Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president and founder of the International (IFCJ), was the first person ever to receive an award by the Israeli Ministry of Welfare honoring him for his Special Contribution to the Welfare of the People of Israel. Minister of Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog presented the award to Rabbi Eckstein in a ceremony held at the Jerusalem Theatre in Jerusalem on Sunday, May 16, 2010.
Rabbi Eckstein was given the award for his work as the founder and president of the IFCJ, which was referred to by Minister Herzog, as "the largest welfare organization in Israel". As he handed him the award for his contributions, Herzog described IFCJ’s many accomplishments and projects: "IFCJ funds over 400 projects in Israel, all of which strengthen the neediest in our society including lone soldiers, single mothers, immigrants and widows."
The minister added that "Rabbi Eckstein's contribution to the wellbeing of needy Israelis goes above and beyond. IFCJ's influence is apparent in every department of the Ministry of Welfare. Rabbi Eckstein completes the biblical decree 'Love your neighbor as yourself'.
Rabbi Eckstein said, “I thank Minister Herzog for this honor. I hope that some day we will learn that, despite political or ethnic differences, the citizens of Israel are one united entity. When one of us hurts we should all feel his pain and reach out to assist. I wish to salute Israel's social workers who toil daily to help the needy. They truly deserve this award.”
IFCJ, based in Chicago and Jerusalem, is the "largest funder of social services in Israel after the government."
"Through the generosity of its donors, most of whom are evangelical Christians, IFCJ has in recent years contributed hundreds of millions of dollars toward Jewish immigration, resettlement, social welfare, and security projects in Israel, as well as supporting numerous projects that help impoverished Jewish populations in the former Soviet Union and around the world," the organization said.
For more information: Rubi Alfi-Nissan, spokesperson 972-54-2554594 firstname.lastname@example.org