How You Blessed 2020

This past year surely brought pain, loneliness, and loss to so many – in Israel, in the U.S., around the world, and perhaps even to you. But even as 2020 brought so much hardship, friends of The Fellowship like you blessed 2020 and brought comfort, generosity, and joy.

Because of your love, together we helped over 2 million people in 41 different countries, more than ever, even as the pandemic raged across the globe. This is how you helped!

As the coronavirus pandemic spread, The Fellowship found itself uniquely positioned to provide for those already in need, and for those who found themselves unexpectedly impoverished and confined because of all the sudden changes in the world. From food delivered by Fellowship soup kitchens to medical equipment provided to overwhelmed hospitals, The Fellowship’s reach increased to meet the needs of vulnerable Jewish people in Israel and around the world.

And as a second wave struck Israel over the summer, with daily new cases exceeding 2,500 per day, The Fellowship expanded its emergency fund in partnership with the Israeli government to serve all 256 municipalities in the country. Able to better assist the elderly, Holocaust survivors, soldiers, and families hardest hit by the health crisis, IFCJ President and CEO Yael Eckstein said, “We are so thankful to our supporters, who continue to go above and beyond to help in any way possible.”

As so many went hungry, you helped us provide 884,000 food boxes, food cards, and meals – filling empty stomachs.

As so many wondered how they would meet their basic needs, you made sure 670,000 were given the help they needed on a daily basis.

As winter loomed, you warmed needy elderly, families, and children with warm clothing and heat, their lifeline during a season of darkness and cold.

And as families in the Holy Land and around the world worried they would be unable to observe the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, you made sure they could. 215,000 Jews celebrated Passover with joy because of you, and another 150,000 observed the High Holy Days thanks to your love.

In anticipation of renewed terrorist attacks as coronavirus restrictions ease, The Fellowship positioned eleven mobile bomb shelters in Ashkelon, one of the most vulnerable communities in southern Israel. And we remained committed to keeping Israelis safe and secure.

In February 2020, one year after the sudden passing of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship hosted a Freedom Flight in his memory, bringing 186 olim (immigrants) to Israel from Ukraine.

But even as the pandemic gripped the globe, our commitment – thanks to YOUR commitment – to fulfilling biblical prophecy never wavered, as Fellowship Freedom Flights continued to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport with new Israelis.

In a country of the former Soviet Union – a country we cannot name due to security concerns – you provided for hundreds trapped without any access to food or basic provisions, unable to make their final journey to Israel.

In December, hundreds of new olim (immigrants) from Ethiopia landed in Israel as part of “Operation Tzur Israel” (“Operation Rock of Israel”). Yael Eckstein met the flights on the tarmac, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

All of these people – and so many more – were helped because of YOU who blessed 2020. We can only do what we do because of YOU. We celebrate YOU. We pray for YOU. We thank God for YOU. And in the year to come, together, we will bless even more of God’s children. Because of YOU.

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