Special Reports

Boycotting God

When it comes to boycotts, Europe has a lot to live down. On April 1, 1933, Hitler declared a national boycott of Jewish businesses and professionals, the first in a series of actions which paved the way for stripping all Jews of citizenship rights. In the wake of the German economy’s collapse, the Jewish merchants were easy scapegoats for Hitler’s mesmerizing brand of militant nationalism.

Through the hindsight of history, we now know this state-sponsored boycott of Jewish goods was simply a precursor to the Holocaust which followed. But to those caught up in the madness of the 1930s Nazi rise to power, there was a certain logic to demonizing Jewish affluence. In the eyes of the average German it made no sense that the Jews were able to navigate the turbulence of a worldwide depression with greater ease than their Aryan compatriots. There must surely be something inherently evil, they argued, about the miraculous nature of Jewish success.

More than 80 years later, we see striking similarities in Europe. The Jewish people are no longer demonized, but the Jewish state most certainly is. During a period of worldwide economic recession, Israel has continued to thrive, outpacing the rest of the world in the fields of high-tech innovation and growth.

And as surely as night follows day, we are beginning to see the emergence of a concerted effort to boycott Israeli goods.

Israel’s success in building a state, against such impossible odds from the ashes of the Holocaust, surely points to the hand of God fulfilling His promises through the prophets. The Bible speaks of the One who scattered Israel regathering them again to their land (Jeremiah 31:8), carrying them home on the shoulders of the Gentiles (Isaiah 49:22), restoring the waste places and making them flourish again (Ezekiel 36:35).

But to acknowledge this reality requires the world to recognize the sovereignty of the God of Israel and His faithfulness to His Word. It is easier, it seems, to demonize the Jewish people and boycott Israeli goods, than to acknowledge this one undeniable fact.

People often wonder why the West is so keen to side with those who seek its destruction at the expense of its greatest and most loyal ally in the Middle East. Because to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist demands that we acknowledge the One who guarantees her survival. And man has been boycotting Him since the beginning.

Beyond Labels

Late last year the European Commission issued a directive to twenty-eight national governments in Europe instructing them to no longer recognize Israeli goods originating beyond the 1967 borders as Made in Israel.

While EU bureaucrats downplayed the directive as merely offering technical guidance in response to concerns raised by various governments, a number of prominent Members of the European Parliament, legal experts and activists joined a delegation of ICEJ National Directors and staff in Brussels to challenge the move, arguing it was the latest step in a growing boycott of Israel.

Opening the ICEJ-sponsored symposium on December 2, Hannu Takkula, a Member of the European Parliament from Finland, warned that the guidelines “would not only harm the economic relations, but also will have an unfortunate impact on cooperation in every field.”

Peter Östman, a parliamentarian from Finland, put it more succinctly, “At the same time that EU is lifting sanctions against Iran,” he argued, “it is building a boycott against Israel.”

Speakers at the one-day gathering in the European Parliament included international legal expert, Prof. Avi Bell, Father Gabriel Naddaf, Greek Orthodox priest and founder of the Israeli Christian Empowerment Council (ICRF), and Binyomin Jacobs, Chief Rabbi of the Netherlands. Other participants included Daniel Constanza, Executive Director of the Pentecostal European Fellowship, Dutch MEP Bas Belder – a member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee – and the ICEJ’s US Outreach Director, Michael Hines.

“This labelling law will only divide Israelis and Palestinians further,” said ICEJ Executive Director Dr. Jürgen Bühler in a statement released prior to the Symposium. Ironically, the 15,000 Palestinian workers who depend on Israeli factories in the territories for their livelihood are among those most impacted by the ruling. “It’s a one-sided law that unjustly singles out Israel and violates the rules of the World Trade Organization,” Bühler said. “If the EU really wants to promote peace they should stop penalizing those Israelis and Palestinians who are working together to make a living.”

"As a Christian leader, raised in Nazareth, living among the Arab Muslims, I tell you clearly: This decision affects Muslims, Christians, Druze and all other minority citizens of Israel, not just the Jews,” echoed Father Naddaf. “This labelling of Israeli products is a further betrayal of Christian values in Europe, and it further weakens the Christian spirit in Europe." 

To learn more about the symposium and to read the full ICEJ response to the labelling law go to: www.icej.org/beyond-labels

From France And India Back To Israel

In the wake of horrendous waves of terrorism in France, the local Jewish community is looking to Israel for shelter. The ICEJ has been involved in helping the needy families from France make their journey home, and the Christian support doesn’t go unnoticed. 

With the pre-flight preparation and baggage costs, making Aliyah is a costly and challenging process. The ICEJ help was designated for low-income families, which make up about 30% of the new immigrants from France. About half of them come from at-risk areas. The majority of the French Jews are Sephardic, which means they are descendants of Spanish Jews. Fleeing from violent revolutions, many arrived in France in the 1950s and 1960s. Now they are finally completing their journey to the land of the fathers – this time being pushed out of France by Muslim and European anti-Semitism. 

ICEJ has already helped sponsor the Aliyah program for more than 5,000 French Jews. In 2010 ICEJ began assisting with flight costs, and have since paid for almost 200 at-risk French Olim (Hebr. immigrants). In December 2015, Nicole Yoder, Director of ICEJ Aid, welcomed a substantial group of new immigrants from France at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

To support the ongoing Aliyah from France, donate online: www.icej.org/french-aliyah  


Bnei Menashe – the Jews of India

Over 700 of the Bnei Menashe – Jews living in India – received approval to move home to Israel. The ICEJ has sponsored the journey to Israel for many of the Bnei Menashe in the past, and we are committed to continue showing our love and support to this community.

Considered by some to be descendants of the lost Tribe of Menashe, the Bnei Menashe have lived in India for more than 2,700 years. Through these many generations, they passed down Jewish traditions, as well as Biblical principals of living, and now dream of living in their Promised Land which most of them know only from the Bible.

Many logistical and financial hurdles still lie ahead, so we will need your continued support. Please join us as we pray for the Lord to fulfill the promise found in Jeremiah 23:3: "And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries to which I dispersed them..."

You can also partner with us financially. Visit our website to make a donation which will bless this special Jewish community: www.icej.org/donate/bneimenashe


Please join the ICEJ in responding to this urgent need!


Survivors: The Builders of Israel

Most Holocaust Survivors today were merely children or teenagers when they came out of the ashes of the Holocaust. Many, having lost their families and precious years that could have been spent in school, came to Israel, only to find their Jewish Homeland embattled in the struggle to survive. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem would like to pay tribute to four residents of the Haifa Home who contributed to building up the country of Israel.

What does it take to be a nation builder?

Look Ahead, and Don’t Look Back

After the German “Blitzkrieg” of 1939, the situation for Polish Jews deteriorated drastically. Genia Schwartzbert was one of those that experienced it first-hand. Her father died in a concentration camp, and soon after her mother did as well, this time in a labor camp. Genia survived, and ten years after the victory of the allied forces, Genia left behind the horrors of her past and started a new life in the freshly born state of Israel. She married and had children, but disaster struck again. Her husband died when the children were still young. Raising and providing for three children all by herself was not easy, to say the least. Tragically, Genia’s horrors continued. Her eldest son died when he was barely 40 years old and later one of her grandsons died in one of Israel’s wars.

In light of all this grief and pain, Genia did not give way to bitterness and despair. She served the land of Israel faithfully, cultivating soil in one of Israel’s moshavim (similar to kibbutzim) for twenty years. Later she worked in a kitchen, feeding 150 needy children. This brave lady embodies the saying: “Learn from the past, but never live in it.”

Be Courageous

Before World War II broke out, driven by his Zionist ideals Benjamin Ginsberg joined a religious Jewish group called, “Chabad Halutzim,” or “Pioneers.” These young men wanted to acquire agricultural knowledge for cultivating soil in their
long-awaited Jewish homeland. So they prepared themselves by working on farms across Europe. Joining the group was a very dangerous move, but Benjamin’s conviction that one day there would be a Jewish state, for which he wanted to be well prepared, gave him courage. As the war was inevitably approaching, he also connected with an underground movement that provided Jews with new IDs.

Benjamin survived the war while living in Holland. With the exception of Benjamin and his one sister, the whole Ginsberg family perished in the Holocaust. Every day in Holland Benjamin ran the risk of having his real identity revealed, but he was determined to persevere until he got an opportunity to board an illegal ship to the city of Haifa. Two years after his arrival, he had to face another war: Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. With great courage, he eventually made his dream of a Jewish Homeland become a reality.

Have Vision for a Brighter Future

Two of Chaya's brothers died during the war. Her father returned from labor camps broken in spirit and sick. In 1948 Chaya’s family, originally from Yasi in Romania, made it to Israel on different boats and were reunited in Haifa. After having worked in the gardens of a kibbutz, while at the same time learning to be a dressmaker, she served in the army for two years. Later she fell in love and got married, but shortly after that the 1956 War broke out. Unfortunately, Chaya’s husband was drafted to the army and died at the young age of 46.

Next Chaya dedicated her life to the education of children in Israel, so that they would have greater opportunities in life than she ever did. She lavished them with love, so they could grow into strong people. Today, Chaya is still in touch with some of “her children,” who are now doctors, commanders, and police officers. Chaya married again, but when her new husband had a stroke shortly after their wedding, she dedicated her life to looking after him until he passed away 10 years later. “We were not strong, but we had to build a strong and safe nation for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren,” said Chaya with great faith.

Stay Committed and Passionate

When Nachum arrived in Haifa at the age of 18, he had already lost his whole family. He worked very hard and lived sacrificially to save money so he could make his dream come true – to literally build the nation of Israel. Five years later, with some funds saved up, he took a preparation course to launch a construction company. Nachum became very successful, having constructed many schools, gas stations, and playgrounds around Israel.

His love for Israel and his generous heart were greatly displayed in 1965, when a hospital in Haifa desperately needed a heliport, but did not have the finances. Nachum called them and said, “I have the necessary materials, and I will build it free of charge.” Nachum ran his company until the age of 72. But today, at 80, he regrets having retired that early.

It is because of people like Genia, Benjamin, Chaya, and Nachum, and also thousands of other nation builders whose stories are mostly untold, that the children of Israel can live in a highly developed, secure, and democratic state today. We should never forget this, and at the same time, we have to express our gratitude.

You can help these heroes to live out their lives with dignity and in a loving environment by adopting a Holocaust Survivor.

Russian Churches Embracing Israel

The ICEJ recently participated in the largest pro-Israel Christian conference ever held in Russia, with over 400 pastors representing church networks from across the vast country convening in Moscow to hear biblical teachings on Israel’s restoration.

All the major Evangelical denominations were present at the conference, representing some three million Russian Evangelical believers. The gathering was convened by a forum of the leading Protestant bishops of Russia as part of their efforts over recent years to engage in dialogue with the local Jewish community and to learn more about our calling to support Israel.

The ICEJ delegation included David Parsons of the Jerusalem staff, who was a keynote speaker; ICEJ-Russia national director Howard Flower and his wife Elena; violinist Serguei Popov, who now serves as a special ICEJ liaison to the Central Asian republics; and Pastor Elena Ereemeva and her husband Victor, who organise a large delegation of Russian pilgrims to attend the Feast of Tabernacles every year in Jerusalem.

The conference opened with a special joint service with the Jewish community in the Moscow Memorial Synagogue at Russia’s WII memorial. Among the guests were the Orthodox Chief Rabbi of Russia Adolf Shayevich, Jewish Agency representative Bilana Shahkar, and Russian parliamentarian Alla Gerber. Many of the Russian pastors touched the hearts of the Jewish audience with their testimonies of how God has opened their eyes concerning Israel in recent years.


Saving Lives in Ukraine

By Serguei Popov

As winter set in at the start of 2016, with the civil war continuing and economy struggling, the situation in Ukraine remains difficult. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is dedicated to helping the Jewish families escape these conditions and get them on their journey to the land of their fathers – to Israel.

In December, ICEJ workers on the ground in Ukraine assisted Vladimir Z. and his family make this important move.

“It is very difficult to say why we decided to go now, and not before,” shared Vladimir. “We always knew about possibility to immigrate to Israel… like hundreds of other Jewish people, we were rooted in one place, and it’s very difficult to change everything.”

Vladimir’s brother moved to Israel 12 years ago. Now battling cancer, he is not able to visit his relatives in Ukraine, so they decided it was their turn to come to him. “We were supposed to move to Israel in May 2015, but like many other Jewish families, we faced bureaucratic challenges,” Vladimir said of their journey. “We went through three courts, and finally we are moving now, in the end of December.”

The whole family is now safely in Israel, but many more families like them await a similar process. Your help is crucial at this time of need! Donate to our Ukrainian Aliyah fund, to bring these Jewish families home! www.icej.org/ukraine


You can support our work in the nations by clicking the link below:


Pray with the ICEJ in 2016

The Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative has been growing strong ever since the Holy Spirit put it on our hearts in the beginning of 2011. Churches, various prayer groups and individuals from almost every nation have been uniting in prayer on the first Wednesday of every month according to the command of Isaiah 62:

“I have set watchmen on your walls O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6-7)

The ICEJ is inviting you to join us in prayer and fasting as we enter the year of 2016. Join us in January and pray with us for Israel and Jerusalem in particular (Isaiah 62:1-7; Psalm 122). We want to call on the name of the Lord to fulfill His every promise for this land and this nation!

Sign up today to receive our monthly prayer letter. Specific topics and updates from the region will help you pray with wisdom and determination for God’s beloved land: 

2015 in review

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem offers year-round assistance to the needy across all segments of Israeli society. The following are selected highlights of our work in 2015; although not representative of the entirety of ICEJ’s work, these examples demonstrate how broadly ICEJ’s Christian support is distributed throughout the land of Israel.


Hurfeish: Education for Druze minority

Representing Christians to the people of Israel, the ICEJ is also mindful of minority issues in the country. The strong and faithful community of Druze serves the country of Israel, but often struggles with poverty and access to education. The ICEJ helped upgrade the library in one of the schools and sponsored equipment for computer rooms.


Haifa: Home for Holocaust Survivors

More renovations and apartment adaptations were completed by ICEJ this year as well as an expansion in the services provided at the Haifa Home. A new member of the staff is a social worker who assists residents to understand their rights and helps them address other bureaucratic problems they might encounter. The social worker is instrumental when the residents change accommodation, and need helping in the transition.


Nazareth: Employment Programs for Arab Women

Higher education offers economic mobility and provides opportunities to mainstream into Israeli society. However, Arab women often face many barriers to completing their degrees. The ICEJ-sponsored program in Nazareth provides much-needed guidance to assist Arab women complete their courses of study. The program utilizes outreach, counseling, and a range of services, including job placement for academics. 


Tel Aviv: Women in Crisis

The ICEJ partners with a shelter for women in Tel Aviv where the homeless, drug addicts and victims of human trafficking may receive practical assistance and counseling. Approximately 20 women come by the shelter each day of operation, where they receive hot meals, a shower, clothing, haircuts, medical manicures and pedicures. It is a safe place for women to get off the streets and be encouraged to take steps towards rehabilitation.


Jerusalem and more: New Immigrant Absorption, Mentoring Project

The ICEJ sponsored mentors for new immigrant families in four centers located in Jerusalem, Beersheva, Netanya and Ashdod. The mentoring project assists families acclimatize to Israel by providing aid such as basic household items, education, cultural enrichment and tutoring aid for children, and offering assistance towards finding employment.


Beersheva: Vocational Training

The three pillars of successful absorption are language proficiency, sense of belonging (social network), and employment. The ICEJ sponsors vocational training for new immigrants, which allows them to integrate into the job market and live independently. An average course includes five months of Hebrew classes and eight months of professional training. Many students are offered employment upon successful completion of the course. 


Ofakim: Youth at Risk

The “Touching the Horizon” educational program takes action in education and leadership development for Israeli youth. Young people in Israel often have potential, talent and resolve, but lack the opportunities and support needed to realize their goals. The program targets youth at risk of dropping out of school, and seeks to provide them with a safety net of assistance. ICEJ is sponsoring the program in two schools, with approximately 26 students on each campus.


Kibbutz Sa'ad and more (Gaza border): Bomb shelters

Just this year seven new bomb shelters have been purchased by ICEJ and placed in several Israeli border communities with Gaza. These shelters save lives and bring some peace of mind to residents living continually under the threat of attack. 

We are proud to be your embassy in Jerusalem, your hands and feet in the land. Today’s overwhelming social needs give us an unprecedented opportunity to comfort and bless this nation in the name of Christians around the world as an act of reconciliation and love. We invite you to partner with us in showing Christian care to the nation of Israel by contributing to our projects! 

A blessed year of uniting the Church with God's passion for Israel

The year of 2015 has been full of new opportunities, great challenges and tremendous blessing for the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. Serving as the bridge between the Christians from around the world and the nation of Israel we were privileged to once again leave a lasting impact on the people of this land by fulfilling God’s command to comfort His people and stand fast in His Word. 



The ICEJ continues to progressively achieve the goal of reaching every segment of Israeli society through assistance projects, which target areas of need throughout Israel. Support from Christians worldwide is crucial, and has a profound effect in this special land. Our mission is to be wise stewards of that support; to be the hands and feet of those who desire to bless Israel in practical ways. On the following pages of this magazine you can read some highlights of what great work has been accomplished in 2015.



In 2015 the ICEJ made it a priority to bring a prophetic message to the Church around the world. Directors of ICEJ have traveled to every continent teaching the church about God’s plans for Israel and His covenant with the Jewish people, and encouraging Christians to pray for Israel. The ICEJ continues to host the Envision Conference for pastors and Christian leaders at the beginning of every year. The diverse spectrum of speakers and time for personal connections made the 2015 conference a great success, and we hope to develop this vision even further in the years to come.



The Church can no longer afford to remain lukewarm regarding matters of highest importance to the Lord of Hosts: The people and the land of Israel. The ICEJ branches in over 80 nations have organized multiple rallies, conferences and other events to demonstrate Christian support for Israel, while also bringing awareness, mobilizing the society, and building relationships with local governments.

None of the ICEJ work would be possible, if it weren’t preceded with prayer. Every project, initiative or event is first brought to God’s throne of grace. At the same time, prayer is what unites us Christians across the nations and links us to Israel. The Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative has already connected almost four thousand prayer groups with ICEJ, drawing tens of thousands intercessors to pray for Israel. It is becoming a powerful movement of global intercession for God’s chosen people and land.



The annual Christian celebration of ICEJ’s Feast of Tabernacles was a tremendous success. More than 100 nations came up to Jerusalem in September to celebrate the Feast. This is a unique opportunity to teach and encourage believers among the nations to align themselves with the nation of Israel and God’s purposes regarding His people.

The Lord opened remarkable doors for the Christian Embassy in 2015, and as we approach 2016 we will dedicate ourselves afresh to prayer and diligently seek God’s wisdom and guidance for the year to come. Stand with us in prayer in the month of January! Pray with our staff for Israel and the city of Jerusalem, but also pray for our ministry in this land as we continue to serve this nation.

The Bible promises us that as we bless Israel, God will bless us in return. May you experience tremendous blessing from the God of Israel as you partner with ICEJ - your Embassy in Jerusalem! Your gift today can make a difference! 

Capitals of Czech and Slovak Republics take a stand for Israel

ICEJ led crowds in the cities of Prague and Bratislava in central Europe to express Christian support for the State of Israel.

Prague, Czech Republic

Over 400 participants gathered to express their support for the state of Israel at an event that was inaugurated with the anthems of both the Czech Republic and the State of Israel. Shai Abramson, chief cantor of the Israeli Army (IDF), sent a video greeting which was followed by speeches from representatives of civic organisations and groups, who stressed the right of the State of Israel to defend itself against terrorist attacks.

The people involved in the event were deeply impressed by Professor Alexander Fried, a Holocaust survivor, who recalled the traditionally good relations between Czechs and Jews. The gathering was enriched by Hebrew songs and prayers, including a prayer for the State of Israel. At the conclusion, a strong message of hope was expressed for the Israeli nation to overcome these challenging times and put a stop to this wave of terror. After the official portion of the event, participants filled the Wenceslas Square in Prague with singing and dancing to the rhythm of modern Israeli songs.

The event was a joint venture of several organizations, including the ICEJ-Czech Republic, Bnei Israel congregation, Jewish Liberal Union, League against Anti-Semitism and the Facebook group ‘We support Israel’.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Also in October nearly 300 Christians went to the streets in the capital of the Slovak Republic. The event, organized by ICEJ-Slovakia, publicly expressed Slovak solidarity with Israel, and was attended by numerous high profile personalities from the country’s political and social scene. This event also opened with the Slovak and Israeli anthems.

Peter Svec, chairman of ICEJ-Slovakia, introduced a declaration of solidarity with Israel signed by prominent Christian organizations operating in Slovakia. Well-known and respected security analyst, Mr. Ivo Samson explained the current situation in Israel. On behalf of the Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Slovakia, honorary chairman Pavol Traubner stressed that Israel must and will defend itself against terrorist attacks.

At the end of the event, the participants formed a five-meter radius Star of David with candles while singer Jana Orliclá, gave a live performance. The peaceful rally on the Main Square in Bratislava concluded with Jewish music resounding throughout the city. 

You can support our work in the nations by clicking the link below:


ICEJ Life-Vest Saves Israeli Policeman in Knife Attack

On Sunday, a volunteer in the Israeli police force was attacked by a terrorist who tried to stab him with a knife.The policeman was wearing one of the ICEJ-sponsored vests, which saved his life. "The vest protected me,” he told paramedics on the scene. As a result, they only needed to treat a wound in his hand.

The wounded policeman was a volunteer patrolling the streets and, until last week, he did so without the life-saving vest. But a few days ago, he received a life-vest from the ICEJ, and yesterday it saved his life! Praise the Lord!

Last month, the ICEJ was approached by the Jerusalem Municipality with a request to sponsor life-saving vests for their personnel. Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters around the globe, the ICEJ was able to quickly respond and purchase a large number of these vests for the servicemen and women who patrol the streets of Jerusalem.

The ICEJ is at work providing support services to terror victims throughout Israel. The ICEJ-sponsored life-vests are provided to those who watch out for the safety of Israelis and tourists in the streets, such as security guards on trains, in parks and around the important tourist sites in Jerusalem.

By partnering with the ICEJ to protect the residents of Jerusalem, you can show the Israeli people that Christians are concerned about their safety. When Israel is in need, the ICEJ is among the first to help!

You can have an impact on the Israeli society at this difficult time. Partner with us and donate to our Israel in Crisis Fund today. 


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