Dear Jewish National Fund Campaign Leaders:


We are now at $498 million toward our $1 billion goal.  Just two million more and we will reach the half way mark, and with a good week of fundraising next week we will surely race past half of one billion dollars.

The end of March represents the half way point of our fiscal campaign year.  As I have pointed out in the past, the first two fundraising quarters are typically our strongest, so to be on pace toward our annual fundraising goal, each community should actually be at about 60%.  Please remember, we slow down considerably in June, July, and August, and when people return to normal schedules following the summer holiday season we close our campaign just one month later at the end of September.  Campaign leaders should review your local Campaign Progress Report with your fundraising professional and assess how close you are toward 60% of your annual goal.

Enjoy this sixteen-minute Ted Talk by Harvard management professor Linda Hill who discusses the secret to unlocking our creativity in our daily work. Professor Hill is the co-author of “Collective Genius” and has studied some of the most creative companies to develop a set of tools and tactics to keep great ideas flowing.

Shabbat Shalom,



Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

A key element in human relationships is the ability to express thanks. We also need the complementary skill: to accept thanks graciously. And, if we wish our praise to be accepted, it is best to express gratitude in moderation. When invited to dinner, we might bring a bottle of wine or other gift; it is polite to thank the hostess when she serves each course, and to express our appreciation when we’ve finished.

While the concept of giving thanks is important among human beings, it is also central in our relationship with G-d. Almost all of our responses to G-d through the path of Jewish teaching can be seen as expressions of appreciation and thanks, for the infinite bounty that G-d bestows upon us.

One of the methods of expressing thanks to G-d is described in this week's Torah reading Parasat Tzav. The korban todah is the thanksgiving offering which an individual could bring to the Temple on any weekday. It was brought as expression of thanks to G-d by someone who experienced any of four specific kinds of danger: a captive who was freed; a person who crossed the sea; one who traversed the desert, and someone who has recovered from an illness. Surviving these circumstances is considered miraculous intervention by G-d, and deserving of an extra measure of gratitude and appreciation.

If you think about it, these miraculous events mirror the miracles G-d performed as we left Egypt at the dawn of our formation as a nation: G-d split the sea, helped us across the desert, and looked out for our spiritual and physical welfare.

Two weeks ago, we gathered in the desert of Arizona to give thanks to our Major Donors and leadership from across the country for their commitment and dedication to Jewish National Fund.  While there was no sea to split, they partook in Shabbat in the Desert, and it is because of these committed individuals that the spiritual and physical welfare of all Israelis is looked out for.

Shabbat Shalom,


Jewish National Fund’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel

Applications opened this week for the 2018 AMHSI-JNF Mentorship Program! Going into our second year, this program pairs AMHSI alumni who are still in high school with a Jewish National Fund Campus Fellow in their area who serve as their mentor for the year. This partnership allows our college students to act as role models and friends who provide guidance on campus life and the transition from high school to college. To learn more contact Elana Lubka at elubka@amhsi.org.

Travel & Tours News

Taste and cook your way through Israel with world-renowned Israeli chefs and sommeliers as you savor the country’s remarkable food, wine, and music on the Culinary, Wine, and Music Tour. Register now for this trip, which takes place May 4 - 12, here.

Updates from Israel

Special in the IDF

The Jewish National Fund Task Force on Disabilities spent a very productive day with partner Special in Uniform. The visit included time at Palmachim Air Force Base, which has more than 50 soldiers with disabilities. JNF leaders spoke with soldiers and commanders and visited the K-9 training facility.  

Volunteering for the land

Meet Yehudit Ben-Nun, VP of Business Development at YouAppi, responsible for all international sales. Yehudit is also a mother and grandmother of three. Between her family and jam-packed work schedule she also finds the time to volunteer for Jewish National Fund partner HaShomer HaChadash's jeep unit in the Negev. In her words: "I volunteer doing guarding shifts with my husband, between 7 in the evening to 3-4 in the morning. It is our quality time together. Our guarding prevents theft and vandalism in the agricultural lands, and we allow the ranchers and farmers to peacefully sleep at home with their families. The motive for guarding is our love of the land, which is Zionism, and there is no better feeling than to give of yourself and contribute to society."

Celebrating 70 Years of Independence at Sarona

In honor of 70 years of Israeli independence, heritage sites around the country are offering special activities, tours, and events. At the Sarona Visitors Center, students are invited to participate in a unique, self-guided “tour” of the site, teaching them about Sarona and its connection to Israel’s pathway to independence. This activity is particularly unique as the maps and bar-code texts were all prepared by Israeli school students. This week, more than 100 students from Be’er Sheva, grades 7-12, came to participate in this special activity and learn more about Sarona’s role in the founding of the State of Israel.