Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:


BREAKING NEWS! I am thrilled to announce we are now more than half way toward our $1 billion goal established in the One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade. Officially, we have raised a little more than $503 million and, most impressively, we have reached this benchmark in just 4.5 years. It is a great achievement for the Jewish National Fund family and every lay leader and the entire staff team has been integral in helping us achieve the halfway point to our ultimate campaign goal.

I want to specifically thank and congratulate a few key lay leaders who have led this campaign since the announcement of the $1 Billion Roadmap in 2014: Bill Miller and Ken Segel, my two immediate predecessors as Vice President of Campaign, and Louise Dabrow and Nina Paul who have led our Women for Israel Campaign since 2014.


As you read this message, I am in Israel with more than 200 others on Jewish National Fund’s 70th Anniversary mission, celebrating 70 years of Israel’s independence.  There are five separate mission tracks:  President’s Mission, Young Leadership, Interfaith, Spirit of Israel and even a group from San Diego led by JNF President Sol Lizerbram and his wife, Lauren. I look forward to moving from group to group and meeting many of the participants during this very special week in celebration of this milestone. Look out for some e-mail updates and, of course, you can follow our adventures on social media.

In honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary, enjoy this short JNF video marking the many milestones of our Homeland.

$7Million @ 70

Our next quarterly campaign is called $7million @ 70.  In past years this spring campaign was called The Vision League and before that, 31 Days in May. Though the names have changed, this spring initiative is critical to our success in achieving our annual fundraising goal.  I have preached this many times, but let us not forget that June, July and August are our slowest fundraising months, and then of course our annual campaign closes on September 30.  May and early June must help start the long close of our campaign and we need to call every donor who has not yet made their annual gift.  Here is the essence of $7Million @ 70:

This brand new national campaign, $7Million @ 70, is in celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday!

We are focusing on donors who who made a minimum $500 gift within the past three years but have not yet made their 2018 gift and on JNFutures who made a gift within the past three years but have not yet made their minimum $360 gift in 2018.

The 23 geographic regions in the Jewish National Fund family of communities will be broken down into 4 teams, named after JNF action areas.  Each of the 4 teams will have a chair and each community will have a team captain.

We plan on closing these gifts using a 3-pronged approach:

  • Face-to-face-meetings with your annual donors who have NOT yet made their 2018 annual contribution. When you call them, say you want to meet to discuss Israel’s 70th birthday! Professionals will work with regional chairs and captains to schedule a meeting with the prospective donor. We will provide the pledge cards and information.
  • Telethons/Office Gatherings with your donors who have not given in over 1 year: Invite your friends/family members & colleagues to your homes &/or offices for an Israel 70th birthday party.
    • 7+ people getting 7+ people to come to a home for 70 minutes to give 70-second pitches. Let’s call a minimum of 70 donors per week!
    • Serve dinner, snacks, plant a tree in honor of people who attend, etc...

Professionals will work with their regional chairs and captains to coordinate Telethons/Office Gatherings amd provide sample scripts.

  • Emails should be sent to individuals you cannot reach.  We will provide a sample email and a link to a special DONATE button.
  • If you have not already done so, each community should have a team meeting as soon as possible to develop plans and organize your solicitation team.

Shabbat Shalom from Israel!





Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

It is easy to tell the difference between Jews and Gentiles. Said Jackie Mason, “After the show, all the gentiles are saying ‘Have a drink? Want a drink? Let's have a drink!' While all the Jews are saying ‘Have you eaten yet? Want a piece of cake? Let's have some cake!'"

Why are food and meals so essential to the Jewish experience?

First of all, we should be grateful for the blessings in our lives – that we get to make choices about food, that food is plentiful in our homes and that we go to bed with full stomachs each night. However, more than that, food speaks to us. It tells us stories.

Challah and grape juice on the table tell my kids that it is Shabbat. The aroma of chicken soup and matzah balls reminds them of their grandmother. The taste of apples and honey announce to them that a new year has started.

So, it should be no surprise that a religious system like Judaism has rules about food.  The first rules regarding food required human beings to share their food with God to say thank you as well to ask for continued blessing, forgiveness and protection.

In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Shemini, we read about permitted and forbidden food sources. These rules are the foundation for keeping kosher as we know it today.  As I read the lists of animals, I find myself asking, “What’s the story in these foods?” Or, better yet, “What story does the Torah want us to tell?”

I firmly believe that one of the reasons the Torah gives us dietary laws – and the rabbis strengthened them! – is to bring members of the community together through food. And I would say it has been incredibly successful. Even Jews who have chosen to set aside many of the details of keeping kosher still have a soft spot in their hearts (stomachs?) for fresh challah on a Friday night or chicken soup and matzah balls on Passover. They still want a latke in late December or a corned beef sandwich on a Sunday afternoon.

No wonder why one of the most attractive Jewish National Fund missions to Israel is the Culinary, Wine, and Music Tour.  Savor Israel's remarkable food and wine!

Shabbat Shalom,


Speakers Bureau Update

Please take a moment to review the Speakers Bureau Newsletter, which highlights speakers who will be available over the next several months.

Jewish National Fund’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel

Alexander Muss High School in Israel welcomed our April 2018 session students. These teens from across the country will be with us through June 5th, joining our Spring Semester and Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and Milken Community High School groups on our Hod HaSharon campus. Our April mini-mester students have brought their General Studies curriculum from home and will take on our Israel Studies curriculum of 4,000+ years of Jewish and Israeli history using the land as the classroom.

Travel & Tours News

Designed specifically for active adults 55+, the Sunshine Tour is an extraordinary 10-day trip exploring Israel’s heritage sites, museums, cultural history, and hidden gems. See details at jnf.org/sunshinedetails.

Updates from Israel

Passover Camp

This past week, Jewish National Fund partner HaShomer HaChadash reached out to the town of Kadima Tzoran with a new type of project – a Pesach Camp all about loving the land. Four hundred and fifty 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders experienced four action-packed days transforming an unkempt field in the community into a fruit and vegetable farm. The kids did everything from weeding and preparing the land to planting trees, making deep connections to the land.

Yom Ha’atzmaut

Next week we celebrate 70 years of Israeli Independence! In honor of this important milestone, celebrations will be taking place across the country, many at Jewish National Fund partner Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites locations. This year, a special walking festival will take place along one of the main roads of Tel Aviv, Rothschild Boulevard. Ten 3D movies will be screened on the walls of city buildings, telling the story of Israel’s pathway to Independence as it has never been told before! One of these spectacular shows will highlight the “Haapala” (clandestine immigration), following the clandestine immigrants as they make the perilous voyage by sea to the land of Israel.

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Jewish National Fund supports people with disabilities with crucial therapeutic services such as therapeutic horseback riding at Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center at Kibbutz Grofit. Here, you can see a patient guided by side walkers to stabilize the rider.

Special in the IDF

Special in Uniform soldiers were invited by the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, to participate in the largest "Koolulam" event in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday. The Koolulam project is a social-musical initiative aimed at bringing together people from all corners of the diverse, multi-cultural Israeli society.