WEEKLY UPDATE 6.6.19 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
Over the last three weeks, 10 JNF Breakfasts for Israel took place across the country with great results. Here are some quick facts about those events:
· 2,517 attendees
· 1,178 pledge cards turned in
· $728,431 raised
Congratulations to the communities that hosted these great events. The JNF Breakfast for Israel model works.
We made significant progress in our Spring Campaign closing nearly $473,000 in lapsed donors in one week! To date, we have renewed 352 lapsed gifts for $958,850. We have closed 14.22% of the total outstanding pledge cards. In addition, we brought in 1320 new gifts at $250 or more for $6,392,294. This was our most successful week yet adding $1,547,209 to our campaign bringing our total to $7,351,144!
We would like to highlight the following communities:
· For the THIRD week in a row, Mountain States has closed the highest percentage of lapsed donors with 48.95% AND raised the most money of all the regions at $2,170,740
· Southeast Region SURPASSED their goal closing $252,000 in lapsed gifts in one week- Mazel Tov!
· Palm Springs is at 113.57% of their income goal!
· South Florida passed the $1M mark!
· Orange County doubled the amount of closed lapsed donors since last week!
Thank you to our Spring Campaign Captains, Board Presidents, and Community Campaign Chairs for their continued hard work and commitment!
We are excited to announce the launch of Be Inscribed, the JNF project to write Torah scrolls on Masada. The ideal gift for births, bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, anniversaries and other milestones in life, the public 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 this 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.
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
Travel & Tours Update
Know someone who is looking to give back this summer, while enjoying the culture, smells, and tastes of Israel? Spread the word about our Volunteer Vacation. This is an exclusive opportunity for young professionals ages 25 to 35 to volunteer in Israel and make a lasting impact. Learn more here.
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
For the past 3 years, Jewish National Fund has been working with the Halutza Communiites to build a new synagogue in the community of Naveh. Construction is now in the final stages. The design includes a community mosaic and a partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority to bring special Second Temple pottery shards that will be displayed below the glass floor at the entrance to the synagogue.
30th Annual Site Preservation Week
Last week, sites all across Israel took part in the 30th annual “Site Preservation Week,” a week- long event that celebrates the history and preservation of different heritage sites. From the Anzac Memorial Center in Be’er Sheva to Bialik House in Tel Aviv, sites held special preservation tours and workshops for both children and adults. At Kinneret Courtyard by the Sea of Galilee, visitors had the chance to learn about and try out traditional preservation techniques themselves as part of a special “Preserving by Hand” workshop, and at Hareut Museum in the Upper Galilee, visitors remembered the spirit of the Palmach fighters through songs and poetry. From north to south, people came to experience historical preservation and celebrate Israel's history.
Special in the IDF
After 6 months of preparation, 6 new Special in Uniform units opened. New soldiers participated in a traditional beret induction ceremony and were sworn into the IDF Nachshonim Military base for the armored corps. The ceremony was heavily attended by IDF commanders, parents and family members. Emotions ran high and there was hardly a dry eye in the audience as the soldiers, who have been integrated alongside peers, took turns ascending to the stage and receiving their pin and volunteer certificate. Mazal Tov.
Katinka's Tikkun Olam
March 2016 saw a new volunteer program open at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran in conjunction with the March of Life organization. A groundbreaking organization, March of Life includes among its ranks volunteers descended from Nazi party members, motivated by feelings of guilt over the annihilation of six million Jews and seeking to “correct” Nazi injustice. The organization aims to educate new generations towards understanding and love of all people. Katinka, a member of March of Life from the town of Leipzig, Germany, began a four-month volunteering stint at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran in February of this year. Read her story here.
The festival of Shavuot is approaching, and the Hebrew word Shavuot translates to “weeks” in English. It is a holiday marking the completion of the seven-week counting period between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. During these seven weeks, the Jewish people cleansed themselves of the scars of Egyptian slavery and became a holy nation, ready to enter into an eternal covenant with G‑d with the giving of the Torah. The evolution from the mindset of slavery to becoming a free people is a complicated process—one that does not happen at once. A slave’s mind and body are entirely under the domination of another. We, as a people, were freed with what is now Passover, but it took the passage of time, for us to reach Mt. Sinai, both literally and figuratively. It took a journey—with setbacks and mistakes along the way—for our ancestors to change as individuals and as a people. Only after we began to incorporate our sense of self as a free people could we be given the Torah. The journey from slavery to freedom required an intense cultural change as well and involved many challenges along the way.
Cultural change is never simple, and we understand that the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities will require us to inspire a cultural change just as profound. I am proud of the way we have made this change at Jewish National Fund (JNF-USA). As part of our focus on improving the quality of life in Israel for all its citizens, JNF ensures that no member of Israeli society is left behind. The fact that nearly 13% of Israel’s citizens are considered physically or mentally challenged is an opportunity for us to live our values. We believe passionately that the inclusion of people with disabilities and special needs should be woven tightly into the fabric of Jewish life.
This cultural change started on Shavuot when G-d gave the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai before the nation: It doesn’t matter if a person is young or old, male or female, abled or disabled. Sinai is for everyone, and if one member of the Jewish nation would not have been present at Sinai, the Torah would not have been given. Even though future generations of Jews were not yet alive, their souls were present at the giving of the Torah. That includes us, our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents before them. The souls of all Jews, from all times, came together to hear the Ten Commandments from G‑d Himself.
Every year, on the holiday of Shavuot, we hear the Ten Commandments and reaffirm the covenant with G‑d and His Torah. Since we all stood at Mt. Sinai, we all should attend now regardless of our observance level, ability level, age and understanding. Now, like then, let’s all be there and commit to being a welcoming and inclusive community for all by expanding the ways in which individuals are invited and encouraged to participate in Jewish life.
Parents of children with special needs often face challenges, and yet, many of them have found the inner strength to focus on the true blessing of raising a special soul. As a parent of a special needs child of my own, my son has given us a deeper understanding of life, and the ability to reach out to others in a way that others cannot. He has touched many lives while he has completely changed ours. As for me, I’m going with my son to the synagogue during the year and he loves it, so let’s encourage all parents of children with special needs—even those who are not attending synagogue during the year—to come with their child to services on Shavuot and listen to the Ten Commandment being read aloud.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Shavout Sameach,