Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:

Gaza Border Crisis: The Trauma, The Damage, The Needs


As you know, life on the Gaza border has been traumatic these past few months. Hundreds of rockets are being fired, keeping kids and families in shelters. Barrages of flaming kites have scorched tens of thousands of acres of farmland decimating the agricultural economy. PTSD is wreaking havoc on children and their families.


Jewish National Fund is there—today and every day.


For 2 weeks, starting August 19, we are bringing in 3 people who live in Gaza border communities to go cross country and tell the real story of what’s going on, what life is like, the needs, the issues. They will canvass the country and spend 1 day each in 10 communities.  See below for the schedule.


In each community there will be a major Town Hall event, bringing together hundreds of pro-Israel supporters, and we will invite the media to hear about life in these communities, which is not being told by the media.  Additionally, other meetings will be scheduled including solicitation opportunities to support JNF’s ongoing work in the Gaza Envelope and meetings with major donors and JNFuture.  But, the Town Hall event is the central focus, and we need your support to make it a success.  Your local professional team will communicate with you in the coming days.


Betsy Fischer from Cherry Hill, New Jersey chairs JNF’s Gaza Envelope Task Force, and her team of lay leaders from across the country are mobilizing to support this initiative.


This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness and much-needed funding, and focus on JNF’s ongoing support of communities in the Gaza envelope. We will invite via emails, texts, robo calls, social media and flyers in synagogues and JCCs. Sderot tulips will be available for sale at each place ($1,000 each) as well as a list of campaign needs that includes fire wagons, resilience centers, therapy, shelters and more. We will mobilize the community to give but also to do: write their local senators and members of congress, post about it on their own social media sites, send post cards to people on the border and much more.


We will get press out to the events and make a lot of noise and more importantly, make a difference for the land and people of Israel.


See below for the schedule and locations.


Friday, Aug 17 - Sunday, Aug 19

Los Angeles 


Monday, Aug 20



Tuesday, Aug 21 

Las Vegas


Wednesday, Aug 22



Thursday, Aug 23



Friday, Aug 24 – Sunday, Aug 26

South Florida


Monday, Aug 27

Washington DC


Tuesday, Aug 28



Wednesday, Aug 29

Philadelphia and Southern NJ


Thursday, Aug 30

New York


We will share more details as they become available.




This is your last opportunity to join more than 100 people already registered for the annual  Campaign Planning Summit.  Please note the JNF room block at the Loews Regency Hotel ends August 1st.


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 noon.  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 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 will focus on these key subjects:

  • 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 1st , 2018.


Shabbat Shalom!





Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

Last week we talked about the prophet Isaiah, and something he said long ago: "The desert and the parched land will be glad.” We also learned about the biblical mandate to “work and guard the land.”


In this week's Torah portion, Va’etchanan, Moshe continues telling the Jewish people about what happened during the years of his leadership. He tells them about how he asked G-d to let him go into the land of Israel, and about how G-d refused—but let him see Israel from a mountain. He then reminds the people of two major events in our history: the Exodus from Egypt and the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.


Near the end of Va’etchanan is a statement with such far-reaching implications that it challenges the impression that has prevailed thus far in the Torah, giving an entirely new complexion to the biblical image of the people of Israel: “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you are the fewest of all peoples.” This is not what we have heard thus far. In Genesis, G-d promises the patriarchs that their descendants will be like the stars of the heaven, the sands of the seashores, and the dust of the earth: uncountable. Abraham will be the father not just of one nation, but of many. 


Targum Yonatan interprets it to be not about numbers at all, but about self-image. He translates it not as “the fewest of peoples” but as “the most lowly and humble of peoples.” 


You do not need numbers to enlarge the spiritual and moral horizons of humankind. You need other things: a sense of the worth and dignity of the individual, of the power of human possibility to transform the world, of the importance of giving everyone the best education possible, of making each of us feel part of a collective responsibility to better the human condition, and a willingness to take high ideals and enact them in the real world, undeterred by disappointments and defeats. Nowhere is this more evident today than among the people in Israel: criticized in the media and denounced by much of the world, yet still, year after year, producing human miracles in medicine, agriculture, technology and the arts—it’s as if the word “impossible” did not exist in the Jewish vocabulary. 


When, therefore, we feel fearful and depressed about Israel’s plight, it is worth returning to Moses’ words: “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you are the fewest of all peoples.” Small? Yes. Still surrounded, as the Israelites were then, by “nations larger and stronger than you.” But, that small people, defying the laws of history, outlived all the world’s great empires, and still has a message of hope for humanity. You don’t have to be large to be great. If you are open to a power greater than yourself, you will become greater than yourself. Israel today still carries that message to the world. 


Jewish National Fund’s commitment and mission epitomizes the idea that the word “impossible” does not exist and that it is our collective responsibility to ensure the prosperity and sustainability of Israel. Over the course of JNF’s existence the odds may have been stacked against us, but we have persevered and proved that hard work pays off. We hold the power to transform the world. Jewish National Fund has laid the ground work to ensure that our nation and people survive; now it is our responsibility to continue to be Israel’s light unto the nations. Reflect on the past accomplishments and continue to move forward to pursue your highest aspirations because they are POSSIBLE. As David Ben Gurion said: “If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert.”

Shabbat Shalom,



Planned Giving Update

Effective August 1, the rates for our Charitable Gift Annuity program are increasing! Jewish National Fund’s charitable gift annuity provides a generous income stream, a charitable income tax deduction, the benefit of tax savings, and recognition in Israel. If you are 65 or older, there’s no better time to look into a Charitable Gift Annuity. Contact plannedgiving@jnf.org.

Alexander Muss High School in Israel

Students have been on the move in the last week with multiple tiyyulim! First, last week they experienced the somber and spiritual day of Tisha B’Av at the Kotel. Then groups went to Sderot where they visited JNF’s secure indoor playground that enables children to play indoors, without fear, protected from rocket attacks. The teens visited the border and police station and got a brief taste of what it must be like to live in the region. They also learned about water conservation and advancements at the nearby Shefdan Wastewater Treatment Plant. At Kibbutz Revivim, the most southern Jewish settlement, they learned of the challenges of living in the Negev and conquering Israel’s “last frontier.” They also hiked in the desert at Ein Avdat and saw the home and grave of modern Israeli legend David Ben Gurion. 

JNF Travel & Tours Update

Join Jewish National Fund for a one-of-a-kind opportunity exploring Israel’s healthcare system and innovative medical breakthroughs on the Doctors for Israel Tour this February. Learn more.

Updates from Israel

Open House Haifa

Last week, Haifa hosted its first ever “Open House Haifa” event. For three days, gardens, museums, private homes, architecturally significant buildings, and beautiful sites throughout Haifa were open for free to the public. Several sites managed by Jewish National Fund partner Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites were showcased in this event, including: the Talpiot Market, The Railways Museum, the Templer Complex, the Historic Municipality Building, and many more. This event was a wonderful way to bring heritage education to the public in a unique and engaging way.

Special in the IDF

For many of the autistic soldiers participating in Jewish National Fund’s Special in Uniform program, the most daunting challenge is learning to communicate and socialize with their peers and military culture. This week a new pre-induction course (Gadna) began for new soldiers. They are learning discipline and military training under commanders from the Nahal infantry brigade. Soon those soldiers will be ready to integrate into a variety of military jobs.


This week, students from Alexander Muss High School in Israel visited the Halutza communities and enjoyed time in the Jewish National Fund spray park.