Four Questions with Rami Hazan, JNF’s New Emissary to New England
by Molly Parr, Jewish Boston
This week I chatted with Rami Hazan, Jewish National Fund’s new emissary to New England. I asked him what brought him to the organization and what sorts of things folks in their 20s and 30s can do to get involved.
Welcome to New England! How did an Israeli businessman end up representing a big Jewish non-profit here?
Before I started my position, I was fortunate to participate in a JNF mission with wonderful lay leaders. We traveled the country to see and experience the amazing projects we’re involved in and witness firsthand the impact they have on Israelis. I’m thankful for the opportunity to experience the remarkable feeling of seeing JNF’s work and to be a bridge between American Jews and Israelis united for one common goal.
When I think about the Jewish National Fund, I automatically think of planting trees in Israel, but I understand that it’s much more than that these days.
We are building new communities and supporting existing ones, especially focusing on the Negev Desert and the north of the country. We have led water management and conservation in Israel for over two decades, helping it become a world leader in water recycling. We sponsor research initiatives that have turned Israel into a frontrunner in technological and environmental innovation. JNF provides cutting-edge rehabilitative services, special education and medical care for people with special needs, and it is the largest provider of Zionist programs in America, connecting the next generation to Israel. This is all very exciting for me.
Most of our readers are in their 20s and 30s. What’s a good way for them to get involved?
The next generation has taken our century-old vision of caring for the land and people of Israel to the next level. Today, there is a chapter in Boston and many others all over the States. Last year, JNFuture hosted “The Summit with JNF” in Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon, gathering over 300 young leaders who engaged in dialogue about the sustainability of water, food and energy. The conference highlighted Israeli innovations in sustainability.
As a newcomer, what are you most looking forward to enjoying in New England?
Four Questions is a weekly interview column featuring interesting people connected with the Greater Boston Jewish community.
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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.