Press Releases

Our statement on the passing of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein z”l

Michael Geller / JDC
Telephone: (212) 885-0838

For Immediate Release

It is with a deep and profound sadness that The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) joins with so many others in Israel and around the world in mourning the untimely death of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, z”l, the founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and a towering figure in the philanthropic and Jewish world. Rabbi Eckstein served as a long-time JDC Board member and Executive Committee member and was, together with IFCJ, the recipient of the Raoul Wallenberg Award, JDC’s highest award. The Mishna says: “Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.”  Therefore, what can one say about someone whose life work helped save tens of thousands of lives? As our staunch partner in the Lifeline partnership, Rabbi Ekstein and IFCJ worked with us on behalf of elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union who are the poorest Jews in the world.  We cherished his stalwart passion for the Jewish people, Israel, and for aiding the neediest among us. His vision, dedication, and urgent call for the ongoing relief of Jews in need serves as a lesson to us all and will serve as a legacy for generations to come. Baruch Dayan Emet. May Rabbi Eckstein’s family, including his wife Joelle, and daughters Tamar, Talia and Yael, be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

About JDC

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters.

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