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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.

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


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Forty years of peace with Egypt

In June 2019, President Reuven Rivlin hosted Egypt’s envoy to Israel at an event marking 40 years since the peace treaty between the two countries. In his speech, President Rivlin recalled that the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed only six years after the challenging Yom Kippur War in 1973. “We could never have imagined that only a few years later our leaders would hug and shake hands. This should serve as an inspiration for our efforts to achieve peace with all of our neighbors, especially our Palestinian neighbors” said Rivlin. He expressed an appreciation to Egypt’s current leader, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, stating that “President el-Sissi’s commitment to peace, stability, and cooperation has ensured that our relationship stays strong.”

President Sadat, President Carter and Prime Minister Begin at the Peace Treaty signing in the White House in 1979

In 1977, Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat made a historic visit to Israel. After months of intense negotiations, the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel was signed in March 1979 in the White House. Peace was restored, relations normalized and Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai Peninsula. The agreement made Egypt the first Arab state to officially recognize Israel, and also, caused an enormous controversy across the Arab world. The sense of outrage was particularly strong in the Palestinian camp. Their leader Yasser Arafat declared that “false peace will not last.” The past forty years of peace with Egypt has proved that peace treaties can last. Since the signing of the treaty, Egypt has become an important strategic partner of Israel, and furthermore, Egypt began receiving economic and military aid from the United States.

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News from Bahrain

Members of the U.S. delegation in Bahrain, June 2019

The Bahrain Economic Conference took place in June 26−27, 2019, in Manama, the Kingdom of Bahrain. A large number of Arab state and prominent world leaders gathered for the event which concentrated mainly in the U.S. Administration’s efforts to bring peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Given the decades of failures to achieve peace, the U.S. has taken a different approach with this conference, one that aims to aid the Palestinian economy before focusing on the political aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Ahead of the event, the U.S. Administration released a 10-year investment plan for Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. The total value of the economic package is $50 billion from which about $27 billion is allocated to the development of the Palestinian economy. It is estimated that the financial plan would create about one million new jobs and improve in other ways the mostly poor Palestinian Arabs’ lives. Since 1950s, the Palestinians have received total of $11 billion of international financial aid, which is more than Japan or all Europe received for rebuilding after WW2.

As expected, the Palestinian leadership boycotted the conference. By refusing such a generous economic opportunity which is endorsed by its major Arab allies, the Palestinian Authority demonstrated that it does not have an interest in the wellbeing or peace of its own poeples. For the conference days the PA sent rioters with flaming balloons to the Gaza border. It appears that the Palestinians have missed the deal of the century to continue embracing poverty and their conflict with Israel. (References: Online news posts of Jerusalem News Syndicate and the Times of Israel)


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Remembering Teddy Kollek, the Mayor of the Eternal City

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“For three thousand years, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish hope and longing. No other city has played such a dominant role in the history, culture, religion and consciousness of a people as has Jerusalem in the life of Jewry and Judaism. Throughout centuries of exile, Jerusalem remained alive in the hearts of Jews everywhere as the focal point of Jewish history, the symbol of ancient glory, spiritual fulfillment and modern renewal.” ─ Teddy Kollek

Much of the face of modern Jerusalem is due to the efforts of former mayor, Teddy (Theodor) Kollek. He worked to develop the city in accordance to its proper reputation as the capital of Israel. Kollek was born in Vienna and was active in the Jewish Halutz pioneering movement in Europe. He moved to Eretz Israel in 1934, and soon thereafter helped to found Kibbutz Ein Gev on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. During the following decades, he represented Jewish interests in Europe and the United States. In 1952, Kollek returned to Israel to manage the Prime Minister’s office.

In 1965, Kollek was elected mayor of Jerusalem. He served the city for six termstotal of twenty-eight (28) years. Presiding over the city when it was unified in 1967, Kollek was determined to develop Jerusalem not only as a geographically and municipally united city, but as a socially unified one as well. His most intense efforts went towards bridging the gaps between the varied ethnic and religious populations. He recognized the Arab sector’s needs and respected the religious values of the ultra-Orthodox community, yet resisting

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any attempt at religious coercion in the city affairs. Kollek’s openness and tolerance earned him the respect of many, both in and out of Jerusalem. The city grew in size and in variety. New neighborhoods were launched; parks, community centers and educational and religious establishments were supported. He oversaw the rebuilding of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, founding of the Israel Museum and cultural institutions such as the Jerusalem Theater. In 1961, Kollek established the Jerusalem Foundation, whose goal is to further the aesthetic and cultural development of the city. In 1993, Kollek ran for one more time for the officethe seventh termbut lost to Ehud Olmert. Teddy Kollek passed away in 2007.

In memory of Jerusalem’s longest serving mayor, the Teddy Kollek Park was established in 2013 at the foot of the Old City walls. In the center of the park is Israel’s only sound and light fountain with 1800 light fixtures and a recording of music performed by the Jerusalem Philharmonic Orchestra. There is also a wishing well made of Jerusalem stone, a sun dial (see the top photo), statues, an aqueduct and a visitor center displaying the history of the city’s development. (Online resources, top photo by CFI-USA, June 2019)


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Celebrating Shavuot 2019                              

For many friends of Israel, the annual CFI Conference is the highlight of the year. We welcome you in June to Jerusalem to worship, praise and hear firsthand outstanding speakers and international musicians. Join in exciting city and museum excursions and fellowship with new friends from the nations. The conference begins on Monday, June 3, and continues with daily sessions through the evening of Wednesday, June 5, in the Manachem Begin Heritage Center. The invited speakers include:[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Right to left: Rabbi Yehuda, Glick, Jonathan Spyer Rick Ridings and Chris Mitchell

Menachem Begin Heritage Center, #6 Nakhon St, Jerusalem

Conference participants on an afternoon excursion to the Judean hills to learn about the area’s history

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Feasts of weeks

The Jewish holiday of Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks, and also known as Pentecost, is celebrated between May 15 and June 14. Shavuot has a double significance. It marks the all-important wheat harvest in Israel and it commemorates the anniversary of the day when God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai. Shavuot is one of the three main Biblical pilgrimage festivals along with Succoth and Pesach. According to the law, Shavuot is celebrated in Israel for one day and in the diaspora (out of Israel) for two days. In 2019, Shavuot falls on June 8−9. Traditional blintzes and other dairy meals are served.

“And you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year” (Exodus 34:22).


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From Holocaust to independence

In 1971, a special monument sculpted by Nathan Rapoport was inaugurated in the Martyrs Forest of the Jerusalem hills. Rapoport said about the sculpture that, “My words have been made of bronze and stone. They are silent, heavy and longstanding.” The monument material is bronze, to last for generations to come. The sculpture, Scroll of Fire, is in the shape of two scrolls for the Jewish nation being the People of the Book. One of the scrolls describes the Holocaust with symbols of Nazi soldiers, ghetto fighters and fences of the concentration camps. The scroll ends with Holocaust survivors arriving in Israel. The scroll describing independence features symbols of Israel, such as olive trees, a man blowing a shofar, the Western Wall and an angel blowing a trumpet. There are two memorial rooms in the space between the scrolls. One of the rooms has a quote from the Book of Ezekiel, reading:[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]“Thus says the Lord God: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. I shall put my spirit in you and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own Land.”  Ezekiel 17:12─14[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Holocaust took the lives of most of the European Jews, including 3.0 million Polish Jews and 8 Jews from Finland. The recent studies into the years of the Holocaust prove that no country was blameless for the destruction of the European Jewry. Never again!

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Yad VaShem’s research continues

The World Holocaust Remembrance Center calls the Polish Holocaust bill very regrettable and says that it will risk distorting history. Yad VaShem vows to continue supporting research into the Polish population’s attitudes toward Jews in general and the role the Poles played in the persecution of Polish Jews during the Holocaust. The move by the Polish Parliament drew condemnation in Israel from across the political spectrum. Knesset Ministers have called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to immediately recall Israel’s ambassador from Poland. (more…)

 For security’s sake

Welcome to Efrat in the mountains of Judea! This Community, with a population of 8,700 people, was established in 1983 and is considered the capital of the Gush Etzion block. It is situated about 7.5 miles south of Jerusalem, between Bethlehem and Hebron. On our visits to tree planting in Efrat, we have met Mayor Oded Ravivi and other community members.

Since Efrat also has been a target of terrorist attacks, they need emergency equipment and life-saving devices to protect their residents. Surveillance cameras are critically important to spot terrorists before they infiltrate the community. Please join us to assist Efrat for the sake of all the residents’ security. Thank you!

Exciting times

There has been so much Biblical prophecy taking place in Israel over the past months. It is mind boggling but so powerfully invigorating as we watch the power of God’s prophetic Word arise in today’s modern world to prove its eternity.

The Temple Mount─on which the Jewish people have not been able to pray for over ten years─has again come under Jewish control. No doubt this will cause endless anger and hatred from the radical Muslims. However, God will do things His way. War looms on our horizon and even Iran is getting into the picture. Pro-Iranian forces are circling the nation and Hezbollah is ready for a war in the north from Lebanon. Gaza is a boiling pot of hatred from Palestinian terrorists. Iran, Syria, Egypt and other neighboring Arab countries are making
plans to join together for one purpose: TO DESTROY ISRAEL.

This places us all who work for the ministry right in the heart of the conflict. The good news is that we are staying here and continuing with the Lord’s work. Because of the past thirty years of plowing some hard ground, the relationships between Jewish people and Christians have changed. You are a part of God’s plan and work for His people. Your prayers and support have made it possible. We all with the ministry thank you and bless you from the Holy City. (Reference to Sharon Sanders’ letter)

Prophet Daniel in Babylonian captivity                   

“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name”  (Daniel 9:19)

Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had marched his army to Jerusalem and besieged it. King Jehoiakim of Judah, along with sons of Israel─including some of the royal family─were taken to Shinar in Babylonia. Therein captivity, “Daniel observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely seventy years” (Daniel 9:2−). (more…)

Celebrating in Jerusalem with Israeli flags and Hebron banners                            

A free people in our land, in Jerusalem…    

All through its sixty-nine years of independence, Israel has fought for the nation’s existence. From the 1948 War of Independence to United Nations’ resolutions, Israel has survived, prospered and welcomed back home millions of Jews from all corners of the world.

In his Independence Day greeting on May 2, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin called it the Independence Day of all the Jewish people. “Sixty-nine years ago, in the moments just after David Ben-Gurion declared the birth of the State of Israel, we all went out to dance in the streets. We celebrated a hope which came true: to be a free people in our land, in Jerusalem.” (more…)