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Christmas Food for Arab Christian Families in Israel

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Providing Holiday Assistance to 650 Needy Arab Families

Contact: Jim Jewell, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, 312-641-7200, 678-458-9837 cell, jim.jewell@ifcj.org 

JERUSALEM, Dec. 21, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) is providing Christmas food vouchers to 650 needy Arab Christian families in Israel this week. Families will receive food for Christmas celebrations in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Shrar'am, Akko, Isfiya, and 15 other communities.

While The Fellowship aids needy families in all of Israel's sectors on an ongoing basis, it conducts additional special projects before the major religious holidays.  Aid is given to Jewish families before the High Holy Days and Passover; to Muslim families before Ramadan; to Druze families before the Feast of the Sacrifice; and to Christian families before Christmas.

"During a period in which poverty in Israel is worsening, we continue to look out for those needing immediate assistance," said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and CEO of The Fellowship.  "In order to give hope and to assure a future for the country, we must strengthen and guarantee the welfare of the needy wherever they are.  I hope that our contribution will help these families celebrate the holiday in dignity."

During 2012 The Fellowship donated more than $1.6 million projects in 60 Arab areas.  The total cost of this special Christmas project is $59,000.  The aid to needy families includes help with basic needs such as food, medicine, and transportation to medical appointments.  The Fellowship also operates treatment centers for children and youth at risk in a number of Arab areas, and helps widows and single-mothers without an education to become self-sufficient in several Bedouin communities. 

In recent years, the total amount of Fellowship contributions to the Arab sector has exceeded $16.8 million, including aid to the needy, aid to the elderly, care for children and youth-at-risk, prevention of drug use, and aid during times of emergency and tragedy.

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews began in 1983 as an effort to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews. Today it is also a prominent force for helping Israel and Jews in need worldwide. The Fellowship is the world's largest channel of Christian support for Israel and the charity distributing the most aid in Israel annually. Led by its founder and CEO Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship now raises more than $110 million per year -- the large majority from Christians -- to assist Israel and the Jewish people through extensive aid programs. The Fellowship has raised more than $800 million for this work. The organization has offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Toronto, and Seoul.