WEEKLY UPDATES 12.22.17 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
It is with a heavy heart I share with you the loss of a dear friend to JNF and a great leader. Ellen Rosenberg passed away this week following a brave fight to overcome a disease she battled with grace and dignity. Ellen was a donor to JNF for thirty years, and for the last decade she was an active JNF leader serving in many capacities, including President of the Baltimore Board of Directors, national JNF Board of Directors, chair of MAKOR, Assistant Vice President of the JNF Legal Committee, member of the Nefesh B’nefesh Task Force and co-Chair of the 2015 National Conference in Chicago. She leaves behind her incredible husband Cary, her two devoted children, Hal and Shira, and two wonderful grandchildren. May the entire Rosenberg, Blatt and Besmenoff families be comforted amongst the Mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. Those wishing to make a contribution in Ellen’s memory may do so by clicking here.
There is a lot of understandable confusion about how the new tax bill will affect each of us personally and also charities that rely on the generosity of donors, such as Jewish National Fund. Yes, there are many people who consider tax deductibility as a motivation for charitable giving, but studies show that the vast majority of donors are not motivated by tax benefits, but rather, because of their belief in the mission of the organization and their personal satisfaction from giving.
Attached is a good article from Crain’s Chicago Business that discusses the motivations of charitable giving. This article, and the study it references, should give us every reason to believe the JNF annual campaign will continue to move forward with strength.
The 2016 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, conducted in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy survey revealed the following motivations for giving:
- Belief in the mission of the organization - 54% of respondents
- Personal satisfaction, enjoyment or Fulfillment from giving - 39%
- Tax benefits - 18%
You can view the full study by clicking on this link: 2016 U.S. Trust Study
Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign
In this week’s Parsha, Vayigash, we read the story of Joseph revealing himself to his brothers after decades of bitter separation. This is, no doubt, one of the most dramatic stories in the entire Torah. Twenty-two years earlier, when Joseph was 17-years-old, his brothers, despising their younger kin, kidnapped him, threw him into a pit, and then sold him as a slave to Egyptian merchants. In Egypt, he spent 12 years in prison, from where he rose to become viceroy of the country that was the superpower at the time. Now, more than two decades later, the time was right for reconciliation.
"Joseph could not hold in his emotions," the Torah relates in this week's portion. “He dismissed all of his Egyptian assistants from his chamber, thus, no one else was present with Joseph when he revealed himself to his brothers. He began to weep with such loud sobs that the Egyptians outside could hear him. And Joseph said to his brothers: 'I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?' His brothers were so horrified that they could not respond.
“Joseph said to his brothers, ‘please come close to me’. When they approached him, he said, ‘I am Joseph your brother – it is me whom you sold into Egypt.
“Now, be not distressed, nor reproach yourself for having sold me here, for it was to be a provider that G-d sent me ahead of you …G-d has sent me ahead of you to ensure your survival in the land and to sustain you for a momentous deliverance.”
Joseph first points out the obvious truth that they had consciously made the horrifying decision to sell him into slavery in Egypt; then he proceeds to call it G-d's will.
Why the switch?
Once Joseph had achieved the closure that came with his victimizers’ contrition, after he saw how they were emotionally tortured by the pain they had caused him, he was able to unshackle himself of their deeds and move on with his life's work.
Stepping forward into the next chapter of his life, Joseph's pressing focus wasn't on his past victimhood, it was on the question: How does G-d want me to use my present situation to better the world?
When the moment was right, Joseph turned himself from a victim into a victor.
There's surviving. Then there's thriving.
Joseph thrived, and we are Joseph. As a Jewish nation, we have embodied the strength Joseph exhibits, building up our homeland from a place of victimhood. And it couldn’t have been built without the help of JNF and all we do.
Protecting the Land
Special in the IDF
Special in the IDF