Press                                                                          "Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem"-- Psalms 122


August 2010 DSP


Coming Together in Unity

By Charleeda Sprinkle, Assistant Editor


Occasionally, our Bridges for Peace CEO, Rebecca Brimmer, plans special evening events for the volunteer staff in Jerusalem, usually with a Jewish speaker. These opportunities give us a chance to enjoy dialogue with Jewish people and understand them better. Our last such event not only included dialogue but music!


As soon as we walked into the room, we knew we were in for a delightful evening. There sat two young Jewish men, bearded and clearly religious though not dressed in the traditional Orthodox black and white—Akiva Gersh with a drum and Eliezer Blumen with a guitar. Just months before, they had started Holy Land Spirit ( Their Web site states that they offer “a unique and exciting program for both Jewish and Christian tour groups visiting Israel that gives a taste of the ancient and modern Jewish spirit.  The experience weaves together music, storytelling and Jewish teachings on brotherhood and peace and is designed to inspire and to touch people's hearts (and get their feet dancing as well!).” 


Akiva, who initiated the idea of Holy Land Spirit, likes to emphasize that it is an “experience,” not a performance. The two are good at involving the group in singing, dancing, dialogue, and prayer. It’s almost impossible not to at least tap your feet to the beat. Since most of the songs they sing are not familiar to English-speaking groups (because many of the songs they’ve written themselves and most are in Hebrew), they introduced us to a Jewish worship mode called niggunim, so we could “sing” without knowing the words.


Niggunim means “melodies” or “humming tunes.” Instead of using words, one just sings sounds like “bim-bim-bam” or “ai-ai-ai.” By using niggunim, the worshipper can sing with eyes close and concentrate on connecting with God without having to think about words. Before it ended, Akiva had us up out of our chairs joining hands in a circle and doing a little circle dance as Eliezer played the guitar.


How They Found Us


Akiva told us how he was first introduced to Christians. As an American college student, he participated in a trip to San Francisco. It was not a religious group, and he was the only Jewish person. As part of a “cultural” experience, the whole group attended a church—Akiva’s first. There, he saw people holding hands, singing, and genuinely happy to be there. He thought, “Wow, if my synagogue was like this, I’d go!” Several years passed; he married and made aliyah (immigration) to Israel. Sometime after his wife’s grandfather, Dr. Bernard Resnikoff, had died, they visited her grandmother in Jerusalem. In her living room, he noticed a stack of copies of the Bridges for Peace Dispatch from Jerusalem. This was his introduction to Christian Zionism.


Dr. Resnikoff, a former head of the American Jewish Committee, was very open to Christian–Jewish dialogue and was a great friend of Bridges for Peace for many years. That is how Akiva found Bridges for Peace and offered to bring Holy Land Spirit to our headquarters.


Emphasizing the Positive


The Scripture posted on their Web site comes from Psalm 133:1: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” From the beginning of our evening, Akiva emphasized what Christians and Jews have in common: our love for God and love for Israel. At the end, he asked us to pray together because it’s a “powerful experience,” as he put it. He complimented and blessed our work, and we spoke blessings on them as well. We encourage any groups visiting Israel to add them to a tour itinerary if you want an “experience” in connecting with God and His people at the same time.



Pastor Jerry Clark

Jerry Clark Ministries - Chicago IL

Lands of Faith Tours


I have had the honor of having Holy Land Spirit minister at Farewell Banquets for tours I have led to Israel for the past three years, starting in 2010.


The ministry of Holy Land Spirit was inspired by G-d and impacted the tour guests in a powerful way.


The teaching and singing and dancing brought renewed life to a group of individuals who ten days before did not know each other.


The atmosphere in the room during the ministry of Holy Land Spirit is hard to describe, you would have to be there to totally understand what G-d was doing in the room during their ministry.


I would highly recommend that you engage Holy Land Spirit for any tour that you are planning to Israel.


I intend to use Holy Land Spirit during my future tours to Israel.


I urge you to do the same.