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October 1, 2009October 1, 2009  1 comments  Events

About 8000 Christian friends of Israel from about 100 countries around the world are beginning to arrive in Israel this week to celebrate the annual Feast of Tabernacles, beginning October 2nd through 8th in Jerusalem. The annual event is organized by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and is  a week long program of seminars and teaching on Christian Zionism and is designed to strengthen the ties of Christians worldwide to Israel and the Jewish people. GodTV will be carrying the National Day of Prayer for Jerusalem, which is on Sunday, October 4rd live on its stations worldwide. In addition to the National Day of Prayer for Jeruslaem, there is a traditional Jerusalem March scheduled for October 6, the Night to Celebrate Israel on October 7th.

 

Feast participants are arriving from Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Austria, India, Italy, Nigeria, Brazil, Finland and Norway.  and more. Large groups of pilgrims will arrive from Brazil (more than 1000), Finland and Norway. In addition to visiting sites around the country, the participants will join in the traditional and colorful Jerusalem March on 6 October.

 

Christian tourism is a growing segment of the Israel tourism industry and is critical to the economy of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  The Israel Ministry of Tourism recognizes this and is now placing increased marketing dollars into this market segment and has even developed a special task force to focus on increasing tourism to Israel amongst Evangelical Christians. So far in 2009, approximately 1 million Christian tourists have come to Israel. In 2008 approximately 1.9 million Christian tourists visited the country.

 

ICEJ organizes several day tours for the thousands of Christian tourists who are expected to come for the Feast of Tabernacles. In total, the event is expected to spur 56,000 tourist nights in hotels around the country generating between $16-18 million in revenues for the country.

 


September 27, 2010September 27, 2010  4 comments  Events

"Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles." Zechariah 14:16

 

Entering Jerusalem's International Convention Center during the annual biblical festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles), it is clear one is among the nations, people from every corner of the earth come up to the holy city for a single purpose: to take part in the fulfillment of that ancient prophecy.

 

Hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, the Christian Feast of Tabernacles is a gala event. And with 2010 marking the 30th anniversary of the ICEJ (the ministry was actually born out of the inaugural Feast of Tabernacles celebration in 1980), this year's opening event, held  on September 23rd in Jerusalem, was even that much more spectacular.

 Opening Night Parade of the Nations

"We know that God is present here because he has promised to meet his people here in Zion during the Feast of Tabernacles," declared ICEJ Executive Director  Rev. Malcome Hedding.

 

ICEJ International Director Jürgen Bühler added that what the 5,000 participants who had filled the International Convention Center in Jerusalem to overflowing were doing "has been going on for 3000 years. For 3000 years the Jews have been obeying God's command to come up to Jerusalem to celebrate Sukkot."

 

Opening night started in dramatic fashion with an impressive shofar blast and the sound of various international voices reading from Isaiah chapter 62:

 Sounding of the Shofar on Opening Night

"For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch... You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her a praise in the earth."

 

Following was a brief but powerful musical and dance performance accompanied by the images of past and present events that have formed the modern State of Israel - with a poignant reminder that God has vowed to one day make Jerusalem a praise in all the earth. In today's tense political atmosphere, where Jerusalem represents one of the thorniest issues standing in the way of peace, that may seem like a wishful thinking.

 Opening Night Dance at Feast of Tabernacle

But the ICEJ is standing firm on that divine promise.

 

"Given that the issue of Jerusalem has again come to the fore, this year's Feast is dedicated to reaffirming global Christian support for a United Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, a message that will be reinforced at several events during the festivities," said ICEJ Media Director David Parsons.

 

That message clearly touched Israelis, all the way up to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who, in a pre-recorded video greeting, told the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles participants:

 

"Three decades ago when some countries decided to move their embassies out of Jerusalem, you decided to come to Jerusalem. At first you came by the dozens, then you came by the hundreds; now you come by the thousands.

 

"Year after year you come from over a hundred countries to march through the streets of Jerusalem; and in doing so, you remind the people of Israel that we are not alone. You remind us that there are people across the world who recognize that in returning to Zion, the Jewish people have returned home.

 

"So on behalf of my country, and on behalf of my people, I say thank you. Thank you for your moral clarity. Thank you for your solidarity. Thank you for supporting the one and only Jewish State. Thank you."

 

Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov addressed the gathering in person, adding to Netanyahu's greeting by noting that Jerusalem is also "the spiritual capital for people of faith all over the world."

 

"Welome to Israel, the land of God; welcome to Jerusalem, the city of King David, the eternal and undivided capital of Israel," said Misezhnikov. "Welcome home!"

 

The welcome messages were followed by what is in some ways the most dramatic element of the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles - the Procession of the Nations.

 

During the procession, the flags of most of the 100 nations represented at the Feast were paraded across the stage. There was the expected representation from Christian-dominated Western countries. As has been the case for years already, the Brazilian contingent in the auditorium was huge, dwarfing even the American representation.

 

For first-timers at the Feast, there were also some surprises during the procession, as the flags of the Muslim nations of Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as just about every poor and impoverished African and southeast Asian country made their way across the stage.

 

The presence of these nations at the Feast made the event real, put it beyond being merely a colorful and dynamic display of solidarity. It is clear that for a great many Christians around the world, the life-changing experience of being in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles in accordance with God's Word is an opportunity worth stretching their meager means or risking further social rejection to be a part of.

 

But in the end, it was the host nation, Israel, that won the most thunderous applause, as the Feast participants loudly and passionately reaffirmed their love of and commitment to the Jewish state.

 

The ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles is a production with tremendous impact that is easily on par musically and in terms of presentation with anything Broadway has to offer. Only this is not entertainment. It is a sincere and powerful expression of faith in God and His Word by the hundreds who put on the Feast and the thousands who attend  and participate in it.

 

Ryan Jones writes for  Travelujah, a Christian social network focused on fostering a deeper connection with faith through Holy Land tours. You can plan, learn and share your holy land experience on Travelujah using our in-depth locational content, user and expert blogs that can take you off the beaten track, and individual or group tour booking services.


October 13, 2011October 13, 2011  0 comments  Events

Over 6,000 Christian pilgrims, have arrived in Israel for the annual Feast of Tabernacles the largest tourism event in Israel, which attracts many Evangelical communities worldwide. The annual convention is hosted and organized by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem and includes visits to religious sites throughout the country, lectures and seminars, as well as participation in the Jerusalwem March on October 18. This years feast theme is "Israel - A Light Unto the Nations" and is taking place in Israel October 11-18.

 

Israel's Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov announced "I welcome the thousands of Christian tourists arriving in Israel during the holiday of Sukkot". The Jewish holiday began last night October 12 and continues through Simhat Torah on October 19.

 

This Friday, October 14th, 2011, the pilgrims will host a festive event at the Dead Sea, after touring the region. The Dead Sea is one of the holiest sites in the Christian faith, thanks to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran, and the vicinity to Qasr al Yehud, the site in which, according to Christianity, Jesus was baptized for the first time by John the Baptist.

 

Qasr El Yahud baptismal site

Photo Courtesy Travelujah - Qasr El Yahud Baptismal Site on the Jordan River

 

The Dead Sea has been nominated to be included in the new 7 Wonders of Nature, the selections of which will be made public later this year. The annual Feast of Tabernacle event will take place on the ground of Ein Gedi Spa on Friday afternoon at 15:30 pm.m during which participants will vote by SMS for the Dead Sea. Following the vote there will be a festive meal and musical celebration. According to the New 7 Wonders of Nature Fund, the Dead Sea is considered a leading candidate with many votes, but will need 350 million votes to win the competition.

 

Dead Sea
Photo Courtesy Travelujah - The Dead Sea's receding shoreline

The annual Feast of Tabernacles is an extremely important contributor to Israel's local economy generating thousands of bednights at hotels, patronage at restaurants, as well visits to many sites and associated gift purchases. It is estimated that 25-30 million NIS will be spent in Israel during the week-long event this year.

 

For more information on this years Feast of Tabernacles visit the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem's schedule of events found at this link.


October 3, 2012October 3, 2012  0 comments  Events

One covenant still stands, the covenant of God's blessing of the Jewish People and today thousands raised their voices and prayed together for the Peace of Jerusalem in Jerusalem.

 

"I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you."

 

Within the main auditorium of Jerusalem's International Convention Center, believers from 120 countries turned their faces towards Jerusalem and united in celebration of the National Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem,  the largest movement in church history.

 

The National Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem  was hosted by Reverend Robert Stearns from Eagles Wings and the festivities were broadcast live on God TV. Although it is held on the first Sunday of October, it was celebrated and filmed this year in Jerusalem on October 3, so that the event could be part of the annual International Christian Embassy, Feast of Tabernacles celebration,  taking place in Jerusalem.

 

Robert Stearns, Eagles Wings

Reverend Robert Stearns, Eagles Wings; photo courtesy Travelujah

 

The day of prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem began in 2002 in meetings with leading political and religious leaders from Israel and the United States. Now recognized as the largest prayer movement of its kind, the National Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem unites over 1,200 key leaders in one voice to join in prayer for the peace of Jerusalem. The day of prayer has participants from 100 nations from over 100,000 churches around the world.

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Elisa L. Moed is the Founder and CEO of Travelujah, the leading Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.

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September 15, 2013September 15, 2013  0 comments  Events

Despite the recent tensions in Syria, over 5,000 Christian pilgrims from nearly 100 nations will descend on Jerusalem for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem's annual celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. The festival begins Friday evening (20 September) in Ein Gedi at the Oasis Hotel and continues to Jerusalem's International Convention Center for the remainder of the week of Sukkot.  The weeklong celebration is expected to generate $16 million in revenues, and is the largest annual tourist event to Israel.

 

"We are thrilled that thousands of Christians from all over the world will be arriving in Jerusalem this week to take part in our annual Feast gathering, despite the recent tensions in the region over the Syrian conflict," said Dr. Jürgen Bühler, the ICEJ's Executive Director. "Their visit to Jerusalem is a timely message of solidarity with the people of Israel." According to David Parsons, the ICEJ media director, there have been no cancellations to this years event.

 

Many key Christian leaders from around the world will be speaking during the feast.  Billy Wilson, Rene Terra Nova, Lance Lambert, Howard Flower, and Susan Hattingh are just a few of the notable pastors scheduled to speak at the celebration.

 

Several dignitaries will be addressing Feast participatns, including senior Israeli officials, representatives of the International Israel Allies Foundation,and top Jewish Diaspora leaders. Below is the tentative schedule of events.

 

feast 2013

 

 

 

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was founded during the first Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles in September 1980 as a response to the last thirteen national embassies leaving Jerusalem under threat of an Arab oil boycott. Today, the Christian Embassy is considered the world's largest pro-Israel Christian organization, with established branches in over 70 nations and a reach into more than 140 nations worldwide.

 


September 19, 2010September 19, 2010  0 comments  Jewish Holidays

After 30 years, the Feast of Tabernacles celebration hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) has become an icon of Christian love and support for the Jewish state.

 

This year, the theme of the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles is "Jerusalem: A Praise in the Earth," which harkens back to the founding principle of the ministry - to support Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

 

"The Feast theme of 'Jerusalem: A Praise in the Earth' is meant to emphasize the original mandate of our ministry at our founding, which was to stand in solidarity with Israel in its 3000 year-old claim and connection to Jerusalem," ICEJ Media Director David Parsons told Travelujah. "The future of this city is once again coming into focus worldwide, and we will be laying stress to the fact that our position remains the same as three decades ago - that Jerusalem is and should remain the united capital of Israel only."

 

Parsons said that during this year's Feast,which began on September 23 and runs through September 29th,  the various speakers and lecturers will be expounding upon the "rich biblical truths concerning Jerusalem and its central place in God's redemptive plan."

 

That message will also hit home for many Israelis who remember well the mass exodus of foreign embassies from Jerusalem in 1980 when Israel officially reunited the city by annexing its eastern, Arab-dominated half.

 

The Feast of Tabernacles and the founding of the ICEJ was a direct response to that exodus, and was welcomed by Israelis who were feeling increasingly isolated as the first major act of Christian kindness since the nation's rebirth.

 

Held every year during the week-long biblical feast of Sukkot (tabernacles), the Feast of Tabernacles sees upwards of 5,000 Christians from more than 100 different nations flood Jerusalem carrying a message of love, hope and peace for the Jewish people.

 

Jerusalem Parade

The ICEJ was actually born out of that first Feast of Tabernacles celebration in 1980. The Feast event became the centerpiece of the ICEJ's mission to comfort Israel and the Jewish people, as well as begin the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy stating that "the nations...shall come up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles." (Zechariah 14:16)

 

During the Feast of Tabernacles, which has for years been held at the Jerusalem Convention Center, participants are treated to daily seminars about Israel's place in their Christian faith, the Hebraic roots of the Church and the difficulties facing the modern Jewish state. Every evening, the participants come together in the Convention Center's main hall for a time of worship, biblical performances, and teachings and speeches by renowned scholars and top Israeli officials. Booths are set up for other local Christian ministries engaged in aiding and comforting Israel to get to know the thousands of Feast participants.

 

On one very special night, as many Israelis as can fit in the Convention Center are invited to come and see just how the Christians are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles and to hear a special message of reconciliation and support after so many centuries of widespread Christian persecution of the Jews.

 

Ryan Jones writes for  Travelujah, a Christian social network focused on fostering a deeper connection with faith through Holy Land tours. You can plan, learn and share your holy land experience on Travelujah using our in-depth locational content, user and expert blogs that can take you off the beaten track, and individual or group tour booking services.


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