Rabbi Eckstein founded the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) in 1983 and has devoted his life to building bridges of understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews and broad support for the state of Israel. The Fellowship, one of the top 400 nonprofits in America (The Chronicle of Philanthropy), raises over $140 million dollars annually from its 1.6 million Christian donors, making it the largest Christian-supported humanitarian agency helping Israel and the Jewish people around the world.
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. He has served on the faculties of Columbia University, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Seminary. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).
In August 2015, his authorized biography, written by renowned journalist Zev Chafets and titled The Bridge Builder: The Life and Continuing Legacy of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, was released by Penguin Random House. A year later, the Hebrew version of The Bridge Builder was published in Israel.