WEEKLY UPDATES 1.4.19 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
I hope you all had an enjoyable New Year’s holiday.
We had excellent volume of end of year gifts and it will take several more days to get all the gifts processed. While I can’t give you a good number for the 2019 annual campaign until next Friday, I can tell you we are at more than $568 million toward our $1 Billion goal. Now that our second fiscal quarter has begun, we will soon start our campaign focused on $1,000 and over donors, a critical segment of our donor base. Stay tuned for more information on our 2019@$1,000 campaign!
LAY LEADER TRAINING SEMINAR
It’s time to register for the next Lay Leader Training Seminar, January 16 at 12 Noon eastern with the topic: JNF Organizational Overview and Financial Structure. JNF CFO Mitch Rosenzweig and Treasurer Andy Klein will take us through everything from our sources of revenue and expenses to our distributions in Israel for JNF’s visionary projects and programs in Israel. To register and receive the link for the Zoom meeting, please click here: Register Now
I hope to see you at our annual Winter Connection brunch in sunny Florida on Friday, January 18. Last year, 1,200 people participated. Attendance has grown so much we have moved to a new facility at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. Click here for more information and for on-line registration. The focus of Winter Connection is to get our snowbirds to fill tables with their friends from their home community in the north. I’d love to see more tables this year from Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Baltimore/DC, as well as many tables from the New York and New Jersey area. For major donors, there will also be a special dinner Thursday evening, January 17. More information is on the on-line invitation.
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 8th. 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
We recently published two new episodes of our podcast, #MussMagic! Follow along with us and discover how our students compare AMHSI-JNF to a time machine, and hear about their great adventures. This past week, as we welcomed 2019, we also were pleased to welcome to our campus our new board President, Ron Werner, in addition to Amir Kochavi, the Mayor of our Hod HaSharon!
Travel & Tours Update
Active adults 55+ are invited to join us for a 10-day, life-changing excursion exploring Israel from north to south this April. Learn more.
Updates from Israel
Accessibility at the Heritage Sites
December marked Accessibility Month at the Heritage Sites, wrapping up a year in which Jewish National Fund and partner Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS) have worked hard to make Israel’s heritage sites more accessible to visitors with cognitive and physical disabilities. SPIHS aims to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to visit the sites and learn the important lessons they teach. In collaboration with Jewish National Fund partner Lotem, sites have begun to offer more services for visitors with physical and cognitive disabilities. This month, several sites in the north, such as the Hareut museum, offered special tours for people with seeing and hearing impairments and other sites, including Atlit Detention Camp south of Haifa, began training guides to lead similar tours. Several projects to make sites more physically accessible also are taking places at heritage sites across Israel, including the installation of a wheelchair accessible path at Atlit Detention Camp and the addition of a wheelchair ramp at Yellin House at Motza near Jerusalem.
Special in the IDF
Last week, Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel, invited the soldiers of Jewish National Fund’s Special in Uniform to his official residence for an award ceremony. The president asked each one of the soldiers about their jobs and motivation to serve, commenting, “You are living proof that no barrier is stronger than will power." The IDF is a great equalizer, he added, because each soldier contributes in accordance with his or her capabilities. Rivlin said he was very proud to welcome such dedicated soldiers and thanked the Jewish National Fund delegation for partnering and supporting the organization.
Visits to Halutza
Last week, the Halutza communities had the chance to host members of JNFuture and Alternative Break, hosting these visitors and helping them connect to the land on a deeper level.
In last week's Parshah, Moses cried bitterly to G-d about the hardships that the Jews were experiencing. Now, in Parshah Va'eira G-d speaks to Moses and promises him that he will indeed save the Jews. He tells him that he must go to Pharaoh and demand that he let the Jews out of Egypt. So Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh to try to convince him to let the Jews free. But Pharaoh refuses to listen.
This week G‑d tells Moses: “I am Hashem, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as My own people, and I will be your G‑d.”
Moses is the greatest of all Jewish leaders and arguably the greatest leader of all time. Moses was handpicked by G-d and perfectly executed His most important mission—redeeming His People from slavery in Egypt, the regional super power of the time, to freedom and Divine Revelation through earth-shattering and supernatural miracles. He guided three million people, from infants to the elderly, through the arid Sinai Peninsula and brought them to the brink of the Promised Land, reflecting a leadership career of greatness, humility and selflessness.
There are myriad leadership lessons to be learnt from Moses. Much ink has been spent and many books have been written to describe in detail these phenomenal leadership attributes. Torah also teaches us that Moses’ speech impediment did not disqualify him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When asked to lead the Israelites, Moses initially objects that he is “heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue”— a phrase that has led many rabbinic interpreters to assume that he spoke with a stutter or lisp. In response, G-d affirms Moses’ many capabilities and notes that his brother, Aaron, can offer any support that Moses needs to fulfill his responsibilities.
Each and every one of us has the opportunity to make the world a little bit better than what we inherited. Like the confidence G-d has in Moses, we should each have confidence in our own abilities and the impact that we can have as individuals on society as a whole.
Jewish National Fund has taken this story to heart and, together, with our partners, we are changing the lives of Israelis with disabilities, reflecting values that are inherent to Jewish Life and Tikkun Olam, repairing the world and making it a better place.