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Have You Not Read?

In his eulogy to Billy Graham last year, Franklin Graham made one statement about his father that really touched me. He spoke about the deep love and respect his father had for the Word of God. “The Bible was his sole authority,” Franklin said, adding he remembers how often his father would hold up the Bible while preaching and proclaim: “The Bible says…”


Over Christmas, I was troubled as I read Irresistible, a new book by Andy Stanley who is a cutting-edge preacher with significant influence in the evangelical world today. In his book, Stanley advises preachers to drop such phrases as “the Bible says” and “the Bible teaches,” claiming there is nothing to be gained by it and much to be lost. In addition, Stanley suggests reading the Old Testament with great caution, as it contains no doctrinal relevance to the church today and represents a God that “appears uncivilized” to the modern reader.

This approach represents a growing phenomenon in the church today. Though some may be less extreme than Andy Stanley’s views, there is a deliberate, growing move away from the Word of God and from the Old Testament.

When speaking in congregations around the world, I often ask: “How many have read at least once through the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation?” The answer is sobering. In most cases, only a few hands go up—sometimes, not even a single hand. I find the highest percent of Bible illiteracy among churches in western countries. While the results are a little better when I ask who has read the entire New Testament, the Bible in general and the Old Testament in particular seem to be an ignored black box for many believers. In one church, I was told by the pastor that I was quoting too many Scriptures. One, maximum two per sermon will do; otherwise, I would overly challenge the audience. A close friend told me that for years now he cannot remember hearing a single sermon in his church on any Old Testament passage.

This phenomenon is nothing new and can be traced back to the early church. Marcion, an influential teacher in the Church of Rome around AD 140, rejected the Old Testament writings—and even some New Testament books—as being too Jewish and misrepresenting the loving God revealed by Jesus. While he was removed as a heretic, his Marcionism would leave a wide imprint on the church for centuries to come.

This all leads us to ask: What does the Bible say about its own relevance and authority? And how did the early church approach Scripture? Indeed, the question often posed by Jesus to the scribes and teachers, “Have you not read?” is more relevant than ever today (see Matthew 12:3; 19:4, etc.).

Tanach: The Old Testament

First of all, the early church did not have a New Testament yet, as it was only written and canonized decades later. Thus, when New Testament writers refer to “Scripture,” they are clearly referencing the Old Testament.

Also, the early church never used the term “Old Testament.” They referred to the Hebrew Scriptures as the Tanach. This is a three-letter acronym [T-N-K] containing the first letters of each section of the Old Testament. The “T” is for Torah, or the Law contained in the five books of Moses, also referred to as the Pentateuch. The middle “N” refers to the Prophets (Nevi’im in Hebrew), which includes all the prophets of the Old Testament, from Isaiah to Malachi (except for Daniel, which is counted among the Writings). The final “K” is for Kotvim, or the Writings. The Writings contain all the other books from Joshua through Samuel, Job, and Psalms, to “Song of Songs.”

Thus, New Testament authors often refer to the Old as “the Law and the Prophets” (e.g., Matthew 5:17; 11:13; 22:14; John 1:45; Acts 13:15; etc.), or “the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44). Only once in the Bible is the Old Testament referred to as “old testament,” in 2 Corinthians 3:14. Here, the Greek text literally speaks of the “old covenant,” but Jerome’s Latin translation in the fifth century used the expression “old testament” in this passage, and the term stuck.

The Bible Says

The Bible never refers to itself as the “Bible,” but rather as the “Scriptures.” In more than 20 instances, Jesus affirmed His teachings by declaring, “It is written,” or “the Scripture says,” or “Have you not read?”

Think about it: Jesus was God incarnate. As Creator of heaven and earth, he could have established an entirely new framework and set of rules to define His role and mission. Yet he continuously accredited the Scriptures as the fixed point through which he identified Himself.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus refocused our approach to the Torah from mere external obedience of the letter to a transformative expression of the heart and mind. Yet He never discounted the Law or advocated for replacing it, choosing instead to expound upon and sharpen its meaning. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets,” Jesus told His disciples. “I did not come to destroy but to fulfil. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17–19).

“It is written” was His chosen weapon to overcome Satan. And what was true for Jesus is true for the New Testament writers, who repeatedly refer to the then-existing Hebrew scriptures—the Old Testament. The New Testament directly quotes or cites the Hebrew Scriptures more than 300 times and alludes to them over 1,600 times.

So Billy Graham’s practice of often referring to what “the Bible says” was not a quirky habit of an old-fashioned preacher but the same time-honored custom followed by Jesus and the apostles. And we would do well to keep this practice alive today.

The Noble Church

The book of Acts honors one particular church as being “noble”: the church of Berea, in Greece. Luke testifies of the Bereans: “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Paul must have loved this church. First, they readily received the preaching of the Word of God. Yet they also went home and made sure the message matched with Scripture.

Please understand, they did not check Paul’s sermons against Peter’s epistles or the Gospels. All they had at the time was the Tanach—the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. In other words, if they could not find what Paul was preaching in the Old Testament, they likely would not have accepted his gospel. This also means the original apostles only preached the gospel from the Old Testament (Acts 17:2–3; 18:28). Many Christians today would be lost if they had to share the Good News of Jesus solely from the Old Testament. And again—Paul did not consider the Bereans to be a particularly critical or backward-minded audience; on the contrary, he called them more fair-minded and noble than the others.

Jesus in the Old Testament

Jesus did not come to start something completely new, but to affirm and fulfil what was written. For three-and-a-half-years, John the apostle watched Jesus teaching, engaging with men and women, and caring for children, the sick, and the rejected. And then John described his experience with Jesus as “the word became flesh.” While hearing His words and watching His deeds, the passages of the Old Testament suddenly became a “red-letter edition” for his disciples. In Jesus, they saw their Scriptures coming alive and understood the true meaning of God’s Word. Jesus elevated the outward ritual of the Law in Tanach to the level of transformed hearts. While His bold new approach to Scripture at times frustrated even the disciples (Matthew 19:10), He also promised the Holy Spirit would soon purify their hearts, just as the prophets foretold (Ezekiel 36:25–27).

Jesus also declared it was the “Scriptures who testify about Me” (John 5:39). This is a concept Jews hold to this day. A rabbi once told me: “Jürgen, you can find Messiah on every page of the Bible (the Tanach). For example, the very first verses of the Bible say: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, . . . and the Spirit was hovering over the waters. This was the spirit of Messiah! He already was there.” And this is exactly what we find in John 1: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God.” The places where Jesus can be found in the Hebrew Scriptures are countless—whether in the story of Joseph who was rejected and sold by his brothers and became the redeemer of Israel, or through the lives of Moses, David, and many other figures and stories that foreshadow the future Redeemer.

Thus, when Jesus met two disciples on the way to Emmaus after His resurrection, Luke tells us: “Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). We also find Paul in Rome speaking to the Jewish leaders: “So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening” (Acts 28:23).

The Main Source of Doctrine

For the early church, the Tanach was considered the main source of doctrine and teaching. Regarding the Hebrew Bible, Paul counsels his spiritual son Timothy: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). In fact, all the major doctrinal positions of the church emerged from the Old Testament. The divinity of Jesus (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2), His atonement through suffering and death (Isaiah 53) and his resurrection (Psalm 16:10), the high priesthood of Jesus according to the order of Melchizedek (Genesis 14; Psalm 110), salvation by faith (Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4), the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28; Ezekiel 36–37), gentile inclusion in the redeemed (Genesis 12:2; Isaiah 11:10), and so forth—all can be found in the Tanach. From start to finish, the Hebrew Scriptures informed and inspired the theology of the early church.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and it starts—not with the book of Matthew—but in Genesis. In so many ways, the New Testament can only be understood through the pages of the Old Testament. For example, it would be difficult to fully grasp the atoning power of the blood of Jesus without understanding the sacrificial system of the tabernacle and temple. The heroes of faith, from Noah and Abraham to Nehemiah and Ezra, serve as our examples to this day of how to trust in God. In the same way, the books of the New Testament and working of the Holy Spirit can shed light on the writings of the Old (2 Corinthians 3:14ff).

Conclusion

All this, of course, should not cause us in any way to abandon or devalue the New Testament. On the contrary, knowing and studying the Hebrew Scriptures helps us better understand Jesus and the New Testament. It should encourage us to take the entire Word of God for what it is—the Word of God! Indeed, the whole canon of Holy Scriptures deserves our fullest respect as God our Creator speaking to humanity.

So ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your heart and mind as you read your Bible. Ask Jesus to show you the wonders of His Word. I encourage you to embrace and study all the books of the Bible. Decide even today to read through the entire Bible. I assure you, it will change your life. God promises us: “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

I pray this will be your experience as you study and absorb the whole counsel of God.

Is Anti-BDS Legislation Anti-free Speech?

A divisive debate has been brewing recently  over legislation introduced at state and federal levels to combat the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The aim of the BDS movement is to isolate Israel internationally by promoting the idea she is a pariah state that should be dismantled through the use of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions. The Palestinians are then expected to be crowned rightful heirs to inherit whatever remains of the Jewish state.

A total of 27 US states have so far passed measures restricting local government agencies from contracting with companies that choose to join the BDS movement. Similarly, a January 2019 Senate bill sought to protect US companies (and by extension, US interests) from being forced to comply with discriminatory financial practices prescribed against Israeli-owned businesses by such international organizations as the United Nations and the European Union.

Opposition to such anti-BDS legislation leans heavily on the complaint that Americans’ First Amendment rights are being infringed upon. However, none of the anti-BDS legislation restricts an individual’s right to boycott Israeli products or businesses. It only restricts the government from being party to such boycotts.

What follows are a few reasons to explain why the US government would take such a stand against the BDS movement.

The Biased Blame Game

The BDS movement incorrectly and unfairly places on Israel all the blame for the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. It totally ignores multiple peace offers from Israel, while also completely ignoring every Palestinian rejection of peace initiatives including the 1938 Peel Commission Plan, the 1947 UN Partition Plan, an offer for land in 1967, the 2000 offer of a state at Camp David, and the 2008 offer of a state by Prime Minister Olmert. The BDS movement’s distortion of history serves only to foster undue antagonism against the Jewish state despite its well proven record of attempts to find peace with her neighbors.

Short Circuiting Peace Talks

The BDS movement holds out false hope to the Palestinians that they can achieve their nationalistic aspirations without having to negotiate a deal directly with the Israelis because only Israel will be forced to compromise for peace.

By attempting to bludgeon Israel into submission through economic isolation, they believe Israel can be weakened enough to capitulate to every Palestinian demand. This is unrealistic, especially given Israel’s strong economic position, and ultimately makes peace far less likely for both sides.\

Singling out Jews for Special Treatment

A central premise of the BDS movement is that the modern Jewish state is a racist reincarnation of the apartheid South AfricaIgnoring Palestinian demands for a Jew-free state, they falsely accuse Israeli Jews of discriminating against Palestinian Arabs as the white minority in South Africa did to the majority black population.

Unsatisfied with this gross distortion of reality—Israeli Arabs enjoy rights, privileges, and opportunities second to none in the Middle East—the BDS movement goes on to raise the supposed human rights abuses of Israeli Jews to a level that exceeds that of states with the worst human rights records in the world. In the United Nations, that translates into giving passes to repressive regimes like Iran, North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, and Venezuela, while once again singling out the Jew as the prime suspect causing the world’s biggest problems.

The Final Solution

The aim of the BDS movement has nothing to do with creating conditions on the ground where Israelis and Palestinians can finally live side by side in peace and prosperity. On the contrary, the final solution the BDS movement ultimately seeks is the complete dismantling of the Jewish state to be replaced with a Palestinian state.

Stand Against Evil

Representatives in state and federal legislatures should be applauded for taking a stand against the destructive aims of the BDS movement. And they should be supported in their efforts because when the BDS movement loses, everyone wins— including Israelis and Palestinians. This is how we give peace a real chance.        

- by Daryl Hedding, US Deputy Director

ICEJ Participates in GPO's Christian Media Summit

The ICEJ was well represented at the second annual International Christian Media Summit, held in Jerusalem in mid-October and hosted by the Israel Government Press Office. Over 200 Christian reporters, publishers and broadcasters drawn from some 35 nations were addressed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, Deputy PM Michael Oren, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, former UN Ambassador Dore Gold and a number of other senior Israeli officials and top scholars and analysts. ICEJ Vice President David Parsons again served as the GPO’s primary Christian consultant for the summit and about a dozen ICEJ national directors and local staff participated in the gathering.

The Christian Media Summit proved once again to be rich in content and well-timed as Israel continued to mark the 70th Anniversary of the nation’s rebirth in 1948. PM Netanyahu was particularly relaxed at a briefing to kick off the summit, as he fielded some 20 questions – far more than he does at regular press conferences with the local and foreign press corps. He also invited US Ambassador David Friedman to bring a greeting, and the American Jewish envoy proceeded to quote Jesus in his remarks about the media battle over Israel, saying “the truth will set you free.”
 

New Developments in Eastern Europe

In October I visited Ukraine, which is one of the larger countries of the former Soviet Union with a population of 44 million. Evangelical believers make up about 8% of the population or about 3.5 million people. There is complete freedom of worship in the country which provides a great opportunity to develop our work.

I ministered together with Serguei Popov in four churches in Kiev, and our main purpose was to take our Ukranian branch to another level. Pastor Valeriy Alymov was appointed the new Executive Director, taking over from Grigorij Komendant, a respected father figure in the Ukrainian church and a great champion of Israel. We had a successful meeting with ten senior leaders of the largest evangelical denominations and representing together more than 4500 churches, including the Baptist Union, Pentecostal Union, Charismatic Union and Messianic congregation. They all support the new ICEJ branch which is being formally established.

I found that general awareness of Israel in the church is rather weak but the Lord is stirring the hearts of pastors who want to understand more about God’s plan for Israel. Now that good foundations have been laid, we have a strong and dedicated team on the ground who are ready to run forward. Please pray for continued favor and open doors in Ukraine.

Next, we went to Riga, Latvia, for an ICEJ regional conference with participants from our branches in Finland, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Ireland, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Romania and Latvia. We presented our DNA statement, and discussed expectations of the branches. Fruitful discussions emerged between representatives of mature and experienced branches and the newcomers who appreciated the opportunity to learn from their experience. We also had a Shabbat dinner together with the Jewish Agency, and they shared about Aliyah to potential olim. ICEJ‘s VP of Operations Barry Denison also had the opportunity to introduce our ministry to the Jewish Agency in Latvia.
 

ICEJ On Christian Campuses

In November, ICEJ Vice President & Senior Spokesman David Parsons visited the USA to spread the word at Christian colleges about the work of the Christian Embassy and discuss his new book Floodgates. At Liberty University, he met with Dr. Ed Hindson, Dean of the Divinity School, and Dr. Randall Price, a popular professor on many Israel-related subjects. Parsons also spoke in the daily chapel service at CBN, as well as the weekly chapel for students at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He challenged the students with a message about the stronghold of atheistic Darwinism in Western societies today and the key prophetic role it plays in the growing rebellion against God in these last days.  

Farewell to Dr. Susanna Kokkonen

Recently, Dr. Susanna Kokkonen decided to end her time as Director of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, which operates in partnership with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. She held the position for ten years, and her daily work and impact at Yad Vashem will be greatly missed. Ms. Sari Granitza, a long-time deputy with the International Relations Division at Yad Vashem, will assume her role.

“For the past decade, Dr. Susanna Kokkonen has provided outstanding leadership to one of the most vital and sensitive aspects of our ministry by overseeing the Christian Desk which we helped establish at Yad Vashem”, said ICEJ President Dr. Juergen Buehler. “Dr. Kokkonen put her academic skills as a Holocaust scholar to full use in such initiatives as the annual Christian Leadership Seminars. She also brought a unique spiritual touch to Holocaust remembrance and education, even by creating a place of prayer in her special corner of this revered institution. Most of all, Susanna was a ‘light’ amid the painful, dark memories housed at Yad Vashem. She knew her Bible well and had a distinct way of relating its eternal truths to the universal lessons which Yad Vashem teaches on Antisemitism, racism and genocide.”

Originally from Finland, Dr. Kokkonen received her Ph.D. in Holocaust Studies in 2004 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where her dissertation focused on Jewish Refugees in Post-War Italy, 1945-1951. She later worked as a pro-Israel Christian lobbyist at the European Parliament in Brussels and as cultural attaché at the Embassy of Finland in Tel Aviv.

In 2008, Dr. Kokkonen was tapped to serve as Director of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, which was still relatively new. Over the ensuing years, she solidified the work of the Christian Desk as an important facet of the Yad Vashem campus, and expanded its reach to Christian communities on all continents. She hosted scores of Christian dignitaries, addressed hundreds of Christian tours groups, and organised numerous Christian Leadership Seminars that drew participants from over 50 countries. Dr. Kokkonen also successfully launched the CFYV’s Prayer and Study Tour, reliving history in Israel from the times of the Bible until today. In addition, she became known for having a special rapport with Holocaust survivors and turned much-needed attention on the needs of elderly, forgotten Righteous Gentiles in Israel.

Fluent in six languages, Dr. Kokkonen will continue to make appearances for Yad Vashem while also travelling around the world to speak to Christian, Jewish and civic audiences about the Holocaust, genocide, Antisemitism and Israel today, as well as to engage in humanitarian work. To keep up with her activities, please visit: http://susannakokkonen.com/
 

Shalom From Burundi

“We are honouring Israel first, because Israel is God’s firstborn among the nations,” announced the First Lady of Burundi, Her Excellency, Reverend Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza as she introduced our ICEJ delegation from Israel. We were greeted with an enthusiastic “SHALOM", because “shalom” is a common greeting in Burundi.

Representing ICEJ headquarters, Jo Olsen, Jannie Tolhoek and I were incredibly honoured to take part in the first International Women Leaders’ Conference in Burundi organized under the theme, “Women of Destiny, arise, be courageous and act for the matter concerns you.” The conference was attended by 500 Burundian women and 116 delegates from 24 nations, as well as the First Lady of Zambia, Her Excellency, Esther Nyawa Lungu and the First Lady of Central African Republic, Her Excellency, Brigitte Touadera. The First Lady of Burundi is an ordained minister who has a passion to mobilize the women of Burundi to understand their role as leaders, not only in their homes but also in their nation.

As part of the conference, we travelled three hours north to the province of Ngozi to take part in the launch of the First Lady’s “Free to Shine” campaign, which has a mission to eradicate mother to child transmission of HIV. We also visited the “Good Samaritan Orphanage”, which is now caring for 40 orphans. We had the opportunity to pray for the orphans and caretakers, as well as bless them with supplies for the orphanage.

Walking away from this conference, I am inspired by the First Lady’s life and her amazing endeavours. It was also touching to see a genuine love for Israel exuding from the Burundian people. Many conference attendees even came to our Israel delegation to say they pray for Israel and have a dream to one day visit the Holy Land. God moved powerfully during this conference, and we look forward to seeing what the Lord will continue to do through this historic moment in Burundi’s history!

Hearts of Generosity in Bolivia

When Pastor Alberto Magno Sales de Oliveira was baptized in the Holy Spirit, he received a new vision and love for Israel that not only impacted his life, but also brought a spiritual renewal to his family and congregation. One of His dreams was to bring large groups of Bolivians to the Feast of Tabernacles, and he has seen God fulfill this dream year after year.
He shared, “We dreamed that our people would be a part of this move of God. Step by step, God supported us and confirmed our dream. Today, we not only have a group of pilgrims, but the love of Israel in the hearts of Bolivians.”

As pastor of the First Evangelical Baptist Church in Bolivia, Oliveira witnessed his congregation express their love for Israel, not only in words but in action. The people of Bolivia come every Shabbat with generous and voluntary donations that God miraculously multiplies each year. Pastor Oliveira explained to his church, “This will be for exclusive use of the ICEJ in Jerusalem, because ICEJ is our arm and extension of the church. They can do what we cannot throughout the year. We have decided to be a part of the Christian Embassy, not only during the Feast, but also in everything ICEJ does throughout the year.”

Other churches have seen what God is doing in Oliveira’s church, so today his church bring donations from several ministries to donate to the ICEJ. As one final comment on their giving, Oliveira said, “When we see the work of the Embassy, we feel very happy. It ensures that our offering of comfort is indeed comforting the people of Israel. The ICEJ can put into practice the generosity of the people of Bolivia. We are glad to know that the money is used in a precious way through the ministry of the ICEJ.”
 

OFEK- New Horizons in Aliyah

Ofek Israeli means “Israeli horizon” and is the name of the coordinating body for Jewish Aliyah efforts and initiatives. Since the Israeli government seeks to maximize its resources for the greatest impact possible, Ofek was created to harness the dynamic – but at times disorganised – power of grassroots organisations in 22 nations around the world.

Ofek’s recent annual conference with Jewish leaders was held in Ashkelon, bordering the restive Gaza strip to the north. This location, a natural choice for Ofek’s CEO Shimon Cohen, a retired general, was chosen to show solidarity with border communities along the Gaza Strip, which currently face challenging, turbulent times.

The theme of Ofek’s recent annual conference was “From Vision to Reality.” Many Aliyah experts and operators from several countries were in attendance, which made it a great honour and privilege for ICEJ’s Barry Dennison to deliver a keynote speech during the conference. Barry was warmly welcomed by CEO Shimon Cohen, who stated in a subsequent interview how grateful he was for ICEJ’s engagement and support in Aliyah conferences for Jews in former Soviet republics, where freedoms are often highly restricted. The success rate for these conferences is high, with 70% of participants choosing to make Aliyah.

Barry Denison delivered a well-paced and poignant survey of Evangelical Christians’ Bible-based motivation for wholeheartedly engaging with Israel and Aliyah, clearly demonstrating the shared biblical foundation between the two faiths and thus the natural practical partnership. Using this principle, it is clear that “when we read the Bible text… Israel is there. God’s calling of the Jewish people is without regret. It was His choice.” He captivated his hearers and laid out how “God has a plan for the Gentiles to bless the Jewish people.”

The ICEJ’s proud track record of unwavering and effective support for Israel through aid work and advocacy left a strong impression, especially the ICEJ’s help to the Gaza border region and the fact that the ICEJ has helped 140,000 Jews return home to Israel. Duly impressed, the audience dispatched Barry from the podium with strong and heartfelt applause.

ICEJ looks forward to continued cooperation with Ofek to help bring more of God’s people back home.
 

12th Annual Festival of Tolerance in St. Petersburg

The 12th annual Festival of Tolerance in St. Petersburg, Russia was yet again a great success. ICEJ Russia and our longtime partner in the Jewish Community, the “Eva Foundation”, organized this event to raise awareness of the Holocaust.

The festival began with a Jewish drama group from Bryansk performing the play, “The diary of Ann Frank.” The program continued with a discussion about the book “The German’s are Hunting us with Dogs”, which is the story of two young sisters who escaped the Holocaust. The book contains a series of drawings done by young Jewish children to illustrate the poem written by Alla Aisensharf, one of the sisters. A video presentation of the story followed, as well as dramatic readings by middle school children.

ICEJ has translated, printed, and distributed the book in Finland as a contribution to this Holocaust awareness campaign. Proceeds from the Finnish book went to purchasing warm bedding for the remaining 68 Holocaust survivors living in St. Petersburg that the ICEJ helps care for, along with other elderly Jewish people and invalids.

The festival was a great success and provided an excellent method of Holocaust education for those that attended.
 

 

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