In an historic new agreement, for the first time ever, Christian supporters will join the JAFI Board of Governors. According to a breaking story on The Jerusalem Post web site, an agreement was signed earlier today between the (Chicago based) International Fellowship for Christians and Jews and the Jewish Agency broadening the cooperation level between the two organizations and acknowledging a $45 million pledge for the next three years from the IFCJ. Under this new agreement, Christian supporters of Israel will sit on the Jewish Agency Board.
In a statement released Thursday, the Jewish Agency called the agreement “historic,” and said it would legitimize a “strategic partnership with the Christian community and the core of the Zionist enterprise of the Jewish Agency.”
In recent years, the IFCJ has contributed more than $250m. to Israel for a wide variety of activities including the renovation of bomb shelters in the North, to the Israel Police, to social welfare projects, to helping youth at risk, for immigration, absorption and for IDF soldiers.
This additional gift will be directed to the the Jewish Agency’s core budget, which traditionally comes from dues collected by the United Jewish Communities North American Jewish Federations and the Agency’s international fund-raising arm, Keren Hayesod.
According to a memorandum of understanding, the IFCJ will give the money to the Jewish Agency through Keren Hayesod. The IFCJ will be able to appoint a member to the Agency’s Budget and Finance Committee, and the IFCJ President, currently Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, will become a member of the Jewish Agency’s Executive.