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CBN Israel Links Arms with Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund to Provide Trauma Therapy for Terror Victims

By Nicole Jansezian

Trauma was already an issue for residents in the region of Shiloh where terror attacks are all too frequent. 

But since October 7, therapists in the area have seen a major uptick in patients returning for counseling after the Hamas invasion triggered PTSD in some and exacted a different cost altogether from others. 

“Since the October 7th massacre, we have been working 24/7 to meet the skyrocketing demand for our post-trauma therapeutic services,” said Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund founder David Rubin. “We established a mobile therapy team to treat dislocated survivors of the massacre.”

There has been a spike in requests for treatment—75 percent plus a 90 percent surge in requests for children with pre-existing psychological conditions. 

“This refers to those who had concluded previous rounds of treatment, but the horrible massacre and the war have reignited their symptoms,” Rubin said.

Rubin said in that area alone, 80 percent of the fathers have been called up to reserve duty. This has placed families under stress while still dealing with losses from the war and ongoing terrorism locally. 

Judea and Samaria—also known as the West Bank—is a swath of land comprised of separate Israeli and Palestinian communities side by side along in the region. The proximity, many times, makes for high tensions and leaves residents vulnerable to attacks.

On a tour of the facilities, Rubin introduced CBN Israel to the therapists and teachers who are reporting renewed waves of trauma among students and patients. The principal of the girls’ school uses agriculture on the campus grounds to help the children process their emotions.

“A girl who lost a brother or cousin or close relative in a terror attack or in war, or a teacher even, or a neighbor—there are many circles—now she takes a seedling, and she starts to take care of it,” principal Tamar Sela told us. “She discovers strength within herself because she caused something to grow. Because she took care of it, it’s now growing. There’s a sense of satisfaction, responsibility, belonging.”

Working with the plants teaches the girls patience and planning. 

“This gives them something stable and it enables them to make connections,” she said.  

Rubin, the former mayor of Shiloh, knows the need for this kind of support personally. He and his then 3-year-old son, Ruby, were victims of a terror attack in 2001 while driving back to Shiloh from Jerusalem. Ruby sustained a gunshot wound to the head, the bullet missing his brain stem by 1 millimeter. Though he survived, Ruby needed therapy—less readily available at the time—to work through the trauma. 

Since then, Rubin set out to provide help for people that found themselves in the same situation. The goal, he said was to integrate education and therapy at the local schools while also providing individual therapies at the main facility of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund called, The Meeting Place.

The type of therapies—whether with art, music, animals or agriculture—help children process their pain at their level. Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund also sponsors a therapeutic horse farm, using riding therapy as another outlet for children to deal with the ripple effects of trauma and loss.

“CBN Israel’s support of the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund has been critical in supporting families going through the grief caused by terrorism,” Rubin said. 

The biblical Shiloh was the first capital of Israel and the city where the tabernacle of God was established for 369 years.

Nicole Jansezian is the media coordinator for CBN Israel. A long-time journalist, Nicole was previously the news editor of All Israel News and All Arab News and a journalist at The Associated Press. On her YouTube channel, Nicole gives a platform to the minority communities in Jerusalem and highlights stories of fascinating people in this intense city. Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., she lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Tony, and their three children.

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Israel Defense Forces: Defense is Their Mission, Security is Their Goal

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

After six months of justly defending against Hamas’s barbaric invasion into their homeland on October 7, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been accused of every evil that has been executed by the terrorists themselves. Iran and its terror proxies—Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis—are proficient propagandists.

Note the word “Defense” in the IDF’s official name. Israelis are not warmongers. Indeed, after its modern founding on May 14, 1948, Israel was invaded in 1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2006, and 2023. Not counting years of unrelenting rocket fire from terrorist enclaves and the two Palestinian-incited Intifadas—one beginning in 1987 and the other in 2000—unrelenting hatred has forced Israel to defend its population and develop into the most powerful, yet moral, military in the world.

Hamas tore pages out of Hitler’s still-popular 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”) by using his strategies to murder 1,200 people last October. In this book, Hitler wrote about the “big lie.” He described this propaganda technique as being so “colossal,” no one would believe that his “impudence to distort the truth so infamously” would even be attempted. Re-enacted now by new Nazis copying advice from the almost 100-year-old book, this technique has obviously been successful. The world is easily swayed by twisted headlines and outright lies. The IDF has recently found Arabic copies of Mein Kampf in Gaza and in Lebanon and Palestinian Authority territories during past conflicts. As a guidebook, Mein Kampf points straight at terrorist mindsets based on their devotion to Hitler’s techniques and their implacable hatred of Jews.

Israel now faces the worst and most prolific propaganda I have ever witnessed as an Israel advocate. With Hitler’s demonic book and Holocaust era murders, Hamas and their sympathizers are using the same strategy: “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” It is inconceivable that much of the world’s mainstream media puts its stamp of approval on terrorist lies that glorify Hitler’s strategies. In addition, the media have chosen to believe the Hamas Ministry of Health’s inflated numbers of civilian deaths. This is journalism? Many within the media have shifted from believing Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) facts to tearing the IDF apart and blaming them for their nation’s existential fight. They have erased truth and wisdom from their pages and broadcasts with the inflammatory, unsubstantiated facts they received from other sources.

Stop for a moment and absorb the following. To mark six months since the Simchat Torah massacre of October 7 and the outbreak of the Hamas War, the National Public Diplomacy Directorate and the GPO have summarized media statistics. In October and November 2023, the largest media events since Israel’s modern founding in 1948 took place. Over 4,000 foreign journalists gathered from all over the world. Five hundred hours of video were broadcast from the destroyed kibbutzim and Sderot. The GPO conducted 60 tours. Screenings of the October 7 “atrocities film” took place with an IDF spokesperson. (As a reminder, this disturbing footage was taken with the body cams and iPhones of the Hamas terrorists themselves.) My friend Nitzan Chen, director of the GPO, has worked in heroic efforts with his staff. Nitzan narrates this YouTube video.

Now, I am highlighting the IDF’s humanitarian policies that conform to the International Laws of War within their moral compass regarding civilians living in enemy territories. Unique to the Israeli military, these foundational policies toward civilians have guided the IDF for decades in defensive wars. However, due to the enormous challenges of urban warfare in Gaza’s crowded locations, the IDF is implementing an even more meticulous set of lifesaving standards to minimize civilian casualties.

The contrasts between Hamas and the IDF are stark. The IDF’s mission is to protect its population and provide security. By contrast, Hamas uses Gazan civilians—including women and children—as human shields. (Their top leaders are multi-millionaires and live safely in Qatar, over 1,000 miles away.) John Spencer, chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point, served for 25 years as an infantry soldier with two tours in Iraq. This expert observed, “Israel has taken more measures to avoid needless civilian harm than virtually any other nation that’s fought an urban war. No military has ever implemented any of these practices in war before.”

What follows are some of the IDF’s long-time practices. Before impending strikes, Israel sends texts and pre-recorded phone messages and makes real-time phone calls. The Israel Air Force (IAF) drops leaflets urging civilians to vacate buildings where Hamas weapons are stored, warning them to move away from Hamas. The IAF uses a roof knock—dropping a loud but non-lethal bomb that warns residents to leave the building within the hour.

Another example is simply a comparison, not intended to demean our American forces that fought in the Iraq War. John Spencer reveals that the United States did not alert Iraq before its initial invasion in 2003, despite involving major urban battles in Baghdad, nor an alert for civilians in its first Battle of Fallujah. Before the second Battle of Fallujah, a civilian warning took place.

Hamas terrorists are an army of cowards. Rather than dressing in military uniforms to fight conventional warfare, they wear ordinary civilian attire and hide among the population. Israeli military policies to decrease Gazan civilian deaths via advance warnings increase the possibility of death and injury for Israeli soldiers. Alerted, Hamas terrorists pop up out of tunnel openings in Gaza armed and ready to kill, or to plant IEDs in tunnels where the IDF is searching for hostages or eliminating terrorists. The criticisms from world governments, violent demonstrators, and mainstream media are outrageous and hypocritical. Indeed, we live in a world in which the famous biblical prophet Isaiah wrote in chapter 5, verse 20, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

To expose today’s slanders against the IDF, the Christian community must remember and proactively share IDF policies, abandon apathy, and maintain vigilance. Choose to consult trusted media and organizations like CBN News, Chris Mitchell on Jerusalem Dateline, Stakelbeck Tonight on TBN, All Israel News, Amir Tsarfati’s Telegram, and Israel Defense and Security Forum. Dismiss denial and naivete, and most of all, share the facts.

Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to join in our ongoing prayers for Israel, our spiritual homeland, and to recall John 1:5—The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for all men and women serving in the IDF in all positions for strength and hope.
  • Pray for the families of 604* IDF soldiers who have died defending their nation.
  • Pray for the total of 3,202* IDF soldiers mildly, moderately, or severely wounded.
  • Pray for the soldiers traumatized by the deaths and injuries of their compatriots.
  • Pray for Director Nitzan Chen and his heroic staff at Israel’s Government Press Office.    

*These figures were updated April 7, 2024, by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. By invitation, Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summits. She also hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at ArleneBridgesSamuels.com.

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Helping Young New Immigrants Thrive

It’s a giant leap of faith for a young person to leave their native land and immigrate alone to Israel. Yet, it can be a bigger hurdle becoming a citizen and navigating a new culture and language. And since the October 7 attacks, those now coming from Ukraine’s war to another war in Israel are facing compounded challenges. 

That’s why absorption centers, called ulpans, are critical to helping these new arrivals adjust. And friends like you are a vital part of this effort, through CBN Israel’s partnership with the Jewish Agency.

For example, one absorption center in Haifa serves about 250 lone Russians and Ukrainians. Thanks to faithful donors, these students live in a dorm setting, receive intensive Hebrew lessons, and make new friends and connections through the social programs. And learning Hebrew quickly is vital in helping them enter the job market, or higher education.

Nastia, the director of the program, was once a new immigrant herself. In addition to an education, she says that students receive 24/7 mentoring and ample psychological support. As she puts it, “They come alone; they leave as a community.” 

She observes, “When the war broke out here, immigrants heading to Israel didn’t know how to react, but now we see they still want to come. We also expect more immigrants after the war ends.” These absorption centers are important for the future of the students—as well as for Israel’s future.

Nastia added, “If it wasn’t for CBN’s support, we wouldn’t have been able to continue helping and hosting our immigrants. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

That’s just one way your gifts to CBN Israel can offer a helping hand to new immigrants and to Israel—while also providing nutritious meals, housing, and other necessities to those in crisis.

Please join us in reaching out!

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CBN Israel Supports Christian Citizens Serving in Israel’s Army

By Nicole Jansezian

With new threats from Iran and Hezbollah as Israel’s war in Gaza stretches into its sixth month, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) faces a personnel challenge and has ordered leave to be temporarily paused for all combat soldiers.

While military service is mandatory for all 18-year-old men and women and most Jewish Israelis serve their time after high school, many Arab citizens—both Muslims and Christians—opt not to enlist.

Currently, only 3.5 percent of the Arab population serves in the military, according to the IDF, despite being more than one fifth of the nation’s citizens.

Christians comprise only 2 percent of the country’s population, but one group of Christian Israelis are trying to encourage the young members of their community to play a larger role in serving and defending their nation—and CBN Israel is supporting the cause.  

Arameans are Christian citizens of Israel who have been in the land since the time of Jesus and have recently fought to categorize their identity as separate from Arab citizens.

Many of them also believe that as a minority population in Israel, they must integrate into the nation—and that includes serving in the army.

Dozens of Aramean teens recently took part in a Christian-Jewish military prep course that would not only help them prepare to serve in the military but also to get to know others with whom they wouldn’t have regular interaction.

The graduation, in February, prepared another 48 teens ready to enlist in the IDF. Shadi Khalloul, who founded Kinneret in 2017, said 1,000 students applied.

The program at Kibbutz Beit Zera, near the Sea of Galilee, is called Kinneret and is sponsored through partnership with the Jewish Agency.

After seven months, new batches of teens graduate after learning each other’s languages and cultures and developing relationships and trust that did not previously exist.

Earlier this year, CBN Israel attended the most recent graduation and has joined arms with Khalloul in helping integrate the Christian community better into Israeli society through such a valuable program.

Nicole Jansezian is the media coordinator for CBN Israel. A long-time journalist, Nicole was previously the news editor of All Israel News and All Arab News and a journalist at The Associated Press. On her YouTube channel, Nicole gives a platform to the minority communities in Jerusalem and highlights stories of fascinating people in this intense city. Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., she lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Tony, and their three children.

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Israel: Fighting the Islamic Regime’s Death Cult

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

One hundred and eighty days ago, Hamas ripped away a cloak of barbaric evil revealing Iran’s final, deadly goal. The evil that befell Israel on October 7, 2023, points to the Islamic Regime’s determination to establish a modern caliphate—an Islamic-founded, tyrannical government—across the world. For decades, Iran’s leaders have called Israel the “Little Satan” and the United States the “Great Satan.” Make no mistake—these hostile labels describe an ongoing religious war between the life-giving Judeo-Christian heritage and the death cult of Shia Islam.

Mainstream media promotes its anti-Israel biases with predictions and propaganda—accepting Iran proxy Hamas’s lies rather than the established facts of Israel’s defensive war. Rarely does secular media mention that the globe is undergoing a religious war. However, a recent Atlantic Council article highlighted Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and sounded the alarm about his extreme views.

The article revealed that Khamenei is determined to force-fit his oppressive Islamic Shia religion onto the world, in part by using and funding his Middle East trio of hate—surrogates Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis. In a recent speech, Khamenei arrogantly declared, “It was my tongue, but words of god (Allah).” Although Khamenei has long been considered the Supreme Leader (his media machine calls him the “implementer of god’s orders”), this latest pronouncement sent out shock waves in Iran. On X, one writer, a critic, said about Khamenei, “At 86, he claims to be a god.”

And a satanic false god, he is. He controls the regime’s nuclear ambitions, military, media, judiciary, and foreign policy. We need not look far to see Khamenei’s power-hungry principles enforced by his Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at home and abroad. His mandate toward upwards of 89 million citizens is marked by harsh, oppressive laws and brutal violence. In 2021 he called street protesters “evil, corrupt … weeds, or insects.” In other words, “mow them down.”

Khamenei’s like-minded President—former judge Ibrahim Raisi, nicknamed “The Butcher of Tehran”—is committed to carrying out violence against any freedom protests breaking out, especially after the arrest of Mehsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman. The Iranian “morality police” arrested her in September 2022. Her crime? Incorrectly wearing her compulsory hijab (head covering).She was brutally murdered while in detention.

The “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement was born as a result. The regime responded by murdering more than 550 citizens—including 68 children and 48 women—and arresting thousands. The Fact-Finding Mission established by the UN’s Human Rights Council recently reported (among many other violations) a pattern of blinding eye injuries, torture, and rapes in detentions—vicious crimes against humanity by anyone’s definition. 

   

I consulted with my dear friend Marziyeh (Marzi) Amirizadeh for her first-person explanation of the Islamic regime’s religious goals. Marzi grew up in schools that targeted children by brainwashing them against the U.S. and Israel. As a young woman, Marzi met her Savior Jesus in a series of dreams. She has been a grateful American citizen since 2011.

However, in 2009 she and her close friend were arrested and imprisoned for their faith in Jesus. Their crime? For three years, under the cover of nighttime darkness, they covertly placed 20,000 Bibles into mailboxes in Iran’s capital, Tehran. Eventually found out by the regime’s police, they were put in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. Sentenced to death by hanging, they miraculously survived nine months of horror, then were released after a letter-writing campaign from thousands of Christians provoked an international outcry.

Marzi is an author (Captive in Iran and A Love Journey with God), a speaker worldwide, and an activist for religious freedom. A devoted believer, she is an expert on the dangerous Islamic Regime and warns fellow Americans that freedom must be cultivated and defended. She speaks on behalf of Iranians who long for freedom, fully supports Israel, and treasures her first trip there last year. Some estimate that over a million Muslim-background believers are part of a growing Christian revival, yet they are forced to live under the Islamic ideology that Islam will conquer the world in the end times. The regime’s theocracy teaches that conquest will come either by war or by infiltrating Western countries through their Muslim population to destroy these countries from within. 

Marzi explains, “Radical Muslims teach that Islam is the perfect religion, sent through Mohammad. Everyone must convert to Islam. They await their 12th Imam Mahdi—the Islamic messiah—to appear in Jerusalem after the annihilation of all Israel and Jews.”  

She explains further, “Reading the Quran, it is obvious that they use various parts of the Bible and reverse everything. They demand that every Muslim join their Holy War to open the path for their coming Imam Mahdi. He will then start a series of military wars all around the world to convert infidels—Christians and other religious minorities, who are ‘pagans.’ The Mahdi will give them a chance to convert to Islam. If they refuse, Muslims have the right to murder them and confiscate their property.” 

Having encountered their apocalyptic leaders’ oppressive laws both outside prison and inside those grim walls, Marzi compares the Ayatollah’s Shia Islam and Christianity: “Christianity is all about love and forgiving, but their Islam is all about hate, violence, and anti-Semitism. If you ask, they say that Islam is a religion of peace, but it is a big lie to deceive people.” Marzi believes in religious freedom, but not at the cost of tolerating hatred and violence taught in other countries.

“Muslims know how to take advantage of religious freedom to brainwash people in Western countries,” continues Marzi. She knows firsthand that “in the eyes of their Allah, we are infidels and pagans, and it makes a way for Imam Mahdi to establish an Islamic government or caliphate.” Marzi wisely referred to Matthew 7:16, where Jesus observed, “By their fruit you will recognize them.Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” His wisdom is our measuring stick.    

I close by recalling great moments in many past trips to Israel. For my groups of Christian leaders on a geopolitical and spiritual journey, we received excellent briefings from the Israel Defense Forces. Before asking one of the pastors to pray for their safety, I took the opportunity to encourage them. “I am a Christian Zionist and thankful for your service. You are opposing evil on the front lines of freedom, not only for your Jewish homeland, but for us as freedom-loving Americans.”

Friends, first know that Hamas imitated and expanded the Islamic Regime’s brutality, barbarism, and hegemonic goals. Then remember, Israel’s war is like the adage about the canary in the coal mine. If Iran and its terror proxies are coming after Israel, realize that this conflict may eventually be at our front door.

Our team at CBN Israel welcomes you to pray with us this week and find hope in Isaiah 45:16-17: “All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced; they will go off into disgrace together. But Israel will be savedby theLORD with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgraced,to ages everlasting.” 

Prayer Points:  

  • Pray for the world to recognize the evil behind Iran’s military and religious goals.
  • Pray for Christians worldwide to strengthen their Ephesians 6 spiritual armor. 
  • Pray for Israelis to find a way to remain united, no matter what. 
  • Pray for Christians to use wisdom in their media choices.
  • Pray for Christians to press in fully to the truths of our Bibles. 

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. By invitation, Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summits. She also hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at ArleneBridgesSamuels.com.

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Victim of Terrorism: Yulia’s Story

We see many news stories about the Israel-Hamas war, but it is sobering to hear firsthand accounts from those living it every day. Yulia and her family, who work as musicians, fled their home after October 7, as their village and livelihood came under siege from Hamas terrorists.

Yulia shares, “The first day when the tragedy began, all our concerts were cancelled. We are completely and entirely in God’s hands. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow.” She adds, “We left our home, the home we love—where our friends are, and our children’s friends.”

Describing their traumatic experience, she recounts, “We lost so many families. Our children received calls, and would find out about friends that were killed. One girl disappeared. Hamas captured her whole family.” With so many losses, where could they turn for help?

Thankfully, friends like you were there for Yulia’s family. Through CBN Israel, caring donors provided much needed financial assistance to help them buy food, clothing, and other basic essentials during their time of evacuation.

Yulia exclaims, “We are very, very grateful for your help! We feel your love for the Jewish people… We had placed our hope in our country’s strength, and now, more hope in God is arising, especially among non-believers. Their hearts are opening to hear about God…”

Your gifts to CBN Israel can bring God’s hope to others who are hurting—including Holocaust survivors, immigrants, and single mothers.

As the war continues, so do the needs. Your support can offer groceries, housing, trauma therapy, and emergency supplies to victims of terrorism, while supplying ongoing aid to those in need who are trying to survive.

Please join us in helping Israel at this crucial time!

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CBN Israel Helps Immigrants Not Just Come to Israel, But Stay and Thrive

By Nicole Jansezian

Even when the number of immigrants to Israel is on an upswing, many times retaining new citizens is a larger challenge than bringing them to the Holy Land in the first place.

That’s why ulpans, otherwise known as absorption centers, are critical to assimilating new immigrants into Israel. This is especially true during times of war.

“Part of the solution to recover from the atrocities of October 7 is Aliyah (immigration to Israel)—having more young adults with energy, with passion, with education to come and help build a better future in the land,” said Danielle Mor, director of Christian Friends of The Jewish Agency.

One such absorption center is in the coastal city of Haifa in northern Israel. Young Russians and Ukrainians mill in and out of classrooms where they have intensive Hebrew lessons and begin making new connections through the social programs.

The program focuses on helping young adults who came to Israel alone leaving behind family and friends.

“We don’t just teach our students but offer psychological support at least twice a month during their program,” said Nastia, the director of the program who was once a new immigrant herself. “Toward the end of their stay with us we also plug them into a social support program.”

The students live in a dorm setting and the intensive language lessons are designed to propel them to a level of Hebrew that is sufficient to get them either into the job market or into higher education.

“We have here a staff that works 24/7 to mentor them to support them and every need they have,” Nastia said. “Whether its emotional or practical, we want to help guide them in their next steps in Israel so they can make a solid network of friends. They come alone; they leave as a community.”

Danielle noted that every immigrant has a challenging time not to mention coming from one war—such as in the Ukraine—to another in Israel.

“Now, when they’re coming from a situation of war, integration is that much more difficult,” she said. “We’re dealing here with about 250 lone young adults that have come to Israel to start a new life.”

CBN Israel has been supporting the Jewish Agency in this effort.

“CBN was doing this work before the war started, and now they are helping these immigrants who need a chance and who need an opportunity to get a good start in their new country and to go into a life of meaning and purpose,” Danielle said. “This is so important for the future, not just of the individuals that CBN touches through the Jewish Agency, but overall, for Israel.”

Nastia said the recent immigrants had to navigate a terrible war and then face the uncertainty of starting over in a new country and in a new culture.

“When the war broke out here, immigrants heading to Israel didn’t know how to react but now we see they still want to come. We also expect more immigrants after the war ends. There will be a new wave of immigration,” she said. “If it wasn’t for CBN’s support we wouldn’t have been able to continue helping and hosting our immigrants so thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Nicole Jansezian is the media coordinator for CBN Israel. A long-time journalist, Nicole was previously the news editor of All Israel News and All Arab News and a journalist at The Associated Press. On her YouTube channel, Nicole gives a platform to the minority communities in Jerusalem and highlights stories of fascinating people in this intense city. Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., she lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Tony, and their three children.

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Resurrection Day: Recalling the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Faith

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

Celebrating the reality of our Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection is more important than ever! In the face of all the evil, brokenness, and despair we see throughout our world, we need to be reminded that good triumphs over evil, that truth conquers all lies, and that life overcomes death. Our world is at a critical crossroads, and we need to see the same power that raised Jesus from the dead at work in our world today.

The murderous onslaught against Israel on October 7, 2023, reminds us that truth is turned upside down with a shocking barrage of lies against Israel, Jesus’ earthly homeland. The just war that Israel is battling on the ground is accompanied by a larger spiritual battle in which Satan is continuing his centuries-old plot to wipe out the Jewish people. Why? Because God has always intended the Jewish people to be at the center of His redemptive plans and purposes.

For those of us who are non-Jewish believers, we believe that God graciously grafted us into the unbreakable eternal promises He bequeathed to the Jews. He sustains us as branches on the deeply rooted olive tree. However, among too many Christians and in our churches, Christianity has become all about us, the Gentiles. The non-Jews.

We too often forget our grafted-in Jewish roots. Without God’s establishment of the Jewish people, culture, and identity through Abraham—and His inspired words through Jewish scribes and prophets—Christianity would not exist. God the Father’s rescue plan was embedded in the Old Testament and completed in the New Testament. On Resurrection Day, our Savior, crucified as an earthly Jew outside Jerusalem and gloriously resurrected, returned to heaven in His ascension 40 days later as our High Priest.   

Ignoring God’s imperishable gifts through the Jews and overlooking their homeland Israel is a cause for concern. Too many Christians seem unwilling, ignorant, or too easily accepting of terrorists’ lies and fabricated statistics about the Israeli Defense Forces’ battle against Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. A refresher in the truths of the Bible is timely on Resurrection Day 2024. We rejoice in the historic and sacred Scriptures in the Bible’s 66 books declaring that Israel, the ancestral homeland, and the land God calls His own, is eternal. 

Israel is our spiritual homeland, and Christians are called to do no less than pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the ancient and modern capital. We stand beside Israel not only to receive the blessing in Genesis 12:3—“I will bless those who bless you”—but also because we firmly believe that when we support Israel and the Jewish people, we are taking part in the redemptive story that God is still telling through His chosen people.

During Holy Week, revisiting the four Gospels, the book of Acts, and beyond helps us understand the importance of our Jewish foundation, which sadly crumbled a few centuries later into a Gentile-only faith. Let us recall that Pentecost (Shavuot) is the day the Holy Spirit came upon 3,000 gathered who became Jewish believers. The Gospel swept from Jew to Jew afterwards. For some 10 years after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, only Jews, with a few exceptions, wore the mantle of our faith and carried the Good News to other lands. Later, God spoke to the brilliant scholar Saul on the Damascus Road. Newly named Paul, he prized his Jewish heritage while preaching and writing the Good News directly to Gentiles in his travels.

Some Bible translations describe Jesus’ own three-year ministry referring to churches, rather than synagogues. He trained His Jewish disciples outdoors, in homes, and on the Temple Mount in the courtyards of the Second Temple. He and His disciples only read from Old Testament scrolls. Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian. The New Testament was yet to be written.

During each Holy week, we still hear misguided pastors and churches teach that “the Jews rejected and killed Jesus!” They fail to understand the events recorded in the Gospels, which indicate Jesus’ popularity and favor with the Jewish people. They fail to understand that it was not the Jewish people at large who killed Jesus; rather, it was an elite group of Chief Priests and their scribes who collaborated with Rome to eliminate Jesus, because they wanted to maintain their power, corruption, and wealth. This is why they had to arrest Jesus in secret under the cloak of darkness, because they feared the people and what would happen if they arrested Him out in the open (Luke 22:2-6).

There were many to blame for killing Jesus: Chief Priests, their scribes, Judas, Pilate, and the Roman soldiers who carried out the execution. However, we dare not overlook the words of Jesus in John 10:17-18: “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have the authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.”

We must emblazon His words, “No one takes it [My life] from Me” into our minds. Jesus willingly underwent suffering and death on the cross to redeem us. Jesus paid our debt of sin as only He could, the Perfect Lamb. God’s redemptive plan offers us new life, new hope, and our eternal homeland! No one could have stopped God’s plan!

The human heart sank into the weakness of human nature by blaming the entire Jewish race for the worst murder in history. In a sense, Christians themselves have forgotten God’s redemptive plan to save us from ourselves by sending His only begotten Son to die as our perfect substitute. The treasure of the Jewish origins of Christianity was camouflaged by placing blame only on the Jews—instead of looking at ourselves or the crucifixion’s accomplices.

Previously, anti-Semitism marched through the centuries with boots, bombs, tanks, and terror in multiple contexts. While German propaganda ruled during World War II, since October 7, 2023, the barbaric Hamas/Hezbollah/Houthi/Iran war turned on a global switch. Aided by toxic world media’s instant, biased news, anti-Semitism’s resurgence moved to deeper depths, darkening human minds worldwide to believe lies and distortions. It has penetrated organizations, universities, institutions, governments, and yes, even churches. Now, here we are five months into unmitigated Jew hatred that is surging throughout the world.

Nevertheless, God’s sovereignty towers far above evil—and wins! In word and deed, we must press in to remain active on behalf of Israel and celebrate our Savior’s world-changing resurrection. May we worship Jesus, our Jewish rabbi under His Prayer Shawl (Tallit).

Under Your Tallit, I dwell safe and secure. Under Your Tallit, my hiding place is sure. Though life is full of struggle, Your joy is fuller still. Under Your Tallit, I’m in Your sovereign will. Jesus (Yeshua) my High Priest, You tore the veil in two. I stepped inside, You welcomed me to share this place with You, both Gentile and Jew. Yeshua, You are the One Who reigns in majesty. Into Your royal priesthood You have adopted me so that I can be…under Your Tallit! (© 1999 Arlene Bridges Samuels)

Our CBN Israel team wishes you an inspiring Resurrection Sunday overflowing with hope! Join us in praises and prayers!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Prayer Points

  • Pray for strengthened faith and maturity for Christians worldwide.
  • Pray for God’s mercy upon persecuted Christians facing torture and death.
  • Pray for hope in a chaotic world—trusting God, the Alpha and Omega.
  • Pray for Easter safety in Israel for Jewish, Arab, and Gentile believers.
  • Pray for wisdom, unity, and victory for Israel’s government and military.

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. By invitation, Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summits. She also hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at ArleneBridgesSamuels.com.

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Holocaust Survivor: Phima’s Story

Phima was just three years old when World War II reached his town of Slonin, Belarus. His parents fled to Uzbekistan with him and his two sisters. One day, his father left for work—and never returned. Sadly, 11 years later, the family learned that his father and six others had been abducted and murdered by the Nazis. 

At age 19, Phima joined the Uzbekistan military, attended university after that, and became a history and economics teacher. He and his wife finally moved to Israel to join their adult children there, made Aliyah, becoming Israeli citizens in 1996, and still live there today.

However, for elderly Holocaust survivors like Phima, now 85, and his wife, the October 7 horrors brought back nightmares of the Nazi onslaught they barely survived. And now, this elderly couple struggles to survive financially as well. Where could they turn for help?

Thankfully, friends like you were there. Through CBN Israel’s partnership with the Jewish Agency, a housing program called Amigour offers affordable living for over 27,000 Holocaust survivors and other needy elderly people. Couples and single seniors can live there in comfort and dignity. Plus, donors are building a new assisted living complex to house even more older Israelis. 

Due to their dire financial situation, Phima and his wife qualify to live there. He exclaims, “Amigour is one big family, and no one ever feels lonely!” Almost half of all remaining Holocaust survivors—about 147,000 people—live in Israel, and 25 percent live below the poverty line. Donors are giving them a nice home and a sense of community in their later years. 

This is only one example of how your gifts to CBN Israel can offer care for those in need. You can also provide food, housing, and essentials for war victims, as well as bringing aid to single mothers, immigrants, and other vulnerable Israelis. 

Please join us in extending a hand to others!

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The Promise of Purim: Israel is Eternal!

By Arlene Bridges Samuels

For Purim, the Feast of Esther, Israelis have already prepared for one of their most joyous holidays. On the Hebrew calendar year, 5784 in the month of Adar, the celebration will commence at sundown on March 24 and end at nightfall on March 25. Purim is greeted in religious and secular contexts with street parties, costumes worn by adults and children, and synagogues filled to capacity.

Israelis will take a festival breather from their ongoing national five-month trauma, whether reading the Megillah—Esther’s ten chapters—or fasting, feasting, attending parties and parades, and giving gifts to charities and children. Purim holds the promise of celebrating victories over enemies. It is a Jewish way to affirm life.

During the first Purim since October 7, 2023, the “Hamans” in the Middle East—Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran—should take notice. Israel is alive and standing strong!

Haman, of course, was the genocidal, power-hungry propagandist who hated the Jews exiled in the Persian empire. In the dramatic book of Esther, he was considered as a prime minister in the empire of King Xerxes (also called Ahasuerus) around 474 B.C. God in His sovereignty used the exiled Queen Esther and her kinsman Mordecai to change the course of Jewish existential history from death to life.

The Persian Empire was the largest ever, stretching across three continents: Europe, Africa, and Asia. Estimates suggest a population of 50 million—thus comprising 44 percent of the world’s people at that time.

Esther (Hadassah) truly lived the Persian meaning of her name, “Star.” This stunning woman stepped onto the runway of history when King Xerxes chose her in an ancient beauty contest to replace his deposed Queen Vashti. Esther grew up in obscurity under the protection of Mordecai, her kinsman and mentor. The numbers are lost to antiquity, but some scholars estimate the Jewish population to have been at 20 percent in the Persian Empire. Esther and Mordecai, a future Jewish heroine and hero, were among them.

We can easily assume that Mordecai was a righteous Jew as we read about his refusal to obey the arrogant Haman’s order to bow to him. When Mordecai refused, a fire of hatred lit inside Haman against the Jews as a whole. Haman’s hate manifested by using lies and propaganda against the Jewish population to persuade the King to issue a genocidal edict. Sounds familiar! Mordecai overheard Haman’s murderous plan and covertly passed it on to Queen Esther. He asked her to appeal to the King, although it was a risky request, even for a Queen, to disregard the royal protocols.

God spoke through Mordecai’s discerning challenge in Esther 4:14 NIV. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Although Esther was hesitant, she responded courageously with a strategy of fasting and prayer and asked others to join her. When the King chose Esther as Queen of Persia, in wisdom Mordecai advised her not to reveal she was Jewish. When Esther later made the request to petition the King on behalf of her people, the timing was perfect. She openly declared her Jewish heritage and reported Haman’s genocidal plan. Furious at Haman, King Xerxes acted immediately by sending out a decree across the empire ordering the Jewish community’s rescue. He then sentenced Haman and his sons to hang on the very gallows Haman had built to hang Mordecai.

Presently, Hamas is the most notable example of genocidal anti-Semitism, promising to repeat October 7 again and again. However, Hamas closely imitates an ancient and modern line of evil Haman predecessors. Hamas’s attempts to wipe Israel and Jews off the map are no different than the Hitler’s Jew hatred that ultimately led to the systematic murder and genocide of 6 million Jewish men, women, and children. The top modern-day Hamans are the Islamist Imams who in 1979 took over Iran in a religious war to recreate a worldwide Muslim caliphate. Their key targets are the United States, Israel, Europe, and the Western world at large.

The Islamic Regime of Iran is not only forging ahead in its quest for a nuclear bomb; they also finance their own Haman-like prime ministers in Hamas, Hezbollah, and Houthis. It is no secret that the Islamic Regime and each proxy “prime minister” avows their goals—shouting in media, speeches, and now, the most barbaric murders and kidnappings in one day since the Holocaust.

The name Hamas appears in the Bible, defined not only as violence, but also as sin and injustice against God and others. Although scholars may not agree on exactly how many times that word appears—from as few as four to as many as 60—what is certain is this: Hamas instigated the first great destruction of all mankind where Genesis 6:11 records, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.” The Hebrew word for violence here is Hamas. Today, Hamas bears the identical character and definition from ancient to modern times against Jews, Christians, Muslims, and anyone blocking their evil intent.

One of the Purim traditions I like best happens during the reading of Esther. When a rabbi, leader, or family member reads Mordecai’s name, others shout, “Blessed be Mordecai.” When Haman’s name is read, people stomp their feet, make noise with groggers (rattles) and yell, “Cursed be Haman!”

Esther and Mordecai are our brave role models for today—to speak out on behalf of the Jewish people everywhere possible with truth. Israel is here to stay, confirmed by world history and the Bible’s sacred history. Will we in the Christian community heed God’s call to us through Mordecai and Esther? Or, with silence and inaction, will we become accomplices to Iran and its surrogates, similar to the German church prior to and during the Holocaust?

Our CBN Israel team welcomes you to pray with us from a proclamation in 2 Samuel 7: 22-24:

“How great you are, Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you. … And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself … and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, LORD, have become their God.”

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for Christians to stand firm in our resolve to spread truth about Israel.
  • Pray for the American public to see the grave consequences of appeasement strategies with Iran that have been employed by the current and previous administrations.
  • Pray for President Biden and his surrogates to relent from intruding into Israel’s governmental decisions.
  • Pray for unity among Israelis as the war passes into another month and as Israel fights for its very existence.

Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. By invitation, Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summits. She also hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at ArleneBridgesSamuels.com.

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