Investing in Israel: Fanning the Entrepreneur Spirit
JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel is a great place to do business -- a message that's being shared with Christian business people and investors from abroad.
CBN Israel is working to create opportunities for Messianic Jews and Christian Arabs in Israel to develop their own businesses.
More than 150 local believers joined nearly 40 foreign investors in Jerusalem recently for the Israel Business Forum.
"The purpose of this event is to create relationships," Yoel Shoshani, executive director of CBN Israel, told CBN News. "The ultimate vision of what we're doing here is to see the local believers grow and improve in their economic stance."
The Bible says God will bless those who bless Israel. Many business people are now coming to Israel to find new ways to do just that.
Mordechai Wiseman, with Israel First Fruits Center for Economic Advance, joined CBN Israel to make this event happen.
"When you come here and you see the sites and you meet the people and God speaks to you and touches your heart, something changes," Wiseman told CBN News. "And a lot of the investors recognize that God is doing something new in them. And He's asking them, it's not just about writing a check, it's about engaging fully."
Investor Chris Morales, who has a photography business based in Germany, said investing in Israel is more than a good business opportunity.
"There's great opportunity here for any investor, but I think more than just the opportunity, the quality and the caliber of people here in Israel, it's worth investing into," Morales said. "To top it all you're investing into a Land that God very much cares for."
Morales said he wants to be a testimony that God's ways work even in business.
"You can be honest, you can have integrity, and you can be profitable and successful all while following God's principles," he said.
Evan Lieberman is an Israeli investment consultant.
"The Bible indicates that there's a great prosperity that is going to happen to Israel at some point. We're already seeing that," Lieberman explained. "The first 60 years of growth is phenomenal -- not just from growing the nation but growing the economy and growing businesses."
Software CEO Najed Assam, a Christian Arab from Nazareth, said business has a special potential for the indigenous Israeli Body.
"The biggest value I see is to bring healing and unity to the Body of Christ in the Holy Land through business," Assam told CBN News.
When believing Israeli Jews and Arabs sit together to learn about business, he said, they come to know each other on a personal level.
"Then they know that there is a common thing between them, more than just being Israelis, which is the love of Jesus Christ. [It's] the passion for Jesus Christ and that brings them closer together and reduces the gap that is created by media and news and other means," he said.
Shoshani said he wants to challenge Christian businessmen and others from abroad.
"Come, experience, learn and ask the Lord what your commitment needs to be," Shoshani said.