The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews [The Fellowship], founded by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, is the largest provider of humanitarian aid in Israel. The Fellowship, comprised of independent organizations in Canada (IFCJ Canada), the U.S., and Israel, collectively raise over $165 million CAD annually, helping 1.5 million Jews in need in Israel and around the world.
Yael Eckstein serves as the President and CEO of the U.S. and Israel organizations. She has also served on the Board of Directors for IFCJ Canada since 2015. In June 2019, following the unexpected death of her father, Rabbi Eckstein, she succeeded him in his role and became President of IFCJ Canada.
Yael oversees all programs for The Fellowship while serving as the international spokesperson for the organization. A tireless advocate for the Jewish people, she has been a frequent and influential voice combatting anti-Semitism. Yael is a hands-on executive, often found greeting olim (immigrants) upon their arrival to Israel, sitting with elderly Holocaust survivors in their homes, or distributing food to those in need.
Yael has been featured in The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, The Times of Israel, Fox News, the Religion News Service, and the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2019, The Algemeiner named Yael to the Jewish 100, citing the positive influence she has made to Jewish life, and referring to her as “the world’s leading Jewish interfaith activist.” She was also named to The Jerusalem Post's "50 Most Influential Jews of 2020".
She is the author of three books: Holy Land Reflections: A Collection of Inspirational Insights from Israel, Spiritual Cooking with Yael, and most recently, Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children. In addition, her insights into life in Israel, the Jewish faith, and Jewish-Christian relations can be heard on The Fellowship’s radio program Holy Land Moments, which airs five times a week on nearly 1,000 stations across Canada, the U.S., and abroad.
Based in Israel with her husband and their four children, Yael is a native of Chicago, and was educated at both U.S. and Israeli institutions, including biblical studies at Torat Chesed Seminary in Israel, Jewish and sociology studies at Queens College in New York, and additional study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
With over a decade of non-profit experience in multiple roles, Yael has the rare distinction of being a woman leading one of the world’s largest religious charitable organizations.