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IFCJ Provides Needed Emergency Grant For Protection Of Jewish Schools In Former Soviet Union

NEW YORK, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As political upheaval and civil unrest continue to spark controversy in Eastern Europe, Ukrainian Jewish institutions are working tirelessly to protect schools, homes, synagogues and other Jewish facilities.

In the face of this struggle, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) have rallied behind those at the center of the violence. Chief Rabbi of Kiev and Ukraine Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich announced the IFCJ's critical donation of $400,000 to assist the Shema Yisrael Torah Network, a chain of Jewish schools in Eastern Europe, as they continue to cope with the current crisis. 

Since the latest round of demonstrations, which led to the resignation and disappearance of the previous government and the appointment of new interim leadership in Ukraine, Shema Yisrael has been taking necessary steps to protect its 3,000 students living across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. However as Rabbi Shlomo Bakst, Chief Rabbi of Odessa, indicated, the task has proven to be challenging as the cost of extra protection amounts to thousands of dollars each and every day.  Shema Yisrael affiliate, Tikva, which operates numerous institutions in Odessa, have received much needed additional funding this year from IFCJ this year.

Rabbi Bleich thanked Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Founder of the IFCJ, and his daughter Yael Eckstein, Senior Vice President of the Fellowship, for their immediate response to help the thirteen schools of Shema Yisrael handle security and other essential needs. 

With the addition of this emergency grant the total fiscal assistance Shema Yisrael has received this year amounts to $1 million. Rabbi Pinchos Goldschmidt, Chief Rabbi of Moscow, shared in Rabbi Bleich's sentiments as he praised Rabbi Eckstein, as well as the staff and donors of the IFCJ for their many years of support to Jews of the former Soviet Union. 

About International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to promote understanding between Jews and Christians and build broad support for Israel and other shared concerns. Our ministry's vision is that Jews and Christians will reverse their 2,000-year history of discord and replace it with a relationship marked by dialogue, respect, and cooperation.

CONTACT: JEFF COHEN (631-484-5217)

SOURCE IFCJ

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