Contact: Ariel Vered • JNF Communications Manager • 212-879-9305 ext. 227 • firstname.lastname@example.org
August 14, 2012 – Tel Aviv, Israel – Today, 351 new immigrants to Israel from across the United States and Canada arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on a Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) charter flight and were greeted with a welcome ceremony attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Jewish National Fund (JNF) CEO Russell F. Robinson;Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL) World Chairman Efi Stenzler; NBN Co-Founders Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart; Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Jewish Agency; and others. This summer marks the tenth anniversary of NBN and the start of an exciting new partnership between NBN, JNF, and KKL.
“This is the land where we all came from,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said. “This is the country where the Jewish people are building a Jewish future. Each of the 351 people who make aliyah today have decided to link their personal future to the future of the Jewish state and the Jewish people. In the 10 years Nefesh B’Nefesh has been operating, they have brought 33,000 olim [new immigrants]—mostly from the U.S.A. This is a tremendous accomplishment.”
NBN helps new immigrants through all the stages of the aliyah process. Over the course of the summer, NBN will welcome more than 2,500 olim to Israel. The new partnership with JNF focuses on developing Israel’s peripheral regions, the Negev and the Galilee, and encouraging immigrants to move there. Upon arrival, all new immigrants receive a certificate from JNF for a tree planted in their honor, thereby creating an immediate connection to the land.
“JNF is proud to partner with Nefesh B’Nefesh to help people fulfill their dreams of moving to Israel,” said Russell Robinson, who was a passenger on the flight. “Making aliyah is an important element of the Zionist movement. For Jewish National Fund, buying and building, growing and developing the land of Israel is all done so Jews around the world can be welcomed home. Our voice in Israel has never been stronger.”
Attracting new residents to the Negev and Galilee has long been a JNF priority, and an essential component of its Blueprint Negev campaign to sustainably develop Israel’s southern region for the next generation of Israelis. JNF has previously partnered with NBN on its Go North campaign, an initiative to encourage new olim to settle up north.
“KKL-JNF is working intensively in preparing and developing the Negev and the Galilee to welcome the new citizens and for the welfare of Israel’s residents,” said Efi Stenzler. “In the upcoming five years KKL-JNF will invest one billion NIS in the Negev and the Galilee in order to create residential foundations. We will work to create a high quality of life and do whatever it takes to achieve, together with you, our vision.”
Ilana Frankel, an administrative associate in JNF’s Israel office, greeted a friend on a recent NBN flight and marveled at the connection between the two organizations.
“Each NBN person thanked JNF for its partnership in helping build Israel,” she said. “Seeing JNF and NBN work together truly gives me hope that there will continue to be a future presence in Israel. JNF will keep building the land and the infrastructure and NBN will keep bringing olim over to settle the north and south of Israel.”
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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.