Christians United for Israel founder heads to OKC

John Hagee, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and founder of Christians United for Israel, will be in Oklahoma City on June 29 as the keynote speaker in a CUFI event, "Night to Honor Israel."

This is the second annual celebration in OKC, and like last year, the event will feature representatives and speakers from the city's Christian and Jewish communities.

Hagee started CUFI in February 2006 as "a national grassroots movement focused on the support of Israel," according to the organization's Web site. CUFI now has a state director in all 50 states and city directors in 90 large U.S. cities. According to the Web site, the organization has become the largest grassroots Christian group in America.

CUFI has two stated goals: to educate and build Christian support for Israel throughout the United States, and to communicate pro-Israel perspectives to elected officials. One of the ways CUFI communicates with elected officials is through an annual summit in Washington, D.C. In July 2007, 4,500 people met in D.C. for the second summit. The first in July 2006 brought 3,500 people to the nation's capital.

The "Night to Honor Israel" events serve as opportunities for Jews and Christians to work together for Israel. CUFI collaborates with Jewish leaders to identify projects that need funding. This year, the Oklahoma City event will raise money for Ayalim, an organization of young Zionists who rebuild disadvantaged communities in the north and Negev regions of Israel, and for Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, an organization that supports the Israeli army through programs, projects and scholarships.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City works with local CUFI representatives to coordinate the fund-raising and the event. "Greg Horton  

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