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JNF Launches Alternative Spring Break in the Negev

Contact: Sarit Schonbrun • JNF Communications Manager • 212-879-9305 ext. 222 •

March 9, 2006-- Today, 25 college students are off to spend ten days in Israel’s Negev desert on Jewish National Fund’s first annual Alternative Spring Break (ASB).

The trip will give students the opportunity to connect with the land and people of Israel through meaningful acts of tikkun olam, or community service, while having the time of their lives. They will experience what the early pioneers of Israel experienced: turning the desert into livable land. They will work with several of the 25 new communities that JNF, together with its partners, are developing in the Negev with the Blueprint Negev campaign. Over the next five to ten years these communities will become home to 250,000 Israelis.

Students will go on a night hike in the mineral-rich hills of Timna, help build a new section of the Kibbutz Lotan Bird Reserve, and tour The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.They will learn about Bedouin culture, work with at-risk youth in Negev communities, and help to beautify the settlement town of Kfar Adiel. They will also cruise the Red Sea, celebrate Purim in the desert, and spend Shabbat in Jerusalem.

Inspired by other organizations that send college students to Mexico, South Africa and the like for community service trips, JNF wanted to devise a way for students to do the same -- for “Students have asked us how they can both give back and get back to Israel,” said Rebecca Kahn, JNF’s Campus Programs Manager, “but it also needs to be affordable. We think this trip answers that question.”  Please look for our post-trip photos and editorial coverage of this groundbreaking program. 

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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


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