WEEKLY UPDATE 8.8.19 – JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:
SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN FOR ISRAEL
This week, many of us are enjoying well-deserved vacations and family time, and yet there is a group of Jewish National Fund leaders that spent two days in a conference room at the Ronald S. Lauder JNF House in New York, making plans for the 2020 campaign year. An incredible and dedicated group of volunteers from the Women for Israel National Executive Board had a two day “retreat” this week analyzing data, looking at trends, and discussing WFI strategy for the next three to five years. In addition to the women who flew in from around the country to participate, others participated by video conference…. Now that is commitment! Thank you, Myra Chack Fleisher from San Diego, President of WFI. Thank you to Barbara Burry from Denver, Ann Zinman and Kim Kotzin from Phoenix, Roni Wolk from Atlanta, and Ronna Schneider from Cincinnati who all flew to New York for the meeting. And thank you to Civia Caroline from Los Angeles, Lauren France from Washington, D.C. and Meril Salzburg from Orlando who participated by video conferencing. I also want to give a shout out to our dedicated professional team of National Director of Affinity Groups, Sharon David and Affinity Groups Coordinator, Samantha Woodstock… thank you!
For 2019, WFI has already far exceeded their achievement over last year.
- 4,042 donors in 2019 compared to 3,620 in 2018
- $19,650,000 raised to date in 2019 compared to $19 million in 2018
Our Summer Blitz program is underway, and I am pleased we have lay leaders scheduled to visit thirty-nine different communities over the next two months. Summer Blitz is our final quarterly campaign effort and is designed to raise funds by lay leaders soliciting new gifts and closing gifts of donors who have not yet made their donation to this year’s campaign. Members of our Makor team and National Campaign Cabinet have been assigned to communities for one or two days for 1:1 meetings, parlor meetings and other fundraising opportunities that are organized by our local lay leaders and professional staff. Local lay leadership support is critical in setting up productive meetings. This is also a wonderful time to follow-up with prospects who have attended JNF events or who have recently travelled to Israel. Make introductions to people you know in other regions and introduce your contacts who you might not feel comfortable soliciting to our JNF professionals.
NATIONAL CONFERENCE and CAMPAIGN PLANNING SUMMIT
If you have not already done so, please register for the National Conference and Campaign Planning Summit in Washington, D.C. taking place Friday, September 13th to Monday, the 16th. As leaders of this organization, we urge you to join us for what is sure to be an incredibly significant, meaningful, important and FUN time with likeminded individuals all sharing a love of our homeland. Also, an open meeting of the Board of Trustees will take place as part of the Campaign Summit on Monday, the 16th.
Please register: https://www.jnf.org/events-landing-pages/2019-national-conference
We are excited to announce the launch of Be Inscribed, the JNF project to write Torah scrolls on Masada. As part of JNF’s product line, everyone has the opportunity to inscribe a letter, word, verse and so on - even the entire Torah. Click on this link to see a great promotional video and to learn more. https://beinscribed.org/
This week on IsraelCast, Steven Shalowitz sits down with Rabbi Leor Sinai, Co-CEO of Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Do you know what the best birthday gift Rabbi Leor ever got was? Listen in to find out that and more in this episode. Jnf.org/israelcast
Travel & Tours Update
Unleash your inner thrill seeker on our inaugural adventure tour through the Negev! Learn more about Modern Israel: Negev Adventure mission here
Shop Amazon Smile
Did you know that you can support Jewish National Fund while you shop? Amazon Smile will donate a portion of your purchase price to us when you shop through smile.amazon.com.
JNF In Your Area
Traveling to another city and want to see what JNF events are taking place there? Just visit jnf.org/inyourarea for a quick look at how to stay engaged while on the road.
Updates from Israel
Read all about what’s happening at Jewish National Fund affiliate Nefesh B’ Nefesh here:
Accessibility at the Heritage Sites
Nearly a year and a half ago, Jewish National Fund affiliates Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites and Lotem launched a unique project to make the 180 different heritage sites around Israel accessible to all visitors. The project began with several pilot heritage sites in the North, including the Hareut Museum and the Kfar Yehoshua Valley Train site. This important initiative focuses on both physical accessibility, as well as providing experiences that all visitors can enjoy. Each participating site must complete two days of intense training, which includes meeting with Lotem professionals, as well as individuals with special needs. We are proud to announce that we have now extended the project to several sites in the south, including Ben Gurion’s Desert Home in Sde Boker. With the physical restoration of the site already completed, the team is about to begin their training, working with professionals to make the site's experience accessible and enjoyable for all visitors.
Special in the IDF
Congratulaions to Israel Malka, a soldier with Jewish National Fund affiliate Special in Uniform. He received the IDF Award of Excellence for soldiers who excel in their duties. Israel is a young man on the autism spectrum, who is a dedicated soldier and brings smiles to everyone in the unit.
By Yossi Kahana
In an interview with Mark Golub on L'Chayim (US-based cable television network celebrating Jewish culture), Russell Robinson, CEO of Jewish National Fund, was asked what it was that made him proud to be a Jew. Russell said, “When I was a kid growing up in El Paso, we didn’t have much, but on every holiday we had people coming and it was all about being Jewish. When my father helped people in need, it was all about being Jewish and that’s what we did. Even our family was in need. I understood that, as Jews, we have a responsibility to make the world a better place. That was taught to me through Jewish experience, and to see it all as a child made me love to be a Jew. “
This week we read Parashat Devarim, the last of the five books of the Torah, which 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. One might wonder why this repetition is necessary. Did Moshe Rabbeinu—“Moses our teacher”—feel his students were in need of a review? In fact, this repetition was so important that Moses dedicated the last days of his life to it. Clearly, it was necessary to insuring the future of his beloved nation, perhaps Moses spent his last days on earth repeating lessons he had already taught to underscore the necessity of education. The chain of history is only as strong as the weakest link. Moses’s message is that we need to ensure that the next generation remains connected to their heritage and understands the depth and richness that Judaism has to offer. Education is the key. The future is in our hands.
At JNF we often talk about the “Jewish future.” How will we overcome the threat of assimilation and inspire the younger generation to care about their heritage and Israel? We believe that investing in education is critical to creating the next generation of Israel supporters. The values of Judaism enrich us; they provide us with a moral center, spiritual depth and purpose. They link us to thousands of years of tradition that reach back to Mount Sinai, when G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish people. It’s hard to think of anything that could be more important.
JNF takes pride in its ability to provide and nurture future generations in both the United States and Israel.