SOURCE: Friends of the Israel Defense Forces

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces

November 16, 2009 08:00 ET

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) Joins Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) in a Partnership to Strengthen and Support Israeli Soldiers

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 16, 2009) - The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) have formed a historic partnership to aid the men and women who defend the state of Israel. IFCJ will provide $4 million to support FIDF programs specifically designed to create critical stepping stones for IDF soldiers both during and after their military service.

Founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, IFCJ funds hundreds of projects that help Jewish people in need in Israel and around the world, and works to build bridges between Christians and Jews. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, most of whom are evangelical Christians, IFCJ is the largest funder of social services in Israel after the government.

FIDF has been providing social, educational, cultural, and recreational programs and facilities for Israeli soldiers defending the Jewish homeland and for families of fallen IDF soldiers since its inception in 1981.

IFCJ joins FIDF in supporting and instituting unique opportunities for soldiers through four influential programs: the IMPACT! Scholarship Program for former IDF combat soldiers, the Amir Program for Ethiopian-Israeli soldiers, the Legacy Program for the families of fallen soldiers, and the distribution of Hanukah gift vouchers to soldiers in need. These projects make a significant difference in the lives of Israeli soldiers and their families.

The IMPACT! Scholarship Program grants full four-year academic scholarships to former IDF combat soldiers in need, allowing those who risked their lives protecting their country and its future the opportunity to embrace and improve their own future by acquiring higher education. The concept of giving back to society stands at the heart of this program. IMPACT! scholarship recipients have volunteered in the community for a total of over one million hours in the past seven years, making it the number one program in providing community service in Israel.

The Amir Program offers training and orientation courses to help Ethiopian-Israeli soldiers succeed in reaching their potential, promoting their professional incorporation into military and civilian institutions, and investing in their future and the future development of Israeli society.

The Legacy Program for families of fallen IDF soldiers supports the widows, orphans, and other family members whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice defending the Jewish homeland. The program supports them as they rebuild the future of their family, helping them mark coming-of-age ceremonies, holidays, and other major celebrations throughout life.

During the holiday of Hanukah, IFCJ in cooperation with FIDF and H&O stores will distribute gift vouchers to lone soldiers (those with no immediate family in Israel) and soldiers in need, supporting them and letting them know that they never stand alone.

Rabbi Eckstein said, "Our donors know that their support of IDF soldiers makes a crucially important contribution to Israel's peace and security. They are proud to stand with the men and women who put their lives on the line defending the Jewish state."

By focusing on higher education, helping new immigrants, assisting soldiers in need, and providing for families of fallen soldiers, this partnership will guarantee continuous support for the Israeli society and have a ripple effect on the country as a whole for many generations to come.

For additional information on the newly formed partnership between IFCJ and FIDF, please contact Monica Iachan or visit

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