Los Angeles Philanthropists Help Secure a Vibrant Jewish Future


LOS ANGELES, April 1, 2022 — More than 100 philanthropists in Greater Los Angeles joined Jewish National Fund-USA at its Legacy Society Luncheon at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel on March 18 to hear from world-renowned American diplomat, Ambassador Dennis Ross. The event also served as an opportunity to thank those who have committed to, or who are considering, leaving a lasting legacy gift through flexible gift planning during life or through their estate plan to Jewish National Fund — ensuring a strong, secure, and prosperous future for the land and people of Israel.


Andrew Turquie, Susie Toczek, Ambassador Dennis Ross, Fred Toczek


Ambassador Ross provided a unique and historical perspective on the war in Ukraine and what motivated Russia’s President to invade the country and adopt policies that are effectively turning Ukrainian cities into rubble. He commented on Israel’s involvement in the earlier attempts at negotiation with Putin. Ambassador Ross then demonstrated how we are living in a truly global environment with his discussion on Iran and Russia’s relationship and interactions, as compared to the developing relationships and continuing common interests among Israel and a growing cohort of Arab countries.


Susie & Fred Toczek, Co-Presidents of JNF-USA in Los Angeles, and Cynthia Hizami, Esq., JNF-USA’s Planned Giving Director, West Coast, kicked off the luncheon with remarks about the organization’s critical projects in Israel’s Negev and Galilee regions that will impact the global Jewish community, as well as the various types of legacy gifts helping to build a nation for present and future generations.


Steve Epstein, Mitra Lamm, Jeff Lamm, Karen Zeiger, Donna Childress, Julie Given, Rona Berns


Hizami spoke about the varied options available to JNF-USA’s partners (donors) in terms of helping themselves and helping the land and people of Israel. Hizami mentioned, “It is possible to make a gift, receive a fixed income for life as high as 9%, get an income tax deduction, and ultimately help ensure the strength and perseverance of Israel.” She indicated with JNF’s Donor Advised Fund program, you can easily create your own family charitable account, streamlining your philanthropy with very little cost to you and your family. Hizami also discussed JNF-USA’s partnership with Jewish Future Pledge, which calls on all Jews to pledge that half or more of any charitable giving in their will or trust go toward supporting the Jewish people and/or Israel.


Leon Nachenberg, Andrea Nachenberg, Ambassador Dennis Ross, Cynthia Hizami


The audience of philanthropists also got a deeper look into Jewish National Fund-USA’s innovative Zionist education and advocacy efforts as the largest provider of Israel education programs in the U.S. One of JNF-USA’s key Zionist education initiatives is its Alexander Muss High School in Israel (Muss), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The one-of-a-kind study abroad program has transformed the lives of 35,000 high school students and plans are underway to increase global student enrollment from 1,500 per year to 5,000 per year when a second campus is constructed at JNF-USA’s World Zionist Village in Be’er Sheva.


Cheryl Kagan, Lorraine Ross and Lauren Cohen


Andrew Turquie, a former Milken Community School alumnus who attended a semester abroad at Muss as part of Milken’s educational partnership with JNF-USA, provided inspirational remarks about how his experience cemented his lifelong relationship with the land of Israel and led him to feel a sense of community he never imagined possible. “Alexander Muss High School in Israel is the most effective way to fight assimilation,” said Turquie. “Not only do students who complete an AMHSI semester, eight-week program, or summer course end up connecting to Judaism, they overwhelmingly become supporters of Israel, allies, and representatives of the Jewish community.”


The luncheon also highlighted various opportunities to travel to Israel with JNF-USA, including its upcoming Sunshine Tour for active adults 55+.


To view a recording of the program, visit JNF-USA’s YouTube channel (tinyurl.com/PGlunch22).


Questions? Contact Cynthia Hizami, Esq., JNF-USA’s Planned Giving Director, West Coast at 888-563-2008 or CHizami@jnf.org. For further information on gift planning,  please visit jnflegacy.org.



Media Contact:

Jennifer Milton

561.447.9733 x 875



About Jewish National Fund-USA

JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, JNF-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation.