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OFEK- New Horizons in Aliyah

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Posted on: 
14 Jan 2019
OFEK- New Horizons in Aliyah

Ofek Israeli means “Israeli horizon” and is the name of the coordinating body for Jewish Aliyah efforts and initiatives. Since the Israeli government seeks to maximize its resources for the greatest impact possible, Ofek was created to harness the dynamic – but at times disorganised – power of grassroots organisations in 22 nations around the world.

Ofek’s recent annual conference with Jewish leaders was held in Ashkelon, bordering the restive Gaza strip to the north. This location, a natural choice for Ofek’s CEO Shimon Cohen, a retired general, was chosen to show solidarity with border communities along the Gaza Strip, which currently face challenging, turbulent times.

The theme of Ofek’s recent annual conference was “From Vision to Reality.” Many Aliyah experts and operators from several countries were in attendance, which made it a great honour and privilege for ICEJ’s Barry Dennison to deliver a keynote speech during the conference. Barry was warmly welcomed by CEO Shimon Cohen, who stated in a subsequent interview how grateful he was for ICEJ’s engagement and support in Aliyah conferences for Jews in former Soviet republics, where freedoms are often highly restricted. The success rate for these conferences is high, with 70% of participants choosing to make Aliyah.

Barry Denison delivered a well-paced and poignant survey of Evangelical Christians’ Bible-based motivation for wholeheartedly engaging with Israel and Aliyah, clearly demonstrating the shared biblical foundation between the two faiths and thus the natural practical partnership. Using this principle, it is clear that “when we read the Bible text… Israel is there. God’s calling of the Jewish people is without regret. It was His choice.” He captivated his hearers and laid out how “God has a plan for the Gentiles to bless the Jewish people.”

The ICEJ’s proud track record of unwavering and effective support for Israel through aid work and advocacy left a strong impression, especially the ICEJ’s help to the Gaza border region and the fact that the ICEJ has helped 140,000 Jews return home to Israel. Duly impressed, the audience dispatched Barry from the podium with strong and heartfelt applause.

ICEJ looks forward to continued cooperation with Ofek to help bring more of God’s people back home.