He was cited for being a man “devoted to mankind and to Israel,” preaching “for the good of Israel and her right to exist.” He and Mrs. Young were remembered for being members of the Civil Defense during the 1967 Six Day War. He was highly respected “for his devotion to the Bible and to the Hebrew language, and for his many great deeds in Jerusalem and for Jerusalem.”
In the 1960s and 70s, there weren’t as many Christian supporters of Israel as there are today, so the ardent support that Dr. Young exhibited astonished the Jewish people. Even the ordinary Israeli knew him because of the letters he wrote to the editor in The Jerusalem Post in response to current events (especially when Israel was blasted by the world press). One of Israel’s newscasters of that day reported that it was “terribly rare and, for Israelis, an unbelievable phenomenon for a Gentile to be loudly and publicly raising his voice in support of Israel…It bowls us over with its sheer magnificence.”
Where did this man come from? How did God arrange for him to be a part of Israel’s history at such a turbulent time? How did one man manage to make such an impact in Israel in such a short time? All these questions are answered in his biography, A Gentile with the Heart of a Jew, published in 1979, one year prior to Dr. Young’s death.
A few years ago, Bridges for Peace was given rights to the book from both the publisher and author, allowing us to give it a fresh look for a new generation of readers. The book ends with Dr. Young’s retirement in 1979, when, at 69 years old, he turned his focus to developing Bridges for Peace. Our abridged edition adds a chapter to tell readers how we came to be what we are today. The fact that his brainchild not only still exists but has far expanded beyond his initial vision is a tribute to the man and his God, who inspired him.
The Institute of Holy Land Studies
Dr. Young was an educator and scholar, holding a doctorate in Old Testament Languages. It was in a pro-Israel seminary that he developed an abiding love for the Hebrew language and made a life-long commitment to Israel. Thoroughly skilled and equipped, he founded a school in Jerusalem for teaching students the Hebrew language and the Bible with the land of Israel as their classroom.
Although the Institute of Holy Land Studies began in 1958, the Youngs did not move to Jerusalem permanently until 1963. It wasn’t long, though, before Israelis became aware of this dynamic duo. (Read the recipe page about Mrs. Young.) 1967 proved to be a significant year for the Youngs, the Institute, and Israel. (One of the delights of this book is reading their first-hand accounts of Israel’s major historical events.)
Though the US Embassy gave Americans the opportunity to leave Israel as war clouds began to form, the Youngs remained; they were renovating the newly acquired but dilapidated building on Mount Zion that had been vacated since the 1948 war. When the attack began, Mrs. Young took in 60 neighbors and fed them as well as the soldiers on duty nearby. When food ran out, the Army gratefully resupplied. Meanwhile, Dr. Young was driving the Institute’s panel truck under fire as an ambulance.
Six days later, it was all over, but the Youngs had made their mark in the people’s hearts, and his school still sits on Mount Zion as today’s Jerusalem University College.
Dr. Young’s Message Continues
Dr. Young was an incredible communicator, whether in Jerusalem’s daily, on radio or television interviews, in churches or universities, or in headlines around the world. This ardent Christian Zionist—well acquainted with Israel’s leaders and having first-hand knowledge of Israel’s state of affairs—had a passion to get the “good” word out about Israel. Thus, in 1976, the Dispatch from Jerusalem was born, which became the venue through which Bridges for Peace was launched.
His desire was not only to impact the Christian world who already shared a pro-Israel view but to also reach policy makers in Washington D.C. with pertinent facts about Israel to counteract the negative media pervasive at the time. It was only a four-page newsletter, but its first mailing was sent to 10,000! Today, you hold in your hand the top-of-the-line, 36-page, full-color 2012 edition that continues to carry Dr. Young’s message.
His biography is rife with excerpts from his articles and messages. Although his words were crafted 40 years ago, they remain amazingly relevant. If you want to know how to speak up for Israel and address today’s issues, there can be no better guide than the timeless words of Dr. G. Douglas Young.
Source: By Charleeda Sprinkle, Assistant Editor
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