Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:




I love sharing good campaign news. And, of course, with the incredible team of lay leaders and JNF professionals working hard to build JNF’s brand and connect philanthropists to our work building the land of Israel, I have the pleasure to share good news often. We are four months into our 2020 fiscal campaign year, and we are up 19% over the same time last year. Our 2020 Campaign is at $43 million so we are on pace to exceed our annual goal of $92 million. Nationally we are seeing the pace of major gifts closed far ahead of last year and our General Campaign is also up significantly over the same time last year. Let’s keep up the great work!






The annual Campaign Planning Summit will take place Sunday, August 23 and Monday, August 24 at the Ronald S. Lauder JNF House in New York City.


We will start Sunday afternoon and conclude with lunch on Monday. There is a national Board of Directors meeting from 1:00 – 3:00pm on Monday, and all Summit participants are invited and encouraged to attend. The Campaign Planning Summit provides an opportunity for lay leaders to have a voice in the direction of our campaign initiatives for the coming year. More information, including preferred hotel, will be available soon.



There are now 550 registered for the 2020 National Conference taking place in Israel October 25 – 29. We are well on our way of reaching our goal to bring 1,000 people to Israel for the Conference. A friendly competition is underway among local communities for who can bring the most to Israel. Program planning is happening, and we will update you as more details are released. However, you can click here to see the latest on the program:  jnf.org/nc




As you know, we are always trying to keep up with the latest and most effective ways to communicate with our donors. As such, we are moving to communicating more and more with our donors via text. It is a timely, effective, concise and a faster-read means of delivering information in today’s busy world and we are careful to use it judiciously. As a member of our leadership team, it is important that you are opted in to receive these texts. Please text JNF to 563-872 which will opt you in.




The single largest project in the history of JNF-USA is the Israel Education and Technology Campus in Be’er Sheva. This $300-million dollar campus will have several functions: a second home for the Alexander Muss High School, an adult Zionist education and conference center, and a campus for young adults in Israel for technology internships. The campus will be situated on 16 acres of land within the Be’er Sheva River Park. As you can imagine, with a capital project of this magnitude, there are significant naming opportunities. A feasibility study was completed by KPMG and fundraising is just now getting underway. To learn more about this exciting and transformational project, watch this video: https://youtu.be/pdxJzoDpQHU


Shabbat Shalom 


    Ben Gutmann

    Vice President, Campaign

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Our summer session kicked off their first full week on campus by volunteering at Save a Child's Heart and Leket. Later this week they will continue on to Jerusalem for their first overnight tiyul. 

We also wished our April session farewell as they concluded their eight week session. We are already excited to welcome them to our AMHSI alumni community!

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Tu BiShvat = JNF DAY

Our Catch the Tu BiShvat Sweepstakes begins tomorrow. Enter here for a chance to win 2 round-trip tickets to Israel courtesy of EL AL Airlines, 2 nights stay at Carlton Tel Aviv, and 2 JNF day tour tickets. Follow us on your social media pages for other activities and our Yoga Tree Pose Challenge. #TreesAreTrending #PoweredByJNF

Alexander Muss High School in Israel

We’ve been busy! We were excited to welcome our 3 big Spring sessions starting their journey here in Israel! Spring Semester (Galil and Golan) landed safely and a few hours later we said goodbye to our beloved December 8-week program. They had a wonderful time with us and we loved having them around. Lisa and the madrichim are missing them already.


Then came our Milken and February sessions campus is filled up again.


Send your teen to Israel this summer on Roots, our 3-week service learning adventure or our 6-week academic program. View choices here.


More next week as they all acclimate to life in Israel and campus life.


Travel & Tours

For Singles in their 30s and 40s: Dare to Venture! Who needs swiping when you have Jewish National Fund? Click here to learn more.

JNF In Your Area

Traveling to another city and want to see what JNF events are taking place there? Just visit jnf.org/inyourarea for a quick look at how to stay engaged while on the road.

Traveling to another city and want to see what JNF events are taking place there? Just visit jnf.org/inyourarea for a quick look at how to stay engaged while on the road.

Updates from Israel

JNF Affiliate Special in Uniform Had a Good Year

We are proud to share with you some of this year's highlights in a special video.

D’Var Torah


A few days ago, Diane Scar (National Campaign Director, Major Gifts) shared with me a conversation she and her daughter had about the upcoming Chinese New Year. They observed that a solar-lunar calendar and holidays on the full moon are two similarities between Chinese and Jewish traditions. Of course, these are not the only similarities to be found. Academic comparisons of Confucian and Jewish core values, the importance of food and culinary diversity, and preservation of cultural identity all seem to link these outwardly dissimilar cultures of tradition.

In this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, we are presented with a still stubborn Pharaoh. G-d will bring one final plague upon him and his people. But before that, G-d gives the Jews some important things to do. In fact, the Jews now get their very first mitzvah—a special commandment from G-d. Eventually, the Jews receive many mitzvot, but this first one establishes that special connection already discussed. The Jews are commanded to set up a calendar based on the cycle of the moon. This is the same calendar we use today, over 3,000 years later! Next, they must each bring a sacrifice of a goat or lamb and brush the blood onto their doorposts. By doing so, when the final plague comes, G-d will know which houses to pass over.

AND NOW for the tenth and final plague: On the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nissan, at exactly midnight, every firstborn will die. Pharaoh is terrified, for he himself is a firstborn; he rushes to find Moses and Aaron. When he does, he frantically shouts, "Go! Go! Leave this land, you and all the Jews. Take your sheep and your cattle and whatever you want. JUST GO!" With that, after 210 years of slavery, Pharaoh practically chases the Jews out of Egypt. They leave quickly. In fact, they leave so quickly that their dough does not have time to rise. It becomes the very same flat bread that we eat on Passover --matzah. They do have time to carry out another of G-d’s instructions. They must “ask” the Egyptians for their gold and silver. The loss of their slaves and much of their gold and silver “spoil[s]” the Egyptians.

Now that the Jews are free, G-d tells Moses how the Jews will commemorate these events. Pesach (Passover) is celebrated by telling the story of their liberation every year. Through the Seder (translation “order”) feast we re-enact these miracles utilizing prayer, food, songs and thanks to G-d. We eat matzah, roasted meat & bitter herbs. We recline in renunciation of the toils of slavery.

It is one of our greatest duties as Jews to remember and to connect – l’dor v’dor- "from generation to generation.” There are many ways that we can do that as a family and as a community: tell stories, pass on recipes, share photos, and just spend time together.

Jewish National Fund understands the value of l'dor v'dor. With the Israel Advocacy and Education Department we engage, educate and energize the Jewish community of the United States to a deeper commitment to the land and people of Israel. We achieve our mission by providing exciting and innovative programs and materials for students ranging from elementary school to college with synagogues and their leaders and participants in JNF programs. In so doing, we keep our traditions alive.