Speakers Bureau Newsletter - March 2019

A Message from Chairman, Robert Benedon


As I write this Column, I am anxiously awaiting an Uber to take me to the airport to embark on the Makor and JNF Task Force Mega Mission. After so many trips, missions, and vacations to Israel, I still get excited knowing that I will be in my second home. And when my feet touch the ground at Ben Gurion Airport, I feel as if I never really left. What a gift Israel is to our JNF family to feel this way every time. We will visit sites and projects, meet with our partners, and gain knowledge and inspiration we can bring back to promote JNF and the work we do.


The Makor group and 150 of our fellow JNF lay leaders will be coming back energized and ready to share the magic. Please invite us to parlor meetings, board meetings, synagogues, and one-on-one solicitations. Our Israeli partners will be coming to the United States to tell their stories and share our vision and work. Our disabilities team has been busy throughout February and others will be around throughout the spring and ready to meet with donors.


Looking forward to bringing you some mission highlights in my next column as we prepare to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut and Women’s Month in May.


L’Hitraot, Bob

May is Women's Month

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We are encouraging every region to host a program for Women's Month. Invite one of our speakers, Makor members, or National Women’s Board members for a Women for Israel (WFI) luncheon or tea, parlor meeting, or Chai/Sapphire event. Add to our growing list of Women’s events planned to date with Libby Weiss, Ethan Zohn, Siggy Flicker, Donna Rosenthal, Jamie Geller, or Jessica Abo. We are also proud to showcase fabulous female keynote speakers like Bari Weiss and Tania Pons Allon at major community events in May.


See Women's Month Schedule

Featured Speakers

Begin planning now for spring and fall events.  Bring a JNF Speaker to your community for a JNF Breakfast, Tree of Life™ event, Professional Society event, JNFuture, synagogue program, and more. Review the travel schedules of some of our Israeli speakers and take advantage if one may be nearby.


View Speaker Schedules


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Some of our popular speakers will be on book tours this spring.  JNF events with book signings are great options.


Art Shamsky’s book, After the Miracle, will launch on March 19 and portrays the bond between teammates for 50 years since the 1969 Mets World Series. Art talks about his experience managing with Israel Baseball in 2007, being Jewish in the Major Leagues, and his passion for JNF and Project Baseball.


Yaakov Katz’s Shadow Strike tells the inside story behind Israel's secret operation to destroy Syria's nuclear reactor in 2007. The book launches May 7 and Yaakov will be on the east coast May 6-12.


And just in time for Yom Ha’atzmaut – Joel Chasnoff has created a special JNF presentation for parlor meetings on Israel: On the Ground, about family life in Israel from the perspective of a Chicago-born comedian. Joel will be touring the U.S. May 2-19.

Partner Visits

Israeli partners provide a direct connection to JNF projects in Israel. Their specific projects vary, but all partners offer an intriguing and enthusiastic view of what JNF does and why it makes a difference to the communities and people of Israel.


Host a partner at parlor meetings, community events, synagogue events, campuses, and more.


View Partner Schedules

Contact Cheryl Lefland at [email protected] to book a Partner or Speaker.  

Book a Makor member for year-round solicitation and speaking

Makor (Hebrew for “source”) is a specially-trained group of highly involved Jewish National Fund lay leaders committed to JNF’s mission. Makor members are JNF National spokespeople, ambassadors, educators, and fundraisers.


They work collaboratively with professionals to identify prospective donors, conduct direct solicitations, and assist in educating interested parties about JNF, its action areas, and its partners.


Makor members advocate for JNF, provide training, education, and inspiration to community lay leaders, support local professionals, teach solicitation techniques, and are involved in outreach to communities outside of their own.


This year, each community has an assigned Makor member. Please invite them for parlor meetings, to synagogues, and other engagements in addition to donation solicitations. Please welcome our Makor members and National Leaders into your communities to generate new leads and open doors – they are happy to make the ask.


Featured Makor Speaker: Laura Saltzer


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A member of Jewish National Fund’s Sapphire Society and Makor, JNF’s National Ambassador group, Laura Salzer is a public advocate for JNF. In many different venues, she has shared her experiences on JNF missions, bringing Israel to life for young professionals. She serves on the board of Tampa Jewish Family Services and as Vice President of Membership and Programs at Congregation Schaarai Zedek. She is a business consultant—and has provided financial, marketing, and business guidance to a range of companies for the past 30 years, in addition to her work with commercial real estate. Laura was previously Senior Vice President at an investment firm and an accountant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Contact Cheryl Lefland at [email protected] to book a Makor member. 


Click Here for Makor 2019