It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to write an introduction to a powerful article by a friend who writes something so significant that it has to be shared. That happened recently when my friend Arlene Samuels did just that. But it’s not only powerful on its own, it’s personal. With her permission, I have the privilege to share what she wrote as published in CBN. In short, Arlene has outdone herself, again. Over the years I have come to appreciate her insight, counsel, and partnership on different projects together.
She’s become a trusted friend. I always look forward to her weekly columns for CBN Israel, but this one is especially thoughtful, well done, and poignant. If that were all, it’s worth promoting this article. But this one is more personal as Arlene has graciously crafted something so beautiful about an historic project that’s been the center of my life for most of a year and has now come to fruition. Because I trust her counsel as I do, her words and endorsement are particularly meaningful. I hope that you find it at least half as meaningful as I do, and that you’re motivated to get your copy of Israel the Miracle, www.Israelthemiracle.com, and to share this all with others who will be interested – Christians who know why but will be inspired by the words of 75 other Christian leaders, and Jews who understand the phenomena of Christian support for Israel but don’t understand why exactly. This is that, loud and clear, in their own words. Also please feel free to invite me to speak with your group (church, synagogue, or another group, in person or by Zoom, about it and why it is indeed so important. Don’t do it because I say so but because Arlene says so.”
Thank you Arlene.
L-R Jonathan and Chris Mitchell (CBN Middle East Bureau)
Israeli Jonathan Feldstein felt compelled with an idea in late October 2022 that may surprise you. The father of six, a modern orthodox Jew living in Efrat, Israel decided to create a book highlighting present day pro-Israel Christian leaders as one way to celebrate Israel’s upcoming 75th anniversary in 2023. He began fully exploring the idea in late November 2022. He mentioned it to a friend, a bestselling author who exclaimed, “Jonathan, this is an impossible timeline to have a book of this scope printed for Israel’s 75th anniversary year!” Jonathan knew his friend was more knowledgeable and not speaking negatively yet had no idea if he was right or wrong. Unable to abandon the idea, he easily admits that he had “no understanding of what was involved,” describing himself as “too naive and just ran with the project because I didn’t know any better.” However, he moved forward perceiving it as based on his faith in God.
Although Jonathan is the founder of Genesis 123, a foundation which builds meaningful relationships between Jews and Christians working together on projects to bless Israel, Jonathan had never thought of book publishing. Yet, based on his already successful track record of envisioning unique, successful projects, the new idea proved to be another good fit for his compassionate and practical ideas drawing Jews and Christians together. Jonathan spun into action settling on the number of Christians which fittingly defined Israel’s modern anniversary. He asked seventy-five pro-Israel Christian leaders to write a personal essay for Israel’s seventy fifth modern anniversary. He set about contacting those whom he knew to be committed supporters of the Jewish state. The essays arrived between January and March, then editing, getting photos, art, and layout began with his excellent publisher in the United States. The proof copy arrived in May 2023 just in time for Jonathan to attend the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention in the United States. As Jonathan walked the halls of the biggest gathering of Christian authors, speakers, and media in the world, he described the immediate response as “incredible.” June and July passed by packed with a myriad of details; more editing, more bulk and individual Israel the Miracle book orders, and decisions for shipping books.
Plans were falling into place along with unforeseen challenges while Jonathan worked and waited.
Then it happened, a miracle within the miracle of Israel! By August 2023, Jonathan and his publishing team sent the files to the printer. The book’s birth, a miracle “baby” took place nine months from conception to delivery. The father of six, Jonathan now knows that the nine-month timeline is unheard of in the publishing industry. God proved Himself once again as the ultimate Publisher. The exquisite coffee table book, one to share with family, friends, synagogues, churches, and children came off the press in September amid the Fall biblical festivals and Jewish holidays.
However, and unknown in its vastness, the October 7 Hamas/Islamic regime war lay in wait underground in the largest terror tunnel network in the world. Its three hundred miles of complex twists and turns under hospitals, mosques, schools, and civilian apartment buildings were packed with sophisticated murderous weapons. One hundred and thirty-six hostages remain imprisoned in the new Nazi’s version of a concentration camp: innocent captives of a planned second Holocaust this time in the Jewish homeland itself.
Jonathan, like every Israeli, quickly turned his attention totally toward his Jewish homeland. The joy of Israel the Miracle book transitioned into the redirection of funds from the upcoming book sales. Originally, Jonathan had directed the book’s proceeds to the Genesis123 foundation’s twelve supported projects. Among them, emergency medical care for Israelis from all backgrounds, feeding the hungry, embracing Holocaust survivors, or protecting unborn babies. Overnight, Israel the Miracle expanded more in its significance, beyond its September 2023 birth date. Jonathan created another project, the Genesis123 Israel Emergency Campaign. All proceeds now help fund civilian security, soldiers’ welfare, trauma sufferers, Israelis whose homes have been destroyed, and emergency medical needs. Click to help: https://genesis123foundation.revv.co/00014
Jonathan had originally scheduled a US book tour for November 2023 nevertheless, he quickly abandoned his schedule not only to oversee the Israel Emergency Campaign but because several in his family were called into Israel Defense Forces reserve units. Even without the formal book launch and media tour last fall, the pre-sales and recent spike in orders show that Israel the Miracle is flying off the shelves. On Amazon, it became an immediate “top new release” in its first week. Jonathan is ordering an additional printing.
Now, Israel the Miracle holds an important dual purpose. Although the coffee table book flows with gorgeous photos of the land and its people and inspires us with seventy-five essays as a symbol of Christian support for Israel, it has expanded way beyond a wonderful personal purchase. Jonathan explains the other half of the book’s updated purpose through an incredible printing connection “making it an instrument of blessing for humanitarian aid to one of the hardest hit kibbutzim on October 7.” The book is being printed in conjunction with Kibbutz Be’eri which ran a successful, prominent printing company, Dfus Be’eri, dfus meaning print and be’eri, meaning belonging to a fountain or expounder. Kibbutz Be’eri is among the hardest hit with dozens of its 1200 residents murdered, 120 homes destroyed, many kidnapped and some still imprisoned in a dark concentration camp tunnel. The survivors’ determination to retain the purposeful meanings of its name and somehow continue its printing business is a true example of Israeli resilience. Each worldwide individual or group purchase of Israel the Miracle transitions into a direct donation through Genesis123 foundation for the restoration of Kibbutz Be’eri. Here is how to be part of this humanitarian kind of miracle: www.IsraeltheMiracle.com.
Jonathan made another decision which pays respect to Pat Robertson before his homegoing on June 8, 2023. Robertson, a Christian media pioneer and founder in 1960 of The Christian Broadcasting Network symbolized an unmatched commitment, influence, and support of Israel. Jonathan honored Mr. Robertson by placing his essay in the opening page of essays, what is called his “final testament” on Israel.
I am delighted that my endorsement is included in Israel the Miracle: “I am honored to endorse Israel the Miracle. Essays from seventy-five devoted advocates share gleaming insights about our spiritual homeland during its 75th Sapphire anniversary year. God reveals His design for Jerusalem in Isaiah 54:11 to use blue sapphires for its foundation. Israel is the only place on earth where rare deep blue Mount Carmel sapphires are found. Israel itself, shining as a rarity, is the only nation where God declares in Leviticus, “the land is mine.”