Jewish Agency and ICFJ renew collaboration after 5-year split

The International Fellowship for Christians and Jews and the Jewish Agency are back working together .

By MARCY OSTER/JTA
July 12, 2019 05:24
1 minute read.
Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog speaks at the GC4I conference in Jerusalem, June 19

Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog speaks at the GC4I conference in Jerusalem, June 19. (photo credit: MIRI SHIMONOVICH/GPO)

 
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JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Jewish Agency and an organization that raises money for Israel primarily from Christians are back working together again after a five-year split.

The International Fellowship for Christians and Jews, or ICFJ, and the Jewish Agency confirmed to Haaretz that they would renew their collaboration.



The fellowship donated tens of millions of dollars to the Jewish Agency over 15 years before halting the funding in 2014 amid a fight over the agency’s recognition for ICFJ, as well as then-ICFJ head Yechiel Eckstein’s concerns about how the agency brought over Jews moving to Israel.



ICFJ started its own aliyah operation, offering every new immigrant a $1,000 grant on top of benefits offered by the Jewish Agency. It has brought to Israel thousands from Ukraine during its conflict with Russia, France, Venezuela, Yemen and other trouble spots for Jews.



The fellowship will continue its aliyah operations, Haaretz reported Thursday, while cooperating in other areas with the Jewish Agency.



Yael Eckstein, who took over as ICFJ president following her father’s death in February, spoke of the new relationship.



“We definitely wouldn’t be making significant annual contributions to the Jewish Agency,” she said. “It would be more of a strategic partnership on specific projects.”



Jewish Agency head Isaac Herzog confirmed to Haaretz that he has met with Eckstein to discuss the renewed partnership.



Last week, Haaretz reported that George Mamo, the fellowship’s CEO, resigned unexpectedly shortly after a U.S. court allowed a lawsuit to proceed in which two former employees accused him of sexual harassment.

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