”Buffalo Celebrates Israel” Goes Virtual!
Just days ago on November 15, “Buffalo Celebrates Israel” went to the airwaves from Western New York, as this virtual event declared the support of the Buffalo region for the nation and people of Israel. In difficult times, the church of Buffalo made the powerful statement that no pandemic or other crises in the world can diminish the solidarity of Western New York with the land of God’s promise and covenant.
Co-hosted by Bishop Robert Stearns and Pastor Josh Ogle at the Tabernacle in Orchard Park, NY, the evening’s program featured many inspiring elements, including the singing by Robert Stearns of both “TheStar Spangled Banner” honoring America and the Israeli national anthem (Hatikvah) honoring Israel, a beautiful dance number set to the Hebrew song “Kadosh”, special remarks from respected Israeli tour guide Doobie Sabbo, a stirring keynote address from Rabbi Erica Gerson, and much more.
In the volatile state of our world, today never has it been more vital and urgent for Christians everywhere to fortify their immovable support for the nation of Israel. For a full decade, Buffalo Celebrates Israel has been an annual catalyst to mobilize united solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people, and the importance of this gathering grows with each year.
In his opening remarks, Bishop Stearns made a fervent introduction to the powerful evening:
“We are declaring to every power there is, that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not repent of His promises; He keeps His promises to a thousand generations for those who fear His name, and we walk in covenant with Him tonight.”
Special guest from Israel Doobie Sabbo, an educator as well as Holy Land tour guide, spoke directly and personally to those tuning into the broadcast: “As an Israeli, as a Jew, as a Jerusalemite, somebody who was born and raised in Jerusalem, I want to tell you that we are feeling and sensing your love every single day. Every single day we in Israel are full of gratitude for our Christian brothers and sisters around the world that are praying, that are proclaiming, that are prophesying, that are protecting, that are providing for our nation, for our people. You built an unbelievable bridge between Gentiles and Jews. You have done so much for the existence of the state of Israel the way it is today.”
In the keynote address, Rabbi Erica Gerson encouraged the Christians tuning in, by sharing:
“You have been champions for Israel, and you’ve been watchmen on the wall making sure that everyone understands that we need a strong and secure Israel and that God wants us all to be together blessing Israel… In the year since we were last together to celebrate Israel as the Greater Buffalo community, peace has broken out in the Middle East–it’s not an understatement!”
Speaking about the 82ndanniversary of the terrible Kristallnacht attacks on Jews which took place unabated throughout Nazi Germany on November 9-10, 1938, Rabbi Gerson stated, “Today, we know that things are different… because of friends like you, the Jewish people have a strong and secure state of Israel, and we will never again be at the mercy of the world.”
Through the efforts of the evening, $11,000 was raised to bless Israel through tangible initiatives of support, including the Eagles’ Wings Abraham’s Bread feeding centers that are daily serving Israelis in need, even throughout the days of COVID-19 restrictions in Israel.
As we look to the days ahead, we know that in the midst of uncertainty the strength of the relationship between Jews and Christians must and will continue to stand. Thank you for being part of all that God is doing, as together we lift our voices on behalf of Israel.