Targum Shlishi Supports Training in “Israel Literacy” for Pastors
August 19, 2012 – Targum Shlishi is helping to support Teach for Israel’s Pastors’ Seminar, a promising new initiative that brings together Church pastors with Jewish Orthodox leadership for a conference in September that will educate pastors about Israel and empower them to pass this knowledge and understanding along to their constituencies.
“There are seventy million Evangelical Christians in the U.S. Many of them are already amongst Israel’s greatest supporters. A good number of them are involved and influential in American and world politics. How would things be different for Israel if those seventy million Evangelicals as well as the millions more Evangelicals and other Christians worldwide became activated as supporters of the Jewish State?” asks Rabbi Moshe Rothchild, co-director of Teach for Israel and organizer of the Pastors’ Seminar.
The Pastors’ Seminar will take place in Bismarck, North Dakota on September 9, 2012. The seminar will be led by Rabbi Rothchild along with well-known Christian Zionist pastors Dr. Tom Baggett and Shelli Brim-Baggett. Following the seminar, Teach for Israel will work closely with attending pastors to bring Teach for Israel programming to their churches. The ultimate objective of the Pastors’ Seminar and Teach for Israel in general is to work with this large population quickly and effectively, in order to positively change the way the world at large views Israel.
“Many of the churches that Rabbi Rothchild and his colleagues speak at through Teach for Israel programs have not only never had a rabbi speak there—most of the people who attend these events have never even met a rabbi,” notes Andrea Gollin, program director of TargumShlishi. “The Pastors’ Seminar is an out-of-the-box initiative for the Orthodox community, and one that’s been a long time coming. All too often, Jews and Christians have focused on their differences, with negative consequences. We can leverage our common interest in Israel to create a strong and vitally important base of support and counter the current widespread and misguided de-legitimacy of Israel.”
Rabbi Rothchild explains that since establishing Teach for Israel in 2011, he has reached out to many pastors both formally and informally, and he works with a network of other rabbis to do the same. He has found that while the Evangelical Christian community is very pro-Israel, “They don’t know how to actualize that. They don’t know how to support Israel, which Israeli newspapers to read, what politicians to write to. At the end of the day, this is about education,” he says. He conceived of the Pastors’ Seminar as a way to reach larger numbers of pastors and, through them, their congregants.
About Teach for Israel
Teach for Israel is at the forefront of a new era of Jewish-Christian relations. After two thousand years of animosity and persecution, Jews and Christians are now standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with Israel. Teach for Israel is the only organization connecting rabbis and Christian leaders in support of Israel. Through relationship building, educational opportunities, and grassroots activism, Teach for Israel works to cultivate bonds between Orthodox rabbis and Christian pastors that will ultimately help to support Israel. For more information on Teach for Israel, go to http://teachforisrael.org.
About Targum Shlishi
Targum Shlishi is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing world Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, TargumShlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on the foundation, visit its website at www.targumshlishi.org.