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HelpForgottenJews.org: A Beacon of Hope for Vulnerable Jewish Communities
In our world where charitable organizations play a pivotal role in alleviating the suffering of marginalized communities, HelpForgottenJews.org emerges as a shining example of compassion and dedication. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), through its Help Forgotten Jews initiative, has been on a mission to provide humanitarian aid and support to vulnerable Jewish populations across the globe. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the history, impact, and reputation of HelpForgottenJews.org, shedding light on its legitimacy and the remarkable work it undertakes.
A Brief History of IFCJ and Help Forgotten Jews
The roots of HelpForgottenJews.org can be traced back to the founding of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. Rabbi Eckstein envisioned IFCJ as a bridge-builder between the Christian and Jewish communities, fostering understanding and collaboration. One of the key initiatives under the IFCJ umbrella was the Help Forgotten Jews program, which aimed to extend a helping hand to impoverished and at-risk Jewish communities worldwide.
Growth and Expansion in the 2000s
As we delve into the journey of Help Forgotten Jews, the 2000s emerge as a period of significant growth and expansion. This initiative embarked on large-scale humanitarian projects across Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Israel. These projects encompassed a wide range of activities, from assisting elderly Holocaust survivors to providing vital support to impoverished communities and implementing programs tailored to at-risk Jewish youth. Partnerships were forged with Jewish federations and relief agencies on an international scale. By 2010, IFCJ/Help Forgotten Jews had extended its compassionate aid to over half a million Jews annually, spanning across 40 countries.
Continued Success and Global Impact
The subsequent decade, the 2010s, witnessed the sustained success and global impact of IFCJ/Help Forgotten Jews. They continued to grow, responding swiftly to major humanitarian crises worldwide, including those in Haiti, Japan, Syria, and Ukraine. Their community programs expanded to encompass over 70 countries, a testament to their unwavering commitment. By 2020, their annual humanitarian assistance exceeded an astonishing $150 million, directly benefiting over one million vulnerable Jews each year. IFCJ earned recognition as one of the leading Christian supporters of global Jewry, contributing not only to humanitarian aid but also to strengthening Christian-Jewish relations on a global scale.
Core Programs and Initiatives
HelpForgottenJews.org operates through several core programs and initiatives, each addressing specific needs within the Jewish community:
Holocaust Survivor Relief
One of their most poignant initiatives, this program provides critical support to Holocaust survivors in their twilight years. Assistance includes homecare, medical aid, and social services. To date, over 300,000 survivors have been provided with this essential support.
Poverty Relief in FSU and Eastern Europe
Large-scale projects aim to alleviate the hardships faced by impoverished communities struggling with the high cost of living. These projects encompass food and cash distributions, home repairs, and job training, collectively reaching 400,000 people annually.
Welfare for Israel’s Vulnerable Populations
This initiative focuses on addressing senior poverty, supporting at-risk youth, aiding those with disabilities, and fostering community development in Israel. It includes essential services such as food packages, social services, and education/vocational programs, supporting one in ten Israeli Jews.
Emergency Response Network
In times of crisis, this program plays a crucial role. It involves the rapid deployment of critical aid, including food, water, infrastructure, and trauma support, to Jewish communities affected by conflict, economic collapse, or natural disasters worldwide.
Impact Through The Numbers
The impact of IFCJ/Help Forgotten Jews is nothing short of staggering:
- Over $2 billion provided in humanitarian assistance, transforming lives and communities.
- Aid extended to 1.5 million impoverished Jews annually, offering hope and relief to countless families.
- Collaborations with 1,200+ Jewish charities in 70 countries, illustrating the breadth of their reach.
- Endorsements from prestigious bodies such as the UN and the Israeli Government, highlighting their credibility and efficacy.
- Aiding 750,000 Holocaust survivors, ensuring that those who have endured unimaginable suffering receive the care and support they deserve.
Reputation and Ratings
The reputation of HelpForgottenJews.org and IFCJ is bolstered by exceptional ratings from prominent charity evaluation organizations:
- Charity Navigator: IFCJ has maintained a 4-star rating (the highest possible) for over 15 consecutive years, a testament to their unwavering commitment to transparency and accountability.
- GuideStar: They hold the Platinum Participant status, indicating the highest level of transparency.
- ECFA: As an accredited member in good standing with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, they adhere to rigorous financial and ethical standards.
These top ratings underscore their dedication to responsible stewardship of funds and unwavering commitment to their mission.
Addressing Criticisms and Complaints
While no charity is immune to criticism, IFCJ/Help Forgotten Jews has responded to critiques in a reasonable and transparent manner. Some common criticisms include:
High CEO Compensation
The current CEO, Yael Eckstein, receives a substantial salary of over $600,000 according to tax forms. Supporters argue that this compensation is justified given the organization’s scale and impact.
Approximately 25% of expenses are allocated to fundraising efforts. While some consider this percentage high, industry benchmarks indicate that the average falls around 27%.
Concerns Around Proselytizing
There have been questions raised about whether IFCJ has ulterior motives to convert Jews to Christianity. However, IFCJ policy expressly forbids any religious coercion with beneficiaries, ensuring that aid is provided without strings attached.
Bias Against Messianic Jews | Helpforgottenjews.org
A small faction has accused IFCJ of not supporting Messianic Jews, who are Jews that believe in Jesus. IFCJ has consistently denied this and affirms its commitment to helping all Jewish communities in need, regardless of their beliefs.
Conclusion: A Beacon of Hope
In conclusion, HelpForgottenJews.org, under the banner of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), stands as a beacon of hope for vulnerable Jewish communities across the world. Their established history, quantifiable impact, commitment to transparency, and responsible handling of criticisms affirm their legitimacy and effectiveness as a charitable organization. While independent research is always advisable, the available information suggests that IFCJ/Help Forgotten Jews is a reputable and trustworthy option for those looking to support vulnerable Jewish populations worldwide.
Parting Thoughts: In a world where compassionate aid can make a profound difference, IFCJ/Help Forgotten Jews continues to shine as a symbol of empathy and unity between communities. Their mission to provide relief and hope to vulnerable Jewish populations remains unwavering, and their commitment to transparency ensures that every dollar donated serves its intended purpose. As we move forward, continued transparency and diligence will help IFCJ/Help Forgotten Jews uphold their mission, bringing assistance and comfort to those who need it most.