Prayer Letter — August 2023

Dear Prayer Partners,

During August, many Israeli families and students will be abroad as they enjoy the last month of summer break, while also preparing themselves for the coming school year, due to begin in September. Additionally, Israelis will begin to prepare for the fall holidays: Rosh haShana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.

Following the largest military operation in Judea and Samaria since the Second Intifada, Israel is facing the beginning of a new era in terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. At the same time, the latent judicial reform controversy returned full force, with a controversial bill passing into law in the Knesset. Protests against judicial reform resulted in the hospitalization of at least 15 protesters and have spread into most sectors of Israeli life.

Iran and Israel continue to circle each other as the United States denies a potential nuclear agreement with the aspiring Middle Eastern power and as US-Israeli relations continue to disintegrate.  

Another issue on the domestic front for Israel is the rising crime rates in the Arab-Israeli sector. More than twice the homicides have occurred already this year compared to this time last year, and many Arab Israelis report that they no longer feel safe in their communities.

There is much to be in prayer for. We ask that you intercede on behalf of Israel and Hope for Israel throughout the month of August.


Judicial Reform and Societal Polarization
Israel has unfortunately returned to the polarized reality of the beginning of the year. Mid-July, the coalition began unilaterally passing controversial legislation while hundreds of thousands took to the streets on a weekly basis to protest the so-called “judicial revolution.” Both protesters and police officers have been injured in protests over the month of July, indicating the increasing severity of the demonstrations.

The issue came to a head the third week of July, as protesters in Tel Aviv began a march to Jerusalem which ended four days later outside the Knesset building, the evening before the bill came to the plenum. June 24, as the Knesset prepared to vote on a bill to restrict the use of the “reasonableness standard,” some protesters marched through the city while others attempted to block entrance to the Knesset. (This common law doctrine allows the SC to strike down legislature deemed “extremely unreasonable.”) Several attempts to reach a last-minute compromise unfortunately failed, with the bill ultimately passing into law after a 64-0 vote boycotted by the opposition.

One indicator of the increasing severity of the situation is the involvement of IDF reserve soldiers and officers. Over 11,000 reservists in influential units have signed letters either threatening to quit reserve duty, or declaring their immediate cessation of service. On the flip side, hundreds of reservists from the same elite unites are pledging to continue their volunteer service regardless of political disagreements. Additionally, numerous major corporations have declared strikes and temporarily shut down business in solidarity with the protesters.

There are big issues at stake in the judicial reform legislature, and they should by no means be overlooked, but the bigger issue is the internal division and unwillingness to engage in genuine dialogue. Unfortunately, Israel’s enemies have noticed this. Iranian state media outlets routinely report Israeli “weakness” and gloatingly discuss the coming destruction of the Jewish State.

The nation is facing many problems right now, including Iran, and it desperately needs leaders who are willing to put aside their differences and work together for the good of the country.

Please continue to pray for:

  • Peace, stability, and unity in the country
  • Maturity in the Knesset, and an immediate and mutual effort to find compromise.
  • Israelis of all opinions to come together in supporting and defending their country
  • The neutrality of the IDF
  • God’s protection over and redemption of His people

Israeli Security and Terror
Israel executed its biggest military operation in Judea and Samaria in 20 years on July 3-4, inaugurating a new era for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel lost two soldiers in combat, one during the operation and one in a revenge terror attack shortly afterwards. Two additional terror attacks also took place in response, wounding a total of 9 Israelis. Both terrorists were neutralized on site.

As the fallout from the operation – during which the IDF seized and/or destroyed thousands of improvised explosives and other weapons, destroyed explosives labs and communications rooms for terror organizations and arrested 30 wanted terrorists – continues, it is clear that the game has changed in terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Most world leaders admit, and most major news outlets are discussing, that the hope of a two-state solution is over. The Palestinian Authority, established during the Oslo Accords, is crumbling and terror organizations continue to gain popular support among Palestinians. The PA has suggested forming a unity government with Hamas (who rules the Gaza Strip), but they rely on Egyptian pressure to follow through with this.

In parallel, Iran continues its process of arming terror groups in Judea and Samaria and promoting extremism. It remains to be seen how Israeli policy will change long term in light of these shifts.

On a different note, Israel is currently attempting through diplomatic channels to remove several Hizballah agents who entered a disputed area between Lebanon and Israel around two months ago and set up a permanent camp. Hizballah’s leader has said that any attempt to forcefully remove the camp will result in reprisal.

IDF soldiers successfully prevented another incident, during which several individuals attempted to cut through the border fence separating Lebanon and Israel.

An additional terror attack mid-July injured three, a father and his two daughters. All three will recover, although the father was initially reported to be in serious condition.

Please pray for:

  • Protection and alertness for Israel's security forces as they seek to execute justice and protect Israeli civilians through arrests, arms seizures, and day-to-day guarding duties.
  • Healing for those injured.
  • Wisdom for leaders and IDF top brass in responding to multi-front threats to Israel’s security.
  • A long-term solution to terrorism and Iranian influence in Judea and Samaria
  • Wisdom to counter Iranian proxies on Israel’s northern border, such as Hizballah
  • Revival in Iran and in all the Middle East, that people would come to know the God of Israel!

Israel on the International Stage
Relations between the US and Israel seem to be on a downwards spiral, despite reassurances from both countries that this is not the case. A senior American journalist published an article claiming that the US was “reassessing” its relationship with Israel; he did clarify that the “reassessment” did not include intelligence and security collaboration. Seven months after Netanyahu’s inauguration, the PM and the President have finally agreed to meet, although an exact time has not been set.

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, seen as a unifying figure in Israeli politics, was invited to the White House last month, where he addressed both houses of Congress and met with President Biden. Not surprisingly, several members of the Democratic caucus, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep Ilhan Omar, boycotted the Israeli president’s speech. Herzog returned to present a last-ditch proposal for compromise over Israel’s controversial judicial reform.

Two Israelis were kidnapped last month, one in Iraq and one in Ethiopia. An Israeli-Russian citizen was kidnapped by an Islamic extremist group in Iraq. She is still alive, but it is unclear what measures are being taken to assure her safe return. The kidnapping in Ethiopia appears to be criminally motivated as the kidnappers requested a ransom fee from the victim’s family in Israel.

Israel has also been engaged in defending itself at the UN after severe criticism of its justified military action in the Palestinian city of Jenin.

Please pray for:

  • Continued wisdom for Israeli leadership as they pursue a policy of deterrence against the Iranian threat.
  • The safe return of the two kidnapped Israelis
  • International cooperation against Iran, especially in light of a potential nuclear deal between Iran and the US
  • Renewed ties between the US and Israel.
  • Favor for Israel in international forums such as the UN

Summer Vacation for Elementary-High School plus University Students
The summer break for Israeli children, youth and university students will continue throughout August. They and their families will enjoy a break from the routine for the coming summer months to travel and spend time with family. Everyone is looking forward to this break!

Please pray for:

  • Wisdom and protection for young people to use their freedom well
  • Protection over Israeli travelers outside of Israel
  • Rest and renewal for all

Arab Sector Crime Rate
Tragically, the number of Arab sector homicides so far this year is a record, standing currently over 120. The murder rate is already more than twice what it was last year at this time and continues to grow almost exponentially; there were nearly 40 murders in the last month, as opposed to less than 20 in the month preceding. Much of the problem stems from illegal arms networks, criminal activity and feuds. The government and police have both stated that bringing down Arab sector crime is a top priority during the coming year.

Please pray for:

  • healing for those injured and comfort for families who have lost loved ones
  • the prioritization of this issue and for a drop in Arab sector violence
  • improved relations between the Arab sector and police.

HFI Prayer requests:

We continue to prayerfully seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance to implement a renewed vision. Please join us in praying for:

July was a busy month for Moran and his family with some personal family time and then a ministry trip to the USA, where they will be until mid-August. Moran continues to seek wisdom for his teachings and Israel updates, so please continue to pray for him in this area. He also continues to oversee the ministry while traveling, which can be challenging. Moran’s children are on summer break and are looking forward to some time away this summer!

Please continue to pray for:

  • Wisdom regarding the various aspects of the ministry that he oversees.
  • Guidance and inspiration as he writes his weekly Scripture commentaries, and prepares for his various teaching opportunities in the States.
  • Safe travels for he and his family as they travel to, throughout, and from the States.
  • A fruitful trip in the USA – that many will be challenged to seek the Lord more deeply and find their hope in Him.

HFI Staff & Board Members

Please pray for:

  • Blessing over our staff & board members who devote time and energy to executing our vision for the ministry
  • Protection over their families while they serve
  • Wisdom for the board members as they make decisions that impact the ministry in tangible ways
  • Our US representative Bill Katz as he drives and flies thousands of miles every week to speak on behalf of Hope for Israel,for health & traveling mercies, protection over his wife and daughter while he is traveling, and for fruitful meetings and speaking engagements

Threefold Vision for Empowering the Future Generation of Believers

Please pray for:

  • Wisdom for the staff as they continue this year’s program
  • Unity in the hearts of the team
  • A new staff member to support our ministry to Jerusalem’s believing young people.

NerYah Youth Group:
We continue to be encouraged by the youth’s desire to spend time with our NerYah leadership team. Many times throughout the last month, teens have come to visit us at our Jerusalem office, to ask for advice or simply to hang out.

Please pray for:

  • A safe, successful and fun summer field trip in northern Israel
  • A smooth entry into the office for our new NerYah coordinator – please also pray that God would bless her with the tools and wisdom that she will need for the job.
  • The building of our plan for the coming year, including our topic of the year and the messages that will fit into it. Please pray that we will have the wisdom to choose subject matter that is right and important for the youth to hear this year.
  • Please continue to pray that God would lead the right volunteer staff to NerYah for the coming year.

Believing Soldiers:
This month we received several messages from soldiers thanking us for our support and the service we offer them. The soldiers were also very responsive and encouraged by the messages we have sent in our group chat encouraging them in their daily walk with the LORD.

Please pray for:

  • Continued spiritual, physical and mental strengthening for the believing soldiers as they fulfill their various jobs.
  • The security situation over the summer – that the Lord would continue to protect our soldiers and that the security situation would be stable.
  • For efficiency and organization for our soldiers’ team in fulfilling our various tasks.
  • This month we will be distributing gifts to the believing soldiers. Please pray that they gifts would be an opportunity to bless them and remind them that we are here for them. Please pray that the gifts would be an opening to deeper personal relationships with these young believers as they serve the country.

Post-Military & University Students

Please pray for:

  • For strengthening and wisdom as the students study for final exams and finish final projects.
  • The volunteer project for the coming year: that it would be a source of encouragement, support, help and belonging for the students who are participating in our program. Please also pray for wisdom for us in managing the process.
  • For freshman/first year students – please pray for them to have peace throughout the whole process of signing up for university and that they would feel God’s and our support.
  • That the students would have a restful and refreshing summer break and that they would feel renewed.

HFI Media Projects
Our various media projects keep people connected to HFI and help educate people about Israel's spiritual and historical significance. In a day and age where many people oppose Israel, we see advocating for Israel, and for what the Word of God says about Israel, as top priorities.

Please pray for:

  • Strength and wisdom for our media team as they continue to produce new content for our website, email and social media.
  • A video crew that we can work with in Israel to generate new content
  • Creating a grassroots movement of Israel advocacy via YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Informative & interesting articles and other original material that will educate our audience and encourage their spiritual development
  • Insight and efficiency in updating our website and messaging; that God would provide the right website designer
  • Insight and wisdom to offer Scripture-based answers to those who oppose Israel; that God would use our content to change peoples’ hearts and minds!

We are currently organizing two tours. In September, we are leading a unique tour which follows the journey of the apostle Paul through Cyprus and Greece. At the beginning of 2024, we will lead our yearly flagship Experience Israel tour.

Please continue to pray for our tours:

  • for the 2024 EXPERIENCE ISRAEL TOUR to fill up; we already have quite a few sign-ups, which is encouraging!
  • for a fruitful Cyprus-Greece Tour this coming September.

Ministry Finances
God has been so faithful in providing for the ministry's operating and project costs! We ask that you pray that He will continue to do so, and that we will be able to bless more Israelis than ever!

In His Service,
The Hope for Israel Prayer Team

Share this Post