March 2, 2017
Dear Friend of Israel
In the past couple of months, two of our staff members in Israel have told me about their chance encounters – or you might call them divine coincidences – with people The Fellowship has helped.
Orli, The Fellowship’s Knowledge and Training Manager in our Jerusalem office, told me that one evening she did some volunteering after work. She was eager to get home, but realized she didn’t have bus fare.
When her bus arrived, she got on anyway and explained her predicament to the driver, and was surprised when he responded, “No problem; you can pay twice the next time you get on a bus.”
The driver asked where she worked. When she told him The Fellowship, he gave her a knowing smile and replied, "You see, I owe you. My wife received financial assistance from The Fellowship after she was injured in a terror attack.”
When Orli commented that she was amazed to meet him, he responded, "What's amazing is the work The Fellowship does in Israel.” Orli went home that evening feeling extremely proud to work where she does.
Yael, the Deputy Director-General for Content in our Jerusalem office, also had a recent encounter with someone we’ve helped. Yael had an appointment at a nail salon and learned that Nina, the woman doing her nails, had made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) with her husband and three children on a Fellowship Freedom Flight from Ukraine last year.
Nina talked about how helpful she’d found the seminar her family attended prior to their flight to Israel, how grateful they have been for the holiday gifts from The Fellowship, and how much they are enjoying their new life in Israel. After fleeing unrest, violence, and economic instability in Ukraine, they feel so blessed by their peaceful life in the Holy Land. And Yael said she felt blessed to hear their story.
I share these stories because you made them possible. It is only thanks to the faithful, generous support of our donors that The Fellowship is able to be the foremost provider of humanitarian aid in Israel outside of the government.
Israel has huge security needs and a large population of aged immigrants. There’s rarely enough money for social services. But thanks to The Fellowship’s soup kitchens, after-school centers, homecare workers, and so much more, these Israelis in need – many of them Holocaust survivors – don’t have to suffer.
Moments like these make me and other Fellowship staff members feel truly blessed to work for an organization that reaches out to so many people across Israel. This is the work we are called to, friends. And this is the work you make possible every day. I couldn’t be more grateful.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President