A recent event that went relatively unnoticed marked a milestone in Jewish-Christian relations, reflecting a growing trust between Orthodox Jews and evangelical Zionists.
The Friends of Zion Heritage Center opened its new “Power of Words” exhibition on Friday featuring the portraits of 40 Holocaust survivors and the phrases or slogans that they live by.
“The fire of hell, you tasted it,” FOZ founder and chairman Mike Evans, said. “And you didn’t turn your back on God, or on God’s land. And so, it’s our honor for you to be here. It’s our honor for us to bless you. Your lives are a very holy thing because the hope that this nation has is the hope you have given to them.”
The event was attended by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites.
“I walked by and read the words written by each and every one of you, Rabbi Rabinowitz said to the guests. “Your messages were so powerful. There was so much meaning to the words. Every youngster in the State of Israel must visit the museum and the exhibition, read the story of each survivor, embrace the meaning, in order to be inspired for our lives here in Israel.
Rabbi Rabinowitz thanked Dr. Evans, whom he called “my dear friend,” and praised the work that Evans does for the State of Israel and for Holocaust survivors in Israel and around the world.
Rabbi Tuly Weisz, the head of Israel365, ascribed great significance to Rabbi Rabinowitz’s visit to FOZ.
“Rabbi Rabinowitz is a respected figure in the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) world,” Rabbi Weisz said. “His visit to FOZ is an acknowledgment of the contributions of Christians to Jewish history and the State of Israel which has been unfortunately lacking until now. It is even more astonishing that he would encourage Jewish students to take part in this.”
“It validates the work of FOZ and Israel365 and like-minded people who have been trying to build bridges between the Orthodox Jewish community and Christian Zionists. Hopefully, this is a sign of even greater things to come.”