WEEKLY UPDATES 1.18.19 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
Now that we are in our second fiscal quarter, we have begun our annual effort to increase the number of donors giving $1,000 or more. We have established a very ambitious goal of closing 2,019 gifts of $1,000 or more by the end of March. Our long-term goal is to grow our donor base from 4,000 giving $1,000 or more to 10,000 annual gifts at this level. That is a recipe for an annual sustainable campaign of $100 Million! Starting next week, I will provide a chart showing each community’s progress closing gifts of $1,000 or more.
LAY LEADER TRAINING SEMINAR
Thanks to all who tuned in on Wednesday for our third Lay Leader Training Seminar featuring JNF’s Chief Financial Officer Mitch Rosenzweig, who gave us a great overview of the organizational and financial structure of JNF-USA. The next training session will take place on March 27 and will focus on solicitation training.
If you missed this week’s training or any of our previous video conference training sessions, you can click below to watch the video.
JNF Organizational Overview and Financial Structure #3 (1/16/19)
Leadership Training Seminar #2 (11/14/18) – The Power of the JNF Brand and Brand Management
Leadership Training Seminar #1 (9/13/18) – History of Zionism and Jewish National Fund
MAJOR DONOR WEEKEND
Please join us in Las Vegas for our annual Major Donor Weekend April 5 – 8 at the Four Seasons Hotel. Many fun and interesting programs are planned, including a wonderful Shabbat Dinner with JNFuture leaders from around the country, VIP tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show, Mystere, a visit to the MOB Museum and a book signing with former mobster Myron Sugarman, the author of The Chronicles of the Last Jewish Gangster. You are also invited to attend an open meeting of JNF’s National Board of Directors on Monday morning, April 8. To register for Major Donor Weekend, click here: www.jnf.org/majordonorweekend
Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign
Alexander Muss High School in Israel
Our cycle of shalom (hello and goodbye) continues, as we say l’hitraot to students from the New South Wales Board of Jewish Education and the Weber School this week, and prepare to do so for our December mini-mester students on Monday. In some of our most auspicious timing, the groups will each plant trees at Jewish National Fund’s ceremonial tree-planting site, Neot Kedumim, on their last day–known fondly as the Symbolic Day–which falls exactly on Tu BiShvat for one group, and just before for the other two. Additionally, our BJE students were up north earlier in the week, and explored Hula Valley, while our December and Weber students took final exams.
Travel & Tours Update
Who needs swiping when you have Jewish National Fund? Singles ages 30 to 45 are invited to join us this summer on our Singles Tour. Learn more.
Updates from Israel
Entrepreneurship in Arad
Figuring out a pension plan for freelancers and self-employed Israelis can be very complicated, but is essential for a stable financial future. Our NetGev Center for Entrepreneurship in Arad is hosting a hands-on seminar to help local residents understand how to choose a pension provider and make sure they are planning for their future! NetGev also provides training for residents in new technological careers that enable them to work remotely.
Preserving Historical Landmarks
Jewish National Fund partner The Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites’ efforts to save the Old Jaffa Terminal Building continues into the New Year. The building, which has been marked for destruction by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality, is the historic arrival point for many people making Aliyah to Israel, similarly to Ellis Island in New York. In 2012, the Knesset created Yom HaAliyah, a day to celebrate immigration to Israel and its importance to the success of the Jewish state. Yet this site, which was the entry port for so many immigrants who later helped build the country and is the perfect reminder of the importance of Aliyah, is in danger of being destroyed. SPIHS intends to restore the site and build a museum of Aliyah. The Terminal Building has amazing potential to become a center of community activity and stimulate growth in tourism in Jaffa. First, however, SPIHS must win a long and tumultuous battle for the preservation of this historically significant building. Learn more by watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD9WKhHEriA
Therapeutic Gardening at School
Once a week on Tuesdays, the 11th grade class of Jewish National Fund partner ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran’s special education school has a unique gardening lesson where students learn about and get hands-on experience in various aspects of gardening: fertilization, plowing, sowing, planting, watering, weeding and picking. Students not only look forward to each weekly session, but actually visit the therapeutic garden daily on their own initiative, checking on progress and noting changes in the plants. The lessons are taught by Efal Agri Company volunteers who instruct the students with the utmost professionalism and dedication, working together to nurture the vegetable garden. Once vegetables have ripened and are ready for picking, participants pick and package the fruits of their labor, and distribute them to village staff with a clear sense of the pride of accomplishment; sometimes they even prepare salads by themselves using their own produce. Classes participating in the gardening project emphasize life skills all year long as part of their preparation for independent living. The therapeutic gardening project assists in acquiring these skills which is part of our responsibility to influence and create a multi-cultural, heterogeneous society that encourages inclusion and acceptance of the other.
Thank you Dick Berman for making this dream come true!
Fighting the Rain to Protect Farmland
This week we felt it fit honor our Young Leadership Program. For the past week the rain has been almost nonstop in Israel. While most of the country is bundled up in their homes, these Young Leaders are out in in the field at night, fighting the cold wind and rain to protect the farmland and allow the farmers to sleep in peace. We are very proud of their important work protecting the land of Israel, and know that their experiences will only make them stronger.
Special in the IDF
Hatzerim Israeli Air Force Base in the Negev Desert on the west outskirts of Be’re Sheva, warmly welcomed new soldiers of Jewish National Fund partner Special in Uniform, this week. The commanders were impressed to meet the highly motivated soldiers who are part of the Technical Division which spreads across every squadron in the Israeli Air Force, and are responsible for routine maintenance of the squadrons' aircraft.
“Despite rockets from Gaza and inclement weather, the women of Jewish National Fund’s Queen of Sheba Mission were determined to demonstrate their support and love for Israel.” The Jerusalem Post November 22, 2018.
Through Women’s philanthropy, acts of service and meaningful gifts, there’s no limit to what we can do.
In this week's Torah portion, Parshat Beshalach, we meet the woman who made a difference. She is one of the foremost righteous leaders of the Jews in Egyptian exile -- the prophetess Miriam, sister of Moses -- in whose merit the Jewish nation drank from a miraculous well which followed them throughout the Sinai desert and beyond.
Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, was born in Egypt, where the Jewish people were cruelly enslaved. Miriam was one of the seven great prophetesses in Jewish history. She foresaw that the Jewish people would be redeemed from Egypt, even before Moses was born.
From a very young age, Miriam helped her mother, Jochebed, to deliver Jewish babies in secret. When her brother, Moses, was born, she played a pivotal role in protecting him from harm. Although she felt her people’s pain deeply, Miriam did not succumb to fear or despair. In fact, she encouraged the Jewish women to have faith that G‑d would rescue them from Egypt, even if it required great miracles. So strong was her conviction that she and the women prepared tambourines and other instruments so that they could sing a song of praise to G‑d in the desert. Sure enough, after the sea split and the Jewish people were saved, the women used these instruments to sing the Song of the Sea. From Miriam we learn courage and faith. Miriam’s faith (and that of all the women in her generation) was so powerful that it may have actually changed the course of history. The Torah tells us that the Jewish people were redeemed from Egypt “in the merit of the righteous women.”
Jewish women, then and now, were and are a source of everyday inspiration and hope; leaders thanks to their courage and conscience. They refused to be intimidated by power or defeated by circumstance. They were the real heroes of the exodus. The story of the Exodus from Egypt repeats itself in this fashion in our days, as well by thousands of women across America, who are making a difference through Jewish National Fund.