Shul, church team up in Pensacola to welcome Ambassador Ettinger

The weekend of Feb. 15, B’nai Israel Synagogue in Pensacola will team with the First Pentecostal Church for a series of events with retired Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger.

Ettinger is no stranger to the region, having served as Israel’s consul general in Houston in the 1980s, where his territory included the region from Louisiana to New Mexico. In the 1990s, Alabama Governor Fob James named him as Alabama’s trade representative in Israel.

He is editor of “The Ettinger Report” and director of “The Second Initiative,” which is dedicated to generate out-of-the-box thinking on US-Israel relations, Middle East politics, the Palestinian issue, Jewish-Arab demographics, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. After serving in Houston, he was director of the Israel Government Press Office, then was Minister for Congressional Affairs at the Israeli embassy in Washington.

The events at B’nai Israel will be part of a Shabbaton that will kick off a drive to commission the writing of a new Torah for the congregation.

Following the Shabbat morning service on Feb. 16, Ettinger will speak about the demographics of Israel. That evening, he will speak on the importance of Judea and Samaria to Israel’s security. The presentation is open to the community.

On Feb. 17 he will speak at a private luncheon for community leaders, discussing the implications of the recent Israeli election.

That evening, he will speak at the 6 p.m. service at First Pentecostal Church. The service will be led by Pastors Brian Kinsey and Matthew Johnson. Ettinger will speak on “The Foundations of the US-Israel Covenant – Shared values from the 17th Century Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers to 2013.” The event is open to the general public and will be followed by a reception.