Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) was an enthusiastic philanthropist who was raised in Canada and living in Jerusalem before he died. He was the backbone of the organization he founded and served for 35 years. The whole progress of the organization was due to the hard work and dedicated efforts of Eckstein.
Rabbi Eckstein and his dedication for the Fellowship
Eckstein visited various countries and raised fund mostly from Christians. It was a hard task because the Christians were jealous of Jews, but Eckstein’s personality was fit to manage controversies. He also remained in controversy for his fundraising activities, but he raised more than million dollars every year. The IFCJ continuously remains engaged in various charitable activities for Jews and Israeli people.
The fellowship arranged arrival of 4,000 Ukrainian Jews since it started in 2014 to handle Jewish immigration to Israel because that was a war-torn country. In summer of 2016, Eckstein’s fellowship brought large groups of French Jews to Israel. The expansion of the organization recently launched program to fulfil food and medical care needs of desolate elderly people of former Soviet Union (FSU) who are still living in tiny apartments and fail to raise their family due financial weakness.
Eckstein’s contribution in the ultimate success of the Fellowship
Eckstein sometimes had rift with local communities, but he had ability to face challenges. He couldn’t retract from the mission of IFCJ to which he held the responsibility of taking the organization to a new height. He never looked back despite controversies because he was committed to Jewish community, and Jews also respected him. The evangelical Christians never rejected Eckstein’s demand for donations. Though Eckstein had an odd fit in orthodox circles due to intense emotional style, yet he was an instant hit in evangelical Christians, who were Bible-lovers and whose thought never matched with that of Jews. Eckstein brought ultimate success for the Fellowship.