Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:

I hope everyone enjoyed and had a safe 4th of July.

While we enjoyed fireworks, parades and picnics, Israeli communities along the border with Gaza continued to suffer from a different light show, incendiary kites flown from Gaza, which are causing significant damage to farms, greenspace and structures. Click here  to learn how you can support JNF’s Gaza Envelope Task Force and please forward to friends, family and business associates.

With one quarter left in our fiscal campaign year, we have raised $72 million bringing us to $523.7 million toward our $1 Billion ten-year goal.


Lay leaders are beginning their travels to communities for our annual Summer Blitz. I want to encourage local boards and fundraising professionals to ensure we have good quality appointments for these volunteers who are taking time away from their families and businesses to join you for one or two days of cultivation and solicitation appointments.  Refer to this document for a list of the lay leader and community assignments.

You can imagine how much coordination it takes to get two dozen lay leaders to forty communities, and then ensure there is a full schedule of worth-while appointments. Summer Blitz is managed by our national General Campaign led by the two Bobs, Robert Cohan from Boston and Robert Weiss from Brooklyn. Many of the solicitors traveling around the country come from our incredibly dedicated and motivated Makor team under the leadership of Michael Kessler from Long Island, NY.  They are supported by their professional partners, Kate Samuels, Boaz Meir, Sharon David, and Cheryl Lefland.  Thank you all for a great team effort.



Already 80 people have registered to attend our annual Campaign Planning Summit with representation from 23 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  *  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, DC (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 from Israel!





Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

This week our friends at Alexander Muss High School in Israel dedicated a Torah, just completed, on the top of Masada.

It is on the same week when G‑d tells Moses to go up on Mount Avarim, from where he can see the entire Holy Land, before passing away. Afterwards, Moses puts his hand on Joshua bin Nun in front of the Jewish people, showing that he will be the next leader.

Real leaders tend to be those who run away from any type of position of power, and they rarely speak about themselves because that just isn’t where their thoughts are. A real leader is actually the greatest servant. He or she doesn’t have a personal agenda; rather they are solely for the needs of the people they are leading.

In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Pinchas, we witness the ordination of Joshua bin Nun as the successor to our first national leader, Moses. Like Moses himself, Joshua never wanted to be a leader. Each, instead, wanted from an early age to serve. Moses, by going out into the fields where the Jews were working as slaves, and seeking ways to ease their suffering. Joshua, by devoting himself to Moses. Even as a young man, he was constantly present in the tent that served as a Torah study hall. As an adult, he remained Moses’ loyal student and aide. Both had to be persuaded to accept the role of leader.

Yet the deepest insights into what makes a real leader are revealed only when the responsibilities are about to change hands from Moses to Joshua.

Having just been told by G-d that he is about to pass away, it would have been logical and human for Moses to turn his attention to settling his own affairs and giving last instructions to his family and followers. After all, what leader isn’t concerned with what his mark will be on history? What parent isn’t concerned with how well their wishes will be followed after they pass on?

Moses wasn’t. He was concerned only about two things—that G-d’s will be realized and that the Jewish people not be left alone without someone to understand them, protect them, inspire them and, when need be, comfort them. The words of his plea have forever encapsulated the meaning of what it means to be a Jewish leader: “G-d of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the assembly, who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall take them out and who shall bring them in.” (Numbers 27:15–17)

Why is G-d being addressed at this point as “G-d of the spirits of all flesh”? According to our sages, Moses is acknowledging a basic truth—that the personality of each individual is unique and known to G-d—and he is beseeching G-d to appoint a leader who can deal with each of these personalities. He is seeking a leader for the Jewish people who will be able to understand and empathize with each person. G-d answers him by promising that the man He is appointing as Moses’ successor is indeed one “in whom there is spirit,” i.e., that he will be able to act in a way befitting the personality of each individual.

Joshua was just such a person. He established a rapport with each individual based on genuine empathy, and not on attempts to curry favor. And true to the second part of Moses’ request, he “went before them and came in before them.” In other words, he didn’t send the nation out to war to fight battles. He went first, and he inspired in them the confidence to be successful and thus come back (“and come in before them”). For centuries, these were the defining characteristics of the army of the Jewish people. Unlike other armies, where generals stay comfortably behind the line of fire, the generals of the Jewish army always went first, and with their good deeds, empathy, and trust, were able to inspire confidence in their soldiers. Victory was the result.

Of course, this was true not only of physical battles, but of our internal spiritual battles as well. Each of us has to find the inspiration in Moses’ words to become true leaders in our own sphere of influence. By caring about and genuinely connecting to the souls of people we must influence—for starters, our families—and by relating to their individual personalities. By leading through example, even if it means stretching ourselves to the breaking point; and by strengthening our own trust in the One who is guiding us, whether we see His hand in things or not.

It’s a kind of leadership that tends to create not followers, but people who are genuine leaders in their own right. And that’s something this world could use a little more of.

Looking at the leadership here at Jewish National Fund, it is evident that they possess these qualities. They are here to serve the land and people of Israel. Our leadership encourages leadership. They inspire donors to not only financially support JNF, but also give their time and expertise and become leaders of JNF in their own right.

Shabbat Shalom,


Jewish National Fund’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel

This week was historic for Alexander Muss High School in Israel as students and leaders took part in the dedication ceremony of a brand new Torah generously donated by Andy and Jayne Klein. The ceremony took place on the top of Masada, a fitting location as it is the same place the new Torah was written. AMHSI-JNF students joined in the celebration on Masada and subsequent dancing on the streets outside campus. A moving dedication, which included speeches, Torah reading, and an Aliya honor for the Raker Family, who dedicated the new Torah cabinet, made this a moving moment. This marks the beginning of Jewish National Fund’s Be Inscribed, a Torah writing initiative that will launch this fall. Stay tuned at jnf.org/beinscribed.

Travel & Tours

Embark as friends. Leave as sisters. Join us for a memorable experience to Israel for women only on the Queen of Sheba: Women for Israel Tour, November 8 – 14, 2018. Learn more here.

Speakers Bureau

Please take a moment to review the Speakers Bureau Newsletter, which highlights speakers who will be available over the next several months.

Updates from Israel

Update from the Gaza Envelope

Yesterday the first of nine fire wagons arrived in the region and was dedicated with the Head of Eshkol Regional Council Gadi Yarkoni, Head of Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council Alon Shuster, and Russell Robinson. The wagon is the first of nine to join the region to help protect the families, homes and crops. The equipment will make a huge difference when getting to fires and starting to work on them as soon as possible. As we all know, a fire that is reached faster is a fire that will cause less damage! Thank you to all of those that made this happen.

Please read and share Jerusalem Post’s article on protecting the pioneers of the Halutza and Gaza Envelope communities.

Special in the IDF

As Tal Shtinberg finished her 3-year army service, her commander surprised her with the Outstanding Soldier Recognition Award. Now, Jewish National Fund partner Special in Uniform will help her to make the transition from Army soldier to civilian life, including employment training.