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For his outstanding commitment to German-Israeli and Christian-Jewish dialog, Harald Eckert, Chairman of “Christen an der Seite Israels e.V.” (CSI – German branch of “Christians for Israel International”), has now been awarded the “Golden Olive Branch”. The 54-year-old from Munich received the award from the Jewish National Fund – Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (JNF-KKL) e.V. – at the “Natürlich für Israel Kongress” (Naturally for Israel Congress) in Stuttgart.
JNF-KKL is the largest and oldest environmental organization in Israel and is also represented with four branch offices in Germany. With the “Golden Olive Branch”, the association honours those who have made a particular contribution to their work in Israel. In this context, the Jewish National Fund highlighted, among other merits, the support mobilized by Eckert for the reforestation effort after the disastrous forest fire on Mount Carmel four years ago. The work of the CSI Chairman has helped to make JNF-KKL better known in Germany.
According to JNF-KKL, the choice of Eckert for the award was also made against the backdrop of the 50th anniversary of official relations between Germany and Israel. Harald Eckert, who studied Business Management, was honoured as a “networker and bridge-builder” in recognition of his public work on behalf of Israel for over 30 years. His commitment to Christian-Jewish friendship was born in Protestant free church organizations and became his principal occupation in the late 1990s.
Eckert took over as Chairman of “Christen an der Seite Israels” (Christians for Israel) in 2005. He gives presentations and holds sermons throughout Germany and engages in publicity work, including as publisher and editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Israel aktuell”. With various Israeli partners, he is involved in the implementation and promotion of projects, tours and conferences in the Holy Land.
A further milestone for Harald Eckert was being one of the founder members of the European Coalition for Israel (ECI) in Brussels in 2003; this non-Jewish organization conducts lobby and information work for Israel at various European institutions. The organization’s counterpart in Germany since 2009 is the Berlin-based “Initiative 27. Januar e.V.”.
Other concerns dear to Eckert’s heart are various aid projects for needy Holocaust survivors and work with the young generation in Germany as part of the Israel Connect project (Young Christians for Israel).
The Jewish National Fund recognizes biblical values and the Judeo-Christian world view and concept of humanity as the cornerstone of Eckert’s commitment. He has “always identified with Zionist ideals and with the vision for Eretz Israel … and supported both with all his heart and at every opportunity”. “Eretz Israel” refers both to the biblical land that God promised to the Jews and also to the State of Israel as their specific national home. Harald Eckert was presented with the “Golden Olive Branch” by JNF-KKL World Chairman Efi Stenzler.
For further information, please contact:Luca Hezel, tel.: + 49 (0)1707 720 230, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org