At a special Thanksgiving Day event, Pastor Jentezen Franklin and Rabbi Tuly Weisz, a Christian and a Jew, came together – under the auspices of Colel Chabad – to help some of Jerusalem’s poorest and neediest residents.
Franklin is currently in Israel leading a mission with his congregation – the Free Chapel Worship Center, based in Gainesville, Georgia. Their tour has taken in many of Christianity’s holiest sites; Sea of Galilee, Dead Sea and Jerusalem. Each week his television program, Kingdom Connection, is broadcast on major networks all over the world. He has recently been dubbed one of Israel’s best friends for his work with Holocaust survivors and the Friends of Zion Museum.
Colel Chabad – where Franklin and Weisz, publisher of Breaking Israel News volunteered – is Israel’s oldest charity, having served the Holy Land’s struggling citizens for 230 years. Every day of the year, the charity organization feeds hungry Israelis, runs unique programs to ensure that orphans succeed in school and in day-to-day life, and offers daycare services to build the future of Israel’s youth, regardless of gender, age, marital status, ethnicity or religious observance. Its comprehensive services include programs for widows and indigent families, Holocaust survivors, immigrants, and the chronically ill.
Rabbi Weisz praised Colel Chabad’s work, which they undertake every day of the year and not just on Thanksgiving. “While typically on Thanksgiving families are spending the day together, enjoying themselves and feasting on huge meals, the volunteers at Colel Chabad are ensuring that no-one goes hungry; not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year,” he told Breaking Israel News.
Both Jews and Christians trace the origins of the holiday of Thanksgiving to the Bible; and by Franklin and Weisz serving together on the holiday, it shows a unique example of the growing relationship between Jews and Christians. It is another example of the coming together – more than at any other time in history – over a shared love for the Bible and Israel. It was not the first time that Franklin and Weisz have paired up to spread a message of unity and brotherly love, having penned a piece published on Breaking Israel News yesterday.
It is clearly a deeply spiritual and religious experience for Christians to come to the Holy Land and walk in such hallowed footsteps. However, Weisz intuited a deeper meaning behind Pastor Franklin’s Thanksgiving gesture. “It’s so important that Christians visit the Holy sites of Israel, but it’s more important when they meet with the people of Israel and offer encouragement,” Weisz explained. “Although he was so busy leading his group it’s amazing that Pastor Franklin took time away from his group on Thanksgiving to help serve Jerusalem’s poor and needy,” he added.