Dear JNF Campaign Leaders:


We are just a few hundred thousand dollars shy of our $80 million annual campaign goal. As you know, our annual campaign year comes to a close on September 30 and with the holidays pretty much falling during the business week, we have few precious days to finish our job to ensure all our past donors are contacted. We have reviewed lists of past donors and there are still a good number of donors who previously gave $1,000 or more who have still not made their commitment this year. I am asking all committee and board members to get names from their JNF professional fundraiser. Call to say Shana Tova and ask them to make their annual gift. I am asking the professional team to distribute pledge sheets to their lay leaders and let’s all get on the telephone over the next two weeks.



Earlier this week you should have received an e-mail invitation from me and Michael Blank to register for the first Lay Leader Training Seminar taking place next Thursday, September 13 at 12 noon eastern time. Next week’s seminar is the History of Zionism and Jewish National Fund. Yishai Goldflam will be our instructor, and he has done this lecture for the professional team at JNF University to much acclaim. As lay leaders, we also need to do Continuing Education to help us tell our story. Please be sure to register by clicking here. You will receive the link to the Zoom webinar once you register. I want to extend a special thank you to Steven Crystal for encouraging JNF to develop this lay leader training program.

Click here to see the full schedule of seminars.  




Have you registered for the National Conference?  If not, please click here to view the program and register on-line. JNF’s leadership team in Arizona is working hard to make this a great conference. Every year it seems to get better and better as we bring Israel to the United States. JNF’s National Conference gives us an opportunity to meet beneficiaries of our work and our partners on the ground who help JNF achieve our vision to build the land of Israel. Plus, we have a lot of fun while reconnecting with old friends and developing new and meaningful relationships.


Your gift for reading this message is a special Shana Tova message from Yossi Kahana: https://youtu.be/D9MWYBvY_2M


Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova U’metukah, may you enjoy a good and sweet year.

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova U’metukah, may you enjoy a good and sweet year.





Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

IsraelCast, the JNF Podcast

Ever-inspiring, Jewish National Fund’s own CEO Russell F. Robinson joined us for this week’s episode of IsraelCast! Hear firsthand an update on our many projects in Israel, including this summer’s efforts in the Gaza Envelope. You can listen to Israel’s #1 podcast right here, but make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us on iTunes, Google Play, or Soundcloud – simply search for IsraelCast. And while you’re at it, rate and review us so that more people can find us.



Travel & Tours update

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.



Alexander Muss High School in Israel

Our students completed their first full week of classes. Our Fall Semester and Barrack Academy students went to Tel Gezer, an archaeological site located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. They explored the importance of archaeology and its role in understanding history in addition to learning about the Canaanite civilization, and its relationship to the earliest Biblical texts. On Thursday, students and staff members attended the ceremony at Jewish National Fund’s 9/11 memorial. Alongside firefighters, police officers, and MK Nachman Shai, our students were given the honor of participating and laying a wreath at the only 9/11 memorial outside the United States that lists every single victim. Watch it now!!

Updates from Israel

Haapala- Re-enactment of Clandestine Immigration to Israel

SPIHS weekly update haapala event

This week, a re-enactment of Haapala, the arrival of Maapilim (clandestine immigrants) by boat to the land of Israel under the British Mandate, took place at Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach and included people dressed as both clandestine immigrants and British officers. The “Maapilim” came by boat then swam to the shore where they were greeted by a large audience. Afterwards, there was traditional music and dancing to remember the culture and lives of the Maapilim. Atlit Information Center, part of the Atlit Detention Camp site which is a major project of JNF’s, played a central role in the event. At the Atlit booth, hundreds of people were able to learn about relatives who were Maapilim or share information to add to the database.  

Special in the IDF

rosh hashana event 1

Every year before Rosh Hashanah the commanders and soldiers in IDF gather for a new year event, including JNF-Special in Uniform participants. The first event took place at The Air Force Technical School in Haifa. The base operates two schools: an aeronautical engineering school and a technical professional school. Shana Tova.

D’Var Torah

By Yossi Kahana

Last weekend, we spoke about how JNF organized Emergency Town Hall meetings to share the truth and real story of what has been happening along the Gaza Border for the past 6 months, destroying 10,000 acres of forest and crops. JNF brought out more than 3,500 people across the US. Our JNF family came out in a show of unity in support of the land and people of Israel. Together, we are stronger.


The Torah portion of Nitzavim is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah, which is the anniversary of the creation of man and the day on which, every year, all of creation is judged. How do we merit receiving a favorable judgment? The answer is alluded to in the opening verse of this week’s reading: “You are standing together today, all of you...to enter into a covenant.”


Each part of this statement is significant. “Standing” connotes victory—that we merit receiving a favorable verdict. “Today” is the annual Day of Judgment, Rosh Hashanah. “All of you” means the entire nation—as one. “To enter into a covenant” refers to the fact that every individual pledges responsibility to one another, that each is a guarantor for the other.


As long as we hold true to our pact of serving as mutual guarantors, we are assured that G-d’s judgment will be for the good. In other words, upon what basis do we receive a favorable judgment? It is based on our unity.


However, how can every single member of a nation be a guarantor for everyone else? A guarantor must be one who is better off than the one he is guaranteeing. For instance, when a poor man applies for a loan, he asks a wealthier man to be his guarantor. You would not take someone who is poorer than you to be your guarantor. In that case, how can every single individual be a guarantor for all others? Certainly, in any large group of people there are those who have little to offer. How can every individual then be a guarantor for every other?


The answer is simple. In the case of the covenant between G-d and His people, every individual possesses some unique advantage over every other. Each one can therefore serve as a guarantor for the other. Each member of the nation has some positive quality that is unique to him or her. Every individual is uniquely needed and indispensable.


By “standing together,” in a way that emphasizes our complete inter-dependence, we surrender our personal identities and redefine ourselves as a part of a greater, unified whole. In this way, we are no longer judged on an individual basis, but as one whole—which includes all of the redeeming virtues of all of the individuals combined.


So how can we truly unite with another? Only by realizing that every person has a quality that is unique that only he or she can contribute.


Jewish National Fund is dedicated to ensuring that no member of Israeli society is left behind, regardless of their level of ability. It is all about creating a more inclusive society together. Together we have to look past the surface and see what unique quality each person possesses. Everyone has a different ability and everyone belongs!


L’Shana Tova Tikatevu v’Techatemu - May You Be Written Down And Inscribed For A Good Year.