For the past two years, Friends of Israel (FOI), a worldwide Christian ministry dedicated to fostering solidarity with the Jewish people, has featured Ariel prominently on their annual tours.
“What you hear in the mainstream media is not the real story,” Jim Showers, executive director and president of FOI, told a recent delegation on October 16 at the Ariel Regional Center for Performing Arts. “It’s a slanted, one-sided story.”
Friends of Ariel Executive Director Avi Zimmerman helped them under the “other side” of the story, speaking of Jewish historical and biblical ties to Ariel in what is called the Land of Joshua for its proximity to Joshua’s tomb. For many, his was an introduction to the core geopolitical issues of the region and how Ariel was built for its strategic location expanding the narrow coastline of Israel.
A driving tour provided more information and insight, but the tour turned emotional and personal with a visit to Irena Wodislavsky, who co-founded Ariel’s Holocaust and Heroism Memorial Museum with her late husband, Kuba, to tell the story of survivors as the generation dies out. The visit with Irena was particularly poignant given that FOI was founded in 1938 to help Jews escape the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. FOI continues that legacy by supporting Holocaust education and seeking to ensure that the survivor’s stories are forever told.
We look forward to building our friendship with Friends of Israel as they continue to bring delegations to the City of Samaria.