(Photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

(Photo: Olivier Fitoussi)

By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman - May 31, 2016

Originally appeared here in JNS.org

“Just being in Israel, in the Holy Land, and walking where Jesus walked, is incredibly inspiring,” says Barbara Wright, president of the Senior Women’s Missionary Union of the National Baptist Convention of America (NBCA). “We are all one in Christ.”

“My faith, as we interpret the scriptures, we identify with the people of Israel as God’s chosen people, and therefore we understand that those who bless Israel receive blessings and those who curse Israel are really fighting against our culture and faith,” says A.W. Mays, an African-American Christian leader from Austin, Texas.

Wright and Mays were two of the 26 African-American members of NBCA, a predominately black church, who were hand-picked to travel from the United States on a six-day educational mission to Israel from May 23-29. The International Fellowship of Christian of Jews (The Fellowship) sponsored the trip to help deepen Christian-Jewish ties and black leaders’ bonds with Israel.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship’s founder and president, has been working to build bridges between Christians and Jews—as well as Christians and Israel—for more than 35 years. Last year, The Fellowship raised $138 million in humanitarian aid for Jews in Israel and around the world, almost entirely from Christian donors. Read More