Skip Navigation

Remembering Elie Wiesel

July 7, 2016

Dear Friend of Israel

There are people who instill in us such a sense of humility, who bear themselves with such dignity despite the suffering they have endured, whose witness to history is so powerful, that we know their influence will be felt down through the generations. 

Elie Wiesel – author, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate – who died Saturday, July 2 at the age of 87, was such a man. One of the true prophets of our day, it was through his unflinching courage in chronicling the atrocities he experienced during the Holocaust, and his honesty in confronting his own crisis of faith that resulted from those experiences, that millions of people who came after have come to better understand not just the terrifying facts of this dark chapter in history, but its effects on the collective memory of the Jewish people.

In his 1986 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Elie Wiesel said that after experiencing the unimaginable suffering of the Nazi death camps, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Indeed, he was not silent. Elie Wiesel dedicated his life to Holocaust education. He was an outspoken advocate for the rights of oppressed people around the world. He was tireless in his fight against intolerance and injustice. His death is a blow not just to the Jewish world, but to all who believe in the cause of liberty and justice.

It was my privilege to know Elie Wiesel. In 2014 I was honored to receive the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s highest honor, the Raoul Wallenberg Award, an honor that had been bestowed upon Wiesel. While we mourn his death, we give thanks to God for his life, and his example – an example that, with God’s help, we pray we will be able to carry on. May his memory be a blessing.

With prayers for shalom, peace,


Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

Rescuing Our Brothers and Sisters - Bless the Persecuted

Rescue Persecuted Christians

Christians in the Middle East urgently need our help! Provide food, medicine, and shelter today!

Help Now
IDF soldier praying

We Are for Peace

History has forced Israelis to accept the fact that their enemies are committed to hatred, terror, and bloodshed — a harsh reality the people of Israel still face today. But as terrorist rockets and mortars fall on Israel, we continue to...

Read More

Rabbi Eckstein at St. Mary's Church in Jordan

Our Fellowship of Christians and Jews

I went to Jordan recently on your behalf to visit dear friends who are helping coordinate The Fellowship’s aid to persecuted Christians. Please join me in praying that God will shower His blessings upon these people who have...

Read More

IDF soldier weeps at Western Wall

Awaiting a Time of Rejoicing, Not Sorrow

The Jewish people have begun the period known as “The Three Weeks,” a solemn time spent reflecting on historical tragedy and misfortune. But this is also a time of hope, a time to remain faithful to God’s promise that one day...

Read More