Special Reports

Jews returning from Ethiopia to Israel

Ethiopia is currently experiencing the worst drought in 50 years caused by El Niño, which is quickly spreading to populous areas. The drought has brought a food crisis, which is said to be the worst in 30 years. On top of it, Ethiopia has been targeted by Islamist militants, in revenge for Ethiopia’s military intervention in 2006 in neighboring Somalia.

With these combined hardships, the government of Israel is ready to bring the remaining Jewish population from Ethiopia back to Israel. Many families have been separated for years, and now they fear for their safety.

In the past, the ICEJ sponsored flights and assisted with absorption through numerous projects, including sports and educational programs, vocational training, as well as Passover assistance. Now is the time for us to get involved again!

The ICEJ Aid director Nicole Yoder explained the difficulty of this journey for Ethiopian Jews. “I always like to emphasize the challenges they will face upon arrival because of the tremendous gaps between Ethiopia and Israel – culturally, education-wise, with high-tech etc. They face some of the greatest difficulties in adapting to life here – more so than other new immigrants.”

The ICEJ is once again raising the banner for the remaining Jews in Ethiopia. With God’s help and working together we can bring them to the land of their fathers.

BE A PART OF THIS MODERN DAY MIRACLE! Send your most generous gift today and be a witness of the Ethiopian Jews returning home!


I Am the Lord Who Heals You

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from destruction
” (Psalm 103:2-4). 

In late November, I found myself at Shaarei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem for what I thought were routine tests. A few days later, the doctor gave my wife, Vesna, and me the results: The diagnosis was advanced kidney cancer, with a mass growing out from the kidney into the main vein, winding “like a snake” towards my heart. “The good news is,” said the doctor, “that it is operable.” However, he immediately advised we seek a hospital abroad, as very few Israeli doctors had the experience to treat such a rare and severe case.

My survival rate, in his estimation, was fifty percent, and even lower for a successful removal of the cancerous growth, as it had spread inside my abdomen. The serious expression on his face showed he did not have much hope for me.

For my family and I, that November morning changed everything. We had just celebrated a blessed and successful Feast of Tabernacles, and I was busy preparing for a symposium at the European Parliament in December. As a family, we anticipated welcoming home our son, David, at Christmas, during a break from his studies in Germany. In January, Vesna and I were scheduled to attend the Global Prayer Quake in Nigeria, and later that month, we anticipated over 150 Pastors to join us at Envision, the ICEJ Pastors and Leaders Conference in Jerusalem.

But, in one moment, everything stopped. All these plans came crashing down and the fervent pace of our lives was brought to a painful and grinding halt. In the hospital, Vesna and I cried together, and arriving home a few days later, I felt completely devastated. I clearly recall sitting on our sofa, watching our children, and thinking: “This could be my last few months with my family.”

Realizing that my only hope was for Jesus to heal me, I asked Juha Ketola, my friend and ICEJ’s International Director, to mobilize our prayer network. While doctors repeatedly referred to this cancerous “snake” in my body, we held on to our hope in Jesus. Both Vesna and I understood it was a spiritual problem, requiring a spiritual solution.

On my first morning home from the hospital, something supernatural happened: When I got up that morning I felt a change in my spirit, but it wasn’t just me. To my surprise, each member of our family felt a lifting of their spirit as well. With the flick of a switch, supernatural faith and peace came flooding into our hearts. This peace surpassed our understanding and was in total contradiction to my medical circumstances. Today we know this was the impact of prayers from our brothers and sisters around the world who carried us.

At that time, I also suggested to Vesna that, for the next two weeks, we should open our home and invite our friends to share communion, pray with us, and trust God that this snake would leave my body. Vesna immediately agreed and for the next few weeks we hosted the most amazing prayer gatherings. The presence of Jesus was very powerful in those meetings and everybody who entered our home testified to it.

Both Messianic and Arab pastors from all over Israel traveled to join us in prayer and were of great encouragement to us. Also, the staff and volunteers of the ICEJ were praying and fasting with us, regularly joining us for the evening prayer and communion. I received a word of encouragement that many congregations in Israel and numerous believers around the world carried us in their prayers. Some of the ICEJ branches even initiated 24/7 prayer chains for this cause. The many letters and calls we received throughout that difficult time lifted us up daily.

Something that amazed me in this process was when other people, joining our evening meetings, experienced healing themselves! Yet nothing seemed to be changing in my own body. We felt overcome by God’s supernatural peace, but my physical state remained unchanged. The follow-up scans only confirmed the initial, hopeless diagnosis.

In the midst of it, I learned to thank the Lord daily for the amazing wife He has given me. Time and time again Vesna proved to be a rock that stood firm in this stormy situation. Like a general, she was full of unwaivering hope for victory, and encouraged the entire family.

Additionally, our children were blessed to be a part of the believing community in Jerusalem, which gave them much strength. The private school that our two youngest children attend organized daily prayer for our family with the entire student body. Some teachers fasted for us and visited with us for prayer as well. Our sons, Nethanel and Simon, attended a weekly prayer watch at Succat Hallel, a local prayer house. Many times they would return home having received affirmation from the Lord that their daddy would be healed. Our oldest son, David, had similar experiences at his Bible school in Germany.

Another great blessing to us was our home congregation, especially our Pastors Oded and Sandy Shoshani. The entire community covered us in prayer, love, and support. Throughout the entire journey they kept the faith and prayed with us for a supernatural healing that would make the highly invasive and dangerous operation unnecessary. The prayers and visits of many Jewish friends and partners were a great encouragement as well. Some even shared special prayer meetings in their synagogues.

For me personally, this difficult season became a time of reviewing my life. Since the doctors felt my chances for survival were very limited, I began to look at my family, ministry, and my own life with new eyes. God challenged me to look at many areas of my life from a new perspective. Although I wouldn’t have chosen this trial for myself, today I am very thankful to God for this time. I became more thankful and appreciative of the Body of Christ, both here in Israel and around the world, as I got to experience first-hand how much we need each other.

In late December, we found the right surgeon to perform my operation in Germany. Good family friends from the German region of Saxony recommended a doctor in Dresden, a world expert in his field. To our relief, he agreed to perform the operation. The date was set for the end of January, so in the meantime we continued to pray and to gather in our home.

Upon our arrival in Dresden, Germany, we requested one final ultrasound – still believing for a miracle. The results however were very sobering. “Much of your abdomen is unrecognizable,” said the doctor. “Everything is full of cancer.” The next morning, I was brought to the operating room. The surgery took much longer than planned. Vesna called again and again to talk to the doctor, only to receive the same response: “They are still operating.” Finally, she was asked to come.

“Come sit down in my office,” a doctor said welcoming her. “There were complications. Your husband lost a lot of blood, so we had to put him in an induced coma, which could last a few days.” Vesna learned I received 25 units of blood and the specialist told her it was one of the most complex operations he had ever done. Nevertheless, to everyone’s surprise, I woke up the very next morning, though still in a life-threatening condition.

One of the great lessons I took from that particular time was that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of salvation. After two months of facing almost certain death and being in critical condition for 24 hours after surgery, I didn’t know whether my body would recover. Today, I can say with all confidence that throughout this experience I didn’t fear death. I knew with absolute certainty that Heaven was waiting to welcome me. I pleaded with the Lord for healing, because I felt my family needed me and I wanted an opportunity to serve the Lord more fully. But, there was no fear of death.

I appreciated this peace even more in the hospital when I shared the recovery room with an elderly man who, also having undergone a serious surgery, cried for help for fear of death. During the night he called for his WWII comrades to help him, even for the “Sondereinsatzkommando,” a notorious Nazi-unit, to get him out. I realized that on our deathbed our philosophies and beliefs are tested. I came to personally appreciate more than ever there is only one Name given to men which can take away the sting of death and that name is Jesus.

The day after I woke up a remarkable restoration started to take place. Ten days after the operation I was permitted to leave the hospital and, just two weeks later, my family and I were on the airplane back to Israel. In February, I went back to my doctor in Jerusalem, who had first diagnosed me in November. I will never forget his reaction when he saw me: His mouth dropped open, and a few seconds later a big smile followed. “Jürgen, you are here!” he shouted. I realized he did not expect me to come back. Another doctor told me: “You have been walking for months with an angel of death on your shoulder. But, I know that you are people of faith.”

God did a miracle! After the first blood test I took in Israel, the doctor said to me: “Jürgen, you have the blood of an eighteen year old.” In April, I resumed my work at the ICEJ and my latest check-up showed no signs of cancer! God is good! He is our healer. Isaiah 53:4-5 declares that He “bore our sicknesses” and that “by His stripes we are healed.” In Exodus 15:26 God declares “I am the Lord who heals you.” Literally, it says “I am the Lord your physician.”

During my battle with this sickness we made a decision as a family. We said to Jesus, “You are our family doctor.” This means whatever is happening, we will first seek Him in prayer and consult with His expertise. In my case, God referred me to an expert doctor in Germany. Others who joined our prayer gatherings in Jerusalem were healed instantly.

All in all, our lives are in His hands. Whatever your situation is, I want to encourage you to keep the faith – in the Lord and in His promises. He is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. You might say, “Jürgen, I do not have as many intercessors as you did.” The truth is, it takes just a touch of the hem of Jesus’ garment to make the difference. Even a single prayer makes a difference. If you want us to pray with you, I invite you to send us your prayer request and we will intercede for you at our staff prayer meetings here in Jerusalem.

I finally want to thank everyone who prayed and stood with us. It was truly humbling to see the outpouring of love and support that we received from so many places around the world. God is a prayer-answering God, and He hears the cry of His children. Thank you for standing with us. I want to extend great thanks to Juha Ketola – who never lost faith – and the entire ICEJ family, who stood with us in fasting and prayer. I am blessed to work with each one of you in Jerusalem.

Please continue to pray for us: For continued health and for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to fulfill all He has called us to do here in Israel and in the nations.

With a thankful heart,
ICEJ: Jurgen Buehler

Jürgen Bühler, together with Vesna and children David, Nethanel, Simon and Yael


Israeli youth meet Christian friends at ICEJ

The ICEJ headquarters in Jerusalem recently hosted a group of 25 students and teachers from Karmiel, who are supported by an educational program to help Israeli youth reach their full potential. By investing in their lives, the International Christian Embassy is investing in the future of Israel. 
Through the ICEJ-sponsored Touching the Horizon program, students visit the "Friends of Zion Museum," where they learn the stories of Christians who have stood with the Jewish people over the years, especially in the 20th century, and supported the modern-day State of Israel. Then they came to the ICEJ Head Office in Jerusalem, to meet the friends of Zion of today – the international staff and volunteers at the Christian Embassy.
As an ICEJ volunteer, I was privileged to address the group, sharing with them who I am and why I decided to come to Israel. I am convinced of God’s ongoing purpose for the Jews, and I see His hand and covenant-keeping nature in the regathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland. I believe in the Scriptural call to stand with God’s chosen people. I do not find it to be a burden, as I consider aligning with God’s plan to be a great privilege. The students said that in a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise again, they are encouraged that young people like myself choose to stand with Israel today.
The ICEJ currently funds several educational programs throughout Israel. Over the summer, the ICEJ will host five additional groups from different parts of Israel. The students left Jerusalem touched by the care and commitment of the global support, and they are encouraged to have met Christian friends in person!
You can be a part of this venture and similar educational projects by supporting the ICEJ Aid work in Israel. To send a gift, go to our website: www.icej.org/learning-all 

There is another way!

“We believe in living together in harmony,” said Salim Jaber, Mayor of Abu Gosh, an Arab village just outside Jerusalem. “In spite of the political pressures, we can create a new generation that will choose a different way – to live peacefully.”
Mayor Jaber speaks for more than himself. Teachers from his town, in partnership with educators and officials from the neighbouring, predominantly Jewish town of Mevaseret Tzion, joined hands in a project that strives to shape the worldviews of a new generation of Jewish and Arab Israelis. To move forward, they called on the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem to back them up. 
Selected schools from both towns engage in a broad spectrum of endeavours in the area of art, music and sports, where the students begin to see each other as teammates and partners, rather than enemies. The entire program is bilingual, but it allows the students to put their languages – Hebrew and Arabic - aside, as sports and arts become a language of its own. 
“Our vision is for every child in Israel to go through this experience,” said Omer Beziony, the manager of the project. “There is a vacuum in the society, because every ethnic group follows a different school system.”
The schools are the agents of change. The initiative was able to get off the ground because of the involvement of the teachers, but also the parents and city representatives. As the ICEJ, we believe that enabling the Israeli youth to work together is the best way to combat prejudices and fear between different groups in society.
You can be a part of this venture and similar educational projects by supporting the ICEJ Aid work in Israel.

Praying Effectively for the Middle East

Over recent years, the focus in the Middle East has been less on Israel but on Syria, the rise of ISIS, and the spread of that conflict to Iraq. Thanks to God the fears of many Israelis that the conflict might spill over into Israel has not happened. Instead, Israel’s borders have been quiet, and Israel has become a help for many of the victims of the various conflict by quietly giving humanitarian aid and medical assistance.

Let us thank God that Israel was so far protected and became a source of blessing in the midst of conflict. Pray with us that the situation remains quiet on Israel’s borders and that Israel can even increase its positive influence to its neighbouring states. (Ps 121)

Israel’s main troubles were a series of Palestinian attacks (mainly knife stabbings) in the streets of its cites. While these attacks do not represent an existential threat to Israel they instil fear in the lives of many Israelis and tourists. Over the last months the number of attacks however were significantly reduced.

Give thanks to God for the easing of tensions on the streets of Israel and continue to pray for complete peace on the streets of Jerusalem and all of Israel. Declare in faith God’s protection over Israel and its citizens, and pray that it will not affect in any way the Feast of Tabernacles. (Ps 60:18)

The Syria conflict has brought a new dynamic into the international arena. Europe is being flooded with millions of Syrian refugees, and ISIS recruits are staging terror attacks in European cities. In addition, Europe is shaken by the recent referendum of Britain to leave the European Union.

Please pray that all these shakings will bring revival for Europe and that the church in Europe will continue to rise to bless and stand with Israel. (Hag 1:6-9, Isa 60)

Over the past months, various peace initiatives have been re-circulated by the international community. Whether the French initiative from the European Union or the Initiative of the Arab league, the Israeli government has been sceptical on the various proposals as they are perceived as imposed from the outside with limited understanding of the real facts on the ground. In addition, none of the past initiatives lead to more peace but let to more violence and terror against Israel in spite of the many compromises Israel was willing to make.

Please pray for Israel’s government, and in particular for the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Pray for wisdom and understanding in the various international talks, and that the schemes of the enemy who seeks to destroy and destabilize the State of Israel might be uncovered. Pray that Israel’s leader might achieve true and just stability that will honour God’s purposes for the region and will benefit all its inhabitants. (1Tim 2:1-4; Isa 32:14-19)

Join the Isaiah 62 initiative of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem as we corporately pray for Jerusalem, the nation of Israel, and the Middle East:

1.      Join as an individual prayer warrior.

2.      Begin an Isaiah 62 prayer group in your community.

3.      Join us in fasting and praying on behalf of Israel every month.

A natural monument of Christian love in Israel

Approximately one third of Israel’s Holocaust Survivors are impoverished, struggling with illness, or living alone. After surviving the unimaginable horror of the Holocaust in the early years of their lives, today they worry that once they fade, so will the memory of them. “Will anyone remember us?” asked Benjamin, a Holocaust survivor, currently residing at the ICEJ-sponsored Haifa Home.

The ICEJ decided to establish the Forest of Life in the heart of Israel, in Jerusalem, to take a stand against oblivion. By donating a minimum of 500 USD, you support the Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors and the ICEJ plants an olive tree in your name.

Why do we plant the trees?

The ICEJ-established Forest of Life is a natural monument to Holocaust survivors in the land of Israel. By planting trees, we make the desert bloom! A tree becomes a lasting testimony of Christian generosity. Olive trees are native to Jerusalem, and by reforesting the city we bring this land back to life! All proceeds will go to the Haifa Home, where the survivors receive the care and attention they need and deserve.

What is my part?

Your support is of vital importance as you help keep the Haifa Home in operation! As a sign of appreciation, your name* will be included on the Wall of Supporters in front of the Haifa Home. You will also receive an official certificate stating that a tree was planted in your name. 

*You may also choose to make the donation on behalf of a friend or relative, whose name you would like to honor or commemorate.

It already started!

Many national representatives of the ICEJ, as well as private donors from many countries took the initiative and have already supported this great cause. More than a hundred trees have already been planted in Jerusalem, while the financial support is improving the great operations of the Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors.

Do not hesitate to enlarge the Forest of Life in Israel! 


Hope at the Cape of Good Hope

In May, ICEJ’s international leaders gathered in Cape Town, South Africa, for the annual ICEJ Leadership Conference. More than 70 delegates from 30 countries joined together to strategize and plan ICEJ activities in the coming year. 
The reason delegates traveled all the way to the Cape, however, was that South Africa has become a main hub for theological criticism against Israel. Due to their own apartheid history, many African leaders view Israel today as a modern day apartheid state and thus find no reason to support Israel. Replacement theology is being taught from many pulpits in South Africa, and from there has spread across the African continent. 
Therefore, ICEJ leaders visited several cities prior to our own strategy meetings in order to bring a new and biblical view of Israel to the churches. African continental Director Mosy Madugba, International Director Juha Ketola and his wife, Kati, and ICEJ-SA Directors, Luba and Ncedi Mayekiso spoke in churches in White River, Pretoria, Durban, East London, Soweto and Boksburg. It was the first time the ICEJ could hold meetings in these places which were central in the uprising that caused the fall of the Apartheid regime some 20 years ago.  
The ICEJ and local leaders hosted an event in Durban which focused on repentance for the infamous 2001 UN Durban Conference on Racism. The UN Resolution from that conference equaled Zionism with racism, and opened the door to labeling Israel an Apartheid state. Representatives of the local evangelical community repented on behalf of the city of Durban, the nation of South Africa and of the church. 
The week concluded with “My Brother´s Keeper,” an open conference with more than 1,000 attendees. At the conference, Israel’s Ambassador Arthur Lenk brought with him a video greeting from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ICEJ delegates and local attendees. A highlight of this event was the release of ICEJ’s “Cape Town Declaration,” which affirmed that Israel today is the most democratic and free country in the Middle East. "The Apartheid regime in South Africa was uniquely cruel and immoral in that it disenfranchised and oppressed the majority of its own citizens based on race. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a completely different situation, essentially involving a dispute between two peoples claiming the same lands," the declaration states. In addition the Cape Town Declaration also highlighted the eternal covenant faithfulness of God with Israel and the church. "Whether in education, business health or politics, all the sectors of Israeli life are open to all its citizens irrespective of their ethnic or religious background. It is important for the African church to understand that and to discover their prophetic role at the side of the state of Israel," declared Dr. Jürgen Bühler at the press conference.
Our South African leadership viewed the conference as a complete success. "It is an historic moment for us in South Africa to speak the truth about Israel and reject the false accusation of Israel being an Apartheid state," said Luba Mayekiso. “It was a conference that gave truth and hope to the churches in South Africa,” he said.  
Please keep our work in South Africa in your prayers and pray in particular for our leaders, Luba and Ncedi Mayekiso.
The Cape Town Declaration may be downloaded from the ICEJ website: www.icej.org/CapeTownDeclaration

ICEJ joins the prestigious Herzliya Conference

The city of Herzliya, located on the Mediterranean coast just north of Tel Aviv, earned international fame for its entrepreneurial culture, and since the year 2000, the city has hosted one of the most impacting policy conferences in Israel. Strategists, politicians, economic and community leaders come to the annual Herzliya Conference to discuss the current and future affairs of Israel, as well as the Middle East in general. The event is organized by the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, one of Israel’s most prestigious colleges. 
This year the ICEJ was privileged to be a contributor at the conference. As a special guest of the ICEJ, former United States Governor Michael Huckabee presented his views on the current elections in the USA and its impact on Israel. As one of the early candidates for the US presidential election and as a strong evangelical leader, Huckabee was warmly welcomed and his insights were met with great interest. In addition, at another session ICEJ’s Executive Director, Dr. Jürgen Bühler, and International Director, Juha Ketola, shared their expertise on the state of Christians in Israel and the Middle East. 
“It is a great privilege and a wonderful opportunity to be an active part of this strategic conference, and to bring a Christian perspective to it,” said Dr. Bühler, who also appreciated the insights he gained from the event.

ICEJ in Cuba and Spain

The newest ICEJ branch was just opened in Havana, Cuba, by International Director Juha Ketola this April. For decades, Cuba was hostile to Israel, and there are still no diplomatic relations between the two nations. Nevertheless this Communist country went through an evangelical revolution in the last few decades, along with many other Latin American countries, and it is estimated that over 200,000 residents of Cuba are now members of the Assemblies of God Church. 
The vast majority of evangelicals are supporters of Israel, and the inaugural ceremony of the ICEJ branch in Cuba was accompanied by a sea of Israeli flags‫.‬ Rev. Moises de Prada, the Vice-Superintendent of Assemblies of God (AOG) in Cuba, was appointed as the official ICEJ Representative. Prada became a senior pastor of a local church in Havana over a year ago, when the congregation was around 350 people. Today, the church has 1200 members and keeps growing! ‬‬‬
While in Cuba, Ketola also ministered in the city of Santa Carla and met with the staff of AOG head office, led by the Superintendent Rev. Eliseo Villar Acosta. In spite of the communist totalitarianism and dictatorship, evangelicals are boldly sharing their faith and standing with Israel. Christian communities in Cuba sing songs in Hebrew, perform Israeli dances, and most importantly, they fervently pray for Israel. 
Hand in hand with believers in Spain
In the Spring, the ICEJ International Director Juha Ketola was invited to minister at the 37th annual National Conference in Malaga, Spain, organized by Rev. Daniel Del Vecchio, the director of ICEA (Iglesias Crisitianas Evangelicas Apostolicas) and Asociacion Real (a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center). Vecchio, a missionary from USA to Spain for 50 years, under whose ministry Ketola got saved in the late 1970s, supports the mission of the ICEJ and welcomed our International Director with open arms and an open heart. 
Hundreds of People Rally in Prague to Support Israel 

Prague’s annual rally organized by the local branch of the ICEJ again gathered hundreds of Israel supporters, and focused on the subject: Fighting Antisemitism through Culture.
Ninety-year-old Holocaust survivor, Doris Grozdanovicova, shared her experience from the Terezin ghetto where she spent her teenage years. Doris spoke of hope, and the positive tone of her speech was emphasized by the release of hundreds of blue and white balloons - the colors of the State of Israel. 
“The existence of the State of Israel is the ultimate proof that Hitler did not succeed and a guarantee that no one will succeed with another genocidal plan against the Jewish nation,” remarked Mojmir Kallus, director of ICEJ-Czech Republic.
Deputy Chairman of the Senate, the upper chamber of the Czech Parliament, Premysl Sobotka, hosted the event in the beautiful Wallenstein Garden. In his speech, he said: “Unfortunately, we see that the Jews again do not feel safe in Germany, France or Sweden. To me, this is the political litmus test every European should heed… I want to hope that we can learn from history while it is not too late.”
Other dignitaries included Daniel Herman, government Minister of Culture, Adriana Krnacova, the Mayor of Prague, and the Israeli Ambassador Gary Koren.

Arab pastor visits Finland

This spring, ICEJ-Finland hosted Arab pastor Saleem Shalash from Nazareth to Finland, to broaden European understanding of life in Israel.  Shalash taught in both English and Arabic, addressing the many Middle Eastern immigrants in attendance.
Director of ICEJ-Finland, Kari O. Niemi, shared how unique and powerful it was to host an Israeli of Arab descent: “It was an awesome possibility to visit the churches with an Arab pastor who loves Israel. His preaching was anointed and strong.”
The testimony and teachings of Pastor Shalash touched many hearts, especially those of the immigrants. Many are seeking and hungry for the Word of God. He shared that the Arab believers in Nazareth have never been forced to become Jews. They can build their churches, worship the Lord and preach the Gospel.
“We need to ask ‘Why Israel?’” said Shalash at one of the events. “Many great empires have disappeared, but this tiny little Israel still exists. Why? When I started to read the Bible I realized this is because of the promise God gave to this nation. God keeps his promises and protects Israel.”
Over 200 people gathered in Belfast to participate in Ireland’s first March of Life to commemorate Yom HaShoah this past May. The event began with violinist Vicki Schmidt’s beautiful performance of the theme song from Schindler’s List; marchers then began their walk, carrying the flags of the nations to demonstrate that the march was part of an international commemoration.
The march ended at the City Hall in the centre of Belfast, where “The Silence of the Bystander” by Elie Wiesel (Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner) was read, followed by a corporate prayer in which the participants made a promise to lift their voices against every form of Jew hatred, modern anti-semitism and racism.
The commemoration concluded with singing of Hatikvah (The Hope), Israel’s national anthem. A reception was later held at Belfast Castle. The list of distinguished guests included Mr. Melvyn Goldberger, son of a Holocaust survivor, Otto Goldberger, and Rabbi David Singer.


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