AIFL Pastor/Educator Seminars

Feb 7, 2017

 

  The America Israel Friendship League (AIFL) Pastor/Educator Seminars:

  • Educate participants on the importance of a strong U.S-Israel relationship
  • Provide each participant with the tools to effectively combat anti-Israel sentiments in his/her congregations,
    sadly a condition more and more affecting mainstream and evangelic Christian denominations and
  • Facilitate enhancements for congregational delegations to Israel, which will ensure that each
    pilgrim has an experience that far exceeds the impact of a traditional Christian “Holy Land Tour”. 

Christian support for Israel is not a given:
“… Strong Evangelical support for Israel is politically and strategically significant. Israeli leaders for
decades have understandably sought friendship with Evangelical leaders and constituencies. More
recently, critics of Israel, including leftist foundations, have sought to neutralize
Evangelical support for Israel, with some success among Evangelical elites. A Washington,
D.C., group called Telos, headed by a former GOP congressional staffer and funded by George Soros,
routinely takes elite Evangelicals to the West Bank for the pro-Palestinian perspective. To that end, a
conference every two years in the Holy Land called “Christ at the Checkpoint” hosts hundreds of
Evangelicals.

“World Vision, the $1 billion Evangelical relief group, supports “Christ at the Checkpoint” and other
activism to steer Evangelicals away from support for Israel. It echoes Telos and similar groups in urging a
purportedly “pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-peace, pro-justice and pro-Jesus” stance, which by
neutralizing Evangelicals as a uniquely pro-Israel force, effectively favors Palestinian advocacy…”
“As I have written elsewhere, countering the push to shift Evangelicals away from Israel will
require more than old style “the Bible says” arguments that no longer resonate strongly
with current Evangelical elites, especially young Evangelicals. It will require
intellectually serious explanations as to why Israel merits survival and support in a
fallen world often hostile to both Jews and to ordered democracy.”

“What is the future of Christian support for Israel?” by Mark Tooley, Washington Examiner, April 16, 2015

“Theological anti-Semitism, especially when it pertains to Israel, is alive and well in
Christian circles. Consider the influence of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology
Center, which would ask you to believe that the Palestinian people are the present
incarnation of Jesus, and that Israel is crucifying “him” once again.

“Why do some mainstream churches dislike Israel?” by Jeffrey Salkin | RNS May 10, 2016

“American Christian leaders are no longer ‘automatic’ when it comes to support for
Israel”

“An Inversion of Truth” by Jim Fletcher, The Jerusalem Post, September 1, 2014

 

Other groups have some form of pro-Israel advocacy program that provides real information to use in combatting anti-Israel propaganda. Generally, however, the information is imparted as part of a major event with speeches by well-known personalities, accompanied by musical presentations, lunches, dinners, and receptions.
There remains, however, a significant gap – a critical corollary need – for grass-roots, in-depth pro-Israel advocacy seminars for local pastors and Christian educators, as well as congregation members.
America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) Pastor/Educator Seminars
AIFL Pastor/Educator seminars fill this gap by reaching out to the leaders of Christian churches and schools with the right blend of pro-Israel information, inspiration and motivation. Congregation members and religious school students are also invited. Personal invitations are sent, and for security considerations, the location and date are not publicly announced.

  

First Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma raised the flag of Israel on the day it hosted an AIFL Pastor/Educators Seminar

AIFL encourages each seminar invitee to bring his or her non-congregation family members, friends and associates. In this way, AIFL hopes that the outreach of each program is expanded far beyond the targeted faith community, as most of the pro-Israel information presented is rarely covered in the mainstream media.
AIFL leadership program and youth exchange alumni living in the area are also invited to attend the seminar and to share their firsthand experiences in Israel, either during the Q&A or in a formal presentation.

 

Former Oklahoma State Representative Hon. Mark Liotta speaks to the Edmond OK AIFL Pastor/Educator Seminar – May 2016

Follow-On:
AIFL engages each seminar attendee to:
1. Sustain the impact of the program and
2. Establish and/or Enhance each participant’s connection with Israel
Dear Friend,
Thank you for your participation in the 2016 America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) Pastor/Educator Seminar hosted by Pastor ________ and the __________________ Church or School in __________________.
This program was designed to provide you with information about Israel seldom presented in the mainstream media, and we encourage you to share what you have learned with members of your congregation and friends who were not able to attend the program with you.
Here are some pictures from the seminar:
More pictures of the seminar are available on our website, here. Neither a political nor sectarian organization, for 45 years, the AIFL has been mobilizing support for Israel through people-to-people exchange programs. The AIFL Pastor/Educator Seminars is one of our most important programs, giving us the opportunity to present Israel’s many virtues to community members all over the States.

Next Steps
If you wish to support the AIFL, receive updates and get more information on our activities, please visit our designated webpage, especially designed for the AIFL engagement with the Christian community.
We also encourage you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and frequently visit our website for updates about our activities and efforts designed to make more true friends for the State of Israel.
We look forward to your continued support, and we will be happy to see you at our future events and activities.

The America-Israel Friendship League provides each seminar participant with several suggestions as to how he or she may remain engaged with Israel, including a special landing page on the AIFL website: LINK

 

Jim Fletcher is the chief presenter for each daylong seminar program. He is AIFL’s consultant for Interfaith Activities, an executive committee member of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI), a writer, researcher and a published evangelical advocate for Israel:

 Jim Fletcher

 

From time to time Jim Fletcher is joined by renowned individuals (CV of each attached) including:
 Ambassador Uri Bar-Ner, a veteran diplomat (his last post was serving as Israel’s Ambassador to Turkey (1998 – 2001). He is currently the Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the America-       Israel Friendship League.
 Dr. Alex Grobman, a Holocaust and Zionism historian with an M.A. and Ph.D. in contemporary Jewish history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He established the first         Holocaust center in the U.S. under the auspices of The Jewish Federation in St. Louis, Missouri and served as its first director. He also served as director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angles where he was the founding editor-in chief of the Simon Wiesenthal Annual. Dr. Grobman is a member of the Council of Scholars for Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME).
 Rev. Dr. William H. Harter, a specialist in Jewish-Christian relations and Middle East affairs. Dr. Harter is Pastor Emeritus of the Presbyterian Church of Falling Spring, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and has had a life-long involvement in the Presbyterian Church, in Israel and Bible Lands, and in Jewish-Christian Relations.
 JoAnn Magnuson, an Evangelical Christian who has been involved in building Jewish-Christian relations for over 35 years. She has studied with Holocaust educators at Yad Vashem and has written a variety of materials on the history of antisemitism and the importance of Holocaust education. JoAnn currently serves as the Director of Operations of The National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI)
AIFL Pastor/Educator Seminars sidestep partisan politics while bringing facts often neglected by the media.

Topics include:

  • Israel and the International Community
  • Israel and the Bible
  • The Holocaust
  • Growing Anti-Israel Sentiment in the Evangelical Church
  • BDS: The Movement to Destroy Israel
  • The special relationship between the U.S. and Israel
  • The AIFL as your way to “stay connected to modern Israel ” after your visit to The Holy Land
  • Techniques to defeat anti-Israel sentiment in your congregation
  • Deconstructing myths about Israel and exposing canards such as:
    1. Jews have no legal, moral or historical right to the land of Israel
    2. Jews have no right to national self-determination
    3. Jews have no historical or religious connection to the Holy Land
    4. Jews either stole Arab land or purchased property at very low prices
    5. Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are an impediment to peace and are illegal
    6. Israel is Jewish, but not democratic.Some positive comments received to date from seminars conducted coast to coast:\
  •  “This was fantastic. This was information I haven’t heard before.” (Pastor, Roger Cochran, Calvary Chapel Long Beach, CA)
     “Please let me know when you’ll do this again, including live stream. I really enjoyed the Ambassador.” (Colin Shepherd)

 “I didn’t know a lot about BDS, and some of the other threats to Israel. Now I can know how to talk to people who push those things; thank you so much for this!” (Cara Spurlock)
 “This is different and better information than I’ve gotten at two other such seminars” [They were referring to a Christians United for Israel and one for the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem]

 

 

 

 

 

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