Emergency call continues 

Israel is working hard to accommodate the coming  Ukrainian refugees. The Ministry of Absorption has placed them in hotels for a month. After that, the refugees must find other places to live. Ministries like CFI are critical this time to assist them with urgent personal needs. Each of our relief packages costs $250. If you would like to be part of the outreach, please reply to this mailing or visit us at  www.cfi-usa.org to donate. 

 We bless you for recognizing the needs and sending your support today! Psalm 125:15. 

Refugees from Ukraine arriving in Tel Aviv

CFI assistance ready for the refugees

 Outreach to Ukrainian Jews 

 Your concern and giving were in action during the recent outreach to the Jewish refugees from Ukraine. CFI was given permission to visit the refugees and bring them relief packages. The events took place first at the hotel parking lots. Without you, we would not have been ready for such a sudden operation. 

As more refugees arrive, the word about our Jerusalem Distribution Center is circulating among them. They currently arrive in the Center to receive assistance. Now also, other Jerusalem ministries are helping with several needs; however, Christian Friends of Israel was the very first organization to reach out to the refugees. We sincerely thank you! 

CFI Jerusalem outreach team unloading the packages

 Prayer Needs

Historic immigration 

We are witnessing today a major aliyah, the arrival of immigrants in Israel. Ukraine may not be the only 

country contributing to this wave this year. News already reports of numerous people leaving Russia. If the Russian aggression is not stopped, the Jewish people from the Baltic and other European countries may join in. 

Coming global food insecurity 

Ukraine is known as the breadbasket of the world and the fifth-largest importer of wheat. The war in Ukraine has taken this year’s planting season. As grain prices skyrocket, many poor countries already fear food insecurity, even famine. 

Terrorism returns 

In late March 2022, terrorist attacks in central Israel took the lives of eleven people, making the month the deadliest in several years. Two of the victims were guest workers from Ukraine. 

Pray for peace 

“May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces. For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, ‘May peace be within you’” (Psalm 122:78). 

 Meeting refugees (left) and your blessings in packages to be carried home (right). Photos by Tommie Coleman, CFI Jerusalem 

 Golda Meir, Kyiv’s own daughter 

When Golda Mabovitch was born in 1898 in Kyiv, in the Kyiv Governorate in the Russian Empire, anti-Semitic pogroms were commonplace in her town. In her autobiography, Golda wrote that her earliest memories included her father boarding up the front door in response to rumors of an imminent pogrom. During those years, many Jews were wounded, Jewish property was damaged, and hundreds of families were financially ruined. Until the 1917 Russian revolution, the city became notorious for police “hunt attacks” on illegal Jews. Despite all this, the Jewish population grew from 50,000 in 1910 to over 81,000 in 1913, and probably, even more, evaded the census. 

Golda’s father left for New York in 1903 to find work, and two years later, he moved to Milwaukee, WI for a better-paying job. A few years later, the Mabovitch family was united in Milwaukee. Golda’s first contact with Zionism came in the years when she lived with her sister Sheyna’s family in Denver, CO, where young people met for conversations about trade unionism, literature, women’s suffrage, and more. 

After she married Morris Meyerson, the couple moved to the British Mandate of Palestine, where they joined kibbutz Merhavia in the Jezreel Valley. Their life was full of manual labor until the kibbutz chose Golda as a representative to the General Federation of Labor, the Histadrut. In 1938, Golda was the Jewish observer from Palestine at the Evian Conference, which was called by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to discuss the question of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe. 

Prime Minister Golda Meir in the White House in March 1973 with President Richard Nixon (middle) and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (right)

 Golda was one of 24 signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. In the following year, she was appointed Ambassador to the Soviet Union. At the time, good relations with the Soviets were important for Israel to secure arms from the Eastern European countries. In 1949, Golda was elected to the Knesset, serving as Minister of Labor. 

In January 1966, Golda retired from the Foreign Ministry, citing ill health. After Levi Eshkol’s sudden death in February 1969, the party elected Golda as his successor, and in March 1969, she began serving as Prime Minister until summer 1974. Known as Golda Meir, she was the first female and the fourth prime minister of Israel. 

During Golda’s years in politics, she was involved in navigating several domestic and international crises. She met with world leaders, was injured when a bomb was thrown into a Knesset chamber, praised the work of Pope Pius XII, fought for the Jews to leave the Soviet Union in the 1970s, and appealed to the world to condemn the Munich massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics. 

In the days leading to the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, Israeli intelligence could not determine that an attack on Israel was imminent. They assured Golda that the situation did not cause an alarm, so she did not mobilize Israel’s forces for a pre-emptive strike. Following the Yom Kippur War, the government was plagued by infighting and questions over Israel’s lack of preparation for the war. In June 1974, Golda Meir resigned from the Knesset and never returned to politics. (Used online resources) 

Golda Meir Memorial Plaque on the building where she was born in Kyiv.

 The war in Ukraine has made Golda Meir, their own daughter, is famous among the people as they apply Golda’s saying to their current situation: “If the Russians lay down their weapons, there would be no more fighting. If the Ukrainians  lay down their weapons, there  would be no more Ukraine.” 

Amphitheater of the MOTJ

 For people who changed the world through tolerance and peace 

 Over the last 3,500 years, few construction projects in the city have caused as much curiosity or controversy as this project. Set for completion in the summer of 2023, the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem is a project of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal center and museum. Its expansive 1,000-seat open-air amphitheater, theaters, a synagogue, cafes, a Grand Hall, and large communal spaces form a vibrant cultural center that serves visitors of all ages from throughout the region and the world. 

The story of the museum began in 1993 when then-Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek visited Los Angeles. He fell in love with the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance and invited its founder and dean Rabbi Marvin Hier to build something similar in Jerusalem. When Ehud Olmert replaced Teddy Kollek, the city allocated the current lot to the Wiesenthal Center. 

The design is based on Abraham’s tent being open on all sides and welcoming all populationsreligious and secular; Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and others. The outdoor amphitheater is flanked by a Second Temple aqueduct at its base. It was discovered two decades ago when the cultural center’s foundations were laid. Inside, the center spans four floors with a central staircase flowing through the middle and a skylight that displays colored beams at night. In two lower levels, there is the Children’s Museum, which tells the biblical story of Moses; children’s classrooms; a 150-seat theater; and a small police station that provides the center’s security. (Website: www.museumoftolerancejerusalem.com) 

 One side of the diamond-shaped building’s exterior is composed of limestone imported from Portugal. The stones change shades according to the angle of the sun and are treated to repel graffiti. The side facing the Old City boasts the longest glass façade in the Middle East. The MOTJ opened in 2019, and it has hosted a few high-profile events. However, visitors are encouraged to come in summer 2023 when the project is scheduled to be completed. 

The location of the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem

Emergency Assistance 

Ukrainian Jewish refugees are arriving in Israel. Among the first hundreds of new immigrants were 140 orphan children. They flee the war exhausted, traumatized, and emotionally drained. The refugees come with very few personal belonging, so they need help. We are preparing to assist them with the most urgent needs, such as blankets, bedding, sleeping bags, First Aid kits, solar lanterns, water, food coupons, and hygiene/sanitary kits. In Jerusalem, CFI delivers relief parcels to the new Ukrainian immigrants. We are now asking for your help! Each relief parcel costs $250. You may respond to this mailing, or make an online donation at www.cfi-usa.org – 

Project Ukrainian Jews. Thank you for your support in this time of emergency. 

 Ukrainian Jewish refugees traveling via Poland (top), and rescued Jewish orphans on the way to Israel (bottom) 

 A historic fulfillment of prophecy? 

 Over the last 150 years, the Jewish people have been coming home to Israel. They have been encouraged to leave their host countries by Jewish leaders, such as Theodor Hetzl in the 1890s, by Christian leaders for one hundred years, and for the past seventy years, by the existence of their own state, the State of Israel. 

Each significant aliyah came into being by one of the existing factors: wanting to be part of a historic fulfillment of prophecy, or having been uprooted from their home countries by wars, conflicts, and other political circumstances. Anti-Semitism has always been a factor, but in recent years it may have been the deciding factor in people making aliyah. 

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, some 19,000 Ukrainian Jews have made aliyah according to the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Absorption. Although the influx has subsided somewhat, a number of Ukrainian Jews have arrived every month. Today, about 500,000 of Israel’s population of 10.5 million people have Ukrainian origin. 

The marching band displays Ukraine’s yellow-blue flag colors

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ukrainian Jews in Israel demonstrate against the war

Wall of Prayer needed 

 These people have lost everything” 

A team of 40 medical personnel from Israel has arrived with tons of aid to provide care for the Ukrainian refugees in three field hospitals on the Moldovan side of the border. The medical team on their way to Moldova 

The medical team on their way to Moldova

Intercession for the leaders 

“O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption (Psalm 130:7). 

Prayer for the believers’ communities 

“How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways” (Psalm 128:1). 

Prayer for Aliyah 

“When the Lord brought back the captive ones of  Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our the mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting” (Psalm 126:1-2). 

Prayer for peace 

“The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil, He will keep your soul. The  Lord will guard you’re going out and you’re coming in from this time forth and forever” (Psalm 121:5-8). 

March 31, 2022

Wars and rumors of wars

 Ukraine under Russian attack 

In 2014, we wrote about the previous major Russian invasion of Ukraine. It was the most southern island of Crimea that was cut off from the mainland. During the past eight years, Russia has taken over additional areas of Luhansk and Donetsk in the eastern part of Ukraine. Then on February 21, 2022, Russia recognized these two peoples’ republics as independent states. 

The newest Russian War on Ukraine began on February 24, 2022. By the end of March, over 3.7 million Ukrainians had already fled to neighboring countries, mainly Poland, Hungary, and Moldova. Many estimate the Ukrainian refugees to reach 5.0 million people who are forced to find safety in other European countries. If Russia continues its invasion campaign, 2022 may see the refugee numbers double. 

As the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy (44), called 18-60-year-old men to remain in the country to fight, women and children have made the long and challenging journey out of Ukraine, often under the enemy fire. Recently, also Scandinavian countries, such as Denmark, have allowed volunteers (soldiers) to join the Ukrainian army. 

Some 100,000 Jews in Ukraine are eligible to immigrate under Israel’s Law of Return. The Jewish Agency, who is overseeing immigration to Israel (aliyah), is working to facilitate an expected large wave of Jewish immigrants. 

A crowded temporary camp at the Ukraine- Poland border, where the refugees have to wait for days to continue.  Camps like this were not set up to offer shelter, food, or water.

 Israel’s Immigration and Absorption minister, Pnina Tamano-Shata, has confirmed that Israel is ready to accept thousands of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine. To assist the Jews currently in refugee camps in Poland and Hungary, Israel has sent hundreds of tons of aid, including medicine and medical equipment, water, food, and tents. From Europe, Romania has pledged millions of dollars to care for the wounded in military and civilian hospitals. Other countries have sent military equipment and financial support. One of the reasons Russia began the war was to force Ukraine to stay out of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Currently, NATO has  30 members, 27 in Europe, two in North America (Canada and the U.S.), and one in Eurasia (Turkey). The U.S. has troops now in Poland, Latvia Romania, and Lithuania as a part of the multi-national battlegroups. (TOI and other online posts) 

Danish soldiers arrive in Ukraine


A Ukrainian mother hugging her two children in Poland. She had trusted the children into the care of an unknown Polish couple to look after them until she was allowed to cross the border.

March 31, 2022

Time for a New Exodus?

 Europe’s 1.4 million Jews 

In 1939, there were 16.6 million Jews worldwide, and a majority of the9.5 million (57%)lived in European countries. By the end of World War II in 1945, the Jewish population had shrunk to 3.8 million (35%) of the world’s 11 million Jews. According to the estimate, about 6.0 million European Jews were killed during the Holocaust. 

There are still more than a million Jews living in Europe making up about 10% of the world’s total Jewish population. That number has dropped significantly over the last several decades, especially in the Former Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries, due to the emigration to Israel. Now, a tiny fraction of the former Soviet Republics’ populationabout 310,000 peopleare Jewish. In the Eastern European countries of Poland, Hungary and Romania live about 100,000 Jews. 

Today, concerns over renewed anti-Semitism on the European continent have prompted Jewish leaders to talk of a new exodus from the region. See below the graphic about perpetrators of anti-Semitic verbal harassment and physical assault: 

According to the legend, Muslim and Christian groups make the vast majority of the attacks (Source: Bielefeld University)

 Many Jews in Europe feel under assault. In an EU poll of European Jews across the Continentpublished in January 2022a full 89% of those surveyed said that anti-Semitism had significantly increased over the past few years. They believed to be under “a sustained stream of abuse.” About 38% of those surveyed said that they no longer feel safe as Jews in Europe. 

European officials were stunned at the findings. Maybe they should not have been. Millions of new immigrants have settled in European countries, many from Muslim countries that harbor deep hostility to Israel, and sometimes also, to the Jews. 

Not waiting for their leaders, communities across Europe have begun to take action themselves because they fear what may happen if anti-Semitism is left unchallenged. In recent years, teachers, rabbis, imams, and local activists have launched countless initiatives to break stereotypes, educate youth and forge links across religions. Those fighting anti-Semitism caution that it is likely to take many years for their efforts to succeed. (References: Michael Lipka/Pew Research Center and other online resources) 

 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,  may my right hand forget her skill.  May my tongue cleave to the roof  of my mouth, if I do not remember you,  if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy  (Psalm 137:56) 

Standing with the guardians

As guardians, the IDF applies defense and deterrent operational strategies with a strict moral code of ethics. The instructions for ethical conduct given in the Torah are the Jewish people’s foundational principles. The IDF works to stop terror attacks all over Israel and guard the dangerous Gaza border area. Our David’s Shield project supports numerous IDF units with encouragement and needed care items. The project supports also 

Book storeDocumentaries for your library 

the reserve units, such as those who are called into active service during the wartime operations. 

Mark DeVito (CFI-USA) with soldiers stationed in the north (above) and a lone guardian in a watch tower (below)

 Ukraine and the Jews 

 The history of the Jews in Ukraine goes back over a thousand years. The Jewish community in the territory of Ukraine constitutes the third-largest Jewish community in Europe and the fifth-largest in the world. In Ukraine, the foundations developed for many modern Jewish theological and cultural traditions, such as Hasidic Judaism. While at times these communities flourished, they also faced periods of fierce persecution and anti-Semitic discrimination. 

Ukrainian Jews consist of a number of sub-groups, including Ashkenazi Jews, Mountain Jews, Bukharan Jews, Crimean Karaites, and Georgia Jews. From 1640 to1650, the Cossack and Crimean Tatar armies massacred and took into captivity tens of thousands of Jews, Roman Catholics, and Christians. Hundreds of Jewish communities were completely destroyed. 

In the following centuries, anti-Jewish riots and pogroms continued. During the Russian Revolution and War (1918-1920), an estimated 31,000 Jews were killed. In the years of the German occupation of Ukraine, about one million Ukrainian Jews were systematically killed. Remember the Babi Yar, Kiev, the massacre of 33,000 Jews by Nazis, in one location! 

In the days of the Ukrainian unrest in 2014, the Jewish aliyah to Israel increased over 140% as compared to the previous year. Since then, security has improved. In the 2019 Presidential Election, Ukraine elected its first Jewish President, Volodymyr Zelenski. As the tension is rising again on the Russia-Ukraine border, an estimated 75,000 Ukrainian Jews may be ready to leave the country for Israel. 

 A Mountain Jewish family in Or Akiva hosted one of our tours for an evening of a multi-course traditional meal, music and friendship 

 Wall of Prayer 

 “You will restore the foundations laid long ago; you will be called the repairer of broken walls, the restorer of streets where people live” (Isaiah 58:12). 

CFI’s Wall of Prayer department is repairing and restoring spiritual prayer walls around Israel. As we align our motives and actions with God’s heart, we too can be the repairers that He intended. When CFI issued the clarion call to strengthen prayer surrounding Israel, prayer warriors from several continents responded. They faithfully cry out to God on behalf of Israel. They are like first-century believers. “All these with one mind were continuing together in prayer…” (Acts 1:14). 

Linda McMurray, Wall of Prayer Join us to “Restore the Walls” as we International  Directors pray with Linda (and others from the Jerusalem Headquarters) for spiritual coverage, protection, and guidance for the Israeli leaders and military, and peace over the Jewish nation.