Christians Rally To Our Cause
The following appeared on the Times Of Israel website. It was written by Birmingham Jewish Federation Executive Director Richard Friedman who periodically writes for the Times Of Israel.
By Richard Friedman,
BJF Executive Director
BIRMINGHAM, AL — There’s been widespread publicity in Birmingham and beyond about evangelical Christian leaders here rallying to help our Jewish community enhance security at our local Jewish institutions. More than $100,000 has been raised by high profile Christians and their efforts are continuing.
This fundraising drive has come as a response to the wave of anti-Semitic incidents that have been plaguing our nation and the need for Jewish communities to beef up their security.
As Executive Director of the Birmingham Jewish Federation, which was involved in developing this partnership initiative with our local Christian community through the National Christian Foundation of Alabama, I have found this entire saga quite moving.
In addition to their passionate support for Israel, the Christian leaders I’ve gotten to know are deeply concerned about anti-Semitism and regret that their leaders, churches and organizations did not do more to save Jews during the Holocaust.
And, despite concerns that some Jews have had over the years, not a single one of these high profile Christians (or other Birmingham Christians) has ever tried to convert me. In fact, if anything, they have shown a deep respect for me as a Jew and for Judaism in general.
I’m writing this on Saturday night knowing that Passover starts Monday night. On Monday afternoon, a few hours before the holiday begins, a delegation of Christian leaders will be coming to our Jewish Community Center to present our JCC with a check for more than $100,000 to help enhance security.
It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that they are coming as Passover begins and during the week leading up to Easter, and that they are coming for no other reason than to express their friendship and to help ensure the well-being of our Jewish community.
A leader of the group was quoted in a great story on their efforts posted by Al.Com, one of Alabama’s major news sites.
“Our goal was to raise $100,000 and it exceeded that,” said Scott Dawson, founder of Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association, which helped lead the fundraising effort.
He then was further quoted as saying something that really moved me: “So many times Christians are known for what we stand against. This is a great time to show what we stand for. That’s for religious liberties. We’re not intimidated by anyone living out their faith. We want to be good neighbors.”
Here in Alabama, these wonderful and caring people are good neighbors — and great friends. This will be evident once again on Monday afternoon when they arrive at our JCC just a few hours before our Passover seders begin.
With Passover and Easter upon us, Christian and Jewish clergy will each say a few words during our meeting, others will speak briefly as well, and a much-appreciated check will be presented that will immediately be put to good use.
And the anti-Semites who delight in terrifying and isolating Jews, will suffer one more setback as this group of Birmingham citizens stands united, bound by friendship, arm in arm in mutual respect, experiencing the holiness that comes when people of good will reach out to one another.
Happy Passover, Happy Easter and thank you to our Christian friends!
Please join us and be a part of this effort. You can make a contribution to the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s Campaign for Jewish Community Security. 100% of the money will go toward enhancing security at our local Jewish institutions. Click below to donate.
Click for the story on Al.Com.
Click to make a contribution to the Campaign for Jewish Community Security.