WEEKLY UPDATES 12.29.17 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
I am pleased to share with you that we have reached $470 million toward our 10-year $1 Billion goal.
Our campaign to date is showing particular strength at the $100,000 and $25,000 annual giving levels. It goes to show that major gifts is the driving force of fundraising for non-profit organizations, as it is for Jewish National Fund. At the same time, most every major donor started with a smaller first gift, whether the purchase of a tree, a $100 gift through our direct mail campaign, or perhaps a $1,000 gift made at a Doctors for Israel or Lawyers for Israel lunch and learn program. As leaders we are instrumental in the cultivation of donors. When we share the JNF story and our personal passion for supporting the transformative work of JNF, others are inspired to follow our lead. Think about your own path to giving and leadership within JNF… who was that person who motivated you to give a little more and do a little more? You can make that same impact!
We have a great story to tell about the difference our work makes on the land of Israel for the people of Israel. Here is the Jewish National Fund 2017 Year in Review. Please read this document and incorporate some of these stories into your JNF vocabulary: 2017-Year-in-Review I want to congratulate and thank the JNF Marketing and Communications department for putting together another exceptional piece to help us tell the JNF story.
Please enjoy this feel good article about how JNF and our partner Western Galilee Now are bringing together people of all faiths to enjoy this holiday season, and, if you are so inclined, share on your Facebook or Twitter page: jpost.com/Galilee-winter-wonderland This article is also the product of the efforts of JNF’s Public Relations team who do a great job of getting media placement in Israel and throughout the United States.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom and a very Happy New Year!
Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign
By Yossi Kahana
In this week’s Torah reading Vayechi, Jacob asks Joseph to bury him in Israel, in the place reserved for the burial of the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs. Jacob says to Joseph, "If I have now found favor in your eyes… do not bury me now in Egypt. …As for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel (Joseph’s mother) died in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still a stretch of land to come to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.”
Jacob wanted to clarify to Joseph why he had buried Rachel in Bethlehem instead of in the traditional burial place of the patriarchs and matriarchs. He told Joseph that his mother was willing to make a spiritual sacrifice on behalf of her children. She sacrificed being buried in the Me'arat HaMachpela, in Hebron, for one reason. From this place, she could be supportive of her children in a special way that only she could accomplish. She was able to pray for the return of her children to the Holy Land.
Rashi comments that Rachel was “buried there by divine command, so that she would be of assistance to her children. When Nebuzaradan exiles them (the Israelites) in the year of 586 BCE , and they pass by there, Rachel will emerge from her grave and weep and beg mercy for them, as it is said: “A voice is heard on high, [lamentation, bitter weeping, Rachel is weeping for her children]” (Jeremiah. 31:14). And the Holy One, blessed be He, answers her, “‘There is reward for your work,’ says the Lord… ‘and the children shall return to their own border.’”
What did Rachel’s prayer have that others’ didn’t?
The Midrash tells us that at the pathetic sight of the Jews being exiled from their land, all of the patriarchs pleaded with G-d to stop the humiliation of the Jews. But G- d was unmoved by their pleas. After all, the Jewish people had been warned by many prophets that they would be exiled if they didn’t return to an upstanding Torah lifestyle. G- d had given them enough opportunities to reinvent themselves. But when Rachel had her turn to advocate on their behalf, G-d “melted” and promised her that her “children will return to their own border.” And in fact, 70 years later they returned. What did Rachel’s prayer have that the others’ didn’t? It was her self-sacrifice. Her life was about her family. Her death was about her children. That was something that G-d couldn’t ignore. If Rachel gave up the burial place that she so rightfully deserved for the sake of the Jewish people, G-d would mitigate the consequence that they rightfully deserved in order to help them recover.
The service of humility is irresistible up on high. This is the service of Rachel and the legacy of the Jewish woman.
We see the legacy and power of women in our Women for Israel (WFI) division. Our women are visionaries and, like Rachel, want to do as much as they can for families and children in Israel. WFI has engaged and enlisted women donors from across all regions and communities in the United States to join JNF in improving the lives of the women and their families throughout Israel as well as building a prosperous future for the land of Israel.
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