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Experience Israel on JNF's Alternative Spring Break

Registration is now open for 2011 Trips

Contact: Israel Advocacy and Education Dept. • 212-879-9305 ext. 245 •

October 29, 2010 – New York, NY – Have you ever imagined what it was like for the early pioneers to build the State of Israel with their bare hands? Have you ever wanted to feel the way they must have felt? Well, you don’t have to imagine anymore. Now’s your chance to roll up your sleeves and experience it first-hand on Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) Alternative Spring Break (ASB). Spring 2011 ASB trips registration is now open. Visit

This isn’t your traditional beach-bound spring break trip. On ASB, college students and young professionals, ages 18-30, spend one week in Israel working and volunteering in the Negev. Now entering its 6th year, the successful community service trip has attracted more than 1,000 participants to lend a hand to the people and the land of Israel.

JNF created ASB for people who catch the bug on Birthright and can’t wait to return to Israel. To begin, participants must raise a minimum of $975, using an easy online program to communicate by email with family and friends. The money raised goes towards JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign to sustainably develop the Negev desert. Once the fundraising minimum is met, the program is free, paid for by JNF donors and supported by the Repair the World Foundation. Upon their return, participants rave about what a rewarding experience they had.

“I think the most important part of the experience was the personal impact we had on the people living in the communities and the interactions we enjoyed with them,” said Leia Poritz from Boston University. “They were so thankful for what we were doing and amazed at all of the hard work we put in to help them.”

ASB participants do everything from painting low-income housing projects to gleaning surplus harvests for needy families to creating urban community gardens for Ethiopian immigrants. A trip bus of 45 people can accomplish in one day what it would take a local farmer a month to do.

Sometimes the task is as simple as forming an assembly line and moving rocks from one place to another. But the cumulative effect of their work, coupled with the energy that the ASB participants display, goes a long way towards developing the Negev.

“ASB allowed me to learn more about parts of Israeli society that I didn’t know existed,” said Tali Salazar from Ogelthorpe University in Atlanta. “I’m so grateful to JNF for giving me this opportunity and because of it, Israel became a more tangible and real place since I know I am making a difference.”

ASB registration is now open for the 2011 trips. The dates are March 5, March 12, and March 20. To register, go to For more information on the ASB program, please contact 212-879-9305 ext. 245 or

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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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