The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which begun in 1983 as an effort to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews, is today one of the largest organizations in the world supporting Israel and helping its people, and the largest charity in the Holy Land.
Led by its founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the IFCJ also builds bridges between Christians and Israel. Its supporters in North America have been providing humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, and offering prayer and assisting with security for the Jewish people.
The Korean affiliate joins operations in the United States (Chicago), Israel (Jerusalem), Canada (Toronto), and soon in Australia.
Rabbi Yehchiel and Joelle Eckstein with Mrs. Kim Hee Ho and Mr. Bae Jung Hwa
"We have been planning to establish our work in South Korea for a decade," says Rabbi Eckstein. "It’s providential that we launch not only during the jubilee of Korean-Israeli friendship, but also as we enter the holiest time of the Jewish year.
"Each year, 40,000 Koreans visit Israel; The Fellowship will widen the already significant bridge of friendship between Korean Christians and Israel in ways that benefit us all."
The jubilee observance included a symposium and dinner at Konkuk University sponsored by the IFCJ and the Israel Cultural Center of South Korea.
Rev. Kwak Sun Hee and Rabbi Eckstein toasting
The program featured a conversation between South Korea’s first Ambassador to Israel Park Dong Soon and Israel’s current ambassador to Korea Tuvia Israeli. Rabbi Eckstein presented the keynote address, “Strengthening Biblical bonds between Christians and Jews, and bringing greater shalom in the world."
Dr. Kim Jin Sup, vice president of Baekseok University, also spoke. Mrs. Kim, the head of the Israel Cultural Center of South Korea, welcomed guests.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will provide greetings by video.
Musicians from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) performed at the event, including a performance of the South Korean National Anthem. The Friends of the IDF (FIDF) sponsored the performance of the Israeli musicians. Contemporary Christian music artist Boo Young Ham sang the Israeli national anthem, and multi-church Korean choir “Ein Gedi" performed in Hebrew.
Approximately 1,000 guests had pre-registered.