Prayer Letter — May 2023

Dear Prayer Partners,

Over the last month, Israel has experienced a wide range of joy and sorrow, including the celebration of Passover and of its 75th birthday, as well as observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day and Memorial Day. Several terrorist attacks also occurred as the Muslim month of Ramadan ended. Yoav Gallant, who was fired by Netanyahu at the end of March, was recently reinstated as Defense Minister.

On the international front, Saudi Arabia normalized relations last month with Iran, as well as initiating talks with Syria’s Assad. Towards the end of April, delegations from Hamas and the Palestinian Authority visited Riyadh. Two high-profile Americans visited Israel as well.

Looking forward to May, the Knesset, which must focus on passing a budget proposal during May, has said that it will put judicial reform legislation on the back burner until June. This pause also gives the judicial reform negotiating teams from the government and opposition to come to a sustainable compromise. Meanwhile, many Israelis from both sides of the aisle continue to protest, and the country remains divided.

Two Israeli holidays will fall this year during May, Jerusalem Day (18-19.5), and Shavuot (24-25.5). Additionally, the traditional Jewish observance Lag b’Omer this year falls on May 9th.

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 May.


Civil Unrest

Despite the continued pause in the Netanyahu government’s judicial reform, many Israelis have continued to protest out of concern that the pause is a feint. The government has stated that no progress will be made towards passing the reform bills at least until June, citing the necessity of passing a national budget proposal.

Many Israelis continue to feel the damages wrought by the months of internal unrest. These include lowered trust in national institutions like the IDF, fallout in Israel’s international relationships, specifically with the US, and the economic consequences of the chaos.

That being said, the government and opposition are currently in talks to reach a compromise over the proposed judicial reform legislation which would satisfy the interests of both parties. Since the discussions are taking place behind closed doors, it is hard to know how much progress has been made, but many officials profess hopefulness.

Please continue to pray for:

  • A successful, good-faith conclusion to the judicial reform compromise discussions taking place between government and opposition.
  • Restoration of Israelis’ faith in their national institutions, including the IDF and the Supreme Court
  • National unity and dialogue, based on humility and a desire to understand different perspectives

Israeli Security and Terror

There were several terror attacks during the month of April, which coincided with the Muslim month of Ramadan, but none more tragic than the murders of a mother and two of her daughters during Passover, on their way to a family holiday in the north of the country. A second attack in Tel Aviv, which killed an Italian tourist and injured several more, showed how indiscriminatory is.

An additional and outstanding security incident was the launching of over 40 rockets towards Israel during Passover from terrorist organizations in Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza. Hamas later took responsibility for the attacks, which thankfully did not result in casualties.

The incidence of attacks from the northern border is rare and quite concerning. A Lebanese minister afterwards published a statement on the event, saying that the Lebanese government condemned attacks on innocent civilians; however, the fact remains that Lebanon allows terrorist organizations to operate on its southern border undisturbed.

The IDF responded with air strikes in Syria and Gaza, but many were surprised that the response was not more forceful.

Please pray for:

  • Comfort and healing to the victims of terror and their families
  • 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.
  • Wisdom for leaders and IDF top brass in responding to multi-front threats to Israel’s security.

Political Changes in the Middle East

In addition to concern over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, significant political changes are occurring in the Middle East. Their ramifications for Israel are unclear, but somewhat concerning. Last month, in a deal brokered by China, Iran renewed their diplomatic relationship with Saudi Arabia. Israel had previously seen Saudi Arabia as a possible partner in the Abraham Accords.

Saudi Arabia is now seeking reconciliation between Syria and other Arab states. Syria has been alienated from the region for over a decade as a result of their bloody and destructive civil war; however, at the end of April, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad hosted the Saudi foreign minister in Damascus. Syria has consistently been an enemy of Israel’s; today, terror groups are lodged in southern Syria.

The most concerning development is the possible normalization of ties between Saudi Arabia and Hamas, which sent a delegation to Riyadh this week. The Saudis also hosted a delegation from the Palestinian Authority.

Saudi Arabia’s desire to cultivate ties with known terrorist organizations is seriously concerning for Israel. It is unclear how this move towards Arab unity will affect Israel’s relationships with other Abraham Accords partners such as the UAE.

Please pray for:

  • Continued wisdom for Israeli leadership as they pursue a policy of deterrence against the Iranian threat,
  • International cooperation against Iran
  • Wisdom for Israeli military leadership on when and how to respond to Iran
  • Wisdom to counter Iranian proxies on Israel’s northern border, such as Hizballah
  • Wisdom to handle the tricky political situation in the Middle East as many long-alienated Arab states seek reconciliation.

Israel’s International Relations

Following several months of tense relations with Washington DC, last month brought the separate visits of Senator Lindsey Graham and of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the latter with a bi-partisan delegation of house representatives. Senator Graham came to Israel after a similar visit to Saudi Arabia and met with several high-level Israeli officials.  Speaker McCarthy was the second US House Speaker in history to address the Knesset.

Despite the tensions between the two nations, the US has simultaneously insisted that it will continue to support Israel in matters of national security and defense. It is time for the US to take a public stand in support of Israel, and it is encouraging to see such prominent US politicians as Graham and McCarthy doing so.

Additionally, the Jewish State is still facing an appraisal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality of their presence in Judea and Samaria according to international law.

Finally, two UN-sponsored anti-Israel events took place on Israel’s Memorial Day and Independence Day, causing the Israeli ambassador to the UN to stage a walkout in protest.

Please pray for:

  • Definitive American policy which actively supports Israel on the international stage and not just behind closed doors
  • An accurate and unbiased legal assessment of the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria by the Hague commission

May Holidays

Two Jewish and Israeli holidays fall in May this year: Jerusalem Day, and Shavuot (known in some circles as Pentecost). Additionally, Lag b’Omer will be observed by religious Jews on May 9th.

Lag b’Omer, which falls on May 9th, is an observance that began in the Diaspora and marks a “half-way” point in the Counting of the Omer, which connects Passover to Shavuot. Today it is celebrated in Israel with bonfires and pilgrimages to the graves of several rabbis on Mt. Meron, where over 40 people were killed in a stampede in 2021 due to poor crowd control. Most Jewish believers choose not to celebrate Lag b’Omer, which it is extra-Biblical.

Jerusalem Day, celebrated this year on May 19th, marks the day of the reunification of east and west Jerusalem during the Six-Day War! Israelis come from all other the country to march through their capital waving flags in a display of patriotic fervor. Historically, this Jerusalem Day parade can ignite controversy, since Palestinians still consider east Jerusalem the capital of a potential Palestinian state.

Shavuot (sometimes known as Pentecost) is one of the seven original feasts commanded by God in the Torah, and this year will be observed on May 25th. In Biblical times, Shavuot was celebrated with a wave offering to God at the Temple, known as the “first fruits.” Shavuot also commemorates the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, and for believers, Shavuot has even another layer of significance, since on Shavuot Yeshua’s disciples received the Holy Spirit.

Please pray for:

  • Safety for those who travel to Mt. Meron on Lag b’Omer; that the focus of the day would be on the Lord and not on the rabbis themselves
  • Fire safety as thousands of Israelis light backyard bonfires for Lag b’Omer
  • A calm and joyous Jerusalem Day, which does not cause any security escalations
  • For a revival among God’s people on Shavuot! Just as the Jewish people received the Torah on Shavuot and the disciples received the Holy Spirit, may many of God’s people be awakened to their Messiah this year.
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:


Moran will be hosting a large group from the USA this month. He will also continue to oversee the ministry activities and continue to study & write his commentaries on the weekly Scripture portions.

Please pray for:

  • health, wisdom, clarity, and an abundance of grace for Moran in this season.
  • protection over Moran’s family, and a covering over them for health, peace, and patience
  • Moran’s older two children who are taking matriculation exams this month - for focus in studying and during the exam, and protection from stress
  • Wisdom and direction for Moran as he continues to write weekly commentaries

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 see incredible growth and progress in our relationships as leaders with the believing youth! During the month of April, over the Passover break from school, we were able to hold several additional meetings, including a movie night and a Bible study. We distributed a feedback form at one of the meetings and were encouraged to see by their responses how connected they feel to the counselors and coordinators of NerYah.

We also love seeing the continued growth of the believing youth, especially in their desire to incorporate God’s Word into their daily lives. This is a real answer to prayer!

Please pray for:

  • Unity in the youth group - our vision is for all the youth to feel connected to each other and for there to be positive and constructive interaction between them.
  • The believing youth to hold on to spiritual encouragement from the holiday as they return to their routines at school
  • Strength for NerYah’s coordinators for the last two months of the school year and for the various activities and meetings that are planned for these two months. Please pray for organization and blessing in all that we do!
  • We are currently looking for volunteer leaders to be part of NerYah’s leadership team next year. Please pray for guidance during this process and that God would lead the right young adults to us.

Believing Soldiers:

We finished handing out Passover care packages at the beginning of this month, and the believing soldiers loved the gift they received! We were encouraged to receive many “thank yous” from the soldiers. The second half of April we held our monthly soldiers get-together, and we saw a fairly large turnout; one soldier asked to lead worship, which added a lot to the meeting! We are also thankful that with the tense security situation over the last months that all our soldiers are safe and well. Thank God for that!

Please pray for:

  • Unity and new strength for our team of leaders
  • Continued spiritual, physical and mental strengthening for the believing soldiers as they fulfill their various jobs. Please pray that they would see God work in their lives even when they are detached from any believing framework
  • Attendance of the soldiers’ meetings. We typically only see a few soldiers come to each meeting, and while we understand the physical and emotional stresses they are under day-to-day, we also believe in the importance of what we offer. Please pray that God will awaken them to the need for fellowship!

Post-Military & University Students

Students this month will continue their second semester of studies this month. Additionally, we will be holding the third of four educational seminars for the students, where we discuss practical life skills and “soft skills” such as communication in the workplace. We were touched by one of our students who will be getting married on the day of the seminar but still requested to take part via video.

Please pray for:

  • Our third in a series of four seminars, where for the first time, the students themselves will present material on subjects that we have given them. The purpose of the seminars is to give the students tools for university and for life, such as talking in front of people and emotional resilience.

HFI Media Projects

Our various media projects keep people connected to HFI and help educate people about Israel's spiritual and historical significance.

Recently, many people have turned to us with claims about replacement theology and even anti-Semitism, and these incidents drive home to us the importance of what we are doing. 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.

Over Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, original material we shared through our “Beyond the Headlines” Instagram account reached nearly 40 times the number of accounts who follow us! This is a true answer to prayer!

Please pray for:

  • 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.

Please pray for:

  • wisdom for Moran and Melissa as they continue to make challenging decisions regarding the tour operations.
  • For wisdom, flexibility, and patience for our US team as they handle the complex coordination of these tours from abroad.
  • For our Cyprus-Greece tour to fill up
  • a strong candidate to fill the position of Tour Coordinator in our Israel office.

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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