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As Security Situation in Israel Deteriorates, The Fellowship Increases Aid to Threatened Communities

“The children of southern Israel deserve a quiet, safe, and enjoyable summer.” – Fellowship Founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

The founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, spoke today with the leaders in southern Israel and offered emergency funds in response to their calls for help.

The Fellowship created two emergency funds for civilians living under constant threat, one providing summer programs for children and another caring for those affected by terrorist rocket and mortar fire from Gaza, which has escalated drastically in recent days. The Fellowship supports the communities in southern Israel all year round, and has contributed over $33 million in recent years to the region. The Fellowship also continues to support the citizens of Jerusalem, providing critically needed welfare assistance as unrest in the city rises.

In light of the escalation in the south and the tensions in Jerusalem, Rabbi Eckstein spoke with the leaders of the regional councils in the south, including the mayor of Sderot and the heads of the Eshkol and Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Councils. During the conversations they expressed a need for immediate assistance to provide safe activities during the summer for the children in the region and to help with the emergency needs that arise during times of increased terrorist violence.

In response to these urgent requests, Rabbi Eckstein promised the support of The Fellowship and invited the children of southern Israel to join tens of thousands of children from across Israel for unique days of enrichment and fun.

The Fellowship immediately created an emergency fund to be used at the discretion of the Regional Councils to care for those whose homes were damaged and to fill other emergency needs. The regional leaders expressed their deep appreciation for the support and the additional funds. Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi thanked Rabbi Eckstein and said, “As mayor of Sderot, the fact that I have a direct connection to the president of The Fellowship, who is sensitive to our needs and can respond in real time, is a blessing during difficult times.”

Rabbi Eckstein said, “I hope and pray that we will not see a deterioration of this situation. As Israel mourns the death of three of its sons – 16-year-old Gilad Shaar, 16-year-old Naftali Frenkel, and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach, who were kidnapped and murdered by terrorists – our minds are particularly on the welfare of our children. The children of southern Israel deserve a quiet, safe, and enjoyable summer, and it is up to us to provide it for them. During the past week we also contributed to welfare funds across both east and west Jerusalem. As tensions rise, I join many other leaders in calling for calm in the city.” Rabbi Eckstein will discuss with Jerusalem Mayor Barkat additional ways in which The Fellowship can help restore calm in Jerusalem and will visit southern Israel on Sunday to meet with the local leaders.

About The Fellowship

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) was founded in 1983 to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews, and build broad support for Israel. Today it is one of the leading forces in helping Israel, and Jews in need worldwide – and is the largest channel of Christian support for Israel. Led by its founder and president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship now raises more than $130 million per year, mostly from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding, The Fellowship has raised more than $800 million for this work. The organization has offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Toronto, and Seoul.

For further details, contact: Ryan Greiss, Puder PR, New York: (212) 558-9400; [email protected]

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The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) funds humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, promotes prayer and advocacy on behalf of the Jewish state, and provides resources that help build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews.

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