Israel Rejoicing Celebration




On the third Sunday of August for the last nineteen years, many have witnessed a spectacular event of music and dancing. The last time I attended the event was as recent as last year. So what was so special about the event? What was amazing was that this event, “Israel Rejoicing,” paid homage to Israel through dance and song. The event was held at the Earl Bales Amphitheater, in the heart of the Jewish community in Toronto. But it wasn’t an event organized by a Jewish group. It was entirely performed by Filipinos – and Filipino Evangelical Christians to boot! It seemed that the whole congregation of Friends of Jesus Christ, led by Pastor Teck, participated in the event, as there seemed to be so many performers on stage.

Not only did they perform cultural Hebrew dances, but they also sang in Hebrew – something that is not easy for any Gentile to do. Yet they sang so well that the Jewish people in the audience were impressed and applauded every performance. During the two-hour event, most of the music was done live and the band was tight all the way. Many of the costumes were inspired by traditional Jewish clothing and the choreography was bang on! You can tell by the performances that they rehearsed for hours. The dance leader, Christine (Twinkle) Van Rooyen, did a fantastic job and we heard that many of the young participants, as young as three years old, rehearsed diligently for most of the summer.

Aside from short greetings from special guests, prayers were also offered for the peace of Israel and prosperity of Canada. In attendance were members from the Israeli Consulate and special guests from the Jewish and Christian communities. They had nothing but praise for the Filipino community. The event was also a collage of dancing and they gave a taste of Filipino cultural dancing and singing. To the amazement of the audience, they pulled off a superb performance of the popular “Tinikling” dance. As the cameras clicked and the video cameras rolled, the audience was astonished that the performers didn’t suffer bruised ankles.

Pastor Teck’s church made it seem so easy to cross cultural lines— a clear display that the Filipino community cares for the Jewish community. For someone that had never witnessed cultural singing and dancing of this kind, it was a real treat. Two thumbs up to the Friends of Jesus Christ congregation for the splendid display of Jewish and Philippine culture. Those who attended were truly blessed. Don’t miss this event this year – and invite friends and relatives. It will be held again at Earl Bales Park on August 18, 2019 at 5:30 pm (see flyer). For parking, the best is park at the side streets across from the park if the lot is full. It is worth the walk. See you there.

By Darrell Wong


Date Event
February 16 Couples' Night
February 17 God's Love Day
February 18 Family Day
March 14-15 Children's Camp
April 18-20 Youth Camp
May 12 Mother's Day
June 1 Big Give
June 15 Bible Study at the Park
June 16 Father's Day
June 29-July 1 Seniors' Camp
July 5-6 Women's Camp
July 12-14 Young Adults Camp
July 15-19 Vacation Bible School
July 26-27 Gentlemen's Camp
August 4-5 Family Camp
August 18 Israel Rejoicing Celebration
September 1 Prayer and Fasting
September 21 28th Anniversary Celebration
October 7-19 Israel Pilgrimage
October 31 Hallelujah Night
November 2 Holocaust Education Week Program
December 1-31 Christmas Carolling
December 14 Christmas Celebration
December 31 New Year's Midnight Service