Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:

$7Million@70 Campaign

All the pledges have been counted and our annual spring campaign, with this year’s theme, $7Million@70, is now complete.

Congratulations! We raised over $9.5 million from around the country during the eight weeks of this spring campaign! We beat our $7 million goal by over 35%!  A job well-done to our entire team of lay leaders and professional fundraisers! Click here to see the list of teams.

  • Ohio Valley closed the highest percentage of pledge cards
    • Congratulations to Team Captains, Elece Kovel and Carol Neuman, and JNF Professionals, Eric Goldstein and Molly Goldberg.
  • Barbara Israel Bortniker, representing the Central New Jersey team, closed the most gifts with 18 gifts closed.
  • Marcy Needle, of the Zionist Education team, led the geographic region closing the most total gifts. The Zionist Education team included Central New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, Greater New York (now Tri-State), MidAtlantic, New England and Southern New Jersey.


I want to also thank Jim Riola and Marcy Needle, our National Community Campaign Co-Chairs, and their professional partners, Shmuli Zima and Benny Berlin.  It was a great team effort and the results prove once again, when we work as one JNF team, we can accomplish all our goals. Thank you to everyone who made phone calls and had in-person meetings to close pledge cards over the last two months.




100 people are now registered for the annual  Campaign Planning Summit with representation from 24 local boards.  Campaign leaders are joining us from:

Arizona  *  Arkansas (Southwest)  *  Broward County, FL (Southern Florida)  *  Central New Jersey  *  Cincinnati (Ohio Valley)  *  Cleveland (Northern Ohio) * Eastern Pennsylvania  *  Los Angeles  *  Illinois  *  Michigan  *  Mountain States  *  Nevada  *  New England (Boston and Capital District, Albany NY)  *  Orlando (Northern Florida)  *  Orange County, CA  *  Palm Springs  *  San Diego  *  South Palm Beach (Southern Florida)  *  Tri-State Area (Brooklyn, Long Island, New York City, Northern New Jersey)  *  Washington D.C. (MidAtlantic)


Campaign Planning Summit August 12 & 13 at the Ronald S. Lauder JNF House, 42 East 69th Street, New York

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 12:00 pm.  Sunday evening, we will enjoy a special cocktail reception with entertainment by the Israel Scouts Caravan and remarks by the esteemed Ambassador Danny Dayan, Israel’s Counsel General. Monday morning, 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. 

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!





Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

This week, Parshat Matot-Massei covers the years that the nation of Israel lived and traveled in the desert. In it, we hear details about the 40-year journey among the sand dunes and arid landscapes.
On a superficial level, the Torah’s delineation of the 42 encampments of the Jews during the forty-year journey in the desert also looks like a sentimental retrospective. They reached the end of their journey and were taking a look back at the experiences along the way to record them for posterity. However, Maimonides, the great 12th century scholar, points out that the Torah is conveying a deeper message about the special relationship between G-d and His Chosen Nation, of how He painstakingly took care of them during this time.

The Jews were a nation of nearly three million people who were miraculously fed and taken care of in the midst of the barren desert that surrounded them throughout the 40-year trek. Those who experienced it would surely remember the details, but memories of the wonders in the desert might fade over time, leading to rationalization of the miracles that occurred. Later generations might say that they survived in the desert because they planned the trip very carefully; that they only camped near cities that had adequate resources to sustain them and made sure each place had enough food, water, and shelter from the harsh desert climate.

The Torah, by pointing out exactly where they camped, shows us that this wasn’t the case. They camped in the middle of the desert, far away from any trace of civilization. Yet they survived. G-d provided them with manna, heavenly bread and water that came from a rock for sustenance. He enveloped them with special protective clouds that kept away dangerous desert animals and the rough weather. Their clothing didn’t fade or tear from overuse or overexposure. G-d showed the Jews that He cared for them and would sustain them.

By listing the encampments, the Torah tells us that no matter how bleak our situation may seem, G-d is there to help us. It is almost inconceivable that three million people could live in a desert for 40 years, yet the Jewish People prospered there with the help of G-d.

In essence, the story of the Jews’ journey in the desert and their survival is the story of our long history to this day. As a nation, we have experienced our share of pogroms, blood libels, holocausts, and any other type of prejudice known to humankind. The wandering Jew has ended up in all corners of the world, trying valiantly to find a secure home. Yet those who have tormented us and expelled us from their lands have all come and gone, while the Jewish Nation has survived.

We are no longer wandering the desert. With the help of Jewish National Fund, Israel is putting down roots in the remote and arid regions of the Negev and Arava. We are turning sand dunes into communities. We are taking dry earth and planting vast fields and orchids of produce. Ben Gurion’s dream was to see Southern Israel thrive, and each and every day JNF is working to make that dream a reality.

Shabbat Shalom,


Jewish National Fund’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel

Alexander Muss High School in Israel brought 20 educators from Jewish and secular institutions across the country on our third Summer Educators & Administrator’s Seminar. The group has explored the geography and history of Israel and visited our Hod HaSharon campus to learn more about the AMHSI experience and discover how we can further partner with them and their communities.

Travel & Tours

Join us for a tour on the trail of Israel’s water solutions. From reservoirs to desalination plants, see how Israel has become a world water leader on this unique water-focused tour of Israel. Learn more at jnf.org/watertour18.

Updates from Israel

Guided Tours at Ammunition Hill

This summer, Ammunition Hill will offer regular guided tours in English in the new museum. Tours will take place on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone visiting Israel to plan their tours at Ammunition Hill in advance. Tours must be booked by calling +972.2.582.9393. We encourage anyone traveling to Israel to take advantage of this wonderful museum!

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Horses are an essential part of physical and emotional therapy for those receiving services at Jewish National Fund partner Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center. Here, the horses are taking a lunch break at their new feeding facilities, which allow them to eat more healthfully at a lower cost.

Movie Screening: Operation Entebbe at the HUB

While July 4th, 1976 is known by many for the Bicentennial Celebrations that were taking place across America on that day, Israelis will always remember this day for its heroic rescue of over 100 hostages from the Entebbe airport and for the painful loss of Yonatan Netanyahu. This past week, on the 42nd anniversary of the evening that the planes flew out, the Nefesh B’ Nefesh Tel Aviv Hub hosted Tzvika Har-Nevo who was the chief navigator on the mission to share this incredible experience with Olim. With vivid detail, Tzvika described the dramatic moments from the planning of the mission, to the precarious take off, the daring flight over Africa, to the amazing rescue and return to Israel. NBN Olim felt privileged to hear firsthand from one of Israel’s heroes and expressed tremendous gratitude for his service to the State of Israel.

JNF Ronald S. Lauder Fellowship Program

Fifty percent of Israel’s engineers graduate from Be’er Sheva universities, but few stay in the Negev. This year marks the second year of the JNF Ronald S. Lauder Fellowship program, which was created to introduce engineers to the opportunities available to them in the Negev. Fellows are placed with top Negev companies for a hands-on internship, and receive individual and group career counseling to learn how to work as a team and communicate effectively in the workplace. In the first year, 90% of the Fellows chose to stay in the Negev following the program, after being offered their dream jobs. This year, 100 applied for the fellowship program, and 21 were selected.

National Service at the Heritage Sites

Israel’s National Service program is a unique opportunity for young men and women, who cannot serve in the IDF, to give back to their country. Every year, Jewish National Fund partner Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites has dozens of National Service boys and girls participate in its National Service Program, volunteering as guides and team members. This year, SPIHS has 32 National Service members volunteering at various heritage sites around Israel, including: the Sarona Visitors Center in Tel Aviv, Mikveh Israel next to Holon, the Orchard Site in Rehovot, Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, Atlit Detention Camp outside Haifa, and many more. Through SPIHS’s National Service Volunteer Program, these young men and women are able to serve their country in a manner more suitable to their needs.

Role Models in the IDF

Congratulations to Shai Levi, a soldier in Jewish National Fund partner Special in Uniform, for receiving an award of excellence from his commanders. Shai is a young man with cerebral palsy serving in an intelligence unit near Eilat. Shai teaches us that in life, nothing is impossible to achive when you have enthusiasm, optimism, confidence, and commitment.

Protecting the Land

Instead of finishing school and going on summer vacation, the students of the Leaders of the Land High School decided to travel around Israel and volunteer on farms across the country. During the past two weeks they volunteered in the Jordan valley and Upper Galilee. This week, as the Gaza Envelope is burning, the students woke up early in the morning to work the fields of the area, planting orange trees, picking cherry tomatoes, and more. This volunteering is all made possible by Jewish National Fund partner HaShomer HaChadash.