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The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is donating some NIS 10 million to the poorest of Israel's schoolchildren to help them purchase supplies for the new school year.
"Our donors understand that Israel just had a war, that wars cost money, that Israel has to prepare for future wars, and that this leaves a vacuum in social spending," fellowship founder and president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein told The Jerusalem Post this week, adding that the donation was meant "just to help people get on their feet" following the fighting.
The fellowship was founded in 1982 to serve as a way for evangelical Christians in the US and elsewhere to contribute to charitable causes in Israel. In the framework of the IFCJ's Guardians of Israel program, more than 450,000 evangelical Christians write out more than 4,000 checks a day, contributing some $40m. (NIS 175m.) a year to projects that help Israel's poor.
The latest start-of-the-school-year project will give some 40,000 of Israel's poorest schoolchildren NIS 250 worth of school supplies. The recipients will be chosen by school principals, with whom the IFCJ has worked closely in the past and who are seen as best able to determine the need.
To ascertain that all funds donated reach their intended recipient, the IFCJ operates according to a checks-and-balances system, Eckstein said. Fifty percent of the funds are transferred immediately, and a follow-up by the organization determines whether they were used appropriately. Only then will the organization provide the rest of the money.The donations will be distributed in secret "so as not to stigmatize the children" by showing they are needy, Eckstein noted.