Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson was honored for his
longstanding support for Israel during the sixth annual Jerusalem Prayer
Banquet held Thursday night in New York City.
Co-hosted by the Christian ministry Eagles Wings, the event recognized Robertson,
founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, along with Jewish businessman
Irwin Hochberg, a longtime leader in several pro-Jewish organizations including
the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Scholarships were established in both men’s names that
will send college students to Israel as part of Eagles Wings’ Israel Experience
Program, a summer study tour designed to give future leaders “an educated heart
“Never again will the sin of silence be repeated in the
church,” Eagles Wings founder Robert Stearns told attendees at the banquet. “We
will stand vocally with Israel and Jerusalem and train the coming generation to
do the same, with courage and conviction.”
Robertson has advocated for Israel through his 700 Club
broadcast and other ministry outlets he has founded, including Regent
University and the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International.
He told the crowd, “we throughout the world must stand with Israel from these
days forward,” and expressed a desire for the next generation “to be imbued
with the same passion for Israel that I have.”
Through its Israel Experience Program, Eagles Wings takes students to Israel to train them to become ambassadors for the Jewish
nation. Students meet with members of Knesset, are guests in Jerusalem City
Hall and visit victims of terrorism, said Joel James, director of development for Eagles Wings.
“They see firsthand what’s happening in Israel, and
they’re armed with an understanding and information that will help them because
across the college and university system, anti-Semitism is rising,” James said.
Honoring Robertson and Hochberg, who are both in their 80s,
passing of a torch from one generation to the next, James added.
“We see it kind of as a passing from their generation to
successive generations so that we all would rise up and support Israel
stand for God’s truth with a biblical worldview,” he said.
“These men are in their 80s, they’re not going to be around forever, and
time others follow their example and the standard that they’ve set and
Host committee members including Frederick K.C. Price,
founding pastor of Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles; Harvey
past president of American Friends of Hebrew University; veteran
Pat Boone; and Jack Hayford, co-founder with Stearns of the annual Day
Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, were among roughly 300 Jewish and
who participated in the banquet. Asaf
Shariv, consul general
of Israel in New York, spoke during the event.
On Friday night, Stearns led a prayer rally for the
peace of Jerusalem at Crenshaw Christian Center East in New York City. Roughly 30 churches
from across New York were expected to participate.