Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:


I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s weekend.
The end of the calendar year saw the typical barrage of last minute donors to JNF, and we are still getting caught up processing all of the end of year gifts.  I want to thank all the volunteers and JNF professional staff who worked extra-long hours making phone calls to be sure every potential end of year donor was contacted.  I’ll post an update on our fundraising progress in next week’s campaign e-mail.
All of us at JNF should generally understand the power of women in philanthropy in the United States and, specifically, the success of our Women for Israel division at JNF.  In 2017, women represented more than $25 million to the JNF annual campaign and recorded a 14% increase in the number of women making major gifts to JNF.  It is evident that communities with robust Women for Israel divisions have the most dynamic fundraising campaigns within the JNF family.  There are great resources at JNF to help you.  Nina Paul, national President of WFI, Myra Chack Fleischer, VP of WFI, along with Sharon David, Director of National Affinity Groups, are all available to consult with your community. 
There was an article posted December 18 in Think Advisor titled Women Drive Philanthropy in the U.S that discusses the growing influence and power of women’s philanthropy. It is a short, but good read.

“Researchers analyzed charitable giving records for the 20 months between October 2015 and August 2017, and found that while women represented 51% of overall donations made during that period, they contributed 63% of the total number of donations on  Giving Tuesday 2016 and 61% of the total donated.” Read more here.

Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

This week we are starting to read the second book of the Torah, which describes the birth of the Jewish people, their enslavement in Egypt, their miraculous exodus, the climactic event at Mount Sinai, and the building of the Sanctuary in which the new nation served G-d in the wilderness.

In Hebrew the book is known as Sefer Shemot (“Book of Names”), because it opens with the verse, “These are the names of the children of Israel . . .” On a deeper level, this reflects the fact that it is the book in which our identity (name) as a nation is forged.

On the most basic level, a Jewish name is a keystone of Jewish identity. A generation ago, the Nazis dehumanized our people by discarding our names and treating us as numbers. By robbing us of our names, they tried to rob us of our humanity.

The Midrash (Shemot Rabbah 1:28) learns from this that the Jews in Egypt did not change their Jewish names. Even though they assimilated into Egyptian culture, the Jews held strong to their identities, their names, their language and their clothing. This would become their weapon in their spiritual battle to preserve their unique identity as the Jewish people.

Jewish National Fund began as a dream to reestablish a Jewish homeland in Eretz Yisrael and, through that, preserve the future of the Jewish people. JNF’s name is its mission and its driving force—a fund to secure a homeland for Jews across the globe for generations to come.

To experience our own personal exodus, we need to view every person as an individual with his or her own exclusive set of struggles and challenges.       

To preserve our humanity and to see another’s humanity, we must see them as a name—as an individual with a unique story and a unique destiny.


Protecting the Land through Agriculture

This week, new dormitories for HaShomer HaChadash’s Leaders of the Land High School were delivered. This is the first step in constructing the new campus in partnership with Jewish National Fund. Future construction includes the lunch room, education center, classrooms and more! We are proud to grant these young pioneers with excellent learning, working and living conditions, and to continue to educate a new generation that is connected to the land.

Negev Writers Retreat

As part of the Negev Leadership Circle, a program of JNF partner Nefesh B’Nefesh, Gahl Pratt Pardes and Ariel Pollock planned and organized a meaningful and educational retreat to bring together 15 writers from all over the country to see, experience, and be inspired by the Negev at our first Negev Writers Weekend Retreat. Many participants also led sessions to educate us on how they process and improve their writing for publication and for presentation. One participant said “Thank you so much! It exceeded my expectations! I was greatly inspired, learned a lot, and felt that you did a wonderful job caring for us.”

Employment in the Negev

This week, the NetGev Center in Arad opened an advanced course in Facebook promotion and marketing. Its 15 participants are mostly small business owners from Arad and surrounding towns, and will use this practical knowledge to promote their businesses and reach new customers.  Additionally, The Lauder Center for Employment hosted its 6th "Employment Marathon" where 8 young adults spent the day with JNF partner Eretz-Ir, meeting with recruitment professionals from local

Special in the IDF

Jewish National Fund partner Special in Uniform started 2018 with a new group of soldiers. After 6 months of preparation, the new group participated in their beret ceremony, a very emotional and proud moment for the soldiers and their families.