Moving Forward in Faith and Unity

Feburary 7, 2017

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Dear Friend of The Fellowship,

It’s hard to watch the news these days without seeing coverage of the current chaotic political situation in the U.S. This turmoil is news not just in the U.S., but around the world…

In some ways, this is the most difficult challenge for us in life. It is all too human to denigrate and vilify those who hold opposing views. Disagreement easily transforms into resentment. Resentment diminishes, and in time completely destroys, our ability to speak to one another. Then we are left with disunity even on those subjects – sometimes, the most fundamental subjects – upon which we normally would stand united.

How do we react in a season of upheaval? My own reaction is formed by a phrase that became my watchword during years of building bridges between Christians and Jews: Cooperate whenever possible, oppose whenever necessary, and teach and sensitize at all times. We must listen to and continue to try to understand our neighbours. We must continue to speak our minds, with honesty and in a spirit of true love and concern for those around us. And we must continue our work to better this broken world.

Despite our differences, work must go on. The needs in this world are too great. My daughter, Yael, was in Ukraine just days ago distributing aid and assessing the needs of impoverished Jews who are enduring the bitterly cold winter and living conditions that are unimaginable to most of us. We are working on providing even more assistance to Holocaust survivors, and ensure that people who survived the horrors of a terrible chapter in history are not forgotten. And every day thousands of people continue to be fed, clothed, and supported both in body and spirt because of your generous partnership with The Fellowship. We cannot let these needs get obscured or our resolve to weaken.

Friends, let us continue to take to heart the biblical words, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). United by our firm faith in God, we find strength to move forward with the many issues we agree on – and, in doing so, we make the world a better place.


Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President and Founder, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews® of Canada

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