Yael Eckstein, the executive vice president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), which was founded 35 years ago to build bridges between Jews and evangelical Christians and unite the two communities in support of Israel, was among the invited guests at the Knesset today to hear Vice President Mike Pence’s historic speech to Israel’s parliament. In response to the vice president’s stirring remarks, Eckstein issued the following statement:
“With a realistic vision of the strength required for peace, the vice president affirmed what makes the State of Israel unique in the world and showed a sure path to hope in an unsteady time,” said Eckstein. “He demonstrated the timeless bond that unites Israel and the United States and transcends the politics of the moment.”
Of the friendship between Christians and Jews, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of The Fellowship, added: “It was unthinkable 35 years ago, when I founded The Fellowship, that after so many centuries of mistrust and animosity, adherents of these two great Abrahamic faiths could become such true and faithful friends. Today, I cannot imagine what the state of Israel would do without the support of its Christian friends around the world.
“Chief among those Christian friends is Vice President Mike Pence, but joining him are countless millions of Christians, pastors, and leaders of organizations who’ve made the security and prosperity of Israel their priority. Some of them even consider Israel their second home.”
Principally supported by evangelical Christians around the world, The Fellowship provides lifesaving aid to Holocaust survivors, needy Jews in Israel and the former Soviet Union, and impoverished Arab Christians, and has tirelessly advocated for those who face anti-Semitism or persecution for their faith.
The Fellowship has been active in aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel) for 25 years, partnering with other organizations initially, including the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh which The Fellowship helped found, and has brought and cared for nearly 750,000 new olim (immigrants). Since starting its own global aliyah program in late 2014, The Fellowship has brought nearly 12,000 new immigrants to Israel from 26 countries, many of whom are facing an alarming rise in anti-Semitism.