Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:


I am pleased to share with you that we have now raised more than $525 million toward our $1 billion ten-year goal.


With 10 weeks remaining in the 2018 campaign year, our focus should be on closing any remaining open pledges. If each lay leader takes just two pledge cards to call, it will make a significant impact. In addition, Summer Blitz is now underway, and it’s a great opportunity to try to get appointments with any major donors who have not yet made their 2018 annual gift.  




Over the last two years, JNF has significantly enhanced the training opportunities available for the professional staff, including a JNF University to better onboard new staff and also a Learning Management System video library series to provide the tools and information for our staff to succeed in their respective positions.


Steve Crystal, JNF Vice President for Marketing, has been advocating for additional training opportunities for lay leaders as well. In addition to learning opportunities afforded at the annual Campaign Planning Summit and the National Conference, we are pleased to now offer a Lay Leader Training Seminar.


With much appreciation to Steve for his leadership on this project, we will provide a Lay Leader Training Seminar, which will be a series of on-line training programs via Zoom video conferencing. Every other month, beginning this September, there will be a 30-45 minute Zoom program on various topics about JNF, the Jewish world, or Israel.  All of the seminars will also be recorded with a link shared the following Friday in the Weekly Campaign Update and a library will be created so lay leaders can view any seminars at their leisure.


In the coming weeks, we will release the syllabus for 2018/2019.




118 people are now registered for the annual Campaign Planning Summit with representation from 25 local boards. 



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 Shabbos, when we start to read the book of Devarim, the last of the five books of the Torah, is also called Mishneh Torah—“A Repetition of Torah.” In it Moses speaks directly to the Jewish people, recalling the major events and laws that are recorded in the Torah’s other four books. It also falls on the eve of Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, when we fast and mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Both the first Temple (833–423 BCE) and the second Temple (349 BCE–69 CE) were destroyed on this date. The Shabbat preceding the fast day is called the “Shabbat of Vision” because on this Shabbat we read a chapter from the Prophets (Isaiah 1:1–27) that begins, “The vision of Isaiah...”


In a basic sense, vision means conceptualizing goals and objectives. It means considering future potential and focusing on a target for growth. Vision brings optimism and direction. It is the North Star which guides the efforts that actually bring our dreams to life.


The prophet Isaiah wrote long ago that one day, "The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom" (Isaiah 35:1). 


Our generation has been privileged to witness not only the miracle of the blooming of Israel’s deserts, but the emergence of the Jewish State as a global leader in environmental innovation.


The State of Israel is one of only two countries in the world that ended the 20th century with more trees than it started with, thanks to Jewish National Fund’s efforts in planting more than 260 million trees. This incredible achievement brings new life to the ancient words of the Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 25:3) that says we are commanded to emulate G-d. And how would we do that? By planting.


“You shall emulate the Lord your G-d.” How is it possible for flesh and blood to emulate the Almighty? What this means is that in the beginning [of creation], G-d engaged in planting. Similarly, “You shall come into the Land, and you shall plant.” 


Many of the serious environmental concerns that now face the global community–scarcity of water, addiction to oil and degradation of arable land–have confronted the State of Israel since its inception. Applying Jewish ingenuity to our biblical mandate to “work and guard the land” is now providing the answers to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Shabbat Shalom,


Jewish National Fund’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel

This week AMHSI welcomed Jewish National Fund educators attending the Keren Kayemeth Leyisrael World Educators Conference. These 40 educators from across the country - and representing all pedagogical phases - heard from our students about their transformative summer in Israel, and took a tour of our Hod HaSharon campus.

JNF Travel & Tours Update

Did you miss out on this Fall's Sunshine Tour? Never fear. Active adults 55+ are invited to join us for a 10-day, life-changing excursion exploring Israel from north to south this April. Learn more.

Updates from Israel

Summer at the Heritage Sites

Summer has arrived and with it, fun and engaging activities at various heritage sites around the country. From Ben Gurion’s Desert Home in the Negev, to the HaReut Museum in the Upper Galilee, sites around Israel are inviting visitors to join them for unique tours, experiences, and activities. The activities include: yoga at Ben Gurion’s Desert Home in Sde Boker, bird watching tours in Mikveh Israel’s botanical gardens, crafting and movies at the Valley Train Site in Kfar Yehoshua, special tours for grandparents and their grandchildren at the HaReut Museum, and much more. These summer activities are a wonderful way to attract families to the different heritage sites and to teach the next generation about the bravery of the men and women who sacrificed their lives for a Jewish homeland in the land of Israel.

Employment in the Negev

This week, Jewish National Fund partner Eretz-Ir hosted a forum for Human Resources Managers on diversity in the workplace. The participants of this forum are responsible for tens of thousands of workers across the Negev, and spent the day discussing what makes a workplace diverse, how to create an atmosphere of respect, and the importance of understanding the point of view of all employees.  The forum is the largest of its kind in Southern Israel, representing 40 top companies and factories, helping create quality jobs and happier workers.

Making Aliyah

Jewish National Fund partner Nefesh B’ Nefesh developed the “Israel Mosaic” series to enrich the olim’s Zionist experience, expand their knowledge base, and deepen their relationship to their own Zionist identity. Led by the Ben Gurion Heritage Institute, olim met monthly throughout the year and formed meaningful relationships as well as greater Zionist education. The season concluded with a trip to the Naot farm where participants toured the farm and tasted their handcrafted boutique cheeses. The group continued to the Ben Gurion Heritage Center and Ben Gurion’s home in Sde Boker, where they toured the exhibit, followed by a lecture “Ben Gurion: Has the Vision Been Realized?”

Special in the IDF

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the government’s Security Cabinet visited the IDF Home Front Command and had a discussion on the state of the home front’s readiness for emergency situations. During the visit, the Prime Minister was happy to meet some of the soldiers of Jewish National Fund’s Special in Uniform program who are serving in the Home Front Command’s Special in Uniform branch.

Protecting the Land

Jewish National Fund Hashomer HaChadash’s dedicated volunteers share why they do the work they do: "I volunteer because I am a proud Zionist, because Yoel made my dream come true-protecting the land of Israel. This is our country, our homeland, and I cherish every piece of it,” said Chana Marshal, 70 years old from Ra'anana, who has been volunteering with HaShomer's Farmland Watch for 10 years. "I love volunteering because I truly believe that I am doing good, the farmer can sleep well at night, and it is the least I can do for our special country. You can volunteer at any age, and the volunteering keeps you young. I would recommend everyone to tr. You anyways have a lot of time to sleep."