Word from Jerusalem - September 2020 - USA Edition

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PERSONAL Aliyah Testimonies •••

Trump’s Scorecard on Israel

from the


Dear Friends, As I write to you today, the coronavirus infection rates seem to be stabilizing in Israel. By the grace of God our work has continued unabated throughout it all.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was established in 1980 in recognition of the biblical significance of all of Jerusalem and its unique connection to the Jewish people. Today the ICEJ represents millions of Christians, churches, and denominations to the nation and people of Israel. We recognize in the restoration of Israel the faithfulness of God to keep His ancient covenant with the Jewish people. Our main objectives are: • To stand with Israel in support and friendship; • To equip and teach the worldwide church regarding God’s purposes with Israel and the nations of the Middle East; • To be an active voice of reconciliation between Jews, Christians, and Arabs, and to support the churches and congregations in the Holy Land. From its head offices in Jerusalem, the ICEJ reaches out into more than 170 countries worldwide, with branch offices in over 90 nations. Our vision is: • To reach every segment of Israel’s society with a Christian testimony of comfort and love, and • To reach and actively represent to Israel the support of denominations, churches, and believers from every nation on earth. The Christian Embassy is a non-denominational faith-based ministry supported by the voluntary contributions of our partners and friends across the globe. We invite you to join with us as we minister to Israel and the Jewish people worldwide by donating to the ongoing work and witness of the ICEJ.


One fruit of the current crisis is very spiritual. Around the world, our leaders are praying together more than ever. Our weekly Global Prayer Gatherings have attracted believers from over 100 nations, including many Arab countries. We are also hosting 24-hour prayer watches on the first of every Hebrew month. I want to personally invite you to join us in drawing closer to God with believers from around the world. Sign up for our Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative, and you will be notified of the times and links for these gatherings. Our Aliyah work has also continued, and Jews are still coming home to the land of their fathers, just as the prophets foretold. We can rejoice in God’s faithfulness, as the ICEJ has now assisted more than 158,000 Jews to make Aliyah since our founding 40 years ago. This month’s magazine contains personal Aliyah testimonies of immigrants the ICEJ has assisted. We are busy preparing a fantastic online Feast of Tabernacles experience for you. Please register today so you can be part of what may be the largest and most exciting Feast ever! Finally, please continue to uphold us in prayer. It is a challenging season, and we are more dependent on your prayers than ever before. May the Lord bless your richly from Zion! Yours in Christ,

Dr. Jürgen Bühler President International Christian Embassy Jerusalem

f r o m J ERUSALEM

CREDITS ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler US Director Susan Michael VP International Affairs Dr. Mojmir Kallus VP Finance David Van der Walt VP Operations Barry R. Denison VP International Spokesman David Parsons VP AID + Aliyah Nicole Yoder Managing Editor/Publications Director Julaine Stark Assistant Managing Editor Kayla Muchnik Copy Editor Karen Engle Staff Writers Laurina Driesse, Anatasiya Gooding, Kayla Muchnik Graphic Design/Illustrator Ryan Tsuen, Peter Ecenroad, Nancy Schimp Photography Shutterstock, ICEJ Staff and Branches, Associated Press, Wikimedia Commons, iStock

COVER PHOTO: US President Donald Trump unveils a plan for a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, January 28, 2020. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The New King James Bible is used for all Bible references unless otherwise noted.

Word From Jerusalem is published by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Word From Jerusalem has no subscription price and is supported through contributions worldwide. The ICEJ USA Branch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with offices in Tennessee, Florida, and Washington, DC. All gifts to this ministry are tax-deductible according to United States law. INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN EMBASSY JERUSALEM - USA

Support our ministry online at: www.icejusa.org





For Magazine Archives visit: www.icejusa.org/wfj

PERSONAL Aliyah Testimonies •••



S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 U S A E d ition



Personal testimonies of aliyah








President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

PM Benjamin and Sarah Netanyahu with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in front of the US Embassy in Jerusalem

Trump’s Scorecard ON ISRAEL B Y D A R Y L H E D D I N G , I C E J U S A de p u t y direc t o r


n 2016, the ICEJ’s USA Branch launched a campaign to request confirmation from the two presidential candidates that they would abide by five guiding principles regarding Israel. The Trump campaign responded in the affirmative while we never heard back from the Clinton campaign. Much has happened in the last four years, and since we are again in a presidential election cycle, it seemed like a good time to score President Trump on his performance to date about these agreed principles.

allowing presidents to postpone moving the embassy due to perceived security threats.) Undeterred, the ICEJ joined several key Christian leaders in November—ahead of the next possible security waiver—to once again remind President Trump of his promise to move the embassy and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

as Israel’s capital and move the US Embassy there

In December, President Trump ended years of heartache for millions of evangelicals in America and shocked the entire world when he did not renew the waiver and declared that the United States was officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and would be moving the embassy there from Tel Aviv.

After Trump’s confirmation in January of 2017, the ICEJ moved quickly on this issue, sending him a strategy paper in April, laying out the benefits of moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. In May, the ICEJ joined another 60 US Christian leaders in urging Trump to keep his promise but were dismayed when he followed the example of every president before him since Bill Clinton and used a security waiver to delay the move by six months. (A clause was built into the 1995 Jerusalem Law

If that did not cause enough of an uproar around the globe, in January 2018, President Trump surprised everyone with the announcement that the US Embassy would open in Jerusalem on May 14—Israel’s 70th anniversary—that same year. Not many saw that announcement, and the initiative certainly laid to rest any lingering doubts about the president’s willingness to fulfill his promise on this count. It also shot a big, gaping hole through the security threat excuse that every president for the last 20 years

r Principle 1: Recognize Jerusalem

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before Trump had used. For those who had never accepted the perceived wisdom on this issue, validation had seldom been sweeter, and the world war that failed to materialize wasn’t much of a surprise either. President Trump gets full marks on this point.

r Principle 2: Renew the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel, which provides aid in response to Israel’s growing security needs The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provides security assistance to Israel so it can maintain its military edge in the region and defend itself against an array of threats. A new MOU was agreed to on September 14, 2016, under the Obama administration and contains the largest single pledge of military assistance in US history. Under President Trump’s leadership, Congress passed a funding bill in February 2019 allowing for the $200 million increase in annual spending required to meet the obligations of the new MOU.

icej commentary

Iron Dome launcher

So while credit must be given to President Obama for his leadership on the new MOU agreement, President Trump still gets full marks for ensuring this important agreement is carried out.


Principle 3: Oppose the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel On February 5, 2019, Senator Marco Rubio’s (RFL) bill, the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act (S.1), passed in the Senate by a vote of 77–23. Unfortunately, the Democratcontrolled House of Representatives refused to take up the bill due to a provision included called the Combatting BDS Act of 2019. Rubio’s provision would have empowered states in their efforts to disengage from contracts with entities involved in boycotts of Israel. Some 27 states have already passed legislation against the BDS movement, and this would have provided some cover from counter lawsuits from organizations such as the ACLU. The record of what followed in 2019 is truly distressing. By March, Congress was forced to respond to vile anti-Semitic tropes regurgitated

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement sign

by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), but in their confusion, all that resulted was a watered-down rebuke that condemned both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. It’s worth noting that, according to the FBI, over 50 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes in the United States are directed at Jews or Jewish institutions. There is no parallel. In April, the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California was attacked on the last day of Passover by a deranged gunman who killed one and injured three, including the rabbi. This was less than six months after the deadliest antiSemitic attack to ever occur on US soil when the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was attacked, killing eleven and wounding six. By the end of the year, President Trump had grown frustrated with Congress’ lack of action in response to the growing problem of anti-Semitism. Recognizing the role college campuses play not only in fermenting antiSemitic ideas but also in real discrimination against Jewish students, President Trump signed an executive order against anti-Semitism on December 11, 2019. The order specifically protects Jews from discrimination at taxpayerfunded universities and recognizes anti-


Zionism as being anti-Semitic. This is important because the BDS movement is built upon the insidious idea that Zionism is racist and the Jews have no right to live in Israel as their ancestral homeland. While more could have done over the last four years to oppose the BDS movement in the United States, President Trump still gets full marks for taking as much initiative as he could to combat the problem at its source.


Principle 4: Sanction Iran’s relentless actions as the world’s leading sponsor of terror On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA), or Iran Deal as it is better known. Trump called it “a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.” He also promised to snap back US nuclear sanctions, which had been suspended under the Obama administration. By the end of the year, some 1,000 Iranian persons and entities had been targeted for sanctions. The sanctions were tagged in response to terrorism, human rights, WMD proliferation, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).



A march in Iran

Palestinians in Jerusalem

The Trump administration has continued to tighten sanctions on Iran, targeting 80 percent of its economy and reducing the 2016 JCPA economic boon to inflationary recession.

were built on the assumption that Israel was illegally occupying the West Bank and must, therefore, relinquish it to the Palestinians for there to be peace.

There is no doubt that President Trump has fulfilled his campaign pledge to leave the Iran Deal and has backed that up with crippling sanctions. He gets full marks on this point.

Trump’s plan invites Israel to relinquish part of its inheritance—about 70 percent of the West Bank—in return for peace, with the caveat that the Palestinians must agree to the terms to actually receive a state in the areas outlined. But either way, Israel retains her rights and sovereignty.


Principle 5: Reject third-party solutions to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict not negotiated by the two parties On January 28, 2020, President Trump unveiled his long-awaited peace plan. Presented as a take-it-or-leave-it option, the plan certainly differs from previous attempts at negotiating peace between the two sides. For example, when President Obama attempted to reignite negotiations between the two sides in 2011, he took the previously unseen position that the starting point for any deal would be a return to the pre-1967 borders. In other words, Israel was left with almost nothing to negotiate and would first have to agree to give up East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank)— areas illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967.

So how should we score Trump on this point? To be honest, there has been little progress on the plan itself to date. Prime Minister Netanyahu was recently considering annexation of the Jordan Valley as part of the plan, but in the end, that move was put on ice as a deal sweetener for the United Arab Emirates to sign a historic peace accord with Israel, potentially signaling that more Arab states could follow suit. What’s important to note is that President Trump’s plan has laid the groundwork for peace because it is built on truth, foregoing the lie perpetuated through the decades by diplomats the world over that Israel is an illegal occupier in the ancestral homeland of the Jews. The world has now been put on notice that Israel is here to stay, and her rights and sovereignty are not up for sale.

Trump’s Conceptual Map

The essential difference in approach can be distilled to this: Trump’s peace plan recognizes the rightful claim of Israel under international law to all of the territory west of the Jordan river, while previous approaches, such as Obama’s,

Importantly, the Palestinians were given the option of setting up a capital for their state on the outskirts of East Jerusalem but would receive no sovereignty over any part of biblical Jerusalem, commonly known as the Old City—the epicenter of the struggle between the two sides.

Notably, the plan does not offer anything to the Palestinians that Israel has not already offered in the past, and Israel’s leadership accepted the plan without reservations. 6 | SEPTEMBER 2020

President Trump may not have followed our principle to the letter, but he deserves credit for a unique approach that is already producing positive results for Israel and the region. How can he not receive full marks on this point too?




Trump sculpture at Trump Heights, Golan, Israel

Thank you, President Trump Ani Modeh Lecha B Y D R . J E R R Y K L I N G E R , p residen t and F o under J e w ish a m erican s o cie t y f o r his t o ric p reser v a t i o n


magnificent new sculpture was donated and placed near the entrance sign at Trump Heights. The Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation donated the sculpture and platform in honor and appreciation of United States President Donald J. Trump for his historic recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The sculpture is the creative work of internationally renowned Israeli artist Sam Philipe and models the Menorah and the biblical Golan Eagle depicted in the fifthcentury Golan synagogue of Ein Keshatot. The Golan Eagle was chosen because it is symbolically linked to the American Eagle and represents the bond of shared values, commonality, and the alliance between the peoples of Israel and the United States. Mr. Haim Rokach, chairman of the Golan Regional Council, said, “The American recognition and support of the Golan Heights is an anchor for the continued development of the region—for growing its communities and developing its economy.” Ani modeh lecha is Hebrew and is superficially translated as “thank you.” The Hebrew meaning, however, is much deeper and should be translated as, “I am indebted to you. Thank you. You have done something for me that I could not do for myself.”

Proverbs 3:27 says not to withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to do it. I believe President Trump is worthy of our thanks and support for the numerous things he has done to strengthen Israel: 1. He withdrew from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. 2. He imposed and continues to impose, even if alone, sanctions on Iran. 3. He officially recognized the obvious: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. 4. He moved—not just promised to move— the US Embassy to Jerusalem. 5. He signed the Taylor Force Act so US funds would not be used to pay terrorists to maim and murder Americans and Israelis. 6. He recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the strategic Golan Heights—territory allocated to the tribe of Manasseh 3,500 years ago. 7. He stopped funding UNWRA for enabling, promoting, and teaching terror. 8. He closed the PLO office in Washington, DC. 9. He refuses to bend the knee to BDS, supporting members of Congress. 8 | SEPTEMBER 2020

10. He has appointed pro-Israel US ambassadors to the United Nations who energetically oppose the one-sided antiIsrael mania of the United Nations. 11. He signed an Executive Order extending Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protecting Jewish students on college campuses from anti-Semitic attacks. 12. He declared Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria legal under International law, thereby affirming international law and treaties for the past 100 years dating from the Versailles Treaty, the League of Nations, and the San Remo agreements, all affirmed by the United Nations. 13. He brokered the historic peace deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. 14. Perhaps the most important of all, he supports Israel’s absolute right to selfdefense. Is it politically correct to say thank you to President Trump who has done what no other president would do? I think it is. Ani modeh lecha! ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Jerry Klinger is the president and founder of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, www.JASHP.org, and has installed historic markers and monuments in 39 US states and 5 countries.

ICEJ aliyah

The Mashevskaya family

Personal Testimonies from ICEJ Aliyah Lera Fulfills Her Dream of Aliyah B y : A nas t asiya G o o ding Thanks to the generosity of Christians worldwide, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has been exceeding its “Rescue250” campaign goal of funding evacuation flights for at least 250 Jews each month while coronavirus is still impacting the world. With all the negative reports associated with COVID-19, it is exciting to share such good news! Over the past six months, the Christian Embassy has managed to bring 1,429 Jewish immigrants on flights to Israel arranged through the Jewish Agency. We also would like to share the touching story of the Mashevskaya family, who came to Israel recently on one of the ICEJ’s Aliyah flights from Russia. After Lera Mashevskaya, her husband Ivan, and their three children (Slavik, Adrian, and Alice) made Aliyah, they stayed in a special quarantine hotel for two weeks. This gave them time to reflect on the long journey that took them through a family crisis and into their new beginning here in Israel. When Lera was 13 years old, she went to a Jewish Agency summer camp for Jewish youths in Russia. It was there that Lera felt like she was really Jewish for the first time and started learning about the history and traditions of her people. At that moment, a burning desire was kindled in Lera’s heart to go to Israel, but her mother was against it. It would take another 13 years

for her dream to start coming true. Her first visit to Israel happened as part of a 10-day Taglit (Birthright) tour of Israel granted to young Diaspora Jews. “At the time, I had already met my husband Ivan. We soon became the parents of our first son—Slavik,” recounted Lera. “I passionately wanted to make Aliyah, but Ivan would have nothing of it.” The next time Lera came to Israel was on her twenty-ninth birthday. By this time, she and Ivan had two children. But Ivan still had reservations about moving to Israel. Deeply torn but sensing an undeniable draw to Israel, Lera left the two young ones with her husband and mother and came for another visit. “It was very hard, but I wanted to give Israel a real try, on my own,” she confided. “I had a deep love in my heart for this country and longed to move here.” Lera spent four months in Israel as part of the MASA program, which helps young Jews abroad come to Israel to further their university studies. She used the opportunity to receive training in a new profession and was certified as a personal life coach. The skills Lera learned were in high demand back in Russia, so the family’s circumstances improved and her husband began to see Israel differently. Then in the spring of 2019, with Lera six months pregnant with her third child, the whole family came to Israel as tourists.


“I showed them my favorite places in my beloved country,” said Lera. “For two weeks, we drove from Acre to Eilat, dipped our legs in the Dead Sea, visited Jerusalem and prayed at the Kotel, and danced on the beaches of Tel Aviv. During this trip, my husband began to really like Israel, but he still was not ready to leave Moscow.” This spring, however, the coronavirus pandemic changed his mind. “My husband started working online, without visiting the office. Our family spent all our days together, our relationships grew closer and closer,” Lera explained. “My husband realized that he could do his work from anywhere in the world, and he agreed to make Aliyah. Finally, my dream came true—on June 16, we flew to Israel!” Lera and Ivan have come a long way as a couple and now want to help others overcome their differences. So they created the “Family Coaching Project” to coach other couples. Even during their two weeks of quarantine after arriving in Israel, they were counseling other immigrant families in the quarantine hotel. “We so want to become a family that will be useful for this State and its wonderful people. In response to the love and care that we received, I want to love, give, and care for others in response, three times over,” Lera concluded. We are so glad that through the ICEJ, Christians have played a central role in changing the lives of so many Jewish immigrants to Israel, like Lera and her family.

ICEJ aliyah


Nina Akselrud


B y : A nas t asiya G o o ding

he Rescue250 campaign is a challenge to Christian supporters of Israel around the globe to partner with the ICEJ in keeping up our current pace of flying at least 250 Jews per month home to Israel while the coronavirus pandemic is still impacting the world.

read and write a lot about the news in my birth country. I looked from a new perspective on the economic and political situation in the country. I believe that a person can choose where to live. And I am very glad that my son and I have the opportunity to now live in Israel,” she stated.

One of the recent flights out of Russia sponsored by the ICEJ brought Nina Akselrud and her son to Israel. Nina’s arrival meant a family reunion after 30 years of separation. Her parents and younger brother made Aliyah in 1991. Nina was a young girl who made the difficult decision to stay in Russia instead of following her family to Israel. “Now I think that it was a big mistake, and I should have gone,” Nina said this week.

By the time Nina decided to move to Israel, she faced being misunderstood by her friends.

Her family’s history is closely connected to the history of Jews in Russia, including the sad moments like pogroms and wars. “I always felt myself as a part of the Jewish people thanks to my relatives, grandparents, and their stories about our family,” Nina explained. “All Jews are special, unique people to me, part of my family and my future.” Even though Nina’s father and brother had been trying to persuade her to make Aliyah for many years, she took her own, long journey. But in the end, she clearly realized that Israel is the country where she wholeheartedly belongs. “There were a number of things in my life and in my birth country that influenced my decision to come live in Israel,” said Nina. “In 2018, I started to work in public media. And I began to

“My friends said that I am crazy for wanting to go [to Israel]. Many of them said that I will have to overcome many difficulties while starting a new life,” she shared. “But I’m ready for that. I told them I want to have more opportunities for myself and my son. I want to live in a democratic state.” In her heart, Nina already has a sense of admiration for this small but very courageous country, with its ancient history and bright prospects for development. It is amazing to witness how many Jewish people who make Aliyah are thinking not only about how to improve their own lives but also about what they can do to strengthen and build their new nation. “I want to be there and be useful to this land. I hope that I will succeed,” Nina confided. “I am sure that a happy future waits for me and my son in Israel,” she concluded. Nina then added: “I was amazed when I learned that Christians who love Israel supported my Aliyah. Indeed, it is the time of miracles!”

This is a prophetic and humanitarian mission, and you can help keep the door of Aliyah open even amid the coronavirus crisis.

Book a seat today for a Jewish family in need of our help! And follow our progress in this urgent Rescue250 campaign! Go to: www.icejusa.org/ rescue250 1 0 | SEPTEMBER 2020

ICEJ aliyah

I AM FINALLY PLANTING ROOTS FOR MY FAMILY IN ISRAEL ICEJ’s Aliyah ‘rescue flights’ continue to bring Jews home Klokov family


ach Jewish Olim (newcomer) on board the ICEJ-sponsored Aliyah flights has their own family history and unique life stories on how they came to make Aliyah. Yet all are united by the sense of joy and expectation concerning their new home in Israel. The Klokov family recently arrived from the Far East as part of a group of 61 new Jewish immigrants from all across Russia who came on a rescue flight funded by the Christian Embassy. Eugene Klokov came with his wife and two children, and he shared his fascinating story with us.

B y : A nas t asiya G o o ding mandatory years of work, the Soviets offered his grandparents a small promotion if they stayed a few more years, and so on.

Eugene recently made Aliyah and is filled with great expectations. He wants to start a new business in construction.

Eugene Klokov on moving day

Eugene was born in 1987 in the city of Khabarovsk, a far eastern region of Russia. He knew about his Jewish identity his whole life and wanted to explore it further. “I was fascinated by this, and for many years, I have worked on recreating my family tree,” said Eugene. “I was very interested to know who my distant ancestors were. I collected the information bit by bit. Sometimes, I just got on a plane and flew to relatives across the former Soviet Union whom I had never seen.” Most of his relatives lived in small Jewish communities. And for them, Eugene became their hope that the family history would not vanish without a trace, but will be passed on to the next generation. Eugene’s grandparents were from Crimea and the Ukraine. But after graduating from university, the Soviet state moved them to the Far East to work—the government wanted to “populate” the vast, empty region. Soviet officials said it would be “for just a few years.” “It wasn’t surprising that they were sent east,” said Eugene. “The central government didn’t want Jews anywhere near the center of the country.” The system was set up so that after five

“I wanted to show my children a different life, I wanted a different future for them. Education, medicine, and the government’s caring attitude toward its people made me feel Israel can be my home,” said Eugene.

“My grandfather and grandmother lived all their lives with the thought that they would move the next year,” he explained. “They lived with packed suitcases, they didn’t buy new furniture, they literally limited themselves in everything. . . . They never left.” “Maybe it is no coincidence that my grandparents never grew roots in Russia. Maybe it is no coincidence that I am here now, of all times, during a pandemic, finally planting roots for my family in Israel,” Eugene confided. From an early age, Eugene passionately studied the history of Israel, which he viewed as inextricably linked with his family history. Eugene was once able to take part in a Taglit (Birthright) tour of Israel. During a visit to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, he was shocked to find information about his relatives murdered in the Holocaust, including children as young as four years old. “I felt a chill come over me when I looked at these photos and records of eyewitness testimony. And when I held in my hands these old documents, I felt very strong feelings. A huge desire arose within me to do something for the Land of Israel,” said Eugene. But he quickly added that this was not his only reason for making Aliyah.

“I believe that our life consists of actions,” he insists. “We can make history today, here and now!” “I would be extremely happy if my children appreciate what I am doing, that I moved from a distant town in Russia to the center of the world, to the country that was waiting for me,” Eugene concluded. Indeed, the Klokov family started their Aliyah journey home nearly a century ago and thousands of miles away from even their old home. Now they are finally home, in Israel. Please help us bring more Jewish families like the Klokovs home to Israel. It is still possible, thanks to the “evacuation flights” the ICEJ is now sponsoring. We have brought over 1,429 Jews to Israel over the past six months of the coronavirus crisis. And to build on this remarkable achievement, we are now calling on our Christian friends and supporters worldwide to join us in helping more Jews reach Israel safely through our “Rescue250” campaign. The campaign is a challenge to Christian supporters of Israel worldwide to partner with the ICEJ to help us retain our current pace of flying at least 250 Jews per month home to Israel while the coronavirus pandemic is still severely impacting the world. This is both a prophetic mandate and a humanitarian mission, and we welcome your involvement in making this miracle happen.

Learn more on how you can be a part of this urgent campaign at: www.icejusa.org/rescue250. 11 | WORD FROM JERUSALEM


AN ALIYAH FLIGHT THAT SAVED A LIFE B y : A nas t asiya G o o ding


srael has always been open to Jews wanting to return home, but it does take effort to document one’s Jewish heritage. However, for one Russian Jewish family, there was no time to waste. Their seven-year-old son was battling lymphatic cancer and needed life-saving treatments in Israel. So they were fast-tracked for citizenship in only one week’s time, and the young boy arrived on June 30 on a rescue flight sponsored by the ICEJ. His story is one of a miracle still in the making. Their troubles began some 18 months ago when Boris Zheleznyak and his wife learned their son Maxim had acute leukemia. “Still, the local doctors said that there was nothing to worry about, there was a 95 percent chance of success,” Boris told Israeli media this week. Maxim began treatment in one of Russia’s best hospitals, and his parents devoted all their strength to caring for for him—his mother even left her work. “Many now complain about how difficult it is to get through quarantine. For our family, it has been going on for a year-and-a-half. In order not to bring infection into the house, we refused to meet with relatives and friends. Our whole life was divided between the house and the hospital,” said Boris. Like many cancer patients, brief signs of improvement in Maxim’s condition gave way to setbacks and long days of despair, which were only worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. When recent test results showed the cancer had returned, they started searching for more aggressive treatments, such as a bone marrow

The Zheleznyak family arrives in Israel.

transplant. It soon became obvious that the answer could only be found abroad. Then a friend told them about another Jewish family in a similar situation. They had made Aliyah to Israel and were now receiving treatments at the Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petah Tikvah. So on June 20, Boris wrote a letter to the Jewish Agency with a desperate plea: Let us enter Israel to save our son. Boris was not so optimistic. But the next day, he received a call from the local Jewish Agency representative, who said: “We Israelis never leave children without help.” He then did everything possible to ensure the Zheleznyak family’s paperwork was quickly completed in Israel and Russia. Miraculously, in just four days, the anxious family had received their passports, and four days later, they were on a flight bound for Tel Aviv sponsored by the ICEJ. When the Zheleznyak family landed on June 30, they were met at the airport by Jewish Agency staff. Maxim and his parents were taken through the “green corridor,” and presented with official documents for new arrivals and even medical insurance. “When will the insurance become active?” Maxim’s parents asked nervously. “Like all Olim, from the very moment you receive it,” they were told.

1 2 | SEPTEMBER 2020

The Zheleznyak family still do not believe they are already in Israel—it has all happened so fast. “On June 16, we received dramatic test results that Maxim’s cancer has gotten worse, and two weeks later, we landed at Ben Gurion airport,” Boris explained. “This is a real miracle, because we did not even have passports for international travel. . . . No country in the world would ever grant us citizenship this way, in a matter of days.” Once Maxim left quarantine, he immediately entered hospitalization in Hadassah. He successfully underwent some preliminary treatment and is currently scheduled for an operation. His parents understand the treatment in Hadassah will be long and so are planning on moving to a rented apartment closer to the hospital. “For the first time after a year-and-a-half of a desperate struggle for the life of our son, we have hope for salvation,” Boris concluded. Facing a life-threatening disease amid a global pandemic with nearly all flights canceled, and normally staring at months and months of immigration paperwork, the Zheleznyak family is truly in the midst of a miracle. But now they need our continued prayers, that young Maxim will finally beat cancer and grow up healthy and happy in Israel.


Relatives welcome Kasia to Israel.

Kasia and family in Israel



he ICEJ’s Aliyah flights are a prophetic and humanitarian mission. The flights we have sponsored have brought Jews home from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Ethiopia. Many of these Jewish families have faced difficult conditions and were desperate to reach Israel. One Ethiopian family has recently gone through a heart-rending journey on their way to the Jewish homeland. Kasia Workanech, along with her husband and two small children, were among the 119 Olim who arrived from Ethiopia in May on a specially chartered Aliyah flight arranged by the Jewish Agency and sponsored by the ICEJ. The Christian Embassy has been sponsoring the Ethiopian Aliyah flights over recent years, bringing home nearly 2,000 members of this ancient Israelite community since the government decided to bring the last remnant in 2015. Some have waited years and even decades for their turn to reach Israel and be reunited with family already here. The coronavirus crisis has only added to their ordeal, but for Kasia and her family, this has been an especially bittersweet time of both great sadness and joy. Kasia’s mother planned to make Aliyah with her four unmarried children in February 2019. At that time, Kasia and her family planned to follow her mother to Israel soon. This would have ended the family’s many years of separation from their eldest sister who was already in Israel. But tragedy struck just before their flight last year, as their mother became gravely ill. The Jewish Agency did its best to move up the date of her flight, but regrettably, she died just a

A nas t asiya G o o ding

few days short of takeoff. Her four unmarried children boarded the homecoming flight in clothes of mourning, without their mother. This left only Kasia in Ethiopia with her husband and two small children. Her relatives in Israel were constantly praying for their arrival. Then came the coronavirus outbreak, which hit Ethiopia hard. Hopes of seeing their sister faded day by day. But the door of Aliyah miraculously opened once more, and in May, they received news that Kasia would be coming home to Israel. Upon their arrival, Kasia and her family spent two weeks in quarantine in northern Israel, and then were taken south to an absorption center in Beersheva. This also happened to be the facility where her siblings have been staying since they landed last year. As Kasia entered the gates of the absorption center, her siblings welcomed and embraced her with tears of joy. “I truly did not expect that this Aliyah flight could be arranged during the coronavirus. I was so surprised,” said Getanech, her oldest brother. “Once we knew this miracle would

happen, we counted each day until Kasia’s arrival.” The apartment assigned to Kasia and her family was on the same floor as her brothers and sisters, and Getanech said they were cleaning and preparing it every day for their sister’s arrival. The family’s joyous reunion was still tempered by their mother’s absence, but they were comforted knowing her greatest wish was that all her children would make it to the promised land. “Our mother always said her dream was for us all to be together in Israel. Unfortunately, she did not live to experience this dream with us. But now, thanks to her, we are all here, together,” said Getanech. “I am sure she is looking down at us from heaven and is so very happy.” There are more Jewish families like Kasia’s awaiting the chance to be reunited with the Jewish people in their ancient homeland. The coronavirus crisis has not stopped Aliyah, but it has made Aliyah more difficult—and the answer is helping them reach Israel. Please join our special “Rescue250” campaign by helping us bring at least 250 more Jews to Israel this month. You can reserve a place on an Aliyah rescue flight for a deserving Jewish person or famly in need.

Book a seat today, and follow our progress in this urgent Rescue250 campaign! Go to: www.icejusa.org/rescue250



Explosion in Beirut

Abundant Life Church

Street scenes of Beirut

Helping our Fellow Christians in Lebanon B Y I C E J S TA F F


hile the ICEJ’s primary calling is to Israel and the Jewish people, we have established relations with Christians throughout the Middle East and have assisted them over the years as they face persecution, conflicts, disasters, and many other challenges. We are currently working to help our Christian brothers and sisters overcome the disaster of the horrific explosion in the Beirut port on August 4, 2020. The week before the explosion, we hosted a Lebanese pastor on our Wednesday morning Global Prayer call. He shared how Lebanon’s economy was crashing, and whereas his church had been assisting refugees over the past years, their members are now the ones in need of food and housing. Corruption had destroyed the country.

The banking system was crumbling, and unemployment was soaring. Just two years ago, 20 percent of the Lebanese people lived below the poverty line. Today it is a whopping 50 percent. The August 4 explosion could be described as the “nail in the coffin” of Lebanon’s economy as it left over 300,000 people homeless. The devastating explosion destroyed homes of almost one-third of the city of Beirut. Many people need help and are without hope. We invite you to assist local Lebanese Christian churches and ministries as they seek to recover and to reach out to others in dire need with the love of Christ. If you would like to help, please give to our “Isaiah 19 Fund” through our ICEJ USA Branch. Thank you!

Help Lebanese Christians recover and reach out to their community. Give to: www.icejusa.org/Isaiah-19-Fund

1 4 | SEPTEMBER 2020

Ancient Israel brought their gifts and offerings up to Jerusalem during each feast. But only the Feast of Tabernacles is prophesied to be celebrated by gentiles who will bring blessings back to their nations. Let the ICEJ bring your Feast offering up to Jerusalem!

Make your donation today! www.icejusa.org/Feast


Artist: Wavell Smith www.wavellsmith.com


dear friend of Israel and a pioneer in Christian support for Israel, Polly Grimes, went to be with the Lord a few months ago. Polly brought thousands of Christians on tour to Israel and to the annual Feast of Tabernacles Celebration in the 80s and 90s. She also produced a night at Sultan’s Pool for the ICEJ. A woman of vision and conviction, she lived her life with the purpose of making a difference in the world. Early in life, she performed and worked in secular music. She then dedicated much of her life to pioneering and promoting Gospel Music on the West Coast, through her company Gospel Concerts. She brought Gospel Concerts to the major auditoriums in Israel after the Yom Kippur War, and later she brought the Gaither Band to Israel. She also helped produce the Jerusalem Gaither Homecoming Concert at the Tower of David, Jerusalem’s Citadel.

An avid student of the Bible, she later dedicated her life to blessing Israel through music and humanitarian action. She formed Exodus Ltd, a non-profit working toward Christian support for Israel and In 1973, Polly brought concerts to Israel. understanding between Christians and Jews. She then formed Tours through the Book, a tour company specializing in Israel tours. Her work will continue to be carried on by her daughters, Lisa Grimes-Shor and Tisha Michelle. Polly put God first in her life her whole life. She was a speaker in churches and synagogues, a writer, world traveler, a woman before her time, an adventurer, and a seeker of truth. In her memory, Stewart Wavell-Smith Polly helping Ethiopian immigrants has painted her portrait overlooking the Sea of Galilee from the Golan. Her favorite verse, Isaiah 60:1, is incorporated into the composition entitled “Heralded to Heaven.” Polly—well done, good and faithful servant! With love and thanks, the ICEJ.



Shipment from Harvest of Israel, Morristown, TN, arrives in Israel.

‘LOADS of LOVE’ SHIPPED to ISRAEL In Romans 15:27, the apostle Paul told the Church at Rome…

“For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.”


Dr. Dean Haun

r. Dean Haun, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church i n Mo r r i s t o w n , Tennessee, and member of the ICEJ USA’s Board of Directors, took that verse to heart in the winter of 2011.

Haun, who has traveled to Israel extensively, saw the need for humanitarian aid assistance to Jewish and Arab believers and the Jewish Aliyah movement. Haun witnessed firsthand that the need was enormous. Israeli’s spend so much money on security that there is little left to support those struggling in Israel.

“I remember flying home from an Israel tour, and my wife asked me if I was sick because I was very quiet,” Haun mused. “I told my wife God had put a burden on my heart to help Israel, but I had no idea what God wanted me to do or how to do it. I strongly sensed God wanted me to do something tangible. All I knew to do was pray and say, ‘Here am I, Lord. I am willing.’” Shortly after returning from Israel, Haun read a story about the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and their warehouse in Israel called The Joseph Project Warehouse. “One thing really stood out in that article to me,” Haun said. “The warehouse, located in the industrial district of Beit Shemesh in Israel, was in need of items to distribute across Israel, but they were having difficulty receiving material 1 6 | SEPTEMBER 2020

from the United States because not many groups were shipping aid, and the cost of shipping was high. That statement captured my attention.” Haun stood up the following Sunday morning and said to his congregation, “Church, I believe God wants us to send material aid to help Israel, but we need a warehouse.” Haun said, “I remember the congregation looking at me like I had lost my mind.” The next day, a business leader in the community called Pastor Haun and said, “Pastor, I was sick yesterday, so I stayed home from my church and watched you on TV. I’ve got an empty warehouse, and you are welcome to it if you need it.” Haun declared, “It was exactly what we needed!”

ICEJ AID On top of that gracious offer, the businessman refused to take any rental money or money for utilities for using the warehouse. “I remember we began collecting items to send to Israel. It took months to get enough material to fill a forty-foot shipping container. The first container we loaded was in January of 2012, and the high that Saturday was about 20 degrees. We had a crew of 25 people to help load the container, and it took about three hours. We were so cold that after we finished loading, we all patted each other on the back and said, ‘Well, that was great—but we will never do that again!’” But God.


God was not finished with Harvest of Israel. Supplies for Israel started pouring in. Donations to pay for the shipping containers began coming in monthly. Since that humble beginning back in 2012, Harvest of Israel has sent 61 containers to Israel. “We have sent beds, mattresses, furniture, wheelchairs, medical supplies, backpacks, diapers, blankets, clothing, shoes—you name it,” Haun said. “Whatever the folks in Israel need, we try to find it and ship it. “We now have over 200 partners and have shipped out of four other states. We are sending a 40-foot container to Israel once a month.” In 2017 Harvest of Israel shipped a 1,400 pound “Lion of Judah” bronze sculpture to Israel. It was sculpted to be gift to the Jewish people from Christians across America. “Interestingly, when the “Lion of Judah” arrived in Israel, its first stop was the Joseph Project Warehouse in Beit Shemesh. Beit Shemesh was where the Ark of the Covenant was sent back from the Philistines

A container leaves the Harvest of Israel warehouse

before it made its final trip to Jerusalem. The sculpture currently sits on exhibit in a city park outside the Old City walls in Jerusalem.

League under the direction of Commissioner Betzalel Friedman. Betzalel also serves as a Battalion Commander in the IDF reserves.

In 2018 Harvest of Israel shipped over 400 specialized wheelchairs to Herzog Hospital for children with severe disabilities. Haun said, “One child had basically lived in the hospital since birth and had never been outside the hospital rehab center. The wheelchair allowed his parents to take him to the Western Wall and pray together. We were so honored to help with this project.”

When the University of Tennessee switched football uniforms from Adidas to Nike, they sent all the Adidas equipment to Israel. The Tel Aviv Pioneers proudly wear the “Orange Power T” that Tennessee players had previously worn.

Haun said that miracles are a common occurrence in the Harvest of Israel supply chain. “We received a call last year that the City of Akko needed blankets for their community bomb shelters. We did not have any blankets at the warehouse—until two days later when we received a call from one of our suppliers who asked if we could use 10,000 new blankets. Most of those blankets are now in the bomb shelters in Akko.”

Harvest of Israel is also honored to work alongside the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Their ministry has shipped numerous shipments of supplies to the ICEJ Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors.

Harvest of Israel is also the supplier of American football equipment to the fledgling Israel Football League. The league is sponsored by Robert Kraft, owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots. “ W h e n schools and Universities discard their used football equipment, we ship it to Israel for the Israeli national football helmet Israel Football 17 | WORD FROM JERUSALEM

Dishes for ICEJ Holocaust Survivors

“We like to say that once a month we have the privilege of shipping another ‘load of love’ to Israel through the ministry. It’s such an honor to serve on the ICEJ American Board, and it gives me firsthand knowledge of what is needed in Israel.” Harvest of Israel is proud to partner with the ICEJ. Together we bring the love of Messiah to these treasured people and treasured land.

Your Israel Answer: What the Abraham Accord Means for Israel By Susan Michael, ICEJ USA Director The presence of United Arab Emirates officials earlier this year at the announcement of President Trump’s plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians hinted at a growing collaboration between Israel and the Emirates. The two have now struck a historic deal, dubbed the Abraham Accord, which is perhaps the most significant step ever towards regional peace for the Jewish State. The United Arab Emirates joins the short list of Middle Eastern countries with normalized diplomatic relations with Israel—alongside Jordan and Egypt. However, this agreement also signals a new alliance in the Middle East in response to heightened tensions with Iran. The peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will reap significant diplomatic and economic benefits for the two parties as they sign several agreements regarding investment, direct flights, technology, agriculture, security, tourism, the exchange of embassies, and robust people-to-people relations. Considering the advancement of both countries within a war-torn, undeveloped Middle East, the deal is expected to bring region-wide economic growth, technological innovation, increased stability, and respect for human rights. Moreover, normalized relations between the two countries are expected to encourage other Gulf countries to follow suit, notably Bahrain and Oman, which could happen as soon as in a few weeks. Even Saudi Arabia is quiet and may be awaiting their turn at the table. What about the expansion of sovereignty in Samaria? President Trump’s peace deal for Israel and the Palestinians allowed for the expansion of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Although

the United Arab Emirates approved of the deal, there was widespread opposition to the expansion of sovereignty. Consequently, as a part of the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend expansion efforts, at least for the near future. When questioned by reporters about reneging on his promise to expand sovereignty, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel promised that expansion is still very much “on the table.” US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman emphasized all parties understand it to be a temporary “suspension” of sovereignty and not a cancellation. He could not say how long this suspension would last but explained it was to allow time to negotiate other peace agreements. How might this compare to previous international agreements for Israel? Although this agreement is the third of its kind between Israel and an Arab country, it is an occasion of its own in different respects. Foremost, the deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates did not involve surrendering any land between the two countries—only the “suspension” of Israel’s planned extension of sovereignty. Israel gave up the entire Sinai Peninsula in 1979 to Egypt in exchange for peace and had to negotiate territorial disputes with Jordan in 1994 to normalize relations. Furthermore, unlike with Egypt and Jordan, Israel has never been at war with the United Arab Emirates. This history void of direct conflict opens up the possibility of warmer people-to-people relations. Strategically, the deal is larger than itself and is the beginning of an expansion of alliances to the Persian Gulf in order to face a regional foe—Iran.

How do the Palestinians feel about the deal? Not unexpectedly, the Palestinian leaders are virtually unanimous in their opposition to the peace agreement, or put in the words of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, an act of “treason.” Nonetheless, the United Arab Emirates still possesses a robust relationship with the Palestinian Authority and can thus speak to the Palestinians in ways the United States or Israel cannot. Undoubtedly, the deal will hinder the Palestinians’ ability to leverage the Arab League against Israel in times of conflict or negotiations. Amos Yadlin, former general for the Israeli Air Force, recently asserted on television, “America is sending a clear signal to the Palestinians: ‘You have no veto power, you have no Arab support; don’t miss another opportunity, don’t ignore Trump’s peace plan.’” What does this mean for President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu? Without a shadow of a doubt, the success achieved between the countries would not have occurred without the bravery and boldness of US President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates. This is a major foreign policy success for President Trump, who was responsible for brokering the deal between the two countries. On the other hand, Prime Minister Netanyahu enjoys the accolade of being the first leader of Israel to normalize diplomatic relations with a Gulf country successfully. As this regional alliance takes shape, and should Saudi Arabia come to the table, it will not just be another accomplishment for Netanyahu but another miracle in Israel’s story.

Visit us at: www.IsraelAnswers.com, and get your question about Israel answered! Listen to a podcast about the Abraham Accord at: www.icejusa.org/accord.


Join our Global Feast 2020 October 2–8, 2020

Despite the coronavirus crisis, this year’s annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration in October will be more exciting than ever! Join us for an inspiring seven-day worship experience from Jerusalem with a global online audience. You will feel like you are right here with us in Jerusalem! The Global Feast 2020 will come to you from amazing locations in Jerusalem and around Israel. Enjoy powerful biblical messages from local Israeli and international ministers, as well as anointed performances by some of your favorite worship artists from Israel and abroad. The online Feast package also will include informative seminars with insights into Israel, current events, Bible prophecy, Christian Zionism, the Feast of Tabernacles, archaeology, interests to young adults, and so much more.

The Feast will take you to: Qasr al-Yahud • the traditional site on the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized The Garden Tomb • for an online communion service with believers from around the world The SOUTHERN Steps • t he main entryway into the Second Temple in Jerusalem THE Tower of David • overlooking the entrance to Jerusalem through Jaffa Gate Plus the Knesset, Yad Vashem, City of David, and many other important locations in Israel!

All of this and more will be available for you to view live or on demand for $50.00. Register today to watch the Feast of Tabernacles:

www.feastoftabernacles.live 2 0 | SEPTEMBER 2020