Yael Eckstein, CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), believes her organization is helping fulfill “biblical prophecy” by bringing Jewish people from around the globe back to Israel.
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Eckstein’s organization, founded by her late father Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, is celebrating its 40th anniversary, a massive milestone for the humanitarian aid group he started while she was in the womb.
“It’s very monumental to see how this organization that my father dreamed about, that people said would never happen, would never succeed, has outlived him,” she told CBN’s Faithwire. “And really become the leading philanthropic organization in Israel and the leading bridge-building organization between Christians and Jews, which is what he dreamed about, what he prayed for.”
Eckstein said she sees “God’s hand” in her organization’s work, citing IFCJ’s efforts to feed the hungry, care for orphans, and help Holocaust survivors, among other activities.
Over the past year, the organization has also helped feed, clothe, and rescue Jews fleeing the horrors of Russia’s deadly incursion in Ukraine.
She said IFCJ is “on the front lines in every way, physically, spiritually, financially, of helping to care for the Jewish community.” In the wake of Russia’s attack, she said her organization distributed a million dollars in basic needs to communities across Ukraine, delivering mattresses, food, clothes, and blankets.
And throughout the more than one-year battle, IFCJ has helped get people out of Ukraine, navigating the complexities of doing so even for those who don’t have passports or paperwork.
Eckstein then helps get them established inside Israel to begin a new life, expressing the excitement this essential, lifesaving work brings.
“It’s seeing that unique impact that the fellowship is able to make, especially during times of crisis, but also seeing God’s hand on a regular basis,” she said. “And fulfilling biblical prophecy, bringing Jews home from all four corners of the earth, from Arab countries, from across the former Soviet Union — that when the Fellowship, every day, greets flights in Israel of Jewish people who are persecuted, facing anti-Semitism, facing poverty and war, and we’re able to bring them home.”
Eckstein said “millions of Christians” have joined the effort to make this all possible, adding she’s blessed to be able to do such incredible relief work.
The issue of fulfilling prophecy, though, might stand out to Christians, especially as end-times prophecy often gets a great deal of attention.
Israel’s re-formation in 1948 is often seen as a major fulfillment of eschatological events.
“In 1948, Israel was recognized as a sovereign state, and this, too, has ramifications for the student of Scripture,” GotQuestions.org noted. “God promised Abram that his posterity would have Canaan as ‘an everlasting possession’ (Genesis 17:8), and Ezekiel prophesied a physical and spiritual resuscitation of Israel (Ezekiel 37).”
The outlet continued, “Having Israel as a nation in its own land is important in light of end-time prophecy, because of Israel’s prominence in eschatology (Daniel 10:14; 11:41; Revelation 11:8).”
Ezekiel 37 is seen as prophesying that the Jewish people will return to Israel, with 1948 serving as a benchmark in that fulfillment timeline.
“I think what’s so incredible in our generation is that so many Christians have gone back to studying their roots,” Eckstein said. “We know in the New Testament it says that the Christians are grafted onto this rich olive tree of Israel.”
Speaking of the stunning re-formation of Israel in 1948, she added, “There has never been a people who have been exiled for 2,000 years and then reunited with their land. But the Bible says it will happen and it did happen.”
Eckstein, the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, said her grandfather was born in Germany, escaped, and lost his entire family during the Nazi’s murderous reign. Decades later, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren are living in Israel, with four of Eckstein’s own kids having been born there.
“He was escaping from the Nazis and running in the middle of Germany, looking at the words of the Scriptures … saying … ‘The Jewish people will return to Israel, Jerusalem will be reunited,'” she said. “And the faith it must have taken, after all of the inquisitions, and Holocaust, and persecution, and being chased out of lands, to believe that one day the Jewish people will go back to Israel when it must have seemed so farfetched. And this wasn’t so long ago — this was 80 years ago.”
Eckstein said the “modern state of Israel is nothing short of prophetic,” explaining the connection she sees between 1948 and the current re-gathering of Jewish people from all over the Earth.
“We see that happening every day,” she said. “The prophecies [say] that the children will be filling the streets of Jerusalem with laughter once again; that’s happening.”
Watch Eckstein’s full interview on these issues here.
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