Friday, April 15, 2011
Next year in Jerusalem — Jews and Christians together 2012
Canadian Jews & Christians welcome members of the Israeli Knesset
While Jews the world over are preparing for Passover, a growing number of Canadian Christians with a love for Israel are joining in the declaration – “Next year in Jerusalem.”
Six Christian Zionist organizations based in Canada joined together this week to host "Canada Celebrates Israel" meetings in four cities, bringing together Jews & Christians. A delegation of members from Israel's Knesset representing the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC) traveled to Canada for this friendship tour: Deputy Negev and Galilee Development Minister Ayoob Kara (Likud) and MKs Robert Ilatov (Israel Beiteinu) and Shai Hermesh (Kadima), together with Josh Reinstein, Director of the KCAC.
Following Canada Celebrates Israel gatherings in Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, the national team is inviting rabbis and pastors to bring their congregants to Israel together in February 2012 – “Next year in Jerusalem.”
Each of the venues took on its own special flavour. Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz of Congregation Tefileh Beth David Jerusalem co-hosted the Montreal event with Dean Bye of Return Ministries. “This is an historic night for Montreal. Five hundred Jews and Christians have come together to stand in solidarity for Israel! We must stand together in unity with these, our friends,” said Steinmetz. The Hon. Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and The Hon. Irwin Cotler, MP and former Liberal Justice Minister addressed the packed Gelber Conference Centre. Mr. Day declared, “We will always stand for Israel’s right to exist. They have a biblical right, an aboriginal right, a legal right, and a democratic right to exist. Let us stand, speak out and defend Israel. As the Prophet Isaiah spoke in Isaiah 62:1, ‘For Zion’s sake, we will not keep silent.’”
In Vancouver, the Canada Celebrates Israel event took place in the Tsawwassen Longhouse, a governmental building of the First Nations Peoples of Canada. Co-hosted by Chief Edward John and BC pastor Rev. Giulio Gabeli, the Canadian representative of the KCAC, and amid the traditional protocol, regalia and pageantry, the delegation was welcomed onto Canadian soil and treated to the food, music and dance of Canada's aboriginal people's honouring Israel's First Nations People.
In Ottawa, the venue was at Peace Tower Church, a beautiful historic downtown church. Rabbi Dr. Reuven Bulka of Machzikei Hadas Synagogue co-hosted with Rev. Dr. John Tweedie, International Chairman, Christians for Israel. The evening began with a procession of the nations of the nations followed by the singing of both national anthems. Chief Kenny and Louise Blacksmith welcomed the delegation onto the land and presented Her Excellency Miriam Ziv, Ambassador of Israel to Canada with protocol gifts. The Ambassador graciously thanked the Christian community in Canada for their strong support of the land and people of her nation.
The final Canada Celebrates Israel meeting was held in Toronto’s Beth Tzedec Synagogue Thursday evening, hosted by Rabbi Harvey Meirovich and Donna Holbrook, Canada Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Senator Linda Frum brought greetings from the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper. Consul General of Israel, His Excellency Amir Gissin, shared a message which highlighted the creativity of Israel, the contribution made to medicine and science, and his gratitude for the friendship of Canadian Christians.
Josh Reinstein celebrated the sense of being together, speaking with one voice and sharing the same values. He rejoiced that “Jews from around the world are coming back on wings of eagles – or aeroplanes, as we call them today. Children are once more playing in the streets just as the Prophet Jeremiah said they would, and the dry bones of Ezekiel are coming alive with hope.” Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara, a Druze, shared his love for Israel that has caused him to fight for the land in the Lebanese war in which he lost two brothers in battle. MK Ilatov, who made aliyah from the former Soviet Union, thanked the people and government of Canada for supporting Israel, “You are our true friends and we value our shared faith.”
In each setting, the Canada ~ Israel Declaration was proclaimed, affirming the Prime Minister’s noble stand in supporting Israel and Israel’s right to exist. Those wanting to sign the Canada ~ Israel Declaration may do so at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/canada_israel_declaration/. The Declaration and signatures will be presented later to the Canadian Parliament and the Israeli Knesset.
Christians United for Israel Sunday 2010 - A message from Pastor John Hagee