United States tour brochure - jw.org / official website of jehovah`s
VISITING HOURS: Visitors are welcome to take a guided
tour of the United States branch oﬃce facilities. Tours are
available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tours begin every half hour.
WELCOME TO THE
AND THE UNITED STATES
Hu d s o n R i v e r
Brooklyn to Patterson
70 miles, 1 1/2 hours
Patterson to Wallkill
54 miles, 1 1/4 hours
Wallkill to Brooklyn
90 miles, 2 hours
˘ 2014 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
Welcome to the world headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the United States branch
oﬃce. We hope that you enjoy your visit. The
three complexes located in Brooklyn, Wallkill,
and Patterson are called Bethel, meaning
“House of God.” (Genesis 28:19, footnote) This
is a ﬁtting Scriptural name because all those
who live and serve here are dedicated to Jehovah God and devote themselves full-time to
promoting the work of Kingdom preaching.
In over 239 lands, there are now approximately 8,000,000 Witnesses of Jehovah, who
are carrying out the commission Jesus gave his
disciples—to preach the good news of God’s
Kingdom. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20) To
organize this work, there are approximately 90
branch oﬃces worldwide—all serving under
the direction of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Governing Body, its helpers, and world headquarters departments are
located here in the United States. Other departments operate under the supervision of the
United States Branch Committee.
BROOKLYN. Headquarters was moved from
Allegheny, Pennsylvania, to Brooklyn, New
York, in 1909. The organization began printing
some of its own Bible literature in 1920 when a
printery was established on Myrtle Avenue. In
1927 the printery was relocated to 117 Adams
Street where, for decades, it cared for the needs
of the United States and many other countries.
Later, regional printeries were set up to produce
Bible literature for diﬀerent parts of the world.
WALLKILL. In 1963 the ﬁrst of several
farms was acquired near Wallkill, New York.
Over the years, these farms have produced vegetables, fruits, meat, and dairy items for the
When printery space in Brooklyn became
inadequate, some printing of The Watchtower and
Awake! began at Wallkill in 1973. Then, in
2004, the entire United States printing operation was moved from Brooklyn to Wallkill. In
2010, magazine production for North America
was moved to the Canada branch.
PATTERSON. The 680-acre property at Patterson, New York, was acquired in December 1984. The complex of 28 buildings has
been fully functional since 1995. Patterson is
home to various Theocratic Schools, such as
Gilead School, the School for Branch Committee Members and Their Wives, and the School
for Traveling Overseers and Their Wives. ˇ
Each weekday morning, the Bethel family comes
together to consider a Bible text using the booklet Examining the Scriptures Daily. A chairman presides over this
15-minute discussion, which is opened with prayer.
Members of the family are assigned to comment on the
text. Following the discussion, breakfast is served.
On Monday evenings, the entire Bethel family
gathers to study the Bible with the help of The Watchtower. At times, there are special programs after the
Watchtower Study. These Bible discussions each
weekday morning and on Monday evenings
are an important part of Bethel life.
New arrivals attend the Bethel Entrants’
School and are expected to read the entire
Bible during their ﬁrst year. Each member
of the family also makes time for personal
Bible study. There are a number of libraries at Bethel, containing the publications
of Jehovah’s Witnesses and other reference works. Members of the family frequently use these facilities for study and
for meeting preparation.
Bethel family members also have a
personal share in the Kingdom-preaching
work. They attend various nearby congregations, where many of them serve as
elders and ministerial servants. ˇ
Members of the United States Bethel family live in
residence buildings at Brooklyn, Wallkill, and Patterson.
They are provided with rooming, meals, and a small
monthly allowance to assist them
with their personal expenses. They
can truly be called a family because
of their unity in serving their heavenly Father, Jehovah God. As a family
they work together, enjoy meals together, and study the Bible together.
A number of necessary tasks are
performed in the Bethel Home. For
example, some members are assigned
to the kitchen, where they prepare
nutritious meals for the entire family
to enjoy in the spacious and comfortable dining rooms. Thus, the family
beneﬁts from a well-balanced diet in
a wholesome environment. Other
members do cleaning and housekeeping, while others attend to the laundry. These assignments contribute to
the family’s high standard of cleanliness, which is a hallmark of Bethel
homes throughout the world.
Much eﬀort is involved in maintaining the various properties and
equipment used by the branch. Various shops care for the mechanical,
electrical, and other maintenance
needs of the facilities. ˇ
GOVERNING BODY. The Governing Body prepares
spiritual food and gives direction to the Kingdompreaching work throughout the earth. (Matthew 24:14,
45-47; Revelation 12:17) The Governing Body operates
through six committees: Coordinators’ Committee, Personnel Committee, Publishing Committee, Service Committee, Teaching Committee, and Writing Committee.
BRANCH COMMITTEE. The United States Branch
Committee oversees the preaching work of over a million
of Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the United States and
WRITING DEPARTMENT. Under the direction of the
Writing Committee, material is prepared that will be pub-
lished worldwide. Considerable research is done before the
material is organized and put into written form. Sources
are submitted for each fact or quote that is used. The completed text is thoroughly checked and proofread for spelling, grammar, and accuracy, after which it is reviewed by
the Writing Committee. Approved text is sent to branches
around the world so that it may be translated.
COMPUTER DEPARTMENT. This department maintains the computer systems that are used at Bethel. It
maintains the systems for telephones, e-mail, word processing, and ﬁle storage. The Computer Department also
assists other branches with the design and maintenance of
their computer systems.
OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION. Under the direction of the Coordinators’ Committee, this oﬃce provides
news agencies with accurate information about Jehovah’s
Witnesses, clearing up any misunderstandings regarding
their beliefs and ministry. The Oﬃce of Public Information also distributes news releases that report on the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world.
WEB PUBLISHING. This department maintains our ofﬁcial Web site, www.jw.org. Online articles provide concise, clear answers to questions about the Bible and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Publications are available for download
in more than 600 languages.
OFFICE OF PUBLIC
CONSTRUCTION DEPARTMENT. This department
helps direct the designing,
and maintaining of branch
facilities, missionary homes,
Assembly Halls, and Kingdom Halls worldwide.
REGIONAL DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION DEPARTMENT.
This department prepares construction documents and
budgets; monitors quality, safety, and costs; assigns international servants and volunteers; and provides maintenance training for projects approved in the Americas and
HOSPITAL INFORMATION SERVICES. Under the direction of the Service Committee of the Governing Body,
this department provides information and direction for
branch Hospital Information Desks around the world.
It maintains a database of medical articles on alternatives
to blood transfusions and makes pertinent information
available to medical and legal professionals.
HOSPITAL INFORMATION DESK. This department
provides Hospital Liaison Committees throughout the
United States with the latest research on bloodless medical
treatment. In turn, elders serving on these committees
make this information available to doctors who are willing
to treat Witness patients without the use of blood.
TRANSLATION SERVICES. Translation worldwide is
accomplished under the supervision of the Writing Committee. The Translation Services Department provides support
to translators worldwide by arranging for linguistic training, by answering questions, and by providing background
research information requested by the translators. There are
now some 3,100 members who assist with the translation
work in over 130 countries. Jehovah’s Witnesses have produced publications in about 700 languages.
MEPS (Multilanguage Electronic Publishing System)
PROGRAMMING. This department works under the
direction of the Writing Committee to develop and maintain software that is used to produce our publications.
MEPS software includes Watchtower Library, Watchtower
ONLINE LIBRARY, JW Library, the Watchtower Translation System, and programs that assist in the preparation of
Braille and sign languages. ˇ
FARM DEPARTMENT. The farms provide fruit, vegetables, and beef for the United States Bethel family. In addition, this department cares for the landscaping that enhances the appearance of the facilities.
FOOD DISTRIBUTION. This department stores and distributes food for the Bethel families in the United States.
This arrangement simpliﬁes the task of providing quality
PRINTERY. The printery at Wallkill includes a graphics
department, a pressroom, a bindery, and a shipping
Graphics Department. Photographs, artwork, and text
are arranged as they will appear in print using MEPS as
well as commercial software. After the pages have been
checked and approved for printing, the electronic ﬁles are
sent to the plate room, where printing plates will be produced for each of the four basic colors of oﬀset printing:
cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
Pressroom. The pressroom includes two web-oﬀset presses and two sheetfed oﬀset presses. The web presses have
automatic splicers that make paper-roll changes without
slowing or stopping the operation of the press. These two
presses can each print up to 94,000 brochures or signatures an hour.
Book and Bible signatures
are gathered, bundled, and
stacked on pallets automatically. The sheetfed presses
print book covers, endsheets,
letterheads, and envelopes.
One of these presses can
print up to 15,000 full-color
sheets an hour.
Bindery. One of two bindery lines is more than a
quarter of a mile long and
is made up of 33 machines
connected by 70 conveyors. The line can produce up to
50,000 books a day.
Book parts (called signatures) are collated, bound,
and trimmed. Then the covers are attached. Cartons of
ﬁnished books are automatically sealed,
labeled, and stacked onto a pallet,
ready to be shipped. The second
bindery line assembles and packages as many as 100,000 books
Deluxe Bibles are produced
by feeding them into a gilding
machine in which silver-colored
foil is applied to the edges of the
pages by means of heat and
pressure. Up to 14,000 Bibles a
day can be gilded. After covers are
attached, each Bible is shrinkwrapped and packed for shipment.
Shipping Department. Literature requests from more than 15,000 congrega-
tions in the United States,
Canada, and the Caribbean
are processed each month. A
computer system determines
the number of cartons needed for the shipment, assigns
each literature item to a carton, and directs the workers
to the storage location of the
literature item. On average,
2,800 cartons of literature
are sent to congregations
each day. A portion of the literature produced in the printery is exported to countries all over the world, usually by
ocean freight. The remainder is shipped directly to congregations or to literature distribution centers, normally
by means of commercial carriers. ˇ
ART DEPARTMENT. Under the oversight of the Writing
Committee, the Art Department prepares illustrations for
our publications. A designer develops a pleasing layout
after reviewing preliminary text for a publication. Photographs, paintings, or digital artwork are obtained to illustrate the subject. Creating an image may involve research,
model selection, costumes, props, makeup, lighting, and
design work. A growing archive of images—presently
numbering more than 215,000—is maintained in a computer database for rapid retrieval. Proposed artwork is incorporated into the layout and presented to the Writing
Committee for approval. Once the images are adjusted,
they are sent to the Graphics Department in Wallkill,
where further preparations for printing are made.
The theocratic schools at
Patterson are supervised by
the Teaching Committee.
The Watchtower Bible
School of Gilead was established in 1943 for the
purpose of training missionaries. Some Gilead graduates
may also be sent out as circuit overseers or may be assigned to serve in branch offices. Jehovah’s Witnesses in
special full-time service are selected from around the
world to attend a ﬁve-month course that includes an in-
depth study of the Bible and Bible-related history. Gilead
students also receive extensive training in the ﬁeld ministry and in matters related to theocratic organization.
Several other schools provide training for Branch Committee members and their wives, as well as for traveling
overseers and their wives. This has deepened their appreciation for Jehovah’s organization and has helped them to
accomplish their ministry more fully.
AUDIO/VIDEO SERVICES. Under the oversight of the
Teaching Committee, this department prepares audio recordings of the Bible, books, The Watchtower, Awake!, convention dramas, and sound tracks for videos and other
materials. Audio/Video Services also produces video programs for Bethel departments and a variety of videos for
LEGAL DEPARTMENT. Serving under the direction
of the Coordinators’ Committee and the United States
Branch Committee, the Legal Department provides assistance to branches worldwide when it becomes necessary
to establish or defend the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In addition, this department helps with legal transactions
that are necessary to operate the United States branch.
SERVICE DEPARTMENT. This department, under the
oversight of the Branch Committee, handles correspondence from traveling overseers, elders, pioneers, and others regarding congregation and ﬁeld service activities in
the United States branch territory. The scheduling of circuit assemblies and regional conventions is handled here.
The Service Department also receives and tabulates ﬁeld
service reports from congregations within the United
States branch territory.
SIGN LANGUAGE. This department produces video
publications for the deaf. It also supports the production
of video publications into some 70 other sign languages
around the world.
TEXT PROCESSING SERVICES. Under the direction
of the Writing Committee, this department uses MEPS
to format text and images into pages. Text Processing
Services formats electronic ﬁles of the publications for distribution in Watchtower Library and at www.jw.org. In addition, Braille publications are produced in 16 languages
using the Watchtower Translation System.
WRITING CORRESPONDENCE. Serving under the
direction of the Writing Committee, this department answers letters from thousands of individuals each year
who have questions on Scriptural matters or who request
Biblical advice. ˇ