Chicago-Area Philanthropists to Celebrate Israel and Secure a Vibrant Jewish Future at Community Breakfast


HIGHLAND PARK, Ill., April 13, 2022 —On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at 8:00 am CT, Jewish National Fund-USA’s annual Breakfast for Israel will be returning to Chicago for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The free community event will celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day), address the scourge of rising antisemitism, and highlight why the Jewish community and the land and people of Israel’s best days are ahead.


Co-chaired by Jayme & Sam Besser, Jonina Lerner, and Matt Greenberg, the event will feature keynote speaker, Virág Gulyás, a Hungarian-born former diplomat to the EU who rose above her (not hateful, but ignorant) antisemitic roots and is now a well-known blogger for The Almost Jewish and a mega advocate for Israel and human rights. As a loud and proud Zionist beyond the Jewish faith, Gulyás has created a movement that aims to change the stereotypes about Israel and the Jewish people.


“When we say ‘pro-Israel,’ I think we make a huge mistake, especially in the current atmosphere and climate,” Gulyás said during a guest appearance on Jewish National Fund-USA’s Conversations on Zionism. “I don’t need to say, ‘I’m pro-Israel;’ there is nothing to be pro about. Israel exists, that’s what we’re trying to uphold and explain to people — why Israel has the legitimacy to exist.”


As the leading nonprofit supporting critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south, Jewish National Fund-USA professionals and partners from the region will also discuss the organization’s One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, how it helps make Israel inclusive for all, preserves historic sites, increases water supply, and supports forestry and green innovations, as well as its planned game-changing projects that will impact the Jewish homeland and global Jewry for generations to come.


“Jewish National Fund-USA’s footprint reaches far and wide, from the lush green hills of the Galilee to the sand-filled Negev Desert; and to list all of the ways our organization has and continues to preserve the Jewish homeland in big ways and small would take hours,” said JNF-USA Illinois Board President, Charles “Chuck” Kafenshtok. “The land of Israel is the glue that binds us all as a Jewish people. It is necessary more than ever that we have a strong and prosperous Israel.”


For more information and to register for the free event, Contact Marlene Copeland Dodinval, Executive Director, Chicago at or 847.656.8880 x766.




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.