Dear Friend of Israel,
For both Jews and Christians, this is a season to celebrate – and marvel at – miracles. For Christians, there is Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus. For Jews, the miracles celebrated at Hanukkah, which begins this year at sundown on Saturday, December 8th, include a long–ago military victory of the powerless few over the powerful many, and an oil lamp that burned long past the point that it should have run out.
Every year at this time, as we review the year that is coming to a close, we at The Fellowship give thanks for another miracle – the day–to–day wondrous generosity our donors show. You, after all, are indispensable partners in our lifesaving work, and your kindness has made its mark assisting needy Israelis and Jews around the world in 2012.
Each time you have given to help feed poor and elderly people in Israel, or provided blankets and heating oil for impoverished Jewish families facing a bitterly cold winter in the former Soviet Union, or lifted up Jews longing to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) from Argentina, France, Ukraine, Ethiopia, or other countries, you have worked a miracle for people in need.
Today I want to wish our Christian friends a peaceful and joyous Christmas. To our Jewish friends, I wish a Hanukkah filled with light. May the coming year bring you peace and prosperity, and may we all soon have the privilege of glimpsing the new, redeemed era, in which, as the prophet says, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Chairman, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews® of Australia