Last Chances to Catch Tzofim’s Friendship Caravan

A few days ago I was blessed to take in the Friendship Caravan, a presentation of Tzofim, a group of Israeli scouts (similar to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in America).  These are incredible 16-17 year-old Israelis, engaged in service projects and in training to become leaders.  Three teams of 10 are criss-crossing America right now and they are well worth seeing.  Of 80,000 Israeli scouts, 1,200 try out for the opportunity to represent Israel for the summer in North America.  Only 30 are chosen.

If you are in the Phoenix area, you have two last opportunities to catch the Friendship Caravan:

If you live elsewhere in the US, click here to find out if Tzofim will be in your area.

Ethiopian Jews are Coming Home!

I am very excited about the news out of Israel that additional planeloads of Ethiopian Jews are coming home!

After the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of Jews in 70 AD, God’s promises to Abraham…namely, land and descendents…seemed empty and forever doomed.  However, the Jewish people, despite being scattered literally all over the world, never ceased being Jews, and never lost the seemingly instinctive desire to come home.

Over the decades, particularly since Israel’s statehood in 1948, Jews have indeed returned to their homeland, Israel.  The world has witnessed waves of Russian Jews, European Jews and Middle Eastern Jews return in droves.  But what about the Jews that were scattered into places such as Africa, where the means of returning home seem so impossible?  With God, all things are possible!

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
~Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27

Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth.
~Isaiah 43:5-6

A few years ago, the Israeli Knesset decided to arrange for the return of Ethiopian Jews, and what fantastic timing.  Today, Ethiopia is experiencing the worst drought in 50 years and the effects are devastating.  The food crisis is the worst in 30 years and, if that was not enough, Islamist militants have targeted Ethiopia because of their involvement in the 2006 military intervention in Somalia.  It is time to bring the Ethiopian Jews home!

Indeed, our God is faithful, and He is bringing sons and daughters back from the ends of the earth!  Just this week, the first of several aliyah (return to the homeland) flights sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, touched down at Ben Gurion airport in Israel!  Check it out:

To understand the gravity of it, realize that many families from Ethiopia have been separated for years (some as long as 3 decades), awaiting the time families would be re-united in Israel!

They are returning, and it is important to understand that, to a large degree, Christians are showing their love by making it possible.  The Ethiopian Jews could never afford to return to Israel on their own, and neither would they even know how to go about returning.  But we (Christians) have an embassy in Jerusalem acting on our behalf!  ICEJ exists to show the love of Christ to the people of God!  (They also show God’s love to Arabs, Palestinians and other people groups besides Jews.)

The Christian Embassy has committed to sponsoring the entire first year of renewed Ethiopian Aliyah, set at some 1,400 persons, as well as additional monies to assist with the very important absorption phase as these Jewish olim (immigrants) adjust to the new language and culture of Israel.

Most of us reading these words right now have never experienced drought, terrorism or the insatiable desire to “go home.”  We live in luxury while many simply yearn for home.  If you are touched, as I am, by the need to help scattered Jews return home, please consider partnering financially with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.  I know them personally and can assure you they work “as unto the Lord,” putting in hours and hours of sacrifice in order to be a part of God’s plan in Israel.  For more information, click here:


Will you join me in this effort?  Together, let’s partner in the “impossible” thing God is doing!

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon’s Assessment of US Ambassador Nikki Haley

Kenesset - Danny Danon (DM) - cropped

Danny Danon addressing our group in 2010

Several years ago, I had the privilege of hearing Danny Danon talk about the importance of the US-Israeli relationship.  At the time, Danon was a Deputy Minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration.  Since then, he has risen to become the Israeli Ambassador to the UN.

BTW – during that meeting, Mr Danon expressed deep thanks for American Christians for standing strong with Israel.

Earlier this week, US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, paid a visit to Israel.  Between meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Reuvin Rivlin (among others), Haley paid visits to places close to my heart: Yad Vashem

E Kaye - YV Tour

Instructor at Yad Vashem Seminar

Holocaust Museum and the Western Wall.  I will forever be touched by a week-long leadership seminar hosted by Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, and I view the Western Wall as the most bittersweet place on earth.  (Sweet to see Jewish people so fervent in their prayers and yearning for God; yet bitter because, though they are so close, they are so far from recognizing the Messiah.)

A couple days ago, Danny Danon wrote an editorial piece for The Jerusalem Post entitled Welcoming a Friend: Nikki Haley.  It is so good to see Israeli and American relationships growing so deeply at very important governmental levels.  Haley has spoken firmly about the UN’s disparagement of Israel, and at least to some degree, the world is hearing that message.  Praise God for bold Americans who stand on the right side of God’s blessings and curses!

“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
~Genesis 12:3

Tzofim: You’ve Got to See Them!

Israel Scouts 1

2016 Tzofim Group Performing in Scottsdale

For the past few years I have thoroughly enjoyed unique groups of Israeli young people singing and dancing to the thrill of audiences here in the Phoenix area.  The program is called “Tzofim,” and is similar to Boy and Girl Scouts in America.

Tzofim provides unlimited opportunities to build a better, stronger Israeli society by:

  • Developing positive young leadership
  • Instilling Jewish identity
  • Focusing on community building

In their final year of scouting, these Jewish young people have the opportunity to spend a summer in the United States and Canada, bringing Israeli culture, music and dance, while promoting peace.

Though secular (as are the Boy and Girl Scouts in America), Tzofim is a very impressive Jewish organization.  Read about the incredible opportunities extended to these young people.

Tzofim is coming to Arizona and I strongly recommend taking in one of their performances.  They are free of charge and you will thoroughly enjoy the evening!  Here is their schedule:

  • Sunday, June 11 @ 11am – Temple Beth Shalom (12202 N 101st Ave, Sun City)
  • Sunday, June 11 @ 4pm – Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center (122 E Culver St, Phoenix)
  • Monday, June 12 @ 7pm – Congregation Or Tzion (9096 E Bahia Dr, Scottsdale)
  • Tuesday, June 13 @ 7pm – Beth El Congregation (1118 W Glendale Ave, Phoenix)
  • Wednesday, June 14 @ 7pm – Temple Chai (4645 E Marilyn Rd, Phoenix)
  • Thursday, June 15 @ 7pm – Temple B’rith Shalom (2077 Brohner Way, Prescott)
  • Monday, June 19 @ 7pm – Temple Solel (6805 E McDonald Dr, Paradise Valley)
  • Tuesday, June 20 @ 7pm – Temple Kol Ami (15030 N 64th St, Scottsdale)

For more information: 480-216-4280

Again, these events are FREE, though most sites will offer a no-pressure means of donating to Tzofim in order to finance their trip.  Jewish congregations are very welcoming, so these are very pleasant opportunities.  A group from my home church will gather to enjoy the show in Glendale on Tuesday, June 13, and you are welcome to join us!  Just show up at Beth El Congregation and meet us in the lobby.  We’ll likely be very noticeable, but if not, ask to be directed to the group from Calvary Community Church.

See you there!