Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:


We are now at $481.5 million toward our $1 billion 10-year goal.

I am pleased to share with you the January newsletter from our outstanding Speaker’s Bureau. 

As you can see, there’s a lot happening here.

February is Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month (JDAIM) and our Task Force on Disabilities together with our partners will be speaking at events all across the country. Watch for our emails, digital ads, videos, and more and help bring awareness to the wonderful work we do to ensure no one in Israeli society is left behind.

March is Women’s Month and as you firm up your Women for Israel plans in support of Women’s Month, please note all the great speakers we can bring to your community. There are dozens of paid speakers, but also national Jewish National Fund leaders and professionals who can help motivate women to support JNF’s transformational work in Israel.

Did you know the fastest growing segment of JNF’s donor base is people under the age of 40? Millennials are increasingly assuming greater leadership roles within JNF as well, serving on the National Board of Directors, Task Forces and filling the ranks of our local leadership teams.  This article from Non Profit Pro discusses how the creativity of Millennials and their need to connect directly with projects they care about in a hands-on way can benefit not for profit organizations. I think JNF’s business model of giving volunteer leaders opportunities for direct engagement, such as our task forces, will help us capture the attention of this important generational cohort.

Congratulations to our team in South Florida. The annual Winter Connection event in Boca Raton on February 6 is officially SOLD OUT. More than 1,100 people will be at the Boca West Country Club bringing together Snowbirds and full-time Florida residents for this annual brunch. Many communities in the north did a great job of recruiting tables with Central New Jersey, Chicago and Washington DC setting the pace.

Finally, please be sure to register for our annual Major Donor Weekend in Phoenix, March 9 – 12 at the Biltmore Hotel.  It is always a fun and relaxing weekend with interesting speakers and a great opportunity to see JNF friends while enjoying great weather in Arizona.  Click here  for more information and to register.

Shabbat Shalom,



Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

This week, in Parashat BeShalach we get to the miraculous splitting of the Red Sea—the miracle that took place as the Children of Israel were presented with a very difficult situation. The waters raged in front of them; their Egyptian oppressors were bearing down on them from behind. To everyone's amazement, the sea suddenly split before their eyes. While the people crossed over, the normally flowing waters stood still like a wall of protection for the nation of Israel.

Why did the Jews deserve to be saved in such an awesome manner?

The Sages tell us that it was because of the children, and the Talmud records that the children who went out of Egypt were the first to recognize G-d. This is a puzzling statement. After all, together with the nation that left Egypt were the great spiritual giants: Moses, Joshua and all the elders of Israel. Yet they were not the first ones to recognize G-d. It was specifically the children—children born and raised in the midst of Egyptian oppression who nevertheless received a fitting and proper education, resulting in their being first to recognize G-d. The Torah even hints that they were able to point with their finger, saying, "This is my G-d, and I will glorify Him."

The splitting of the Red Sea resulted in a special occurrence. Not only was the obstacle (the sea) removed, it was transformed into a wall of protection for the Jewish people, as the verse states: "And the waters were for them a wall to their right and to their left."

This tremendous event of transformation was due to the children. When a child knows that the only true existence is one of holiness, he or she can feel in a very sincere, simplistic and natural way that nothing is able to interfere with, and disrupt, the pursuit of fulfilling the will of G-d.

Thus, in effect, there are no obstacles.

Not only during the Exodus from Egypt was the Jewish nation in need of a supernatural event. In every generation, we are constantly in need of miracles; as the sages tell us, the Jewish people are compared to a "lamb amongst 70 wolves."

The whole foundation of our existence is in essence supernatural, a type of constant, ongoing miracle. The key to meriting this conduit with the Creator, ensuring the survival of the Jewish nation, is proper Jewish education for our children. We must give them correct guidance in the study of all aspects of Torah, in a way that encourages and inspires them to observe and absorb the holy heritage of the Jewish people. And the goal is to accomplish this not in a distant meaningless fashion, but in a way that translates into their daily lives.

Our Jewish tradition recognizes the significance of a good foundation. At JNF we start at the very beginning with the education of and dedication to our children. Jewish National Fund is one of the few organizations in the world that is present in all phases of life from early childhood to active senior living. JNF prides itself on being one of the largest providers of Jewish education and advocacy programming in the U.S., giving children and young adults meaningful and tangible ways to connect to the land and people of Israel, securing the future of the Jewish people and our homeland.

Such a foundation will be able to split any sea and transform any obstacle on the path toward meaningful pursuits.

Shabbat Shalom,



Special in the IDF

There was a palpable excitement in the air this week at JNF’s partner Special in Uniform. Following a three-month pre-army course of life skills and occupational skills training we welcomed new soldiers with special needs to the Navy base in the north of Israel. We wish them good luck in their new journey as IDF soldiers.  

Remote Employment in the Negev

This week, Eretz-Ir's NetGev Center in Arad hosted a seminar to teach small business owners about digital platforms to help promote their businesses. Local residents learned how to embed their businesses on Google Maps and Waze, and offered personal guidance in establishing a website and Facebook page. 

Remembering the Holocaust

Tomorrow, in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we honor and remember the 6 million Jews that lost their lives in the Holocaust. It is imperative that we document and share their stories, as well as the stories of the survivors, not just today, but every day. SPIHS is proud to participate in this important initiative with its work at the Atlit Detention Camp Information Center. The Information Center works tirelessly to identify and document all 130,000 clandestine immigrants that came to Israel during the British Mandate, many of them Holocaust survivors. Currently, our team has identified more than 110,000 immigrants and obtained more than 700 interviews and video testimonials. Pictured above: Rabbi Israel Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, carries the flag of the "Youth Movement of Buchenwald", as he leads a group of Holocaust survivors into the Atlit Detention Camp.

On the Road with Hashomer Hachadash

This week we were honored to host JNF's Israel Relations Committee Mission in Ein Camonim. We tasted local cheeses, sipped wine, and sat by the fire, summarizing HaShomer HaChadash activities of 2017, and looking forward towards 2018. We met Youth Organization manager Uria Reshef and learned about the program, and heard about the experiences of the Young Leadership Post participants in Ein Camonim. The visit was short and sweet, and we hope that it was the first of many JNF visits with HaShomer in 2018.