Hundreds Unite in Solidarity with the People of Israel at Annual Winter Connection


BOCA RATON, Fla., February 15, 2024 — Hundreds of philanthropists united in solidarity with the people of Israel at Jewish National Fund-USA’s Winter Connection — an annual week of events connecting the organization’s partners (donors) who live and winter in South Florida.


The Lizerbram Family with Ambassador Michael Oren

The Lizerbram Family with Ambassador Michael Oren


The leading philanthropic organization for the land and people of Israel hosted several intimate gatherings in Palm Beach County, as well as three larger receptions in Parkland, Delray, and Boca Raton — culminating with 500 in attendance at the organization’s signature Winter Connection Brunch at Boca West Country Club on February 8.


The events combined the bitter and the sweet — remembering those who were murdered, kidnapped, and injured following the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history, while promising to rebuild the battered Israel Envelope (formerly known as the Gaza Envelope).


Marvin Schlanger and Ambassador Michael Oren

Marvin Schlanger and Ambassador Michael Oren


“October 7 changed not just Israel, but our Jewish world everywhere, forever,” said Jewish National Fund-USA’s President, Dr. Sol Lizerbram. “The Jewish People are all too familiar with adversity, yet as history shows, our ability to always emerge stronger than before is dependent on those who choose to step out from the sidelines and make their voices heard.”


Jewish National Fund-USA CEO, Russell F. Robinson, briefed attendees about the organization’s immediate response to this catastrophic moment in Israel’s history and discussed the organization’s plans to bring more than 100,000 evacuated Israelis back home.


Claire and Emanuel G. Rosenblatt High School at Donna Klein Jewish Academy students at JNF-USA's Winter Connection Brunch

Claire and Emanuel G. Rosenblatt High School at Donna Klein Jewish Academy students at JNF-USA's Winter Connection Brunch


Through its Israel Resilience Campaign, Jewish National Fund-USA has raised almost $60 million since the “Black Shabbat” and has supported the evacuation and relocation of tens of thousands of residents in Israel’s South while providing thousands more with housing, food, clothing, education, trauma therapy, firefighting and protective equipment for civil defense, and more. The campaign also includes the Livnot B'Yachad - Build Together plan, a bold, strategic initiative to restore the ravaged communities in the Israel Envelope.


“With volunteers from Israel and around the world coming together and working with community leaders, we will rebuild, repaint, and replant,” said Robinson. “We will provide new furniture. We will place benches on front lawns, redo the roads, rebuild parks, and repaint shelters and buildings.”


The brunch featured a fireside chat between Palm Beach County resident and Jewish National Fund-USA National Board Member, Marvin Schlanger, and Ambassador Michael Oren, a diplomat who worked at the highest levels of the Israeli government. During his tenure as the Israeli Ambassador to the United States from 2009–2013, Ambassador Oren worked with the White House, Congress, and the CIA on crucial strategic issues, including the Iron Dome defense system and the Iran nuclear threat.


Jewish National Fund-USA Winter Connection feat. Ambassador Michael Oren

Jewish National Fund-USA Winter Connection feat. Ambassador Michael Oren


Drawing on more than forty years of experience in governance, the military, and foreign service, and with the perspective of a historian who has lived throughout Israel and abroad, the New York Times bestselling author discussed his latest book, 2048 The Rejuvenated State, the Israel-Hamas War, his thoughts on a two-state solution, and his vision for the future of Israel.


Attendees also learned how Jewish National Fund-USA quickly pivoted to fill a void by organizing weekly Volunteer Missions to Israel, with over a thousand people registered to roll up their sleeves and participate in this life-changing experience through August 2024. 


“The Jewish Nation has never been stronger than it is at this moment, but that strength comes from our unity, showing the world the true face of Jewish resilience,” added Co-President of Jewish National Fund-USA’s South Palm Beach Board of Directors, Eric Stein. “The hundreds of volunteers on these missions work together in farms picking vegetables and other crops; taking part in community service projects, helping with anything needed from cooking to assistance in the daycares, laundry, or cleaning up. They may also plant trees, apply fresh coats of paint, and tend to community gardens and petting zoos so when the residents return, they have something bright and beautiful waiting for them.”


Consul General of Israel in Miami, Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, also provided remarks at the brunch, and nearly 50 student ambassadors from the Claire and Emanuel G. Rosenblatt High School at Donna Klein Jewish Academy led the crowd in singing the American and Israeli national anthems. The school has participated in the Winter Connection Brunch for the last 13 years, connecting the student ambassadors to philanthropy and Israel.


For more information or to learn about future events in South Florida, contact Lee Lebovich, Executive Director, South Florida, at 561-447-9733 x882 or




Media Contact:

Jennifer Milton

561-447-9733 x875


About Jewish National Fund-USA

Jewish National Fund-USA builds a strong, vibrant future for the land and people of Israel through bold initiatives and Zionist education. As a leading philanthropic movement, the organization supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south as it develops new communities in the Negev and Galilee, connects the next generation to Israel, and creates infrastructure and programs that support ecology, people with disabilities, and heritage site preservation, all while running a fully accredited study abroad experience through its Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Learn more at