Support for Israel

YWA in Israel 2018

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We are back from our 10-day trip to the Holy Land! If this is the first time you’re reading about our trip, we partnered with an organization called Passages and took 34 of our Young Women for America leaders to Israel! It was absolutely incredible in every way possible. Each of us are returning back to the U.S. changed. God worked in the hearts of our Young Women for America leaders, and it was a true blessing to watch their eyes and hearts open and transform. Each day was packed full of tours, sites, and speakers giving us a comprehensive overview of Israel.

Here’s an outline to our trip and feedback from a few of our leaders!

Day 1 “In the Beginning”

We arrived in Israel after a long 18+ hours of sitting in airports, security, and flying. When we landed, we drove straight to Caesarea! We were able to learn about and explore King Herod’s old palace, see what’s left of this ancient city and how they use it today! We stayed in a hotel right on the Mediterranean Sea in Netanya that night; it was beautiful!

Day 2 “Home Town of Jesus”

We visited Alfei Menashe, a town overlooking the West Bank. We explored the archeological site of Tel Shimron in the Jezreel Valley. Then we went to Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home, where we visited the museum, the old village, had an authentic Nazarene lunch, and toured the Church of Annunciation. We ended the day at Mount Precipice, where you can see Mount Carmel, Mount Tabor, and the Valley of Armageddon. Then we drove to the Sea of Galilee and stayed at a hotel right by the water! Amazing!

Day 3 “Neighbors to the North”

We traveled to Jish, a northern town in Israel, where the Christian minority Aramaic Maronite church meets, one of the highlights of our trip! The pastor, Shadi Khalloul, met with us and shared his heart to protect their heritage and give a voice to his people, and about the persecution that Christians in the Middle East face. He also taught us the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, the language in which Jesus prayed it. We then visited the Golan Heights, which overlooks the borders of Lebanon and Syria. The United Nations has a station of soldiers there to whom some of our YWA leaders talked and asked questions. We ended the day at Caesarea Philippi and with an incredible speaker, Dr. Feydra Shapiro, who discussed what she wished Christians and Jews knew about each other.

Day 4 “Ministry of Jesus”

We spent this entire day around the Sea of Galilee. The first site was the excavation and remains of the town of Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene. They have a beautiful church there with amazing mosaics; we sang “Amazing Grace” together in the dome. Second, we went to the Mount of Beatitudes. Janae led a devotional about the Sermon on the Mount, and the girls were given time to reflect and spend some time with God. Third, we traveled back down to the shore of the Sea to Tabgha. I (Kelsey) was able to lead our group through Jesus’ shore miracles. As we sat on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, we were able to envision Jesus feeding the 4,000 men and then appearing to His disciples after the Resurrection. From there we went to Capernaum, discussed some of Jesus’ teachings there, and saw the excavation site.  Before boarding a boat at the Sea of Galilee, some of us enjoyed a traditional “Saint Peter’s Fish” lunch right on the shore! While we were on the boat, we reflected on Jesus calming the storm and walking on water. (So cool!) From the Sea of Galilee, we went to the Jordan River, where 19 of the girls were baptized — five of them for the first time!

Day 5 “Desert Day”

We went to Masada, which is the part-natural, part-manmade fortress that Herod the Great created in 37 A.D.  It was attacked by Rome in 73 A.D. after the Romans destroyed the Temple. From there, we went to the archeological site at Qumeran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  We had lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon floating in the Dead Sea! After some mud baths and the saltiest bath ever, we got ready for Shabbat. We welcomed Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) at the Western Wall with hundreds of Jewish men and women. We were then hosted by different Jewish families for a traditional Shabbat dinner. We were able to experience what these dedicated religious families do every Friday.

Day 6 “New Covenant”

This was our “Jesus Day.” We started at the Mount of Olives, which is the most beautiful view of Jerusalem. From there we walked down to the Garden of Gethsemane, read Jesus’ prayers in the garden, and took time to reflect. We then entered the city of Jerusalem and walked the “Via Dolorosa,” ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We ended the day at the Garden Tomb, with a time of reflection, worship, and communion. Personally, this was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Whether this is the exact place that Jesus was buried and resurrected (while there is reason to believe it is), the truth of what Jesus has done remains the same and more real to us after this site.

Day 7 “Patriarchs, Kings, Prophets”

It was “Old City” day, where we toured each quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. We started at Mount Zion and visited the location believed to be the “upper room” where Jesus and the disciples had the Last Supper. Next, we visited the City of David, archaeological site of ancient Jerusalem of the pre-Babylonian era, including the overlook where David would have seen Bathsheba.  We then toured the Southern wall excavation, Hezekiah’s underground water tunnel and water reservoir.  We finished the day at the Siloam pools, where Jesus healed the blind man.

Day 8 “The Jewish State”

This was a sobering day, as we spent the morning at Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum and memorial.  In the afternoon, we went to the Israeli Museum which houses a model of old Jerusalem and the Dead Sea Scrolls. That evening, we heard from a female soldier in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). This was another highlight for our leaders who asked many questions and stayed after to speak with her one-on-one.

Day 9 “Neighbors to the South”

We drove from Jerusalem to the border of the Gaza Strip and toured Nativa Elseron, a Kibbutz right on the border. A woman named Ronni shared her story and the realities of living on the border with constant threats, bomb shelters, and missile alarms. This was one of the most impactful and intense visits for our group; we were one of the few tour buses able to make this stop. There had been fires in the area from kites sent over from Gaza the week before and rocket fire the next week. It was eye-opening to see firsthand the tension at the border, the fear that is their reality. “Why would we leave? This is our home,” was a common answer to the question “Why do you stay here?”

Day 10 “Tel Aviv Day”

We spent our last full day in Tel Aviv, before flying out late that night to the United States. We toured Jaffa, the port from which Jonah fled, and the House of Simon. We also visited Independence Hall, where Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948. We sat in the room and listened to recordings of David Ben-Gurion pronouncing the establishment of the State of Israel.

As you can tell, this trip was FULL, a little exhausting, but absolutely amazing. I left out so many details, speakers, and shorter visits, but I think you get the gist. Thank you for praying for us! Check out our @YWforA Instagram, the #YWAinIsrael2018 hashtag on Instagram, and our Young Women for America page on Facebook for more photos! Here are some thoughts from our leaders:

Ashley Henson, YWA President at the University of Alabama:

“How could I ever begin to describe the 10 days that changed my life forever? This land and its people have touched my life in countless ways. I watched as the pages of the Bible came to life before me, and God revealed Himself to me through every place and person. I felt His presence like I never have before, and I left with an indescribable peace that I never imagined I could feel.  I went on this trip expecting to find a nation ravaged by years of war, a people exhausted from constant tension. Instead, I found a nation of joy. Every person I encountered, no matter their religion or nationality, greeted me with a smile and a joke. Despite the conflict in the region, hope lives on in the people who call Israel home.

“I pray that hope never fades. I pray that we, as Americans, can one day feel even a fraction of that hope for our nation. I pray that we never take for granted the freedom and security we are blessed with. and I pray that we never forget those who struggle around the world for the same freedom and security.”

Valeria Tkacik, YWA President at Ave Maria University:

“My Israel experience was more than great; it was life changing. From Nazareth to the Western Wall, I felt God’s presence everywhere I went. When I shared a smile or a laugh with any of my YWA members, I knew that I shared that moment with Jesus Himself. I cannot wait to see how God blesses these girls’ lives! So thankful to travel to the Holy Land with my concerned women!!

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.” ~ St. Augustine of Hippo

Abby Voggenreiter, YWA member at Liberty University:

“My time in Israel changed my life. From picking up rocks in the Sea of Galilee to visiting the peace wall along the Gaza Strip, I learned so much about all that has happened and is happening there. Coming home I brought with me a bag of Israeli snacks, but also a passion for Israel and all of its people! I will never stop praying for the Israeli people, especially the ones that had such a huge impact on me while I was there (Efrat!!). And to the amazing girls I got to travel with; each one of you taught me so much about life and friendship. I am so, so blessed. The past eleven days have given me memories that I will carry with me forever. Thank you to each person who poured into me during this trip; our God is real. He is alive! And we all got to walk in His holy land! I am so thankful.”




YWA in Israel: Days 3 & 4

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We started day three in a town called Jish in the Upper Galilee where we heard from Shadi Khalloul, an Aramean Christian Maronite Israeli. He is the founder and chairman of the Israeli Christian Aramaic Association and spokesperson for the Christian Israel Defense Forces Officers Forum. He previously served as a lieutenant in a paratrooper division of the IDF and today is a captain in the IDF reserves. Shadi loves his community, his heritage, his homeland, and serves the Lord and everyone around him by seeking unity between Christians, Jews, and other communities. Among many issues that he tackles, Shadi is currently working to revive the Aramean identity that has been stifled by centuries of persecution. We were hosted in the town that he is working to rebuild, in an Aramean church, where he showed us 350-year-old Aramean Bibles, and taught us to say the Lord’s prayer in Aramaic. His passion for his people and zeal for unity is contagious. Shadi has visited CWA headquarters in the past to share about the work he is doing in Israel and we were excited to be there visiting him in his home. Many girls talked about the fact that he was one of their favorite speakers!

From there we traveled to the Golan Heights, an area of land recaptured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. When you stand on Mt. Ben Tal in the Golan you look out at see where Lebanon, Israel, and Syria meet.

“Surveying the Golan Heights this past June was a surreal experience. It has been a disputed territory since before Israel’s supernatural victory in the six-day war. Standing at the observation point made me feel so small, as I stood on the border and looked into Syria and Lebanon. I felt safe traveling with Passages, with the IDF and other tourists all around. However, seeing the UN peacekeepers at their posts in the Golan Heights made the reality of where I was sink in. There was a reason for their presence, and a reason there were so many soldiers around. As an American who has never truly seen or felt the effects of war, it is easy to have a false sense of security when traveling around Israel. But the people of Israel live their lives on defense because of what they have endured in the past and continue to endure today.  Visiting the disputed territory was an incredible reminder of the power of God and His love for Israel and its people.” – Rachel Prusak, former Communications Officer, and now alumni, of the YWA Liberty University Chapter

That night we heard from a Jewish speaker, Dr. Faydra Shapiro. Coming full circle from our morning with Shadi, Dr. Faydra addressed the importance of Jewish-Christian relations from a Jewish standpoint.

“Hearing Dr. Faydra Shapiro speak was an incredible opportunity to understand how Jews and Christians view and relate to each other. Her talk explained what Jews and Christians should know in order to foster a fruitful and respectful engagement between the two groups of people. The points Dr. Shapiro brought to my attention gave me a new insight to understanding the Jewish people. The most impactful points were that the Jewish people are suffering from post-traumatic stress and how evangelism alienates the Jewish people. The Jews have been persecuted throughout history. This history of persecution will not allow the Jews to feel too safe or comfortable with their current situation. After all, one of the safest places to be Jewish was Germany before World War II. This is one of the reasons Jews may seem reserved or guarded when approached with a conversation about faith. We also discussed how many Jews are uncomfortable with Christianity because they do not know enough about it as they do not need to have an understanding of Christianity in order to practice their faith. The same thing cannot be said for Christians. The roots of our faith lie in the Jewish Bible and in order to have a better understanding of our faith we need to have at the very list a minimal knowledge about Judaism.” – Marija Pritchard, member of the YWA


Today was one of our busiest days. We were on the go from breakfast to dinner!

Our morning started at Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene. From there we went up to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus taught his counter-cultural Sermon on the Mount. Janae Stracke, CWA National Field Director, led the devotions reading from Matthew 5, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

We spent time in Capernaum studying the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and miracles on the Galilee, had a traditional lunch right on water’s edge, and took a Cruise on the Sea of Galilee.

“One of the most memorable parts of the trip for me was being on the Sea of Galilee. Our group cast our burdens into the Sea and let God take them from us. When doing this, I prayed that these constant lies that I had been feeding myself for so long would no longer have any power over me and that these hateful words and thoughts would no longer be in my mind. Once I finished praying and threw my rock (representing these burdens) into the sea, I began to cry, not because I was sad, but because I felt liberated. I felt the burdens I carried for so long finally leave. This is something I will never forget.” – Annie Martinez, YWA Chapter President at Stephen F. Austin State University

We ended the day at the Jordan River where 19 girls chose to be baptized. Five of them were baptized for the first time, and as we gathered together on our last day in Israel to remember our favorite portions, a number of girls who were baptized took this away as the highlight of their time in Israel.

YWA in Israel

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Everyone was tired when we landed in Israel, but our excitement trumped our lack of sleep! We landed around noon and headed straight to Ceasarea, a town on Israel’s Mediterranean Coast. Ceasarea was a magnificent port city built by Herod the Great. The 2000-year old Roman Amphitheatre, the city’s center of entertainment, still stands and is used today. We actually sat inside while a band set-up for a concert that night.

Ceasarea is breathtaking. It was our first glimpse of the Mediterranean before we got to our hotel that night which was right on the beach.

Photos by Annabelle Rutledge, CWA Communications Coordinator and Alixanne Kramer, YWA Tucson Chapter President


In the morning we visited Alfei Menashe, a town overlooking the West Bank and took a tour of an archeological site, Tel Shimron, in the Jezreel Valley. From there we went to Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home. We visited a museum, toured the old village of Nazareth, had an authentic Nazarene lunch and toured the Church of Annunciation. We ended the day at Mount Precipice. This is the cliff where Jesus passed through the crowds who attempted to throw him off the edge. (Luke 4:16-30)

Photos by Alixanne Kramer, YWA Tucson Chapter President

“The grounds of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth were remarkable.  I marveled at the beautiful mosaics along the walls, which showcased different depictions of Jesus’ Mother from around the world. Once I entered the basilica, I began to contemplate how impactful Mary’s ‘yes,’ or fiat in Latin, was to the life of Christ.  By Jesus calling her ‘woman,’ she became the ‘New Eve’ whose ‘yes’ to Gabriel overcame Eve’s ‘yes’ to the serpent in the Garden of Eden.” -Valeria Tkacik, former YWA Chapter President, now alumni, of Ave Maria University

Photos by Valeria Takcik, former YWA Chapter President, now alumni, of Ave Maria University

“As I look back on our first full day touring Israel, I am touched by how fitting it was that one of the first sites we visited was the Basilica of the Annunciation. Our pilgrimage began where salvation history began all those centuries ago. It was here that Our lady’s humble and obedient ‘yes’ procured for humanity, Salvation itself, through the immaculate conception of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As I looked upon that Holy grotto where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary, I was struck by the unassuming and lowly nature of the place. How modest and plain the spot where the Divine would make an entrance into our everyday world. This mystery is so compelling because it mirrors the interior experience of our souls, as Our Lord reveals Himself to us, though unfit and limited, and we are to then respond to His grace. And so I uttered once more, yes, to Our Lord, in that same place as did The Sweet Virgin, whose trust was so fearless and so complete in The Divine Will.” -Veronica Hays, YWA Member at George Mason University

Young Women for America Tour of Israel

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CWA had the pleasure of partnering with Passages to bring 34 of our Young Women for America campus leaders to Israel for a 10-day tour accompanied by Janae Stracke, National Field Director, Kelsey Gold, Young Women for America Coordinator, and Annabelle Rutledge, Communications Coordinator.

Each day was packed with new sites, Biblical lessons, and impactful speakers. Our YWA leaders were given a comprehensive overview of Israel – biblical, geo-political, religious, and cultural.

We had Bible studies in Gethsemane and on the Mt. of Beatitudes. We hiked Masada and swam in the Dead Sea. We toured Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum, and visited a kibbutz on the Gazan border.

Over the next 5 weeks, we invite you to join our 10-day tour. Each update will include two days of this amazing journey and you will also hear from some of our YWA leaders and members!

Here is why the U.S. Embassy Move is so important to American Christians

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On May 14, 1948, just after the provisional government of Israel proclaimed the new state of Israel, President Truman said: “This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.”

In that moment, the United States made history as the first nation to recognize the legitimacy of the new state of Israel. And now, 70 years later, the U.S. is making history again as our great nation will legitimize the state of Israel, our ally and friend, by moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.

American Evangelicals are responding, “It’s about time.” Moving our Embassy to Jerusalem is a promise that was made to the American people and Israel in 1995, when Congress voted almost unanimously to locate our embassy in the nation’s capital, just as we do in every other nation in the world. May 14 will be an historic moment. We are thankful to President Trump for making good on a promise that his predecessors chose to ignore.  I am honored to represent Concerned Women for America supporters as I attend this historic event.

While the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a game changer on the world stage, it is uniquely important to American Christians.

Although imperfect, like any nation, Israel is a representation in the Middle East of the ideals and principles that we hold dear as Christians. It is much more than a political performance; it is about giving Israel the respect it deserves as a nation that is dedicated to democratic ideals.

Israel stands for human rights. Israel cares for the least of these. Israel is inclusive. Every Israeli is supported and represented, regardless of whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Christian, male or female, young or old.

Women have been an integral part of the modern state of Israel since its beginning. Golda Meir, the original “Iron Lady,” served as Minister of Labor and Foreign Minister before becoming Israel’s Prime Minister in 1969. She was Israel’s fourth Prime Minister and the third female prime minister in the world, and she led Israel during the Arab-Israeli (Yom Kippur) War.

Israel has always prioritized diversity within the Knesset, their unicameral legislative body. Minorities, including women, Arabs, and Druze, have been represented in the Knesset since its inception. Today, 33 members of the Knesset are women, and 18 members of the Knesset are Arab.

The Israeli people have proven their dedication to upholding justice and always working towards improvement.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Israel had become a destination country for trafficked women, and prostitution became a prominent issue. Because of this, in 2001, Israel was ranked as a Tier 3 country for human trafficking on the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report — the worst possible ranking. The Israeli government took definitive action against sex traffickers, working to protect women and children and bring criminals to justice. For six years in a row, Israel has been ranked a Tier 1 nation in their efforts to combat human trafficking, signaling their success in fighting this gross injustice.

Although they receive little recognition on the global stage, Israel continues to go above and beyond in their service to the world. Last summer, Israel unveiled Operation Good Neighbor, the secret operations they had been conducting in Syria to keep starvation away from thousands of Syrians while also providing free medical care. The Good Neighbor is an appropriate name for Israel.

Since its beginning as a small nation in the midst of the Middle East, Israel has been committed to wide-reaching humanitarian relief and global development. Despite the animosity from much of the world, they continue to always be a helping hand, often being the first responders to natural disasters, whether it be the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan or Hurricane Katrina in the United States.

In 2016, the United Nation’s World Health Organization recognized the Israeli Army’s field hospital as “number one in the world.” The U.N. has been known for having a negative attitude towards Israel, but they could not ignore the humanitarian efforts of Israel. Their army field hospital is regularly sent abroad to provide aid at natural disaster sites. Israel was its first and, so far, it’s only “Type 3” field hospital — the highest rank that can be received.

The United States is making history with this embassy move.  Once again, we hope to see others around the world do the right thing and follow our lead.


Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Click here to read it.

U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem

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Washington D.C. — Today marks the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued the following statement:

“Today is an historic moment — not just in Israeli history or American history, but in the history of the world. Today, the U.S. Embassy in Israel is open in Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.

“America has a history of defying the naysayers and standing by our principles in defending our ally, Israel. Seventy years ago, President Truman made history when he recognized the State of Israel just 11 minutes after the provisional government of Israel announced its statehood. Today, America has again made history under the leadership of President Trump.

“This has been an issue of importance to Concerned Women for America from the beginning.

“Thank you, President Trump, for making good on your promise to the American people, to Israel, and for paving the way for other nations to follow our example.”


For an interview with Penny Nance, contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

CWA Supports Historic Events Strengthening U.S.-Israeli Relations

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Last week, Concerned Women for America joined in celebrating Israel’s friendship with the Christian community at the sixteenth annual Christian Solidarity Event at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.  The celebration coincides with three major events surrounding U.S.-Israeli relations that were the main topics of discussion: Israel’s celebration of 70 years of the State of Israel and Jewish independence, President Trump’s historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the president’s announcement that the U.S. will pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. In addition to the Christian community, among those in attendance at the embassy were Counselor to the President of the U.S., Kellyanne Conway, Ambassador of Israel H.E. Ron Dermer, and the Reverend William Graham, grandson of the late evangelist Billy Graham.

After the crowd in attendance sang The Star Spangled Banner and the Hatikvah (Israeli National Anthem meaning “The Hope”), Rev. William Graham opened the event in prayer. Then, Kellyanne Conway spoke about why investing in relations with Israel was personally important to her as a Catholic woman whose faith was founded on “Judeo-Christian principles.” In her role as Counselor to the President, she highlighted why Israel is vitally important to the U.S., citing our shared values of democracy and freedom and calling Israel the greatest ally to the U.S. in the Middle East.  She then called President Trump “a man of action in a town of talk” as the first U.S. president to act on his promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move which symbolizes our acknowledgement of Israel as a nation state. She also underscored the dangers of the Iran Nuclear Deal to the U.S. and to Israel, a deal which President Trump declared “defective at its core” and announced the U.S. “termination of participation” in and withdrawal from on May 8.

Ambassador Dermer continued in this vein, praising President Trump for the upcoming move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem and pointing out that Israelis are not foreigners to this land as some have declared, but inhabited Jerusalem before Christ — King David having written psalms in Jerusalem three thousand years ago. He then focused on the Iran Nuclear Deal, saying the “insane” deal had damaged Israel’s national security and helps no one — not the U.S. and not Israel — no one, in fact, except for Iran, who refuses to recognize Israel as a nation and whose leaders have vowed Israel’s destruction.

Next week on May 14, Concerned Women for America CEO and President Penny Nance will attend the opening of the Embassy of the United States in Jerusalem at the invitation of Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, on behalf of you, our members. We are proud to support Israel and participate in such an historic event that will have lasting significance in the Middle East and on the strength of U.S.-Israeli relations. Please pray for wisdom and protection as CWA joins with U.S. leaders in Israel and for the continued support of a safe and prosperous Israeli nation.


CWA in California

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CWA at University of California, Berkeley

CWA’s Communications Coordinator, Annabelle Rutledge, and CWA’s National Field Director, Janae Stracke, were able to set up a meeting with the Vice President of the College Republicans on Berkeley’s campus in Oakland. Anti-Semitism has been on the rise on college campuses, and we had hoped to be a resource to students as they engage their peers in dialogue. This meeting was intended to find out what the greatest need is and to assess what CWA’s role could be.

The student with whom we met has himself been attacked on campus several times and every day has a target on his back for his conservative views. Other students will tweet his location so he can be targeted. He was incredibly grateful and encouraged by CWA’s interest and support.  He was also able to connect us with the only two outspoken conservative professors on campus and students at other universities, such as Stanford and San Francisco State. He invited us to speak at one of their meetings and gave a lot of insight on Berkeley regulations for tabling and demonstrations. We were surprised at how easy it is for groups, even groups not affiliated with the campus, to table on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza. The key to success being large, eye-grabbing banners and pop-ups, a plethora of materials for both hanging up and handing out, as well as support for students who are opening themselves up to persecution from their peers by standing for their beliefs.

CWA on the ground in Montecito, California

Last week our latest Prayer Action Chapter co-leaders, Joy Bohlinger and Naomi Van Wyk hosted an event in Montecito, California, which drew around 50 women from the surrounding area! Each one of these women are God-fearing world changers ready to fight for their values. Each woman has a unique circle of influence—whether it is as the wife of a prominent pastor, connections to Hollywood elites, a background in the policy realm, or a mother in a homeschool group.

We spent time worshipping before showing a few videos and giving them an overview of Concerned Women for America.  We closed the event by going over action items and pouring praying over our country, the state of California, CWA, and the action items shared. Two of the action items discussed were the upcoming Governor’s race and AB 2756.

AB2756 was a bill that would place strict regulations on homeschooling families, including curriculum specifications and required teaching certification for parents, among other regulations. We spent a good portion of time praying over this bill and asking the women to contact their State Assembly members.

The very next day, Wednesday, April 25, in a stunning late-night victory for California homeschoolers and parental rights, AB 2756 was defeated in the Assembly Education Committee.

All of the attendees were also urged to vote in the June 5 primary election, knowing California will only allow the top two candidates on the final ballot, no matter their party.


Israel and the Embassy Move: the Administration Heard Your Voice

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December 6, 2017 was an historic day – President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, 22 years after the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was affirmed by the Senate. The Jerusalem Embassy Act urged the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and respond by moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but for 22 years formal recognition and our embassy move were put on hold.

No one is naïve to the reality that moving the U.S. embassy is a bold move with potential ramifications. Nevertheless, it is a necessary move – this move says that the United States will not be bullied into inaction but we will stand by our strongest and only democratic ally in the region, that our presidents will uphold their campaign promises and listen to the voices of the American people.

CWA was honored to be your voice on this issue. Concerned Women for America has been advocating for the U.S. embassy to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem since President Trump took office.

Penny Nance was on CNN early this spring urging the President to “stand in lockstep with Israel” especially in the area of any disputed territory.

In May, before President Trump signed the Jerusalem Embassy Act waiver, CWA participated in the twitter campaign, #MoveTheEmbassy, in an effort to engage the public on the issue.

On behalf of each of you, Penny has personally discussed the issue with U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy, Dina Powell, Ivanka Trump, and President Donald Trump, thanking them for their work to repair our damaged relationship with the state of Israel.

Finally, CWA was party to letters sent to the administration regarding support for Israel which urged that our embassy be moved in acknowledgement that Jerusalem is the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state. One such letter can be read here.

We could not be more thankful for the supportive stance the Trump Administration has taken towards the state of Israel. Moving the United States embassy will leave a lasting impact in the Middle East.

President Trump Declares Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital and Announces Embassy Move

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Washington, D.C. – Today, President Donald Trump made a statement officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel. He ordered the State Department to begin the process of moving the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued the following statement:

“Today, I am thankful for President Trump’s courage in declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel and for his directive to the State Department to begin the process of moving our embassy. This has been years in the making, but no president has prioritized our relationship with Israel enough to take this important step.

“The United States has done little for Israel over the past eight years – this move will be restorative to U.S./Israeli relations.

“Thank you, President Trump, for working to fulfill your campaign promises. Moving our embassy will create a new legacy in the Middle East and prove the United States’ support for our strongest and only true democratic ally in the region.”

President Trump to Declare Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

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Washington, D.C. – President Donald Trump is expected to make a speech next week recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, had this to say:

“I happily anticipate President Trump’s upcoming statement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of the Jewish state of Israel. Six months ago, UNESCO chose to ignore history when they passed a resolution denying Israel any claim to the city of Jerusalem.

“Such a responsive statement from our nation will send a clear message – we support Israel, our strongest and only true democratic ally in the Middle East, despite the U.N.’s attempt to undermine Israel’s very existence. Concerned Women for America is thankful for President Trump’s dedication to the Jewish state.

“This is an excellent first step, and I hope it is exactly that – a first step in fulfilling President Trump’s campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Israel’s eternal and indivisible capital city of Jerusalem. Recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital assumes that the United States respects Israel’s capital city and will at some point move our embassy.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

Capitol Hill Brief — Peace for Israel

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This week, we’ve been discussing the good news of the restoration of the U.S.’s strong relation with Israel under the Trump Administration.

America’s relationship with Israel is vital to our national security, as well as our foreign policy strategy in the Middle East. Israel is among the United States’ closest allies and is the nation that most closely shares our values of freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

I was so grateful to share with the president CWA’s thanks for the White House’s unequivocal support and commitment to Israel’s security in such an important part of the world.

As Christians, we also know and trust in God’s promise to bless those who bless Israel. And so, pray for Shalom, peace for Israel.

Join us on the front lines. Fight to defend critical issues like Support for Israel and Religious Freedom. Together, we’ll bring Biblical, constitutional values back to our nation. Visit to give today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.


Capitol Hill Brief — Israeli Anthem

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I hope you realize that anti-Semitism is alive and growing in some parts of the world.  Did you see the recent video of Israel’s Tal Flicker who won the gold medal in judo at a recent event in Abu Dhabi?

Flicker took his place atop the winner’s podium, gratefully accepted his gold medal, and stood straight for the playing of winner’s national anthem, as it is customary. But, Israel’s anthem was not played. Instead, they played the anthem of the International Judo Federation. The Israeli flag was not raised either.

In the video you saw Flicker humbly singing the anthem for himself, while they publicly humiliated him.

Friends, this makes me fighting mad. We must stand against anti-Semitism wherever it is found.

Join us on the front lines. Fight to defend critical issues like Support for Israel and Religious Freedom. Together, we’ll bring Biblical, constitutional values back to our nation. Visit to give today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.


Capitol Hill Brief — Trump Administration’s Support for Israel

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It’s been refreshing to witness the Trump Administration’s unabashed commitment to support Israel. And I’m so grateful I got to thank the president at a dinner. Their latest action involved withdrawing from UNESCO, citing their unquestionable anti-Israel bias.

The U.S. owed $550 million to it, and it contributed annually about 70 million, which compromised about 22 percent of its budget.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised President Trump, saying, “This is a courageous and ethical decision because UNESCO has become a theater of the absurd; instead of preserving history, it distorts it.”

Let us continue to pray for the Trump Administration, Israel and the overall situation in the Middle East. Join us on the front lines. Fight to defend critical issues like Support for Israel and Religious Freedom. Together, we’ll bring Biblical, constitutional values back to our nation. Visit to give today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.


Capitol Hill Brief — U.N. Moves Against Israel

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Believe it or not, the United Nations has earmarked millions of dollars for Palestinian efforts to pursue international legal action against Israel over the next several years.  The U.N. said it “will also strengthen its own advocacy on the impact of Israeli violations.”

Both President Donald Trump and U.N Ambassador Nikki Haley have shown steadfast support for Israel and we are grateful to them.

I was able to thank the president personally for his support for Israel at a dinner I attended with him recently. But you and I must join in our support through much needed prayer efforts and also by calling our congressmen and asking them to stand boldly for Israel against those who openly seek its destruction.

Join us on the front lines. Fight to defend critical issues like Support for Israel and Religious Freedom. Together, we’ll bring Biblical, constitutional values back to our nation. Visit to give today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.


State Department announces United States’ departure from UNESCO

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Washington, D.C. — This morning, the U.S. State Department announced its intention to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the end of 2018 due to UNESCO’s continued anti-Israel bias. The United States would remain a nonmember observer state, being privy to discussions on culture, education, science, and communication.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), had this to say:

“Today, our State Department made a crucial decision to stand up for our closest and greatest ally in the Middle East by choosing not to align the U.S. with an organization that is blatantly biased against Israel. It is critical that Americans support Israel — the only country in the region that reflects the democratic ideals of our nation.

“UNESCO has demonstrated their anti-Israel bias again and again – proving their dedication to being politically correct is greater than their dedication to advancing human rights globally. The U.S. halted funding to the organization after it admitted the Palestinian Authority as a full member in 2011. And yet, UNESCO still chose not to expel Syria from its human rights committee inspite of their 2012 civil war and repeated resolutions inciting violence against Israel as an occupying power.

“Enough is enough. Although the United States helped found UNESCO in 1945, our nation’s concern about human rights abuses in the Middle East are continuously ignored. UNESCO must know that their resolutions against Israel have consequences. I applaud the President, Secretary Tillerson, U. N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and our State Department for taking a stand.”

For an interview with Penny Nance, contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

Capitol Hill Brief — Persist in the Fight for Israel

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As the leader of the free world, the United States has a unique role in standing in solidarity with the nation of Israel.

Unfortunately, it is becoming less and less politically correct to stand with God’s people, and our leaders are hesitant to express their support for fear of being targeted by the radical left.

They should know better.  Prime Minister Netanyahu said it best, “History has shown us time and again that what is right is not what is popular.”

The fight for Israel may not be a popular one, but it is a fight Concerned Women for America will continue to persist and highlight in our summer of perseverance, clinging to God’s promise that blessings will follow.

Now is not the time to resist; it is the time to persist.  This summer, find out how you can support a positive agenda that protects our Biblical values. Visit today. If you’d like to hear these commentaries on the radio, find me on your local radio station.


What a Trip to the Grocery Store Taught Me About Israel

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I have been in Israel for less than a week and I have already learned so much! In the Holy Land, God and history permeate the atmosphere wherever you go.

It’s Ramadan, the Muslim month-long religious observance, and tensions are noticeably high. At the Shabbat (Sabbath) meal my friend Anna and I were invited to, the host made it clear she would not recommend we go anywhere on our own.

I can’t help but be nervous as I remember stories I’ve heard on the news about terror attacks. In Israel, the possibility of an attack is a daily reality. How do Israelis live this way? I suppose they get used to it – but the fact that they have to get used to it is a tragedy in itself.

Keren, a Fellowship staff member who lives in what most of the world would call a “settlement,” drove us around her neighborhood the second day we were here. Two things she showed us stood out to me.

First, we saw the bus stop where three Jewish boys – Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali – were kidnapped in 2014. They were murdered – today, at the spot where their bodies were found, there is a beautiful park built in their honor. Kids play and family events are held in this park, and the mothers of the boys attend regularly.

The second site was a grocery store where Keren shops with her beautiful family. Here, Arabs, Jews, and Christians stand side by side as they pick out their items, and stand in the check-out line together just like any other country.

But this isn’t any other country. In this country Jews are threatened, hurt, or killed regularly by Palestinian terrorists, simply because they are Jews. Yet Jews and Arabs still stand next to each other in mundane places like the grocery store.

In light of the tension I can feel here during Ramadan, and the fact that terrorists have been waging war against Israel for decades, this seems like a miracle. Maybe, after the recent attacks in London and Manchester, the world is getting a taste of why it’s such a miracle that Israelis are still able to go about day-to-day life – that Jews and Arabs are able to mix freely and peacefully at places like that little grocery store.

There’s so much to learn here in Israel and I’m so excited to see what God has in store. I’ve already seen Him move and I’m confident He’ll show me more. God has such a heart for Israel, and I can’t wait to see more of it through His eyes.

Editor’s Note: Claire Nance is a Christian college student interning with The Fellowship in Israel this summer. She’s from Washington, D.C., and studies Communications with a minor in International Relations at Liberty University in Virginia. This post was first published on the blog of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

Senate Reaffirms Support for Israel and Move of Embassy to Jerusalem

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Washington, D.C. – Monday evening, the Senate voted 90-0 to pass Senate Resolution 176 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War as well as the reunification of Jerusalem. In this resolution, the Senate also reaffirmed the importance of the American-Israeli relationship.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, said today:

“This unopposed, bipartisan resolution is a resounding declaration that the United States stands with Israel with renewed resolve under this new administration.

“The unified support in the Senate is a beautiful testament to the significance of the American-Israeli relationship, especially in light of the hyper-partisan division that has plagued the Senate as of late.

“On behalf of Concerned Women for America’s hundreds of thousands of members, I want to thank the Senate for clearly demonstrating America’s support for Israel.
Thank you for having the courage to call on the president to abide by current law, as well as his campaign promise, and move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“The 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem is a celebration of the persevering spirit of the Jewish people. For over 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been the heart of Judaism and had continuous Jewish presence.

“The Jewish people are faithful protectors of religious liberty; enabling Jews, Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem to have access to the holy sites of their respective faiths-a freedom denied prior to the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli control.

“We stand with Israel, while continuing to work and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Janae Stracke at [email protected] or 712-269-1724.

CWA Disappointed in POTUS Delay in Moving Israeli Embassy

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Washington, D.C. – Today, President Trump signed a six-month waiver instead of honoring the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which required the U.S. Embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, said today:

“CWA’s members are very disappointed that the president chose to sign the waiver in direct contradiction to his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. In 1967, Arab armies declared war on Israel. Until that time, Jordan had occupied east Jerusalem for 20 years, destroyed most synagogues, and did not allow religious freedom. Israel won the 1967 war and liberated east Jerusalem, thus re-uniting their ancient, 3,000-year-old capital. Under the Israelis, Muslims, Christians, and Jews enjoy religious freedom.

“Israel is the only country in the world that does not have the U.S. Embassy in its own designated capital. It’s an unjust anomaly. We believe it is a mistake to tie the U.S. Embassy move to any possible peace agreement, since Palestinians remain unwilling to negotiate directly with Israel.

“In my presence, both U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, said the move is 50 years overdue. (The 1967 Six-Day War gave Israel the old city.)

“81% of Evangelicals voted for President Trump, and the vast majority also support the Jerusalem Embassy Act. In December we will once again ask the president to keep his word when this waiver expires.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Janae Stracke at [email protected] or 712-269-1724.