Christian-Jewish fellowship helping needy Israeli Arabs during Ramadan


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A fellowship of Christians and Jews will provide food aid to needy Israeli Arabs during the monthlong Muslim holiday of Ramadan.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews announced it would provide more than $260,000 worth of food vouchers to 3,000 low-income Arab-Israeli families. The families have been identified by welfare offices throughout Israel.

The fellowship works with the offices year-round to help needy Israeli Arabs, earmarking more than $5 million in 2016.

During Ramadan, which began on June 5, Muslims fast every day and have festive meals every evening.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the fellowship’s founder and president, said in a statement that the food aid is necessary because the Israeli government has not done enough to close social gaps between Arab and Jewish Israelis.

“The investment in the welfare of minorities in Israel is critical for the development of feelings of belonging and mutuality between the communities,” Eckstein said. “Our studies clearly indicate that the more Israel’s Arab population feels treated equally by society, the more loyal they will feel to the state, including a willingness to participate in national service.”

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