Director of the Gush Etzion Foundation
Travels from Gush Etzion
Availability: Contact JNF Speakers Bureau for availability.
JNF's Work in Israel, Positively Israel
Shani Abrams Simkowitz is the Director of the Gush Etzion Foundation, a division of the Regional Council of Gush Etzion which is responsible for public relations and fundraising for the communities and residents of this area.
Ms. Simkowitz has a long and distinguished career in communications, public relations, fundraising and education. Her devotion to the State of Israel is the motivating force behind all of her efforts.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Shani moved to Israel at the age of sixteen where she graduated from the Yemin Orde children’s village in the Carmel Mountains. After graduating high school, she enlisted in the Israel Defense Force, three weeks before the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War and served in the Nachal unit.
Following the completion of her army service, Shani studied at the Kibbutz Teacher’s College in Tel Aviv where she earned a degree in Early Childhood Education. She then went on to receive a BA in Creative Theater from Empire State College and an MA from Touro College in Jewish Education with an emphasis on Holocaust studies for young children.
From 1979 to 1997 Shani was the Regional Supervisor of Early Childhood Education for the Regional Council of Gush Etzion. She oversaw thirty five kindergartens, fifteen daycare centers and a teacher’s resource center.
In 1997, the Gush Etzion Foundation was established and Shani became its leader. The Foundation was created to provide supplemental funding for health, education, social, cultural and security services for the residents of Gush Etzion. Shani’s innovative and resourceful method of management is the reason for the Foundation’s success.
Shani Abrams Simkowitz, along with Mayor Shaul Goldstein, is an English speaking spokesperson for Gush Etzion. Her tireless efforts to promote Gush Etzion have pioneered a public awareness worldwide.
Shani is the mother of five children and grandmother of 4 and lives in the Gush Etzion community, Tekoa, where she has been a resident since 1981. In her spare time she is a medical clown.
Download a prepared introduction for Shani Abrams-Simkovitz
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.