Faith Leaders Gather to Promote Restoring Traditional Values in America, Israel

As Judeo-Christian values come under attack and antisemitism rises worldwide, a recent event saw top faith leaders, former diplomats, and conservative scholars gather to promote traditional values that have long served as the foundation of Western civilization, in an effort to advance peace across the globe, while warning of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran led by radical Islamists.

The “Unveiling the Ark — Building the coalition of light” event of the Israel Heritage Foundation (IHF) at the Pierre Hotel in New York City last Wednesday, brought together dozens of top Christian, Jewish, and conservative leaders who spoke about the importance of restoring faith and spirituality back into the lives of Americans and Israelis. During the gathering, businessman and philanthropist Lewis Topper, who co-hosted the dinner, unveiled a pure gold exact replica of the biblical Ark of the Covenant he had commissioned.

Israel Heritage Foundation (IHF) Executive Vice President Dr. Joseph Frager, whose organization co-hosted the event, delivered a profound speech in which he passionately articulated the need for Israel to reconnect with its spiritual heritage, framing the nation’s statehood as a miraculous return to the Holy Land after 2,000 years of exile.

Explaining that the focus often shifts to military prowess and the necessity to defeat long-standing adversaries such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, he stressed that “our roots are spiritual,” and called for a return to these foundational values.

“God gave us this beautiful and wonderful land to make it great again,” he asserted, emphasizing the need to cultivate the land’s inherent holiness.

A key point in Frager’s speech was the symbolic importance of the Ark of the Covenant, which he described as “a major leap of faith towards the actual fruition” of Israel’s divine mission. He explained that the Ark is more than a historical artifact; it represents Israel’s purpose to bring global recognition of God’s glory. 

Beyond the borders of Israel, Frager spoke of a universal mission to bring people back to God, not just in Israel but worldwide. 

“We are dealing with a Godliness that has to be brought back to the world,” he proclaimed, expressing hope that the Ark would “stimulate and excite people” to return to faith.

Dr. Ralph Reed, Chairman of the prominent and influential Faith and Freedom Coalition, highlighted the critical juncture in history where fundamental values and principles and foundations of Western civilization, notably the Ten Commandments, are under assault.

Reflecting on Hamas’s brutal October 7 massacre, Reed underscored the persistent threat against the Jewish people, drawing historical parallels from ancient exiles to modern-day antisemitism. 

Citing author George Gilder, he argued that evil throughout history is often marked by antisemitism, asserting that “if you want to know what evil is, all you have to do is look for who hates the Jew.” He attributed this to the fact that “evil ideologies [primarily] hate God and hate the people of God,” while noting that he personally “always associated [his] Christian faith with defending Jews.”

He then emphasized the need for unity, declaring that the struggle of evangelical Christians aligns with Israel’s fight for survival while expressing unwavering support for the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

“I want you to know, tonight — on behalf of the 60 million evangelical Christians in the United States — that your struggle is our struggle [and] that Israel’s fight to survive is our fight to survive, and we will always defend the State of Israel and the Jewish people,” he said, noting the significant influence of evangelical Christians and their unwavering support for Israel.

Highlighting their roots in Jewish teachings, Reed spoke passionately about the values shared by Christians and Jews, including the sanctity of marriage, family, hard work, and compassion, which he linked to a prosperous society. 

“The values that we hold, we really got from you,” he explained.

He concluded with a call for unity and a return to moral foundations, quoting the Bible and invoking the spirit of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. 

“It’s time for us to return to those principles, restore our own nation to greatness, and defend the State of Israel and the Jewish people,” he urged.

Reed, a notable political strategist and author, told Breitbart News of the “great significance” of the gathering, stating that he arrived to represent his Faith and Freedom Coalition, which “has almost 3 million members, donors and activists in the country — overwhelmingly evangelical Protestant Christians, Born again Christians.” 

“We stand with the Jewish people,” he added. “We stand athwart and in opposition to this rising evil tide of antisemitism that appears to be sweeping the country, particularly in liberal precincts and especially on our college campuses.”

Reed also declared that he and his group stand firmly with the Jewish state and its claim to Jerusalem:

We also stand with the state of Israel. We believe that God gave the land of Israel to the Jews, it is theirs by virtue of the covenant with God, and that Jerusalem is the indivisible and eternal capital of the Jewish people. We’re going to let the government of Israel and the Israeli people figure out how best to move forward with regard to policies that will protect access to the Temple Mount and access to the holy sites.

However, he added, “we do not ever want to see Jerusalem divided; We do not ever want to see what we saw before 1967, which was a lack of access to holy sites — and we stand with Israel [here too].”

In a powerful address, former Trump administration U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, citing the Declaration of Independence, discussed the role that Judeo-Christian values play in America from its founding:

The fact that America does not establish a religion does not mean that America is meant to be a godless country, and I think that is the mistake that people make today. We are not a godless country. In fact, I have practiced law for 35 years and I have never walked into a courtroom without seeing the words “In God, we trust.” The national holidays of the United States include religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter and others, so we have evidence of Judeo-Christian values and history in our country from our founders. Our Declaration of Independence is the only document that creates divine human rights that don’t come from men, but come from God.

He further stated how his faith guided him in playing a role in moving the embassy to Jerusalem, where “the wellspring of all the values of every nation” and “from where all Judeo-Christian values have emerged,” under former President Trump:

In 2017, almost every single pundit, almost every single national security expert, almost every single diplomatic expert, and almost every single mainstream news outlet said that if the United States moves its embassy to Jerusalem, we will have irreconcilable conflicts and endless wars. That was what we said in 2017 [yet] 2,700 years earlier, Isaiah said [that if] you move your embassies to Jerusalem there will begin to be peace in the world. And who was right? We know who was right because in the next couple of years we put together the Abraham accords, which are the most historic peace agreements. Agreements between Israel and five different Muslim nations, for the first time in 25 years [which] did not involve Israel surrendering a single square inch of its land.

In his speech, Friedman recounted a pivotal moment in the situation room over the embassy move, when he pondered Isaiah’s iconic prophecy of peace:

I was in the situation room… and I looked the president in the eye and I said to him, “This is the right thing to do. If you move the embassy to Jerusalem, it will show that President Trump keeps his promises. It will show that we do not cower and fear from rogue nations. We’re not concerned about threats from our enemies.” And I told him that day that I think that this decision will resonate in places like Tehran, North Korea, Moscow, and Beijing. It will show that the United States does what is right and doesn’t fear its enemies. And, I believe, when the real history books will be written much later… they will show that the reason we had no new wars from 2017 to 2021 will go back to the decision made by President Trump to move our embassy to Jerusalem.

In another speech, Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a prominent Middle East scholar and counter-terrorism expert, reflected on the unique nature of the Ark in the tabernacle, while emphasizing that the eternal mobility of the Bible represents its ever-present guidance in the lives of Jews, no matter where they are, be it “China, Japan, America, or Auschwitz.”

He also warned of the dangers Iran poses, especially when coupled with its pursuit of nuclear weapons. 

“The danger lies when people like the Iranians walk around feeling they are directed by Allah through the hidden Imam,” he cautioned, adding that “the world cannot tolerate such a group of Mullahs carrying these beliefs.” 

According to Kedar, if Israel were to collapse or fail in its mission, “the Atlantic Ocean is not wide enough to keep the American shores safe from the same waves of jihadism.”

IHF Executive Director Rabbi David Katz told Breitbart News that now is the time for “unity,” which he explained was symbolized by the Ark’s cover in which two cherubs face one another. He also lauded Topper for organizing the event, which he says aimed to foster respect among people, and help overcome division.

Last month, the Israel Heritage Foundation led a historic mission to Israel with a high-level U.S. delegation to express solidarity with the Jewish state and its residents, as well as to gain firsthand understanding of Israel’s existential struggle, meeting with prominent Israeli policymakers and visiting key sites, including the “Ground Zero” of Hamas’s October 7 massacre.