JNF Makor Member
Travels from Orange County, California
Availability: Contact JNF Speakers Bureau for availability.
Topics:JNF's Work in Israel, Positively Israel
Born in New York, raised in Orange County, California, Jeff Goodman is a third-generation JNF supporter. While studying at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Jeff was very active in Hillel, and captain of the debate team. Upon returning to California, he was the founding president of the Orange County region, and along with his wife Deby, has served on the Orange County Board since its inception. Along with his speaking schedule for JNF, Jeff is an occasional commentator on the Middle East for television talk shows, and in his spare time is the president of Paragon Building Products, a multi-state manufacturer of building materials.
Besides JNF, Jeff is a past board member of the Orange County Jewish Federation, past-president of Congregation Adat Ari, past board member of Temple Isaiah, and currently a member of Chabad of North Orange County (Yorba Linda). A former firefighter, Jeff was honored as Firefighter of the Year, and was a medalist in shooting in the California State Firefighters Olympics. He was also a founding board member of the Orange County Chamber Orchestra.
Israel, Zionism and the Jewish National Fund have always been a major part of the Goodman household. When their daughter Rivka became bat mitzvah, she chose to do her bat mitzvah project by raising funds for JNF, and spoke about it at the ceremony. She was also the official “tree” for many years, attending JNF events in a tree costume made by Deby. In 2003 Jeff gave perhaps the greatest possible gift to Israel – his first-born child. Rivka, 27, is now an Israeli citizen, married to Dov Shore, and has presented Jeff and Deby with three wonderful grandchildren, whom they visit as often as possible.
Rivka’s brother, Joshua, 23, is a psychology major at Fullerton College, and active in Hillel. A committed JNF supporter in his own right, Joshua visited Israel for the first time on an Orange County JNF mission in 2002, and numerous times since. On one such trip, he and Deby traveled with the Magen David Choir on a concert tour, performing in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Gush Etzion, and many other places. He was studying in Jerusalem when the Lebanon War broke out, and helped evacuate families from Sefat.
Download a prepared introduction for Jeff Goodman