Rabbonim and poskim are issuing warnings not to accept any funding assistance from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, following an announcement it would contribute NIS 13 million toward municipal welfare projects in Jerusalem.
Rabbonim have reiterated the prohibition against receiving assistance in any form from the Fellowship (known in Hebrew as "Keren Yedidut") after Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita determined several months ago that benefiting from the Fellowship is an act of chilul Hashem and abizraihu de'avodoh zorah.
A letter against the organization dated 18 Sivan 5762 (May 29, 2002) and written by the Eida Chareidis of Jerusalem and reissued in Cheshvan of this year with the addition of the signatures of HaRav Yitzchok Tuvioh Weiss, current Gavad of the Eida Chareidis, and HaRav Eliashiv read, "We hereby present our position, based on our holy Torah, that it is strictly forbidden to take money or derive any benefit in any form from the Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which is known at Keren Yedidut in Hebrew, or from similar funds.
"And all who join them or assist them or their partners are involved in the following prohibitions:
A. The prohibition of abizraihu de'avodoh zorah, since the name of their idols is exalted.
B. Assisting and enabling future missionary activity.
C. There is also a prohibition against publicly accepting charity from a gentile, particularly in a case of chilul Hashem where it is forbidden by halacha, and particularly in this terrible manner.
"Even where only one of the above reasons applies, they are all very serious prohibitions, and all the more so in combination."
In their letter the rabbonim emphasize that the prohibition fully applies both to individuals and institutions, organizations and tzedokoh programs. "To our great dismay we have learned that a number of institutions, organizations and tzedokoh programs have faltered in this matter. Therefore, whoever has any association with [the Fellowship] must withdraw immediately, and in His goodness Hashem will grant atonement."
Rabbonim involved in the matter report that the aim of the Fellowship and its head is to bring Jews to convert to Christianity chas vesholom by providing support funding.