Christian-funded charity responds to humanitarian needs during Israel-Palestinian conflict
The Fellowship | May 17, 2021
JERUSALEM — Due to continued rocket attacks across central and southern Israel, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), the largest Christian-funded provider of security and humanitarian aid in Israel, increased aid to affected citizens waiting out the conflict.
“Last week, we immediately approved security measures like bomb shelters and protective vests to address the most pressing needs,” said Fellowship President and CEO, Yael Eckstein. “But as the conflict continues into its second week, we need to start approaching this as a humanitarian crisis. Many of Israel’s citizens are effectively refugees in their own country, living out of bomb shelters without access to basic needs like food.”
The Fellowship partnered with Ashkelon, the most targeted city in Israel, to provide 2,000 meals to people in bomb shelters. In addition, The Fellowship provided 320 food cards to affected citizens in southern Israel worth approximately $91: 100 in Ashkelon, 120 in Ashdod, and 100 in Sderot and Netivot.
“Thanks to Christian supporters in the U.S.,” noted Eckstein, “The Fellowship is able to respond to any emergency in Israel with immediate and substantive aid. Israel’s municipalities trust us to deliver because our supporters have never failed to respond generously when Israel is in crisis.”
Last week, The Fellowship placed 13 bomb shelters in Ashkelon as well as 7 in Sderot and surrounding regional councils. It also provided 25 protective vests to security teams in Ashkelon.
Since 2004, The Fellowship has provided over $47 million in security aid to numerous municipalities throughout Israel. Not only has this aid placed over 2,800 bomb shelters, it includes a variety of other security projects such as fortifying hospitals and schools and supplying security vehicles and drones. In 2020 alone, The Fellowship’s new projects secured over 30,000 people.
This week, Eckstein said The Fellowship is also launching a social media campaign to reach over 15 million people with carefully fact-checked information about the current situation in Israel: “Our supporters come to us for on-the-ground updates because they know misinformation is all around us. At The Fellowship, we take that responsibility very seriously because anti-Israel bias only seems to be increasing. Our mission is to build bridges between Christians and Jews. Part of that mission is educating the world about what’s really happening on Israel.”
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 helping Israel and Jews in need worldwide — and is the largest channel of Christian support for Israel. Founded by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship now raises more than $120 million per year, mostly from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding, The Fellowship has raised more than $1.8 billion for this work. The organization has offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul. For more information, visit www.ifcj.org.
Yael Eckstein is the President and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. In this role, Eckstein oversees all ministry programs and serves as the organization’s international spokesperson. She can be heard on The Fellowship’s daily radio program airing on 1,500 stations worldwide. Before her present duties, Yael served as global executive vice president, senior vice president, and director of program development and ministry outreach. Based in Jerusalem, Yael is a published writer, leading international advocate for persecuted religious minorities, and a respected social services professional. As President and CEO of The Fellowship, she also holds the rare distinction of being a woman leading one of America’s largest religious not-for-profit organizations.