Israel Finds Support From Memphis Christians, Jews

David Brog (second from left), executive director of Christians United for Israel, addresses a group of 30 Christian, Jewish and religious leaders at Summit II – US-Israel Advocacy held at The Peabody on May 3, 2012.
As the threat of a nuclear Iran rises, support for Israel is also spreading.

Memphis, Tenn., Christian and Jewish leaders held a summit earlier this month to discuss how they could work together to support Israel.

The result: the birth of the Memphis U.S.-Israel Advocacy Commission (USIAC).

“This is the first interfaith organization dedicated solely to pro-Israel activism at the local level,” says Andy Groveman of Belz Enterprises. “We believe it could be the first of its kind in the country. As such, it will serve as a model for interfaith pro-Israel activism across the country.”

The event, dubbed Summit II, brought together about 30 pastors, ministers, rabbis and lay leaders from Memphis’ Christian and Jewish communities.

The Memphis USIAC empowers local advocates of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship to work together to further their congregants’ understanding and appreciation of issues affecting Israel, the U.S. and the two countries’ vital relationship. The group will meet at least twice a year. Summit participants have the opportunity to educate and influence more than 50,000 people.

There was uniform consensus among the summit participants that all who are concerned with the future of the U.S.-Israel relationship should work together irrespective of differences in faith or politics.

“There is a time for prayer and a time for action. Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is a global problem, and we must educate our communities about this threat and the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship,” Groveman said. “We then must work together in support of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, no matter which house of worship we attend or with which political party we affiliate.”

The nation’s two leading pro-Israel organizations, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) sent representatives to speak at the event.

“Hearing from David Brog, the executive director of CUFI, and Jeremy Becker of AIPAC afforded us the opportunity to more fully appreciate our responsibility, individually and collectively, to ensure that our communities fully understand that we are inextricably tied to the people and the State of Israel,” said Tom Lindberg of First Assembly Memphis.

Attendees pledged to transform their sentiments into pro-Israel political activism in order to ensure that Tennessee’s elected officials maintain steadfast support for the U.S.-Israel relationship.

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