WEEKLY UPDATE 11.14.19 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
ISRAEL ON ALERT
As I write this message, nearly 400 rockets have rained down on civilians in Israel. Our Jewish National Fund family living near the border with Gaza has spent the better part of three days in bomb shelters. Schools closed. Employers told their employees to stay home and not risk traveling on the roads. And at the same time, there are 100 people currently on several JNF missions traveling throughout the country spreading our message of support. It is critically important for people to come to Israel, especially at times like these. As you know, Israelis are some of the world’s most resilient people. Even during times of conflict, the cafes and restaurants are open, people are at the beach, and there is a strange normalcy to everyday life in most of the country. Yes, precautions are taken, like the adjustment of itineraries to ensure JNF missions are traveling to areas that are safe from the trouble near the border with Gaza, but life is moving forward. Go on Facebook or Instagram or other social media platforms and see how JNF is helping people to live and answer hate and destruction with love and laughter.
My message to you is twofold:
1. Jewish National Fund is on the ground in Israel 365 days a year, working with our affiliates and friends to build the land of Israel so this and future generations can have the best quality of life. In times of quiet and times of conflict, we are there with our strategic vision for the Negev and Galilee. So join JNF on an upcoming mission to see firsthand how your dollars are put to work.
2. Please reach out to friends and family and ask them to make their increased gift to the JNF annual campaign today. We are coming to the end of the calendar year and many are considering their charitable contributions. Remind them of JNF’s work to build the land of Israel and share the story of our brothers and sisters near the Gaza border who once again are spending long days in bomb shelters, many of which were provided by JNF.
Everyone receiving this Weekly Campaign Update is a leader of Jewish National Fund. Our primary responsibility, no matter our titles or the committees on which we serve, is to advocate for JNF and to help expand the donor base so we can continue doing great things in Israel. When we make our annual gift, we affirm our commitment to participate in JNF’s transformative work and, as leaders, we should be the first in line to support JNF. With nearly 1,400 people serving on JNF boards and committees, we represent a significant percentage to JNF’s campaign. For those who have already made your annual campaign gift… thank you!! For those who have not yet had the opportunity, please do so now. Leaders lead!
2020 NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN ISRAEL
It is unbelievable that more than 300 people have already registered for the 2020 National Conference taking place in Israel next October 25 – 29. We are well on our way to reach our goal to bring 1,000 people to Israel for the Conference. A friendly competition is unfolding among local communities for who can bring the most to Israel. Register now! The sooner you register the more you will save. To learn more about NC 2020 in Israel, click here: jnf.org/nc
Travel & Tours Update
Unleash your inner thrill seeker on our inaugural adventure tour through the Negev this April. Join us on the Modern Israel: Negev Adventure Mission. Learn more here.
Alexander Muss High School in Israel
This week we hosted our tri-annual "Get Back to Israel Fair" this week, in which numerous long-term Israel programs (ranging from Gap Year programs to universities and mechinot) come to campus and speak with our students. This fair is an opportunity for our students to learn about ways to return to Israel and continue their Israel engagement.
Shop Amazon Smile
Did you know that you can support Jewish National Fund while you shop? Amazon Smile will donate a portion of your purchase price to us when you shop through smile.amazon.com.
JNF In Your Area
Traveling to another city and want to see what JNF events are taking place there? Just visit jnf.org/inyourarea for a quick look at how to stay engaged while on the road.
Updates from Israel
Update from the MAKOM Communities
The office of our MAKOM Urban Kibbutz in Sderot was hit by a rocket this week - thankfully no one was hurt. With over 100 members living in houses all on the same street and sharing a communal lifestyle, they also include adults with special needs as part of the community, living in homes where the whole structure is safe so they do not need to go to a shelter. The community is known for their work with the mentally and physically challenged adults; they study, work, and are active in the community, each according to his/her abilities.
It was only yesterday that the college-student village in Netivot (part of our MAKOM community), completed a series of meetings on volunteering in emergency situations. This morning they had the opportunity to take action! Since classes were cancelled, they were busy assisting the elderly and buying groceries for them, went to neighborhood bomb shelters and occupied children all afternoon with fun activities, joined social workers and made rounds throughout the city checking on those that are in need, helped single mothers with their children, made signs and hung flags throughout the city supporting IDF soldiers and raising the morale for local residents!
Some MAKOM communities in the south have been busy visiting families and children in bomb shelters providing fun activities to pass time and giving out candies and snacks, while other MAKOM communities in further areas in Israel have been inviting families to come and stay until it gets quiet again.
Special in the IDF
This week, Dr. Sol and Lauren Lizerbram attended Special in Uniform's ceremony in Tel Noff Air Force Base to welcome 9 new IDF Soldiers. The unit is sponsored by Alan and Roni Wolk from Atlanta.
Dr. Sol Lizerbram said, “A great day for the soldiers, their parents and JNF-USA. The only army in the world that includes young adults with special needs. One new soldier told me that it was the best day of his life. Mazal Tov.”
This week Jewish National Fund's leaders went to the Negev for the inauguration of the Be'er Sheva Lake, the largest man-made lake in Israel. This historic event in the Be’er Sheva River Park is just one of many exciting things to come. This is all part of Jewish National Fund's major initiative to improve quality of life for all residents of the region and to encourage a population shift away from crowded, expensive central Israel. Today, Be’er Sheva and the surrounding communities are blooming in a once barren desert.
But why Be’er Sheva and the Negev and why invest so much?
It all began this week, thousands of years ago…
This week's Torah Portion focuses on the life and times of our patriarch Abraham, the first Jew. The Torah states that, "Abraham planted an aishel (tree) in Be’er Sheva" (Genesis 21:33). Abraham represents the embodiment of kindness. He did not merely give his guests the minimal requirements for survival – tepid water, stale bread, and a pinch of salt – rather he gave them fabulous food and displayed tremendous hospitality.
Each us has inherited Abraham's attribute of kindness, hence we have the capacity to give of ourselves in the same manner as Abraham. We can assist and help others not only with their vital necessities but rather we can go above and beyond the call of duty and help others in a truly limitless fashion.
That is what JNF is all about.