Los Angeles Branch — Elias Zimmerman
Elias Zimmerman arrived at Ellis Island with one dollar in his pocket and did not know a single word of English.
In Russia, Elias had studied at some of the most prestigious rabbinic schools, including the Vilna Academy.
While studying the New Testament to dispute missionaries, he became convicted of the truth of Yeshua by the
Holy Spirit. Zimmerman flfled Russia because of persecution. In Germany, he met a worker of the Mission who
recommended that Elias go to New York, where he was received by the Mission with open arms. Elias joined the
Mission in 1920 and accompanied Joseph Hoffffman Cohn on preaching trips all throughout the United States.
Elias married Helen Brinkmeyer, a pastor’s daughter, in 1925, and they settled in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles
Branch of the Mission was opened in 1935 as a Rescue Mission with the help of Christian friends. By early spring
1936, attendance had risen to nearly 400 Jewish people hearing the gospel. Interest was so great that Elias
preached six evenings a week, in addition to having two Sunday services. The halls were fifilled with spiritually
hungrymen, and large numbers of Jewish men and boys confessed faith in Yeshua andwere baptized. The work
of the Jewish Rescue Mission ended not long after Pearl Harbor (1945), as many of the men and boys enlisted in
the war before they could be drafted. After this, the Zimmermans focused on distributing evangelistic literature
and changed the focus of the Mission to families, especially women and children.
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