Samuel Schor was born in Jerusalem on 17 August 1859, and was baptized in Christ Church, Jerusalem, on 11 September 1859. He was the second son of Nathan Israel Schor and Rachel, who was Nathan’s second wife. Both his parents were refugees of sorts in the Jerusalem Community. [Mishkan 37/2002, Yoelit Migron, Samuel Schor, the Man and His Time, p5-21]
Nathan was a tailor from Austria, probably from Galicia. He was baptised in Cairo on 23 March 1850 by Rabbi Christian Lazarus Lauria and Johann Rudolph Theophilus Lieder in the chapel of the CMS (Church Missionary Society). His first wife died in September 1851 and he was left with four young children. He left Cairo and went to the LJS station in Jerusalem to find work and an arrangement for his children.
Nathan’s second wife, Rachel was Samuel’s mother and had been baptised in the LJS station on 2 April 1847. She had been abandoned at the age of 17 by her husband, when he reneged on the faith (according to missionary F.C. Ewald). After her baptism she married Judah Lyons on 28 July 1847, and after Judah’s death she married Israel Nathan Schor on 27 March 1853.
Samuel Schor was educated in the Boys’ School of the LJS in Jerusalem, first as a day student and later, in the end of 1871 as a boarder.
While in college, on 2 June 1882, Schor was offered mission work in Galilee but declined. In February 1883 he started to work as a missionary in the LJS, first in London, later in Birmingham and then in Jerusalem. On 5 April 1884, he married Miss Remdall, but not before the Mission Committee sanctioned their marriage. He arrived in Jerusalem on 12 November 1886, but after ten months he went back to England on account of the illness of his wife and child. In England he was again attached to the Metropolitan Mission.18 While in Jerusalem Schor, James Edward Hanauer and Ben-Zion Friedman were recommended for ordination to the General Committee in London by A. Hastings Kelk, the head of Jerusalem mission station. The Committee sanctioned the ordination of Hanauer and Friedman, but refused to approve Schor’s ordination.19 He was ordained deacon in 1889,20 and in 1890 he was ordained minister.21 During all this time Samuel Schor served as a missionary of the LJS in London.22 In 1891 he got a curacy in Felixtow, and left his work with the LJS. However, he did not sever his connection with the mission. He was involved with the mission’s supporters, and visited its auxiliary societies.23
Schor held his first Palestine Exhibition in 1891 in Felixtowe,24 and this was the beginning of his long-time activity with the Palestine Exhibitions in the service of the LJS. In 1893 he renewed his work with the LJS, this time as the association secretary of their northwestern district.25 Schor’s main charge in that office was to collect money for the LJS activities. Toward that purpose he endeavoured to enlarge the circle of LJS supporters. He attended the meetings of the auxiliary Societies in his district, and spoke there. He also represented the LJS at the Keswick Convention in 1894, where he found many opportunities to present the mission activities to the attendants.26 Schor was known as a magnetic speaker, and he was invited to preach before Jews in special events like the services conducted on Passover feast in the Church of Whitechapel.
On 30 September 1904 he was appointed Head of the Mission in Liverpool, and on 1 January 1906 he was appointed the General Secretary and Manager of Palestine Exhibitions. In March of the same year he gave up charge of the Liverpool Mission, and was finally able to dedicate all his time to the development, preparation and display of the exhibitions. Schor organized the exhibitions [which became “The Bible Come to Life”] for some 23 years, until on 31 May 1914, when he resigned his post with the Palestine Exhibitions to become a Vicar of the Christ Church at Blackpool. He held that post until 1923. From 1923 till 1925 he was in charge of the Barbican Mission to the Jews. He opened up work in Poland, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, establishing many mission stations. He also purchased two Gospel vans for extensive colportage work throughout East Europe.
His successful work in the Barbican Mission came to end when he had a stroke in September 1925.
Samuel Schor also took part in the public Hebrew Christian life. He was a president of The Hebrew Christian Alliance and Prayer Union of Great Britain, and as such he shouldered much of the work of organizing the International Hebrew Christian Conference in 1925. At that conference the International Hebrew Christian Alliance (IHCA) was founded, and Samuel Schor was elected as one of its Vice-Presidents.35 Frederich Levison, the son of Leon Levison, the first president of the IHCA, assumes that Schor would have been elected first president if he had not fallen ill. Samuel Schor died 9 November 1933 in his home in Longfield, Kent.
Milgron writes: “… Samuel Schor (1859-1933) was nevertheless a very interesting man. He was Zionist, a lover of the Jewish nation and of the HolyLand, and he was also a great organizer and an eloquent speaker. He was bornto a Hebrew Christian family of the Anglican community in Jerusalem, but spent most of his adult life in England. He was a clergyman, a missionary to the Jews, and an author. In terms of his beliefs, he was a fundamentalist, and fundamentalism was at the core of his entire worldview. He believed in prophecy, and in the restoration of Israel in their homeland, and therefore he supported Zionism. Out of love for the Holy Land, he also prepared and exhibited the Palestine Exhibitions for about 25 years. He believed that Israel is the chosen nation beloved of God, and that Hebrew Christians have a special mission to Christianity.”
Prayer: Thank you Lord for this second-generation Jewish believer in Yeshua, and his gifts in evangelism, writing, speaking and building the Hebrew Christian Alliance. May we build wisely and respectfully on the work of others, honouring your purposes for you people Israel and all nations. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.
(taken from Mishkan 37/2002, Yoelit Migron, Samuel Schor, the Man and His Time) p5-21
Migron, Yoelit. Samuel Schor, the Man and His Time, in Mishkan 37/2002, pp 5-20
Schor, S. Palestine and the Bible: Illustrating the Manners and Customs of the People in Bible Lands (London, 1931), 21-22
Schor, S. “Gleaning Mission from the Field”, JI (April 1890), 60-61
Schor, S. “Palestine Light on Scripture Difficulties, I. The Hole in the Door”, JMI (April. 1911), 58-59
Nine Oriental Songs, Arranged and collected by the Rev. Samuel Schor, London 1929.
Schor, S. “What I saw at the Zionist Congress in Basle”, JMI (Nov. 1890), 174-5
Schor, S. The Everlasting Nation and thier Coming King, pl 127 (London and Edinburgh , 41-42
Wilkinson S. H. and Schor, S. The Future of Jerusalem. Its Successive Phase with Regard to Present Events, London 1917.
Schor, S. Palestine for the Jews; or the Awaking of the Jewish Nation, 2nd edition, London 1907.
Palestine in London. Official Guide, June 11 to July 2, 1907, 2nd edition, pp. 145, 1907
The Apocalypse, A Simple Exposition, London, the Barbican Mission to the Jews, [n.d.]
Samuel Shor, Intyrest Facts about Jerusalem, London Society, [n.d.]
- Schor, Dreyfus and Zionism
Narrative of the Proceedings of the Great Council of Jews to Examine the Scriptures Concerning Christ, October 1650 (from “Catalogue of Works Published by the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews”, Ninety-fourth Annual Report (1902), no pagination).
The call to the first International Hebrew Christian Conference, signed by Samuel Schor, J. J. Lowe, and E. Bendor Samuel, expressed the faith that faced that stirring hour:
“We believe that the times of the Gentiles are being fulfilled and that the God of our fathers, according to His gracious promise, is about to restore Israel to her ancient heritage. We also believe that as Hebrew Christians, though a remnant weak and small, we have a share in the building up of ‘the Tabernacle of David that is fallen down.’”
Very gladly did the Alliance in Britain take on the tremendous task of organising this conference without having any machinery in hand, and its members rejoiced wholeheartedly when the conference met on the 5th September, 1925, and when the International Hebrew Christian Alliance was born. The choice of London for the headquarters of the new Alliance followed naturally. To avoid confusion, the Hebrew Christian Alliance and Prayer Union changed its name again and became the Hebrew Christian Alliance of Great Britain [now British Messianic Jewish Alliance].