Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christian and Jews (IFCJ) has died. Rabbi Eckstein was head of one of the largest charities supporting Jews in Israel and around the world, but amazingly many of his neighbors didn’t know this fact. They were not interested and it was not important for them.
The fact was revealed after his death on February 06, 2019. Now, rabbi’s daughter Yael Eckstein has stepped into the shoes of her deceased father. She was deputy to Rabbi Eckstein when he was alive, but now holds the status of IFCJ’s head.
Difference between influence of Rabbi Eckstein and his daughter
The IFCJ raised about $130 million a year, mostly from evangelical Christians. The donations came because of influence of Rabbi’s charismatic personality and strong influence. There’s a difference in the period of Rabbi and the present reign of his daughter Yael Eckstein. In the past, it was influence of Rabbi, but it’s influence of his name now. Yael is known by the name of Rabbi Eckstein as his daughter. The Christian donors make their donations to IFCJ mostly in the name of Rabbi Eckstein. The issue is whether influence of Rabbi Eckstein or that of his daughter Yael is more. Obviously, Rabbi Eckstein, who ran this charity for over 35 years is more popular.
Why Eckstein’s influence was more than his daughter
Why IFCJ still has more influence of Rabbi Eckstein compared to that of his daughter Yael Eckstein? There are valid reasons for this influence. First, the foundation of IFCJ was laid by Rabbi Eckstein. Second, his association with IFCJ was for long 35 years. Third, Rabbi Eckstein had a dashing and convincing personality. Finally, Rabbi Eckstein was self-builder of the IFCJ. No doubt, Yael is his daughter, but she will take time to make the influence like her father. Moreover, it depends how much Christians will accept her as a head of the charity.