Bringing joy to their lives CFI continuously assisting educational programs including therapies and specialized courses for children with learning disabilities. We also help a special-needs youth village; afternoon, weekend and day-camp programs; and an educational enrichment center with psychological services for at-risk youth. Let’s together bring joy, care and opportunities to these precious Israeli children!
June 29, 2020
Support for the Jordan Valley annexation
According to an Israeli poll on June 3, just over half of Israelis supported applying sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria. The original vote for it was scheduled for July 1, as the issue remains a critical item all throughout the country. The Prime Minister has encouraged the Judea and Samaria Communities’ Council members to support the planned annexation. “O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever” (Ps. 131:3).
New round of coronavirus cases
Israeli schools had already reopened when in early June close to 200 new virus cases were diagnosed. The new Health Minister recommended school closings and as a result, tens of schools were closed again. Let’s pray for all the students and teachers in the Israeli school system that “The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever” (Ps. 121:8).
Turning to God in crisis
According to the new data released by Keevoon Global Research shows that over 1/3 of Israelis have strengthened their faith in God during the virus months. Many Israelis hope that the pandemic would lead everyone to know God and who is in control. “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord”
Rainfall of blessings
The Sea of Galilee is almost full and continues to rise in an unprecedented way. The recent heavy rainfall has replenished the country’s natural water sources and kept people in during the virus crisis.
“The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord shall make you the head and not the tail, and you only shall be above, and you shall not be underneath, if you will listen to the commandments of the Lord your God” (Deut. 28:12-13). All quotations from the NASB.
Water supply in danger
The Times of Israel news reported in June about a cyberattack against Israel’s water systems. Iran tried to increase chlorine levels in the water flowing to residential areas. It was estimated that hundreds of people would have been at risk of becoming sick and that the attack was close to being successful. In addition, there was a chance that the attack would have triggered a fail-safe, shutting down the pumps and leaving thousands without water during the recent deadly heatwave in Israel.
The Western officials and Israelis, who were briefed on the attack, told the newspaper that the Iranians hacked into the software that runs the pumps after routing through American and European servers to hide the source. Israel’s national cyber chief described the hack as “a synchronized and organized attack, aimed at disrupting key national infrastructure.”
Control of the Temple Mount
While Jordan had strongly objected to any change in the makeup of the Jerusalem Waqf (The Islamic Religious Trust managing sites on and around the Temple Mount), in recent months their stance has changed after Turkey became involved in east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Saudi Arabia and Israel are conducting negotiations to allow Saudi representatives to join the Trust. The Trust also has Palestinian representation which, in turn, allows Turkish organizations to operate on the Mount and provides the Trust with tens of millions of dollars of assistance. It is expected that Saudi Arabia will begin contributing to the Islamic Trust, as well.
June 29, 2020
Treasures from the Temple Mount Project
“Thou wilt arise, and have compassion upon Zion; for it is time to be gracious unto her, for the appointed time is come. For your servants have cherished her stones, and have redeemed her dust” (Ps. 102:13-14, commentary).
The story of the Temple Mount is the story of Jerusalem itself. A holy site to the three largest monotheistic religions, it is one of the most concentrated archaeological sites in the world. Yet, for political reasons, it has never been archaeologically excavated. Lack of access to the Temple Mount has created ignorance and misinformation about its history and compounded the controversies surrounding it.
In 1999, the Islamic Movement began building a large underground Mosque─illegally─on the Temple Mount and disposed of tons of dirt mixed with archaeological artifacts. The earth and artifacts within were dumped as garbage in the Kidron Valley.
Later an Israeli archaeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay retrieved some dirt from the dump, and in 2004, an organized sifting started. His initiative became the Temple Mount Sifting Project with the goal of rescuing ancient artifacts and conducting research to enhance an understanding of the archaeology and history of the Temple Mount. With the help of nearly 200,000 volunteers, thousands of valuable finds have been discovered. This sifting project’s finds constitute the first-ever archaeological data originating from the Temple Mount’s surface, dated mainly to the First Temple period and onwards.
Among the finds are about 5,000 ancient coins, various pieces of jewelry, an assortment of beads, arrowheads, furniture decorations, ornaments, and fragments of pillars, mosaic floors, and glazed tiles. Each bucket of dirt is carefully sifted and finds analyzed and recorded.
The floors where Jesus walked
The Second Temple period discoveries consist a large number of floor tiles in a variety of shapes and colors that were assembled together to form rich geometric patterns. The writings of Flavius Josephus testify that those patters were used as ornamentation for the Temple Mount open courts surrounding the Temple.
“These form the very floors upon which the high priests, the priesthood and the pilgrims walked, and these are the floors upon which Jesus walked when he came to the Temple Mount” explained Dr. Gabriel Barkay from the Bar-Ilan University in Jerusalem.
The Sifting Project has proven itself to be an inexhaustible source of knowledge for research and study of the Temple Mount. To date, about 70% of the debris removed from the Mount has been sifted and finds studied. (Online resources and CFI-USA photos.)
Two Second Temple period coins found in the sifted debris: “Shekel Israel” (L) and “Jerusalem Holy” (R).
Dr. Gabriel Barkay, a lecturer at several Israeli universities, received in 1996 the Jerusalem Prize for his life’s work as an archaeologist of Jerusalem.
Post-Soviet immigration at 30
The largest immigration in Zionist history turns thirty in the era of an increasing anti-Semitism and the worldwide virus pandemic. Between 1990 and 2020, about 1.6 million Soviet Jews and their non-Jewish relatives and spouses arrived in Israel as new immigrants. These waves of Jews include the Russian, Mountain, Georgian, Bukharan, and Crimean Karaite Jews, and they constitute nearly 45% of all immigrants in Israel.
Russian Jews have been dominant in Israeli politics. Former Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman from Moldova heads the Yisrael Beiteinu Party. He claims to represent the interests of the Russian-speaking Israelis. Prime Minister Netanyahu has praised the Soviet Jews by saying, that “they have integrated into the life of the country and have become a principal and important element in all aspects of life.”
Since the early years of Christian Friends of Israel in the 1980s, we have welcomed the Russian-speaking immigrants to the Center. The ministry has expanded with each wave of immigrants and their needs. By word of mouth, the Lord continues to spread the word about how newcomers can receive help at CFI. Every visitor is thankful for the assistance they receive and for all of you who love and support Israel! “Behold, I will bring them back to this place, and will cause them to dwell safely”(Jeremiah 32:37).
June 2, 2020
Critical family assistance
News from Israel reports about the struggles parents face to provide for their families. As the COVID19 pandemic is forcing more and more workplaces out of business, over one million Israelis (25% of the workforce) have lost their employment. Those who are self-employed are not entitled even to modest unemployment benefits. Lack of basics and increasing hunger are the reality for thousands of families. This situation came so suddenly, without allowing time for preparation. Please join us with prayers and finances to bless and encourage Israeli families. Thank you so much.
A view from Israel
The Jerusalem Post reported on April 29, 2020, Yair Netanyahu’s recent online post about Europe. Yair is a son of PM Netanyahu. In his post, Yair criticized a joint Israeli-Palestinian memorial ceremony for Israel’s Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron) for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism on April 28, and called for the return of a “free, democratic and Christian” Europe.
Yair continued by saying that, “It was a shame and disgrace by the European Union to finance the zoom webinar with about 200,000 participants in the holiest day of the Israeli calendar. We have one day in a year to remember our fallen soldiers. You destroy it with a memorial to Palestinian terrorists. EU is an enemy of Israel and an enemy to all European Christian countries!” It was not the first time for Yair Netanyahu to post his take on daily politics. In 2018, Facebook protested by deleting his account.
Rotating premiership and the new government
Under the new agreement between Likud (Benjamin Netanyahu) and Blue and White (Benny Gantz), Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for 18 months and after that will be replaced by Gantz who serves as vice prime minister. As planned, Netanyahu will step down in late 2021, having served for five of his premier terms totaling 15 years. Other well-known Likud members such as Nir Barkat, Avi Dichter, Yisrael Katz, Gilad Erdan, Gideon Sa’ar, Yuli Edelstein, are waiting for their opportunity to run for the office as soon as Netanyahu and Gantz finish their terms. (Photo: Gantz and Netanyahu signing the agreement.)
Return to God’s Word
Israelis are looking into the Biblical promises and word of protection over the virus concerns, and have joined mass prayer meetings held via digital streaming services. Let’s join Israelis to pray for the end of the COVID-19 virus all over the world and the revival of life under God’s leadership. It may be that the challenging months of the virus were allowed to the world to “dust” off their Bibles, read and meditate His word─to repent of years of sin and be better prepared for the increasing challenges in the years ahead. We have been forced to reorganize our life’s priorities.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord gives grace and glory. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11)
The epic collapse in oil price is seen as a second pandemic for the Middle East. This means regional conflicts, new alliances, and proxy wars. Lebanon’s economy was already on edge, and Turkey─with the most virus cases in the Middle East─is affected by the changing oil price. In Syria, Russia and Iran face off against the U.S. and Turkish-backed groups.
“Then it will come about in that day that the nations will resort to the root of Jesse who will stand as a signal for the peoples, and His resting place will be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10).
Violence to continue
Stabbing, rockets and other terrorist attacks against Israelis are taking place even during the country’s many restrictions. Children suffer from trauma due to rocket sirens and having to hide in bomb shelters. Join us in prayer for the children, that the God of all comfort heals, restores, and prepares them for life ahead.
“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 121:6−8).
June 2, 2020
Rediscovering Our Hebrew Lord
“The sands of time have hidden many an earthly treasure but none so valued, and of paramount importance, as…the Jewishness of Jesus to our faith.” ─Sharon Sanders
Among the sand dunes of history, formed by forces of powerful winds of doctrine, is an imprint which the Messiah of Israel left on the world. Truth demands the re-discovery of His roots and the story of His earthly life, which should be given back to the world to remember Him for who He was and forever shall be: a Jew!
It is the responsibility of those who see Him as He is from the Scriptures to share the centrality of His connection to Israel during the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). The real Jesus will bring into the light His true identity as He returns home to His People. What do I mean? Anyone can change a man’s name but not his birth certificate. In nearly every nation when a child is born, they are registered as to their nationality.
Census logbooks (also long ago buried in the sands of time) would have recorded the time and date of Jesus’ birth. The truth about Yeshua (Jesus) and His Jewishness is not irrelevant, nor unimportant as portrayed by the Church throughout the centuries. Whitewashing His ethnic background is nothing short of deception which has tarnished the credibility of Christianity in the Jewish world.
found in Syria and dated to about 235 A.D. He was already being depicted as a beardless man, dressed in the style of a philosopher, with close-cropped hair and wearing a tunic and pallium─a papal ecclesiastical church vestment of the Roman Catholic Church such as a Pope would wear” (Wikipedia.org). His actual outer garment would have been a seamless robe, similar to the garments worn by a High Priest in ancient Israel.
Christians must internalize that Jesus is a Jew. Nothing will ever change that truth! Whether the cover-up was an actual attempt at burying the truth or just an embarrassing ignorance, the evidence has been hidden from millions while submerged as if in a sand-covered burial tomb. Portrayed by the historical Church as insignificant today, Jesus’ Jewishness is hard to understand in some circles.
A Minor Point?
There is no doubt that anti-Semitic Church fathers suppressed what they felt to be a minor point in the Christian faith. They succeeded in causing a monumental error, as a result of wrong judgment. It was Christendom separating from its mother faith which brought about a parting of the ways between Judaism and Christianity which resulted in a watering down of the Lord’s role as the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world.
“Christians stand between Christ and the Jews concealing the Savior’s true image from them.” (Nikolai Berdyaev)
The sad Christian history of the distorted depiction of Jesus on the dockets of time shows that the list of qualifications that should have been emphasized to prove that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, as prophesized in the Jewish Scriptures, was either not important to Church fathers or was considered a minor point.
Christian history shrouded Jesus from His own people. Early portraits camouflaged His manhood and appearance. “The oldest known portrait of Jesus was
How could this have happened when Scripture shows that Jesus was born into a Jewish world? (Matthew 1:1−25). After the passing of the first Disciples, who were Jewish, Jesus began to be seen by Gentiles as a gentile God with blonde hair and blue eyes. His inner circle of Jews was no longer on the earth, and the manhood of Yeshua was quickly hushed up and covered over with time. Thus, a portrayal of a “new” Jesus, with little or no connection to the Jews, was introduced to the world.
Christianity needs to be reminded that it was a Jewish world who birthed, raised, and honored Him with multitudes following Him when He was on earth. It was the Jewish people who placed their garment on the donkey under Him, signifying they were accepting His Authority and submitting to it. It was Jewish people who lay palm branches in a royal procession and accompanied Him into Jerusalem. Are these minor points also?
Indeed, the sands of time did cover up the truth of Jesus’ nationhood, buried beneath them for centuries, but the imprint which Messiah Jesus left on this world demands that He be given back to the world.
Following the Jewish Agency’s estimation that the worldwide pandemic will lead to a large wave of Jewish immigration to Israel from the Diaspora, representatives of various aliyah groups met for an emergency gathering in early May. Isaac Herzog (Chairman of the Jewish Agency) reportedly expects that up to 100,000 Jews may leave their home countries for Israel [make aliyah] once the current global health emergency is under control.
Various Aliyah groups and agencies have received a large number of applications from prospective immigrants in North America, France, the Soviet Republics, and other places. Isaac Herzog said that Israel’s well-publicized relative success in battling the pandemic is one reason for the high-level interest.
West Bank annexation vote ahead?
Israel’s new government has yet to be sworn in, but the coalition agreement has been signed. The U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and other representatives of the Trump Administration have begun discussing the new peace plan’s implementation which would allow Israel to annex 30% of the West Bank, including all settlements and the entire Jordan Valley. Also, the plan would provide the Palestinians with a massive economic-aid package and support they’re establishing a demilitarized state if they meet certain conditions. The coalition agreement states that annexation can be brought to a vote in the cabinet or Knesset on July 1. On April 22, 2020, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “As for the annexation of the West Bank, the Israelis ultimately make the decisions, so it is an Israeli decision.”
May 4, 2020
Expanding life beyond the walls
The Yemin Moshe neighborhood is well-known as the center of the life of two Jewish men whose faith, courage, and dedication to the Jewish people influenced the history of Israel and the world at large. The first British-born gentleman was Sir Moses Montefiore (1784−1885). During the years 1827─1875, Sir Montefiore used ships and carriages to travel seven times to the Holy Land. As a financier, banker and philanthropist, he donated large sums of money to promote the industry, business, economic development, education, and health among the Levant Jewish communities of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus, and Israel.
The day’s Sir Montefiore spent in Jerusalem, caused him to increase his religious observance and to assist the people of the city. In 1860, he built the first Jewish residential community and poorhouse outside the old city walls, called Mishkenot Sha’ananim. Montefiore encouraged and assisted poor Old City families to move to the
new neighborhood. One of the landmarks of Jerusalem is the Montefiore Windmill in a nearby area that later became the Yemin Moshe neighborhood to provide inexpensive flour and other critical assistance to the poorest Jews. He attempted to purchase farmland for cultivation but was hampered by the Ottomans for not selling land for non-Muslims.
Leading in intercessory prayer
The second and more familiar in the Christian world is Lance Lambert (1931−2015) from Richmond, Surry of the U.K. where he grew up. At the age of 12, he came to know the Lord as his savior. Later he prepared to enter the ministry in China but was denied entry because of the Communist revolution. While serving in the Royal Air Force in Egypt in the 1950s, he learned the life-changing impact of intercessory prayer. From time to time, Lance reminded his audiences that people who referred to themselves as intercessors often were not.
On April 18, 2010, Lance Lambert received a prophetic word while participating in the Lord’s Table in Jerusalem. The following segments of the word are submitted for your consideration and encouragement.
Do not fear, neither be dismayed for that which is coming upon the face of the earth, for I am with you, says the Lord. Nevertheless, I have a serious controversy with nations. They are seeking to divide My Land, says the Lord, the land that I covenanted to give to Abraham and to his seed after him through Isaac and Jacob, as an everlasting inheritance. This I will not allow without devastating judgment upon those nations who pursue this plan.
It is My Word and My decree that has gone forth concerning the seed of Abraham. It will not be changed by man. I and I alone am Almighty. Do not fear! For this reason, a new and far more serious phase of judgment is commencing. Do not fear, it is I who is shaking all things. Remember that in Me you have peace; but in the world, tribulation. Trust Me.
I am shaking all things so that which cannot be shaken may remain. When all your circumstances become abnormal, discover in Me your peace, your rest, and your fulfillment. In this phase the old and powerful nations will become as if they are third world countries, super-powers will no longer be super-powers, but countries such as India and China will arise to take their place. A great company of the redeemed will come out of these two countries. In all this change, do not fear.
I know your weakness and your tendency to fear, but do not be dismayed at these things. In the midst of all this shaking, this turmoil and strife, there are two peoples that lie at its heart: the true and living Church and Israel.
I will use these matters, these events, to purify one and to save the other. Do not fear. Above the storms, the shaking, and the conflict, I am the Everlasting and Almighty One. In Me you cannot be shaken. You can only lose what is not worth holding.” ─Lance Lambert (Previously published in June 2010.)
May 3, 2020
Elderly in-home isolation
The segment of Israel’s population that is most significantly touched by the order to stay at home is the elderly, especially those who are sick or cannot move without assistance. They seldom have visitors in any case, but during this time of the spreading virus, family visits and medical care are almost non-existent. Traditionally, CFI has cared for the poorest and those most in need of assistance. Our Streams of Blessing reaches out to the elderly and aged Jewish people from many walks of life. We also assist other organizations in this field. Every week we receive requests for food, blankets, heaters, and financial help with rent or utilities, as well as for medical and hospital expenses. Relationships are a primary goal in our work as we hope to undo the damage done to the Jewish people by historical Christianity. Each case is carefully considered. Once the need is established, we not only assist but follow up with regular home visits. With your giving, we will be prepared to help them again as soon as the home isolation order is lifted. We thank you for your compassion and care.
May 3, 2020
Praying for His guidance
Making of a unity government
In late March, Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party collapsed and Mr. Gantz joined efforts with PM Benjamin Netanyahu to form a unity government. According to the reports, a rotating premiership will be established. Netanyahu serves first as Prime Minister for 18 months, followed by Gantz. As many uncertain issues remain, let’s pray for God’s guidance so that, at last, Israel will have an elected prime minister and a new government.
How important is Christian support for Israel?
Most Christians are familiar with Genesis 12:2−3 as God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants. How many of us understand the importance of supporting Israel and her modern-day government? Those who back the BDS movement do not realize that by boycotting Israeli companies they also harm the economy of hardworking Arabs. May we pray that more Christians look for truth and reality concerning Israel; and be connected to the blessings God has promised.
Arabs prefer living in Israel
A recent poll by the University of Haifa proved that over 68% of Israeli Arab citizens prefer to live in Israel than in any other country. “In Israel, there are many benefits of a modern way of life, but no concern of the Islamist takeover” said one of the interviewed Arabs. Let’s pray that the Arab Palestinians appreciate their current circumstances in Israel and work for the best of the country, not against it.
Mobile phone surveillance
Israel’s Health Ministry has begun using mass surveillance tools to retrace the movements of the COVID19 virus carriers who had been in close contact with those of confirmed virus cases. Already hundreds of people have been sent an order for a 14-day home-quarantine. The legality of the electronic tracking program is being challenged; however, nobody denies its benefits. Recite Psalm 125:2 over Israel, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem so the Lord surrounds his people…”
Giving in CFI’s 35th Anniversary Year
In the ministry of Christian Friends of Israel, we bring a blessing to the Jewish people and make a difference in their lives. As Jewish-Christian relations continue to grow, we are able to assist in difficult situations often presented to us. You make it possible for us to achieve our goals in repairing the damage done to the Jewish people. We do this in His Name and thank you for giving generously to our ongoing work.
CFI-USA issues official tax-deductible receipts for each and every gift received to our Charlotte, NC address. By leaving a gift to CFI in your Will, your compassion and love live on. It helps us to reach more people because lives are changed when we show we care, and when they know they are loved. Healing of hurts and misunderstanding happens when Jewish people know it is from Christians.
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ─ Alexander Graham Bell
May 3, 2020
From Spanish Flu to COVID19 Virus
The Spanish Flu did not prevent the San Remo Peace Conference of 1920 from taking place neither did the ash clouds from Iceland stop the 90th Anniversary in 2010. Despite the current pandemic, which has tragically placed Italy at the epicenter, preparations are being made for the next milestone, the 100th San Remo Anniversary event this year.
In Italy’s San Remo, France, Italy, Britain, Japan, and an observer from the United States (the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers of the Great War or WW1) met in April 1920, to decide how to manage the future territorial claims after the Ottoman Empire was defeated. Two mandates were formed: the French Mandate and the British Mandate of Palestine.
The 1920 San Remo Peace Conference has been described as a defining moment in the history of the Jewish people, paving the way for the rebirth of Israel in 1948. A resolution signed at the conference affirmed the decision to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. The first President of Israel, Chaim Weizmann called the conference “perhaps the most important event in the history of the Jewish people after our exile.”
The San Remo Resolution was for decades widely forgotten as the minutes of the conference were hidden in the British War Archives. In 2000, international legal scholars such as Jacques Gauthier and Howard Grief presented their finding─ independently of each other─claiming that the title deed to the land of Israel was given to the Jewish people in 1920.