Yechiel Eckstein, the charismatic rabbi and founder of philanthropic charity organization named the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), has gone. He died and left the massive empire built by him. By the time Rabbi Eckstein was alive, IFCJ was a one-man show.
The IFCJ flourished due to massive fundraising activities, but remained in controversies for massive remuneration drawn by Rabbi Eckstein for himself and his daughter Yael Eckstein who acted as Rabbi’s deputy in the mission.
The faith and controversy in IFCJ
The man who gave IFCJ a new height is gone on February 6 when he was in his 60s. His daughter Yael Eckstein in 40s, worked with him in the mission, succeeded him. The IFCJ is still a one-man show because it doesn’t make a difference whether it was managed by Rabbi Eckstein or his daughter Yael after him.
With the succession of Yael, the controversies will never end. It is still doubtful for many whether IFCJ is a true charity or family business. The question is difficult to answer because there are two aspects of this question; on one hand, the support offered to Israelis from the funds raised by this charity construe it a true charity, but on the other hand, self-interest of Rabbi Eckstein and succession of his daughter Yael after him construe it a family business.
Future of IFCJ
The controversy may or may not end, unless someone runs IFCL without a self-interest. Since Yael Eckstein has taken the charge of IFCJ as President, the question of IFCJ becoming a true charity is far from the reality. Further success of IFCJ depends on the future support of Evangelical Christians. It is not sure how much they will donate to this charity, whether same, less, or more than what they donated during the tenure of Rabbi Eckstein. This is time of acid test for IFCJ and for its current president as well.