Prayer Letter — July 2023

Dear Prayer Partners,

July in Israel is the beginning of summer vacations for kindergarten through high school as well as university students. Many Israeli families and students are looking forward to this break from the grind and are planning vacations abroad throughout the summer months.

At the same time, the latent judicial reform controversy has returned from its break and an unprecedented mission in Judea and Samaria resulted in the injury of seven Israeli soldiers as well as leading Israel to directly use Apache helicopters for the first time since the 2nd Intifada. A serious terror attack took the lives of four Israelis and wounded four more.

Iran and Israel continue to circle each other as Iran and the United States come to a “less for less” nuclear agreement, which reportedly would lift some sanctions on the Middle Eastern state in return for a halt in uranium enrichment. Israel continues to resist the agreement.

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.

On a happy note, the Israeli Under 20 National Football/Soccer team made history this month with a third-place win in the U20 Mondiale cup.

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 July.


Israeli Unity in Light of the Judicial Reform
Last month, opposition leaders announced that they are withdrawing from the intense judicial reform negotiations which have taken place for the last several months under the auspices of Israel’s president. In response, the coalition decided to advance the judicial reform legislation without consensus. The split followed a tense vote which, according to the opposition, was indicative of the coalition’s intentions. Following the split, both sides of the aisle accused each other of engaging in talks in bad faith.

There are big issues at stake in the judicial reform legislature, and they should by no means be overlooked, but the overall situation has become fairly ridiculous and 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.

However, most Israelis also seem to have caught on to this reality and realized that Israel needs unity. The nation is facing far bigger 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 and stability in the country, that Israel will not return to the chaos of the beginning of the year
  • Maturity in the Knesset, for cooperation and recognition of the common good.
  • Israelis of all opinions and walks of life to come together in supporting and defending their country
  • God’s protection over and redemption for His people

Israeli Security and Terror
The first half of June was relatively quiet security-wise, especially in comparison to the May conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

However, towards the middle of the month, a relatively routine IDF arrest of terror suspects in the Palestinian city of Jenin exploded – literally. Palestinian operatives planted roadside bombs on the IDF’s exit route from Jenin, causing extensive damage to one IDF vehicle, and injuring the seven soldiers inside. Several other armored vehicles were also damaged by gunfire and explosives on the site. To regain control of the situation and evacuate the injured soldiers, the IDF sent in Apache helicopters – the first direct use of this asset in the area since the 2nd Intifada.

Officials later said that, while it was too early to draw conclusions, the explosive devices used were very similar to those smuggled through Israel’s northern border earlier this year – presumably from the Iran-sponsored, Lebanon-based terrorist group Hizballah. The unprecedented event calls to mind recent theories that Iran, through regional proxies, is attempting to spread unrest and violence from the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria. Many officials are calling for a more serious response to Palestinian terror in Samaria.

Another reminder of this reality was a serious shooting terror attack in Samaria, which killed four Israelis and injured four more. Following this tragic attack, extremist Israeli settlers took justice into their own hands, illegally burning and destroying extensive Palestinian property in a village near where the shooting took place. This is the second time in recent months that Israel has seen extensive revenge violence following Palestinian terror attacks. Aside from being illegal, this behavior is extremely detrimental to Israel’s international standing since it eliminates the moral high ground Israel holds in fighting terror.

Please pray for:

  • A de-escalation of the tense security situation
  • 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.
  • Restraint for Jewish settlers not to take the law into their own hands
  • Wisdom for leaders and IDF top brass in responding to multi-front threats to Israel’s security.
  • Revival in Iran and in all the Middle East, that people would come to know the God of Israel!

Israel on the International Stage
In connection to the many-tentacled Iran, reports indicate that the Biden Administration is now very close to reaching a so-called “less for less” nuclear deal with the Middle Eastern country, despite its reputation as untrustworthy. Israel continues to push back against the White House’s decision to move forward with the deal and has stated that it remains committed to its own defense, deal or no deal. The White House has simultaneously begun working towards a peace treaty between Israel and Saudi Arabia, despite previous Saudi statements that it will only normalize relations with Israel following the settlement of the Palestinian question.

Unfortunately, the last week of June, the Biden Administration released a decision to cancel US funding for academic and scientific institutions in Judea and Samaria. This reverses a policy initiated by the previous administration. Former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman called the decision “BDS.” This is the latest symptom of tension between Jerusalem and Washington in recent months.

On the United Nations front, a 2021 probe into Israeli “war crimes” during the 2021 confrontation between the IDF and Gazan terrorist organization Hamas, presented its findings this month, and the results were predictable. The probe focused on Israeli settler violence against Arab farmers and activists as well as military “crimes” and did not attempt to present the second side of the issue. It did however condemn the mistreatment of Palestinians under the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as well as under Israeli rule.

On a positive note, Israelis joined together last month to celebrate a national success – the third-place victory of the national soccer team at the U20 Mondiale event in Argentina. The team is an amazing example of Israeli coexistence, with Jewish, Israeli Arab, and Bedouin goal-scoring stars.

Please pray for:

  • Continued wisdom for Israeli leadership as they pursue a policy of deterrence against the Iranian threat.
  • International cooperation against Iran, especially in light of the budding nuclear deal between Iran and the US
  • Renewed ties between the US and Israel.
  • Wisdom to counter Iranian proxies on Israel’s northern border, such as Hizballah
  • Favor for Israel in international forums such as the UN

Summer Vacation for Kindergarten through High School and University Students
July marks the beginning of the summer break for Israeli children, youth and university students. 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
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:

June was a busy month between the ministry’s activities and the tours! Moran and his family also moved to a different town in the area, so that required a great deal of energy. This month he will be in the office until mid-July when he will travel with his family for a ministry trip to the USA. There is much to prepare before the trip in terms of teachings and logistical matters, so please pray for wisdom and clarity of thought. 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.
  • The ability to get their new home settled in before the summer trip.

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. It is wonderful that they feel comfortable with us!

We held a pre-army meeting this month for our high-school seniors who will be joining the army in the next year. The meeting was in collaboration with our soldiers’ program, and as part of the meeting, we invited several soldiers to share about their experiences in the military. We also gave the youth time to ask questions about this next stage in their lives, and we got great feedback from both groups!

We are also excited by the level of interest in NerYah from upcoming 9th graders! Several have contacted us for details about NerYah and we look forward to welcoming them to the group next year.

Please pray for:

  • Safe, successful and fun summer activities for the youth, including our summer field trip in northern Israel
  • God’s guidance for our counselors as they consider plans for the coming year, and especially that God would lead the right believing young adults to become a part of our volunteer team next year.
  • Protection over the youth during their summer break, that they would use their time wisely and not cave to peer pressure. Please pray that they would continue to pursue their relationships with the Lord during this time.

Believing Soldiers
We have seen a true answer to prayer in the last month, as our team of counselors have gained motivation in our work with the soldiers, and have begun to take a more active interest in the work, helping to coordinate and initiating ideas. We also saw a positive response from the soldiers to the joint meeting held with NerYah this month; they appreciated the opportunity to share their experience with the teens.

Please pray for:

  • Continued spiritual, physical and mental strengthening for the believing soldiers as they fulfill their various jobs.
  • The teens who will be drafting to the IDF soon – that God would give them strength and motivation and that they could be a light to those around them.
  • The security situation over the summer – that the Lord would continue to protect our soldiers and that the security situation would remain quiet

Post-Military & University Students

Please pray for:

  • The final of four interactive lectures for our students. Please pray for wisdom and alertness on our part, and that the content would encourage the students. Please pray that they would be in a place to hear and apply what we have to share.
  • The end of the second university semester – please pray for strengthening and wisdom as the students approach their final exams.
  • The end of the current year from a management perspective, that we could reach the right conclusions regarding the year and make the right adjustments for the coming year.
  • Planning for the coming year, including signup forms, the continued development of the volunteer project, etc.
  • Our first meeting for released soldiers. We would appreciate prayer that the meeting would be informative and productive.

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!

One of the main objectives of our tour operation is to cover ministry overhead, so that a higher percentage of donations can go to projects. We are so grateful that tours have returned robustly after the two years of no tours during the COVID restrictions in Israel! The tour operation is experiencing some “growing pains”, which is a blessing and a challenge at the same time. We have also hired a wonderful young lady to fill the Tour coordinator position in the Jerusalem office – thank you for praying! Please pray for:

  • wisdom for Moran as he continues to make challenging decisions regarding the tour operations.
  • wisdom as we consider a wonderful opportunity to partner with a good friend of the ministry to run the US-side of the tour operations
  • 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

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