As the Founder and President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and Goodwill Ambassador for the State of Israel, Rabbi Eckstein has devoted more than 35 years to building bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews and broad support for the State of Israel. He is recognized as the world's leading Jewish authority on evangelical Christians. Rabbi Eckstein received Orthodox Rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University in New York. He holds master's degrees from Yeshiva University and Columbia University, where he also completed studies for his doctorate. Rabbi Eckstein has served on the faculties of Columbia University, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Seminary. He currently serves on the executive committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to promote understanding between Jews and Christians and build broad support for Israel and other shared concerns. Their ministry's vision is that Jews and Christians will reverse their 2,000-year history of discord and replace it with a relationship marked by dialogue, respect, and cooperation.
One of the passages that stands out and personally impacted me is told in the book's beginning and shows that before the bridge building of understandng began, Rabbi Eckstein had a vision to accomplish this and in order to build this bridge, he had to step up and be the engineer. That depiction has impacted me personally, as I feel it will impact others who read this book, for your personal passions impacting the world we live in. To realize that any bridge for understanding these causes could use an engineer, and it could be me stepping up to do this. It could be another reader of this book who becomes inspired to step up and create an opportunity to make a difference in this world through action.
I also took great inspiration in the fact that he has from the beginning felt a personal relationship with God and felt at the time that it was a divine mission, what is known in Hebrew as "shlichut". He received inspiration from the story of Abraham and Isaac told in the book of Genesis, where God gives a command to Abraham to take his son ‘to the land I will show you.’ God doesn’t tell Abraham where it is. He simply expects Abraham to obey. It was the spirit of the message found in this story that Rabbi Eckstein says has guided his work and his life.
For more information on Rabbi Eckstein, you can visit his page on the ICFJ website here.
About the Author:
Zev Chafets is the bestselling author of fourteen books of fiction, media criticism, and social and political commentary. He has been a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and is a former columnist for the New York Daily News.
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