The 2010 Jewish National Fund (JNF) Tree of Life Dinner, held on March 16 at the DCOTA in Dania Beach, honored the children of Aleh Negev along with its founder Major General Doron Almog of Israel. In addition, the Guardian of Israel award was given to Michael Lazar for his unwavering support of Israel through JNF and the Aleh Award was given to Barbara Mautner for her generosity in support of Aleh Negev. Several hundred family members, friends, business associates and guests, were in attendance to support their commitment to the work of JNF in Israel. The guests were also treated to a special appearance by actor/comedian Paul Reiser.
JNF South Florida has raised approximately $400,000 for Aleh Negev. Located near the town of Ofakim, Aleh Negev is a state-of-the-art communal rehabilitative village in Israel’s Negev Desert for people with cognitive and physical disabilities. It is the only facility of its kind in Israel, and is being studied as a model by experts worldwide. It is home to over 100 residents with capacity for over 200 and also provides a wide range of vital outpatient therapy services to 12,000 children and adults throughout the Negev. Proceeds from the dinner benefitted the facility.
Aleh Negev is an important part of JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign to sustainably develop the Negev Desert and make it home for the next generation of Israel’s residents. In addition to the nurturing environment it provides both its residents and their families, Aleh Negev is creating 2,500 jobs in a region where employment is low and economic opportunities were stagnant. In conjunction with JNF’s other work in the town of Ofakim – including a huge central park -- it is bolstering the town’s image and bringing promise to its residents.
Major General Doron Almog enjoyed a distinguished 35-year career in the IDF that included four wars and a number of special operations, including the rescue operation at Entebbe airport in 1976, and the airlift of Ethiopian Jews in 1983-85. His son, Eran Almog, who passed away two years ago, was one of the first residents of Aleh Negev and the inspiration behind the establishment of the village. Jewish National Fund began in 1901 collecting coins in blue boxes to purchase land and return the Jewish people to their homeland. In over 109 years, JNF has evolved into a global environmental leader and become the central address for the land and people of Israel.
JNF has planted 240 million trees, built over 1,000 parks and recreational areas, constructed security roads, educated students around the world about Israel, created new communities so that Jews from around the world would have a place to call home, discovered drip irrigation and new means of growing plants under arid conditions, bringing green to the desert, built over 200 reservoirs and water recycling centers, increasing Israel’s water supply by 10%.
All JNF projects are geared toward improving the lives of the people of Israel. JNF provides its donors the unique opportunity of designated giving; donors can follow their dollars, and see the impact. JNF is proud to be an organization that received the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator demonstrating that JNF is an organization that uses donors philanthropic dollars efficiently. For additional information about Jewish National Fund and designated giving opportunities log onto the JNF website: www.jnf.org or call the Boca Raton office at: 561-447-9733