Expert of Agriculture
Travels from Austin, TX
Topics:JNF's Work in Israel, Environmental and Sustainability Issues, Academic Perspectives on Israel and Jewish History, Positively Israel
Ron Bernstein was born and raised in Long Island, New York. As part of a Youth Aliyah group in 1971, he studied at Kfar Galim Agricultural High School near Haifa.
He went on to study at Hebrew Union College as part of a sponsored program combining kibbutz life (Kibbutz Ma'ale Hachamisha) with studies. As a result, he decided to immigrate to Israel and live on a kibbutz, devoting his life to agriculture.
Bernstein attended the University of Delaware and graduated with a Bachelors of Science with a focus in Agricultural Engineering. He founded Kibbutz Yahel in the Negev in 1977, where he has been living ever since.
Since then, he has worked the soil of the Negev as a manager of the Agricultural Experimental Station at Kibbutz Yotvata, Yahel's vegetable and citrus operation. Yahel's orchard consists of pomelos which are the largest and highest producing in Israel.
Bernstein has also worked as a Yahel desert tour guide. With his extensive connections in the Reform movement, he has accompanied tours from NFTY (National Federation of Temple Youth and URJ youth movement) during summers as well as synagogue tours, individuals tours and tour missions.
Traveling at least twice a year to North America, Ron Bernstein has put tremendous efforts in to fundraising at dozens of URJ synagogues, representing Kibbutz Yahel and Lotan, promoting its great work and importance to agriculture in Israel.
From 1999 to 2001, Bernstein was a shaliach for NFTY in North America, where he assisted in recruiting teens for the NFTY summer Israel tours. This included visiting dozens of North American URJ synagogues; simultaneously he continued representing Yahel and Lotan at many URJ synagogues as well.
He is currently a full time shaliach for Jewish National Fund in Houston, raising money and awareness about the important work of JNF.
Download a prepared introduction for Ron Bernstein ron-bernstein-intro.doc
• JNF projects in the Arava- Yahel and Lotan