JNFuture Phoenix President Uses the Power of Community to Support Israel
By Anita Silvert
Water. The essence of life, a universal need. It is water that connected Doran Arik Miller, a young, passionate public policy professional living in the American southwest, to the Israeli desert.
Miller works as a public policy consultant, with clients who are as committed to natural resource sustainability, water stewardship, and energy conservation as she is. She has built both her consulting business and a family, raising a five-year-old son with her husband and building a four-year-old business after leaving her legal career.
Miller grew up in Phoenix and was very involved in the Jewish community there. Her ties to Israel are strong as well; her mother is an Israeli, her grandmother lived under the British Mandate, and her grandfather fought in both the 1948 and 1956 wars. In Phoenix, Miller’s mother worked with resettling the FSU immigrants.
Her family always emphasized the importance of community service, with an eye towards making the world better. It’s probably not a coincidence that Miller’s work with nonprofits and small companies developed from that upbringing.
In just a few years, Miller has gone from attending her first JNF-USA national conference in 2018 to becoming President of the Phoenix JNFuture group. And again, it was water that drew her in. She was “blown away” with the impact JNF-USA was making in the Arava, and by the positivity of the JNF-USA community.
“You don’t always feel that you’re making a difference with your donation,” Miller said. “But with JNF-USA’s projects in Israel, it’s obvious how important the work is to the people who live there. JNF-USA helps ensure that communities in the Arava and across Israel have what they need to thrive.”
And in an increasingly arid world, Israel is solving global water problems, so the impact goes beyond Israel.
As an American Jew, Miller noted that she was “reticent to opine as to what should and shouldn’t happen” in Israel. But JNF-USA’s approach, where projects are designed and implemented with the local residents, not dictated from afar, is what keeps Miller engaged and passionate about the JNFuture work.
As May is JNF-USA’s Women’s Month, Miller had some specific thoughts on the work of female philanthropists. Citing surveys that suggest women drive the philanthropic choices of a household, she believes women have a particularly impactful role to play.
In expanding the message of JNFuture, Miller finds that women are immediately more engaged with the mission of the organization, focusing on the impact and being empowered by making a difference.
“Being raised by a strong, independent mother didn’t hurt, either!” she said. “There’s not a day that goes by when I’m not driven to do more, be more, give more.”
Water was the “hook” that got her involved with JNF-USA, and like water, she continues to nourish the land, making things grow for the land and people of Israel.
In honor of Women’s Month, thanks to the generosity of Jayne Klein and Paula Gottesman, all donations will be matched up to $1 million through May 31, 2021. Go to jnf.org/womensmonth to donate.
To learn more about JNF-USA’s Women for Israel, click here.
To learn more about JNFuture, click here.