By: ICEJ USA Staff
Over 600 Christians and 50 organizations joined in celebrating Israel’s 75th Diamond Anniversary with two gala dinners in May and the release of a new book.
The galas were held in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 7 at the Factory in Franklin and Washington, DC, on May 17 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. Organized by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, the sold-out events and a long list of cosponsors demonstrated the broad-based support for Israel in the Christian community.
Seventy-five years ago, on May 14, 1948, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion read Israel’s Declaration of Independence at the Tel Aviv Museum. For the first time in more than 1,800 years, there was a Jewish nation in the Middle East. Israel had been reborn.
“We gather here tonight not just to celebrate something that happened 75 years ago and the many miracles resulting in the survival of the newborn Jewish State until now but the miraculous emergence of the tiny nation into a world leader,” said Dr. Susan Michael, director of ICEJ USA. “Israel’s thriving existence is evidence of God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promises to the Jewish people. He planted them in the Land of Promise, and they are becoming a light to the nations, leading the world in science, technology, innovation, and volunteerism. That is to be celebrated.”
Michael went on to describe how they were also celebrating 75 years of American Christian engagement with Israel with the release of ICEJ’s new book Every Generation’s Story: 75 Years of American Christian Engagement with Israel. The anthology, edited by Dr. Michael, is a unique collection of 18 stories that span multiple generations of Christians who have visited Israel and, as a result, had their lives changed.
“We are also celebrating the ability for Christians to travel to Israel and see the actual biblical sites that many spend their lives only reading about,” she said. “Israel changes lives, and these 18 stories are truly representative of millions more.” Every Generation’s Story: 75 Years of American Christian Engagement with Israel is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Embassy Publishers, and many independent booksellers.
Attendees of the Washington, DC, gala also participated in a Jerusalem Day reception on Capitol Hill organized by the Israel Allies Foundation. Jerusalem Day commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty in 1967. At the dinner later that day, the audience cheered when one speaker mentioned that May 14 was also the fifth anniversary of the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Speakers at the DC gala included Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog and former White House Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, along with Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares and Israel’s Minister of Intelligence, Gila Gamliel. Speakers at the Nashville gala included a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s social media team, Hananya Naftali, and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, as well as US Senator Marsha Blackburn, US Congressman John Rose, Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody, and Tennessee Congressman Ryan Williams.
Musical artists performing at the events included Nicole C. Mullen, Aaron Shust, Dumisani and Joshua Washington, and Vesna Buehler. —attendees described the events as elegant, fun, inspiring, and encouraging.