WEEKLY UPDATE 2.13.20 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND

Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:

 

CAMPAIGN UPDATE

 

Our 2020 annual campaign is at more than $46 million, which is 17% ahead of the same time last year. I am pleased that our pace of closing gifts of our Society-level donors is up nicely over the last two campaign years. We have closed 4% more major gifts than at this same time last year and 12% more than the 2018 campaign. The pace of our General Campaign division ($1,000 - $4,999) is also up nicely over last year where we are running 7% ahead in the number of gifts closed. For our $1 billion ten-year goal, we have achieved $666 million to date.

 

GENERAL CAMPAIGN UPDATE

 

I previously reported on the work of our General Campaign team, led by Bob Cohan of Boston and Bob Weiss from Brooklyn with professional support by Deb Rochford, to develop ideas to increase the number of donors contributing $1,000 or more. One of those ideas has come to fruition with the development of a list of options for donors to designate their funds for gifts of $1,800 to $5,000. In the past, only gifts of $5,000 or more were eligible to be designated to specific projects or programs. For the initial rollout, we are focusing on three program areas:  Special Needs, Heritage Sites, and Youth Leadership. Please take a look at the attached flyers. Additional affiliates and program areas will be added during this campaign year. These flyers and giving opportunities were developed to be used in conjunction with community visits by our JNF affiliates for parlor-type meetings or even one-on-one solicitations. It will strengthen the message, and we believe will increase support by connecting donors at this giving level with something specific. For example, “with a gift of $1,800 you can provide a scholarship for…”  I want to thank Bob Weiss, Bob Cohan, and Deb Rochford as well as the JNF marketing department for their diligent and creative work. We will monitor the impact of this new concept during this campaign year.

 

JEWISH DISABILITIES AWARENESS, ACCEPTANCE, AND INCLUSION MONTH (JDAAIM)

 

Jewish Disabilities Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month is a unified effort among Jewish organizations worldwide to raise awareness and foster inclusion of people with disabilities and those who love them. JDAIM is a call to action for all of us as we act in accordance with our Jewish values, honoring the gifts and strengths that we each possess.

 

Thanks to three generous donors, all gifts made in February will be matched, up to $1,000,000, from now through February 29, 2020 to benefit our work for people with disabilities in Israel. JNF believes that we can ensure that each and every Israeli enjoys a life of dignity, belonging and purpose. Person by person, family by family, community by community, JNF is changing the lives of Israelis with disabilities. To donate, click here

 

2020 CAMPAIGN SUMMIT

 

SAVE THE DATE!

 

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 – 3:00 pm 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.

 

2020 NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN ISRAEL

If you are registered for the National Conference, if you have not already, you should soon receive an e-mail inviting you to go on-line to make hotel reservations for one of the conference hotels. There are now 550 registered for the 2020 National Conference taking place in Israel 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 underway among local communities for who can bring the most to Israel. Program planning is well underway and we will update you as more details are released. However, you can visit jnf.org/nc to see the latest on the program. Register now!

 

Shabbat Shalom,

   Signature_BenGutmann_JNFUSA

    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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Alexander Muss High School in Israel

This week has been filled with many wonderful tiyuls. Semester students visited Megiddo and the Carmel Mountains. February session students spent time in Jerusalem, and climbed Masada. We also welcomed a group of 6th graders from Brawerman Elementary School in Los Angeles, who will be touring the country with AMHSI professionals for 10 days.

Travel & Tours

Jewish National Fund's Volunteer Vacation is an amazing way for anyone ages 22 through 40 to spend a meaningful week volunteering in Israel's Northern region. Join us this summer. Learn more here

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

Tu BiShvat at Israel's Heritage Sites

 

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Israel is having very rainy winter this year and with so much water we're celebrating a greener Tu BiShvat than ever! Events, festival and tree plantings are taking place in heritage sites from north to south. This upcoming weekend, visitors to Ben-Gurion's Desert Home in the Negev can make the desert bloom some more and plant around Ben Gurion's house. At Minkov Citrus Orchard Site in central Israel, the annual Tangerine and Mandarin Festival invites families to ride the Citrus Train, tour the historic grove and build sculptures with citrus fruits. Up north, Hareut Museum planted new cypress trees, in place of trees that didn't survive the summer. A wonderful celebration of the holiday of the trees, raising awareness of nature and heritage.

 

Special in the IDF

 

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Lynne Mirriam, a Jewish National Fund World Chairman's Council partner, arrived in Israel to celebrate Tu Bishvat with the soldiers from  JNF affiliate Special in Uniform. The commander of the base said, “Using the metaphor of a tree, Special in Uniform enables our young soldiers with disabilities to speak about their lives in ways that make them stronger.” It involves our members drawing their own ‘tree of life’ in which they get to speak of their ‘roots,’ their skills and knowledge, their hopes and dreams, as well as the special people in their lives. The soldiers then join their trees into a ‘forest of life’. In groups, participants discuss some of the ‘storms’ that affect their lives, an inclusive or exclusive society and ways they respond to these storms and protect themselves and each other.

 

 

Update from the Western Galilee

 

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This week, Western Galilee Now took part of the largest Israeli tourist exhibition in Tel Aviv, IMTM. Western Galilee Now had a joint booth with other organizations in the region under the umbrella of the Galilee Authority. 

 

A special thank you to Jewish National Fund partners Toni Dusik and Sheryl Buchholtz for spending two nights in the Galilee, discussing Go North and enjoying the region. 

D’Var Torah

In this week’s Parsha, “Yitro”, the Jews travel to a part of the desert called Sinai. There, G‑d tells them that if they accept the Torah, they will be a chosen and special nation. The Jews respond, "Everything that G‑d has said, we will do!" They are told to spend the next three days preparing for a Very Big Event that will take place on Mount Sinai.

 

On the third day, there is booming thunder and flashes of lightning, and the Jews all go to Mount Sinai. There, they see a thick cloud over the mountain and hear a long, powerful blast of a shofar. Then G‑d comes down to the mountain and proclaims the Ten Commandments. These Ten Commandments set the standard for goodness in the world.

 

In honor of Jewish Disability Month here are the 10 Commandments of Communicating with People with Disabilities:

 

Speak Directly to the person

Always speak directly to the person.  Do not speak through a companion or a service provider.

 

Offer to shake hands

Always use the same good manners in interacting with a person who has a disability as you would with anyone else.

 

Identify yourself when speaking to a person who is blind

As common courtesy, always identify yourself when entering and/or leaving the room. This helps to make a person who is blind feel more comfortable.

 

Wait for a response and instructions when offering assistance

If you offer any kind of assistance, wait until the offer is accepted.  Then listen to the person’s response and/or ask for suggestions or instructions.

 

Treat adults as adults

Always be courteous. Do not assume familiarity with someone who you do not know well by using a first name or touching his/her shoulder.  Do not patronize or make decisions for the person.

 

Do not hang or lean on a person’s wheelchair

People who use wheelchairs depend on their wheelchairs to get them from here to there.  The wheelchairs are a part of them, so please be courteous.

 

Listen attentively

If a person has difficulty speaking or speaks in a manner that is difficult for you to understand, listen carefully – then wait for her/him to finish.  If needed, clarify what the person has said.  Ask short questions that can be answered by a “yes” or “no” or a nod of the head.  Never pretend to understand.  Reflect what you have heard and let the person respond.

 

Speak to people at eye level

Use common courtesy when interacting with someone who uses a wheelchair.  Sit in a chair (or bend down, if a chair is unavailable) so you can be at eye level.  This helps make the person feel more comfortable and included as an equal in the conversation.

 

Tap a person who is deaf on her/his shoulder

To get the attention of someone who is deaf, tap the person on the shoulder or wave a hand in her/his direction.  Once you have the person’s attention, speak in a normal tone.  Keep objects away from your mouth so the person can read your lips.  Be courteous; do not shout.

 

Relax!

The most important thing to remember when interacting with people with disabilities is to BE YOURSELF. Do not be embarrassed if you happen to use common expressions that seem to relate to disability.

 

Jewish Disabilities Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month is a unified effort among Jewish organizations worldwide to raise awareness and foster inclusion of people with disabilities and those who love them. JDAIM is a call to action for all of us as we act in accordance with our Jewish values, honoring the gifts and strengths that we each possess.

 

JNF believes that we can ensure that each Israeli enjoys a life of dignity, belonging and purpose.  Our donors and partners are setting the standard for goodness in the world. Person by person, family by family, community by community, JNF is changing the lives of Israelis with disabilities.

 

Shabbat Shalom. 

 

PLANT TREES IN ISRAEL