Coach Pearl to headline Nights to Honor Israel in Mobile, Auburn

Auburn Head Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl spoke at the Alabama Holocaust Commemoration at the Old Capitol Building in April 2019. IIS file photo.

Auburn Head Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl will be the keynote speaker for two Nights to Honor Israel and the Jewish People, coordinated by Israel Team Advocates International.

The first event will be on April 26 at 7 p.m. at Cottage Hill Baptist Church in Mobile, co-sponsored by the Mobile Area Jewish Federation. The second event will be on April 29 at 7 p.m., at Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn.

At each event, there will be a presentation by Fathers Joy Music, featuring Mark and Bridgett Moses, and remarks from Israel Team Advocates President Aaron Fruh.

In Mobile, Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Ahavas Chesed Rabbi Steve Silberman, Interim Rabbi John Kaplan of Springhill Avenue Temple and Federation Vice President Jonathan Fratkin will attend. Alan Floyd, lead pastor at Cottage Hill Baptist, will also speak. The Auburn event will feature Lakeview Baptist Church Pastor Al Jackson.

The first president of the Jewish Coaches Association, Pearl is an outspoken supporter of Israel and works to bring Christians and Jews together. He coached the U.S. national basketball team in the 2009 World Maccabiah in Israel, bringing home the gold medal.

He was the opening ceremonies speaker at the 2017 JCC Maccabi Games in Birmingham, and in 2019 was the speaker at the Alabama Holocaust Commemoration at the State Capitol.

Pearl contributed the foreword to “The Casualty of Contempt: The Alarming Rise of Antisemitism and What Can Be Done to Stop It,” a book with essays and stories on antisemitism from 16 authors, edited by Fruh.

Aaron Fruh served as the lead pastor of Knollwood Church and headmaster at Knollwood Christian School in Mobile for 24 years. He has authored three books about Israel and hosts the weekly “Israel And You” podcast.

The events are free and open to the community. Masks are requested, and will be available at the door. The Mobile event will be streamed on the church’s Facebook page.