Bishop Joseph Garlington Honored at 2015 Jerusalem Banquet
The ninth annual Jerusalem Banquet, a gala event gathering influential leaders from both Jewish and Christian communities, was held Thursday, June 4, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park.
 
The high energy evening included an address from Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, and Consul General of Israel in New York, Ido Aharoni. Prominent leaders of the evening included Jon Loew, Bishop Joseph Garlington, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Dr. A.R. Bernard, Irwin Hochberg, Bishop Don Hilliard, Michael Miller, and other religious and community leaders.
 
Event chair Rev. Robert Stearns spoke to the crowd, enthusiastically sharing, "Tonight in this room is evidence of a 2,000-year miracle in the making. Once, our faith communities were separated but in our day and our time Jews and Christians, while respecting our significant theological differences, are coming together to declare there is more that unites us than separates us." 
 
Joining Rev. Stearns at the event was an extraordinary leader, whose life has impacted millions around the world for many years, Bishop Joseph Garlington of Covenant Church of Pittsburgh, PA. Bishop Garlington was honored for his dedication and service through the establishment of a scholarship which will send college students to Israel as part of the Israel Experience College Scholarship Program, which has been dubbed the "Christian Birthright" program by various press outlets. 
 
Bishop Garlington addressing the banquet in response to the evening tribute, said, "We are living in a moment where being silent is not an option. It is time to say something, and I am blessed to be part of sending young Christian leaders to Israel." 
 
The evening of honor and celebration included special musical selections, including joyous traditional songs which brought the room to their feet singing and clapping. 
 
Several graduates of the program represented those in attendance. Ryan Mauro, 2009 Israel Experience Scholar, leading national security analyst, who is regularly featured on various media outlets, shared, "The support for Israel and Judeo-Christian values that we take for granted will vanish within a generation if we do nothing. Based on my experience with the Israel Experience program, I can say without hesitation that this program is the key to the future of this support." 
 
Rebekah Gordon, 2013 Israel Experience Scholar who works at the United Nations shared how the Israel Experience made her a strong advocate for Israel. She said, "Everywhere I go I am an ambassador for Israel, thanks to this powerful program."
 
Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, addressing Robert Stearns and Eagles' Wings said, "Thank you for standing each and every day with the State of Israel and strengthening the amazing bond between Jews and Christians that brings us together." 
 
Support was raised from the evening to scholarship the best and brightest of tomorrow's Christian leaders to participate in the eighth annual Israel Experience Program this summer, a study tour which gives tomorrow's leaders an educated heart for Israel. Each year students are educated first hand on the realities in Israel. Students have participated from over 100 American Universities. 
 
As this summer's group of students are in Israel, we are grateful that you are with us in this vital endeavor!  Please tour Israel with our students by checking in on their daily updates at www.facebook.com/israelexperiencecollegescholarship.
 
We thank all of our supporters who attended or donated and it's not too late to make a difference.  Give a gift to the Israel Experience program by clicking here or call our office at 1-800-51-WINGS.   
2016 Honorees:
Bishop David L. Thomas
Bishop David L. Thomas
David L. Thomas has been leading Victory Christian Center, with his wife Kathie, in Youngstown, Ohio for 37 years.   In those years, they have grown from 46 people into a multi-site, multicultural, mega church with eight campuses and over 5,000 people.  In addition, he is an author, conference speaker, life coach, and leads a network of churches and ministers.


Dr. Charlotte K. Frank
Dr. Charlotte K. Frank
Dr. Charlotte K. Frank is Senior Advisor, Research and Development for McGraw-Hill Education, joining the company after nine years as Executive Director of the Division of Curriculum and Instruction for the New York City Public Schools.  She has received more than 70 awards for her achievements in education, was inducted into the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) Hall of Fame, is a recipient of the Hunter College Hall of Fame and has been honored to be a Townsend Harris Medalist from the Alumni of the College of the City of New York. Dr. Frank graduated with a B.B.A. from CCNY, an MS.ED. from Hunter College, received her Ph.D. from New York University and is now a N.Y.S. Regent Emerita.


2016 Conveners:
Dr. Robert Stearns
Dr. Robert Stearns
Reverend Dr. Robert Stearns is the Founder and Executive Director of Eagles’ Wings, a dynamic ministry involved in outreaches and strategic projects around the world. Serving as Co-Chairman with Dr. Jack Hayford, Dr. Stearns is the visionary behind the global Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem and the Israel Experience College Scholarship Program.


Ambassador Danny Danon
Ambassador Danny Danon
Ambassador Danny Danon officially assumed the position of Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations in August 2015, after serving as Minister of Science, Technology, and Space since May 2015. He also was a Member of Knesset from February 2009 until August 2015. During his tenure he served as Deputy Speaker of the 18th Knesset, as Chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and among others as a member of the Labor, Law and Justice, Foreign Affaris and Defense commitees.




Ambassador Ido Aharoni
Ambassador Ido Aharoni
Ambassador Ido Aharoni is Consul General of Israel in New York, representing the State of Israel to communities from throughout the tri-state areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  He has been a member of Israel’s Foreign Service since the summer of 1991. Ido held two overseas positions, in Los Angeles and New York, during his tenure in Israel’s diplomatic corps.