Dear Friend of Israel,
This is a particularly difficult letter for me to write. And a special one as well. For more than 25 years, I have been the director of the organization I founded, Christian Friends of Israeli Communities. But on September 1st I will step down from that position and hand the reins over to my trusted colleague and friend, Shmuel Junger.
For most of these past 25 years, I have written you a letter each month, commenting on something going on in Israel, sharing the joy of a holiday season or the tragedy of terrorism, or just reflecting on the change of seasons. I have shared with you about new developments in Judea and Samaria and sought your support for vital needs. And you have responded to my letters, with emails, cards and the occasional phone call. I will no longer write these monthly letters. Starting next month, Shmuel will be writing to you instead.
I am proud of what we have accomplished over the years, and this is an opportunity for me to say thank you for all you have done to help make CFOIC Heartland what it is today. Without the support and assistance of so many supporters around the world, we could never have built the organization to become the single most effective vehicle for Christian support in Judea and Samaria. You and so many friends like you were there for us when things were most difficult, hosting meetings, visiting us in Israel and donating generously for whatever was needed most. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
While I am retiring as director, I can never really separate myself from the work of CFOIC Heartland and my life mission – the settlement of Judea and Samaria. I will be taking a six-week holiday from CFOIC Heartland to give me a chance to recharge batteries that have become very tired. But on the 15th of October, I will return to CFOIC Heartland in my new position as International President. I will continue to do whatever I can to strengthen the people and the communities of Judea and Samaria, through CFOIC Heartland. I will still be involved and I will still be in touch with you, but I will no longer be in charge. I am looking forward to this change.
Shmuel is young and passionate and will move CFOIC Heartland forward in ways we could only have imagined just a few years ago. But he will also continue the work, supervising and implementing the projects that you have been supporting, encouraging the people. Please reach out to Shmuel if you have not already done so and introduce yourself to him. He is eager to get to know you better.
We are embarking on a new adventure, and I trust that G-d will continue to bless our endeavors. I hope that you will be there, at our side, for the long run, as you have been for so many years. May G-d bless you richly and may G-d bless Israel.
Sondra Oster Baras
Director, Israel Office