December 20, 2007 / 11 Tevet 5768
Expansion of the partnership between the Jewish Agency and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
The IFCJ will donate 180 million shekels ($45 million) to the Jewish Agency for Israel, mainly for immigration and absorption activities.
This week an agreement has been signed expanding the cooperation between the Jewish Agency for Israel and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, led by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. According to the agreement, the IFCJ, which fundraises mostly among Christian supporters of Israel and the Jewish world, will donate approximately 180 million shekels ($45 million) over the next three years, mainly for immigration and absorption needs.
Cooperation between the Fellowship and the Jewish Agency began when the IFCJ was established a decade ago. The new agreement will increase the resources which the Jewish Agency invests in immigration and absorption and will enable it to carry out additional and upgraded activities in these fields.
The partnership will be expressed by the IFCJ joining the Jewish Agency leadership alongside the United Jewish Communities, the Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal. The decision received the approval of all the partners.
This is a historic agreement which will offer legitimization to the strategic partnership with the Christian community and the core of the Zionist enterprise of the Jewish Agency. This is the first time that Christian supporters of Israel have a seat on the leadership of the Jewish Agency together with the Jewish communities.
“This partnership will improve our ability to face today’s challenges and improve our services to those who need our support,” Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski said. “The long-standing contribution of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the Fellowship to the State of Israel to Israel’s security, society and immigrant absorption and their close cooperation with the Government of Israel, local authorities, the Jewish Agency and others, is a badge of honor for the non-Jewish communities around the world who support Israel and who believe that strengthening the State of Israel is a top priority.”
President and Founder of the IFCJ, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein said: “30 years ago I identified the importance and the deep strategic connection between the Christian community and the Jewish people and Israel. Our connection with the Jewish Agency actualizes an important recognition in this strategic and important covenant with the entire Jewish people."
In recent years the IFCJ has contributed more than 1 billion shekels ($250 million) to Israel for a wide variety of activities including the renovation of bomb shelters in the north, to the Israel Police, to social welfare projects, to helping youth at risk, for immigration, absorption, and for IDF soldiers. This is in addition to the hundreds of millions of shekels which were given to the Jewish people abroad, mainly in the FSU, the Bene Menashe community, and more.