Most likely you landed on this page because you a have seen the commercials for the organization called the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews or IFCJ and you are wondering “is the IFCJ a scam?”
Other Organizations also operated by IFCJ—
- Isaiah 58
- On Wings of Eagles
- Stand for Israel
- Guardians of Israel
International Fellowship of Christians & Jews a Scam?
During the commercials —
- Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein appears to be a very sincere and caring man, pleading with great emotion asking for your help supporting the Jewish people.
- Thousands of Christians have given to this organization without being aware of numerous concerns that will be outlined below.
What You Should Know Before Giving to the IFCJ:
- Rabbi Eckstein REFUSES to work with Jewish people who actually believe in Jesus. (Read his own words below)
- The IFCJ has NO written Statement of Faith.
- November 2013: MinistryWatch.com writes a scathing article about the amount of money IFCJ spends on wages and promotion of their organization… Over 40¢ of EVERY $1.00 raised goes to fundraising and compensation!
- The name of this organization International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is intentionally MISLEADING— as the IFCJ REFUSES to share the Good News of the Jewish Messiah (Jesus Christ) with anyone at ALL!
- Charisma Magazine stated in their October 2013 magazine:
“…As the head of a nonprofit that is almost entirely supported by donations, what makes Yechiel Eckstein’s compensation noteworthy is its proportion to his organization’s overall income compared to other ministries. While the salary and benefit package of the head of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (ICFJ) is at least five times higher than any other leader of an Israel-related ministry, clocking in at $1.2 million, Eckstein’s compensation is more than double what the president of World Vision—a ministry with a budget 10 times larger—earns…”
- CharityWatch.org reported in November of 2013:
Rabbi Eckstein’s 2012 salary is published as the 5th HIGHEST salary paid in the Top 25 Compensation Packages of all of the non-profits that Charity Watch follows
- Why would any Christian who has a heart for the Jewish people, knowingly send money to an organization that uses those funds to essentially persecute Jews who believe Jesus is Lord?
- Sadly, many Gentiles do this unknowingly. I was one of them!
- During 2012 alone, the IFCJ raised over $113,000,000.00 through donations from well meaning Christians
Rabbi Eckstein’s Salary for 2012
Rabbi Eckstein in his own words —
- “… By sprinkling their Christian lives of faith with Jewish customs and rituals taken out of their proper, historic context, they pervert Jewish symbols and make a mockery of the Jewish faith … A Jew who accepts Jesus as Lord or Messiah effectively ceases to be a Jew. He is viewed almost treasonously as having abandoned his faith, given up his Jewish heritage, and severed all links with the Jewish peoplehood … More than constituting an imposing threat to Jewish life and survival, Hebrew Christians are the source of much of the Jewish distrust of Evangelicals and the discord in their relations …” (What Christians Should Know About Jews and Judaism, ©1984 Word Publishing, pp. 294-299).
- “… Until now,” Eckstein said, evangelicals “have realized that if they want to have relations with the Jewish community and Israel they have to put messianic groups aside because they know people like myself aren’t going to work with them …”
- “… Eckstein, who advises Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, said he would strongly urge Sharon and other Israeli leaders to shun evangelical leaders who support messianic attempts to proselytize Jews — even though evangelicals have poured tens of millions of dollars into Israel and have been steadfast visitors to the Jewish state …”
- “… Evangelicals believe that genuine Christian witness is carried out in a spirit of love, for it is performed out of the desire to help people obtain the greatest good possible to man: the gift of eternal life. Rabbi Eckstein and IFCJ do not support, in fact they implicitly oppose, this mission.“
- “For this reason, many evangelicals find it difficult to support IFCJ, especially given the fact that there are Christian ministries (some of which are operated by Messianic Jews), which provide similar services for the Jewish people.“
- “… Yek-eel Epstein is a powerful giant,” [a Pastor introducing Eckstein] said, butchering the name. ”He rates right up there. You’ve seen him on TV. He was a rabbi, and he became a born-again Christian!”
And here [Eckstein] was, sitting next to a reporter as he was being introduced as a born-again Christian. ”This has never happened to me before,” he muttered, rising. ”I’ve got to do something.” …”
- “… [Eckstein] began with damage control. ”I’m a Jewish rabbi,” he informed the congregation. ”An Orthodox Jewish rabbi. I believe in a Messiah, but I am an Orthodox Jewish rabbi.’ …”
- Why would Rabbi Eckstein be interested in teaching the Jewish Roots of Christianity, yet REFUSE to have anything to do with Messianic Jews—Jews who believe in Jesus?
- That is VERY a good question!
If you have a heart for Israel & the Jewish People—
Support ANY of these excellent Jewish Ministries— Fortunately, they not only help the Jewish people with their physical needs— They also share the Good News of Jesus Christ! That helps them now and in the life to come
What other concerns do you have with the IFCJ?
- Most of the money the IFCJ receives, has been given by well-meaning Christians—over $709,000,000.00 to date. (source).
- The infomercials are intentionally overly emotional. They pull at our heart strings. As Christians, we do not idly sit by and watch when there is someone in need. We help with the resources we have be blessed with. Many organizations know this and specifically target our generosity, knowing that we will not fact-check them. It’s a core human emotion to want to help when we see someone in need. We just need to be wise as our Savior warned us (See below).
- The IFCJ’s television advertising gives the impression that the Jewish people being helped— are also hearing the Gospel— when regrettably they are NOT. This angered me and saddened me the most. I was giving from my heart and had not researched the IFCJ before giving.
- I fell victim to the IFCJ’s emotional advertising because of a misunderstanding of my role as a Christian in supporting both the Jewish people and Israel. We are to support them both physically and spiritually. By NOT sharing the Gospel with the Jewish people, we miss the most important message that Jesus gave His followers. They were to go to the Jewish people FIRST and then to all of the other nations. Now that we are in the ‘Last Days’, the Bible speaks about how Jesus will not return until the Jewish people return to Him. We are beginning to see more and more Jewish people come to know Jesus (Yeshua) as their Jewish Messiah! It is happening in both the United States and even in Israel.
What did Jesus warn us to be careful of?
- Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
- Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
- Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
If you have not been convinced through the information presented here— Please pray and ask the Lord for His guidance.
- The Lord honors us when we try to please him, even if we are misinformed and give to ministries that operate in opposition to Him. He looks at our hearts.
- How much MORE will He be pleased if we give to ministries that are both helpful to the Jewish people and are sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ!
- I would also ask that you pray for Rabbi Eckstein, asking the Lord to reveal His Son, Jesus, the Jewish Messiah—to the Rabbi.