Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:




Our 2018 annual campaign goal was $80 million, and when the last pledges are entered into our system and the final checks are processed, we will close our campaign at $84 million. It is a great accomplishment and continues our organizational growth toward a $100 million annual campaign. Even more, our total toward our $1 Billion 10-year goal is now at $536 million.


I am so proud of all the lay leaders and professional staff members who worked hard to help us reach this achievement. I want to take a moment to specifically thank the members of the national Campaign Cabinet who give so much of their time, providing leadership and guidance to be sure our fundraising strategies are helping Jewish National Fund achieve its goals.


Chair, Major Gifts                                                 Ben Gutmann

President, Women for Israel                              Nina Paul

Vice President, Women for Israel                     Myra Chack Fleischer

Co-Vice President, Planned Giving                   David Frank

Co-Vice President, Planned Giving                   Bernice Friedman

Co-Chair, General Campaign                             Robert Cohan

Co-Chair, General Campaign                             Robert Weiss

Co-Chair, Community Campaign                      Jim Riola

Co-Chair, Community Campaign                      Marcy Needle

Vice President, Small Communities                 Dr. Melinda Wolf

Asst. Vice President, Small Communities        Dr. Joel Spalter

Vice President, Communities and Regions     Michael Blank

Vice President, Missions                                     Scott Schreiber

Chair, JNFuture                                                     Stephanie Kelman

Vice President, Marketing                                  Steve Crystal

Chair, Makor                                                         Michael Kessler

Chag Sameach!





Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

Travel & Tours Update

Discover Israel’s rich history, heritage, and culture while exploring the country from north to south. Perfect for first-timers and repeat visitors alike. Learn more here.



Alexander Muss High School in Israel


To celebrate Sukkot, and have a little reminder of home, our Semester students had an American bagel breakfast in the Sukkah. Students also climbed Masada and visited the Dead Sea this week, spending two days learning about the second temple period from 444 B.C.E. - 73 C.E.

Updates from Israel

Open House Tel Aviv/ Jaffa

This past weekend, Open House Tel Aviv took place at locations all across the city of Tel Aviv. Open House is a global initiative to showcase great architecture and historically significant buildings by providing free access to the public. In addition to designer lofts, unique synagogues, gardens and other public spaces, several heritage sites in Tel Aviv were open for special tours. Visitors had the opportunity to visit the Historic Passenger Terminal in Jaffa, a significant part of the history of immigration to Israel, and learn about the fight to preserve this sight. Visitors could also go to Sarona Visitor’s Center, learn about the preservation process of the old Templer colony, and tour the underground Templer tunnels. Other heritage sites included in the three-day long event are the historic City Hall, Ben Gurion’s Tel Aviv residence, the Haganah Museum, and more. This event was a great opportunity for the public to visit heritage sites and learn about the importance of preserving Israel's history.

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

This week I had the pleasure of visiting the Sukkah of Gen. Doron Almog, chairman of JNF partner ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran. We spoke about the message of this holy day, The Four Species, the sukkah, the joy, the unity; each mitzvah has its uniqueness, its message, its character. No two are the same.


The four kinds of species we hold symbolize four types of Jews, with differing levels of Torah knowledge and observance. The commandment of the Four Species is to bind them as one unit to create a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts. So, too, in our society, we agreed that it is not enough to accept the differences among people; we must include them as equal contributors in our communities.


But at a second – deeper – glance, all the angles can be traced back to one unifying core: Unity. At the core of this holiday is the quest for oneness.


We all sit in the sukkah, unsheltered by our fancy houses and imaginary elitism, everybody squeezing together on a cranky old bench, while leaves fall into the soup and the cold chills us to the bone. Unity.


We dance together at the Simchat Bet Hasho'evah, my sweaty hand locked in your sweaty hand, no one more important than the other, all joining in the collective joy of "one nation under one G‑d." Unity.


Now, more than ever, at the core of the almost seven billion human beings walking the beautiful earth is a quest for unity: unity and harmony within ourselves, unity with our fellows and the environment, and unity with our Creator. This quest can be covered with dust, concealed by hate and stigma, obscured by ego, but the quest never dies, and never will die until we bring peace and harmony to our world.


For seven days a year we dedicate ourselves to bringing unity to our world. On this holiday, united we sit.


Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom,