Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:

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


Following my message last week, the Jewish National Fund team has been working hard on the Gaza Caravan that will travel to 11 cities over a two week period, kicking off in Los Angeles on August 19 and concluding in New York on August 30. We are thrilled to have three great friends living along the Gaza border who will tell their stories about life in the region since this latest wave of violence began at the end of March. Here is a press release with more details, which you can feel free to share. Also, go to the Jewish National Fund Facebook page and forward the post on your own social media feed. For those communities not hosting a Caravan, Jewish National Fund will offer two opportunities to watch via Zoom video conferencing.  Stay tuned for more information.


I am thrilled that 124 people from all over the country will come together in New York for our annual Campaign Planning Summit. It is a testament to the commitment of our lay leaders who are giving up two days from their summer activities to learn how they can be more effective as JNF ambassadors and fundraisers. The power of lay leaders and Jewish National Fund professionals coming together is why Jewish National Fund-USA is one of the fastest growing non-profits in the United States.  This is why we have raised more than $527 million in less than five years.  Click here for the Campaign Summit agenda.  I look forward to seeing you in New York on August 12.


In a previous update I shared with you that JNF will provide lay leaders with ongoing education and training by video conferencing. Every other month starting September 13, JNF will offer a 30 – 45 minute webinar on a variety of topics. Click here for the 2018-2019 schedule. Advance registration will be required, and you will receive an invitation for each seminar two weeks prior to the date.  Please put a hold on your calendar for each of the seminars listed on the schedule.

Shabbat Shalom!





Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

In this week's Torah portion, Eikev, Moses continues his last speech to the People of Israel. He speaks about the Land of Israel, which the Jews are about to enter. 

“For the L-rd your G-d is bringing you to a good land, a land with brooks of water, fountains and depths, that emerge in valleys and mountains, a land of wheat and barley, vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil-producing olives and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, you will lack nothing in it, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains you will hew copper. And you will eat and be sated, and you shall bless the L-rd, your G-d, for the good land He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the L-rd, your G-d…” (8:7-11)

In these verses, the word "land" is repeated seven times, emphasizing the bounty of the land and the natural resources with which it is blessed. His words are painting a wonderful picture with abundant sources of water, with streams flowing from the valleys and mountains, as well as the fertility of the green verdant land, its golden grains, and the metallic resources embedded in the ground. Israel, a "land of mountains and valleys," is fed by the rain, unlike the land of Egypt where water came from the Nile.

Our Sages teach that every Jew possesses a portion of Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. The converse is also true. The land possesses a portion of every Jew. The Torah states, “The land cannot be permanently sold, for the land is Mine” (Lev. 25:23). The special bond between the land of Israel and the Jewish people is enforced by a Divine right that may never be annulled. No form of acquisition, whether by purchase or conquest, can cancel a Jew’s rights to his portion in the Land. And certainly nothing has the power to revoke the rights of the entire Jewish people to their holy inheritance.

For this is “a land which G-d… seeks out; the eyes of G-d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.” And just as G-d seeks out the land, so do we. Jewish National Fund works diligently each and every day to ensure that the land of Israel is that wonderful painting that Moses described. Jewish National Fund is the caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners—Jewish people everywhere.

Shabbat Shalom,



JNF Travel & Tours Update

See Israel through the eyes of our matriarchs and patriarchs on the Israel: From a Torah Perspective Tour this March. Learn more.

Alexander Muss High School in Israel

This week we said goodbye to our summer session of nearly 200 students from across the country. We hosted a final banquet and party on our campus, with each dorm performing skits and presentations. As with any farewell, there were lots of tears and laughter. We then all traveled to Jerusalem for Symbolic Day, our last field trip. We spent the day there saying good-bye to the country. On the way to Jerusalem, students planted trees in Jewish National Fund’s Neot Kedumim forest in honor or memory of relatives or friends, visited Har Herzl national cemetery, and visited the Kotel one last time. A final trip to Ben Yehuda Street for some treats and then we ushered them back to the airport. We can’t wait to see what this incredible group accomplishes in the coming years.

Updates from Israel

Nefesh B’Nefesh



Jewish National Fund was proud to sponsor the first summer charter flight for Nefesh B’ Nefesh to bring those making Aliyah from North America to their new Israeli home. The flight was generously sponsored by three JNF donors and carried 127 children - the highest number of children 18 and under we have ever had on one flight.

Gush Etzion

The Boy’s Promenade and Ezra’s Lookout were formally dedicated in memory of Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Ifrach, and Ezra Schwartz. The moving ceremony included the unveiling of the unique and individual mosaics in honor of the boys. Families and friends were joined by members of the Knesset, IDF officers, the Mayor of Gush Etzion, and the Head of the World Zionist Organization in Israel. Ezra's mom, Ruth Schwartz, came especially for the dedication. A group from Camp Yavneh also unexpectedly attended - these were Ezra's campers who were visiting Israel and just happened to be in Gush Etzion on the day of the ceremony.

Forum for Employment Agencies

This week, the Lauder Center's Forum for Employment Agencies met to discuss effective management tools and techniques. This forum brings together the 35+ employment agencies active in the Negev. The Lauder Center enables these agencies, each supporting different populations, to work together and leverage resources to benefit all Negev job-seekers. The forum is currently planning its 2nd annual seminar, which will focus on how to successfully accommodate the X, Y, and Z generations in the workplace. 

Theresa Lungwitz Supportive Care Training Center

Last week, Theresa Lungwitz, a Jewish National Fund World Chairman’s Council member, spent time with ALEH Negev – Nahalat Eran staff initiating The "Theresa Lungwitz Supportive Care Training Center”. This training supports the wonderful employees, volunteers, and families of ALEH Negev- Nahalat Eran during their emotional and sometimes difficult work. We are grateful to Theresa for her time, energy, and support.

Special in the IDF

Soldiers from Jewish National Fund partner Special in Uniform were awarded with a certificate of excellence for their dedication to the Army.  After a moving ceremony, IDF Br. General Bentzi Gruber, a licensed pilot, took the soldiers on an exhilarating plane ride to Masada overlooking the Dead Sea. This was a great experience for the soldiers.  

Tu B’Av at the Heritage Sites

Last week, heritage sites in Israel celebrated Tu B’av with events honoring love and romance. Celebrations included: live music at Ben Gurion House in Tel Aviv, an evening of storytelling and poetry at the Joseph Bau House, and special tours through the Sarona Visitor Center and preserved colony- guided by the colony’s historic “residents”. These events are a great way to bring more visitors to the heritage sites and teach them about Israel’s history in a fun and engaging way.  

Agricultural Summer Camp

This week, Jewish National Fund Partner HaShomer HaChadash continued with the fourth week of our Agricultural Summer Camp. Hundreds of teens from all over the country have made their way to our campsite that was first built in Regavim, and moved last week to the Golan Heights. For a week they wake up every morning at 4:30am to help dozens of farmers in the area. Over 8,000 olive trees and 1,000 grape seedlings have been planted, hundreds of kilos of strawberries picked, and much more. The young volunteers, filled with the drive to help farmers and to work hard during their summer vacation, bring hope and the feeling of optimism to whoever they meet.