Worshippers hold candles as they take part in the Christian Orthodox Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jay Rawlings and Duke Westover will each receive an award at the ceremony for their steadfast commitment to the State of Israel on Thursday, when the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus together with the World Jewish Congress will hold its 10th annual reception honoring Christian leaders.
Government leaders and Knesset members from across the political spectrum will join Jewish and Christian leaders at Jerusalem’s Waldorf Astoria hotel for the “Night to Honor our Christian Allies.”
Rawlings, a Canadian-Israeli, has produced, directed and written more than 130 documentaries about Israel, educating a global audience and winning several awards. He was instrumental in smuggling in and out information on behalf of Refusenik Jews in the Soviet Union. He and his wife, Meridel, run Israel Vision TV, which seeks to challenge, inform and inspire a wide audience to stand up against bigotry, racism and ignorance regarding Israel.
Additionally, the caucus, together with the Tourism Ministry, will present American Duke Westover with the “Night to Honor our Christian Allies” Tourism Award. Westover, with his wife, Carlene, has organized tours to Israel more than 75 times. Thousands of people have participated in the organized tours, including church members, representatives of Christian ministries, political and television personalities, advocacy organizations and students. Westover was at one time the right-hand man of Reverend Jerry Falwell and one of the founders of the Moral Majority.
“One of the principal joys of my life is introducing people to the Land of Israel for the very first time and watching their faces as the Bible comes alive,” Westover said.
Caucus chairman MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu) will deliver an address at the reception on the importance of developing Judeo-Christian relations based on shared values. Other speakers will include WJC-Israel Chairman Shai Hermesh, WJC-Israel Director-General Sam Grundwerg, caucus member MK Michael Oren (Kulanu), caucus Director Josh Reinstein, caucus deputy chairman and deputy Knesset speaker Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union), All Nations Convocations President Tom Hess, and Father Gabriel Naddaf of the Christian Empowerment Council.
“Today it is Christians not countries that stand with Israel. We must recognize the importance of that support and encourage it whenever we can,” said Reinstein.
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