ORLANDO, Fla. — Jewish emigration to Israel is being supported in part by evangelical Christians, an alliance some might not expect, two leading Israeli emigres say.
Rabbi Dov Lipman, a Maryland native who became an Israeli citizen as an adult, and Chaim Malespin, an Oregon native who emigrated at age 15, found welcoming evangelicals at the National Religious Broadcasters convention here this week.
Mr. Lipman heads Yad L’Olim, an organization that helps Jewish immigrants become Israeli citizens. Mr. Malespin directs the Aliyah Return Center in Tiberias, Israel, which assists families settling in the Galilee region and elsewhere around Israel.
The organizations assist thousands of newcomers annually, they said.
Encounters with Christians “who prayed for Israel, who supported Israel, who believed the Bible and what it says about the Jewish connection to Israel” convinced Mr. Lipman that “we actually do have allies,” he said.
Over the past two years, his organization has heard from 32,000 families in 41 countries “reaching out for assistance.”
“This gives you a sense of the magnitude of what’s happening and the awakening that’s going on, and that ultimately will strengthen Israel because the more Jews that are living there, the more we submit that this is our birthright and our homeland, the stronger Israel will be,” the Yad L’Olim leader said.
Mr. Lipman said those who move to Israel are said to make “Aliyah,” the Hebrew word for “going up” when someone is called forward to read a portion of the Torah in a synagogue. The plural is “olim,” and Yad L’Olim translates to “a hand for the Olim,” he added.
Israel needs friends right now, given a rise in antisemitism that is spurring Jewish emigration. European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas, who heads the body’s campaign against antisemitism, told the annual conference of the European Jewish Association that security is a top concern for Jews on the continent.
“The data show that 38% of the Jews in Europe are considering leaving Europe because they feel unsafe,” Mr. Schinas said this week in a video address, according to the Eureporter.co news site. “This is a shame and it’s the responsibility of every government in the EU to protect its Jewish citizens.”
Mr. Malespin of the Aliyah Return Center said Christians respond when he explains the “why” of supporting Jewish emigration. He said he asks Christians, “Hey, do you have a Bible in your hands? Do you love that [book]? Do you love God?”
He then explains that “Moses’ journey is still happening right now,” referring to the liberation of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt.
“You can help Moses get to the promised land when you’re helping Ukrainians come, and they need to be established when they get to Israel,” Mr. Malespin said. “They need to get the food, clothing, shelter, language studies, job training, all that we offer free of charge.”
Mr. Lipman said educating potential supporters about the “bigger picture” in Israel is also important.
“Part of what I try to do when I speak is to also talk about [how] this is very important for the Christian population. … To remember the biblical prophecies that are coming true in front of our eyes, that’s the part that I try to share, the gathering of the exiles [and] the flourishing of the land,” the rabbi said.