Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:



We have raised $576 million toward our $1 Billion goal. Our 2019 annual campaign is now at just under $40 million. There's some good news in our campaign figures, but also some indicators that we need to pay attention to so we don’t become complacent. The good news is we continue to be ahead of last year in the number of gifts closed from $1,000 and above. Our Major Gifts Division is also ahead of last year in the number of gifts closed. We are especially showing strength in closing gifts at $5,000 and $10,000. However, I have noticed the overall pace of our campaign has slowed in the last four weeks compared to last year. This is why our 2019@$1,000 campaign is so critical. We need our lay leaders to participate in our fundraising efforts and make phone calls, and even better, have face to face meetings with potential donors. If each of us helped to close just two gifts, our campaign would soar.




This was a good week bringing in approximately a half million dollars from an additional 140 closed gifts of $1,000+. We had a good week and closed an additional 140 gifts of $1,000 or more for about half of a million dollars. So far, our total is 675 gifts of $1,000 or more closed for $3.5 million. Illinois and Northern California have joined the list of areas that have closed 20 or more gifts of $1,000+ since we started our 2019@$1,000 campaign.

  • Greater Los Angeles
  • Illinois
  • MidAtlantic
  • Mountain States
  • Nevada
  • New England
  • Northern California
  • Northern Florida
  • San Diego
  • South Florida
  • Tri-State (Greater New York area)


February is known as Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAAIM). Jewish National Fund is proud to join together with Jewish organizations and communities from all over the world in this unified effort to raise awareness and champion the civil rights of people with disabilities. In Israel, one million people have some form of disability that makes them struggle with life's daily activities. Jewish National Fund believes that we can — that we must — ensure that each and every Israeli enjoys a life of dignity, belonging, and purpose. Person by person, family by family, community by community, Jewish National Fund is changing the lives of Israelis with disabilities.


Thanks to three generous donors, every gift made in support of Disabilities and Special Needs will be matched, up to $500,000, from February 1 - 28, 2019. Please use this matching gift opportunity in your solicitations and share the story of Jewish National Fund improving the quality of life for all Israelis.


Also take a moment to listen to our latest episode of IsraelCast, featuring Jewish National Fund partner Tiran Attia, here.



Have you included Jewish National Fund in your estate plan? Making a provision in your estate is easy to do and leaves a legacy to ensure your philanthropic priorities are supported when you are gone. It is my goal to encourage 100% participation among our Jewish National Fund leaders to make a provision in their estate to support the land and people of Israel. Jewish National Fund has an excellent online tool to walk you through the many options available, including Charitable Gift Annuities, Trusts, IRA Rollovers, and Donor Advised Funds, as well as donations of insurance and property.  jnflegacy.org


Under the leadership of National Chairs, David Frank from Los Angeles and Bernice Friedman from Las Vegas, working with Chief Planned Giving Officer Matt Bernstein and his great team, Jewish National Fund can tailor a tax-smart package to meet your needs. For a personal consultation, contact Matt Bernstein at mbernstein@jnf.org or 212. 879.9305 x292.



Please join us in Las Vegas for our annual Major Donor Weekend April 5 – 8 at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Many fun and interesting programs are planned, including Shabbat Dinner with JNFuture leaders from around the country, VIP tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show Mystere, a visit to The Mob Museum and a book signing with former mobster Myron Sugarman, the author of The Chronicles of the Last Jewish Gangster. You are also invited to attend an open meeting of JNF’s National Board of Directors on Monday morning, April 8th. To register for Major Donor Weekend, click here:  jnf.org/majordonorweekend



Because this year’s National Conference is taking place so early on the calendar, September 13-15, we have decided to schedule the annual Campaign Planning Summit for the Monday immediately after the conference on September 16. The Summit will be a one day meeting from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm and is open to any lay leader serving on a JNF board, committee, or task force.


Registration for the Campaign Planning Summit is required and can be easily found on the National Conference registration page. Please be sure to register for the National Conference as well as the Campaign Planning Summit. Click here to register for both of these exciting events:  jnf.org/nc




The next training session will take place March 27 and will focus on solicitation training.


If you missed any of our previous training session, you can click below to watch the videos.


Leadership Training Seminar #1 (9/13/18) – History of Zionism and Jewish National Fund




Leadership Training Seminar #2 (11/14/18) – The Power of the JNF Brand and Brand Management




JNF Organizational Overview and Financial Structure #3 (1/16/19)




Shabbat Shalom!





Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

Alexander Muss High School in Israel

Our students continue with their experiential studies. Semester students went to Megiddo and the Carmel mountains earlier this week on a wonderful tiyul. February mini-mester visited Jerusalem and will soon be climbing Masada. We were pleased to welcome a group from CAARI who toured our campus, had a sample lesson and met with some of our students. And stateside, AMHSI-JNF is present and proud at the BBYO International Convention in Denver! We have 200 alumni that are delegates to the convention and are having a great time building more relationships to bring them to Israel on AMHSI-JNF programs. Please check out our video: https://www.facebook.com/AMHSI/videos/2074684402599184/


Travel & Tours Update


See firsthand the impact your commitment has on Israel on the President’s Society Mission, open to donors of $10,000 or more. Join us this May!


Updates from Israel

Making Aliyah


What an amazing month! Please take a moment to read about Jewish National Fund partner Nefesh B’Nefesh’s January achievements:  https://www.nbn.org.il/january-2019-month-in-review/

Special in the IDF


Congratulations to Linir Levy on achieving another milestone during his volunteering with Jewish National Fund partner Special in Uniform. He received an award from the commander of the Arad Home Front Command base in light of his dedication and service in the Army.

Celebrating Jewish Disability, Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month at the Heritage Sites



In honor of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month during February, Jewish National Fund and partner Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites has continued its work to make all of Israel’s heritage sites accessible to people with disabilities. Tours are being held for people with physical and cognitive disabilities at heritage sites around Jerusalem and in the North of Israel, including the Hareut Museum and the Valley Train Site at Kfar Yehoshua, where a wheelchair tour recently took place. To prepare for these tours, SPIHS worked together with Jewish National Fund partner LOTEM and other organizations to ensure each heritage site is accessible by providing special training for the heritage site tour guides so that they can meet the needs of each group. Now, tour guides are well equipped with the skills and materials they need to share the stories of the heritage sites in an accessible way for people with various physical and cognitive disabilities. This is yet another step in our shared goal of making Israel’s heritage sites accessible to everyone.

D’Var Torah

This week's parshat Tetzaveh, tells us some more about the going-ons of the Mishkan. The first thing discussed is the olive oil used for the lighting of the menorah.


One of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith is the menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum used in the Temple.


It has been said that the menorah is a symbol of the nation of Israel and its mission to be "a light unto the nations.”  The sages emphasize that light is not a violent force; Israel is to accomplish its mission by setting an example, not by using force. The menorah of the Temple evokes the image of a tree—a tree of life, a tree of light and a tree of fire, while the oil with which it was kindled represents the constancy of the light.


Many generations after the destruction of the Temple, the prophet Zechariah saw a vision of a menorah. It was flanked on either side by olive trees feeding it directly with oil, while the voice of an angel explained that the Temple would be rebuilt, "Not by might, not by power but by the spirit of G‑d".


Even after the Temple was destroyed the menorah remains a symbol of bringing this "spirit of light" to the world.


The State of Israel is one of only two countries in the world that ended the 20th century with more trees than it started with, thanks to the efforts of the Jewish National Fund in planting more than 240 million trees. This incredible achievement brings new life to the ancient words of the Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 25:3):      Rabbi Yehuda ben Shimon began, “You shall emulate the Lord your God.’ Is it possible for flesh and blood to emulate the Almighty?... What this means is that in the beginning [of creation], God engaged in planting; similarly “You shall come into the Land, and you shall plant.”


Many of the serious environmental concerns that now face the global community – scarcity of water, addiction to oil, and degradation of arable land – have confronted the State of Israel since its inception. Applying Jewish ingenuity to our biblical mandate to “work and guard the land” is now providing the answers to some of the world’s most pressing problems.


The prophet Isaiah wrote long ago that one day, "The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom" (Isaiah 35:1). Our generation has been privileged to witness not only the miracle of the blooming of Israel’s deserts, but the emergence of the Jewish State as a global leader in environmental innovation. Concern for the environment helps bring the Torah to life and, to paraphrase Isaiah, casts the Jewish people as a “renewable” light unto the nations.


Shabbat Shalom,