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July 16, 2014 2:27 pm

California Church Holds Rocket Evacuation Drill in Solidarity With Israel

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Remnants of Qassam rockets. Photo: Bukvoed via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.orgMembers of Congregation of Zion Church in Stockton, Calif., held a mock rocket evacuation drill inside of their church to express solidarity with Israelis facing rocket fire from Gaza.

The exercise was the idea of Pastor Dumisani Washington, who also serves as the head of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel. Washington said he used the “Red Alert” app that warns Israelis when rockets are detected, and broadcasted it over the church’s speakers.

“My family and I downloaded the app earlier this week,” Washington told Israel National News. “This weekend was also the 10th anniversary of my serving as pastor of the congregation. I thought it appropriate to empathize with Israel in this way today.”

Washington said Congregation of Zion Church’s 75, who are predominantly black, embrace the “Hebrew roots” of their faith, but that the church is “not messianic.” Congregants fuse black gospel music with Hebrew songs, the pastor said.

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