800 Show Support for Israel at The Tabernacle

photo provided by Eagles' Wings
By Joel James

“The support for Israel is just overwhelming!” said Jewish community member Linda Steinhorn, as approximately 800 people, Jews and Christians, gathered at the Tabernacle in Orchard Park, New York, for “Buffalo Celebrates Israel!” coordinated by Eagles’ Wings. Christians from more than 25 church congregations attended this fourth annual gathering in Buffalo, which raised over $11,000 to feed those living in poverty in Israel.

The event is becoming an historic partnership between Jews and Christians in support of Israel. “Today we must recognize that there is more that unites our two communities than that which divides us," passionately 
declared Eagles’ Wings Executive Director and Bishop of the Tabernacle, Dr. Robert Stearns.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, for what you do for Israel, and what you are doing for Jews around the world,” said Mr. Michael Wise, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo.

The event featured Congressman Chris Collins, (R-NY-27), along with pastors of leading congregations and leaders of the Buffalo Jewish community. Representing Israel was Consul for Public Diplomacy, Mr. Gil Lainer, and a Druze Community leader from Isifiya on Mount Carmel, Mrs. Magda Mansour. “As a minority [Druze] living in Israel, I have received respect, honor and dignity from the State of Israel,” said Mrs. Mansour, pointing out the rights and freedoms she enjoys as an ethnic, cultural and religious minority in Israel.

On many people’s minds was the international agreement reached earlier in the day regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Dr. Robert Stearns said, “It cannot be a (spiritual) coincidence that this agreement with Iran was signed on this very day as we gather here to voice our support for Israel. “

“Israel wants a diplomatic solution….but it must include the dismantling of Iran’s centrifuges and goals to obtain enriched uranium,” said Consul Gil Lainer. Congressman Collins emphasized the unity within both houses of Congress and both major parties to increase sanctions on Iran, “Now is the time to double down on sanctions to put an end to their [Iran] nuclear power once and forever.”  

Referencing the upcoming celebration of Hanukah, Rabbi Perry Netter of Temple Beth Tzedek said “throughout history, when it would seem that the light of the Jewish people should have gone out, time and again the oil has been refilled and the light is still burning.  After the holocaust, when a third of our people were murdered and burned, Israel has refilled the oil and now brings its light to the world.” Stearns added, “May we (Jews and Christians) keep oil in our lamps to burn brightly in a dark world.” 

Buffalo Celebrates Israel! is a Christian expression of love and support for Israel and the Jewish people and is one of many similar Celebrate Israel! events coordinated by Eagles’ Wings in cities across the U.S. Eagles’ Wings efforts also include the global “Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem”; The Israel Experience College Scholarship; and the Watchmen on the Wall training and pilgrimage programs.