JDC to honor Christian-Jewish fellowship founder Yechiel Eckstein

Ben Sales

(JTA) — The American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee will give one of its highest awards to Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

Eckstein will receive the Raoul Wallenberg Award, named for the World War II-era Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jews’ lives,  at a gala in honor of the JDC’s centennial. The JDC aids Jews in danger, as well as victims of natural disasters, and provides support to small and struggling communities.

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Eckstein, who founded the IFCJ in 1983, has raised funds through the organization to bring Jews to Israel, and to provide aid to Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union. He will be the award’s fourth recipient. Previous recipients of the award include philanthropists Edgar Bronfman and Donn Weinberg, and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

“Rabbi Eckstein and IFCJ have done so much to help so many of the World’s most vulnerable Jews and we are proud of all that we have done together to reach so many in need,” said JDC CEO Alan Gill in a press release. 

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