Funding for Kollel Chabad Cause for Controversy

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It appears that among the many organizations that are earmarked to receive funding this coming year from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and his organization, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, including Kollel Chabad, slated to receive NIS 1.2 million. Not everyone believes the evangelical dollars are given with pure motives, but towards converting yidden R”L.

Rav Sholom Ber Lifshitz, who heads Yad L’Achim, is among the most outspoken opponents of accepting any money from Eckstein and his organization. He exclaims the use of the name Chabad among organizations receiving funds from Eckstein is a major chilul Hashem. Kikar.net quotes R’ Lifshitz as saying “…I do not know if one may come within four amos of them, if their tefillin are kosher, if their mezuzos are kosher”.

Eckstein’s visits with evangelical leaders and clergymen, entering their houses of worship and other actions are questioned by R’ Lifshitz, who fears the bond that has been created is not as pure as Rabbi Eckstein would like to believe, but part of the evangelical plot to win over the Jews and infiltrate the community.

Rav Mendy Blau on the other hand, a well known personality, who stands at the helm of Kollel Chabad, who also works to give thousands of care packages to needy families annually, insists he never heard of any documented connection between Rabbi Eckstein’s organization and missionary funding or activities. Rav Blau adds they have been accepting money for years, coming to Rav Eckstein’s defense, labeling him a truly frum rav, one who “adheres to leniencies and stringencies alike”.

Whatever the case may be, the report adds that as a result of a question posed by Rav Yosef Yitzchak Aaronoff, the Chabad Beis Din in Sivan issued a ruling prohibiting Chabad Houses from accepting any funds from Rabbi Eckstein and his organization.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)