Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:





We have raised $604 million toward our 10-year $1 billion goal.  The 2019 annual campaign is at $67 million which leaves us $17 million shy of our $83 million goal for this year. Still lots of work to do before we close our campaign on September 30. Take a look below at the results to date for the Spring Campaign.


Planning for the 2020 campaign year is already taking place. Last week, the professional fundraising team had a conference call to discuss 2020 goals and the planning process. It is important that local lay leaders and professionals meet soon to discuss 2020 goals and build their plans for the next campaign year. Our planning process needs to wrap up in July so the JNF Budget and Finance committee has time review the numbers ahead of the presentation to the Board of Trustees for approval in September.




Another successful President’s Society Mission is in the books! Under the chairmanship of Ron Werner, 23 people recently returned from Israel after enjoying an in-depth and creative Jerusalem visit followed by a couple of days in the Negev. Unique to this mission was a Jerusalem based pre-mission with an outstanding scholar from the Alexander Muss High School in Israel who not only led the spiritual discussions and Shabbat prayers, but also taught everyone about the history and the power of Jerusalem – made even more meaningful due to his multi-generational familial connection to Jerusalem.


One highlight was being the first mission group to visit the new Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Campus in Jerusalem. Special dedications at Ammunition Hill, Halutza and the fire station in Mitzpe Ramon created some spectacular “wow” moments as well. The group spent a wonderful evening at dinner with Green Horizons for star-gazing with our young leadership mission and were very much impressed with the incredible progress in Be’er Sheva. From a recruitment standpoint, another success was that more than 50% of the participants were on their first JNF mission while two others were making their first ever visit to Israel.  In the end, all participants are now incredible JNF ambassadors.




Believe it or not, we are already down to our final two weeks of our Spring Campaign! To date, we have renewed 437 lapsed donors for $1,243,323. We have closed 17.66% of the total outstanding pledge cards. In addition, we brought in 1641 new gifts at $250 or more for $7,175,637. This brings our Spring Campaign total to $8,418,961. We are 70% of our goal of $12 million and know that with continued focus on our lapsed donors, we can achieve our goal!


We would like to highlight the following communities:  

·        Mountain States has closed the highest percentage of lapsed donors at 55.94% and raised the most money of all communities at $2,198,398!  

·        Western PA made significant progress towards their lapsed income goal and is currently at 72.47%

·        Tri-State (Greater New York) region brought in an additional $106,260 in lapsed income last week -- the most of any region, bringing their total to over $1 million!

·        New England quadrupled their lapsed income in one week bringing them to 32.97% of their income goal


Let’s re-double our efforts and finish out Spring Campaign as strong as possible!


  We are excited to announce the launch of Be Inscribed, the JNF project to write Torah scrolls on Masada. As part of JNF's product line, anyone and everyone now has the opportunity to sponsor a letter, word, verse and so on…even the entire Torah.  Click on this link to see a great promotional video and to learn more. jnf.org/beinscribed   Check out this video by “Queen of Kosher” Jamie Geller, who is available to come to your community through JNF’s Speaker’s Bureau. Jamie posted this video on her Facebook and Instagram accounts. Watch it now!


Also, check out this article that was in the Jerusalem Post last week.


Please share with family and friends that, in addition to planting trees in Israel, they can also honor a loved one by contributing to the writing of a Torah on Masada.



  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





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)






Shabbat Shalom,










Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

Alexander Muss High School in Israel



This week we welcomed to campus a group of 60 educators from the World Zionist Organization (WZO) who are facilitating their training session for their upcoming shlichim who will be based in communities across the U.S.  They spent a day on campus learning about AMHSI and how we go about teaching and having honest conversations about Israel, Jewish identity and community.


IsraelCast Update

This week on IsraelCast, we hear from Michael Freund, founder and chairman of Shavei Israel, a unique nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting descendants of Jews and the lost tribes of Israel to reclaim their roots. After immigrating to Israel in 1995, Michael served as the Deputy Communications Director to Prime Minister Netanyahu and worked for international public relations firm Ruder Finn. Listen in to learn about Shavei Israel's work and the incredible stories of Jewish descendants across the world. Jnf.org/israelcast  

Travel & Tours Update

See firsthand the impact your commitment has on Israel on the President's Society Mission, open to donors of $10,000 or more.  Join us this November. 

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: 


JNS: History in the Making as part of Torah Letter Writing Effort Atop Masada

Updates from Israel

Celebrating Shavuot at Israel's Heritage Sites

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From studying Torah to honoring the harvest with tractor parades, the holiday of Shavuot is celebrated in numerous ways across Israel and among Israel’s heritage sites. Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk, the site that gives visitors an authentic encounter with the classic kibbutz lifestyle, continued its mission with a traditional Kibbutz Shavuot celebration that included Israeli folk dancing, musical performances, and even a virtual reality experience for visitors to hear the “Great Israeli Story.” Ben Gurion’s Desert Home in Sde Boker hosted a Torah-themed scavenger hunt throughout the historic house, in which visitors faced the challenge of finding special objects relating to Torah study and Prime Minister Ben Gurion's life. These different activities were a great way for families to celebrate Shavuot in a new and unique way.

Special in the IDF

Sergeant Ori Salmon, a blind IDF soldier who received the presidential Medal of Excellence, met today with Jewish National Fund leaders at the Ramat David Air force base. Ori was born blind and volunteered for the IDF despite her disability. Ramat David Air Force Base is the newest base for Special in Uniform in the North.

D’Var Torah

This week’s Torah reading is Naso. It is the longest portion in the Torah and contains 176 verses. 

The Parshah starts with the responsibilities of the tribe of Levi, which include transporting the Mishkan (Tabernacle). This is followed by the priestly blessing given by the Kohanim. Finally, it ends with the offerings brought by the princes of each Israelite tribe at the time of the Mishkan’s inauguration.


Each of the 12 tribes of Israel, descended from one of Jacob’s 12 sons, had distinct qualities for which they were renowned. The tribe of Issachar, for instance, was known for its Torah scholars, whereas the tribe of Judah was known for producing leaders. Each tribe was unique and was of equal importance to the nation of Israel. Few incidents in the Torah are as demonstrative as the gifts of the tribal presents.


At the grand inauguration of the Mishkan, the princes of the 12 tribes brought “six covered wagons and 12 oxen, a wagon for each pair of princes and an ox for each one.” In addition to this unified gift, the princes brought individual offerings as well.


The first to bring his gift was the prince of the tribe of Judah, Nachshon ben Aminadav, who gave one silver bowl and one silver sprinkling basin, both filled with fine flour mixed with olive oil, one golden spoon filled with incense, one young bull, one ram, one first year lamb and one male goat. Additionally, he donated two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five first-year lambs. The next day, Nethanel ben Zu’ar of Issachar brought the exact same offerings; and so forth until Ahira ben Enon of Naphtali brought the very same offering on the 12th day. The fact that every prince presented the same gift represented the beautiful equality of each tribe.


It might have been simpler for the Torah to state that the prince of each tribe brought the exact same items, listing them only once. Instead, each prince and his offerings are listed separately and equally, requiring a total of 128 verses.


Why did each offering have to be separately recorded in the Torah?


This was done to show the significance of each individual and his offering. Indeed, if one is to delve deeper into the symbolism of each offering, you will find that what seemed to look the same was unique in meaning, and therefore truly different.


Judaism understands that each person is unique and accommodations must be able to meet their needs so that they can personally participate in meaningful opportunities.


JNF inclusive programs for people with disabilities is deeply rooted with the Jewish values that each of us is created in God’s image and each of us is important and treasured. It is our responsibility to ensure no one is left behind regardless of their abilities and that all are welcome.


Shabbat Shalom,