Hundreds of Ukranian Jews made Aliyah over the weekend and now call Israel home, thanks to the first freedom flight in memory of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein who died earlier this month.
It happened Sunday as part of the ministry he founded -- the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
The goal is to answer the call in Isaiah 11:12 to return the Jewish people, those who are "the exiles of Israel" from the four corners of the earth to Israel. Many of them face anti-semitism and poverty where they are.
Eckstein's daughter, Yael, is now president of the ministry and says their ministry hasn't stopped for a minute due to the strong organization her father built to unite Christians and Jews.
She says there are plans to double the number of Jews they are able to help return to their Jewish homeland.
Rabbi Eckstein started the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in 1983. Since then, it’s raised more than one and a half billion dollars to help Jews in Israel, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, and more than 58 other countries.
Eckstein pursued three goals: build bridges between Christians and Jews; deepen Christians’ understanding of the Jewish roots of their faith; and develop a practical way to help the Jewish people and Israel.
For more than three decades, IFCJ has far exceeded expectations. Not only is the organization a leader in Jewish-Christian relations, but it has also helped thousands of Jews around the world escape poverty and anti-Semitism and return to their biblical homeland — Israel.
The organization has funded humanitarian assistance that has touched millions of Jews worldwide. IFCJ raises about $140 million a year, making it one of Israel's largest humanitarian organizations.