Ambassador Erdan Delivers First Address to U.S. Jewish Community at
Jewish National Fund-USA’s
New York, NY: October 19, 2020 – Jewish National Fund-USA’s (JNF-USA) Virtual National Conference commenced on Sunday, October 18 with several major funding updates announced regarding the organization’s support for the land and people of Israel and Jewish people everywhere. A key highlight of the evening was an address from Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Gilad Erdan.
Ambassador Erdan’s participation marks his first official address to America’s Jewish community.
Israel Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Gilad Erdan, addresses JNF-USA's Virtual National Conference Opening Session.
Ambassador Erdan said: “The incredible work that you [JNF-USA] do has helped make Israel the wonder that it is. Thank you! I would also like to thank JNF-USA Chairperson of the Board-Emeritus Ronald S. Lauder for everything that he does for Israel and the Jewish people. COVID-19 may have prevented us from being in Israel this year, but it won’t prevent us from coming together to celebrate [JNF-USA’s] unbelievable work in support of the Jewish homeland.”
“Plans are already underway for JNF-USA’s 2021 National Conference in Israel,” said JNF-USA President Dr. Sol Lizerbram, aptly noting, “The phrase ‘next year in Jerusalem’ has an extra special meaning this year, and I’m looking forward to all of us seeing each other in Israel for JNF-USA’s National Conference next October 10-14.”
Ambassador Erdan added: “Of the different positions that I have held in government, my favorite was actually my first – Minister of Environmental Protection. I grew up in Ashkelon, so the Negev has always been very important to me. When I assumed my position in 2009, I knew that if I wanted to have a real impact on the region, I needed to work with JNF-USA. Even then, it was a driving force in the Negev and Galilee.”
Ambassador Erdan went on to commend JNF-USA and its leadership for their vision in building the Be’er Sheva River Park and Lake and enhancing the quality of life for people in Israel’s north and south. “We have entered a new chapter in Israel’s story – an amazing one. The signing of [The Abraham] Accords shows that more and more countries, even ones that previously refused to have relations with us in the past, see a relationship with Israel as an asset,” said Ambassador Erdan. “More and more countries are realizing how much Israel has to offer in the fields of technology and innovation. We [Israel] became a powerhouse in these fields by empowering all Israelis, no matter their background, to be a part of the hi-tech industry. Initiatives like JNF-USA’s Lauder Employment Center, which has produced over 2,000 high level jobs in the Negev, helps us do so.”
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.
Ambassador Erdan concluded his remarks by highlighting JNF-USA’s important role in supporting Israel’s agriculture sector. “More and more counties are realizing how much Israel has to offer in the field of agriculture. Despite adverse conditions, [Israel] is a major exporter of fresh produce and a world leader in agriculture technologies. JNF-USA has been at the center of Israeli agriculture from the very beginning.”
JNF-USA’s Virtual National continues through Friday, October 23. For more information, visit jnf.org/virtualnc.
Contact: Media enquiries: Stefan Oberman, JNF-USA Director of Communications E: [email protected] P: 212.879.9305 x222