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CONGRESS CELEBRATES JEWISH AMERICAN MONTH AT SENATE GATHERING

The Fellowship’s Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein honored for Christian-Jewish bridge building

Rabbi Eckstein receives award at US Senate, May 23, 2017

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2017 – Leading members of the House and Senate celebrated Jewish American Heritage Month yesterday with an event “Honoring Leaders of the Jewish Community.” Among the honorees were Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who was recognized for his interfaith bridge-building through the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship).

Members of Congress who marked Jewish American Heritage Month at the Senate Russell Office Building were Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ; Sen. Sherrod Brown; D-Ohio; Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.; Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.; Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hi.; Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y.; Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, D-Mass.; Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill.; and a driving supporter of the Jewish American Heritage Month, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

On behalf of the legislators, Senator Lankford awarded Eckstein a special certificate recognizing the work of The Fellowship, which the rabbi founded 34 years ago to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews and build broad support for Israel.

Other honorees included Sparks, a New York-based organization that helps women battle post-partum depression, Dr. Shani Verschleiser of Magenu, a New York-based organization that promotes education on personal safety for schoolchildren; Aaron and Felicia Cohen; Esther Kenigsberg; Menachem M. and Breinde R. Kiwak; and Moshe and Shaindy Lax.

President Donald Trump earlier this month declared May as Jewish American Heritage Month, following the practice of several recent administrations. The month-long series of events has been held annually since 2006, with special exhibits and talks at museums and other cultural institutions highlighting the contributions of Jews to American culture, including the arts, science, medicine, sports, business, government, and military service. The annual celebration first began in 1980 as a week dedicated to American Jewry, and in 2006 President Bush, on the request of Congress, dedicated April to American Jewry.

“I am honored to be part of the wonderful events celebrating the indelible impact of American Jewry on our great nation,” said Eckstein. “I am eternally grateful to the honorable Members of Congress and to our friends at Chamah for recognizing the work we’ve done over the years to build lasting relationships between Christians and Jews in America and around the world.”

Chamah President Rabbi Hillel Zaltzman, whose organization Chamah nominated The Fellowship for the Congressional honor, said: “Rabbi Eckstein opened a vital chapter in American-Jewish life by building bridges of understanding and tolerance between Christians and Jews, thereby initiating a dialogue that resulted in projects promoting the security and well-being of Jews in Israel and around the world. Rabbi Eckstein, a giant of a man, is truly making a lasting impact on Jewish history.”

Co-chairing the event were Abe Eisner; Ezra Friedlander; Greg Rosenbaum; Joseph B. Stamm; and Stanley Treitel.

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

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