Apr 27, 2021  By Daniel Peri  Category: Education,

JNF-USA Caravan for Democracy alum appointed Nevada state Senator

Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) has demonstrated once more that it cultivates the leaders of tomorrow with its unrivaled Zionist and Israel advocacy programs for college students. On February 2, 2021, JNF-USA was pleased to learn that Fabian Doñate, a 2017 Jewish National Fund-USA Caravan for Democracy Student Leadership Mission to Israel alum, was appointed State Senator for Nevada’s 10th District. Doñate, 24, participated on Caravan for Democracy while attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“We are thrilled to have one of Nevada’s own Caravan for Democracy participants, Fabian Doñate, appointed to fill the vacancy for State Senate District 10,” said JNF-USA Assistant Vice President, Major Gifts, and Las Vegas resident, Bernice Friedman. “Fabian is a graduate of UNLV, the first in his family to graduate from college, and has a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, among his many other accomplishments. We are delighted that one of our own Nevada young leaders will hold this important position in office, as it bodes well for him and for the State of Israel.”

JNF-USA’s Caravan for Democracy Student Leadership Mission is a 10-day, fully subsidized educational program to Israel for non-Jewish student leaders from colleges across the U.S. The trip provides budding campus leaders the opportunity to learn about Israel through meetings with political, cultural, and community leaders from diverse backgrounds, faiths, and points of view.

“Participating in Caravan for Democracy was an instrumental moment in my early adulthood,” said Senator Doñate. “Thanks to Jewish National Fund-USA, I received a life-changing experience that taught me about the importance of water sustainability, environmental health, and conservation. I’m thankful to the JNF-USA family for supporting me, and I’m eager to see the growth of this organization.”

Doñate was one of 80 student leaders who participated in the 2017 Caravan for Democracy cohort, and to date, over 500 students have participated in the program. Mission alumni return to campus as ambassadors and advocates for Israel and continue their involvement with JNF-USA’s college programs, such as attending College Summit at JNF-USA’s annual National Conference.

“We believe today’s campus leaders are tomorrow’s community leaders,” said Nelson France, JNF-USA director of national initiatives, Israel advocacy and education. “Caravan for Democracy’s mission provides the necessary tools for leaders to engage in Middle East dialogue. We are proud of Senator Doñate and the leadership role he has taken in the Nevada State Legislature.”

The son of immigrants and the first in his family to graduate from college, Doñate holds degrees from UNLV and a Master of Health Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to his state senate appointment, he served on President Biden’s Health Policy Committee.

“Caravan for Democracy allows non-Jewish student leaders to see the real Israel with their own eyes. These young people gain a better understanding of real life in Israel for its citizens,” said Friedman. “The result is that they express how what they experienced is not how Israel is typically described in the press and on social media, and they come away with a better understanding of the realities on the ground. As future national and international leaders, these students become Israel’s ambassadors to the world, and their collective experiences on the Caravan for Democracy program are an invaluable tool for sharing them with others.”

Recruitment for 2021 Caravan for Democracy Student Leadership Missions to Israel is open. Visit jnf.org/caravan to apply. For more information, please contact Nelson France at nfrance@jnf.org or 212.879.9305 x295