As we begin the new year, I am deeply concerned about the dramatic increase in anti-Semitism that we are witnessing in America. The month of December began with a shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City and ended with a terrible stabbing attack at a Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony in Monsey, New York.
These are just two instances that signal a terrifying uptick in anti-Semitism in the US and around the world. Make no mistake about it; attacks against Jews are becoming more violent and more frequent. Aside from what we see in the media, there are tens, if not hundreds, of incidents that go unreported on a weekly basis.
What We Are Doing to Fight Anti-Semitism
Yet while the situation is quickly escalating, we need not feel helpless. Just as we—Christians and Jews—have come together in the past to help Jews in need, we will stand together now in the face of this new challenge. Together we can save lives and let the Jewish people know that they are not alone—that there are millions of Christians around the world who care about them and will help them through this latest surge of terror.
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I want to share with you how we, at The Fellowship, will combat the growing danger of anti-Semitism. First, as always, we will continue to strengthen Israel in the areas of security and by providing humanitarian aid. As the only haven for Jews around the world, by keeping Israel strong, we help all Jews seeking refuge.
Second, we will continue and grow our aliyah program, which brings Jews home to Israel from countries where their safety is threatened. In Israel, we help them begin life anew. We bring new immigrants to Israel every single day “from the four corners of the earth,” just as the prophets saw, and we will not stop until every Jew in danger is safe at home.
Third, we have begun an innovative Israel awareness program on Christian college campuses across America. We know that the Jewish people need future generations of Christian friends at our side, but studies have shown that Christian support for Israel among the next generation is on the decline. Our program educates students about the Christian connection to Israel and the Jewish people, and inspires them to support Israel.
Anti-Israel groups, such as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, have long been entrenched in college campuses across America. We have learned that once they indoctrinate students, it is next to impossible to undo the damage. However, there are hundreds of Christian campuses across the US that anti-Israel groups have not yet reached. As the experts in Jewish and Christian relations, it is incumbent upon The Fellowship to be at those campuses first. What we uniquely do is show the correlation between biblical Israel and the modern state of Israel—and then support for the Jewish state naturally follows.
We have already seen great success in 79 universities, including Regent College and Oral Roberts University, and we plan to extend this initiative to many more campuses in 2020. We believe that by investing in today’s students we will ensure security for Israel and the Jewish people in the future.
God Is Doing a New Thing
Finally, as always, we will continue to pray and ask that you pray with us—for the safety and well-being of Jewish people around the world and for the peace of Jerusalem. We know that no matter how bad things may seem, God is in control. He hears our prayers and brings salvation to His people. No one can stand in His way and nothing will stop His plan!
In spite of the growing threat to the safety of Jews around the world, I declare that 2020 will be a year of blessing for the Jewish people. By strengthening Israel, bringing Jewish people home to Israel, and ensuring the continued support of Christian friends of Israel, we can overcome the challenges facing us today. In the past, rising anti-Semitism has always led to tragic destruction. But now God is doing a new thing, and through His miraculous power, what was meant to harm us will only make us stronger than ever before.
Yael Eckstein is the president of the International Fellowship of Christian and Jews. As President, Eckstein oversees all ministry programs and serves as the organization’s international spokesperson. She can be heard on The Fellowship’s daily radio program airing on 1,500 stations worldwide. Before her present duties, Yael served as global executive vice president, senior vice president, and director of program development and ministry outreach. Based in Jerusalem, Yael is a published writer, leading international advocate for persecuted religious minorities, and a respected social services professional. As President of The Fellowship, she also holds the rare distinction of being a woman leading one of America’s largest religious not-for-profit organizations.