“From Combat to Café – A Hero in Our Midst” Draws a Crowd of 100 Philanthropists


BOSTON, Mass., June 8, 2022 — Jewish National Fund–USA celebrated Women’s Month this May with meaningful opportunities to gather at events from coast to coast. One hundred female philanthropists from Boston and other areas of New England gathered at Hebrew College for the organization’s first in-person event in the region in over two years. The Women for Israel cocktail reception, “From Combat to Café – A Hero in Our Midst,” was attended by female philanthropists who are passionate about the land and people of Israel.


Women for Israel Steering Committee: Bari Popkin, Ros Barron, Risa Aronson, Marti Stone, Rhonda Forman, Pat Blank, Maria Ponsillo, Cheryl Learner, Andrea Cymbalista, and Dar Nadler


“It was wonderful to look out into a sea of such dynamic and powerful philanthropists at our annual Women for Israel event,” shared Rhonda Forman, Jewish National Fund-USA Women for Israel Chair. “Knowing that those who joined us had the opportunity to have their donation matched up to $1 million was a way for participants to double their impact. We owe our thanks to the generosity of T Lungwitz for that wonderful opportunity.”


The event’s featured keynote speaker, Nir Caspi, captivated the audience by detailing his personal journey from serving as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces’ elite Navy Seals unit to becoming the owner, co-founder, and CEO of Café Landwer, a chain that began in Israel and later expanded to Boston, Los Angeles, and Canada. Attendees also learned about Jewish National Fund-USA’s life-changing work that spans across Israel’s verdant north to the expansive Negev Desert in the south, and how the organization’s strategic vision is ensuring a strong, secure, and prosperous future for the Jewish homeland and its residents for generations to come.


Left to right standing: Marissa Wainwright, Lauren Mamon, Susan Rosenbaum; Left to right sitting: Lynda Gordon, Mindy Golod, Laurie Gershkowitz, Pam Fisher


The event’s Host Committee members, led by Rhonda Forman, included Risa Aronson, Ros Barron, Pat Blank, Andrea Cymbalista, Joyce Grippen, Lauren Iselin, Cheryl Learner, Harriet Merkowitz, Debbie Peskin, Maria Ponsillo, Bari Popkin, and Marti Stone.


With the return of in-person events, Jewish National Fund-USA’s 2022 National Conference will take place in Boston on November 4-6, 2022, at the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport. New Englanders will join Jewish National Fund-USA’s leaders, philanthropists, high school and college students, and an incredible lineup of keynote speakers and entertainers from across the U.S. and Israel for a riveting weekend that will showcase the organization’s visionary work for the land and people of Israel, while also exploring key issues and addressing important Jewish topics through engaging panels and dynamic discussions. For additional information and to register, visit jnf.org/nc22.


Questions? Contact Dar Nadler, JNF-USA Israel Emissary, New England at dnadler@jnf.org or 617.423.0999 x816.


JNF-USA Women for Israel attend “From Combat to Café – A Hero in Our Midst” event in Boston


Nir Caspi and Dar Nadler



Media Contact:

Jennifer Milton

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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.