WEEKLY UPDATE 11.22.19 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
As of November 19, we have raised $634 million toward our 10-year $1 Billion goal, and our 2020 campaign is already at $14.3 million toward our $91 million annual goal.
With just six weeks remaining in the calendar year, this is an important period for our annual campaign. Donors are considering their end of year giving and there are thousands of JNF supporters who typically make their gift in December. Now is the time for our fundraising team to reach out to our end of year donors.
ISRAEL EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY CAMPUS
The single largest project in the history of JNF-USA is the Israel Education and Technology Campus in Be’er Sheva. This $300 million campus will serve several functions: as a second home for the Alexander Muss High School, as an adult Zionist education and conference center, and as 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 just 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
Everyone receiving this Weekly Campaign Update is a leader of Jewish National Fund. Our primary responsibility, no matter our titles or the committees on which we serve is to advocate for JNF and help expand our donor base so we can continue doing great things in Israel. When we make our annual gift, we affirm our commitment to participate in JNF’s transformative work. And as leaders, we should be the first in line to support JNF. With nearly 1,400 people serving on JNF boards and committees, we represent a significant percentage of JNF’s campaign. For those who have already made your annual campaign gift… thank you!! For those who have not yet had the opportunity, please do so now. Leaders lead!
2020 NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN ISRAEL
It is unbelievable that more than 300 people have already registered for the 2020 National Conference taking place in Israel next October 25 – 29. We are well on our way to reach our goal to bring 1,000 people to Israel for the Conference. A friendly competition is unfolding among local communities for who can bring the most to Israel. Register now! The sooner you register the more you will save. To learn more about NC 2020 in Israel, click here: jnf.org/nc
Updates from Israel
Special in the IDF
Chris G. Neeley, Chairman for the President’s Committee for People with Disabilities, joined i24News for an exclusive interview to announce the formation of Corps of Honor, which will be modeled on Jewish National Fund affiliate Special in Uniform, as a step toward making the United States military inclusive of people with disabilities. Watch here.
Today, our Chief Financial Officer, Mitchel Rosenzweig, explained in a meeting how JNF responds to the challenges and opportunities facing the Jewish People’s future: by planting the seeds of our Billion Dollar Roadmap. This explanation ties in beautifully with this weeks’ Torah portion.
With a name like "The Life of Sarah," this week's Torah portion sounds like a promising biography. But, this week’s parsha begins with a sad event: Sarah dies at the age of 127. Abraham is very sad and mourns her passing. He buys a piece of land on which to bury her which is called the Cave of Machpelah in the city of Hebron. He pays 400 silver shekels. This is the place where all our patriarchs (Adam, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and Matriarchs (Eve, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah) are buried.
So, why is the portion called Chayei Sarah - Sarah's Life - if it talks only about her death?
A fundamental of our faith is that the Jewish way of life is everlasting. This is why the doing of good deeds is compared to planting a seed. When a seed is planted in the ground, it grows roots and loses its puny identity to the nourishing soil and creative potential of mother earth. A seedling sprouts and will one day grow into a tall tree. In time, the tree will bear fruit and seeds, which themselves might become an orchard, and even a vast forest.
Likewise, a good deed takes root and sprouts in a nourishing eternity of good deeds and Jewish values. These deeds and values give life to us and our offspring, so that we too might one day grow into tall fruitful trees; that our fruits might one day become orchards.
That is why the Torah is called the "Tree of Life."
This was the life of Sarah, and this has been the life of the Jew for more than 3,000 years. Sarah devoted her life to her only son, Isaac. She nourished him by teaching him good deeds and moral values. She raised him to be a giant fruit-bearing tree, that he should nourish the next generation.
In this week's Parsha we also read that when Isaac married Rebecca and brought her home, "behold, it was Sarah, his mother." What it means is that Isaac and Rebecca started a home founded on the everlasting spiritual values of Sarah, his mother. It was a home of light, love and generosity, a place where all who entered felt better about life.
Our sages say that Sarah's tent was the seed that one day grew to be Jerusalem's Holy Temple. Our homes today are the orchard that sprouted from those fruits. Yes, today’s Jewish National Fund is still planting seeds and investing for the long term - literally and metaphorically. From agricultural research farms in the Galilee to shovel-ready housing projects for young families in the Negev, our portfolio of work falls into 7 key strategic areas that directly strengthen the future of Israel and support the land and people of Israel. This is our Billion Dollar Roadmap in action.
Travel & Tours Update
Take an upbeat tour of Israel’s hottest sights and enjoy all there is to see and do on the Singles Tour for 40s and 50s this summer. Learn more here.
Alexander Muss High School in Israel
This week we welcomed the first Australian group of the winter season – our Emanuel School session. Our teachers and madrichim were excited to welcome them to Israel and begin their AMHSI journey. We also welcomed to campus this week Mr. Jack Engle, who will be celebrating his 99th birthday! Mr. Engle is a donor and is looking forward to visiting campus on his birthday.
Shop Amazon Smile
Did you know that you can support Jewish National Fund while you shop? Amazon Smile will donate a portion of your purchase price to us when you shop through smile.amazon.com.
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.