Grapevine: Hedding off to Tennessee

Buhler noted that Hedding has been an ambassador for Israel all over the world, changing the atmosphere in both the church and the political arena.

Outgoing ICEJ head Hedding, Ayalon_311 (photo credit: ICEJ)
Outgoing ICEJ head Hedding, Ayalon_311
(photo credit: ICEJ)
■ JEWS JOINED members of various Christian denominations in bidding farewell to Malcolm Hedding, the longtime executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, and his wife, Cheryl, prior to their leaving for Tennessee. His successor is Jurgen Buhler. The bittersweet farewell dinner in the illuminated garden of the ICEJ’s spacious and elegant premises was preceded by a farewell ceremony attended by Rev. Juha Ketola, chairman of the ICEJ Board of Trustees, who came from Finland for the occasion and who could barely contain himself from weeping as he recalled experiences that he had shared with Hedding.
Buhler noted that Hedding has been an ambassador for Israel all over the world, changing the atmosphere in both the church and the political arena.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that Hedding and his wife leave a great legacy that is important to Jews and Christians alike, to the Judeo-Christian heritage and to the State of Israel. Alluding to opposition in certain Israeli quarters to the work of the ICEJ, Ayalon said, “I don’t understand why we don’t help our friends to help us.”
Former tourism minister Rabbi Benny Elon, a pioneer together with the late Yuri Shtern of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, noted that the Christian Embassy had been established when nearly all embassies left Jerusalem and that, despite the intifada, had brought thousands of Christians to parade in Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles at a time when tourism was at a very low ebb.
Yad Vashem’s director of external relations Shaya Ben- Yehuda said that in working with the Christian Embassy, he had learned to take the Bible more seriously. He praised Hedding’s vision in establishing a partnership between the ICEJ and Yad Vashem.
Among the other prominent personalities who came to wish the Heddings well were Manfred Gerstenfeld and Joel Fishman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs; Alan Schneider, director of B’nai B’rith World Center, Jerusalem; Uri Halfon, former chief of protocol at the Israel Foreign Ministry; Avi Golan, former executive director of The Jerusalem Post; Charley Levine, CEO of Lone Star Communications; and Moshe Sharon, professor of early Islamic history at the Hebrew University.
Hedding will return to Israel in October for the Feast of Tabernacles.
■ ANYONE WHO has visited the Italian Coregliano Veneto Synagogue and its adjacent U. Nahon Italian Jewish Museum on Rehov Hillel cannot help but be charmed. That’s what prompted Yehudei Italia, the Association of Italian Jews, to approach Italian Ambassador Luigi Mattiolo to ask if they could have a function in support of the synagogue and museum at his spacious residence in Ramat Gan. The ambassador and his wife, Stefania, instantly agreed. The result was that last Thursday, Italians from around the country flocked to Ramat Gan to hear a marvelous Italian concert and to participate in a silent auction of works by Emanuele Luzzati and other artists.
■ AFTER WINNING the Israel Public Relations Association Roaring Lion award for the best international campaign, Jerusalem-based Lone Star Communications, headed by CEO Charley Levine, has scored another coup and has been named as Glenn Beck’s media representative for the popular commentator and author’s “Restoring Courage” upcoming Israel program scheduled for August. Lone Star will be cooperating closely with Hiltzik Strategies, Beck’s American PR consultants. Everyone on the Lone Star team is American born.