the office just once a week. Then, six years ago – just weeks after I lost my husband to cancer – HaGefen offered me a full time position in the office. I saw God’s kind provision in this, not only in providing for my family but also in blessing me with the privilege and joy of working in a loving and supportive environment with godly colleagues.

I now work as David Zadok’s personal assistant and, alongside my regular secretarial duties, I have taken on the task of building up HaGefen’s new website (, which lists our catalogue of books, CDs and gifts. I am presently scanning out-of-print books, converting them to text and editing them for uploading to the site. Many of these gems can now be downloaded from the website. I am also researching the biographies of Jewish believers throughout the ages, including the Jewish fathers of the Israeli believing community, seeking all the information and resources that are available. HaGefen is compiling a database with a succinct biography and list of resources or links for each person. Our wish is that this will become a well-used and valuable resource serving researchers and the believers in Israel. We trust that the information will be both an encouragement to Israeli believers and a witness to the fact that God has remained faithful to his covenant with the Jewish people, reserving for himself a faithful remnant that has not “bowed their knees to Baal”. Our faith is not something newfangled and strange but is a continuation of the teachings of the biblical prophets, as understood by the first disciples of Yeshua in Israel over 2,000 years ago.

Since David Zadok commenced work as Field Director, a year and a half ago, HaGefen has done much to achieve its goals of publishing quality Christian literature and of supporting the indigenous believers in Israel. As part of the vision to equip and train translators and editors in the local body, HaGefen is working with a committee of believing professionals whose goal is to raise the standard of work done for the believing community. The first seminar for translators and editors was held in February and proved very successful, leaving people asking for more as soon as possible!
This article first appeared in the Summer 2008 issue

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