Although the political climate in Israel deterred several of the usual events, the Christian Embassy's annual Feast of the Tabernacles celebration a record a 6,000 people from 72 countries to Israel over the Sukkot holiday. The trip, which has taken place for over 20 years, allows Christian Embassies worldwide to organize groups and send representatives to Israel for a religious pilgrimage. It also brings in approximately $15 million to Israel. Since the early 1980s, it has been a tradition for the president and prime minister of Israel to meet with the pilgrims. This year, however, neither of those figures met nor spoke with the visitors. Organizers for the event said they were surprised when many of Israelis political leaders declined to meet with the group.