The modern nation of Israel is turning 75 in May, and the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem will celebrate the birthday with two gala events in May. The events will be held in Nashville on May 7 and in Washington, D.C.
Seventy-five years ago, on May 14, 1948, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion read Israel’s Declaration of Independence at the Tel Aviv Museum. For the first time in more than 1,800 years, when Rome destroyed the Second Temple, all of Jerusalem and killed upwards of 700,000 Jews and followers of Jesus, there was a Jewish nation in the Middle East. Israel had been reborn.
Because Israel uses the ancient Hebrew calendar, the anniversary falls on April 25th this year.
“We in the Christian community celebrate Israel’s existence for a number of political, moral and spiritual reasons,” said Susan Michael, Ph.D., director of ICEJ USA. “But most importantly, Israel’s thriving existence is evidence of God’s faithfulness to fulfill his promises to the Jewish people. He planted them in the land of promise, and they are becoming a light to the nations, leading the world in science, technology, innovation and volunteerism. That is to be celebrated.”
The two events will have different focuses and guests. At the Nashville gala, Hananya Naftali, a leading member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s social media team, will be the keynote speaker. “Hananya will address the importance of taking a stand for Israel in the public space, including on social media,” Michael said. “He is a young, vibrant and important voice, and we are blessed to have him.”
For the Washington, D.C. gala, the keynote speaker is Jason Greenblatt, architect of the Abraham Accords, a peace treaty normalizing relations between Israel and several neighboring Arab nations. Brokered by the U.S. and signed initially by Israel, the U.S., the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain in September 2020, other signees now include Morocco and Sudan. “One facet of what we celebrate is the Abraham Accords,” Michael said. “These accords are a tremendous miracle and achievement in peace.
The ICEJ will also honor Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin for his stand against antisemitism. Registration for the galas is available at www.icejusa.org/Israel75.
If you are interested in visiting Israel as part of a tour, contact us at Metro Voice. While our 2023 tour is sold out, we have two tours planned for 2024 – June and November. Call 816-524-4522.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice