Comforting the afflicted

CFI’s Open Gates continues to bless new immigrants and other needy in Israel. There is never a dull moment within this project. Currently, we welcome newcomers from the U.S. and the South American countries. It is a privilege to help to meet the needs of people who are hurting, not only financially but also emotionally. We are called to “Comfort those who are in any afflictions with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:4). Your continued support for this project is greatly appreciated. New

New immigrant couple starting their life in Israel

The “March of the Million” rally in the evening of Israel’s Independence Day on May 27 gathered an estimated 600,000 supporters of PM Benyamin Netanyahu and the current government’s proposed judicial reform. This rally outside of the Parliament (Knesset) was much larger than the left-wing opposition’s events for the past seventeen weeks. In his Twitter post in the same day, Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his thanks by stating, “I thank the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who came to Jerusalem tonight to support our government. Your passion and patriotism move me deeply.”

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis gathered in Jerusalem on April 27 to support the PM and the governm

2022 election, the Prime Minister saw that he had received a mandate for the needed judicial reform. The proposed reform has four parts: the override clause, removing the reasonability test; appointing judges; and legal advisers. The government’s plan would weaken Israel’s Supreme Court by limiting its power to review laws and strike them down. The appointment of judges by the ruling (right-wing) government has angered the opposition. The Knesset is scheduled to vote for it.

The Prime Minister has argued that “The balance between the branches in the governmental system has been violated over the last two decades and even more so in the recent years. One thing I am not willing to accept is a minority of extremists that are willing to tear our country to shreds…escorting us to civil war and calling for refusal of army service, which is a terrible crime.” Parts of the military have joined the protests, refusing to show up for reserve duty and are vowing not to serve if the reform plan is approved. As the protests continue, the Prime Minister has paused the reform plans to avoid further civil unrest.

Knesset, the center of the public rallies and protests

The U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy arrived for a two-day visit to Israel, leading a bipartisan congressional delegation of twenty lawmakers. In a historic address at the Knesset on May 1, 2023, McCarthy vowed to strengthen the ties between the two legislative bodies, and he hailed the strong relations between the U.S. and Israel.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy addressing
the Knesset in May

The House Speaker opened his speech, noting that it was an honor to join Israeli dignitaries and lawmakers in Jerusalem, in the Eternal Capital of Israel. He emphasized that the land of Israel is “the birthplace of the Jewish people,” adding that the Jews never stopped praying to return to their ancestral home after being forcibly exiled from it.

“Israel’s rebirth is nothing less than a modern miracle and I thank you for it. The source of that miracle is the people of Israel. In those dark days, thousands of years ago, the Jewish people were scattered from Israel. The prophet Isaiah predicted a brighter future to come. Inspired by God, he shared His command, ‘Arise, shine, for thy light is come.’”

Speaker McCarthy praised Israel as a thriving democracy in the Middle East. He highlighted the progress that the Israeli economy has made over the years, moving from a country that once relied on rationing food and oil to becoming the fourth ranked best performing economy among developing nations.

“The story of Israel is a story of survival against the perils of war and terrorism. It is a story of pioneers fulfilling a sacred promise inspired by a commitment to freedom, to family, and to faith in God. It is a story of hope that continues to inspire millions worldwide,” he continued.

“My friends, today, 75 years after declaring independence, Israel’s light shines brighter than ever before,” McCarthy added. “America is grateful for our friendship with Israel. We are a better nation because of it, and we must never shy away from defending it. We have come so far in 75 years, but the promise of years ahead is just as compelling. I believe the best days for Israel and our unbreakable bond are ahead of us,” stated McCarthy. (For the full speech, visit All Israel News, May 1, 2023)

On the 75th State Anniversary visit, the U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the bipartisan delegation visited the Knesset (top right photo). Israeli Parliament Speaker Amir Ohana invited McCarthy to Israel (two left photos).

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Exiled Jews returned to stay

Israel’s Independence Day was founded on the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel by the Jewish leadership, headed by future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948. As seen in the historic documentary films, the mood outside of Ben-Gurion’s home just prior to the declaration was joyous.

“The Jews of Palestine…were dancing because they were about to realize what was one of the most remarkable and inspiring achievements in human history: A people which had been exiled from its homeland two thousand years before, which had endured countless pogroms, expulsions, and persecutions, but which had refused to relinquish its identitywhich had, on the contrary, substantially strengthened that identity; a people which only a few years before had been the victim of mankind’s largest single act of mass murder, killing a third of the world’s Jews, that people was returning home as sovereign citizens in their own independent state.” (“Ben-Gurion and the return to Jewish Power” by Michael B. Oren)

Independence was declared eight hours before the end of the British Mandate of Palestine, which was due to end on May 15, 1948. The operative paragraph of the Declaration expresses the declaration to be by “virtue of our natural and historic right and on the basis of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly.” The new state was quickly recognized by the U.S., the Soviet Union and many other countries. However, the surrounding Arab states declared war on the new state.

The Arab-Israeli War (Israel’s War of Independence) began on May 15, 1948a day after Israel was declared independent. The Arab population of the newly established Jewish state responded by rioting and attacking the Jewish villages. In the days leading to the war and during the first weeks, leaders of the surrounding Arab countries urged Israeli Arabs to leave and temporarily settle elsewhere. It was widely broadcast in the Arab world that the Jews would be driven away so that the Arabs (estimated 700,000) could soon return to their homes and even occupy the vacated Jewish homes.

However, in the coming years, about 800,000 Jewish refugees arrived from Europe and the neighboring Arab countries. Some Palestinian Arabs returned to Israel, but most remained for decades in the tens of refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency set up the camps. As the Jewish State today celebrates the annual Independence Day, the state’s Arab population commemorates Nakba Day (Memory of the Catastrophe). In December 2022, the UN passed a resolution to observe Nakba Day at the General Assembly on the same day, May 15th.

Golden coin minted for Israel’s 75th State Anniversary in 2023

The Olim Store

Again today, individuals and organizations are assisting the Jewish people who escape the war in Ukraine. Since the Russian invasion began, about 35,000 people from Ukraine and Russia have come to Israel as new immigrants, and an estimated 50,000 Ukrainian Jews have been displaced.

The new immigrants come to CFI’s Olim Store by an appointment. They are given a gift, and invited to shop for clothing and other needs. CFI shares information with each visitor of how friends in the nations are praying for their life in Israel and blessing their households with many new items. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Immigrants shopping in the Olim Store


Ukrainian refugees boarding a flight to Israel

Nurse to the Warsaw Ghetto Swedish diplomat in Hungary

Irena Sendler was a Polish Irena Sendler was a Polish humanitarian, social worker, and nurse. She served in the Polish Underground Resistance during WW2 in German-occupied Warsaw.

In 1943, she was the head of the children’s section of Zegota, the Polish council to aid the Jewish people. In her position, Irena had access to the Warsaw Ghetto. With other workers and volunteers, Irena participated in smuggling Jewish children out of the Ghetto. She arranged false documents for the children and also shelter with willing Polish families, orphanages, and other care facilities. Irena and her team rescued over 2,500 children from the Holocaust. In October 1943, Irena was arrested, tortured, and imprisoned by the Gestapo. She had managed to hide the list of the rescued Jewish children and never revealed anything about her work or the children. In 1965, Irena was recognized by Yad VaShem as one of the Polish Righteous Among the Nations.

British hero of the Holocaust

Sir Nicholas Winton was a British humanitarian who helped to rescue mainly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia on the eve of WW2. On his brief visit to Czechoslovakia, he helped to compile a list of children needing to be rescued. When Winton was back in Britain, he worked to fulfill the legal requirements for bringing the children to Britain and finding them homes and sponsors. The operation was later known as the Czech Kindertransport.

Assisted with many others, Winton ultimately found homes in Britain for 669 children, many of whose parents perished in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Winton wrote also to President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking the U.S. to take some of the children. Winton claimed that two thousand more could have been saved if the U.S. had helped. Sweden alone agreed to assist Britain. Nicholas Winton, the British hero of the Holocaust, had a Jewish heritage; therefore, he has not been recognized as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Swedish diplomat in Hungary

Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat, and humanitarian. He saved thousands of Jews in German-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from German Nazis and Hungarian fascists. While serving as Sweden’s special envoy in Budapest in 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings he declared as Swedish territory.

On 17 January 1945, during the Siege of Budapest by the Red Army, Wallenberg was detained on suspicion of espionage and subsequently disappeared. In 1957, 12 years after his disappear-rance, he was reported by Soviet authorities to have died of a suspected myocardial infarction on 17 July 1947, while imprisoned in the Lubyanka, the prison at the headquarters of the secret police in Moscow.

Wallenberg’s arrest and imprisonment by the Soviet government along with questions surrounding the circumstances of his death and his ties to U.S. intelligence, remain shrouded in mystery and are the subject of continued speculation and research.

As a result of his successful efforts to rescue Hungarian Jews, Wallenberg has been the subject of numerous humanitarian honors in the decades following his presumed death. In 1981, the US Congressman Tom Lantosone of those saved by Wallenbergsponsored a bill making Wallenberg an honorary citizen of the United States, the second person ever to receive this honor. Wallenberg is also an honorary citizen of Canada,

Hungary, Australia, the United Kingdom and Israel, where Wallenberg was recognized as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Numerous monuments have been dedicated to him, and streets have been named after him throughout the world. He was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress “in recognition of his achievements and heroic actions during the Holocaust.”

Righteous Gentiles Among the Nations

When Yad VaShem, the Shoah Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, was established in 1953 by the Knesset, one of its tasks was to commemorate the Righteous Gentiles Among the Nations. The Righteous were defined as non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Since 1963, a commission headed by the Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel has been charged with the duty of awarding the honorary title. Guided in its work by certain criteria, the commission meticulously studies all documentation including evidence by survivors and other eyewitnesses, evaluates the historical circumstances and the element of risk to the rescuer, and then decides if the case meets the criteria.

The award has been given without regard to the social rank of the helper. It has been given to royalty such as Princess Alice of Battenberg, Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, but also to others like the philosopher Jacques Ellul and to the department store employee Hendrika Gerritsen in Amsterdam.

A person who is recognized as Righteous for having taken risks to help Jews during the Holocaust is awarded a medal in their name, a certificate of honor, and the privilege of having their name added to those on the Wall of Honor in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad VaShem. The awards are distributed to the rescuers or their next of kin during ceremonies in Israel, or in their countries of residence through the offices of Israel’s diplomatic representatives.

As of January 2021, a total of 27,921 men and women from fifty-one countries have been officially recognized for having risked their lives or their liberty and position to help the Jews during the Holocaust. The list of Righteous Among the Nations includes most of the European countries, such as Poland with 7,177, Netherlands with 5,910, France with 4,150, Ukraine with 2,673, Belgium with 1,774, and Lithuania with 918. The United States is listed with five Righteous having saved Jewish lives.

The symbol of the Righteous Among The Nations

At least 130 Righteous non-Jews have settled in Israel. They were welcomed by Israeli authorities and were granted citizenship. They are entitled to a pension, free health care, and assistance with housing and nursing care. Some Righteous Gentiles settled already in British Mandatory Palestine before Israel’s establishment and more came later.

The early comers often spoke fluent Hebrew and integrated well into Israeli society. The children and grandchildren of Righteous Gentiles are entitled to temporary residence status, but not to permanent Israeli citizenship.

Watchmaker in the Netherlands

Corrie Ten Boom committed years of her life to helping others. She met the criteria of a Righteous Gentile by having risked her life to save hundreds of Jewish people during the Holocaust. Corrie was arrested and sent to a concentration camp. She lost members of her family and endured the hardship of hiding from the Gestapo and local Dutch authorities.

Corrie was trained to be a watchmaker, and in 1922, she became the first woman with a license to work as a watchmaker in the Netherlands. As a Christian, she knew that the Jews were precious to God. This understanding was soon tested as in June 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands. Jewish people came to search for a hiding place with Corrie’s family. The family took them in,

knowing that the police headquarters was only half a block away. All her family members became active in the work of the Dutch underground.

A secret room to hide six people at the time was built adjacent to Corrie’s room. The wartime shortages meant that food was scarce. Every non-Jewish Dutch received a ration card for weekly food coupons. Corrie managed to secure enough ration cards to feed the refugees in her home.

In February 1944, a Dutch informant told the Nazis about the Ten Boom family and their underground work. Corrie’s family was arrested and sent to prison. However, the six people hiding in her home remained undiscovered and later escaped and survived the war years.

“The Hiding Place”

Corrie’s most famous book is a biography that recounts the story of her family’s efforts, and how she found and shared hope in God while being held for times in the concentration and work camps.

Member of the Nazi Party

A German industrialist, humanitarian activist and a member of the Nazi Party, Oskar Schindler, is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunition factories in occupied Poland.

By July 1944, Germany was losing the war, the SS began closing down the easternmost concentration camps and deporting the remaining prisoners westward. Many were murdered in Auschwitz and other camps. Learning about it all, Schindler convinced the SS commandant of the nearby camp to allow him to move his factory to Brnenec (Bohemia-Moravia), thus sparing his workers from almost certain death in the gas chambers.

By his bribing the Nazi officers, l,200 people from the Jewish Ghetto were allowed to travel to Schindler’s relocated factory in Brnenec. Schindler continued to bribe SS officials to prevent the execution of his

workers until the end of WW2 in May 1945, by which time he had spent his entire fortune on bribes and making black market purchases to supply his factory needs and sustain his workers. At its peak, Schindler employed about 1,750 workers of whom over one thousand were Jews.

Schindler’s factory in Brnence

Oskar Schindler died in October 1974 in Germany but was buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. He was the only former Nazi Party member to be honored this way. In 1993, Oskar and Emilie Schindler were named Righteous Among the Nations.




IDF Mission

Israel Defense Forces purpose: To defend the existence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the State of Israel; to protect the inhabitants of Israel and to combat all forms of terrorism which threaten the daily life. CFI and Project David’s Shield aim to stand in solidarity with the stated mission of the IDF. The best armies in the world are the ones that believe in what they are doing so much that they will make any sacrifice to further the cause and accomplish their mission. We have a responsibility as Christian Friends of Israel, in Jerusalem and from the nations, to let the Israeli soldiers know that we love and support the IDF and to remind them who they are. We strive to remind them that they don’t fight their battles alone, and that the God of Israel is with them. We are able to tell them that they have millions of people around the world who pray for them daily! Thank you for joining us to pray for and support the nation’s defenders.

Israel’s domestic situation

Nationwide protests 

Under PM Netanyahu’s leadership, the current government is planning to overhaul Israel’s judicial system. News about the expected changes has caused Israelis to protest for weeks. At the end of February, over 300,000 Israelis in cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Herzlya, Haifa and Beersheba participated in mass protests. Former PM Ehud Barak joined the protestors, encouraging people to disobedience. Following Barak’s comments, the Likud Party filed a complaint against him with the police. 

A mass protest against the government in front of the Bank of Israel (left) and the Knesset (right)

 Deadly February 

 A total of fourteen Israelis were killed in February by Palestinian Arabs. Terrorist attacks took the lives of children, teenagers, sons, mothers and fathers civilians and soldiers. The latest victim was an American-Israeli, Elan Ganeles (26), who visited Israel to attend a friend’s wedding. He was shot to death near the Dead Sea while driving to the event. Elan served as a computer programmer in the IDF before returning to the States. Elan’s parents arrived to the funeral as they wanted their son to be buried in Israel. Elan is the last on the right in the above picture collection. The two young men next to him were soldiers who were killed a day before Elan. May they all rest in peace. 

April 1, 2023

Call to intercession

Yemin Moshe, Jerusalem

 Prophetic word from
April 17, 2011 

In light of the events in Israel and the world’s pressure directed toward the Jewish nation, the following prophetic words, given to Lance Lambert in 2011 and 2015, are republished as an urgent call for intercessors. 

“It is well with you that you intercede for Israel that she be saved, for it is My Purpose to save her. I will complete the circle of Redemption that began with Abraham and My Promise that a great nation would come forth from him, and that in him would all the families of the earth be blessed. And so it has happened! For Israel became the vehicle through which My Word has come to all the nations, and also, My Salvation and the knowledge of My Purpose. From this nation, above all, came the Messiah. 

“Soon the fullness of the Gentiles will have been saved, and I will turn again to Israel, to My Jewish People. They shall be reingrafted into their own olive tree, and My Promise to Abraham will be gloriously fulfilled. 

“Then their hardness of heart will melt, their blindness will be turned into sight, and their suffering to radiant Glory. This is my determined purpose, and I shall not be turned from it. It will shortly begin to be fulfilled. I will turn all their weakness into unbelievable power, and I will use this nation as the last witness to the world as to who I am. 

“Take very seriously what is taking place in the Arab world. It is no good for Israel! It is not a move toward freedom and true democracy but an enormous gain for militant Islam. They will seek to annihilate and liquidate Israel, but they will not only fail; their strength and power will be broken, and a huge harvest of souls will be saved from amongst them. 

“Hear Me! I call you to intercession! It will not be easy. All the powers of My enemy are centered and focused on stopping this people from coming into My Redemption and Salvation. But he will fail! I look, therefore, for those who will stand in the gap, who will build up the wall, and those who will stand in the place of intercession. 

“Shortly, also, I will begin more serious judgment on the Western nations. I will bring them to nothing. I will turn them upside down. I will grind them to powder. They will not know what has hit them. It will seem as if there is nothing left of what once I worked in those nations, especially that Superpower. I will bring it to weakness; she will no longer be super but a pity of the nations. 

“Hear this Word of Mine: I call you to intercede for those who belong to Me in those nations, that they will be saved from it! Hear this cry. My heart yearns for those who belong to Me that they might be transparent in their understanding, clear in the way that they are to walk in the midst of all this. 

“Do hear Me! For I speak to you who love Me and who have remembered Me. I do not desire judgment, but the judgment of the most serious and devastating kind will fall upon those nations. Hear this Word from Me, and obey My call to intercession! 

Lance Remembered

Lance was an advisor for many years to ministries such as CFI Jerusalem. He ministered in our conferences and other events. We miss him greatly. Lance lost most of his family and relatives (total of 60) in the Holocaust. The only relative I learned about was Lance’s sister, living in Jerusalem.

 Watch Russia! 

Prophetic word from
March 15, 2015 

 “Everything in Israel will change, upside down and inside out. Nothing will be where it used to be. They will seek to destroy Israel but they will see that they are destroying themselves. Bibi Netanyahu has been faithful.” 

 “Everything will change and the only certainty is that I am the Lord. Do not fear. I will defend Israel and I will save her. You will suffer and suffer greatly because I will turn everything upside down and inside out. I will not fail you and I will not fail Israel. 

“Take note when you see these things. I am in the battle and I have won. Keep your eyes on my power and you will be safe. 

 “Watch Russia for she is up to no good. Watch her carefully,’ says the Lord. ‘With your own eyes you shall see my triumph over darkness and evil. Trust in me,’ says the Lord. 

 “We have to know the Lord and Power of His resurrection. It is not enough to be a dead Christian. 

If the Lord says it is going to be unparalleled, then it is going to be unparalleled. It is worth knowing Him, and above all, trusting in Him.” 

Lance Lambert
Yemin Moshe

   Messiah’s footsteps 

 “When you hear that the Russians have captured  (the city of) Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that His steps are being heard. And when you hear that  Russians have reached the city of Constantinople; you should put on your Shabbat clothes and not  to take them off because it means that Messiah is about to come in any moment.”  Rabbi Elijah of Vilna (Vilna Gaon, 17201797)  Jewish scholar in Lithuania 

Lance (left) with Sharon and Ray Sanders of CFI

Lance hosting friends in 2014- the Cohens (left), his sister (middle), and David Dolan (right).

Lance’s neighborhood, the Yemin Moshe