JDC to honor Christian-Jewish aid group’s leader for humanitarian service

Current Wallenberg Prize laureate Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein (holding the award) with former Wallenberg Prize Awardee Elie Wiesel. The Wallenberg Award is given by the JDC for outstanding contributions to bettering the lives of Jews in need. Credit: JDC.

(JNS.org) One humanitarian group will honor the leader of another on May 20, when the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) presents Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) with the Raoul Wallenberg Award for his “profound contribution to the Jewish people as founder and president of ICFJ.”

Founded in 1983, IFCJ promotes understanding between Jews and Christians. The group has raised more than a billion dollars—mostly from Christian donors—for Jewish immigration, social programs in Israel, and struggling Jewish communities around the world.

More recently, the group has raised tens of millions to help the Jewish community of Ukraine. 

“Rabbi Eckstein and IFCJ have done so much to help so many of the world’s most vulnerable Jews and we are proud of all that we have done together to reach so many in need,” said JDC CEO Alan Gill.

The prize is named after Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. Past recipients of the award have included Donn Weinberg, Edgar Bronfman, and Elie Wiesel.

JDC, meanwhile, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Posted on May 14, 2014 .