Israeli Holocaust Survivors and participants in the “Beauty From Ashes” tour. (Israel 365)
The past month has been filled with milestones for Israel: the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, the 51st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and the historic move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, among others.
Another symbolic milestone for Israel and for Jews around the world was American politician Michele Bachmann’s public apology for the mistreatment of Jewish people throughout history. But a lesser known apology was also shared last month by a German native and her church in an effort to make amends for the tragedy of the Holocaust.
Ines Rogg, a German native, and her church group recently made a generous donation in the name of their Pastor Gerd Rodenwald to the Israel365 Charity Fund for support of Holocaust survivors.
“We belong to a church who believes only in one God, which bring us close to the Jewish faith. We have a very close relationship with the Nation of Israel,” said Rogg about the gift.
Donna Jollay, director of Christian relations for Israel365 said, “The Church had a 2,000-year history of direct involvement in brutally persecuting the Jewish People as in the crusades, pogroms, mass expulsions, and forced conversions,” she said. As such, the Israel365 Charity Fund has been collecting and distributing funds raised from Christians for Israeli Holocaust survivors.
Last month, the Israel365 Fund, in cooperation with an Israeli organization called Adopt-A-Safta, organized a lunch event for a group of Israeli Holocaust survivors. This event was made possible by Rogg’s donation.
Adopt-A-Safta reports that 40 percent of Holocaust survivors in Israel feel lonely, and that thousands of elderly survivors lack financial stability. At the lunch event, the group of Holocaust survivors were treated to a warm meal and were each given a cash gift to ease some of their financial burden.
“This was beyond meaningful to me as a Christian to be able to reach out and honor and bless the survivors,” said Jollay. “Because of the sad reality that both Germany and Poland were recognized as very Christian nations, it is inescapable for those who survived this most horrific of times, to not associate what was done with the Church.”
Also participating in the event were Christians touring on Israel365’s “Beauty from Ashes” tour. This tour began in Poland and finished 10 days later in Israel. The tour highlighted the juxtaposition between the Jewish experience during the Holocaust and the miraculous rebirth of the State of Israel some three years after WWII.
“Having recently been in Poland, the tour participants were all the more so moved by meeting and speaking directly to the Holocaust survivors at the event,” said Ayal Kellman, a staff member of Israel365 who helped organize the event.
“One of the greatest things that I have learnt is that God is brining the Jews and the Gentile Christians together for such a time as this,” said tour participant Danny Ortiz.
As Israel’s Holocaust survivors continue to age, Adopt-A-Safta emphasizes that we must continue to act responsibly “while we still are blessed with the presence of this holy generation.”
“As survivors are now in their 80s and 90s, it is critically important to get to meet them and hear their stories while we still have them with us, and to let them know that we care and that they are seen,” said Jollay.
The event was impactful for all in attendance.
“One of the most poignant moments was when one of the survivors shares that this was a first,” said Jollay. “She had never had a Christian express any interest in her. And she was so blessed that we did.”
A 2008 protest by ver.di Jugend in Karlsruhe, Germany. Photo: Wikipedia commons.
A German youth organization affiliated with the country’s second largest trade union has disavowed the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, as well as an anti-Zionist group that endorses a “one state” solution.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, ver.di Jugend announced that it passed a motion at its annual conference to reject BDS and FOR-Palestine, a group that advocates for a Palestinian-majority state in lieu of Israel and strongly opposes Zionism — the movement that supports the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination.
And the many peoples shall go and say: “Come, Let us go up to the Mount of Hashem, To the House of the God of Yaakov; That He may instruct us in His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.” For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, The word of Hashem from Yerushalayim. Isaiah 2:3 (The Israel Bible™)
One year following the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, leaders from the White House Faith Initiative, along with Evangelical and Latin American leaders, gathered in Israel’s Knesset to promote dialogue and foster relations between Christians and Jews, as well as the United States, Latin America and Israel.
“I will bless those who bless you And curse him that curses you; And all the families of the earth Shall bless themselves by you.” Genesis 12:3 (The Israel Bible™)
An ICEJ delegation visited Israeli communities along the Gaza border and viewed a new specially designed ATV security vehicle donated through the ICEJ to a local moshav. Credit: ICEJ.
After Israel absorbed as many as 700 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip over the weekend, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) sent a delegation to the western Negev region on Monday to assess the updated security needs of local Israeli communities and how best to help them prepare for any future escalations.
A replica of the golden menorah in front of Titus’ Arch in Rome. (Courtesy)
“He said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a menorah all of gold, with a bowl above it. The lamps on it are seven in number, and the lamps above it have seven pipes;” Zechariah 4:2 (The Israel Bible™)
A small group of Christians’ remarkable act of faith has ambitious aspirations: to fix the theft of the golden menorah from the Temple by Titus in 70 CE. In addition, they are seeking to return some of the Divine love that has sustained Germany despite the horrific crimes perpetrated on the Jews in the Holocaust.
U.S. Jews are more likely than Christians to say that U.S. President Donald Trump favors Israelis more than the Palestinians, according to a Pew Research poll released on Monday.
Some 42 percent of American Jews say Trump is favoring Israelis more than the Palestinians, while 47 percent of them say he has been striking the right balance between the two.
Apr 30, 2019 0Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was accused of launching a long-range rocket from northern Gaza at Israel on Monday evening, in an attempt at provoking a heavy response from the Israel Defense...
Only three-quarters of a century after Der Stürmer incentivized the mass murder of Jews by dehumanizing them, we see a revival of such bigoted caricatures.
I do not believe in free speech for me, but not for thee. But I do believe in condemning those who hide behind the First Amendment to express anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic, sexist or racist views.
One of the most influential newspapers in the world, the Jewish-owned New York Times decided to present the Jews with a gift in honor of the last day of Passover – a major Jewish holiday – an antisemitic caricature. The controversial cartoon shows US President Donald Trump as a blind man with a skullcap on his head, being led by a dog that looks like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And to make sure the reader knows it is indeed the Israeli premier, the dog has a Star of David dangling from its collar.
Last week, Jared Kushner, one of the administration’s point men on the Middle East, dispensed with the term “two-state solution” in its impending peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians. “The two-state solution has failed,” he said.
The “two-state solution” does not appear in the 1993 Oslo Accords, which called only for “interim self-government” for the Palestinians. The goal was a negotiated final status agreement, in which independence was not specified.
Religious fervor always picks up before the Jewish holidays. Not surprisingly, Israeli undercover police arrested Jewish activists from the Hozrim L’Har (Returning to the Mount) organization early Friday afternoon, just before the onset of the Passover holiday, after an apparent attempt to bring a young goat on to the Temple Mount for a self-proclaimed sacrificial rite. Indeed, this drama plays itself out every year, but according to Jerusalem police, this year a record of at least twelve members of the organization were arrested throughout the course of the day on counts of disturbing the peace.
Every year when Passover eve arrives, I do my best not to think about that night; to allow the joy of cherished rituals meant to renew our family’s tribal history and faith envelop us in its warm glow as whoever among the kids and grandkids it’s our turn to host partake of the matzoh, bitter herbs, and wine. Often – actually most often – I succeed.