INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIANS & JEWS

Rating: 2.55 stars   31 reviews

Issues: International, Religion

Location: 30 N Lasalle St Suite 2600 Chicago IL 60602 USA

Mission: To foster better relations and understanding between Christians and Jews; encourage greater cooperation between both communities on issues of shared biblical concern; and help build support for Israel and Jews in crises or need. The Fellowship is committed to building support for Israel and the Jewish people in five crucial ways including: Advocacy, Tourism, Israeli products, educattion on the Jewish Roots of Christianity and rasing funds for various projects such as Jewish immigration and resettlement, poverty relief and security in Israel and poverty relief for needy Jews in the Former Soviet Union and other countries around the globe.
Programs: 1. Provide financial and logistical assistance to hundreds of thousands of needy Jews to facilitate their return to the Holy Land and build new lives in Israel.  2. Provide relief and life-saving assistance to impoverished people of all ages and religious or ethnic affiliations, including soup kitchens, emergency medical care and supplies, aid for people in crises from terrorism or family tragedy, clothing, educational assistance and other basic needs.  3. Provide resettlement assistance for recent émigrés from Ethiopia and other countries, including language training, housing, vocational and skill-development, after school enrichment programs for children, job placement and recreational activities all of which help them acclimate themselves to their new home and become productive Israeli citizens. 4. Immediate assistance to victims following terrorism and natural disasters. 
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Community Reviews

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

If you want to donate to Israel, donate through your local Jewish Federation or Jewish, Friends of the IDF , Magen David Adom, Israel's emergency medical response agency AFMDA .
There are a lot of legitimate organizations for donating to Israel.
Thank you for supporting Israel in this difficult time.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue to donate

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1998

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 3 stars  

21 people found this review helpful

I can not understand the rancor of some reviewers on this topic. First about the salary. People have complained that he makes $370 thousand, $400 thousand, and more than $470 thousand dollars. Did they expect him to socialize with moneyed individuals in a wrinkled suit and cap in hand? Traditionally those who donate large amounts to charity are not impressed by a homeless individual knocking on their door. In actuality I believe that he makes close to $500,000. That is a non-issue. To put it in perspective, for every $50.00 you would donate, 22 cents goes into the rabbi's pocket. When I donate to food shelves, or clothing centers for the homeless locally, it would not bother me that the administrator makes a buck every time I donate $250.

As to personal attacks...one commenter mentioned that the rabbi had been condemned by the Orthodox. To that I would have to ask which Orthodox? The only criticism of which I am aware coming from Orthodox organizations is a claim that defines Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein as a closet Christian. His organization has been a viable charity in Israel for thirty years, though the name International Fellowship of Christians and Jews wasn't used until 1991.

The more damaging assessment comes in the realm of the amount of money necessary to raise a dollar. The actual fundraising expenses reported to the IRS are in the nature of 39%. Thus it takes 39 cents to raise a dollar of which 53 cents goes to the designated charity, which leaves 8 cents for administrative expenses. If I was a retailer, I would consider that a great return on my investment. How do I determine this for a charity? To begin with, the worst charities only spend between 2.5% to 10% on the actual subject of the donation. The rest goes to...well you know. The best spend anywhere from 75% to 90% on the subject of donation. Most fall in between those ranges. The BBB standards of 65% when dividing program expenses by total expenses gets a minus mark for IFCJ which is only 54%. On the other hand the American Red Cross which passed the BBB test has been in continues hot water with federal investigators since before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita when they pocketed the money earmarked for those disasters by direct contribution.

The top performing charity merely uses its donations for education and provides no direct aid to the needy. But...the Joshua Fund mentioned in one comment, has an overall rating of 61.xx% while the IFCJ has a 54% rating, not terrible, except the main reason it is that high is with a higher score in financial accountability. Joshua has a profile of $5 million, whereas IFCJ has a $100 million profile. As I've checked around to see where my Israel money is best spent I have not found anything that large appreciably better.

I donate to a number of Israel charities, and this is one of them. Am I satisfied with the amount they spend on fundraising? No. but I will continue to donate until something better that actually feeds the needy, comes along. I will look more into the Joshua Fund, but last year they ran a deficit and that isn't a good sign for longevity.

A final note: if I was donating 10% of my income to this charity alone, then I would look elsewhere. My consideration is also weighed by the fact that many of the top rated org. are umbrella groups I don't know what is done with the money given to their various subsidiaries.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to cut the fundraising budget in half.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Quite well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?