WEEKLY UPDATES 8.31.18 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
Gaza Border Crisis: The Trauma, The Damage, The Needs
Yesterday, our Gaza
Caravan wrapped up in New York. What an incredible two weeks it has been
for Jewish National Fund as we brought the story of life for Israeli families
living along the Gaza border to the public. More than 3,500 people
attended one of the 11 Town Hall events around the country and hundreds more
watched via live video stream. If you did not have the opportunity to see
one of the Town Hall events, click here for a recording of the event from
Chicago on August 23.
You still have the opportunity to make your special contribution to support JNF’s work to improve the quality of life for Israeli families living in the area near Gaza. Review the list of needs here.If you wish to discuss naming opportunities, please reach out to your local JNF professional.
Have you registered for the National Conference? If not, please click here to view the program and register on-line. Jewish National Fund’s leadership team in Arizona is working hard to make this a great conference. Every year it seems to get better and better as we bring Israel to the United States. JNF’s National Conference gives us an opportunity to meet beneficiaries of our work and our partners on the ground who help JNF achieve our vision to build the land of Israel. Plus, we have a lot of fun while reconnecting with old friends and developing new and meaningful relationships.
LAY LEADERSHIP TRAINING SEMINARS
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.
Shabbat Shalom, and have an enjoyable and safe Labor Day weekend.
Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign
JNF Travel & Tours Update
Alexander Muss High School in Israel
School is back in session! In the last week we welcomed a total of 90 students for our Fall Semester Session and from our Day School partner Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Philadelphia, PA. The teens have been busy with orientation, tours of campus and our neighborhood in Hod HaSharon, and they have begun their first lessons of our signature Israel Studies curriculum of 4,000+ years of Jewish and Israeli history using the land as the classroom. The first on-site class, at Tel Gezer, brought them to an archaeological site, located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which demonstrates the importance of archaeology in understanding history. Lessons were learned about Canaanite civilization, and its relationship to the earliest Biblical texts.
Updates from Israel
Haapala - Re-enactment of Clandestine Immigration to Israel
Special in the IDF
By Yossi Kahana
Over the last 14 days, Jewish National Fund organized Emergency Town Hall meetings across the counry, reaching over 3,500 people, to share the truth and real story of what has been happening along the Gaza Border for the past 6 months, destroying 10,000 acres of forest and crops. Our JNF family came out in a show of unity in support of the land and people of Israel. Together, we are stronger.
This week’s Torah reading, Ki Tavo, discusses the concept of offering the first fruit of the season, or bikkurim. In its explanation, the Torah commands that all must bring an offering of the “first fruits” which the land has yielded, after the Israelites finally entered and settled in the Land of Israel.
The Talmud, on the other hand, says that the obligation is applicable only once all of the Jewish people are living within the Land of Israel—it took 14 years from the time the Children of Israel entered the Holy Land, under the leadership of Joshua, until the land was settled and divided amongst the 12 tribes. The Talmud’s reasoning is that the offering of the first fruits is connected with happiness, which, it maintains, can truly occur only once everyone has reached a state of being settled on the land, not just as an individual farmer.
These two approaches, however, are not in contradiction.
On the one hand, each of us needs to function as an individual so as to reach our own personal potential. On the other hand, we cannot be oblivious or ignorant to those around us. We also need to reach our potential as a collective and on a communal level. Without this collective achievement, we cannot reach complete happiness and fulfillment.
Just as a piece of complex machinery cannot function if a small part is missing, the Jewish people, too, are not just a collection of independent entities, but rather a complete structure that requires each of us to be intact in order to function.This is why we need to care for the entirety of the Jewish people and why true happiness can come only when everyone is settled and fulfilled.
We, in the Jewish National Fund family, are always aware of the fact that our individual achievements are enhanced by our concern for the wider Jewish community and of Israel. Without concern for others, our own achievements become worthless.