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April 02, 1982 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-04-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Kol Yisrael (the Voice of
Israel) Radio Service broad-
casts Arab language pro-
grams 16 hours each day.

Baptist Village Home
for Israeli Christians

By JENNIE GOLDMAN

Israel Government Press Office



9.91 11 cs

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KFAR HABAPTISTI —
A fragant orange grove and
the sounds of children at
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proaching "Baptist Vil-
lage," an intriguing exam-
ple of Christian life in Is-
rael.
The village is located 10
miles north of Tel Aviv near
the Mediterranean coast, in
a pastoral setting of or-
chards and open fields. The
tiny community of three
American families and a
dozen volunteers devotes its
energies to summer camps,
year-round conferences at
its spacious facilities, the

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r

nurturing and harvesting of
citrus fruits, and its re-
nowned choir.
The director of Baptist
Village is Rev. Don Man-
tooth, originally from Ten-
nessee. He and his wife,
Suzanne, were assigned
here by America's Southern
Baptist Convention, which
sponsors and staffs the vil-
lage. In all, the Convention
has about 30 representa-
tives living and working in
Israel, and Baptist Village
is their center.

"It's an ideal venue for
meetings and confer-

ences," explains the tall,
sandy-bearded Rev.
Mantooth. "Our
churches in Nazareth
and Jerusalem, for
example, make use of the
facilities here throughout
the year."
As summer approaches,
the community moves into
high gear for its program of
children's camps. Some 500
youngsters from up and
down the country take part
in the camps, which are or-
ganized in language groups:
English, Arabic, Hebrew,
French and German.
"We've quite a tradition
of camps here," the village's
director points out. "As
early as the 1940s, our
Arabic churches in the
Galilee used to bring school
parties to this spot. The
Yarkon River runs close by
and that was of course a
prime attraction."
Cultivation of the land
makes the villagers feel
they are really a part of the
Israeli scene. "The people of
this country have developed
the land and made it pro-
duce. We feel that with our
citrus crop we are contribut-
ing our share," Rev. Man-
tooth said.
Baptist Village has also
been active in a different
kind of national undertak-
ing — Israel's assistance to
the southern Lebanese vil-
lagers who cross through
the "Good Fence" on the
country's northern border,
seeking help. Many sick and
injured Lebanese have re-
ceived treatment in hospi-
tals in the Tel Aviv area,
and Baptist Village offers
the patients' relatives a
place to stay during the
period of hospitalization.
Music-making
is
another of the village's
specialties: The Singers
of Praise, its 60-voice
choir, has a nationwide
reputation for its Christ-
mas and Easter concerts.
It is composed of expat-
riate Christians from 10
countries, Arab Christ-
ians from various parts of
Israel, and even a
number of Jewish mem-
bers, all under the baton
of John Carr, a trained
conductor on a two-year
assignment from the Un-
ited States.
For everyone at Baptist
Village, in fact, it is evi-
dently these enriching en-
counters with different
faiths and cultures that
make an Israeli Baptist Vil-
lage quite unlike any other.

.

FROM
MR. & MRS. WEISS - MR. & MRS. MERTZ
OWNERS AND THEIR FAMILIES

SHOP

Friday, April 2, 1982 15

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