JNF'S National Conference Rallies For The People of Israel
Adam H. Brill, Director of Communications
JEWISH NATIONAL FUND’S NATIONAL CONFERENCE
RALLIES FOR THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL
More Than 1,200 Stand United in Support
of Israel & Building JNF Projects
JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson (left) and President Jeffrey E. Levine (right)
present Shalom Peace Award to Ambassador Michael Oren.
New York, NY: October 29, 2015 — At Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) National Conference 2015 in Chicago, attendees heard from Ambassador and Member of Knesset Michael Oren, former Minister Tzipi Livni, pollster Frank Luntz, Dr. Chuck Freilich, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author Seth Siegel, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor Bruce Rauner, and JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine, along with many others, who each rallied them to stand with and support the land and people of Israel.
The annual conference, which began Friday, Oct. 23 and concluded Monday, included more than 1,200 participants from across the nation. Present among the registrants were 300 college students representing some 50 campuses, over 100 high school students, and 150 JNFuture members (young leaders between the age of 25-40), who are among JNF’s fastest growing donor base.
Adam Hirst, a real estate lawyer in New York, remarked of the conference, "JNF’s National Conference provided an extraordinary opportunity to learn from donors across the country, and to meet our partners in Israel, united in our collective mission to support the people and land of Israel. JNFuture, the essence of L'dor Vador, is providing the next generation of Zionist leaders the skills and network to continue our shared work, today."
JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine unveiled new successes as JNF moved closer this year to realizing its Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade. He said that since the campaign was announced two years ago, JNF has raised more than $325 million: “We have turned our ancient homeland of the Jewish people into the world’s most successful start-up. Our $1 billion roadmap is unprecendented not just for JNF, but for any other organization focused on Israel. This campaign will take us forward through Israel’s 75th jubilee. We have changed Israel and we will continue to support our Jewish nation.”
Levine went on to spotlight the many JNF partners who help envision Israel’s success in water, technology and innovation, environment, housing, education and advocacy, young leadership, disabilities, and the partnership with Nefesh B’ Nefesh that allows Jews in the Diaspora to return home to Israel.
The conference opened with welcomes from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Roey Gilad, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest. OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved kicked off the opening plenary describing the many economic opportunities that Israel holds for global investors. Follow-up sessions focused on Israel’s leadership in water technology and the solutions it offers to mitigate the coming world-wide water crisis, including Seth Siegel’s book Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water Starved World; and how today’s donors are inspiring and mentoring JNFuture to lead the way for Israel tomorrow.
In her keynote address Sunday morning, Tzipi Livni, a member of Israel’s Knesset and former minister, remarked on the great need for young Jews to stand up for Israel on campus and the importance of promoting dialogue between the Israel and the Jewish people everywhere. That night over 1,200 attended a gala event and heard a special address from JNF Chairman Ronald S. Lauder and then watched as Ambassador Michael Oren received the Shalom Peace Award, JNF’s highest honor.
In his remarks Oren shared his personal thoughts of the great relationship that has always existed between the U.S. and Israel, and the resoluteness of the Israeli people and their country.
“JNF, from generation to generation – psuhke to pushke - one tree, one community center at a time. One people, one vision, one determination, to never give in to despair. One hope of an Israel that is secure, fortified not only militarily but socially, educationally, and environmentally. An Israel which, from Dan to Be’er Sheva, from Metullah to Eilat, is eternally beautified with trees.”
On Monday, Governor Bruce Rauner thanked all for attending, shared his love for Israel and that one of his own children lived there as a student following high school. Immediately following, in his keynote address, author and TV personality Rabbi Shmuley Boteach discussed current issues and the need to engage Jews to be visible, loud and unified for Israel. JNF’s Chicago Water Summit was thereafter held and included more than 200 participants representing the public, government, water utility, education, and environment.
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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.
JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.
JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.
For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit www.jnf.org.