IFCJ Gives Record-Breaking $8.5 Million to the IDF
The Donation Will Be Used to Support Lone Soldiers and Soldiers from Poor Families
(IDF Headquarters, Tel Aviv, March 13, 2016) — Today the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), under the leadership of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, announced a record-breaking donation of $8.5 million USD to the Israel Defense Forces. This donation stems from IFCJ’s close partnership with the IDF’s Manpower Directorate (AKA) and the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers (AWIS) to provide financial assistance for IDF lone soldiers and those families in need. The IFCJ funds provided to the IDF are donated through FIDF and disbursed in Israel through AWIS.
The assistance package includes 5.5 million NIS (about $1.4 million USD) that will be designated for these soldiers through the IFCJ’s Fellowship Funds (“Kupot Yedidut”). These funds will help the soldiers purchase electrical appliances (e.g., refrigerators, ovens), furniture, and other items that they and their families need in order to maintain daily life.
The survey went further, finding that a slight majority of Israeli Arabs said that if they received the same services as poor Israeli Jews, they would participate in Israel’s national service volunteer program.
Further, 35,000 combat soldiers in basic training will receive gift cards to a major retail chain to purchase basic necessities through IFCJ’s partnership with AWIS; 10,000 soldiers will receive food and clothing gift cards during the Passover and Rosh Hashanah holidays; and 2,000 soldiers will receive store gift cards to purchase the supplementary accessories and supplies that each soldier needs, in addition to the uniform and buzz cut that they receive free of charge from the IDF.
In a meeting that took place today at IDF’s Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv, the head of AKA, Major-General Hagai Topolinski, thanked the IFCJ for its support and said, “IDF is the people’s military and, as such, enlists soldiers from all backgrounds. We take young women and men from impoverished backgrounds and turn them into able soldiers. The IFCJ and IDF are here to give a boost to those soldiers who need it. We are very grateful to Rabbi Eckstein for this expanded aid package.”
The President of the IFCJ, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, said, “Unfortunately, the dire poverty that so many Israeli citizens have to deal with has afflicted our soldiers, as well. I am happy that the IDF acknowledges this need and through our close partnership, we are able to make sure that our bravest are able to serve in peace, knowing that they and their families have been provided for.”
During the meeting, the Chairman of AWIS and Keren Libi, Major-General (res.) Yoram Yair (Yaya) said, “I am pleased about the substantial and exceptional contribution from the IFCJ, led by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, which is intended for helping IDF soldiers who come from families in need and lone soldiers. I consider the IFCJ and Rabbi Eckstein as loyal partners in the efforts of AWIS and Keren Libi in caring for the welfare of the soldiers.”
About The Fellowship
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein founded The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews ( Fellowship) in 1983 to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews, and build broad support for Israel. Today, The Fellowship is the world’s largest organization of Christians actively working with Jews to support Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding, The Fellowship has raised close to $1.25 billion for this work. The organization has offices in the U.S., Israel, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and South Korea. For more information please visit www.ifcj.org.
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