Joseph Project provides humanitarian aid for impoverished Israelis and others in need; “This is the time to extend the tent pegs”

Volunteers packing food bags at the Joseph Project's warehouse near Jerusalem (Photo courtesy)

Established in 2000, the Joseph Project has distributed over $150 million in humanitarian aid to those in Israel who are most in need. Holocaust survivors, handicapped persons, impoverished individuals and families, and victims of terror are among those who have benefited from their services. Others include IDF soldiers, single-parent families, the homeless, orphans, some religious Jewish families and more recently, Ukrainian, and Ethiopian refugees. 

To date, the Joseph Project has successfully imported 846 forty-foot shipping containers from charities around the world which include significant Christian humanitarian organizations such as CBN’s Operation Blessing, GAIN (Europe) and Samaritan’s Purse.

Alongside their import operations, the Joseph Project engages in innovative initiatives, such as providing healthy food, collecting surplus inventories locally, and procuring high-demand goods for various individuals facing hardship.

While Israel is a beacon of humanity in the Middle East, more than 30% of children and 25% of the adult population live below the poverty line, including both Jews and Arabs. And because the Jewish nation is at constant risk of attack by its neighbors, it is forced to devote a large portion of its national budget to security, at the expense of other social welfare programs. 

During a recent interview, Joseph Project Founder, Joel Chernoff, described the prophetic vision he believes he received from God in February of 1996 that launched the Joseph Project. Chernoff states, “I rarely receive a direct prophetic download from the Lord but in this case it was quite clear and dramatic. The prophetic message was that sometime in the near future over one million Jewish people will suddenly arrive in Israel from Eastern Europe and Russia during a time of great trouble and like Joseph in ancient Egypt we are to partner with Israel loving Christians to prepare a blessing on the soil of Israel for that humanitarian crisis as well as meet needs and urgencies in Israel until that time.”

At that point, Chernoff admitted, he didn’t know where to start or what to do. The scope of the divine assignment was overwhelming. He had no experience with humanitarian aid and didn’t know how he was going to acquire or ship such large amounts of materials to Israel as required by the prophetic word. This assignment seemed impossible and certainly the money and infrastructure for such an endeavor did not exist. Despite the seeming impossibility of the task he said yes to God knowing that God is the God of the impossible. 

For three years, Chernoff says, he cast the vision for the Joseph Project at conferences and through the mail and prayed for the resources and people who could help in this prophetic endeavor without success. Then in 2000, he contacted Paul Liberman, a close friend and accomplished businessman who was living in Israel at the time. After sharing the vison for the Joseph Project with him, Chernoff said “Liberman understood its significance believed the vision to be from God and signed on as Joseph Project Executive Director in Israel.”

Shortly thereafter, under his able leadership, the Joseph Project set up its first small warehouse near Netanya and began receiving humanitarian aid filled shipping containers from abroad. Chernoff says, “the early partnership and participation of Liberman was the key factor leading to the success the Joseph Project now enjoys.” 

Since 2000 the Joseph Project has steadily grown and is now the largest importer of humanitarian aid in Israel. 

Currently, the Joseph Project operates from a 16,000-sq-ft warehouse near Jerusalem, distributing food, clothing, blankets, medical supplies, furniture, and other items. Their operation is digitally computerized thus the massive amounts of aid received from outside and inside Israel can be accounted for electronically.

“The Joseph Project team is doing what the Lord has called us to do, and striving for excellence,” Chernoff added.

In 2022, the Joseph Project helped approximately 700,000 needy Israelis. Aid recipients included social service centers, municipalities, hospitals, the IDF and various Israeli charities. In addition, the Joseph Project sometimes assists the Israeli government (when called upon) with its foreign aid policies that are designed to help other nations in need and to improve Israel’s image vis-à-vis the United Nations and other international bodies.

Recently, the Joseph Project partnered with the Israeli government to transport humanitarian aid to the Ethiopian government as well as partnering with the IDF’s Good Neighbor project during the Syrian conflict. The Joseph Project supplied humanitarian aid to the IDF who then moved the aid over the border to bring some comfort to the myriads of displaced and suffering victims of the Syrian civil war.


Since the Russian war against Ukraine began last February 2022, thousands of Jewish refugees have arrived in Israel with very few possessions. The Joseph Project delivers needed support to these families, including beds and mattresses, food, clothing and other household provisions. 

When asked what the future is for the Joseph Project in 2023 Chernoff responds, “We pray that God will enable the Joseph Project to ease the suffering of at least half of the 2.6 million Israelis now living below the poverty line. We also need to begin our search for a much larger warehouse from which to prepare for the coming humanitarian crisis described in the prophecy from 1996.” Chernoff adds, “Preparing for this approaching and massive humanitarian crisis will take an operation, not unlike that of Joseph in the Torah who, for seven years, prepared Egypt for impending famine.”

The leadership of the Joseph Project covets your prayers. They earnestly desire to see Jews and Israel loving Christians around the world partnering together to see the Joseph Project fulfill its prophetic assignment. Chernoff concludes, “Above all else, we pray that our humble efforts will bring honor and glory to the God of Israel who has made all of this possible.”

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