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August 31, 2016 INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS direct mail fundraising appeal (PDF)

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. It now claims more than a quarter million adherents. When the Soviet Union fell apart, Christian evangelical organizations stepped up their fundraising to transport and resettle Soviet Jews in Israel. These “lord’s travel agent” programs continue, with Eckstein trumpeting his organization’s Christian funding stream as largely “untapped” and less affected by the travails of those Jewish Israel affinity organization (IAO) donors who are heavily exposed to financial sector volatility such as the 2008 financial crisis. It has even taken on funding commitments originally financed by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government such as Jewish studies programs in Eastern Europe, a medical center in Ashkelon, welfare centers for abused children in Israel, and anti-violence programs in public schools.

Similar to some of its elder IAO allies, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has participated in overseas covert actions, financing a “rescue operation” for forty Jews, it claimed were in danger if they continued living in Iran, “a country whose president questioned whether the Holocaust ever happened and asserted that Israel must be wiped off the map.”65 The forty disappeared from Iran only to reappear in Israel. Though conducted by the Jewish Agency, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews “raised millions of dollars” for the operation.66 Each Iranian was also given a stake of $10,000 to make a new life in Israel.

The foreign policy ramifications for such actions are enormous. Although U.S. relations with Iran at the time were not warm, they were presumably not improved by an American charity financing the quiet disappearance of Iranian citizens, only to trumpet their almost magical reappearance in Israel as a major public relations victory.

IFCJ does not disclose overseas covert operations in its fundraising appeals directed at U.S. Christian Evangelical donors. It does not disclose that donations are transferred to a foreign agnet, the Jewish Agency, for such operations. Instead, IFCJ implies that tax-exempt donations will be used for feeding programs for elderly Jews in Israel.


Organization historical content excerpted with permission from the book BIG ISRAEL How Israel's Lobby Moves America

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