Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:


150 Jewish National Fund leaders are now in Israel for the Israel Relations Committee Mega Task Force Mission. Over the next week these leaders will fan out across Israel with their respective Task Force groups. They will meet with community leaders and JNF-USA partners to review ongoing projects and strategize how JNF can make an impact in developing the Negev and Galilee to improve the quality of life for all Israelis. This mission is a monumental undertaking with ten different itineraries. Yashir Koach to Ken Segel and Toni Dusik, national Israel Relations chairs and the chairs of the mission. The coordination by the JNF Travel & Tours Department and the JNF-USA Israel Office has been exceptional. I want to single out the efforts of Deena Shiff, Talia Aviani, Shahar Hermelin, and Yoel Rosby, who worked tirelessly to coordinate this massive undertaking. 



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, in honor of Jewish Disabilities Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month, every gift made in support of Disabilities & Special Needs will be matched, up to $500,000, from February 1 to 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.



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 on-line tool to walk you through the many options available, including Charitable Gift Annuities, Trusts, IRA Rollovers, Donor Advised Funds as well as donations of insurance and property.  http://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 [email protected] 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 a wonderful 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, 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:  www.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 included on the National Conference registration page.   Please be sure to register for the National Conference and on the drop down menu, there is a place to indicate you will attend the Campaign Summit.  Click here to register for National Conference:  https://www.jnf.org/events-landing-pages/2019-national-conference



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


If you missed any of our previous training sessions, 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 student groups are busy learning and traveling. Our new madrichim are training. And our staff is busy welcoming the elite from our Jewish National Fund family. This week we had a wonderful visit from members of Makor, who participated in a workshop led by our Dean of Student Life, Polly, and our esteemed Israel Studies Instructor, Elchanan. Have you always wanted to learn Israeli history? AMHSI-JNF is presenting our first web-based history series: Israel 101, exclusively available to JNF donors. The first of six lessons will take place March 3, 2019 from 1:00-2:00pm EST. Register now! Looking for ways to support and grow Alexander Muss High School in Israel? We have unique naming opportunities available for you! Contact Leor Sinai to learn more.



Travel & Tours Update

Capture your forever young hearts and minds on this carefully-paced, life-changing, 10 day excursion to Israel for active adults 55+. Learn more.


Updates from Israel

Makor at Ben Gurion House in Tel Aviv

This week, Jewish National Fund partner Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites welcomed the JNF Makor mission to Prime Minister Ben Gurion’s House in Tel Aviv. After a tour of the first Prime Minister’s home, the group gathered for a lecture from Professor Michael Bar Zohar, a leading expert on and the official biographer of David Ben Gurion, as well as author of numerous international best sellers. Professor Bar Zohar spoke to the mission about Ben Gurion’s personal life as well as his political life and leadership style. His insights provided a new perspective on Israel’s political history and leadership, as well Israel’s future.

Special in the IDF

McDonald’s restaurants in Israel are Kosher? Fifty Kosher McDonald’s are spread throughout Israel, certified Kosher by their local Rabbinates. The owner of McDonald’s restaurants regularly invites the soldiers from Jewish National Fund partner Special in Uniform to enjoy free meals in appreciation of their dedication to volunteer in the Army and to overcome their disabilities, Thank you, McDonalds. 

New Year, New Ideas

At the Lauder Employment Center, our network for Human Resources Managers for companies across the Negev met last week to create an agenda for 2019. These companies employ tens of thousands of residents, and their leaders are committed to providing the best workplace possible for each of them.

Community Center in Halutza

Construction is underway at the Halutza Community Center – the foundation is now installed!

D’Var Torah

This week, Parshat Ki Tisa largely deals with Moses meeting with G-d upon Mount Sinai, the tablets of the law, and the apostasy of Israel. G-d gave Moses tablets of the law, which Moses broke in anger upon seeing his people worshipping the golden calf. This was such a disappointment on a national scale, and even Aaron as the high priest had failed his duty by allowing the sin to occur, and not controlling the people. Moses was then told to carve a replacement tablet, following G-d’s instruction. 

The two sets of tablets, the broken ones and their replacements, are stored together in perpetuity in the Ark of the Covenant.


But why keep the broken pieces? In what way do they differ from the gift-wrapped public-relation disaster in the above story? Aren't they just a symbol of our crime and punishment? Why stockpile a souvenir of the depravity to which the Jews sank?


This conveyed the message articulated at the very genesis of Judaism: The broken pieces of your life are as sacred as its wholesome parts. G-d is present not only in the complete tablets, but also in the shattered ones.


“Thank you for breaking the tablets,” G-d tells Moses. The broken tablets, representing the shattered pieces of human existence, have their own story to tell; they contain a light all their own. Truth is found not only in wholesomeness, but also – perhaps primarily — in the broken fragments of the human spirit. There are moments when G-d desires that we connect to Him as wholesome people, with clarity and a sense of fullness; there are yet deeper moments when He desires that we find Him in the shattered experiences of our lives.


We hope and pray to always enjoy the “whole tablets,” but when we encounter the broken ones, we ought not to run from them or become dejected by them; with tenderness we ought to embrace them and bring them into our “holy of holies,” recalling the observation of the Kotzker Rebbe “There is nothing more whole than a broken heart," one of his most famous classic statements.


It is on this note that the Torah chooses to culminate its tribute to Moses’ life. The greatest achievement of Moses was his ability to show humanity how G-d was present in the fragments of the human heart; in the broken pieces and paradoxes of our daily lives.


JNF believes that we have an obligation to ensure that each and every Israeli enjoys a life of dignity, belonging and purpose. We are now in the month of February, the Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. We remember that this 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. We are proud to be here in Israel to meet our dedicated partner and to honor the Knesset for such a great example of inclusion.


Shabbat Shalom,