Bikat Kinarot Center – Working Together for Israel Project
Return Ministries, founded by Rev. Dean Bye, held a ceremony in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary on May 14 at the Bikat Kinarot Center in Beit Zera on the southern shore of the Kinneret.
The Bikat Kinarot Center, a 15-acre property, is the site of Return Ministries ongoing project – begun in 2013 – to restore a former boarding school in the Jordan River Valley.
Once home to 350 high school students, the Bikat Kinarot boarding school closed in 2008. Return Ministries is working to transform the site into an “educational facility for Jews and Christians living and working together.”
Since the Working Together for Israel Project began in 2013, Return Ministries, an Ontario, Canada-based “Bible-believing, Christ-centered, prophecy-fulfilling ministry,” has raised funds and invited Christians from the nations to “fulfill their biblical role, serve God’s people…comfort and bless Israel…and partner with God in the return of His people to their land.”
During a presentation at the event, Rabbi Pesach Wolicki, associate director of the Jerusalem-based Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation, paraphrased a contribution of Rabbi Eleazar ben Shammua to the Babylonian Talmud: The last person to recognize that a miracle is happening is the person that it’s happening to.
“We get fooled, in the course of events,” Wolicki told his audience, visitors from all over the world, “into thinking that everything is kind of natural.”
During the last days of Moses’ life Moses described God’s promise of return to the people of Israel: “The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.” (Deut. 30:5)
But, until this day, nothing remotely similar in the history of mankind had happened before or since, Wolicki said.
“So as much as we look back at the splitting of the sea and manna falling from heaven…the return of the Jewish people to the Promised Land more numerous and prosperous than before…breaking all the rules of world history, breaking all the rules of how the world works…is also a miracle,” he continued.
Faith in the miracle that Wolicki described is what inspired Return Ministries’ four foundational points for their efforts at Beit Zera:
1. God will return his people to Israel
2. Nations will unite with the family of Israel
3. The nations will bring the Jewish people to their homeland
4. Those nations will settle them in their land and serve the restoration of Israel
Return Ministries’ initial goal, along with facilitating the restoration project, is to raise funds through pledges sufficient to complete Phase One, which will include:
• A home for lone IDF soldiers while serving their three-year military service.
• A pre-army program for Israeli Jews and Israeli Aramean Christians living and training together
• A six-month housing and training program for soldiers leaving the IDF
• Housing and programming for Christian interns from the nations
• A hospitality and nations learning center
Upon the conclusion of the afternoon’s indoor ceremonies, which included singing, international flag waving and presentations by Bye and Chaim Malespin, Israeli director of the Aliyah Return Center, guests toured the existing facility. Afterwards, the visitors went down to the banks of the Jordan and stood on two bridges spanning the river to sing songs they had rehearsed earlier.
Cliff Keller lives in Jerusalem, Israel with his wife, Marcia after making Aliyah in the spring of 2011 from the United States. His most recent novel is a work of historical biblical fiction entitled The Lion or The Lamb: Samson Ruth and Salvation. Cliff also blogs at Standing by the Gate and has a writing website, goodStories.
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Handel’s Messiah in the historic Garden Tomb in Jerusalem
It was a night to remember. Approximately three hundred people came out in unseasonably cold weather to hear a Handel’s Messiah in the historic Garden Tomb. While this work has been performed in Hebrew in West Jerusalem it had never been performed like this in East Jerusalem.
The 32 voice Liturgi-Kal choir, 4 young Israeli soloists, and the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble with David Loden conducting valiantly braved high winds, sirens, two Muslim calls to prayer, helicopters, air planes overhead and thunder to present this amazing work proclaiming Messiah’s victory over death. Since the performance was being recorded and filmed for a DVD, the music was amplified and could be heard in parts of the city.
As the trees waved wildly over the heads of the orchestra and choir, and their musical scores blew and fluttered in the winds, they sang and played with excellence, joy and power. At one point a large light on a stand blew over and almost knocked the conductor down before being grabbed by a member of the audience.
After performing two of the three parts of the Messiah, with the winds rising, and following the glorious Halleluiah Chorus, the conductor stood and said that although the Messiah had three parts and they had only sung two of them it was time to break for the evening. Everyone, it seemed, happily agreed.
All in all, it was a glorious time and many glowing comments were heard as the audience was leaving. No one was disappointed. In spite of the obstacles, it was an amazing evening with the words of scripture having been beautifully proclaimed over the city of the great King in the place where he rose from the dead. It was truly a night to remember.
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March of the Nations – 15 May 2018
Yesterday Randi and I were treated as special guests at the March of the Nations events in Jerusalem. This year’s event was the first time that it had been held in Israel, and it was done so in honor of Israel’s 70th year celebrations, and especially in honor of — as are all of the Marches of the Nations around the world each year — Holocaust survivors and their families. One of the victims spoke about surviving two death marches, but having participated in five Marches of Life. His life after the horrors of WW2 and the Nazi death camps is a story of death and restoration: 22 members of his family, including two great-grandchildren, live in Israel today.
Up to 6000 people from over 40 nations came together with their nations’ flags, and heard moving testimonies from children and grandchildren of Nazi perpetrators express their heart-felt remorse over what their families and country did in the extermination of 6,000,000 Jews during the Holocaust, simply because they were Jews.
Jobst Bittner, from Tubingen, who with his wife Charlotte, founded the March of the Nations more than 10 years ago, as a means of breaking the silence of not speaking about the Holocaust and the guilt upon the nation of Germany, and upon Christians and churches who turned a blind eye and did nothing to intervene. This march has spread to countries around the world around the time of Holocaust Remembrance Day, to express solidarity with the Jewish people and with the State of Israel. Many, probably most, of these participants are Christians, who are confessing their sins against God and His people, and how so much anti-Semitism has become part of Christianity.
It is important to note here that anti-Semitism did not begin with Christians or with the ‘Church’, but was already manifested by Pharoah against the Hebrews during the time of Moses and the Exodus, and by Haman, who served in the court of the Persian king during the time of Mordecai and Queen Esther. It is an irrational hatred and contempt for the people whom YHVH has chosen to be His beloved and holy people; therefore, anti-Semitism is really spiritually directed against God.
It was actually exciting to walk through the well-known (to us) streets of Jerusalem in the big crowd, and to witness how the marchers and flag-bearers came bearing peace and good-will for Israel and the Jewish people. There was also a gala performance by well-known musicians, singers, and dancers to the delight of the thousands of people — including 1500 Holocaust survivors and descendants — held in Sultan’s Pool in the evening. Helping Hand Coalition, an Israeli-based charity founded and directed by Andre and Bozena Gasiorowski to assist Holocaust survivors here, also helped organize the events of the day.
We must also not keep silent about God’s righteous judgments still to come. Jacob’s Trouble is still coming; the Jewish people still do not know YHVH or accept their need to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to love and to serve Him with all their heart. The nations will also come to know that YHVH is the true God, and He is the God of Israel. He is powerful and faithful to save the remnant of His people through such great tribulation, and we must not leave them unprepared, or our churches to suffer with them. As John the Baptiser prophesied: Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit, and with fire. Holy is the LORD.
Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.
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March of Nations honors Israel, Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem
A couple thousand Christians from 44 countries were joined by Israelis — including lawmakers and a group of children with disabilities — in a march through Jerusalem on Tuesday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Israel’s statehood, show their love for the Jewish people and honor Holocaust survivors.
Israelis have become accustomed to Christians marching in support of their nation, such as the annual Jerusalem March during Sukkot, the feast of Tabernacles. But the March of Nations had a slightly different theme: a bulk of the participants were descendants of Nazis who had participated in slaughtering Jews during the Holocaust.
An initiative founded by descendants of the Nazi Wehrmacht, SS and German police force to remember the Holocaust, the March of Life organization this week held its first event in Jerusalem, a three-day conference in Jerusalem to commemorate the Holocaust, co-organized with Helping Hand Coalition. And in doing so, to redeem history to the extent possible.
“From the Holocaust to new life,” read a large banner carried throughout the march. Knesset Member Yehuda Glick made a big hugging motion toward the banner and the participants as he marched alongside Jobst Bittner, the initiator of the March of Life movement.
Hoisting flags from Israel and their native countries, the marchers festively wound their way through the streets from the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, to Mount Zion. The marchers greeted Israelis along the way and handed out flags and other treats to spectators. The colorful parade was accompanied by Israeli music and spontaneous dancing along the route.
The conference, including the March of Nations, culminated in an event, the Festival of Life, which was broadcast on God TV from Sultan’s Pool outside the Old City. One thousand Holocaust survivors were the event’s special guests.
“For the March of Life movement you are the precious treasures,” Bittner said. “I welcome you very warmly and together we want to honor you. Your memory must never be forgotten and it must be passed on from generation to generation.”
Bittner introduced a video presentation of Yechiel Aleksander, a Holocaust survivor who was present with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Aleksander was forced into a concentration camp as a child. His family died, but Aleksander miraculously survived two death marches and was eventually liberated by American troops. He managed to get to Israel where he joined the pre-state’s defense forces and fought in the War of Independence.
He now actively works to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and has participated in the March of Life.
“I’ve been on two death marches, but I’ve been on five life marches,” he was quoted on the video.
Before the march, one of the participants, standing with her family, explained why it was significant to her.
“My grandfather went to Auschwitz and helped build the concentration camp. He was responsible for putting 16 kilometers of barbed wire into place and he also helped build the gas chambers,” Bärbel Pfeiffer told the crowd. “We are standing here today as a whole family to say that something like this must never happen again. And Israel, we stand by your side and we love you, Israel, and we will be with you.”
Several Israeli leaders welcomed the support including President Reuven Rivlin, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Likud minister Ayoub Kara.
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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New research discovers that Evangelicals support the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem
The United States embassy was moved today from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This long-awaited move is viewed in a variety of ways by Israelis, Americans and by Palestinians. It is disturbing to witness the violence erupting in Gaza protesting the move and to learn that more than a dozen were killed. Our prayers go out to the families of those who died and to the IDF soldiers who are in harm’s way as well as those Israelis living on the border of Gaza who had to evacuate their homes. We are reminded of the words of the Psalmist who told us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) and encourage all who love the Lord and Jerusalem to pray today for peace.
Meanwhile, there is a group in the United States who clearly affirm the move of the embassy because of their biblical understanding of God’s plan and purposes for Israel and the Jewish people. A recent Survey, just released, discovered that Evangelicals Christians are strongly in favor of the move of the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
News of the survey, released on May 10th by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, studied Christian Evangelical attitudes towards Israel and discovered some interesting trends in opinions on issues like the US embassy move.
The survey was carried out by LifeWay Research, and financially supported by Academic Engagement Network, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Chosen People Ministries. The completed sample is 1,000 surveys. The sample provides 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed plus or minus 3.27% accounting for weights. 
The survey on Evangelical’s attitudes toward Israel, conducted by Motti Inbari, Kirill Bumin, and Gordon Byrd, scholars from UNC Pembroke, shows that 62% of Evangelicals agree with the statement that the Bible says Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, with only 5.1% disagreeing. Over a quarter of Evangelicals (26%) said they do not know; and another 6.8% of respondents do not consider what the Bible says as relevant in political matters.
Dr. Inbari explains, “among other things, we want to know how the US embassy move would affect the support for Israel among Evangelicals.” The majority (53.5%) of Evangelicals said their support stayed about the same, but 22.7% said their support for Israel increased in light of the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; while only 4.1% said their support decreased (14.5% are not sure, 5.2% said they rather not say).
Over a fifth (22.7%) of Evangelicals said their support for Israel has increased in light of the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; while only 4.1% said their support decreased, a new survey finds.
The full Survey which will be released soon and includes some additional groundbreaking information about Evangelicals attitudes towards Israel.
 A demographically balanced online panel was used for surveying American adults. The sample was screened to include only those who consider themselves as Evangelical and/or Born-again Christians. Maximum quotas and slight weights were used for gender, region, age, ethnicity, and education to more accurately reflect this population (as defined by Pew Religious Landscape Survey).