Israel365 and the Jerusalem Post partnered with the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) conference to bring a taste of Israel at 75 to the convention, which is taking place in Orlando, Florida, this week.
The conference represents the world’s largest gathering of the Christian media industry. As part of the participation, Israel365 and The Jerusalem Post also brought NGOs and other representatives from the Jewish State to NRB, who will be interviewed and share their stories with the Christian leaders on the ground.
Israel365 has been connecting the Jewish State with the Christian audience for over a decade. For the 2023 NRB edition, the organization and The Jerusalem Post forged a partnership to bring these ties to the next level.
“With surging antisemitism and hostility towards the Jewish State increasing rapidly, Israelis are turning to their Christian friends for support,” said Rabbi Tuly Weisz, the founder of Israel365 and the editor of The Israel Bible. “Despite these frightening trends, Christian support for Israel has remained rock solid, thanks largely to the role of religious media.”
“The NRB, whose member organizations reach tens of millions of homes all over the world, contributes directly to stronger political backing for an increasingly marginalized State of Israel,” he added.
BRINGING THE BEST VOICES FROM ISRAEL TO CHRISTIAN MEDIA
The representatives of Israel-based or Jewish organizations at NRB included among others David Rubin from Shiloh – Israel Children’s Fund, Tommy Waller from Hayovel, former MK Rabbi Dov Lipman from Yad L’Olim, Tali Shalem Taub from HolyGems, and Rabbi Doron Perez from the World Mizrachi Movement, in addition to those from EL AL, My Heritage and Blessed Buy Israel.
During the conference, Rubin shared how the terror attack he and his three-year-old son survived some twenty years ago, inspired him to establish Shiloh.
“As I was driving home from Jerusalem with my three-year-old son, our car was ambushed by Palestinian terrorists,” he recalled. “I got shot in the leg and my son got shot in the head.”
Rubin highlighted that the experience led him to understand the challenges of healing the trauma of children affected by terrorism, prompting him to found Shiloh which offers multiple therapeutical opportunities to thousands of Israeli children.
Brigadier General (res.) Amir Avivi also attended NRB, sharing how a unique trip to Jerusalem changed the course of his life and career.
“I became a battalion commander in April 2002, at the beginning of Operation Defensive Shield in Judea and Samaria,” he said. “My soldiers and I found ourselves fighting day and night for ten months, after which, we were told we had three weeks before we would be sent to fight for another ten months.”
When Avivi had the opportunity to talk to his 800 soldiers, he came up with an idea. He asked them how many had never been to Jerusalem. After finding out that over half had never set foot in the city, he gave up their week of training to bring the whole battalion to visit Israel’s capital.
“When we came back for the mission, we were a completely different battalion,” he said. “You need to know what you are fighting for.”
“We at Israel365 Media pride ourselves on being the bridge between Israel and its Christian friends all over the world,” said Shlomo Schreibman, VP of Business Development at Israel365 Media, the digital marketing branch of Israel365.
He added that this conference is a live testimony of the business relationships being formed between Christians and Israel.
“We look forward to bringing more start-ups and more amazing organizations to the pro-Israel Christian world this year,” Schreibman highlighted.
A BIRTHDAY TO REMEMBER
On Tuesday, Israel365 and The Jerusalem Post organized a special reception to celebrate Israel’s 75th birthday.Several prominent journalists, media personalities and faith leaders spoke at the event, including Dennis Prager, Eric Metaxes, Erick Stakelback and Nick Vujicic, as well as Pastor Sam Rodriguez, Troy Miller and Shari Rigby Wiedmann.
“The God of Israel is bringing Jews and Christians together in these prophetic times,” said Stakelback, who hosted the reception. “It is a beautiful thing to be part of and tonight we are at the forefront of this movement.”
During the event, American conservative radio host and writer Prager denounced how Israel, a state the size of New Jersey, receives more hatred than any other country in the world.
“Zionism is the only national movement deemed illegitimate,” he said, adding that anti-Israel and anti-America sentiments usually go hand in hand, especially among the new generations.
Prager highlighted that it is not by coincidence that America, the nation that more than any other in the world has stood by Israel, has also been the most prosperous.
“I guarantee you, should America abandon Israel, it will collapse, not necessarily because God will punish it, but rather because it would mean America has abandoned its core values,” he warned. “Caring for Israel is in the country’s best interest.”
The event, which was attended by hundreds of people, was accompanied by the music of Israeli artist Yair Levi, who moved the crowd with his moving performances.
A UNIQUE PAVILION TO EXPERIENCE ISRAEL
In addition to organizing the reception, Israel365 and The Jerusalem Post hosted a unique pavilion where visitors can take a virtual reality tour through iconic sites in the Jewish State and meet Israel365 and its partner organizations.
The virtual tours were powered by Magdela VR 360.
“Many in Israel are seeing that positive news coverage from Christian networks has led to practical support,” Weisz said. “Thanks to increased media visibility, philanthropic backing from Christian donors has increased significantly in recent years, as has the number of incoming Christian tourists.”
According to Weisz, in recent years the relations between Jews and Christians have flourished, but there is still significant potential to be untapped.
“After centuries of hostility, we are thankfully in a new era of Jewish-Christian relations, yet the final frontier - building authentic friendships between our religious communities - remains the most challenging,” he notes. “With this in mind, Israel365 is organizing meetings at NRB to help Christians and Jews form new strategic relationships based on shared Biblical values.”
For this purpose, Israel365 also created a “Biblical Zionism Statement of Principles” that like-minded Christians and Jews can choose to sign and endorse.
“We believe that Jews and Christians share a unique bond based on our shared belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Hebrew Bible and traditional Biblical values,” reads the first principle.
“We believe that God has granted the entire Land of Israel to the Jewish people as an eternal right and inheritance,” the document continues.
The article was written in cooperation with Israel365.