Mar 24, 2020
JNF On Demand: Live challah bake with JNF first lady Lauren Lizerbram
We were welcomed into the Lizerbram kitchen for a challah bake.
By Jewish National Fund
Mar 19, 2020
Coronavirus, from a Jewish perspective: When it comes to good deeds, just do it
At JNF, our inspirational leaders and donors have once again proven their "willingness to act."
By Yossi Kahana
Feb 21, 2020
Singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman: Jewish unity should come from love, not fear
Successfully passing Jewish values on to the next generation requires our children receive a message that soars well beyond mere victimhood.
By Peter Himmelman
Jul 28, 2019 By Matt Franzblau Category: Travel,
These moments touched me most deeply on JNFuture mission to Israel
|The author (top row, in blue shirt, third from left) and other volunteers on the JNFuture Leadership Institute Mission.|
During the JLIM trip, each of us had moments that touched us personally for very specific reasons. Two in particular resonated with me on a spiritual and emotional level. The first came on our third day, when we arrived in the small Negev town of Arad, a place I hadn't been to, let alone heard of, until our bus pulled up to city hall.
|Arad Mayor Nisan Ben Hamo (left) meeting with JNFuture volunteers.|
Lo and behold I was back, but this time to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty volunteering with the organization HaShomer HaChadash, which brings abandoned farms back to life. After a brief introduction and some pointers from an adorable, enthusiastic 10-year-old volunteer named Moriah, we began molding mud into bricks to construct an outdoor kitchen where workers can make food while in the field. Following our hour tending to the land, we washed off before sharing lunch with HaShomer employees and fellow volunteers, while finding out just how vital farming is to the Israeli economy and learning more about this initiative, which JNF proudly supports.
|10-year-old Moriah and a JNFuture volunteer work in Hadera.|
Following our final goodbyes, I went up to young Moriah and told her just how impressed I was with her and that she has a bright future, made even more special because it will be in Israel. As we boarded the bus and headed to our next destination, Moriah's mother commented on a Facebook post I made letting all my friends know I was in Hadera to volunteer.
As it turns out, this wasn't the first time Moriah and I had shared a meal. Just four years ago, I had Shabbat dinner with her family in St. Augustine, Florida. I distinctly remember watching a precocious 6-year-old Moriah play on the couch while her parents told me of their plans to make aliyah in a few years. Now the dots had been connected, and while neither Moriah nor I had realized it at the time of our chance meeting, we did later in the day, further making us realize something as special and unique as this could only happen in Israel.
Florida resident Matt Franzblau joined the JNFuture Broward board earlier this year and currently serves as its marketing and social media chair. He is the communications director at Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Boca Raton.