Yael Eckstein named to Jerusalem Post’s ‘50 Most Influential Jews of 2021’
Press Release: The KAIROS Company for the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews of Canada
September 9, 2021
JERUSALEM — Yael Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews of Canada, has devoted the majority of her adult life creating meaningful and relevant bridges between the Christian community and Israel. And this week she was honoured for her work by being named on the Jerusalem Post’s annual list of the 50 most influential Jews in the world.
Her father, the late Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founded the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews 37 years ago, and she has served as President since his passing in 2019.
“There was a lot of pressure on me to fill his shoes,” she recalled. “But I decided that he had filled his shoes and I will fill mine.”
She knew, taking over, that most organizations that pass to the second generation usually fail especially Christian ministries. In her first year, Eckstein put together a budget in hopes of just breaking even but surprised even herself.
“We had expected to raise $123 million (globally) that year,” Eckstein said. “We closed with $173 million. And this year, two years later, we have doubled our donor base from around 300,000 donors to 627,000 (globally). We have almost doubled our budget, too, which means we have helped almost double the amount of people.”
And she did all this in the shadow of COVID-19, during a war in the Holy Land, and a lot of other surprises.
“My goal was to be focused, strategic, intentional and well-planned, yet agile enough that at the drop of a dime we were able to be on the ground, meeting needs,” Eckstein said. “It is not just about having funds, but the ability to distribute them effectively.”
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is the largest philanthropic organization in Israel. In the past two years, she said, she has proven that Christians loved her father, but did not support Israel simply because of him. It is a genuine support for God’s country. Her father fought for more than three decades to achieve acceptance for Christian support for Israel. Today, Eckstein said, people appreciate and celebrate it.
“As a religious woman, I am in such a privileged position,” she said. “I help people make aliyah (immigration to Israel), provide food to the hungry, and I have a platform to teach Christians more about the roots of their faith.
“The Torah is coming alive in Israel,” she concluded. “Christians are yearning for that connection.”
To learn more about Yael Eckstein and the honour she’s received from the Jerusalem Post, click here.
Yael Eckstein is president of the International Fellowship of Christian and Jews of Canada. As president, she also holds the rare distinction of being a woman leading one of the world’s largest, religious not-for-profit organizations, having raised 1.6 billion dollars, globally, to assist Israel and the Jewish people.
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. In 2003, Rabbi Eckstein founded the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews of Canada to increase The Fellowship’s reach and support. Over the years, we have been leaders in Jewish-Christian relations, building bridges of goodwill that have led to greater understanding and cooperation between members of these two great faiths. We have helped thousands of Jews escape poverty and anti-Semitism and return to their biblical homeland, funded humanitarian assistance that has touched the lives of people in Israel and Jews around the world, and fulfilled Biblical prophecy with our Fellowship Freedom Flights to the Holy Land.