Rabbi Yechiel Z. Eckstein, founder and chairman of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews® of Australia, has devoted the past 27 years to building bridges of cooperation between Christians and Jews and together supporting Israel and Jews in desperate need throughout the world. He is recognized as the world’s leading Jewish authority on evangelical Christians.
Rabbi Eckstein received Orthodox Rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University in New York. He holds master’s degrees from Yeshiva University and Columbia University, where he also completed studies for his doctorate. Rabbi Eckstein has served on the faculties of Columbia University, Chicago Theological Seminary and Northern Baptist Seminary. He currently serves on the executive boards of directors of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and Keren Hayesod.
Rabbi Eckstein was the catalyst behind the first Evangelical-Jewish Leadership Conference, as well as its coordinator, and has served as Jewish representative at the National Day of Prayer. He has opened sessions of the U.S. Senate with prayer, conducted a Passover seder for U.S. senators and delivered the benediction with President Clinton at the dedication ceremony for the memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. the first rabbi in history to deliver the benediction at the dedication of a presidential memorial.
Rabbi Eckstein is a leading advocate of religious freedom worldwide. He has traveled to China to work for the freedom of imprisoned Christian pastors and to press the cause of religious liberty. In 1995, he brought the first Torah scroll to Uzbekistan since the Communist regime banned religious practice there.
He has written columns and been featured in such publications as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, U.S. News and World Report, The Jerusalem Post, The Forward and People magazine. He is a frequent guest on television and radio programs nationwide, including CNBC’s "Hardball" and PBS’ "Now with Bill Moyers."
Rabbi Eckstein is the author of six highly acclaimed books: "What You Should Know About Jews and Judaism," "Understanding Evangelicals: A Guide for the Jewish Community," "Ask the Rabbi," "Five Questions Most Frequently Asked About Jews and Judaism," "How Firm a Foundation: A Gift of Jewish Wisdom For Christians and Jews" and "The Journey Home."
In addition, he is a renowned Israeli Hasidic singer who has recorded six CDs. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he performed for Israeli troops on the Syrian front and in hospitals.
Rabbi Eckstein has received the Economic Forum’s prestigious Jerusalem Prize, the Community Service Leadership Award from Yeshiva College, and more than 20 other awards from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Chamah, Colel Chabad, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Israel’s Union of Local Authorities and other organizations. In 2002, he was inducted into the JDC Warburg Society.