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Our ministry Cristiani per Israele in Italy is growing steadily, thanks to the amazing effort of Chairwoman Edda Fogarollo and her team. Edda speaks regularly at conferences, and teaches holocaust studies at universities in Naples and Calabria.
“Understanding the past in order to build a better Future” was the theme of the meeting held in the synagogue of Turin, Italy, on Sunday, 30th October 2016.
Among the speakers at the event were Eng. Franco Segre (Counselor of the Jewish community), Chief Rabbi Ariel Di Porto, Mr. Tullio Levi, Mr. Dan Haezrachy (Israeli Embassy in Italy), Senator Lucio Malan, Harald Eckert from C4I Germany/International and Edda Fogarollo from C4I Italy.
A good number of members of the Jewish community gave a warm welcome to the organizers of Christians for Israel Italy, thanking C4I Italy for the significant support and work is doing in Italy for Israel and the Jewish communities.
Almost one hundred guests from the local Evangelical Christian community with some of the leaders and pastors were there for this historical event which took place for the first time on the Italian history of relationship between Christians and Jews.
The meeting was birthed from a desire to start from a past, which unfortunately was tainted by centuries of anti-Semitism and persecution against the Jewish people for which we Christians must repent, to build a future based not only on encyclicals and unheeded promises, but rather on solid acts which would pave way to a new chapter of Jewish-Christians friendship.
C4I Italy’s President, Edda Fogarollo, and Mrs. Ruth Dabby Fiore, from the Turin Jewish community, having the same desire of sending a new message to the city and the nation, have shown that with the mutual respect and unity, it is possible to organize such events which contribute to change the common trend. We, Christians, should strive to destroy the wrong doctrines which built a wall of hate and anti-Semitism during the past millennia. Edda Fogarollo gave a short but deep lecture on Christian Anti-Semitism and called on the pastors and all Christians in Italy to stand against every kind of hate or anti-Semitism towards Israel or the Jews.
At the kick-off the historic event was a greeting note sent by the President of the Jewish community, who was at the moment in Israel accompanying the Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The note conveyed the President’s appreciation of C4I Italy’s efforts in trying to curb antisemitism and supporting the nation of Israel.
The Chief Rabbi Ariel Di Porto has emphasized the importance and strong union of the Jewish people with Eretz Yisrael. Ambassador Dan has pointed out the common roots of the Jewish community and Christians and how we should stand together to defend it. He said also: “We can’t understand the recent sad resolution the UNESCO adopted regarding the Temple Mount, also because both the Jewish Tanach and the Gospels mention the connection of the Jewish people to it.“
A very important testimony was given by Harald Eckert (C4I Germany) who shared his personal history as a German regarding the Jewish people and what he’s now doing in Germany and other countries teaching the churches, praying and asking forgiveness for the past.
Senator Malan, who has been in the front line defending the rights of the State of Israel, expressed his dismay at witnessing how few European Christians stood against the UNSECO resolution. “If a good number of Christians had shown their stand against this resolution, which has a devastating impact on history, the UNESCO, wouldn’t have kept on voting in this manner” he said.
The Pastors who intervened, denounced the foolish cancellation of the Jewish roots by some sectors and highlighted the importance of rediscovering the Jewish roots. They also testified how travelling to Israel helps both to rediscover this root and strengthen the Jewish-Christian unity.
The attendees were very attentive to learn about the Jewish-Christian roots and current issues regarding the UNESCO decision and many were visibly touched.
It was very exciting to see our Israelity Youth group, wearing a T-shirt with colors of Israeli flag standing before the attendees affirming that we Christians need to repent for our dealings with the Jewish people and vowing to stand with the Jewish people and State of Israel sustained by unfailing grace of God.
Then came another very emotional moment when C4I Italy presented its special gift to the community, a rare and original art work of Venice glass (Kanukiya), hand made by Mr. Antonio Moretti Sinigalia, a Jewish artist from Venice.
The Jewish community also presented a gift to Edda Fogarollo, an art work with the form of the Jewish letter Tsadik (in order to remember the Righteous among the nations), made by Mr. Gabriele Levy, another Jewish artist.
The closing of the event was graced by a concert where the soprano Reut Ventorero, accompanied by pianist Lucrezia Messa, presented a number of beautiful Jewish songs.
The seed for a better future of Jewish–Christian friendship has been sown and our hope is to nurture this seed writing new pages in the history of the nation of Italy.