Through the years, millions have loved Pat Boone's music. But many people have also benefited from the friendship he shared with Rabbi Eckstein. In the wake of Rabbi's passing, Pat remembers his friend and partner in faith and good deeds:
It's a tremendous and personal shock to me, hearing of my friend and brother Yechiel Eckstein dying of a heart attack today. What a magnificent man and Jewish leader! Soon after he founded the Fellowship of Christians and Jews, he approached me as a prominent Christian and supporter of Israel to appeal to evangelical Christians to fund the freeing and transporting of Jews living behind the Iron Curtain and other repressive governments..to repatriate in Israel. We went to television in repeated "specials" and Christians responded immediately, in incredible donations, happy to cooperate with God's expressed intention to bring Jews to live in Homeland Israel from every country in the world! Other Christian leaders, and their followers, strongly identifying with Jews and their God, joined Eckstein's campaign and to date contributed more than $1.5 billion for programs helping Jews!
On May 13 last year, Yechiel participated in my ISRAEL 70 CONCERT and tv special in Jerusalem with the Symphony and other guests and speakers, giving his account of the IFCJ and his "Wings of Eagles" project in which he credited my involvement with him in bringing over 800,000 pilgrimage Jews to the Holy Land to stay.
I will always consider my friendship and cooperative work with Yechiel Eckstein one of the most important facts of my life on this earth--and I hope to rejoice with him in Heaven, the ultimate Promised Land.