WEEKLY UPDATES 4.19.19 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Tonight we gather with family and friends and tell the story Jews have told for nearly 3,000 years.
As we read the Haggadah let us also remind our guests that through Jewish National Fund we still have the opportunity to participate in the redemption of the Land of Israel. And, when we close our Seder by saying “Next Year in Jerusalem,” we can mean it. As a reminder, the 2020 National Conference will be held in Israel.
In honor of Passover, enjoy this 2018 article from the Jerusalem Post about the Cairo Geniza and an 11th Century Haggadah.
Two more weeks left in the [email protected]$1,000 campaign! Our total to date is just under 1,600 gifts closed of $1,000 or more for $15 million. Here are some other great stats:
- We have upgraded 190 donors who were giving lesser amounts to give $1,000 or more in the last three months.
- We have closed 490 gifts of $1,000 or more from FIRST TIME DONORS to JNF!
- That means of the 1,600 total gifts closed, 680 were new to the $1,000+ giving level...that is more than 40%.
These communities have already SURPASSED their totals from last year:
- New England
- Northern California
- Northern Ohio
- Palm Springs
- San Diego
- Western Pennsylvania
SPRING CAMPAIGN, or… WIN DINNER WITH RUSSELL F. ROBINSON!!
Please watch the recording of the recent Community Campaign Conference call with important information about the Spring Campaign.
What is Spring Campaign? Spring Campaign is our critical Q3 campaign targeting our donors at $500+ and JNFuture’s at $360+ who have given in any of the previous 3 fiscal years, but not in FY2019. Knowing that July & August are our slowest months, how we perform during Spring Campaign will forecast how strong our fiscal year will end. This campaign will run May 1 - June 24. We have a very ambitious goal in raising $12 million through Spring Campaign and are confident we can close 75% of our lapsed donors.
Here are some documents with background on the Spring Campaign program:
CAMPAIGN PLANNING SUMMIT AND NATIONAL CONFERENCE
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: jnf.org/nc
LAY LEADER TRAINING SEMINAR
Mark your calendar for the next training seminar, Anatomy of an Effective Board Meeting, taking place May 15 at 12 Noon eastern time.
If you missed any of the previous training sessions, you can click below to watch the videos.
History of Zionism and Jewish National Fund (9/13/18)
The Power of the JNF Brand and Brand Management (11/14/18)
JNF Organizational Overview and Financial Structure (1/16/19)
Peer to Peer Fundraising (3/27/19)
Chag Pesach Sameach!
Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign
The latest episode of IsraelCast is not to be missed. Tune in to hear host Steven Shalowitz in conversation with leading environmentalist, activist, and expert on solar energy, Yosef Abramowitz. Listen at Jnf.org/israelcast
Alexander Muss High School in Israel
We were so pleased to host the Tzofim Friendship Caravan this week. Our students even got to see a sneak peak of the show that’s coming to cities across the USA this summer! All our student groups returned to campus after various tiyulim and volunteer opportunities, before departing to families’ and friends’ homes for Pesach. AMHSI-JNF is thrilled to announce a partnership with our first school in the United Kingdom, JFS! We look forward to welcoming them to our campus in January 2020, and continuing to work together for many years to come, educating England’s future Jewish leaders and Israel Advocates.
We are also excited to host the Russo family on campus this week, in Israel visiting their daughter, who is studying at Alexander Muss High School in Israel.
Travel & Tours Update
Celebrate Chanukah in Israel on a vacation the whole family can enjoy – with Bar/Bat Mitzvah options also available! Learn more about the Hadassah & Jewish National Fund Israel Family Tour here.
Please take a moment to read two recent articles featuring Jewish National Fund:
Updates from Israel
Memorial of the Battle at Koach Fortress
This week marked 71 years since the battle for Nebi Yusha during the 1948 War of Independence, in which 28 soldiers sacrificed their lives to secure the safety and security of the Upper Galilee. To commemorate the battle, hundreds of people attended a special memorial service at the site of the battle, now called Koach Fortress, and HaReut Museum, the museum that shares the story of the battle and the soldiers who fought for establishment of the state of Israel. The ceremony included Palmach fighters and the friends and family of those who lost their lives sharing stories to an audience which included several youth groups preparing to go to start their military services, as well as the laying of wreaths for each fallen soldier on the soldiers’ grave and memorial. By telling their stories year after year, we ensure that the legacies of the heroes who gave their lives will live on forever.
Special in the IDF
The commander of the Palmachim Airbase Brigadier General Yoav Amiram, invited all 50 soldiers of Jewish National Fund’s Special in Uniform unit who are serving in his base to the traditional pre-holiday event. He asked one of the soldiers on the autism spectrum to speak in front of the commanders and the pilots on the base, showing how proud the Army is to have these soldiers among them.
Therapeutic Horseback Riding
This week, Jewish National Fund partners LOTEM and Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center shared a day together at Kibbutz Grofit.
To our people at the JNF office in Jerusalem, I always wanted to know: we traditionally end the Passover Seder with the wish, “Next Year in Jerusalem!” What if you’re living in Jerusalem? Do you say, “This year in Jerusalem!” or just leave that line out?
You can be miles away from Jerusalem even while living there. And you can be on the other side of the world but only a step away - because Jerusalem is much more than a city. It’s an ideal that we are struggling to reach.
The Jewish story can be summed up as a long journey from Egypt to Jerusalem. Beyond being just geographical locations, they symbolize two opposite spiritual states. The journey from Egypt to Jerusalem is a spiritual odyssey. Both as a nation and as individuals, we have always been leaving the slavery of Egypt and heading towards the freedom of the Promised Land.
The Hebrew name for Egypt is Mitzrayim, which means limitations, restrictions, obstacles. It represents a state in which our souls are trapped in our bodies, enslaved to material desires and tied down to physical limitations. It is a world in which righteousness, justice and holiness are held captive to corruption, selfishness and egotism.
Jerusalem means “the city of peace”—a place of peace between body and soul, heaven and earth, the ideal and reality. When our body becomes not a prison for the soul but rather a vehicle for the soul’s expression; when we live our lives according to our ideals rather than our cravings; when the world values goodness and generosity over selfish gain—then we are in Jerusalem, we are at peace with ourselves and the world.
The Jewish people were born in Egypt, in slavery. But they were told that on the other side of a vast desert lies their destiny, their Promised Land. As our forefathers walked out of Egypt—3,323 years and some-odd weeks ago—they were taking the first steps of a long journey to Jerusalem. Every generation since has pushed further forward along the road to Jerusalem. The journey continues with us. But we haven’t got there yet. Even if you are living in the city called Jerusalem, as long as there remains suffering, injustice and unholiness in the world, we haven’t reached the Promised Land. As long as we remain slaves to our own negative instincts and selfish desires, we are still struggling to truly leave Egypt.
As we sit at the Seder, we note that another year has gone by, and we have yet to complete the journey. But we are getting there. We are that much closer to the Promised Land than we were last year. We have advanced a few more steps in a march to freedom that has spanned generations.
Perhaps this year, our efforts to better ourselves and our world will bring the fulfillment of the words of the Haggadah:
This year we are here, next year we will be in the Land of Israel. This year we are slaves, next year we will be free.
Next year in Jerusalem . . . literally and figuratively.
Have a kosher a joyous Passover. Pesach kasher vesameach!