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This is not a Christian organization.

LOS ANGELES — Ukrainian immigrant Ella Miramova had a dream — to become a Beverly Hills dressmaker — and the only place that would give her the money to make it a reality was the Jewish Free Loan Association (search), a lending institution that has charged the same interest rate for 100 years — zero percent.

To get a loan you must be needy, or unbankable. If you qualify, you can get up to $20,000 for food, student loans, starting a business or whatever you want. And you do not need to be Jewish — 40 percent of their loans go to non-Jews.

In the regular banking world, the default rate is 15 percent. At Jewish Free Loan, it’s almost zero.

“If you’re late by 10 or 15 days we make an official phone call to you and we remind you ‘have you forgotten about the free loan,'” said Mark Meltzer, executive director of Jewish Free Loan.

The institution keeps its client list confidential, but they say it would read like a who’s who of L.A. businesses, and because they make no money on the loans, they’re essentially banking on their clients’ success.

“The borrower who receives the money today and has a tremendous amount of success in future years, hopefully will support this agency for those who will require help in the future,” Meltzer said.

But, according to my Bible it exemplifies one of the earliest Christian standards. So much is made of the Acts 2 community, the supposed ideal for the church in its communal relations and spiritual fervor.

A person or group wants to be like that… they have to do what those people did. It is not enough to go to conferences and have meetings about how to ‘build community’. Gather everyday, pray and discuss Scriptures, letting go of materialistic concerns for the sake of Spiritual Life. Then evangelism results, for people are excited in their souls about a faith that too often only tickles the mind.

This Jewish organization has a model for what could be a wonderful resurgence in the Christian Church. Much similar to the situation of the early church, where Jewish spirituality was the foundation of all Christianity. This Church will look different than previous generations, and may, if we are all willing to let loose and be free in the wind of the Spirit, look like the earliest of eras.

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