This week, The Fellowship has had the privilege of hosting a group of delegates from the National Baptist Convention of America, the third largest African-American denomination, on a trip to the Holy Land. The Jerusalem Post's Jeremy Sharon writes that the visit is a time of bridge-building between Christians and Jews:
A delegation of 26 leaders of the third-largest African-American Christian denomination is currently participating in an educational trip to Israel in partnership with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews to strengthen the African-American leadership’s connection to the country.
The National Baptist Convention of America is a predominantly African- American church with three and- a-half-million adherents in 4,600 churches in the US.
Yael Eckstein, senior vice president of IFCJ, said the visit is part of the organization’s effort to “build strategic friends and allies for the Jewish people both financially and politically,” with an emphasis on combating the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel...
[Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert Jr.] said that the trip had made him “more positive about what is taking place in Israel,” saying that his impression of the country was now much better than that which he had obtained from the media.“I think its going to make an impression on the church leadership, its going to have a lasting impact,” he said.
IFCJ founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein said, “We are honored and humbled to host the NBCA in Israel.
“This important educational mission will not only deepen the powerful connection between Christians and Jews and strengthen the African- American leadership’s bonds with Israel, but will remind all of Israel, and the Jewish people, that we do not stand alone,” he said.