Contact: Renee Young
Hadassah National Public Relations
Hadassah Statement from National President Ellen Hershkin on the Passing of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein z’’l
February 7, 2019 – NEW YORK, NY – Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA) is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and untimely passing of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein z"l, Founder and Director of the International Fellowship of Christians & Jews (IFCJ).
Rabbi Eckstein was a true friend of Hadassah, an ardent supporter, and a generous donor to and champion of Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), and our other projects in Israel. Just two nights ago, he was an honored guest at a Hadassah International event at HMO.
On January 2, Rabbi Eckstein (whose last name means "cornerstone") helped lay the cornerstone for the new Rehabilitation Center at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, unveiling The Lokomat, a state-of-the art robotic treadmill machine donated by the IFCJ.
Rabbi Eckstein’s strong connection to HMO's treatment philosophy of 'bridges to peace,' offering equality of medical service to all who walk through its doors, resonated deeply with him. Since his founding of the IFCJ in 1983 to build bridges of goodwill between Christians and Jews, Rabbi Eckstein raised over $1.4 billion in donations for Israel. He exemplified selfless, compassionate humanitarian service to G-d, Israel and the Jewish people. We will remember him as a man of great warmth, with a spirit of generosity and passion for service to Israel.
On behalf of HWZOA, I extend my most sincere and deepest condolences to the Eckstein family. May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion & Jerusalem.
Rabbi Eckstein’s obituary in The New York Times concludes with:
Days before his death, Rabbi Eckstein attended a fund-raising event for the Hadassah Medical Center, which runs two hospitals in Jerusalem. He praised the hospitals as havens of cooperation between Arabs and Jews, Christians and Muslims, then picked up his guitar and sang a popular Hebrew anthem to Jerusalem. The audience sang along.