It was quite unexpected that he would leave the world now as only a few days before he was seen in a fund-raising event. However, the fact is that Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein is no more. At the age of 67, he passes away peacefully at his own home on 6th February, Wednesday. The news of his demise has been declared by his organization, the famous the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, on 7th February, Thursday. However, the cause of death has not been declared.
Eckstein and Israel
Yechiel Eckstein became an Israeli citizen in 2002. However, his relationship with the Asian Jews, particularly the Israelis, began as early as in 1983, the year he founded the IFCJ. He tried to help the needy and vulnerable populace of the country, especially the poor and the elderly survivors of the Holocaust, by raising funds from the members of the evangelical community.
During the 1990s, when a large number of Jews had to leave the former Soviet Union and come to Israel, Rabbi Eckstein tried his best to collect money for the help of the immigrants and for offering them a better experience of relocation.
His efforts were so great that, as said by one of the IFCJ reviews, the organization has now attained the stature of being one of the largest nonprofit institutions of the country, with a collection of about $140 million per year.
His death has been deeply mourned by people from all sectors of Israeli society. The Prime Minister, in his commemorating speech, remembered the great contribution of the Rabbi in the overall uplift of the Israeli people and his never-ending attempt to strengthen the bond between the Christians and the Jews. Although criticisms and harsh comments against him were not few, Eckstein will be venerated in Israel forever.