Interfaith group giving to Jewish Agency


The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews will give the Jewish Agency for Israel $15 million per year for the next three years.

The Jewish Agency made the announcement Wednesday, adding that the fellowship will be able to appoint members to the agency’s lay leadership boards.


The money will go toward the Jewish Agency’s core budget, which traditionally comes from the dues collected by the United Jewish Communities from North American Jewish federations and the agency’s international fund-raising mechanism, Keren Hayesod


The UJC gave $140 million to JAFI for its core budget in 2007, but the Jewish Agency has been told to expect a decrease of about $2 million, according to its Board of Govenors chair, Richard Pearlstone. The agency’s total budget this year was $317 million.


The Jewish Agency is calling the new arrangement with the charitable fund, which is headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, a “strategic partnership.” This year, the fellowship contributed more than $8 million to the Jewish Agency.


According to a memorandum of understanding, the fellowship will give the money to the Jewish Agency through Keren Hayesod. The fellowship will be able to appoint a member to the Jewish Agency’s Budget and Finance Committee, and the fellowship’s president will become a member of the Jewish Agency’s Executive.


“The nature of our new partnership will be expressed by proudly placing the fellowship alongside our loyal, longtime partners, the UJC – the federations of North America and Keren Hayesod,” the chairman of the Jewish Agency’s Executive, Ze’ev Bielski, wrote in a letter announcing the arrangement.

Recommended from JTA