(JNS.org) The Covenant Journey, a new initiative inspired by the popular Taglit-Birthright Israel program, is set to bring young Christians to Israel this summer in order to strengthen their faith and encourage them to become goodwill ambassadors for Israel.
“There’s one thing better than standing with Israel, and that’s standing in Israel,” Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said Thursday at the annual Christian Solidarity Event at the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, where the new program was announced. “It is critical to bring the next generation of leaders in the Christian community to Israel. If they walk in the places where the patriarchs and the prophets and the kings and that young rabbi from the Galilee walked, then they will stand with Israel here and they will strengthen their Christian identity.”
The program will bring hundreds of Christian students to Israel on a Birthright-style trip at a cost of only $500 per person, thanks to donors including the Museum of the Bible and the Philos Project. (Birthright trips for Jews ages 18-26, by comparison, are free.) Students are selected for the Christian program based on their leadership roles on campus as well as their desire to advocate for Israel and strengthen their Christian faith.
“It will create a foundational platform from which they can become goodwill ambassadors for Israel and the Jewish people, and the Covenant Journey participants will never be the same,” said Steve Green, board chairman for the Museum of the Bible.