Amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Yael Eckstein and Roman Abramovich, hailing from vastly different backgrounds, have emerged as beacons of hope for Ukrainians and Ukrainian Jewish refugees.
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With more than 30 years of experience in the former Soviet Union, Eckstein’s organization, The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), has been at the forefront of providing essential support to those affected by the war.
Since the eruption of the Ukrainian conflict in February 2022, The Fellowship has facilitated the aliyah of thousands of Jewish refugees. It also launched extensive emergency aid programs, contributing nearly $60 million to distribute vital necessities such as food, medication, blankets, and generators to those affected by the conflict. Even during the initial days of the war when airspace was closed, The Fellowship’s determination allowed them to continue rescue flights, laden with humanitarian aid, to those trapped in Ukraine.
Eckstein has been instrumental in overseeing The Fellowship’s mission of ensuring the safety and well-being of the Jewish people wherever they are. The organization has more than 600,000 active donors and raises over $200 million a year for Jewish causes. Earlier this year, she was honored with The Jerusalem Post’s 2023 Humanitarian Award for her efforts.
At the core, Eckstein is passionate about fostering Jewish-Christian relations and connecting people of faith to Israel. She hosts her own podcast, Nourish Your Biblical Roots, and frequently engages with global leaders to address shared concerns, advocating for religious liberty and interfaith dialogue.
An immigrant from Evanston, Illinois, Eckstein now lives in the North with her husband and four
Russian Israeli businessman Roman Abramovich has emerged as an intriguing figure in the ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Despite being under some sanctions himself, Abramovich has played a critical role behind the scenes as a neutral party working to facilitate peace talks.
Although not an official delegate from either side, he has functioned as a mediator – a role reportedly requested by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He took on this unofficial role immediately when the war began and has, reportedly, helped broker prisoner swaps, aspects of the grain deal and more.
Abramovich is one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, and he has used much of his money to support philanthropic causes, especially among the Jewish and Israeli communities.
Despite ongoing negotiations, a comprehensive political settlement remains elusive in 2023. However, Abramovich’s role in attempting to broker peace and to provide aid to both the Jewish and general communities affected by the ongoing conflict is to be celebrated.