Press Releases

World Jewish Congress and Knesset Christian Allies Caucus Recognize Passages Program that Brings Christian College Student Leaders to Israel

Published: Jan 26, 2017

Posted In: Press Releases

Passages brought more than 1,000 Christian college students to Israel from more than 120 schools last year – Set to double in 2017 


JERUSALEM—January 26, 2017—The World Jewish Congress and the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus this week recognized Passages, a new organization bringing Christian college student leaders to Israel, for its contribution to Israeli tourism. This recognition came as part of a ceremony held by both organizations to honor Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers.

Summers represented one of two sponsoring organizations that helped establish Passages. In 2015, The Philos Project, under the leadership of Executive Director Robert Nicholson, and the Museum of the Bible began raising funds to provide subsidized, educational trips to Israel for a new generation of Christian leaders. The Passages program offers Christian college students with leadership potential a fresh and innovative approach to experiencing the Holy Land. Participants encounter the roots of their Biblical faith first-hand and come face to face with the modern-day miracle of Israel.

In 2016, Passages took more than 1,000 Christian college students to Israel from more than 120 schools and organizations. Projections for 2017 include over 2,000 students. “I hope and believe that programs like Passages will continue to build deep and long lasting connections between the State of Israel and the next generation of American Christians,” said Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers.

Upon their return, participants continue their connection to Israel through Passages NOW, the organization’s alumni engagement program, which offers leadership training and further education. A main goal of Passages NOW is that Passages alumni are well- informed voices speaking both for their Christian faith and for Israel.

“The trip to Israel certainly is important, but it is only a part of our broader vision,” Passages Executive Director Scott Phillips said. “One of our main focuses is to engage participants after they return, and to help them tell their Israel story. That can be a greater awareness of Christianity’s historical context, a new lens to interpret Scripture, or a deeper understanding of the modern and thriving State of Israel.”

“The Passages program is a game changer for the next generation of Christian leaders in America,” said Philos Project Executive Director Robert Nicholson.  “Passages is crucial to our larger commitment to the development of young Christian leaders through lifelong engagement with the Middle East, which is the birthplace of their faith.”

The Philos Project is a network hub for leaders and future leaders who are committed to strengthening Jewish and Christian communities in the Middle East through relationship building, advocacy, and prayer.  Philos pursues a pluralistic vision of the Middle East where nations, tribes, and religious communities can live beside each other as neighbors.

Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the Bible. In 2017, Museum of the Bible, which aims to be the most technologically advanced museum in the world, will open its 430,000-square-foot nonprofit museum just three blocks from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. A digital fly-through and a 360-degree hardhat tour of the museum are available on www.youtube.com/museumofBible. Learn more at www.museumoftheBible.org.