Rabbi Eckstein is in southern Israel today assessing the needs that have arisen due to continual terrorist rocket fire, and offering The Fellowship’s assistance. He sent the message below earlier today. Please pray for the success of The Fellowship’s efforts, and for peace and safety for all of Israel.
The Fellowship announced today that we have created two emergency funds for people in southern Israel caught in the path of the terrorist rocket fire from Gaza that has escalated in recent days.
In response to the requests of leaders in the region, one fund will provide summer programs for children and another will care for those affected by the rocket fire. The Fellowship supports the communities in southern Israel all year round, and has contributed over $33 million in recent years to the region.
Yesterday, Rabbi Eckstein released this message concerning the three kidnapped Israeli teens:
As I write this, my heart is heavy. Three teenage Israeli boys – 16-year-old Gilad Shaar, 16-year-old Naftali Frenkel, and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach – were kidnapped by terrorists while headed home from their yeshiva school for Shabbat (the Sabbath), and have been missing for several days. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has launched a nationwide manhunt to find them, and to bring the perpetrators of this terrible crime to justice.
Before he began his Shabbat (Sabbath) observance, Rabbi Eckstein recorded this video asking for your urgent prayers for the safe return of three Israeli teenagers who went missing Thursday night in the West Bank. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officials fear they have been kidnapped, citing Palestinian terrorists’ recent calls for the kidnapping of Israeli citizens.
As the United States prepares to commemorate Memorial Day this coming Monday, Rabbi Eckstein shares these words on the mixed feelings this particular holiday weekend brings - those of appreciation for family, friends, and God's creation, as well as of mourning and grief for loved ones no longer with us:
As we reported last week, today Rabbi Eckstein was given the prestigious Raoul Wallenberg Award. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony in Israel, which honored Rabbi Eckstein for his "profound contribution to the Jewish people":
Rabbi Eckstein finished his return trip to Ukraine, and has arrived home in Israel. His visit to the Ukrainian Jewish community showed him how The Fellowship's support has helped the country's Jews through these troubled times, and included the Jewish celebration of Lag B'Omer.
Today is the 31st anniversary of The Fellowship’s founding. As we reflect on all the great work we have been able to accomplish over the past three decades, we are so grateful for each of you, our faithful supporters who make this important ministry possible.
One Fellowship staff member who has worked for Rabbi Eckstein since the beginning shares some of her memories of those early days.
Rabbi Eckstein returned to Ukraine today to meet with the rabbi of Odessa and members of the Jewish community, as well as to visit projects that The Fellowship supports.
Please continue to pray for safe travels, as well as for the safety and security of the people of Ukraine and the troubled nation's Jews in this time of chaos, uncertainty, and violence.