The future starts here: Our case for population growth and regional economic development in Israel’s north and south.
Throughout our history, JNF has played a central role in developing hundreds of communities in Israel, including the bustling metropolis of Tel Aviv.
Today, we’re still dreaming big. With 90% of Israel’s population concentrated in the Tel Aviv-Haifa-Jerusalem Corridor, the rest of the country is left largely uninhabited. Imagine if 70% of the United States' 322 million residents were crammed into California, Nevada, and Arizona. This is the reality in Israel: seven out of 10 Israelis live in approximately 10% of the country's total geography.
This is why population growth and regional economic development in Israel’s northern and southern regions form the backbone of our Go North and Blueprint Negev strategies. Our goal is to realize the full potential of the Galilee and Negev as rich centers of agriculture, tourism and technology development.
By motivating scores of Israelis in overcrowded cities—and thousands of Americans—to move to the Negev and Galilee, we are in the process of dramatically changing Israel’s landscape.
Now, once barren lands are prospering through a combination of visionary programs and partnerships that focus strategically on immigration growth, infrastructure development, faster housing starts, career training & employment services, and ensuring green spaces and recreation sites for families.
Our roadmap for development of the Negev and Galilee leverages more than a century of accumulated know-how and hands-on experience. It leverages the involvement of governmental agencies and trusted partner organizations. And more importantly, it leverages the goodwill and support of community members like you.
HOUSING DEVELOPMENT FUND
To date, the Housing Development Fund has supported over 1,190 lots. Over 860 lots are under expansion in the south, with another 320 under expansion in the Galilee. These new housing developments will provide homes for new families, immigrants, olim, military veterans, and seniors - all groups in need of affordable housing outside of crowded urban areas.
INVESTING IN OLIM
SOCIAL IMPACT AND ACTIVISM
Through a transformative program led by Jewish National Fund partner Green Horizons, we lead hiking and camping trips throughout Israel and offer activities designed to promote self-confidence, independence, social responsibility and an appreciation for Israel’s history and natural beauty. And, with farming a crucial economic resource for Israel, Jewish National Fund, as part of its Blueprint Negev and Go North initiatives to improve the quality of life in the Negev and Galilee, through population growth and economic development, is providing farmers with the help they need.
JNF also helps to protect vast portions of farm and ranch land from illegal seizures, thefts, arson and vandalism. Our partner Hashomer Hachadash brings young people from across Israel to work the land, learn about Zionism, the history of Israel, and become leaders in social change. Dozens of volunteers in the Negev and Galilee assist farmers and ranchers on a daily basis who are faced with constant challenges in protecting and securing their land. The numbers are staggering: Hashomer Hachadash and Jewish National Fund have together introduced 50,000 volunteers to farming and 10,000 to unique educational programming. We've created a powerful youth movement with 1,500 active participants, raised public awareness among 2.5 million people, and promoted advocacy for legislation and policy change.
2016 Environmental Prize of the Negev winner Earth’s Promise is a 10-year-old program that promotes urban agriculture through developing neglected urban areas into green spaces that produce fresh, healthy and readily available food sources for local communities. Jewish National Fund provides essential support and assistance to Earth’s Promise in Israel's Negev and with our ongoing support, improves the quality of life for those dependent on the development of dozens of garden spaces that provide "city dwellers" in Be'er Sheva with fresh and nutritious food, and the ability to preserve natural resources, while raising awareness of environment problems on the local and regional levels by presenting an alternative and sustainable model for food security. Other projects include working with at-risk children in an afterschool program by providing them with garden education, providing garden education to high school students in Bedouin communities, and hosting events to raise awareness about local food. Recently, for example, volunteers harvested nearly a ton of olives from a small local grove and made olive oil to sell.