Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:


The last week was exceptional for our annual campaign with more than $4 million raised across the country. We are less than $10 million from reaching our annual goal, with a full three months remaining until the end of our fiscal year. This brings us to more than $522 million toward our $1 Billion goal.  Let’s keep up the great work.

Click here to read an interesting article from The Non Profit Times based on a survey conducted by St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Community Brands, called “The Donor Experience Study: A deep dive into donor experience and expectations.” The article discusses age and income as they relate to donors’ comfort in making online gifts and at what dollar amount donors prefer other solicitation methods.

The study came up with three key findings:

  • How donors give is driven by donation amount doesn’t make sense and familiarity with the organization
  • Age and income determine preference for online giving
  • There’s a growing preference for mobile giving

At last week’s Makor retreat JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson discussed how JNF needs to listen and adapt to new trends in philanthropy being pushed by the Millennial generation. Millennials are already serving on JNF boards and committees, both nationally and locally and that demographic represents the largest generational cohort in the United States.  At the same time, consider the JNF campaign divisional structure of Major Gifts, General Campaign, and Community Campaign, plus our affinity groups: Women for Israel, JNFuture, and professional societies such as Lawyers and Doctors for Israel. 

Our Community Campaign, Marketing, and Products teams are constantly reviewing our tools for donors to contribute online. For example the JNF website and mobile platform for tree purchasing was completely overhauled over the last two years and last year, introduced a texting program allowing people to receive text messages from JNF and to donate with a simple click on their mobile phone.

However, if online giving gets donors in the door, only human interaction can move donors up the giving continuum. And certainly only direct cultivation can turn donors into leaders for JNF.  Our local leadership and professional teams need to look at our donor base strategically and discuss how donors will be moved up the ladder. Look at our list of donors giving less than $1,000 and develop a target list of prospects to cultivate for increased giving.


Have you registered for the annual Campaign Planning Summit August 12 & 13 at the Ronald S. Lauder JNF House, 42 East 69th Street, New York?

I am looking forward to working with you to help prepare for our 2019 annual campaign. If you have not yet registered click on the link below. On Sunday, August 12 we will provide light lunch and time to mingle at 11:00 am and the meeting will begin promptly at 12 noon.  On Monday we will begin our day at 8:30 am and all participants are invited to attend the national Board of Directors meeting from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.  We are planning a special cocktail reception early Sunday evening with entertainment by the Israel Scouts Caravan and remarks by the esteemed Ambassador Danny Dayan, Israel’s Counsel General.


Our agenda for the two day Campaign Summit is under development, however, we plan to focus on many of these issues:

  • Helping communities use data to evaluate and develop local campaign strategies
  • Using Social Media to educate and inspire the market place
  • JNF branded events to project the strength and prestige of JNF USA
  • How to grow our donor base from 6,000 donors at $1,000 or more to 10,000
  • Asking for money can be intimidating…. Ten ideas you can put into practice today to help JNF reach our $1 Billion goal
  • In addition, you will be among the first to see our suite of 2019 marketing materials

To register for the Campaign Planning Summit, click here: CampaignSummit


We have procured a room block at the Loews Regency Hotel, 540 Park Avenue (at 61st street). Reservations can be made by calling the Loews Reservation Center phone #: 1-800-233-2356 and referencing Jewish National Fund or by going to https://www.loewshotels.com/regency-hotel/jewish-national-fund until August 1, 2018. 



Shabbat Shalom from Israel!





Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

In this week’s Torah portion, Balak, the king of Moab, summons the Jew-hating prophet, Balaam, to curse the people of Israel. Instead, he ends up extolling their virtues, among which he declares: “For from their beginning, I see them as mountain peaks, and I behold them as hills…How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel!”
The tent is one of the symbols of Jewish values. For example, the holiday of Sukkot teaches us the notion of inclusion as we open the flaps to our tent - the doors to your sukkah - and keep them wide open in welcome.
Balaam looked at the tents of Israel and noticed that the entrances to tents are turned in different directions, away from one another. Balaam understood the meaning of this to be rooted in family, modesty, and morality. If you look at what is on your neighbor's plate, you are more likely to have feelings of jealousy and envy, which could lead to negative words about your neighbor. Balaam said, “How goodly are your tents and tents.”
While a tent represents something temporary, if it is built on a foundation of values it becomes a permanent structure because it is what is on the inside of the tent that matters. The values, traditions, love, respect, and support are what keep these tents, and the families within them, strong and connected.
The Jewish wedding ceremony is held under a tent of sorts, called a chuppah. The word chuppah means covering or protection, and is intended as a roof or covering for the bride and groom at their wedding. The bridal canopy is a multifaceted symbol: it is a home, a garment, a bed covering, and a reminder of the tent of our Patriarchs. It is open on all sides to recall the tent of Abraham, who had doors on all sides of his dwelling to welcome guests.
Entrance under the chuppah is symbolic of the marriage coming under the Holy covering of G-d. The covering represents protection, mercy, and grace. After a couple leaves the chuppah it is then that they begin to lay the groundwork for their tent and family. When building those family values, the couple creates an abundant, whole house with a strong foundation and deep roots to maintain stability.
While we might be separated by distance, time zones, or oceans, JNF is our tent and we are the family it covers. It is our values, drive, and support of Israel that keeps JNF strong.

Shabbat Shalom,


Jewish National Fund’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel

Alexander Muss High School in Israel is proud to have kicked off our second Roots Israel summer tour. Designed for conscientious teens, this three week long service learning adventure will take participants on a hands-on journey, exploring environmental, agricultural and social sustainability in Israel. We are especially proud to have with us 10 students from Poland this year. 

Travel & Tours

We are excited to announce our Israel Family Tour, which will be held in conjunction with Hadassah in December 2019. Celebrate Hanukkah and B’nai Mitzvah in Israel with friends. Learn more here.

Updates from Israel

Gaza Lookouts

Jewish National Fund partner HaShomer HaChadash's Gaza lookouts are standing strong! More than 200 volunteers, over 470 hours of observation, and 60+ fire spottings. These brave volunteers continue to support the first response efforts of the fire department and army, spotting fires early and preventing the loss off thousands of acres to the kite terrorism from Gaza.

JNF Ronald Lauder Fellows

The second year of the JNF Ronald Lauder Fellowship will begin next month in the Negev. One hundred engineering students applied for the prestigious fellowship, which places them for a summer internship with top Negev companies including SodaStream, WebMedia, and Netafim. Fifty percent of Israel's engineers graduate from Negev universities, but few stay. The JNF Ronald Lauder Fellowship was created to introduce engineers to the opportunities available to them in the Negev. We are proud to report that 90% of last year's cohort chose to stay in the Negev following the program after being offered their dream job.   

Special in the IDF

Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, the new Israel Air Force Commander, made a surprise visit to soldiers in Jewish National Fund partner Special in Uniform units. He reminded them how proud the Israeli Air Force is to support Special in Uniform at 5 air force bases across Israel.

Special in the IDF

This past Wednesday, fire broke out in the forest near a school in Gush Etzion. With the help of a fire wagon recently donated by Jewish National Fund, the fire did not spread. These fire wagons have been saving lives and preventing catastrophes while waiting for fire trucks to arrive.