Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:




This weekend, more than 1,200 pro-Israel supporters are in Washington D.C. for the Jewish National Fund National Conference for what will surely be an inspirational and informative weekend.

As we begin to wind down this campaign year, it is a good time for me to thank everyone who has worked hard to help us achieve so much during my two years as national Vice President of Campaign and to congratulate my friend, Ben Gutmann, who will succeed me in this position. Ben will chair the Campaign Summit on Monday, and I want to wish him well as he assumes the leadership of the campaign.


In addition to Ben, who served as Chair of Major Gifts the last two years, I want to thank the leaders of the National Campaign Cabinet during my tenure:

Nina Paul

Vice Chair, Major Gifts

Myra Chack Fleischer

President, Women for Israel

David Frank

Co-Vice President, Planned Giving

Bernice Friedman

Co-Vice President, Planned Giving
Bob CohanCo-Chair, General Campaign

Bob Weiss

Co-Chair, General Campaign

Jim Riola

Co-Chair, Community Campaign

Laura Salzer 

Co-Chair, Community Campaign

Dr. Joel SpalterAsst. Vice President, Small Communities
Michael Blank  

Vice President, Communities and Regions

Scott Schreiber      

Vice President, Missions

Ann Zinman

Assistant Vice President, Missions

Stephanie KelmanChair, JNFuture

Steve Crystal

Vice President, Marketing

Michael Kessler       

Chair, Makor

Barbara Burry  

Co-Chair, National Products

Marcy Needle     

Co-Chair, National Products




Over the last several weeks, many lay leaders and members of the JNF professional team have worked hard on the 2020 Campaign Plan.  As Ben Gutmann says in his introductory letter, this plan is “a living document” which provides a framework to conduct our annual campaign. It is also a great resource manual filled with a campaign calendar, best practices, and leadership directories.  Please be sure all local board members review this document and even more, focus your October board meeting on how you will roll out many of the objectives and programs outlined in the plan. Click here to download the 2020 JNF Campaign Plan.




Yes, even while the 2019 National Conference is under way, recruitment is happening for the 2020 National Conference that will take place in Israel next October 25 – 29.


There is a significant savings if you register before September 16, so click on the link below and register today!   Click on this link to learn more: jnf.org/nc2020




There is one more Lay Leader Training Seminar scheduled for this campaign year. On September 25, there will be a session on JNF Marketing and Social Media. To register, click here.


As we look toward 2020, we are planning for the next round of training seminars and would appreciate your input.  Please e-mail Rick Krosnick at rkrosnick@jnf.org and let us know what subjects you want us to focus on for next year.  What do you want to learn that will improve your understanding of Jewish National Fund and what skills would you like to enhance to make you a more effective leader?


Shabbat Shalom,




Bruce K. Gould
Vice President, Campaign

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Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

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Our summer session kicked off their first full week on campus by volunteering at Save a Child's Heart and Leket. Later this week they will continue on to Jerusalem for their first overnight tiyul. 

We also wished our April session farewell as they concluded their eight week session. We are already excited to welcome them to our AMHSI alumni community!

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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




Atlit Information Center


With the year 5780 fast approaching, Atlit Information Center, an initiative led by Jewish National Fund’s affiliate Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites as part of Atlit Detention Camp, has been making major strides in its mission of documenting the names and stories of 130,000 clandestine immigrants. The database, which holds names, stories, photographs, video testimonials and more, serves all those looking to understand their own personal histories and those of family members, preserving and sharing incredible stories of the long road to Eretz Israel. This year has been a time of tremendous progress, with the center up to 125,115 immigrants documented as compared to 124,020 last year. The center has also acquired an additional 189 interviews.




Special in the IDF


Uri, a young man on the autism spectrum, is serving in the Israel Defense Forces with Jewish National Fund affiliate Special in Uniform. Although he is autistic, Uri’s skills are essential to the Army and he recently received a rank for his service.


His commander said at the event: “These are the best soldiers in the unit. It’s a win-win for the country. It’s a win-win for the soldiers. And it’s a win-win for the unit. This is the right thing to do at the right time." Mazal tov Uri.


Making Aliyah


Please see the latest update from Jewish National Fund affiliate Nefesh B' Nefesh here.

D’Var Torah

Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel once said, “The opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference.”

In this week’s parsha of Ki Teitzei, we read about the mitzvah of returning a lost object: “You shall not see your brother's ox or sheep straying, and ignore them. [Rather,] you shall return them to your brother. But if your brother is not near you, or if you do not know him, you shall bring it into your house, and it shall be with you until your brother seeks it out, whereupon you shall return it to him.”


Rashi interprets thus: “You must not cover your eyes, pretending not to see it.” In other words, as you see your brother’s livestock wandering aimlessly, you can’t ignore your obligation by saying it’s not your problem. Once you’ve spotted the problem, you’re under the obligation to fix the problem.

Fortunately, JNF lay leaders jump to action when action is warranted. They give when asked, but give even when they are not asked; they participate when asked, but lead the way even when they are not asked; they demand justice when asked, but pursue justice even when they are not asked. Understanding the notion of obligation is turning away from apathy and engaging life. Indifference should not be a human condition. Life demands connection, action, and participation.


My mentor, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, explained that this verse is not only referring to the restoration of lost physical items. It is also – mystically – referring to repairing spiritual loss.  If a friend – or even a total stranger – is suffering from spiritual deficit, it is our duty to provide care, direction and knowledge so they may reclaim their heritage. The Rebbe underscored two critical elements of this directive. The Torah expects us to reach out to a total stranger. And the Torah demands that we continue to do so even if we see no results… “it shall be with you until your brother seeks it out.”


If we are persistent – with devotion and sincerity – in our concern for our fellow men, eventually our brothers and sisters will seek out their own identity and soul.


On this Shabbat, many of Jewish National Fund's partners will gather in Washington D.C. to support Israel. Let our hearts and our prayers be engaged. Let us not allow indifference to fill our hearts. Let us acknowledge our principles and values and act on them. We are not obligated to respond to every call to action, but we should not ignore them. And let us acknowledge the challenges that face our brothers and sisters in Israel and accept that which we can do as individuals to make the world a better place.


Shabbat Shalom,






AMHSI Update

This week, our Fall Semester Impact Students represented AMHSI-JNF at the 9/11 JNF Ceremony held at the KKL-JNF 9/11 Living Memorial. This was a unique opportunity for our students to experience a 9/11 ceremony in Israel. Our Barrack session students embarked on their 4-day Yam el Yam journey from the Mediterranean Sea to the Kinneret. Students filled small vials with sea water and will carry these vials to the Kinneret to mark their journey.

Travel & Tours

Capture your forever young hearts and minds on a carefully-paced, life‑changing 10‑day excursion next May. Learn more about the Sunshine Tour here.