As we continue to mourn the loss of Rabbi Eckstein, we’d like to share these heartfelt thoughts from George Mamo, The Fellowship’s Executive Vice President and Global Chief Operating Officer who worked with Rabbi Eckstein for 20 years.
This week, we lost a great man. Rabbi Eckstein was so many things – a visionary, a bridge builder, a trailblazer in the field of Jewish-Christian relations, a blessing to Israel and her people, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, and my friend.
He was also a wonderful teacher and mentor. During my 20 years at The Fellowship, I learned so much from him; and I was also challenged by him in ways that made me grow personally, professionally, and especially in my own faith journey.
For so many of us, and for me personally, Rabbi was first a teacher and mentor. His insights into the Jewish Scripture taught me so much. So many times, reading my Bible on the train on the way to work, I would read a passage from the Old Testament and say to myself, 'Oh, that’s what that means!’
That never would have happened without Rabbi Eckstein, and I’m grateful for it. If a Christian could have a rabbi, I could not have picked a better rabbi than Yechiel Eckstein. His passion for helping Christians understand our Jewish roots is a legacy that will live on in his teachings, and in our hearts.
Our greatest tribute to him will be to carry on the work he began – to continue to build bridges between Christians and Jews, to educate the next generation about Israel, and build support for Jewish people around the world. Just as God prepared and called Rabbi Eckstein for this great work, God has prepared Rabbi’s daughter, Yael, to continue the rich legacy that her father left to us all.