International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

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The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is a grant making foundation and Israel advocacy group founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.[1] The Israeli arm of the organisation is known as HaKeren Leyedidut. According to Zev Chafets, former director of the Israeli Government Press Office, Eckstein launched the IFCJ after being rebuffed by the Anti Defamation League, of which he was then an employee, when he suggested forming 'a pro-Israel outreach to the Christian Right'.[2] Reportedly the IFCJ membership initially consisted overwhelmingly of Jews with a minority of Christians. However in 2006 it was reported that the organisation had 450,000 Christian members and 6,000 Jewish members. This was attributed to IFCJ infomericals aimed at an evangelical audience.[3]

Due to the scale and ambition of the IFCJ's operations Eckstein has been described as the 'shadow welfare minister' in the Israeli media.[4] Vice President of the IFCJ, Yael Eckstein has claimed that the organisation is 'the largest philanthropic organization in all of Israel'.[5]

The organisation's professed goal is 'to promote understanding between Jews and Christians and build broad support for Israel and other shared concerns.'[6] The organisation was formerly known as the 'Holyland Fellowship of Christians and Jews', the name was changed in 1991. The organisation maintains offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Toronto, and Seoul. [7] The organisation's headquarters are based in Chicago and Jerusalem and it has a sister organisation in Canada - the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews of Canada.[8] [9] Regarding its achievements the IFCJ website states that:

We have helped hundreds of thousands of Jews escape poverty and anti-Semitism and return to their biblical homeland, funded humanitarian assistance that has touched the lives of millions of Jews in Israel and around the world, provided life-giving aid to Israel’s victims of war and terror, and much more.[1]

In 2013 the organisation's total revenue amounted to $113,513,326 and the organisation claims to have raised half a billion US dollars since its founding in 1983.[10] [6] However, it has been reported that the amount of funds raised is closer to 1$ billion.[11] In 2006 the IFCJ spent $45 million on projects within Israel. At the time that was the largest contribution made by the organisation since its founding.[12]

Katherine Harris, former Secretary of State of Florida and former member of the US House of Representatives is a supporter of the IFCJ and appeared alongside Yechiel Eckstein during her run for the US Senate in 2006.[13]

In September 2007 the IFCJ appointed Michael Stoltz as its new communications director. Stoltz formerly worked as Deputy Director of Communications and Foreign Media Adviser to then Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.[14]

Regional Offices

Regarding the IFCJ's expansion into new territories Yechiel Eckstein commented in 2012:

What I have done essentially is judge where there is a growth of Protestant Evangelical and Pentecostal movements and wherever there is a growth, wherever I see there is a potential for a pro-Israel position, I have tried to develop it... Wherever I see a community that is tied to the Bible, I know that I have an audience for Israel...[15]

South Korea

In September 2012 the IFCJ held an event launching a new affiliate in the Republic of Korea. The event also celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Israel. The event, sponsored by the IFCJ and the Israel Cultural Center of South Korea, was held at Seoul's Konkuk University. Attendees included IFCJ president Yechiel Eckstein, Park Dong Soon - South Korea's first ambassador to Israel and the Israeli ambassador to South Korea, Tuvia Israeli. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a video message. During his address Eckstein commented:

We have been planning to establish our work in South Korea for a decade. It's providential that we launch not only during the jubilee of Korean-Israeli friendship, but also as we enter the holiest time of the Jewish year. Each year, 40,000 Koreans visit Israel; The Fellowship will widen the already significant bridge of friendship between Korean Christians and Israel in ways that benefit us all.[16]

Opposition to Divestment

Jim Jewell, chief program officer of the IFCJ condemned members of the Presbyterian Church USA who supported a vote on divestment from Israel at the PCUSA's General Assemby:

the PCUSA supporters of divestment have instead chosen to single out Israel -- the Middle East's only democracy, a country where not just Jews, but Christians, Muslims and Druze enjoy equal rights and full pro-tection under the law -- for criticism. By doing so, they reveal much about their own biases, but do nothing to protect human rights and religious freedom in the Middle East.[17]



The IFCJ has claimed to enabled migration into Israel of 'close to one million Jews from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia.'[18]

Prior to 2015 the IFCJ worked to enabled aliyah to Israel in cooperation with the Jewish Agency For Israel. In March of 2015 it was reported that the IFCJ had chartered one of its 'Freedom Flights' carrying 100 Ukrainian refugees to Israel - the first occasion it did so outside of the auspices of JAFI.[18] Passengers on such flights received payments of $1,000 per adult and $500 per child as well as facilitating consultations with the Israeli government regarding access to benefits.[18] JAFI was highly critical of the IFCJ, a spokesman for the organisation commented:

Is the IFCJ prepared to offer cash to all immigrants from Ukraine, including the overwhelming majority who choose not to travel to Israel with them? Would the individuals they've managed to draw to their flights be quite as willing to forgo the Jewish Agency's vital assistance if money weren't a factor?[18]

Another JAFI official accused the IFCJ of 'attempting to go rogue, to the ultimate detriment of those they purport to serve.'[18]

In spite of its disagreements with the JAFI, in February of 2015 the IFCJ announced it would donate $500,000 to the Jewish Agency to facilitate its aliyah activities through the United Israel Appeal.[19]

In November 2011 at a committee meeting of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency Yechiel Eckstein, then chairman of the Agency's Aliya and Rescue Committee, condemned the Agency for allegedly failing to facilitate the migration of Jews from the former Soviet Union.[20]

Tensions with the Jewish Agency led to the IFCJ's creation of a new immigration programme run by Eli Cohen - former head of the Jewish Agency's aliya department.[21] Founder and president of the IFCJ, Yechiel Eckstein characterised the split between the IFCJ and the Jewish Agency as being due to Christian donors wishing their contributions to be used to bring Jews to Israel as opposed to the Jewish Agency's focus on Jewish identity.[22] The Jewish Agency's strategic plan, adopted in 2010, specified that while the agency would continue to support aliya it would also provide resources for Jewish communities in their countries of origin rather than purely advocating migration to Israel.[23] Reportedly whilst the Jewish Agency's budget has shrunk, that of the IFCJ has expanded due to increasing support for Israel from American Evangelicals.[22]

The IFCJ intended to spend around $2 million in 2014 on facilitating aliyah for around 7,000 Ukrainian Jews.[24] In August of that year Yechiel Eckstein commented that:

I am hoping to double the number of immigrants coming from the Ukraine this year over last year... [The IFCJ wants to] get as many people to Israel while the iron is hot and to make it as easy and as user friendly as possible.[25]

One effect of the conflict in the Ukraine was the decline in local donations to Ukrainian Jewish institutions. Yechiel Eckstein stated in March 2014 that the IFCJ was filling the gap made by the reduction in donations from Ukrainian donors.[26]

In 2014 it was reported that the IFCJ has found it easier to conduct its operations in the states of the former Soviet Union as compared with North America. It was also reported that the IFCJ plans to expand its operations in France and Latin America.[23]

In October 2007 the Associated Press reported the IFCJ was offering $10,000 to every Iranian Jew who makes aliyah.[27] According to Yechiel Eckstein the IFCJ had at that time brought 82 people to Israel from Iran and aimed to bring another 60 by the end of 2007.[27] The IFCJ raised $1.4 million for the project and initially offered $5,000 per head, doubling the figure when the response was limited.[27] The organisation also facilitated aliyah for 7,000 members of the Bnei Menashe, an indigenous group from North-Eastern India who claim descent from the 'lost tribes' of Israel.[27] The migration to Israel of the Bnei Menashe was initially blocked by the Israeli Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit. Sheetrit was lobbied to relent by the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, Diaspora Jewish leaders and NGOs such as Shavei Israel and the IFCJ.[28]

Aid Programmes

In February 2015, writing in the Jerusalem Post Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein announced that the IFCJ was pledging $650,000 to meet the basic needs of 4,000 Jews caught in the fighting in Ukraine.[29] This was in addition to $10 million pledged since the start of the conflict in 2014.[11]

In December 2014 the Jerusalem Post reported that the IFCJ had sent million of dollars to the Ukraine since the start of the conflict:

Eckstein has poured millions into Ukraine since the start of the insurgency earlier this year, in partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Chabad hassidic movement and other groups, to provide aid to internally displaced Ukrainian Jews.[21]

In January of the same year it was reported that the IFCJ had distributed NIS 8.5 million in heating grants to around 25,000 impoverished elderly people in Israel. These grants were reportedly distributed by social workers and IFCJ volunteers.[30]

The IFCJ has donated underground operating theatres to Israeli hospitals for use during conflict.[31]

In October 2014 it was reported that the IFCJ would be providing free dental care to thousands of elderly Israelis.[32]

The IFCJ has reportedly supported the Israel Food Security Project.[33]

IFCJ funds part funded a home for autistic youth opened in September 2014.[34]

In July 2014 the Jerusalem Post detailed some of the IFCJ's activities:

Since the second Lebanon war, the IFCJ has provided assistance totaling some $33 million toward numer-ous projects, including renovating some 2,300 shelters, renovating and the constructing of some 50 activity centers across a number of municipalities, delivering supplies to emergency crews, delivering emergency supplies and medical equipment to hospitals, as well as the establishment of a trauma center for the resi-dents of the Eshkol Regional Council.[35]

Some IFCJ aid programmes are directed at Christian Arab-Israelis. It was reported that in 2013 the IFCJ spent NIS 20 million on providing assistance in Arab-Israeli communities and that NIS 100 million had been spent in the preceding few years.[36]

The organisation has also provided aid to Muslim Arab-Israelis. In July 2013 it was reported that the organisation was set to distribute NIS 1.2 million in food vouchers to 3,300 Muslim families.[19] The IFCJ also funded a center for Arab-Israeli widows from the towns of Kafr Reina and Kafr Mashad.[37]

The IFCJ has provided funding for the building of a centre for the Ethiopian community of the city of Netanya by the Netanya Foundation.[38]

It was reported in May 2008 that the IFCJ was spending millions of dollars funding the Israeli government's City of Non-Violence programme. [39]

In June 2007 it was reported that the IFCJ had pledged to spend $10 million on refurbishing 2,500 private building bomb shelters in northern Israel, and $1.5 million to repair 60 public shelters in the southern town of Sderot.[40] According to the IFCJ this was the first occasion on which an NGO had funded the repair of private shelters.[41] Yechiel Eckstein criticised the Israeli government for holding up deployment of the funds.[40]

On March 4 2008 1,690 bomb shelters renovated by the IFCJ in nine Israeli towns bordering Lebanon were officially inaugerated. The ceremony was attended by Yechiel Eckstein and Israel's then Defence Minister Ehud Barak. Other attendees included mayors and municipal leaders from the towns of Acre, Nahariya, Tiberias, Carmiel, Kiryat Shmona, Safed, Hatzor HaGalilit, Ma'alot, and Shlomi.[42] The IFCJ also renovated 320 private shelters in Ashkelon.[43]

In January 2009 it was reported that the IFCJ would start funding Project Heftzibah, a Jewish studies project in Eastern Europe. The IFCJ began funding the project after the Jewish agency withdrew its funding.[44]

It has been reported that IFCJ funds are used in the settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank.[45]

Assisting IDF Soldiers

The IFCJ is a major donor to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, the American partner of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers (AWIS). Between 2002-2013 the foundation donated $7,941,000 to the FIDF.[46] The IFCJ is described by AWIS as one of its 'Key Strategic Partners'.[47]

In November 2009 the FIDF announced a 'historic partnership' between the FIDF and the IFCJ.[48] As part of the agreement the IFCJ pledged $4 million to fund FIDF programmes such as the FIDF's IMPACT! Scholarship Programme for former IDF combat soldiers, the Amir Programme for Ethiopian-Israeli soldiers, and the Legacy Program for the families of deceased soldiers. Funds would also be spent on the distribution of Hanukah gift vouchers to soldiers in need.[48]

Beginning in December 2013 in collaboration with the IDF Sayeret Matkal (General Staff Reconnaissance Unit) the IFCJ established a scholarship programme for Druse soldiers from the occupied Golan Heights. Dolan Abu Salah, mayor of Majdal Shams, commented: 'This is the first project of this kind to incorporate young Druse residents of the Golan Heights. Young people of the Golan Heights know they are welcomed citizens of Israel'.[49]

In September 2013 the IFCJ announced that it was partnering with Israeli airline El Al and the Association for the Well-Being of Israel's Soldiers to fly lone soldiers to their countries of origin for religious holidays.[50]

In December 2012 it was reported that over 8,000 lone soldiers would receive gift vouchers as Hanukka presents from the IFCJ and the Friends of the IDF, in collaboration with the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers. Together the IFCJ and the FIDF planned to spend NIS 5 million in 2013 on the project.[19] The previous year 10,000 soldiers were provided with Hanukka gift vouchers amounting to $1.6 million.[51]

IFCJ donations have been used to facilitate families of lone soldiers visiting their enlisted offspring through a programme run by the Jerusalem District Police and the Jewish Agency for Israel.[52]


Below are the IFCJ's descriptions of its various projects:

Guardians of Israel

'Guardians of Israel provides food, clothing, shelter, housing and other urgent needs for all Israelis, including children and the elderly, who are suffering due to poverty, terrorism and war.'[53]

Isaiah 58

'Isaiah 58 provides children and elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union with food, clothing, heating, and other necessities by funding humanitarian programs throughout the FSU.'[53]

On Wings of Eagles

'On Wings of Eagles helps Jews make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) from around the world, and helps them with their klitah (resettlement) needs once they arrive in the Holy Land.'[53]

Stand for Israel

'Stand for Israel aims to engage people both spiritually and politically on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people by encouraging them to pray for Israel and teaching them to advocate for the Jewish state.'[53]

Latin American Outreach

'Several years ago, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein was named the Goodwill Ambassador of the State of Israel, with a special emphasis on Latin American communities. Shortly after, The Fellowship launched an initiative to build bridges between Latino Christians and Jews. We have been a presence at several conferences in Latin America, and launched a successful Ask the Rabbi radio program, educating Spanish speaking Christians about the Jewish roots of Christianity.'[53]

Teaching Initiatives

'Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein is a renowned biblical scholar and expert in Jewish-Christian relations. He has spoken at countless churches and conferences, published several books, and hosted educational radio programs. Recently, he has begun hosting Journey to Zion, a dynamic 30-minute teaching program focusing on the Bible and Jewish roots of Christianity before a live studio audience.'[53]

Nefesh B'Nefesh

Reportedly the IFCJ was instrumental in the creation of Nefesh B'Nefesh:

In 2001, at the request of Benjamin Netanyahu, who was not in politics at the time, the Fellowship provided $2 million to start Nefesh B'Nefesh, an organization helping North American Jews immigrate to Israel, making it the first organization to challenge JAFI's monopoly on aliyah. But this partnership was short lived. At the behest of the immigrants, many of whom came from Orthodox backgrounds, Nefesh B'Nefesh downplayed the role of Christians in funding their immigration. Within a year, this led to IFCJ pulling out its funding.[23]

Relations with Jewish Zionist Organisations

Due to being a Christian organisation, and having been accused of carrying out missionary work in Israel, relations with the Jewish religious establishment are sometimes fraught. Mina Fenton, former head of the Jerusalem branch of the Emunah Religious Women's Organization resigned her position because Emunah planned to accept a large donation from the IFCJ.[54]

Reportedly in 2004 anti-missionary activist and member of the Israeli National Religious Party, Mina Fenton, succeeded in ending cooperation between the IFCJ and the Israeli municipal Welfare Department.[55] A number of high-ranking Israeli rabbis have issued halachic decrees that forbid the acceptance of IFCJ donations.[55]

In 2007 IFCJ president Yechiel Eckstein was appointed to the Jewish Agency for Israel's 26-member 'cabinet'.[56] Representatives of the IFCJ were also given seats on the Jewish Agency's Budget and Finance Committee and the Coordinating Committee between the agency and the Israeli government.[56] The appointments were the IFCJ's reward for its commitment to donate $45 million to the Jewish Agency and provoked criticism from some members of Jewish Zionists NGOs.[56] As part of the agreement the IFCJ was set to donate $15 million a year to the Jewish Agency's core budget for immigration and resettlement.[57] The IFCJ was also named as an official funding partner of the Agency. Previously IFCJ funding was funnelled through Keren Hayesod.[57] The agreement represented a significant change of position on the part of the agency. In the late 90s then head of the organisation, Avraham Burg, had refused to be photographed receiving a cheque from Yechiel Eckstein.[58]

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which sends donations from evangelical Christians to Israeli and Jewish causes, has temporarily halted funding to the Jewish Agency because of a missed dead-line for a recognition plan to raise public awareness of the IFCJ's work and facilitate future fund-raising. However, some sources say the money was cut off because the IFCJ felt it was not getting enough recogni-tion and publicity from the Jewish Agency.[59]

Reportedly the suspension of funding was part of a broader dispute between the Jewish Agency and American Jewish federations concerned about the development of closer ties between the agency and the IFCJ:

according to sources close to the federation system, the tensions between the Jewish Agency and IFCJ go deeper than a bureaucratic snafu. These sources said that the Jewish Agency has been caught in a battle between IFCJ and American federations ever since it struck the partnership agreement with Eckstein last year. Negotiated without consulting the federations that are the largest contributors to the Jewish Agency, the deal aroused the ire of large city federations, particularly in New York and Chicago. The federations were particularly incensed that IFCJ would be listed along with United Jewish Communities and Keren Hayesod, the respective umbrella groups for American and international federations, as a strategic partner of the Jewish Agency, despite the fact that some individual federations, such as those in New York and Chicago, allocate amounts similar to what IFCJ had promised.[58]

In October 2009 Yechiel Eckstein stated that the IFCJ was preparing to make public a list of haredi institutions that received funding from the IFCJ but which would not publicly acknowledge receiving such funds.[60] Eckstein made the move after influential Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, signed a declaration that described receiving money from the IFCJ as being 'close to idolatry.'[60]

In June 2014 the IFCJ was heavily criticised by Rabbi Elyakim Lavanon, Regional Rabbi of Samaria and Dean of the Elon Moreh Yeshiva:

[Lavanon] has issued a sharp attack on the Ministry of Education for its decision to cooperate with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ). The IFCJ will donate funds for children's summer activities, and Rabbi Levanon sees this is as a sly attempt to make Israel dependent on the Christian world.[61]

In 2014 the Ministry of Education declined to accept a donation from the IFCJ of $10 million that was due to pay for education summer camps. [54] In 2013 the ministry had accepted funds from the IFCJ for its 'Schools of Summer' programme.[62] The IFCJ provided $30 million for the programme, amounting to a quarter of the total budget.[63]

In March 2014 the IFCJ announced an alliance with Limmud FSU an organisation that promotes Jewish identity in the former Soviet Union.[64] The IFCJ pledged to donate $400,000 a year for three years to Limmud FSU, thereby making the IFCJ the largest single finanical backer of Limmud FSU.[64] It was reported that Eckstein's intention in creating the alliance between the two organisations was to promote the discussion of aliyah at Limmud FSU conferences:

Eckstein noted that since the Jewish Agency for Israel has made a strategic shift from focusing on aliyah to a broader concept of Jewish identity, there is not sufficient advocacy for immigration to Israel among Jews of the former Soviet Union.[64]

Eckstein has bemoaned the negative view of the Christian right held by most Jewish Americans.[65]

During the Mayorship of Uri Lupolianski the municipality of Jerusalem refused to accept funds from the IFCJ. Following the election of Nir Barkat to the position of mayor the ban was lifted in 2010.[66] That year the IFCJ pledged NIS 13.5 million to the municipality.[66]

The Israeli Ministry of the Interior had accepted donations of fire trucks from the IFCJ during the tenure of Meir Sheetrit.[67] The trucks had been used during the second Lebanon war to put out fires started by Hezbollah missiles.[67] Following his replacement by Eli Yishai of the ultra orthodox Shas party links between the ministry and the IFCJ were reportedly severed.[67]

Hadassah magazine, a Jewish womens publication had once refused to allow the IFCJ to advertise in the magazine. Following the IFCJ's donation to a Hadassah affiliated hospital the magazine honoured the IFCJ at its annual gala.[68]

2006 Lebanon War

During the 2006 Lebanon War the IFCJ provided aid to Israeli communities in northern Israel. Amongst other items flak jackets, helmets and bomb shelter supplies were provided by the organisation. More than 15 Israeli towns received IFCJ aid.[69] Reportedly the IFCJ pledged $9 million in aid 'to help families affected by the missile attacks in northern Israel'.[70] The organisation also paid $1.5 million towards the cost of seven fire engines and other firefighting equipment.[71] To raise funds in the United States during the conflict the organisation ran advertisements on Fox News.[71] The advertisements ran for a full month.[72] The IFCJ's work during the conflict was reportedly carried out in partnership with Sacta Rashi - an Israeli foundation funded by French donors.[72]

In 2007 then Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert visited the city of Karmiel in northern Israel. On his visit he promised NIS 95 million to refurbish bomb shelters in the north of the country. He stated that NIS 40 million would be put towards the cost of refurbishment by the IFCJ.[73]

Operation Pillar of Defense

During 2012's Operation Pillar of Defense the IFCJ distributed $2.7 million in emergency aid packages in southern Israel. Aid included emergency supplies, renovation of 50 bomb shelters in the southern Israel cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beer Sheva and Netivot, the creation of 28 emergency command centres, the creation of a reinforced trauma clinic in the Eshkol Regional Council and equipment and training for first responders. Yechiel Eckstein commented that:

we are working hand-in-hand with the Israel Ministry for Home Front Defense and the IDF, and we will continue to cooperate to ensure the security of Israel's people.[74]

Operation Protective Edge

During Operation Protective Edge the IFCJ raised over $9 million to provide aid to residents of southern Israel who were affected by the conflict. It was reported that half of that total would be used for future projects. Items purchased with the money raised included:

a mobile CT scanner for Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba; 32 bomb shelters for cities and communities in southern Israel; hygiene kits for sol-diers; and first-responder kits for emergency-service personnel, which included helmets, flack-jackets, flash lights, walkie talkies and similar items. The organization also helped prepare and deliver more than 10,500 meals for people in the South during the first week of the conflict, especially the elderly, and funded camps and day trips for thousands of children around the country.[75]

During the conflict IFCJ volunteers reportedly visited 2,000 elderly Israelis in the south of the country, providing food and medicines.[35]

The organisation opened a 'friendship village' in July 2014 for thousands of children from southern Israel. The camp was located in the Jerusalem forest.[35]

During Operation Protective Edge the organisation released a press release detailing its response:

With the generous support of Christian friends of Israel across the world, The Fellowship has provided over 2300 bomb shelters, 12 fire trucks, emergency equipment worth over $1.3 million, over $650,000 worth of support to trauma centers, and $1.4 million to help protect public buildings, including kindergartens and old-age homes, from rocket attacks. Along with the $25 million which we have contributed for the security of the citizens of Israel, The Fellowship also contributed $8 million dollars for medical equipment including specialist operating rooms, MRI and CT machines, and operating rooms which can continue to operate during missile attacks.[76]

The IFCJ has made funds available to regional and municipal councils in southern Israel and elsewhere for use in emergencies such as Operation Protective Edge.[77] Reportedly those funds amounted to some $33 million which were used for shelter rennovation, the building of a trauma center for the residents of Eshkol Regional Council, emergency supplies and medical equipment.[78] The mayor of Sderot, Alon Davidi thanked the IFCJ for its assistance commenting that 'the ability [of the IFCJ] to act in real time greatly helps during the difficult times.'[78]

Foundation Grantees

Organisations supported by the fellowship include:

American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee, American Values, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Hadassah, Jewish Agency for Israel, and This World: Jewish Values Network.

According to Yechiel Eckstein the IFCJ has deliberately reduced the scale and number of its grants in order to focus on funding its own operations.[4]

Funding and Finances

The IFCJ website has an online store through which various products may be purchased. Those include so-called 'Educational Resources', books, and music cds by Yechiel Eckstein.[79] In 2005 it was reported that the IFCJ was making over $1 million per year in goods sold through its virtual store. At that time products sold included the Ahava Dead Sea beauty range.[80]

The IFCJ has used radio advertisements fronted by Yechiel Eckstein to encourage Israeli listeners to donate to the IFCJ.[4]

The IFCJ receives funding from the following foundations:

Alan Stone Family Charitable Foundation, Amica Companies Foundation, BBR Foundation, Borgata Heart and Soul Foundation, Carol and George Henry Family Foundation, Clarence J. Venne Foundation, Dorothy Louise Blossman Charitable Foundation, Elias Family Charitable Trust, Employees Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis, Fishers of Men, Frieman Foundation, Gero Foundation, Gettler Family Foundation, GTR Foundation, Herbert and Jacqueline Lippitz Foundation, Herbert J. and Beverly J. Myers Charitable Foundation, IFCJ Foundation, Independent Charities of America, John M. Hewitt Family Foundation, J.S. and S. Michaan Foundation, Jonathan and David Foundation, Lending Hand, Louis C and Celia K. Grossberg Foundation, Marilyn and Marshall Butler Foundation, McLaughlin Family Foundation, Melvin and Sylvia Kafka Foundation, Melvyn P. and Eleanor N. Galin Family Foundation, National Christian Charitable Foundation, Norbert and Henry Bratt Charitable Trust, Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation, Ryan Foundation, Setton Foundation, Soussa Family Foundation, Stanley J. and Doris Fenvessy Foundation, Suzanne and Alan Peyser Foundation

Revenue and Assets of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in $[81]
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total 2008-2012
Total Revenue 35,172,738 39,969,459 44,153,406 49,530,334 73,644,288 78,013,220 84,281,498 94,634,458 97,019,588 106,697,118 113,514,939 816,631,046
Net Assets 15,094,786 5,521,556 8,231,776 7,888,752 12,675,521 17,037,873 12,668,459 11,454,194 11,871,922 12,325,019 14,749,907 129,519,765

Amounts Received from Charitable Foundations in US$.[82]
Foundation name 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Total 2002-2013
Alan Stone Family Charitable Foundation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 25 0 0 75
Amica Companies Foundation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2,733 0 2,145 0 1,500 6,378
BBR Foundation - - - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 250 250
Borgata Heart and Soul Foundation 0 0 0 0 0 - - 150 0 0 0 - 150
Carol and George Henry Family Foundation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1,500 0 0 1,500
Clarence J. Venne Foundation 0 0 0 0 0 2,000 2,500 10,000 5,000 0 6,500 10,000 36,000
Dorothy Louise Blossman Charitable Foundation - - - 0 0 0 0 0 17 10 15 20 62
Employees Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 2,239 3,017 2,964 3,108 5,885 0 17,213
Frieman Foundation 0 0 0 0 230 0 200 200 0 0 0 - 630
Gero Foundation - - - - - - 5,650 2,575 750 150 150 150 9,425
Gettler Family Foundation 200 258 150 300 0 200 0 0 200 100 0 0 1,408
GTR Foundation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 200 1,000 0 1,000 1,000 3,700
Herbert J. and Beverly J. Myers Charitable Foundation 0 25 100 50 0 75 25 75 0 0 50 0 400
Herbert and Jacqueline Lippitz Foundation 0 0 0 100 100 100 0 200 0 50 0 0 550
Independent Charities of America 0 0 0 0 97,444 0 16,454 216,078 279,778 474,976 91,955 70,524 1,247,209
John M. Hewitt Family Foundation 0 - - - 0 0 0 0 0 800 500 0 1,300
Jonathan and David Foundation 0 0 0 0 1,535 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 0 1,000 1,000 7,535
J.S. and S. Michaan Foundation 0 250 0 0 200 250 0 0 0 10,000 0 0 10,700
Louis C. and Celia K. Grossberg Foundation 0 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 0 0 100 100 200
Marilyn and Marshall Butler Foundation 0 0 0 0 0 100 100 100 300 200 200 0 1,000
McLaughlin Family Foundation - - - 0 0 0 0 0 1,500 18,000 0 0 19,500
Melvin and Sylvia Kafka Foundation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 72 72 0 0 0 144
Melvyn P. and Eleanor N. Galin Family Foundation - - 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 0 0 0 25
National Christian Charitable Foundation 0 0 3,000 0 5,000 7,400 3,150 7,035 7,950 14,350 0 8,851 56,736
Norbert and Henry Bratt Charitable Trust - - - - - 0 0 0 10,000 10,000 11,000 - 31,000
Peter C. and Emajean Cook 0 0 0 0 3,000 0 0 0 7,500 2,500 0 0 13,000
Ryan Foundation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 600 0 600
Setton Foundation 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 26 26

Soussa Family Foundation - - - - 0 0 0 0 0 360 360 180 900
Stanley J. and Doris Fenvessy Foundation 25 25 50 50 50 0 50 50 50 50 50 - 450
Suzanne and Alan Peyser Foundation 0 0 0 0 200 0 0 0 1,000 2,000 2,700 2,100 7,800
Total 225 558 3,300 500 107,759 11,125 31,368 243,485 319,156 540,264 122,000 95,701 1,475,866


Directors (circa 2015)

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein (Founder and President) | Yael Eckstein (Senior Vice President) | John P. French (Chairman) | Edward Lasky (Treasurer) | Barbara Manuel (Secretary) | David Clark (IFCJ) (Director) | J.R. Dupell (Director) | Steven Hefter (Director) | Andrew Lappin (Director) | Suzanne Peyser (Director)


P.O. Box 96105
Washington, D.C.
Phone: (800) 486-8844


  1. 1.0 1.1 IFCJ Website About Us. Accessed 26 February 2015.
  2. David Twersky, 'Common Prayers', The New York Sun, 15 January 2007
  3. Christine Cox, 'Passionate pragmatist speaks out; Rabbi defends coalition of Jews and evangelicals, South Bend Tribune, 3 August 2006
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Sam Sokol, 'A new year for the IFCJ', Jerusalem Post, 24 September 2014
  5. Yael Eckstein, 'The PCUSA vote', Jerusalem Post, 27 June 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 IFCJ Website Our History. Accessed 26 February 2015.
  7. IFCJ Website Global Reach, Life Saving Impact. Accessed 26 February 2015.
  8. IFCJ Website Our Mission. Accessed 26 February 2015.
  9. IFCJ Website Frequently Asked Questions about The Fellowship. Accessed 26 February 2015.
  10. IFCJ Website Financial Summary. Accessed 26 February 2015.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Yael Eckstein, 'Responding to Dire Security Situation in Ukraine, the International Fel-lowship of Christians and Jews Is Providing an Emergency Aid Package to Jews in the Region', PR Newswire, 9 February 2015
  12. Jerusalem Post Staff, Etgar Lefkovits, Dan Izenberg, 'News in brief', Jerusalem Post, 14 September 2006
  13. Sara Lubbes, 'Adoring crowd cheers Harris; Her Senate campaign is increasingly focused on wooing evangelicals.', Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 28 October 2006
  14. Greer Fay Cashman, 'Business Scene', Jerusalem Post, 4 September 2007
  15. Staff, 'Pro-Israel interfaith fundraiser expanding. International Fellowship of Christians and Jews branches out to South Korea, Australia, Bolivia', Jerusalem Post, 29 April 2012
  16. Staff, 'International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Launches Asian Affili-ate in South Korea, Sept. 13', PR Newswire, 11 September 2012
  17. The DeMoss Group, ' Statement on Israel Divestment Resolution by the Presbyterian Church USA', PR Newswire, 28 June 2012
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Sam Sokol, 'Jewish Agency, IFCJ spar over Ukrainian immigration', Jerusalem Post, 31 March 2015
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Ben Hartman, Lidar Grave-Lazi, Jerusalem Post staff, 'News in brief', Jerusalem Post, 25 February 2015 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "News in brief" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "News in brief" defined multiple times with different content
  20. Gil Shefler, 'Jewish Agency needs to invest more on aliya, says top official. 'It's shameful that a $300m. organization cannot afford to bring 900 olim from Russia,' charges Aliya and Rescue Committee chairman', Jerusalem Post, 17 February 2011
  21. 21.0 21.1 Sam Sokol, Yardena Schwartz '226 Ukrainian immigrants arrive on IFCJ aliya flight. Eckstein: We will charter as many planes as needed, so that every Jew who wants to come home can do so', Jerusalem Post, 23 December 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 Staff, 'Jewish Agency board of governors feuds with Eckstein', Jerusalem Post, 30 October 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Staff, 'Christian Evangelicals Push Aliyah, and Jews Are Concerned', The Forward, 24 October 2015
  24. Amie Ferris-Rotman, 'The Scattering of Ukraine's Jews', Atlantic Online, 21 September 2014
  25. Sam Sokol, 'Ukrainian Jewish exodus expected soon. Financial incentives and bureaucratic aid encourage flight from war-torn country', Jerusalem Post, 11 August 2014
  26. Sam Sokol, 'Ukraine's chief rabbi to 'Post': We've lost most local donors', Jerusalem Post, 14 March 2014
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Regan E. Doherty, 'Christians Bring Iranian Jews to Israel', Associated Press Online, 22 October 2007
  28. Haviv Rettig, 'PM's Office: No decision made on Bnei Menashe. Sheetrit said to be stumbling block to aliya of northern Indian 'lost tribe, Jerusalem Post, 21 August 2008
  29. Yael Eckstein, 'Caring about the Jews in Ukraine', Jerusalem Post, 13 February 2015
  30. Lidar Grave-Lazi, 'IFCJ: Needy elderly being forced to choose between heat and food', PR Newswire, 23 January 2015
  31. Staff, 'All Ready', Jerusalem Post, 2 December 2014
  32. Lidar Grave-Lazi, 'IFCJ provides free dental care to thousands of senior citizens in need', Jerusalem Post, 2 October 2014
  33. Lidar Grave-Lazi, Jeremy Sharon, 'Israeli organizations rally to help needy on Passover', Jerusalem Post, 31 March 2015
  34. Lidar Grave-Lazi, 'First home-for-life for autistic youth in Tel Aviv opens', Jerusalem Post, 17 September 2015
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Lidar Grave-Lazi, 'IFCJ opens 'Friendship Village' for thousands of children from the South', Jerusalem Post, 28 July 2014
  36. Lidar Grave-Lazi, 'IFCJ brings holiday cheer to Arab Christian families in need', Jerusalem Post, 25 December 2013
  37. Ruth Eglash, 'Sisters doing it for themselves', Jerusalem Post, 15 September 2009
  38. Shlomi Waroner, 'Anything's possible', Jerusalem Post, 29 May 2013
  39. Yaakov Lappin, 'Dichter defends Evangelical funding of government anti-violence program', Jerusalem Post, 22 May 2008
  40. 40.0 40.1 Etgar Lefkovits, 'Bureaucracy holds up $ 10m. in Evangelical donations to renovate bomb shelters', Jerusalem Post, 18 June 2007
  41. Etgar Lefkovits, 'US charity to bypass government to renovate shelters. $ 10m. in Evan-gelical donations to be channeled via local authorities', Jerusalem Post, 2 August 2007
  42. Staff, 'IPR Strategic Business Information Database', IPR Strategic Business Information Database, 5 March 2008
  43. Yaakov Lappin, 'Ashkelon exploits lull to open more bomb shelters', Jerusalem Post, 31 December 2008
  45. Rory McCarthy, 'Leaving home for the homeland', The Guardian, 24 November 2007
  46. Data compiled from filings of Form 990s 2002 - 2013.
  47. 'Key Strategic Partners', Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers website, accessed 5 March 2015
  48. 48.0 48.1 Staff, 'International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) Joins Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) in a Partnership to Strengthen and Support Israeli Soldiers', Marketwire, 16 November 2009
  49. Lidar Grave-Lazi, 'New scholarship program for Druse army graduates. Funding project, to be awarded to 25 students, established in honor of Sayeret Matkal Maj. Salim Shufi', Jerusalem Post, 31 December 2013
  50. Yaakov Lappin, Judy Siegel, Danielle Ziri, Sharon Udasin, 'News in Brief', Jerusalem Post, 10 September 2013
  51. Staff, 'News in Brief', Marketwire, 27 December 2011
  52. Staff, 'Photo - CAPPING OFF A VISIT', The Jerusalem Post, 6 December 2005
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 53.4 53.5 IFCJ Website Current Projects. Accessed 26 February 2015.
  54. 54.0 54.1 Yaakov Levi, 'Top Emunah Leader Quits Over IFCJ Donation', Arutz Sheva, 18 September 2014
  55. 55.0 55.1 Peggy Cidor, 'Holier than thou?', Jerusalem Post, 1 August 2008
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 Haviv Rettig, 'Evangelical-financed group to get seat on Agency cabinet', Jerusalem Post, 21 December 2007
  57. 57.0 57.1 Staff, 'Jewish Agency Gives Boardroom Clout to Ally Of Evangelicals', The Forward, 28 December 2007
  58. 58.0 58.1 Staff, 'Evangelical Group Puts Brakes on Partnership With Jewish Agency', The Forward, 30 May 2008
  59. Gal Tziperman Lotan, 'Eckstein's IFCJ halts donations to Jewish Agency. Dispute swirls around delayed joint marketing plan and fellowship's place in agency publicity', Jerusalem Post, 30 May 2008
  60. 60.0 60.1 Mathew Wagner, 'Christian donor to 'out' haredi recipients of funding. Eckstein: It's unacceptable that these institutions accept money under the table * Move comes after leading rabbi likens receiving Christian charity to idolatry', Jerusalem Post, 23 October 2009
  61. Ido Ben Porat, Gil Ronen, 'Christian Group Fires Back at Samaria Rabbi in Funding Feud', Arutz Sheva, 12 June 2014
  62. Danielle Ziri, 'Gov't, IFCJ unveil summer school program', Jerusalem Post, 29 November 2013
  63. Staff, 'Israel cuts school summer vacation, gets US group funding for kids' program', Jerusalem Post, 28 November 2013
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 Staff, 'Limmud FSU Turns Kosher With New Cash', The Forward, 9 May 2014
  65. Staff, 'American Jews Still View the Christian Right With Concern', The Forward, 20 April 2012
  66. 66.0 66.1 Peggy Cidor, 'This week in Jerusalem', Jerusalem Post', 26 February 2010
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2 Gil Shefler, Gil Hoffman, 'Yishai's refusal to accept gifts from Christian groups blocked donation of badly needed fire trucks. Pro-Israel group had already provided eight new vehicles, but says project collapsed after Shas took over Interior Ministry ', Jerusalem Post', 6 December 2010 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Yishai's refusal to" defined multiple times with different content
  68. Staff, 'ISRAEL FINDS COMMON CAUSE WITH EVANGELICALS', States News Service, 8 December 2010
  69. Aliza Appelbaum, 'US Christians help northern residents. Int'l Fellowship of Christians and Jews has provided aid to 15 towns', Jerusalem Post, 20 July 2006
  70. Staff, 'SHOW: KOKI Fox 9:00 PM Fox', inews network, 9 August 2006
  71. 71.0 71.1 Adinah Greene, 'Overseas nonprofits divide up job of aiding the North's recovery. Inter-national Fellowship of Christian and Jews raises millions for food fire -engines and more', Jerusalem Post, 31 August 2006
  72. 72.0 72.1 Zachary Goelman, 'CHRISTIAN-JEWISH FELLOWSHIP FUNDS GET CAUGHT IN RED TAPE', The Jerusalem Report, 3 October 2006
  73. Herb Keinon, 'PM pledges to upgrade Northern shelters. On visit to Shlomi Olmert touts 'the sense of security among the population, Jerusalem Post, 15 May 2007
  74. International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, 'International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Rushing Aid to Communities in Southern Israel', Christian Newswire', 16 November 2012
  75. Staff, 'ICFJ raised $9 million during Protective Edge', Jerusalem Post, 5 September 2014
  76. Staff, 'Christian Supporters of Israel are Helping to Save Lives; Over $2 Million Raised to Support Israelis Under Rocket Fire; Emergen-cy Support Center for the Elderly Launched', PR Newswire, 15 July 2014
  77. Staff, 'Grapevine: Food for the soul and the stomach', Jerusalem Post, 10 July 2014
  78. 78.0 78.1 Lidar Grave-Lazi, 'Sderot students take matriculation exams despite continuing rocket fire from Gaza. International Fellowship of Christians and Jews pledges support, will hold activities for children during the summer months', Jerusalem Post, 4 July 2014
  79. IFCJ Website Store. Accessed 18 February 2015.
  80. Hilary Leila Krieger, 'Jordan River cosmetics appeal to Christians', Jerusalem Post, 23 December 2005
  81. Data compiled from filings of Form 990s 2002 - 2012.
  82. Data compiled from filings of Form 990s 2002 - 2013.Key: '-' = 990 not examined.