“The beneficent soul shall be made rich, and he that satisfieth abundantly shall be satisfied also himself.”(Proverbs 11:25)
Cornerstone Church, the church of Pastor John Hagee, held its 33rd annual Night to Honor Israel on Sunday with the largest donations to Holy Land going to organizations working in aliyah, or immigration to Israel. The international aliyah organization Nefesh B’Nefesh received the single largest gift, with a $500,000 donation. The Jewish Agency, which also deals in immigration, was given $250,000.
Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC) received $50,000 towards their initiative “Heart of Benjamin” which supports children with autism and Downs Syndrome. “I have been at several Nights to Honor Israel over the last number of years” said CFOIC’s Sondra Oster Baras, “and was particularly moved by Pastor Hagee’s speech. He passionately articulated why he is a Zionist and a supporter of the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel as being the land that God promised us over and over again in the Bible. It is an honor to be a recipient and CFOIC is extremely grateful for the support of John Hagee Ministries.”
The Joint Distribution Committee, which represents North America’s Jewish Federations in helping Israeli society enhance its own capacity to meet the needs of its weakest and least fortunate members received $100,000. The Kobi Mandell Foundation, which provides a Jewish response to the impact of terror and tragedy by helping bereaved mothers, fathers, widows, orphans and siblings rebuild their lives, and create meaning out of suffering was granted $50,000.
Also receiving a $100,000 donation was the Israeli law center Shurat Hadin, which combats terrorist organizations and the regimes that support them through lawsuits litigated in courtrooms around the world.
Pastor Hagee began the Night to Honor Israel in 1978 after a visit to the Holy Land. “I went to Israel as a tourist and came home a Zionist! I have traveled the world but as I walked the cobblestone streets of the Holy City, I knew I was home! My roots were there! I felt a very special presence in that sacred city that changed my life forever!
“As I stood praying at the Western Wall, I noticed an elderly orthodox Jewish man praying with all his might, rocking back and forth and reciting Scripture,” the pastor explained. “I thought to myself, ‘Here we are at the same holy place, praying to the same God and quoting the same scripture…yet I know nothing about this man or his faith.’”
On September 10, 1981, the first “Night to Honor Israel” was presented at the Theater of Performing Arts in San Antonio, Texas. Soon after “A Night to Honor Israel” went to Houston, Ft. Worth, Austin, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Tulsa, Phoenix, in addition to the annual event in San Antonio. A Night to Honor Israel has also been presented in Israel.
Pastor Hagee hailed the event one that, “has a proven track record of bringing Christians and Jews together in a non-threatening, non-conversionary environment that promotes genuine brotherly love.