Last week the Cornerstone Church of San Antonio held its 26th annual “Night to Honor Israel.” With more than 6,000 in attendance, the church raised more than $8.5 million dollars, $6 million of which went to aliyah organizations.
The church is led by Pastor John Hagee, a familiar face on the pro-Israel Evangelical scene. As reported by the Jerusalem Post:
Despite its focus on Israeli culture and Jewish history, the Night to Honor Israel was aimed squarely at Evangelicals. There was no better reminder of this than the “Song of Zion,” a history of the Jewish people told with video, live music and interpretive dance.
According to the presentation, today’s Jewish state is but a continuation of the Israel of the Old Testament. The country it describes is romanticized and biblical, all beards and harps and attractive dancing girls in flowing robes and sparkling tinsel breastplates. It jumps suddenly from exile to return to exile, presenting the Holocaust and the rebirth of the state as but the most recent phases in that cycle, the one the sole cause behind the other. It ends on a high note in 1948, with an Israel that is strong and secure. There is no mention of wars or conflicts or politics. (MORE)
There was a Jewish presence at this event. Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, accepted a check on behalf of Nefesh b’Nefesh, Dennis Prager was the keynote speaker, and representatives from the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston attended along with local Jewish leaders.
There is little doubt that the money donated provided essential support to Israeli organizations.
But is mega-philanthropy from a mega-church and mega-Christians good for the Jewish people?
Pronounced: a-LEE-yuh for synagogue use, ah-lee-YAH for immigration to Israel, Origin: Hebrew, literally, “to go up.” This can mean the honor of saying a blessing before and after the Torah reading during a worship service, or immigrating to Israel.