WEEKLY UPDATES 8.24.18 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
We have now raised nearly $531 million toward our 10-year, $1 Billion campaign goal. We are also just a few million from our annual goal of $80 million, and after a review of gifts not yet closed from our typical annual donors, we estimate to close this campaign year on September 30 around $83 million. Let’s keep working hard until the finish line!
Gaza Border Crisis: The Trauma, The Damage, The Needs - This week the Gaza Caravan reached five cities, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver and last night, Chicago. We have been able to tell our story to more than 1,000 people who attended and hundreds more who tuned in last night at a dozen viewing parties to see the live simulcast of the Chicago Gaza Emergency Town Hall. The group is now in South Florida where there is a town hall event on Sunday in Aventura. Then it’s on to Washington, D.C., Boston, Southern New Jersey, and Philadelphia before wrapping up in New York City on Thursday, August 30. Go to jnf.org/gazatownhall for the full schedule and on-line registration.
We have received great press, especially in Las Vegas where the NBC affiliate sent a crew. Here’s the clip https://youtu.be/V2weMmX7X64
We have also raised significant dollars. Attendees are writing checks for the JNF Gaza Emergency campaign and are purchasing Sderot Tulips for $1,000 each. Visit the JNF store here to purchase your own tulip. Proceeds support the ongoing operations of the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center. Click here for a list of giving opportunities to support the security needs of Israeli communities living along the border with Gaza. Please consider making an additional gift to support these communities.
CAMPAIGN PLANNING SUMMIT
For those who were unable to attend the Campaign Summit in New York August 12 & 13, you can access the PowerPoint presentations by clicking here JNF Campaign Summit 2018.
LAY LEADERSHIP TRAINING SEMINAR
Please be sure to put a save the date in your calendar for our Lay Leadership Training seminars. These seminars will be done by Zoom video conferencing and will last no more than 30 – 45 minutes. The first seminar is September 13, with the topic: The History of Zionism and Jewish National Fund. Click here to see the full schedule of seminars. Advanced registration will be required, and you will receive an invitation for each seminar two weeks prior to the date. Please put a hold on your calendar for each of the seminars listed on the schedule.
Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign
Travel & Tours update
IsraelCast, the JNF Podcast
Updates from Israel
Musical Tour Pilot Program at Atlit Detention Center
Special in Uniform
By Yossi Kahana
Well before environmental spokespeople were sounding the call for greater sensitivity, does it not sound like the Torah is advocating for sustainability towards the planet? G‑d had formulated the concept in Parshat Ki Teitzei.
Here, we read of a most curious situation. When we see a mother bird hovering over a nest that contains chicks or eggs, and we wish to eat them, we must send the mother bird away first. The mother bird must not be part of our bountiful catch.
There are several beautiful explanations for this, one of which is the following: People have the right to take and consume the eggs in this scenario, but they cannot kill an entire species. And even though they are not actually doing that in this example, it is as if they are, for they are extinguishing two generations of birds.
There is something cruel about killing a mother together with her children—something that sounds a lot like over-consumption. Indeed, there is something ethically corrupt in pursuing practices that may lead to extinction.
Here, not only do we see a touching sensitivity towards animals, but we hear language that sounds like the forerunner to some basic environmental principles!
Does it not sound like the Torah is advocating for the concept of sustainability?
Sustainability, in the modern sense of the word, means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Or, in simpler language, don’t take more than your fair share.
The Torah was an environmental trailblazer, way ahead of its time. It teaches us that in order to perpetuate the fragile balance of our ecosystem, we cannot exploit it, and we shouldn’t take more than we need.
When we capture animals faster than they can reproduce, we endure too many losses to maintain a healthy population. That over-killing can drive a species to extinction. Ultimately, this can collapse the ecosystems that we depend on.
More than that, the act of sending away the mother bird—like all acts of compassion—teaches deep lessons. A person can only be compassionate by shelving self-centeredness and considering the entire situation he or she is part of. Over-killing can drive a species to extinction before acting. When we send away the mother bird, we are being sensitive to her needs, to the earth’s need and to the greater future needs of humanity.
G‑d gave us the right to eat and not deplete. We have a right to the eggs, but not a right to the mother.
To be attuned to the needs of the mother bird is to be attuned to something larger than ourselves; in doing so, we elevate all that is part of this most delicate, timely and universal message.