Mayor of Arad Engages with Multiple Generations of Israel Supporters in South Florida
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., November 10, 2021 — Over the last decade, Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) has built a close bond with the city of Arad in Israel and in partnership with Arad’s mayor, Nisan Ben-Hamo, the organization has made major strides in realizing its vision of transforming the city into an oasis in the desert as part of its broader plan to attract 500,000 new residents from the country’s bustling, yet crowded center to the Negev.
Chris Johnson, Jeffrey Greenberg, Matt Franzblau, Chen Biton, Mayor Nisan Ben Hamo, Elchanan Revivo, Lauren Alexander, Tara Stiel, Allie Kassem, Aaron Hoffer, David Simovich
In early November, Jewish National Fund-USA’s (JNF-USA) Broward Board of Directors and young professionals ages 22-40 in South Florida had the pleasure of meeting Mayor Ben-Hamo in a multi-generational effort to further connect local passionate Zionists to the land and people of Israel.
On November 2, 2021, JNF-USA’s South Florida leaders joined Mayor Ben-Hamo for an intimate dinner at Bissaleh in Hallandale Beach, where they discussed both the past success of their relationship and plans to continue their partnership in the future.
Doris Suttin and Mayor Nisan Ben-Hamo
“After two years of communicating virtually, JNF-USA was thrilled to welcome the Mayor of Arad, Nisan Ben-Hamo to Broward County,” said JNF-USA’s Director, Broward County, Jacqueline Yehudiel. “We have forged an incredible relationship with Mayor Ben-Hamo and our partnership has worked wonders in helping JNF-USA realize its vision in southern Israel. It was a joy and a privilege to sit down with him in-person to reaffirm our partnership and friendship, as well as discuss how we can continue to work together to continue making this dream a reality.”
Joann and Bruce Silk with Mayor Nisan Ben-Hamo of Arad
The following evening, the mayor spoke at an exclusive JNFuture event on a rooftop social space a private residence on Las Olas, where he provided words of inspiration while noting the flourishing relationship between JNF-USA and the city of Arad in Israel. He also covered topics including:
- Arad’s growing population, thanks to the help of JNF-USA and the Arad Task Force
- How Arad’s housing developments are sold out and there are additional plans to build more
- The new 5-star hotel coming to town to make Arad a tourist destination between Dead Sea and Eilat
- The strong multicultural alliance between Jewish inhabitants and surrounding Bedouin tribes
JNFuture Broward Board Member and Arad Task Force Member, Matt Franzblau added: "We've heard the term 'America's Mayor' used before, but I really believe that Nisan Ben-Hamo could someday soon be known as 'Israel's Mayor.' With JNF-USA as a partner, he is transforming a community in the Negev, which in-turn, can help change the region. It was exciting to help spread awareness to young professionals about what the mayor is doing, because I've seen the progress in person, during my first trip to Arad and it made me want to become a task force member."
Fern Harr, Susan & Bob Schneider, and Brett Robins
Born and raised in the city, Ben-Hamo was elected Mayor of Arad in June 2015, winning with 72% of the votes. In addition to serving as Mayor of Arad, he also serves as head of the Negev Council, a coalition of Mayors in Israel’s south.
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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.
JNFuture is a community of young philanthropists who share a commitment and passion for Israel, engaging and energizing supporters through a variety of social and educational programming, as well as exciting travel opportunities.