April 7 – Brooklyn Park, MN – African Night To Honor Israel
The 6th Annual Africa Night to Honor Israel was another success. Some 500 African Christians gathered with their Jewish brothers and sisters in song and celebration — right next to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s district in Minnesota. CUFI’s African Outreach Coordinator, Dr. Francis Tabla continues to lead this effort which is unique in the pro-Israel space. Dr. Tabla had just returned from his native Liberia where he led the first annual Liberia Night to Honor Israel. CUFI Minnesota State Director, Charlie Houle was in attendance, and gave information about the bus that will take people to the Summit in Washington, DC. We were also joined by CUFI On Campus Midwest Regional Field Organizer, Cherith Runyon.
Just days before the Africa NTHI in Minnesota, President Trump signed a one-year immigration extension for Liberians who were going to be sent back to their country. The threat of these deportations was a source of great angst and fear among the Liberian population in the Twin Cities area. Dr. Tabla told the audience that several members of the Jewish community (including Rep. Dean Phillips and former Rep. Rudy Boschwitz) were instrumental in influencing the President’s decision. He said this was another one of the many ways the Jewish community has embraced the African community of Minnesota.
Rabbi Avraham Ettedgui (a Mizrahi Jew from Morocco) offered the closing prayer/blessing. He was very moved by the entire evening, and thanked CUFI and everyone there (We watched the PragerU video Why Are There Still Palestinian Refugees in which the Mizrahi Jews are prominently featured). He then turned to Dr. Tabla and said, “you all will never be alone. We will always stand with you. We will fight with you. We will never allow your people to be deported. We will never let that happen. You are law-abiding, good people. We will always help you.”
It was a powerful moment in an evening full of powerful moments.