WEEKLY UPDATE 5.31.19 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
We have now raised $601 million toward our $1 Billion 10-year goal, and we have reached this total in a little over 5.5 years. It is an incredible achievement.
We are halfway through our Spring Campaign, and we are excited to share that we are nearly halfway to our goal of raising $12 million. To date, we have renewed 259 lapsed gifts for $485,929. We have closed 10.5% of the total outstanding pledge cards. In addition, we brought in 953 new gifts at $250 or more for $5,318,006. This brings our Spring Campaign to $5,803,935! As we continue our follow up and close gifts through a busy month of Breakfasts for Israel and Women’s Month, we are confident we will reach our goal in our final weeks of Spring Campaign.
We would like to acknowledge the following communities:
· Mountain States has closed the highest percentage of lapsed donors (27.97%) AND raised the most money of all the regions. Kol HaKavod!
· Tri-State (greater New York area) has raised the most money from their lapsed donors totaling $136,941.
· Central New Jersey has made significant progress since last week closing 21.95% of their lapsed donors.
I am pleased to share with you preliminary numbers for Women’s Month. There are still gifts cycling into the system, so I will provide final numbers in two weeks.
To date, we have raised an astounding $3.5 million for Women for Israel, compared to $1.6 million last year. This does not include the matching gift of $1 million established through the generosity of Shelly Gerson in Cincinnati and Lynne Merriam in Tampa. Once again, our Women for Israel is setting the pace and demonstrating leadership for the entire organization to follow.
Thank you to Myra Chack Fleischer from San Diego, our WFI President, and Kol HaKavod to the entire WFI committee.
JNF TREE SALES
A new national subcommittee is being assembled to assess the current program and develop our tree strategy moving forward. Our primary objective is to increase revenue from tree sales. Secondarily, we aim to optimize donor experience and expand our marketing efforts. We are looking for lay leaders across a wide demographic of age, location, and JNF knowledge. They do not need to be current tree buyers. For more information or to nominate a lay leader, please contact Community Campaign Director Jessica Milstein at [email protected]
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
Please save the date for the next Lay Leader Training Seminar on July 17 at 12 noon eastern, featuring JNF CEO Russell Robinson and the Chair of the Israel Relations Committee, Ken Segel, who will provide an update on JNF Projects and Partnerships.
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)
Anatomy of an Effective Board Meeting (5/15/19)
Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign
Alexander Muss High School in Israel
This week, we said goodbye to our travel group from the San Diego Jewish Academy, as well as students from Milken Community High School, who have been with us for the past 4 months. We will miss them and wish them a smooth transition back to home life!
Travel & Tours Update
Tell your friends about the Spirit of Israel Tour! This tour is an amazing opportunity to discover Israel’s rich history, heritage, and culture on this meaningful journey exploring the country from north to south. Perfect for first-timers and repeat visitors alike. Learn more.
Shop Amazon Smile
Did you know that you can support Jewish National Fund while you shop? Amazon Smile will donate a portion of your purchase price to us when you shop through smile.amazon.com
JNF In Your Area
Traveling to another city and want to see what JNF events are taking place there? Just visit jnf.org/inyourarea for a quick look at how to stay engaged while on the road.
In the Media
Please take a moment to read some of the media coverage Jewish National Fund received this week:
Updates from Israel
Lag Ba'Omer at Israel's Heritage Sites
During Lag B’Omer, the holiday during which Israelis around the country celebrate by lighting bonfires, several heritage sites offered unique activities for visitors. Ben Gurion’s Desert Home in Sde Boker hosted a special event called “From Bar Kokhba to Ben Gurion.”Presenter Yuval Malchi told the stories of Jewish heroes throughout history, including the heroes of the modern Israeli state. It was great for children to hear the stories or the Jewish people, as well as the history of the state of Israel, all while celebrating Lag B’Omer.
The Power of Smile and Laughter
Students from Alexander Muss High School in Israel recently volunteered at Jewish National Fund affiliate ALEH Negev-Nahalat Aran through the Max Paul International Volunteer Program, which was established by Nina and Eddie Paul in memory of their son. The volunteers worked in the village for three weeks, forming uncommonly strong bonds with the residents. Volunteer work was divided between four areas activity, as the group worked with the gardening staff, in the workshop, in the safari, and at the special education school. As Jacob Manis, one volunteer, sums up his experience, "ALEH Negev teaches the power of a smile and laughter." Another volunteer, Diana, noted, "In giving to the residents, I learned how much I received from them. The unconditional love, as felt in every corner of the village, reflects the good that exists in the base of every human being." We extend a heartfelt thanks to Diana, Alexis, Isaac, Jacob, Jaycee, Elie, Gabe, Jacob, Max, and Shira, who volunteered, and to Amit, who escorted the group. We also extend an immense thank you to Ed and Nina Paul for their significant support of the program.
Special in the IDF
Please take a moment to read this update from Jewish National Fund affiliate Special in Uniform.
Every week, Bruce Gould makes sure to include the D’var Torah in the weekly email to connect the work we do at JNF to the Torah.
Indeed, one of the greatest challenges facing rabbis and teachers today is making the Torah relevant. Stories from thousands of years ago need to be explained in contemporary language or they become meaningless.
This week, in Parshat Bechukotai, the closing portion of Leviticus, G-d promises to walk among His people, bring them to the Promised Land and build the Temple in Jerusalem. “I will place My dwelling in your midst, and My Spirit will not reject you; I will walk among you and be your G-d, and you will be My people. I am the L-rd, your G-d, who took you out of the land of Egypt . . .”
When G-d introduces himself for the first time to the Jewish people, when giving them the Ten Commandments, he says the same: "I am G-d, your G-d, who has taken you out of Egypt." If G-d was trying to give here His best credentials to His newly acquired nation, why would He choose to mention the exodus? Isn't the creation of the heavens and earth a far greater feat? Wouldn't that have been a far more awe-inspiring description?
While creation is a far superior feat, redemption from Egypt—to the people whom He was addressing—was contemporary and relevant. The G-d of creation is great, but very distant. The G-d of redemption is current, meaningful and alive.
One of the daily observances of the Jewish people, which constitutes an essential part of our prayers, is remembering the Exodus from Egypt - every day of our lives. Why this obsession with an event that happened thousands of years ago? The answer is simple. By remembering the Exodus from Egypt, we are celebrating the G-d of redemption. And this, G-d is personal, contemporary and relevant. After all, we all have our personal spiritual "Egypt" in our lives that, with the help of G-d, we can succeed in overcoming.
Every day there are miracles in our lives that need to be recognized. We need to see the hand of G-d in our lives. G-d takes us out of Egypt every day and the Exodus is a live reoccurring experience that makes G-d a very relevant part of our lives!
This week in Israel, our CEO Russel Robinson witnessed miracles with his own eyes. He was on the ground with 1,300 firefighters and employees from Jewish National Fund and Nature and Parks Authority as they all participated in the efforts to stop the fires, saving lives of so many people.