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JNF Honored with 2012 Be'er Sheva Lifetime Achievement Award

Recognized For Commitment To The Development Of The Negev And Be’er Sheva

Contact: Ariel Vered • JNF Communications Manager • 212-879-9305 ext. 227 •

July 31, 2012New York, NYJewish National Fund (JNF) has been named the recipient of the Be’er Sheva Lifetime Achievement Award for 2012. JNF is being recognized for its commitment to the development of the Negev and Be’er Sheva as part of its Blueprint Negev campaign.

“We are deeply grateful for everything you and the Jewish National Fund are doing and have already done,” said Be’er Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, who chairs the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee. “With this Lifetime Achievement award, we get to express our love, gratitude, and appreciation for your true friendship, your strong partnership, and your continued commitment to the city, the region, and the country.”

JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign is a far-reaching and visionary plan to transform the Negev Desert—which represents 60% of Israel’s land mass but houses only 8% of its population—into an attractive place for a new generation of Israelis to call home and increase the population of the region. At the center of the campaign is the rejuvenation of Be’er Sheva with the development of the Be’er Sheva River Park, a 1,300 acre metropolitan park in the heart of the capital of the Negev. The park will feature a 12,000 seat amphitheater, a 23-acre man-made lake, and a promenade with shops, restaurants, and seating areas. The park is already transforming Be'er Sheva's image into that of a green and vibrant modern city, with leisure opportunities, landscaped promenade, and green spaces, and walking and bike trails. Residential and commercial complexes are being built adjacent to the park, connecting it to the city on every side. Blueprint Negev is also building new communities that offer an alternative to the crowded and expensive cities of central Israel, and revitalizing existing communities that have suffered from decades of stagnant population growth and high unemployment. 

“On behalf of Stanley Chesley, JNF President, and Ronald Lauder, JNF Chairman of the Board, it is an honor to receive this very prestigious award,” said JNF CEO Russell Robinson. “I'm told that it is rare for an Israeli municipality to bestow this type of award on an organization, and we are very humbled. JNF is committed, both financially and emotionally, to bringing population and prosperity to Be’er Sheva and the Negev.”

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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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