When my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founded the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), 38 years ago, his vision was to build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews and to break through the barriers of 2,000 years of misunderstanding and discord between the two faiths. The main tool my father used to achieve that was one of his greatest passions—education.
My father believed that the more our two faith communities understood about each other, the stronger our relationship would be. He also recognized that Jesus was a Jew, and consequently, that all Christians have an intrinsic connection to Judaism. He saw it as his privilege and responsibility to reconnect Christians to their Jewish roots by sharing Jewish teachings, culled throughout millennia, with anyone who wanted to learn about them.
To that end, my father produced many educational materials. Since his passing in 2019, his passion for education lives on through The Fellowship—on our website, on the radio and through our many publications. And today, as The Fellowship president and CEO, I am continuing my father's vision and legacy with my podcast, Nourish Your Biblical Roots, on the Charisma Podcast Network.
On this podcast, we'll explore the Jewish roots of the Christian faith and nourish those roots with inspirational insights that are relevant to our lives today. I'll share stories about my life in the Holy Land, and together, we'll study Jewish teachings on the Torah. Through these weekly conversations, I hope that your connection with Israel will grow stronger and that your own faith will be deeply enriched.
In his groundbreaking book How Firm a Foundation, my father wrote words that perfectly express my thoughts as I launch my podcast: "My deepest prayer is that it [will] create greater harmony and understanding between Christians and Jews, two groups of people who have been estranged from each other for too long; my most profound hope is that it be a source of blessing and enrichment to both communities."
May this podcast support you in your search for knowledge, uplift your soul and fill your desire to deepen your relationship with God. I hope to serve as a bridge between Christians and Jews in our times, just as my father did in his. I look forward to continuing the journey that he began—and while he is no longer with us, I am grateful to follow in his footsteps and to be on that journey with you.
Yael Eckstein is president and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the largest provider of humanitarian aid in Israel. Annually, The Fellowship raises more than $127 million, helping 1.5 million Jews in need in Israel and around the world.
Yael leads all ministry programs and serves as the international envoy and on-air advocate, giving her the rare distinction of being a woman leading one of the world's largest religious charities. She recently was named by a leading Jewish publication as one of "top 100 individuals who have positively influenced Jewish life" for her work as "the world's leading Jewish interfaith activist."
Yael's writings have appeared in a variety of respected publications, including The Jerusalem Post, Fox News, CBN, The Christian Post, Charisma and The Times of Israel. She is the author of three books: Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children, Holy Land Reflections: A Collection of Inspirational Insights from Israel and Spiritual Cooking with Yael.
Born in Chicago and now a proud citizen of Israel, Yael and her husband, Amichai, are the proud parents of Meora, Liam, Sapir and Shimmy, to whom they are imparting the legacy of faith.
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