Former US President Donald Trump’s closest evangelical adviser, Florida pastor Paula White, believes Christians should learn from Jews rather than try to convert them, so much so that she is now in Israel studying Torah with Orthodox Jews.
“Paul [the apostle] made very clear that God extended his love to the Gentiles, but he did not take something from the Jews and tell us to go back and course correct or convert them,” White told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, as she sat outside the King David Hotel. “I do not want to convert Jews or send them to [live in] Israel for the rapture. The plan for salvation for the Jews is God’s.”
The rapture is a Christian, particularly evangelical, belief about the end of days, when Jesus will return, the bodies of dead believers will be resurrected, and Christianity will be glorified.
White said that to be a good Christian, one must understand Judaism.
“There are so many churches in America that are deeply hungry to understand Torah,” White said. “You can be Jewish without being Christian, but you cannot be Christian without understanding Judaism.”
She added that it is “an injustice to ourselves” not to understand the habits and laws of God as told in the Jewish Bible.
White came to Israel on a personal mission with her husband, American musician Jonathan Cain, her children and grandchildren. While she has been in Israel dozens of times since the 1980s, this is the first time the mega pastor has brought her family.
While she has been in Israel dozens of times since the 1980s, this is the first time the mega pastor has brought her family.
Rather than take a traditional Christian tour, however, she opted to travel with Orthodox Rabbi Tuly Weisz of Israel365, an organization that builds bridges between Jews and Christians. She ascended the Temple Mount with former MK Rabbi Yehudah Glick; studied with Religious Zionist Rebbetzin Shani Taragin; walked through the streets of Jewish Hebron with Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum, director of tourism for the Hebron Fund; and visited Arugot Farms in the Judean mountains. She even spent a morning studying Torah at Nishmat – The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women.
“There is a new movement of Christians and Orthodox Jews coming together,” White told the Post. “We need each other. It is vitally important we continue to build these bridges.”
During her time in the White House, as chair of the president’s evangelical advisory board, she was arguably the most influential woman in the Trump administration. She and the president’s Orthodox Jewish advisers heavily influenced the president’s policies on Israel and the Middle East. White worked closely with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Special Representatives for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Avi Berkowitz – all Orthodox Jews.
Trump moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
Under their direction, Trump moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He pulled America out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Iranian nuclear deal, passed the Taylor Force Act, making it illegal for US funding to go to Palestinian terrorists, and defunded the United Nations Relief and Works Agency by executive order. His administration also announced that the US would no longer consider Israeli settlements illegal under international law.
White said she believes God gave her “an assignment” to be in Trump’s administration and ensure it “stood strong for Israel” and stayed centered on faith.
“We believe the Jews are returning to Israel because that is God’s promise to the Jews,” White stressed. “I believe there should be resettlement. This is your land. This is the Jewish people’s land. And I believe that the Temple belongs to the Jews, so I believe there must be restoration.”
In 2020, White was No. 1 on the inaugural “Top 50 Christian Allies” of Israel list published annually by the Israel Allies Foundation.
Today, despite Trump’s indictment on 37 felony counts related to the mishandling of classified documents, obstructing justice and making false statements, White continues to stand behind him and believes he will be president again.
The former president has pleaded innocent, and White said matter-of-factly, “I believe he is innocent."
“The mass majority of people hope for and believe that Trump will be president again,” she told the Post. “If we were to do the election right now, today, 100% yes, he would be our president tomorrow.
“I endorse Donald Trump as our next president,” White continued. “I would love to see that, and I believe he will.”
White said that America is facing “unprecedented times” in that a former president has never been indicted before. But she believes his legal cases are not the result of crimes but the “weaponization of our Department of Justice, of our legal system, against the former president.”
Western Conservative Summit
Over the weekend, Trump took the top spot in the annual Western Conservative Summit straw poll, trumping Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the first time in two years. The poll, which showed Trump outpacing DeSantis 40.3% to 35.8%, was taken just a day after Trump was indicted.
“The results are clear – Western grassroots conservatives want a fighter who will take on her radical Left and the institutions that are destroying America’s founding principles,” said Jeff Hunt, co-chair for the Western Conservative Summit on Saturday.
The summit is hosted by the Centennial Institute, Colorado Christian University’s public policy think tank, and is one of America’s largest in-person and virtual gatherings of conservatives.
Moreover, Trump’s White House campaign said this week that he had raised $7 million since being indicted, demonstrating that his supporters believe he is being politically persecuted.
White has known Trump for more than 20 years. She said his presidency was “saturated in prayer.”
“I do believe that president Trump was God’s answer to so much prayer and fasting,” she concluded, “and he was and is appointed [by God] to lead America.”