The Bridge Builder: The Life and Continuing Legacy of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Zev Chafets. Sentinel, $27.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-591846-78-9
Chafets (Roger Ailes: Off Camera), an American-Israeli author and former columnist for the New York Daily News, provides a glowing authorized biography of Rabbi Eckstein, an Orthodox rabbi best known for his efforts to build bridges between American Jews and Evangelical Christians. In the first pages he concedes that he is a personal friend of the subject, and that he went into the project “liking and admiring” Eckstein. However, despite his bias, Chafets offers a balanced look at Eckstein’s life, primarily tracing his willingness to look beyond his parochial community, which eventually led to his groundbreaking efforts. Eckstein reached out to non-Jews who were widely viewed as intent on converting Jews to Christianity, and used the relationships he developed with them to fund humanitarian efforts around the world. But no matter how much Chafets gushes about a man who is a hero to him, some readers will still be skeptical of the motives of Eckstein’s evangelical allies. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/06/2015
Release date: 08/11/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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