THE FELLOWSHIP HONORED IN KNESSET AS ‘BEACON OF LIGHT’ FOR NEEDY HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS
Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors’ Limor Livnat presents annual award to Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein for helping Israeli Holocaust survivors
JERUSALEM, Dec. 22 – The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) this week received the Beacon of Light appreciation award for 2016 by The Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors in a special Knesset ceremony.
The foundation’s chair, Limor Livnat, presented the award to The Fellowship Founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein on Tuesday for making a life-saving difference for tens of thousands of elderly, poor Holocaust survivors across Israel.
“In light of your great contribution for the benefit of the survivors, the allocation of Fellowship resources and the desire to improve the lives of the survivors, we see fit to present you with the Beacon of Light Award,” Livnat told Eckstein before the ceremony.
During the ceremony Livnat also acknowledged The Fellowship’s tens of millions of shekels in support for the elderly and Holocaust survivors, which provides 10,000 at-home panic buttons, dental treatment, food and medication. Livnat also announced that The Fellowship will devote a special gift of $500,000 for survivors’ dental care in 2017.
Other award recipients this year included actor and comedian Ya’acov Bodo, Holocaust survivor Ya’acov Zilberstein, businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison, German Judge Jan-Robert von Renesse and volunteers Rina Stadler and Haim Shilo. The foundation also presented its Citation of Light to MK Itzik Shmuli and a medal for social activity to the ORT Israel network.
“We are deeply grateful to be recognized for helping Holocaust survivors live their last years in dignity,” said Eckstein. “But this award is really about the critical work that still remains to ensure that no Holocaust survivor in Israel or anywhere must be forced to choose between food and medical care because of poverty. This is about doing justice for those who have endured.”
The Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors award is presented annually to those who stand out for their work on behalf of survivors, to Holocaust survivors who have excelled in their contribution to Israeli society, and to volunteers improving survivors’ quality of life.
There are about 189,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel, with 25 percent living below the poverty line. The Fellowship provides more than $7.3 million annually in food, medicine, winter heating fuel, daycare and other assistance to over 18,000 survivors in Israel and more than $15 million annually in food, medical assistance, home care and winter aid to more than 60,000 survivors and other poor, elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union, the vast majority of whom live in poverty.
The Fellowship has been widely recognized for its global work, aiding the poor and elderly in Israel and around the world, helping Jews immigrate to and resettle in Israel, supporting victims of terror and Lone Soldiers (those who serve without immediate family in Israel), and defending Jews against anti-Semitism. The Fellowship ranked among the top 400 charitable organizations of more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. in 2016 by the Washington, D.C.-based Chronicle of Philanthropy, while Eckstein was named among the 50 most influential Jews worldwide by The Jerusalem Post.
About The Fellowship:
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) was founded in 1983 to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews, and build broad support for Israel. Today it is one of the leading forces in helping Israel and Jews in need worldwide – and is the largest channel of Christian support for Israel. Led by its founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship now raises more than $140 million per year, mostly from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding, The Fellowship has raised more than $1.3 billion for this work. The organization has offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Miami, Toronto, Seoul, and Sao Paulo. For more information, visitwww.ifcj.org.