JERUSALEM, May 14, 2018 – The Jerusalem-based International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) credited the Christian community for playing a “critical” part in ensuring U.S. recognition of the Holy City as Israel’s capital and in moving the U.S. embassy there today.
“U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital and the decision to move the U.S. embassy to the Holy City on the Jewish state’s 70th anniversary could not have happened without critical U.S. Christian support,” said The Fellowship‘s founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.
Eckstein and The Fellowship‘s global executive vice president, Yael Eckstein, attended the official opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem today, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and dozens of U.S. and Israeli dignitaries, including U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, advisor to President Trump Jared Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump.
The new U.S. embassy relocated from Tel Aviv, where it was housed since Israel’s creation in 1948, to the U.S. consulate offices in the Arnona neighborhood, until a permanent site is determined. The Fellowship is also building a new multi-million dollar headquarters across the street from the new U.S. embassy, to create what The Fellowship plans to become a new center for the Christian community in Israel.
“Our new Global Fellowship House, especially sitting alongside the new U.S. embassy, symbolizes a shining example of what Christian-Jewish unity for Israel can accomplish,” said Yael Eckstein.
The Fellowship‘s new headquarters will serve as a home away from home for Christians visiting Israel, and feature a study center where Christians can learn more about the Jewish roots of their faith and standing with Israel, she added. Rabbi Eckstein said the new center intends to play a pivotal role in educating the next generation of evangelical Christians about Israel, in the wake of recent surveys showing that younger Christians do not support Israel to the extent their parents’ generation does.
But it will be crucial for Israel to nurture that Christian connection, Rabbi Eckstein said. “Israel’s future rests on continuing and strengthening the Christian bond with Israel,” he said. “To deepen that connection, we will build bridges from the Holy City and the Holy Land to the next generation of Christians.”
The adjacent U.S. embassy also stands as a proud symbol of unprecedented, historic bonds between the U.S. and Israel, and points the way for growing global ties to the Jewish state, he said.
“The new U.S. embassy heralds what can be a turning point in global support for Israel,” he said. “As I stand in the shadow of the new official U.S. presence in Israel, I call on nations around the world to follow America’s lead, recognize the longtime reality of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and underscore that fact by moving their own embassies to Jerusalem.”
Rabbi Eckstein added that such moves are especially important “as global anti-Semitic violence grows and radical Islamic extremism threatens the bridges of peace and cooperation The Fellowship has spent decades building.”
The Fellowship recently held its first annual fundraiser in Trump’s winter White House, Mar-a-Lago, in West Palm Beach, Fla., raising nearly $1.7 million, in part to help educate the next generation of Christians about Israel. The president provided a videotaped message of support at the event, which over 500 Christians and Jews attended.
For further details, contact: Ryan Greiss, Puder PR, New York: (212) 558-9400; [email protected]