After 2000 years, Israel has re-opened an entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City, previously discovered in the 1930s. Buried underneath the Damascus Gate, the entrance and plaza were used by the Romans when they ruled Judea.
On the Jewish festival of Tu BiShvat (New Year for Trees), US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman planted an olive tree (a symbol of peace) at the US Embassy in Jerusalem. And (TY Sharon) for photos and descriptions of how Tu Bishvat was celebrated in Jerusalem.
The Israeli cabinet has approved the next wave of 400 Ethiopian Aliyah – immigration to Israel. These Falash Mura (forced converts to Christianity) maintained their connection to Judaism in Ethiopia and their hopes of coming to Israel. Many have relatives in the Jewish State.
184 new immigrants (Olim) made Aliyah from Ukraine on Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. They landed in Israel on six separate flights financed by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
From 1948 - 67 the Jordanians blocked access to the Kotel (Western Wall) and banned Jews. After the Six-Day War, Shoah survivor Eliyahu helped turn the Kotel plaza into an open space for all. 52 years later, Israeli NGO Ezer Mizion fulfilled Eliyahu’s wish to see it again.
Portuguese Ana discovered her Jewish roots after meeting Israelis in Nepal and then visiting Israel. She then understood the reason for her family’s strange traditions as a descendant of Anusim – Jews forced to convert to Catholicism. Now as Hannah Eyal, she shares her story all over Israel.
9-year-old Belgian Laurent Simons has a degree in electrical engineering and an IQ of 147. Although not Jewish, he and his family have just asked Emmanual Nahshon, Israeli Ambassador in Brussels, for help so he can study biotechnology, medicine, and bioengineering in Israel.
Actor Kirk Douglas, who passed away last week at the age of 103, portrayed US Colonel Mickey Marcus in the movie Cast a Giant Shadow.” His donations to Israel included the Kirk Douglas Theater near the Western Wall and many Jerusalem playgrounds.
Israeli archaeologists have exposed a late 10th-early 9th century BCE Iron Age temple complex at Tel Motza, west of Jerusalem. It has similarities to King Solomon’s Temple and may be one of the sites that were abandoned when sacrificial services were centralized in Jerusalem.
The non-profit Passages organizes 9-day trips to Israel for 3,000 Christian college students each year. It teaches them about the roots of their faith and exposes them to modern Israel. Participants give post-trip talks to churches and write articles for local newspapers.