Daily Israel Report

Rabbi Elyashiv: Refuse Money from IFCJ

Venerated rabbi adds his voice to those who say that ICFJ supports missionary activity.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/21/2009, 5:13 PM / Last Update: 10/21/2009, 5:44 PM

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Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, one of the top Torah authorities in the hareidi-religious world, has issued a ruling that says that the public may not take money from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (Keren HaYedidut) headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.

Groups that take money from the fund are flouting the Torah's prohibition of idolatry, Rabbi Elyashiv said, and they even aid future missionary activities and grant them legitimacy. “We regret to say that we have learned that several institutions, organizations and charity groups have made mistakes of this nature,” he added.

Taking money from this fund is an “unclean” act, the elderly rabbi said. Other rabbis who made
similar decisions include R. Samuel Auerbach, R Nissim Kerlitz, R. Ovadia Yosef, R. Mordechai Eliyahu and others.

The IFCJ was founded in Chicago in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. The fact that it takes money from Christian groups causes much suspicion in some religious Jewish circles. However, other religious circles have no problem with the group.