Jews and Christians join together to support Israel


Christine DeSouza (l) and Eva Ritt man the Zionistas table at the Bless Israel Summit, held Nov. 13.

Bereishit - Genesis 12:1-3-And the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will aggrandize your name, and [you shall] be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you."

This was the inspiration for the Bless Israel Summit held at the Rosen Plaza last Sunday evening to show support for Israel. The uniqueness of this event was the attendance of Christians and Jews.

"The oneness we shared as Jews and Christians singing and dancing, rejoicing in our common love of Israel touched my heart," said Blake Lorenz, pastor of Encounter Church and organizer of the event.

Speakers Matt Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, and Jonathan Feldstein, an Orthodox Jew who lives in Israel (formerly of New Jersey), both shared their own perspective of Israel and encouraged everyone to continue to support Israel.

Feldstein also spoke about the Koby Mandell Foundation of which he is vice president. There was a video presentation of the work the Foundation does in Israel for the families of victims of terrorism. A little more than $4,000 was collected in offerings that evening for the Foundation.

At the end of the evening, a Jewish couple who attend Congregation Ohev Shalom approached Lorenz and told him how the event had touched their hearts.

"The wife shook my hand and did not let go," said Lorenz. "She looked me in the eye and began to share her story. Her parents had survived the Holocaust in Poland, then migrated to America. They hated Christians because it was the Christians who killed their family and friends, took their homes and businesses, and caused unimaginable suffering to so many. She then stated she wished her parents had lived to attend our event. They would have been overwhelmed by the love they experienced."

Tables were set up for more than 15 organizations to educate attendees about ways to show their support for Israel. Some of the organizations present included American Friends of Magen David, Bridges for Peace, Ezra International, Zaydes Kosher Kitchen Catering, and the Zionistas.

The evening was a successful interfaith event to show support for Israel.


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