By N. Richard Greenfield, Publisher ~
Joe Lieberman once told the Reverend John Hagee, charismatic founder of the dynamic Christians United for Israel (CUFI), that there are a lot more Christian Zionists than there are Jewish ones. What brings that to mind is the huge gathering at the First Cathedral Church in Bloomfield last Sunday night, March 11, in which more than 2500 people came together to celebrate, praise and support Israel in the strongest terms.
Certainly there were Jews in the audience, but the overwhelming numbers were members of Bishop Leroy Bailey’s congregation as well as other members of CUFI from in and around Connecticut. This might have been the largest gathering of Zionists in Connecticut ever, but the amount of enthusiasm concerning Israel’s place in the world defies measurement.
CUFI was founded just six years ago when Pastor Hagee went to Israel as a visitor and came back a confirmed Zionist who felt his calling was to insure Israel’s existence and to create an organization dedicated to that goal. Today, there are close to a million donating CUFI members, and functions similar to the one in Bloomfield this past Sunday take place somewhere in America 40 times a month. Among the speakers who rose to address the audience on Sunday night was Senator Lieberman, who has known Pastor Hagee from nearly the start of the organization and has spoken at a CUFI event before. Rabbi Phillip Lazowski of Bloomfield joined the Senator on the stage, and gospel recording artist JJ Hairston and his choir joined Jewish singer/songwriter Neshama Carlebach for a number of Israeli songs, closing the evening by leading the assembly in “Hava Nagilah.”
This was an evening in which Zionism was undiluted. The irony here is that this dynamic Zionism is increasingly an outreach by Christians to the Jewish community and not the other way around.
Videos of this event are available at the First Cathedral Book Store, 1151 Blue Hills Ave., Bloomfield. For more information call (860) 243-6520.