[by Leon Wahba]
Community Relations Council Chair
Jewish Community of Louisville
At the urgings of good friends from the local Christian Zionist community, I was in Washington, D.C., from July 19-21. At the cavernous Convention Center there, I danced the hora, sang Hebrew songs, and waved American and Israeli flags. I heard the great Charlie Daniels play the Hatikvah and Hava Nagila on his fiddle.
I also heard from Senators Joe Lieber-man and Mike Johanns; Congressman Eric Cantor and Congresswoman Shelley Berkley. Even Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided a live message from Jerusalem.
Michael Oren, Israel’s eloquent Ambassador to the US, was the keynote speaker at the last evening’s program and brought the crowd of nearly 6,000 to its feet a half dozen times. Other speakers there were Mort Zuckerman, Elliot Abrams, Jeff Mendelsohn of AIPAC, Dennis Prager and many more.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), and nearly every other major Jewish organization were represented there.
It wasn’t a bar mitzvah or a gathering of the pro-Israel groups we are all so familiar with. It was the fifth annual summit of an even larger pro-Israel organization, the nation’s largest: Christians United for Israel, better known as CUFI.
It was, for me, a very memorable experience. I learned a lot. I came away with a deep sense of appreciation for the good work the members of CUFI do on behalf of Israel.
As your Chairman of the Community Relations Council I have the matter of advocacy on behalf of Israel as one my top priorities. CRC will schedule a number of pro-Israel programs for the near future. We will also support CUFI’s well-organized efforts to promote support for Israel on every campus throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
For more information about CUFI please visit their web site: www.cufi.com
For a better understanding of the conference, please read the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) story, “Religious Passion Combines with Politics at CUFI Parley,” by Ron Kampeas.