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Learning to Make a Difference, One Mitzvah at a Time

Contact: Steven Green • Director/ Campaign Executive • JNF Southeast Regional Office • 404-236-8991 •

March 10, 2006—Atlanta, GA— After Hurricane Katrina, the students at the Greenfield Hebrew Academy held an art auction to benefit the storm’s victims.  In October, they paid to wear jeans to school instead of their usual uniforms on Lee National Denim Day, a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  In November they collected English books for a school in Israel. 

No strangers to community service, the students have undertaken countless projects through their school’s ongoing Mitzvah program.  Under the leadership of Headmaster Matt Lieberman, their newest endeavor will result in the total renovation of a playground in Israel as part of Jewish National Fund’s Inclusive Parks Program, the movement to make all of Israel’s parks and recreational facilities accessible to people with disabilities. 

In January, students in the kindergarten through eighth grade classes went home with JNF Blue Boxes and began collecting contributions for the project.  To date, they have already raised $2,000.  

“One of the things that makes the school so special is how much time they devote to teaching the kids the importance of their role in the community,” said Stephanie Weiss, whose twin daughters are in the second grade at the Greenfield Hebrew Academy.  Ms. Weiss— an alumna of the school who is a member of the Parent Teacher Student Association and the monthly mitzvah committee— proposed the playground renovation project after doing research on JNF’s website and learning about the Inclusive Parks program.  Helping to make a playground accessible to children with disabilities was a project she felt the students could really connect with.   

In the last decade, JNF has created new parks and upgraded several existing parks in order to meet the needs of Israel’s growing disabled population.  The number of Israelis with disabilities has increased by 50% in the last ten years, caused largely by the rise in terrorist attacks throughout the country.  Through the Inclusive Parks Program, JNF will add new playgrounds and picnic equipment suitable for people who use mobility devices, redesign education centers, regrade walkways and paths, install accessible toilet facilities, reconstruct buildings, install elevators, create landscaping with a focus on aromatic plants to heighten the sensory experience, and provide assertive listening devices and signage in Braille or large print type.  

Caption: Students at the Greenfield Hebrew Academy present their first donation to Steven Green, Director and Campaign Executive of the JNF Southeast regional office.    

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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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