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Jeff Goodman

JNF Makor Member

Travels from Orange County, California

Availability: Contact JNF Speakers Bureau for availability.


Positively Israel, JNF's Work in 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


Makor (Hebrew for “source”) is a specially-trained cadre of highly-involved Jewish National Fund volunteers. Our primary role is to support the core functions of JNF by direct fundraising. Thus, we identify prospective donors, conduct direct solicitations in our own communities and around the United States and assist in educating the public about the JNF and its projects.

Makor also serves as a source for lay leadership. We are leaders in our own communities, and provide training and inspiration for other community leaders on solicitation techniques, board development and outreach and on the work of the JNF. Makor members also assume JNF leadership positions on a national level.

We are proud leaders who are committed to the mission of the JNF, the caretaker of the land of Israel forever. In addition, Makor is a source of innovation within the JNF. Our diverse backgrounds, coupled with our common commitment, foster a free-flow of ideas to keep JNF as relevant and productive as possible.

Makor members travel to Israel each year to study JNF projects and programs in depth, and bring their insights and experiences to you. Members speak at no charge.


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