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Together Fall 2013

B’Yachad: The Newsletter of Jewish National Fund

AJPA er Award Rockow llence for Exce tional iza in Organ tters s New le



IF YOU BUILD IT... The Ripple Effects of Blueprint Negev

Tel Aviv



Givot Bar


Sansana Carmit Project Wadi Eshel Hanassi Attir Arad Be’er Sheva

Halutza Communities


Be’er Milka


Merhav Am Ein Yahav Sapir Mitzpe Ramon Zuqim


B'Yachad · 42 East 69th Street New York, NY 10021-5093


E-mail us at

Kibbutz Yahel Lotan Ketura Grofit




Photo credit: Dan Peretz/Food From Home

Inside this Issue

3 Meet Jeffrey E. Levine, JNF’s New President JNF’s new National President Jeffrey E. Levine shares his personal connection to Israel and his vision for the coming campaign year.

11 Brooklyn Rabbi Shows Grandchildren Israel on

JNF’s Bus Tour

Rabbi Melvin Burg has taken JNF’s Wednesday day tour with his family on five different trips to Israel. He shares why he brings his Israeli grandchildren on the tour to discover the Negev.

12 New Chai Society Offers Exciting Opportunities

for JNF’s Women

JNF’s newest society offers a new giving level to female donors and a beautiful pendant designed by an Israeli artist.

B’Yachad Staff Editor in Chief: Ariel Vered Publisher: Russell F. Robinson Executive Editor: Jodi Bodner managing Editor: Neta Yoffe Creative Director: Sherene Strausberg

16-21 The Ripple Effects of Blueprint Negev

It has been over a decade since the Blueprint Negev campaign was drafted. Witness how the Negev has developed in exciting ways as the ripple effects of JNF’s work create more opportunities in the region.

23 Make Something Delicious with Chef Michal Ansky Prominent Israeli TV food personality Michal Ansky shares her food philosophy and the vision she has for Israel’s culinary and food scene.

Winner of THE AJPA Rockower Award for Excellence In organizational newsletters Printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based ink


Dear Reader, It’s remarkable what JNF has been able to accomplish in the Negev in such a short period of time. Thanks to hard work and the dedication and passion of our donors, we have been able to turn this vision into reality. We have transformed the city of Be’er Sheva from a backwater town to a city in bloom. We have developed new communities for the next generation of pioneers, while strengthening existing communities. We have worked with Bedouin communities to bring real change to the Negev’s Bedouin residents. We have created a must-see tourist attraction in Timna, where history and recreation meet. These are just a few examples of the strides that JNF has made in developing a region so ripe with possibility. Our work has encouraged others to turn their attention to the Negev, including the Israeli government, which plans to move IDF bases to the region in 2015. As a result of our vision, the Negev has become a great place to live and more and more people are indeed making it their home. Turn to pages 16-21 to read about the lives and communities that are thriving thanks to JNF’s help. We hope you enjoy this issue. Send your feedback to Regards, B’Yachad Editorial Staff,


JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. Today, JNF continues to give all generations a unique voice in building and ensuring the prosperity of the land of Israel through their generosity and partnership with the people of Israel. JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism. JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers. For more information on JNF, call 888.JNF.0099 or visit


I know what it means to build. An ecological wetlands at Moshav Tzelafon

Moshav Tzelafon’s landscaped garden.


For more information on the JNF Parsons Water Fund, contact Pnina Dor at or 212.879.9305 x262.

Jewish National Fund

For more than a decade, the 200 family (750 people) strong community of Moshav Tzelafon, located in the foothills of Jerusalem, has been forward-thinking about solving its water challenges. Years ago, unlike any other community in that region, they built, at their own cost, a water purification plant to purify the effluents that came from their own moshav, as well as from the West Jerusalem water treatment center, to a level sufficient for crop irrigation, including the moshav’s lush olive groves and vegetable fields. Today, some 264 million gallons of treated water are available to the moshav’s farmers—who are mostly immigrants from Yemen and Morocco. “It is the envy for surrounding communities,” said Mike Tidhar, a Brooklyn-born former JNF-KKL representative to Atlanta who has lived on the moshav for the past 13 years. “None of the neighboring communities have been able to reach the level of needed water supply for agriculture that Tzelafon has. It was all thanks to our foresight and investment in water treatment measures.” Today, the moshav is looking to build on their forward-thinking ecological approach to water use and is looking for ways to irrigate the community’s public gardens and parks. “In developing a beautiful landscape, we are thinking about saving on fresh water use, treating wastewater, improving the quality of life and making things beautiful,” said Mike. “However, the Ministry of Health will allow public water irrigation only if we utilize water that has been purified to a higher level (between tertiary and drinking levels) which requires the water to go through an upgraded treatment process and a chlorination system.” The moshav came up with the idea to create an artificial ecological wetland which is environmentally sound and efficient. To fund this project, the moshav turned to the JNF Parsons Water Fund which recently developed a much larger and more complex constructed wetland at Ramon Air Force Base. The intended project at Tzelafon will utilize special plants that will leech out impurities resulting in water pure enough to go through the chlorination apparatus, enabling it to be used anywhere in the moshav. The JNF Parsons Water Fund felt that replacing fresh water use with treated water and supporting a community’s environmental goal is worthy of its assistance, especially when this is based on a revolving fund basis, i.e., the funds are given as a loan, at very attractive rates, which will be returned to the Fund and available for future use for other water projects. The eco-purification system is one of many exciting programs underway at the moshav. Mike has an exotic fruit garden next to his house planted in 1999 that boasts 130 different types of exotic trees. Tzelafon native Yigal Tsabari collaborated with Mike to create a sub-tropical and semi-tropical fruit park called Exotigan Tzelafon on a 2.5 acre plot of land. Many of the trees are already bearing fruit and it is a beautiful spot for residents and visiting tourists. No other moshav in the region engages in using treated water for public irrigation purposes. All of Tzelafon’s public areas will soon be irrigated with advanced level water from the ecological wetlands project funded by the JNF Parsons Water Fund. As Mike said, “You have to be a bit of a dreamer and have a lot of faith and JNF Parsons Water Fund on your side.”

Every leader, every president, brings with them a particular set of skills, a different perspective, a distinct outlook. Mine is development; one that goes hand in hand with what JNF is all about. It’s a daunting task, taking on the presidency of a national organization—one that does so much for the land and people of Israel. But for me, it’s a labor of love and one that dovetails with my day job: Chairman of Douglaston Development, Levine Builders & Clinton Management, which has directed the new construction or rehabilitation of thousands of residential units— both affordable and luxury housing, student housing, hotels, senior living, health care facilities and millions of square feet of commercial retail, office and institutional space over the past several decades. JNF knows how to build; it has built the strongest lay leadership of any organization. It has built 1,000 parks, 225 reservoirs, new communities across Israel, the largest Zionist education program in the U.S. and so much more. But beyond that it has built the strongest connection and partnership between Jews the world over and our Jewish homeland. It has given generations a voice in Israel—whether they live there or not—and I am proud to take on the role of National President of this venerable, yet nimble organization. The coming years will see a marked advancement in the work we’ve already begun: JNF Parsons Water Fund, Go North, and our Blueprint Negev campaign, which has spawned the new Housing Development Fund and will revolutionize the housing industry, created because we learned of a need for housing in the Negev and Galilee and are determined to fill it. Our work is deliberate, thought-out, vetted, argued over, and reexamined. As visionary as we are, that’s how fiscally conservative we are—a concept I employ daily in my line of work and one that is vital to the success of any entity. I am one of the youngest presidents in the history of this 112-year organization and that says a lot about how it’s run. JNF looks to the future, spends time and money on fostering the next generation—my own three children are members of JNFuture—but more than that, it truly values their input. Ideas are sought, discussed, and implemented, and if they make sense, we move on them. Everything is scrutinized by our lay leaders and professionals because JNF is extremely careful about every donor dollar—something I, as a businessman, admire and respect. Behind all the work is a passion—one that is shared by the professional staff and lay leaders alike. This organization would not be what it is without the remarkable work of the past presidents, the Board of Directors and a staff that is led by the indomitable Russell Robinson. It is this passion that lured me into my new role, along with my wife Randi who is a staunch supporter, and I couldn’t be happier. I will be working with great people and there is no better cause. I want to be your voice in Israel. Email me with your thoughts at


Jewish National Fund


I want to thank you for the fastest, most productive six years of my life. As I look back on my tenure as President of Jewish National Fund I cannot believe what we have accomplished. JNF mirrors Israel—or maybe it’s the reverse—but no matter the order, we—JNF—are the “Will Do, Can Do, Now” people. We see a job, a project, that needs to get done and we do it—now. It may read like a laundry list but behind every achievement is a lot of thought, your support, a vetting process that a top 500 company would envy, and a lot of passion and love. Look at the Negev. For 65 years (really, for thousands) it was more desert than home. A decade after we made Blueprint Negev a priority, the region boasts new life, new water, upscale homes, is preparing to accommodate the IDF, has become a national priority for the Israeli government with millions in funding to back up that commitment, and is becoming the place of choice for young Israelis to build their lives. Soon water will even be running under the newly redesigned Pipes Bridge! In short, it is undergoing a renaissance and that is all thanks to JNF putting it front and center. We are good at recognizing need and then filling it. We are more than good at it; we are great. Look at what we do in times of crisis: the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, the Carmel Forest Fire, our Emergency Relief campaign—we see a need and we respond in the blink of an eye. There is mobility to this organization, kinetic energy that allows it to move back and forth between developing long-term vision and responding to short-term needs that is unparalleled and of which I am most proud. Domestically, our Zionist education program is the largest in the U.S. and we are building towards the future with our new partnership and acquisition of Alexander Muss High School in Israel; we underwent a realignment that streamlined our fundraising processes and has other organizations seeking our advice; we built the 9/11 Living Memorial—the only memorial outside of the U.S. that lists all the names of those who died on 9/11; and we are in the midst of a capital campaign that will transform JNF House into the premier home of Jewish organizational life in Manhattan. I hand over the presidential reins to the very capable Jeffrey Levine and assume a new role within the organization: JNF America Ambassador to KKL and Israel. I know that my new role will see me spending more time in Israel, working with ministers, and, while remaining apolitical, allowing them to see how important JNF’s work is to the land and people of Israel, how we are part of the very fabric of the country. I thank you for the past six years and look forward to the future— there is no end to what this organization can and will achieve. Contact me at

JNF Program Areas Community Building JNF enhances quality of life in Israel by building new communities and bolstering existing ones, in peripheral areas. With 90% of Israel’s population concentrated in less than 40% of the country, the northern and southern regions are largely uninhabited. JNF plays a major role in helping to develop new communities in these areas, giving families an alternative to Israel’s crowded and expensive center, and rejuvenating established towns with opportunities to combat unemployment and stagnant population growth.

FORESTRY & Green Innovations As an innovator in ecological development and a pioneer in forest creation, JNF has planted more than 240 million trees in Israel, providing luscious belts of green covering more than 250,000 acres. JNF’s parks and forests are enjoyed by millions of people each weekend and holiday. Through agricultural infrastructure development, research, and soil conservation, JNF has been able to create and extend the presence of fertile land where there was once endless desert.

Water Renewal JNF has been at the forefront of water management and conservation in Israel for two decades, increasing the country’s total water supply by 12% and helping Israel become a world leader in water recycling. JNF’s network of over 250 recycled water reservoirs provide almost half of the water used for agriculture, saving enough freshwater to meet the needs of 4.4 million people a year.

Research & Development JNF has sponsored research initiatives in Israel as part of its efforts to cultivate the land. Today, JNF is a world leader in both technological and environmental innovation. Working with distinguished academic and scientific institutions in Israel and abroad, JNF has supported innovative solutions in the areas of solar power, water sustainability, and agricultural development.

ZIONIST Education & Advocacy JNF is the single largest provider of Zionist engagement programs in the U.S. and offers myriad ways to connect young American Jews to Israel, from trips to Israel to B’nai Mitzvah projects and advocacy programs on college campuses. In addition, JNF supports leadership development and environmental education programs for Israeli youth.

Heritage Sites Israel is well-known for its ancient historical sites, but remnants of its rich modern history can also be found in every corner of the country. JNF is committed to the preservation of historical sites associated with Israel’s rebirth and to ensuring that the stories behind them are properly documented and retold for generations to come. Heritage site development enables JNF to share the past, the important events, places, struggles and the fight for Israel’s independence.

Inclusion & Therapeutic Services JNF is dedicated to ensuring that no member of Israeli society is left behind. Through a variety of initiatives, JNF provides cutting-edge rehabilitative services, special education, and medical care for people with special needs and makes its forests, parks, picnic areas, playgrounds, nature trails, and recreation facilities “inclusive” to visitors of all ability levels.

campaign update

Project Spotlight: WePower Women’s INVOLVEMENT IN ISRAELI

Campaign All-Star: Dr. Stanley Hersh “I’ve known Stan for over 30 years,” said JNF To know Dr. Stanley Hersh IS TO know the joy of giving and caring. His joy of CEO Russell F. Robinson, “and I have never met Israel has led to his support of JNF and raising anybody with the integrity, depth of yiddishkeit, money for inclusion and therapeutic services commitment, and sense of humor that Stan has. He through Aleh Negev, the Sderot Indoor Recreation has been leading the Waco Jewish community from Center, forest fires in Carmel, and other initiatives day one and has never stopped. His family is living proof that role modeling makes that fulfill JNF’s vision of a a difference.” prosperous Israel. Because of Understanding Dr. Hersh’s his role as a driving force in the love for Israel and JNF is pretty JNF Southwest community, Dr. easy once you speak to his Hersh is our Campaign All-Star. grandson David Levy. Originally from Cleveland, “My grandfather’s passion OH, Dr. Hersh, a retired and dedication to the Jewish ophthalmologist, lives in Waco, people have been major TX and is a predominant influences in forming my figure in the JNF Southwest Jewish identify,” David said. community. He has been Stanley Hersh with his grandson, David Levy. “Not only has he focused much integral in strengthening the JNF presence and support base in the region. He of his life on the betterment of the Jewish people, leads bi-monthly board conference calls, is active but he has also made sure to teach his children and in cultivating new gifts, and likes to put his own grandchildren the same.” Dr. Hersh is a member of JNF’s President’s Society stamp on things by personally reaching out to and Century Council, and it is clear that his love of people who make a gift. “His dedication to JNF and its future is something JNF will continue on for generations to come. “I am proud of his involvement in Jewish from which we can all learn,” said JNF Southwest Regional Director Julie Malin. “When Stan and philanthropy and specifically with Jewish National I talk about the Southwest, it’s like he’s talking Fund,” said David. “He has been the primary about a best friend. He is a complete partner in driver in my involvement as I now work to carry on the legacy he has created for our family.” n what JNF does here.”

My passion is Israel. Almost all of my volunteer work for the past 15 years has been centered on our 2,000-year-old Zionist dream. I was introduced to Jewish National Fund by Judy and Bud Levin when my wife Kim and I were living in St. Louis. When the Levins left St. Louis, I took over as President of the St. Louis JNF Board. Shortly after, I received the honor of being appointed to the National Board. I helped found the Negev Society, JNF’s major donor society for annual givers of $25,000. I’ve now become the National Vice President of Campaign for JNF. Yes, my passion is Israel. I love the idea of forming a partnership with Israelis to continue our Zionist dream of creating a State whose sacred goal is to be a “light unto the nations.” I couldn’t agree more with Russell Robinson’s declaration: JNF doesn’t create projects; we create vision. This is the basis of everything we do with the funds that you and I give and raise in support of the land and people of Israel. Here are two examples of how we turn vision into facts on the ground: The first is the JNF Sderot Indoor Recreation Center. Our vision of the Zionist dream includes that we make sure to help maintain the existence of safe borders for Israel. Sderot has been under constant attack from Gaza for the past 10 years. The indoor playground we built in Sderot was a key factor in making this part of Israel, safe and livable. Another example of our JNF vision is inclusion and therapeutic services through our partnership with Aleh Negev. This is an organization that provides children and adults with severe cognitive and physical disabilities throughout Israel with the highest level of medical and rehabilitative care. Our vision was to boost employment in the northern Negev region as part of our Blueprint Negev campaign. This facility provides 1,500 jobs, including doctors and nurses living in and around Ofakim, a community outside of Be’er Sheva. This is what you call a win-win situation. This is but a small example of how our vision for the Negev is fulfilling my passion for Israel and the reason why I am excited to be the National Vice President of Campaign for JNF. My goal is to have more lay leaders involved in our Blueprint Negev campaign and I will work hard to achieve it. I am proud to say that JNF is the most successful Israel-focused fundraising organization in the world that devotes 100% of its activities to Israel. This makes it possible for us to turn our vision into reality. My passion is Israel, and with your support, our visions will turn into reality. Contact me at


For more information on JNF’s work with WePower, contact Sharon David at or 212.879.9305 x242.

BILL MILLER, vp, Campaign

Jewish National Fund

politics is nothing new. Look back as early as 19691974 and you will see a woman at the helm of the country: Golda Meir, the first and only female Prime Minister of Israel. In the decades since, opportunities for women to enter leadership roles have remained a challenge but are now experiencing a sea change. Mirroring what is happening globally in the 21st century, more and more Israeli women feel empowered to enter leadership positions in Ifat Zamir, Executive business, politics, and other Director of WePower professional environments. JNF is working together with WePower to herald change and work to form a more gender-equal civic society in the Negev and Galil. Established in 2000, the organization is helping women grow in leadership roles, providing training programs and educational opportunities to receive extensive experience and later serve in leadership ranks. Its goal is to provide women the opportunity to advance within political and public arenas, bringing a gendered approach to policy issues and access to addressing the root causes of the challenges faced by females in Israel.

“There is an enormous lack of women in decision-making positions in Israel, and the gap in political power carries significant implications,” explained Ifat Zamir, WePower’s first Executive Director. “Women-related issues and other social concerns do not receive adequate public attention, governmental funding or grassroots support, further reinforcing the marginalization of women of all sectors in Israel.” JNF encourages empowerment among women, bringing together like-minded individuals who connect to the people of Israel and share their passions with each other and their counterparts in Israel. “With the newly formed relationship between JNF and WePower, the future of our women’s campaign will only get stronger,” said Louise Dabrow, President of JNF’s Women for Israel. “I already feel empowered when I’m surrounded by the strong and smart women who are involved with our women’s campaign. I can’t wait to meet and learn from the new women who join through WePower’s inspiring talks and visits across the U.S.” By changing the face of leadership in the Negev and Galil, WePower is taking the steps with JNF to build a better and stronger Israel. n

Jewish National Fund

Across the country For info on upcoming JNF events, visit and click on “JNF in Your Area”   New England


  Los Angeles








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New england


Los Angeles


(L-R) JNF Capital District Board members Karen Hausler, Jane Golub, Board President Ken Segel, Susan Farber, Rob Ganz, and Jeff Adler at a recent board meeting where Ken was presented with a plaque of congratulations on being awarded JNF’s Campaign All-Star for his outstanding contributions to the organization.

1 (L-R) Alan Aronstein, Dick Fuqua, and Ed Sacks at the JNF Southwest Israeli Wine

1 (L-R standing) Diana Ezra, Debbie Muer, Myrtle Sitowitz, Los Angeles Executive


(L-R) JNF Boston President Michael Blank, JNFuture members Eric Levine and Bret Valerio, and Pat Blank at The Summit with JNF in Las Vegas.

3 Fred Zeidman spoke about his family’s history of giving to JNF and imparting to


Longtime Executive Board member and VP of the New England Israeli community Isaac Edry planted trees in Israel at Harvey Hertz-JNF Ceremonial Tree Planting Center with his wife Ilana, their children and extended family.

4 (L-R) Austin participants enjoyed hearing about Israel and JNF’s efforts at the 2nd



(L-R) JNF New England Board member Steve Aronson, JNF Boston President Michael Blank, Lance Kawesch, JNF-Halutza liaison Yedidya Harush, Aaron Blank, and Ed Musmon at a luncheon hosted by Aaron. (L-R) Ira Fink, Dean Levy, Sid Frenkel, JNF Senior Campaign Executive Deborah Budd, JNF New England Executive Board member and featured speaker Steve London, Bruce Stanger, and meeting host Bob Zelinger. The group is working to develop awareness of JNF in the Hartford, CT area.

Dinner at The Tasting Room in Houston.

2 (L-R) Alan and Roni Wolk, JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick, Raanan Prizcker, Margot Alfia, Alan Lubel, and Sharon Levison at an Atlanta Board meeting.

Director Allison Krumholz, Robin Muer, Gina Raphael, Alyse Golden Berkley, Carole Shnier, Sunny Russ, Ilana Kadosh, Liana Baruch, Lacee Kine, Cindy Mintz, Jill Rosenberg, Gail Mintz; (L-R seated) Shoshana Levine, Jackie Burdorf, Pennie Dobkin, and Shari Weiner at a JNF Women for Israel event in LA. (Photo credit: Orly Halevy)

his son the importance of JNF’s positive work in Israel for a multigenerational JNF 2 (L-R) Abe Hecht, Marty Singer, Richard London, and Lloyd Sherman, winners of the Los Angeles regional qualifying leg of The Herzl Tour: The International Golf video shoot in Houston. Tour of JNF. Abe stood in for winner Kevin King. Annual Pot Luck Shabbat in Austin, TX.

5 (L-R) KKL Israel Emissary Ronnie Porat met with with Eli Hyman at Hyman’s Restaurant in Charleston, SC.

6 (L-R) KKL Israel Emissary Ronnie Porat, Tree of LifeTM honoree Barney Portman, and Lauren Mescon, Chairman of the 2020 Central Arava Task Force, at a Tree of LifeTM dinner in Savannah, GA.

3 (L-R) Steve Soboroff, KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler, JNF CEO Russell F.

Robinson, JNF America Ambassador to KKL and Israel Stanley Chesley, and Lauren Chesley Cohen took a break during the Maccabi games to plant trees with JNF in Israel.














11 Florida 1. (L-R) Lorelei Ennis, JNF-LOTEM liaison Alisa Bodner, and Southern Florida Campaign Executive Debbie Regent at a JNF Women for Israel brunch in Weston. 2. (L-R) Miami-Dade Board member and National JNFuture President Zev Steinmetz with JNFuture Miami-Dade Events Co-Chair Gili Zimmerman at the JNFuture Art Walk After Party at Gallery 212 in Miami. 3. (L-R) Miami-Dade Board members Brian Roffman and Roy Esh with Southern Florida Campaign Executive Debbie Regent at the JNFuture Art Walk After Party at Gallery 212 in Miami. 4. Charles Sues at the JNF booth during the Israel Fair in Naples. 5. (L-R) Florida Center of Excellence Director Elissa Stern with Orlando Campaign Executive Laura Abramson, and Northern Florida President and Tampa Board member Mary Ellen Hogan visited the synagogue at Carmit, a new community in the Negev, during the JNF-KKL World Leadership Conference mission.


12 6. (L-R) Former Southern Florida Campaign Executive Robbie Puritz Hayes with South Palm Board members Cynthia Hertz, Education Chair and event host Cantor Elaine Shapiro, Linda Fuchs, and Broward Board President, JNF National Women for Israel Board member, and Women’s Alliance Co-Chair Vivian Grossman at the Queen of Sheba: Women for Israel mission meeting in Boca Raton.

13 10 (L-R) Executive Director of Florida Glen D. Schwartz, JNF-LOTEM Liaison Alisa

Bodner, and event host Dr. David Slotnick during a JNF Doctors for Israel event in the atrium of the Boca Clinic in Boca Raton.

11 (L-R) Jamie and Dr. Russell Blumenthal with Dr. Amanda and Sam Smith during

the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award dinner at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. 7. (L-R) Palm Beach Board members Beverly Rubenstein, Sheila Wilensky, Melanie Fishman, and Ruth Margules, Board President Art Silber, and Board members Rabbi 12 (L-R) Maxine Solomon, Blossom Leibowitz, and previous Tree of Life™ honoree Kay Jacobs at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award dinner at the Grand Hyatt Stephen Pinsky and Gloria Slass at a board meeting. Tampa Bay. 8 (L-R) Major General (Res.) Doron Almog with Jerry and Judy Levenson during a 13 (L-R) Mary and Robert Bandes with Dr. David and Melissa Bernstein at the Tampa visit to Aleh Negev in Israel. Bay Tree of Life™ Award dinner at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. 9 (L-R) Executive Director of Florida Glen D. Schwartz, South Palm Board member Jeff Amkraut, South Palm Beach Board President Michael Lazar, and Southern Florida Director Laura Sherry with South Palm Beach Board members Sandra Crain, Martin Stein, and Stephen Soble at a South Palm Beach Board of Directors meeting.











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Western 1. Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson enjoyed the JNF Garden Party event in Las Vegas.

5. (L-R) Marlin Barad, 2013 Breakfast Co-Chair Lee Kay, Essie Perlmutter, and Michelle Right attended the JNF Annual Breakfast in Denver.

2. (L-R) Rena Kantor, JNF Garden Party host Victor Chaltiel, Sara Kantor, and Rhea Shervan at the JNF Garden Party in Las Vegas.

6. (L-R) Elliott Husney, Mountain States Board Chair Gene Kay, and Evan Husney at the JNF Annual Breakfast in Denver.

3. (L-R) Las Vegas Board members Leo Bletnitsky and David Kruger at The Summit with JNF at the Red Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

7. (L-R) Orange County Board President Phil Waldman and Board members Marc Franklin, Peter Pflaum, and Lloyd Sellinger at the Orange County Israel Expo 2013.

4. (L-R) Hugo Weinberger, Mountain States Board member Michael Marcus,

Susan Weinberger, and Mountain States Board member Rick Altman at the JNF Annual Breakfast in Denver.

9. (L-R) Pam Pasternack with JNF Israel Operations Development Officer Ariel Kotler at a JNF Women for Israel event in Scottsdale, Arizona.

10.(L-R) Arizona Regional Director Ted Kort and Arizona Board member and JNF Doctors for Israel Co-Chair Stuart Cohen at a recent meeting in Arizona.

11. (L-R) Linda Bennett and Yiftach Levy at San Diego’s Love of Israel Brunch.

12. (L-R) Jill Stone, San Diego Campaign Executive Ezra Erle, National Campaign Director Diane Scar, Lauren Lizerbram, and Jodi Abel at the 8. (L-R) Board members Marc Franklin, Hazel Pflaum, and Peter Pflaum at the JNF Women for Israel cooking class and luncheon at Lajollacooks4u. Orange County Israel Expo 2013. 13. (L-R) Edmond Elghanian, Allen and Carine Chitayat, and Debbie Elghanian enjoyed San Diego’s Love of Israel Brunch.









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mid-Atlantic member Eric Weissman, and Makor member Dr. Chet Stein discussed the success of The Summit With JNF at the DC breakfast.

2. (L-R) Washington, DC Board members Dr. Chet Stein, Howard Silberberg, Adrienne





1. (L-R) JNFuture members Caroline Sandler and Evan Hoffman, Marsha Liss, JNFuture 7. (L-R) JNFuture members Richard Friedler, Adam Kirr, Maryland President Frank


Spector, Barri Defrancisci, and Michael Schaffer formed a new JNFuture chapter in Baltimore.

8. (L-R) Dr. Jim Chisum, Lou Narrow, Dr. Cliff Faber, Jack Rose, and Nelson Fishman at a fundraiser for the Central Arava.

Rulnick, Ken Krupsky, and Len Miller at the Washington, DC JNF breakfast.

1. (L-R) Event chairs Howard Freedberg and Rob Mintz with Ron Slucker, David Charman, Scott Gendell, David Bossy, and event chair Thomas Kane at the Chicago leg of The Herzl Tour: The International Golf Tour of JNF.

2. (L-R) Breakfast Co-Chairs Hirsch Wise, Karen and Nathan Lane, and David Gershuny at Cincinnati’s 4th annual Event of the Year breakfast.

3. (L-R) Keynote speaker and Israeli Foreign Liaison Officer Lt. Col. Shay Moscovici, 3. (L-R) Jonathan Cederbaum, Craig Margolis, Cary Feldman, and Marsha Liss enjoyed 9. (L-R) Susan Hackerman, Jayne Klein, and Nanci Seff at the Baltimore JNF breakfast. Mike Scheier of Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL, Legal Society Vice President the Washington, DC JNF breakfast.

4. (L-R) Team JNF members Elliot Myrowitz, Brenda Jaffe, Dr. David Jaffe, Wendy

Schelew, Harvey Cohen, Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, Cathy Myrowitz, and DC Regional Director Stuart Diamant-Cohen trained for the Hazon Israel Ride outside of Delaware.

5. (L-R) Mark Wolkow and DC Regional Director Stuart Diamant-Cohen planned the

next Harford County event at a JNF breakfast.

6. Shelly Malis proudly showed off a ripened pepper while on the Central Arava

Task Force mission.

10.(L-R) Burt Ziskind reminisced about a recent trip to JNF/KKL forest at a major

donor thank you event in Baltimore.

11.(L-R) Joel Friedlander, Rita Stein, Dr. Chet Stein, and Rabbi Jonathan Brown (Herzl Society) at an event supporting the Arava Institute. 12.(L-R) Washington, D.C. Regional Director Stuart Diamant Cohen with Marsha Liss

and Dr. Chet Stein at the JNF DC breakfast.

Todd Bailey of Frost Brown Todd LLC, and Aleh Negev Development Director Yossi Kahana at the Jewish National Fund/Judge Carl B. Rubin Legal Society “Lunch and Learn” in Cincinnati.

4. (L-R) Southern Ohio and Kentucky Board Member Elece Kovel, Julie Sabes, and

Southern Ohio and Kentucky Board member Les Kovel enjoyed a Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration in Louisville, KY.

5.Northern Ohio Board member and National Board of Directors KKL International Marketing Committee World Chair Michael Jacobson welcomed guests at the Northern Ohio Tree of Life™ Award dinner.

6. (L-R) Guest speaker Ambassador Ido Aharoni and Northern Ohio Board President Bart Bookatz at the Northern Ohio Tree of Life™ Award dinner. 7. (L-R) Northern Ohio Board members Joni and Steven Wasserman enjoyed the Northern Ohio Tree of Life™ Award dinner.

Greater New York

























1 (L-R) Eastern PA Board member Amy Holtz, JNF-Halutza liaison Yedidya Harush,


(L-R) Guest speaker and Dean of Columbia Law School David Schizer with JNF Lawyers for Israel (LFI) Co-Chairs Deborah Riegel, Ruth Raisfeld, and Arthur Adler at a JNF Lawyers for Israel event in Manhattan.


(L-R) Root Society member Elior Shiloh, Alexandra Levite, and featured speaker JNF-Halutza liasion Yedidya Harush at a JNFuture Speaker Series event focusing on developing the Negev.

and Elliot Holtz visited the new Negev community of Haluzta.

2 A meeting of the Philadelphia Board of Directors featured Director of the Arava Institute David Lehrer.

3 Team Beth El Voorhees at 5K 4 H20 in memory of Congressman John Adler in Pennsauken, NJ.

4 (L-R) Helene Blumenfeld and Ann Rosenberg at a JNF Women for Israel parlor meeting at a Women for Israel brunch at the home of Judy Rosenbaum in Longport, NJ.

5 (L-R) Shelley Adler, Southern New Jersey Regional Director Lynn Norton-Robins and Southern New Jersey Outgoing President Mark Kramer at the Congressman John Adler Memorial 5K for H20 at Cooper River Park Stadium in Pennsauken, NJ.

6 (L-R standing) Southern New Jersey Regional Director Lynn Norton-Robins,

Event Committee Chair Sherri Middleberg, Amy Brown, speaker Lynda Fishman; (L-R seated) host Judy Rosenbaum, and Rande Blank at a JNF Women for Israel brunch.

7 (L-R) Central New Jersey Board member Jim Paul, Kala Paul, Stacey Kirshenbaum, Central New Jersey Board members Alan Kirshenbaum, Dan Richter and Micole Richter at the annual Central New Jersey Board BBQ.

8 (L-R) Central New Jersey Board President Mark Rattner awarded plaques of

gratitude to Central New Jersey Board members Alyssa Russo and Dan Richter for co-chairing the Central New Jersey JNF Breakfast.

9 (L-R) Marc Leibowitz and Central New Jersey Board member Alan Kirshenbaum at the Central New Jersey Texas Hold ‘em Poker Tournament.




(L-R) Herzl Tour Chair and Central New Jersey Board member Aaron Tucker, Bayonne Tournament Co-Chairs Ira Steinberg and Ari Wise with Danny Saadon of EL AL Airlines, Bayonne Co-Chair Jeremy Halpern, and Bayonne tournament champions Neil Shroff, Jay Don Johnson, Robert Oechslin, and Jeffrey Erisman.


(L-R) Greater New York JNFuture Events Chair Jessica Levine, JNF Greater New York Campaign Executive Danielle Obrart, and GNY JNFuture Chair Ben Levine at JNFuture’s 6th Annual Shabbat in the Park.


(L-R) JNF Northern New Jersey Director Jocelyn Inglis with event Co-Chairs Ruth Pomerantz and Sharon Fried at the first annual Northern New Jersey JNF Breakfast.


(L-R) Northern New Jersey Board member Ben Gutmann, Bonnie Gutmann, Susan Gutmann, and Howard Gutmann at the first annual Northern New Jersey JNF Breakfast.


(L-R) National Director of JNF Parsons Water Fund and featured speaker Zevi Kahanov, New York Board President Laureine Greenbaum, Laura Evans, and Greater New York Director of Major Gifts Ella Newman at a salon meeting in Manhattan.

(L-R) Host Pamela Ostrow, KKL Director of Major Donor Relations and featured speaker Talia Tzour, New York Board member Zehav Wolowsky, and Greater New York Director of Major Gifts Ella Newman at a salon meeting in Manhattan.


(L-R) Co-host and Westchester Board member Caren Hammerman, KKL Director of Major Donor Relations and guest speaker Talia Tzour, co-host and Westchester Board member Lynn Jacobs, and JNF Director, Westchester and Southern Connecticut Stephanie Risa Balkin at a JNF Women for Israel luncheon in Westchester.

5 6

Team JNF-Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride participants rode alongside JNF’s float in the annual Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City.


(L-R top row) JNF Women for Israel National Vice President Nina Paul, Amy Goldman, Greater New York Director of Major Gifts Ella Newman; (L-R bottom row) Sandra Stiles, New York Board member Sheila Scharfman, Joanne Cohen, JNF Director, Westchester and Southern Connecticut Stephanie Risa Balkin, and JNF Senior Campaign Executive, Greater New York Jodi Perlmuth Popofsky at JNF Women for Israel’s first Sapphire Society thank you luncheon and fashion presentation at Saks Fifth Avenue.

10 (L-R) Greater New York JNFuture Education Chair Jonathan Gertman, Root Society and Shabbat in the Park Host Committee member Elior Shiloh, Jessica Furgiuele, Yasmin Radjy, and Jeff Spiegel at JNFuture’s 6th Annual Shabbat in the Park.

JNF’s donor societies are reserved for major donors who have demonstrated an enduring commitment to Israel and JNF. Society members receive exclusive privileges and services.

Create a LASTING Legacy charitable gift annuities charitable remainder trusts charitable lead trusts life insurance endowments donor advised funds bequests


• • • • • • •

Membership benefits include:

Join us today and help build a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people. Contact Yael Septee Kane at or 212.879.9305 x220 for more information.


Contributions to Jewish National Fund of $5,000 and above are recognized with a plaque with your name on it on a central dedicatory wall in the heart of American Independence Park (AIP) located outside of Jerusalem in the Judean Hills.

• Name recognition in the Book of Life, on permanent display at JNF headquarters in NY • A custom-designed Gould Legacy Society pin • Invitations to special events and lectures • A limited edition JNF Blue Box designed by Tiffany & Co. (for legacy gifts of $50,000 and above) • Recognition in Israel

To learn more contact one of our Planned Giving Specialists at 800.562.7526 or

Brooklyn Rabbi Shows Grandchildren Israel on JNF’s Day Tour discount. In the past six years, Rabbi Melvin and Pearl Burg have gone on JNF’s Wednesday day tour five times. The first time they signed up alone. Enjoying it so much, they have since included it in the pre-Bar Mitzvah trip they take their grandsons on, when going to Israel to purchase tefillin. “When my wife and I first went on the day tour, we thought it was fantastic,” said Rabbi Burg. “Shahar Hermelin is a fabulous guide and points out so many things as you go. We want to give our grandchildren a fresh taste of Israel. Even the grandchildren who live in Israel—they see Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Hebron…but we feel that it’s important to see the expanse of the Negev. As David Ben Gurion said, ‘the future of Israel lies in the Negev.’ With JNF you are able to see so much of the land and get a sense of what life is like there. So we thought this is a good way to open their eyes. Last year we visited the 9/11 Living Memorial in Israel, which blew us away and which very few people know exists.” Originally from Southeast Bronx, NY, Rabbi Burg has been at Congregation Pri Eitz Chaim/Ocean Avenue Jewish Center in Brooklyn for 36 years. His wife Pearl is the District Manager for Brooklyn Community Board 15. Growing up with the JNF Blue Box, they remember buying trees for every occasion, and on their trips to Israel, they see how far the trees have come in making an entire

desert come to life. Now they are the proud grandparents of 18 grandchildren, six of whom live in Ramat Beit Shemesh with their daughter and son-in-law. So far, they have taken six grandsons and one granddaughter on the JNF day tour. The day tour, which leaves from Jerusalem every Wednesday, demonstrates the spirit, potential and accomplishments of the Negev. It visits the Ayalon Institute, the secret underground bullet factory that was below a working kibbutz right under the noses of British troops from 1945-1948; the town of Sderot, home to the one-of-a-kind 22,000-square-foot indoor playground;

(L-R) Pearl, Shlomo, Rabbi Melvin, Zevi, Devorah, and Elli Burg.

Be’er Sheva, the centerpiece of JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign and the site of the 1,700 acre Be’er Sheva River Park project; and Givot Bar, a new Negev community of 21st century pioneers who are making the desert bloom.

We want to give our grandchildren a fresh taste of Israel.

They should get a frequent flyer

“We liked the focal point on children in the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, where they have a place that provides both recreation and protection,” said Rabbi Burg. “The mingling of different types of people that were there is amazing. My grandchildren tested the games and facilities and were so impressed at the upscale quality of the playground and all of its amenities.” Perhaps most impressive, according to Rabbi Burg, is the change that has taken place in Be’er Sheva. He remembers going to Be’er Sheva when the river was used as a garbage dumping ground. Now, visiting the Be’er Sheva River Park, “every year we go, we’ve seen it transform from being rundown and used for garbage to what it is now. “To take a desolate space and make it bloom, that is the story of Israel and of Jewish National Fund.” n To book a JNF day tour, which leaves every Wednesday from JNF’s Jerusalem office, visit

New Chai Society Offers Exciting Opportunities for JNF’s Women When JNF’s Sderot Indoor RECREATION



Center was being built in 2009, Sherri Middleberg of Bucks County, NJ remembers that as a mom she felt a need to help the children and families of Sderot. She did, and over the years, Sherri has continued to connect with JNF’s vision; she is now one of the first members of JNF’s newest women’s society, the Chai Society. “The Chai Society is a level at which I was comfortable donating,” she said. “I wanted to donate $1,800 to symbolize chai. To me, JNF is more than just giving. It’s helping Israel, it’s a sense of community, it’s making new friends, and it’s hopefully teaching our Chai Society pendant children by example. I look forward to proudly wearing the beautiful Chai Society pendant to all the events I attend.” A means of encouraging more women to join JNF’s leadership and society ranks, the Chai Society will act as a stepping stone between the Women’s Alliance and the Sapphire Society, JNF’s women’s major donor society. To be a member of JNF’s Women’s Alliance, an annual donation of $360 is required. Sapphire Society membership is an annual donation of $5,000. Each level of giving provides

its own set of benefits to the donor. The Chai Society also allows women who aren’t at the major donor giving level access to leadership roles in the organization. “Women’s giving is so critical,” said Vivian Grossman, who, with Ellen Rosenberg, serves as Chai Society Co-Chair, “so we thought this is the opportunity to be more inclusive.” Sandy Rife, whose husband Seymour is the incoming president for Phoenix, agrees that the Chai Society presents a level of giving that encourages women to make donations separate from a family donation. She has been giving at the Women’s Alliance level for years. “I’ve always felt that it’s important for a woman to give a gift in her name, as a wonderful example for her family and children,” Sandy said. “As a supporter of JNF, and having seen how their work benefits Israel, I think that it’s essential that we do what we can to ensure that the people who have the courage to be pioneers and move to the Negev have access to basic institutions and amenities.” Creating a connection between the women in the U.S. who support Israel and the people who benefit from that support, members of the Chai Society will receive a beautiful 24-karat gold pendant in the shape of the State of Israel, designed by Israeli jewelry designer Orit Levi. “As third generation Israelis, our love for Israel is etched in our souls,” said Orit. “It is our inspiration not only in designing jewelry, but in our lives, in the way we

raise our children with the values and culture of Israel, and it gives us a strong motivation to protect our homeland. Working with JNF is a great honor and a huge compliment. Jewish National Fund has been so supportive all the way; we feel as if we are working with a family member, not a customer.” Orit is a member of the Israeli Art Vivian Grossman Association, a group of artists who created a shared website so people could purchase the art directly ( It was there that Vivian and Ellen looked for a pendant to represent JNF’s Chai Society and were wowed by Orit’s unique design. “The pendant is beautifully made; the quality blew us away,” said Vivian. “It makes a strong statement, yet is feminine. We wanted a pin that women in their 20s as well as women in their 70s could wear every day with pride. Every time I’ve worn the pin, I’ve been stopped on the street.” “Every woman wearing our pendant is a goodwill ambassador for Israel,” said Orit, “and a portal to reach more women who will purchase our art and enable us to continue creating Israeli art that will reach many Jews and Israel supporters in the US. We thank JNF from the bottom of our hearts for this amazing opportunity.” n For more information or to join the Chai Society, contact Sharon David at or 212.879.9302 x242.

Raising money for JNF is now easier than ever! • • • •

Plant Your Way

Alternative Spring Break

Brand new user-friendly websites Log in using your Facebook or Twitter accounts Manage your page from your smartphone or tablet Seamless social media integration


B’nai Mitzvah Projects


The Summit with

JNF and JNFuture

A sold-out gathering of young leaders engaged in conversation surrounding sustainability and Israel. To be involved in your community, visit

A New Era Begins for JNF and AMHSI It’s like a match made in heaven.

“When you shall come to the land you shall plant trees.” – Leviticus 19:23


A tree has been planted in Israel

Show them you care...


Plant a Tree in Memory of a Loved One Take part in a JNF time-honored tradition and plant a tree in Israel as a living tribute of your loved one.

800.542.TREE(8733) • JNF.ORG/PLANTNOW

Take Advantage of Tax-Free IRA Gifts The American Taxpayer Relief Act extended the extraordinary opportunity to make tax-free rollover gifts from IRAs to charity through December 31, 2013. An owner of an IRA who is at least 70.5 years of age may instruct the trustee to distribute directly to JNF up to $100,000 without counting the distribution as taxable income. Also, the distribution will count towards the IRA owner’s required minimum distribution. To make sure that your gift will qualify or for more details, please call a JNF Planned Giving Specialist at 800.562.7526 or go to

As the single largest provider of Zionist education in the U.S., Jewish National Fund offers myriad ways to connect young American Jews to Israel—from trips to b’nai mitzvah projects to advocacy programs. Founded in 1972, the Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) promotes, builds, and strengthens the lifelong bonds between youth and Israel through the study of the history and culture of the people of Israel. Since it began, over 22,000 youths have benefited from the Zionist education experience that AMHSI offers. Now, after a wonderful partnership, an exciting new era is opening with the JNF acquisition of AMHSI. “JNF is thrilled to be working more closely with AMHSI,” said Joseph Wolfson, Assistant Vice President of JNF and member of the AMHSI Board. “As the parent of two children who attended a semester program at the Hod Hasharon campus, I feel strongly that AMHSI provides a unique experience for children to learn about the history of the Jewish people, our connection to the land of Israel, and our Zionist heritage. JNF, being the original Zionist organization and having a broad array of Zionist education initiatives, is a natural partner for AMHSI. When the opportunity for JNF and AMHSI to work even more closely arose, I was an immediate supporter, and our review and work to bring together the relationship only reinforced my view. I am excited about the possibilities we have to work together and look forward to great success. “I believe that this partnership can have a lasting and enormous impact on the next generation of Zionist leaders.” Every year, hundreds of public and private high school students leave their classrooms in the United States and travel to a new classroom called Israel. The uniqueness of the program is what has fueled and increased its popularity over time. In a campus environment that resembles a mini-college experience these youths are getting a head start on becoming independent young adults while receiving academic credit towards their high school studies (six college credits are also available) and exploring all that Israel has to offer, from historical sites to the newest innovations. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve been to Israel multiple times or if you’ve never been,” said Head of School Rabbi Philip Nadel. “For many, it’s their first time, and that is so exciting to watch. For those who have been before, whether on a trip or on a family visit, they say that even the same activity, like hiking Masada, is made different because of the way the AMHSI madrichim (leaders) lead the outings.” With its effectiveness in conveying a Zionist message because it goes beyond simply studying the history of the land of Israel and with its unique standing in the educational environment, AMHSI is the perfect fit for JNF’s vision. “We are all about growth and about the development of the next generation of leaders,” said JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson. “AMHSI is the leading high school program in Israel and we take great pride in the knowledge that our acquisition will help ensure another generation of students. “We believe in it—in its history and its future. We have a moral obligation to make sure the school continues to thrive. And we will.” n For more information on AMHSI, see page 31.

Zionism with a Big “Z” On A warm summer day in mid-July, 300 people boarded an EL AL flight at JFK airport with their one-way ticket to Israel. Excitement surrounded the families, singles, children of all ages, professionals, and future soldiers who made up the full flight. This was the first Nefesh B’Nefesh chartered EL AL flight for Summer

As celebrations began when the 50th El Al chartered flight landed in Israel, he added: “we won.” n For more information on Nefesh B’Nefesh, visit


2013 that was bringing North Americans to Israel to make aliyah and start a new chapter of their lives in Israel. JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson was also on board, representing the brand new partnership Jewish National Fund and Nefesh B’Nefesh are launching. “It’s a new Israel,” he said. “The Israel today is about partnership, about building, about Americans being part of the process. It’s the most exciting time in Israel’s history and as JNF works to build the Negev and Galilee,

(L-R) Gilad Shalit and Russell F. Robinson.


Passengers from the Nefesh B’Nefesh flight upon landing in Israel.

we are thrilled to partner with Nefesh B’Nefesh to help populate those regions as well.” Nefesh B’Nefesh has revitalized twenty-first century western aliyah and has brought over 35,000 olim from the USA, Canada, and UK. Before the flight, they offer a seamless process for potential olim. Upon arrival in Israel, they also help ensure successful acclimation to Israel for the new immigrants with a 97% retention rate. Nefesh B’Nefesh—which means Jewish Souls United—has turned into the gateway for North American Jews to make Israel their home. “Nefesh B’Nefesh is honored to partner with JNF and work together to help build a stronger Israel by assisting passionate, modern-day pioneers in populating the northern and southern regions of the country,” said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, founder of Nefesh B’Nefesh. “Building upon JNF’s historic efforts to develop and nurture the land of Israel, this partnership and JNF’s Go North campaign is helping cultivate the entirety of the country with an infusion of human capital and idealism— the blueprint for Israel’s future.” Attracting new residents to the Negev and Galilee has long been a JNF priority, and an essential component of its Blueprint Negev campaign to sustainably develop Israel’s southern region for the next generation of Israelis. Go North is JNF’s new campaign to work similarly in the Galilee. The partnership of JNF and Nefesh B’Nefesh will encourage new olim to settle into these areas. “This is Zionism with a big ‘Z’,” said Robinson. “We are proud to be Zionists, proud that JNF has the largest Zionist education program in the U.S., and proud to be part of this momentum.”

(L-R) Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, Shammai Keinan, Tony Gelbart, Melinda Wolf, Russell F. Robinson, Efi Slenzler, and Lesley Sachs.

What’s Fact? What’s Fiction? • Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation diagnostic instrument for breast cancer. • The technology for AOL Instant Messenger was developed by four young Israelis. • When the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day—and saved three victims from the rubble. • An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California’s Mojave Desert. • Israel sent 120 physicians to the tsunami-stricken areas of Asia, as well as 82 tons of medical equipment and humanitarian aid. • Children orphaned in the Rwandan genocide are being trained by Israeli foresters in agro-forestry and agriculture to help fight famine.

Truth is they’re ALL fact. Are you surprised? Learn more at


Be’er Sheva Amphitheater.

Residents building a mud house in Zuqim.

Children excited to start their first year of school.

Central Arava farmers monitor the growth of peppers at a local R&D center.

By Ariel Kotler, JNF Development Officer, Israel Operations About 12 years ago, scribbled on a napkin, two visionaries dared to dream. The challenge was nothing short of Herculean: how to make Israel’s desert bloom. In the early stages of the plan, which would come to be known as Blueprint Negev, it took a lot more than just friendship to believe that Ronald Lauder and Russell Robinson’s vision for the Negev Desert would work. Fast forward 12 years. This summer while visiting Aleh Negev, a JNF partner, with Jewish National Fund President’s Society members, I asked one of the nurses where she lives. When she responded that she is from Be’er Sheva, I asked her, “How is Be’er Sheva?” I cannot explain the excitement in her voice and her smile as she told me about the new amphitheater that is the largest one in the entire country and is in her city. She enthusiastically described how her family loves visiting the river park and how they can’t wait to go to the new Abraham’s Well museum. I promise you, her words were completely unsolicited. She said that over the last decade the city has turned around. I then told her about those two visionaries. After 12 years and nearly $100 million, together we at JNF have made major steps in realizing Ben Gurion’s dream: “The future of Israel lies in the Negev.” We reversed the migration of young families to Tel Aviv and gave them reasons to return to where they grew up. We got the Israeli government to create a ministry for the Negev and Galil and, recently, to approve the allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars for the Negev. We brought thousands of residents to settle into new communities and strengthened existing ones. We crowned the city of Be’er Sheva as the natural capital of the Negev. Together we have recognized the dream. At this moment in time we must take pride in what we set out to do and what we have done, while also recommitting for the future. It’s not about an individual project; it’s about the vision. As we succeed in this numbers game, we must double the population of Be’er Sheva to reach close to a half a million residents together. We need to build more schools, parks, and entranceways in Be’er Sheva and its neighboring communities. Carmit, a new community outside Be’er Sheva that will bring 2,700 families to the region, is an astounding success story—a desolate area that will develop into a thriving town. We are working with Nefesh B’Nefesh to bring North Americans making aliyah to the Negev. We must continue to be the catalyst that invests the first dollars, the leader who others follow, all working together to get the job done. If you haven’t been to Be’er Sheva in the last 18 months, you must plan a visit. There are just so many exciting new developments to see, thanks to you. Thank you for believing. Thank you for committing. Thank you for taking on developing the next phase of the Negev for tomorrow’s generation of Israelis—a place they can call home. From Be’er Sheva, just two words. TODA RABA. B For more information, visit



Populating the Negev ELIAV Current number of residents: 315 Number of children: 173 Number of families: 71 Target number of families: 225 Estimated Total Population: 1,000

Halutza communities Current number of residents: 1,250 Number of children: 750 Number of families: 250 Target number of families: 1,500 Estimated Total Population: 10,000

Givot Bar Current number of residents: 665 Number of children: 320 Number of families: 200 Target number of families: 500 Estimated Total Population: 3,000

Be’er Milka Current number of residents: 132 Number of children: 74 Number of families: 29 Target number of families: 100 Estimated Total Population: 500

Sansana Current number of residents: 500 Number of children: 350 Number of families: 80 Target number of families: 300 Estimated Total Population: 2,000

Merhav Am Current number of residents: 250 Number of children: 150 Number of families: 50 Target number of families: 500 Estimated Total Population: 2,250

Carmit (in process) Current number of residents: 620 Number of children: 270 Number of families: 200 Target number of families: 2,500 Estimated Total Population: 12,000

Zuqim Current number of residents: 260 Number of children: 140 Number of families: 60 Target number of families: 160 Estimated Total Population: 700

Tel Aviv




Be’er Sheva



MERHAV AM Mizpe Ramon



ENCOURAGING The Ripple Effects DEVELOPMENT of JNF in the Negev It wouldn’t have happened without us. Twelve years ago, JNF committed to a vision of bringing hundreds of thousands of new residents to the Negev, which represents 60% of the land of Israel but only 8% of the population. Called Blueprint Negev, it marked a multifaceted campaign to encourage a population shift for the next generation of Israelis to the southern region and away from overcrowded, expensive central Israel; to improve quality of life for all residents of the region; and to bring over new immigrants from the United States through Nefesh B’Nefesh. JNF was focused on the development of the Negev long before the rest of the country recognized its potential and has directed years of philanthropic giving and $300 million on projects in the Negev region. “I stood before JNF leadership and asked them to join me in this grand vision; what they have achieved has been nothing short of impressive,” said JNF Chairman of the Board Ronald S. Lauder. “JNF has never stopped with its focus, drive, and passion and the results today are evident. Now, the government of Israel walks with us, hand in hand, toward this twenty-first century Zionist vision.” In July, the Israeli Cabinet announced that the government will be investing approximately $135 million into Negev development over the next five years, motivated in part by the planned move of IDF bases to the Negev in 2015. The IDF move is projected to increase economic stimulation in the Negev by over $500 million a year. The newly approved 2013-2017 National Negev Development Plan will include housing solutions, developing the region’s high-tech industry, and promoting economic development by providing incentives for companies to relocate to the Negev. “In recent years, the Negev has undergone a revolution, is drawing strong populations and is developing in all aspects of life,” said Silvan Shalom, Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galilee. “This additional investment will provide added urgency to the Negev and will upgrade the entire region as well as the quality of life of its residents. We are proud to be working side by side with JNF USA.” Be’er Sheva is the centerpiece of JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign. What used to be a backwater town has been transformed by JNF into the capital of the Negev. The dry riverbed running through the city had been used as an illegal dumping site and as a junkyard for old cars; it has been cleaned and rehabilitated and will soon be filled with purified water yearround. An innovative urban renewal project modeled on the famous San Antonio River Walk and similar environmental reclamation projects, the 1,300-acre Be’er Sheva River Park is becoming an anchor for tourism, commerce and transforming Be’er Sheva into a green, vibrant, modern city. The J. Lew Schepps Recognition Plaza welcomes visitors to the park and is where all donors to Blueprint Negev projects are recognized.

Earthwork is underway on the park’s largest project, a 23-acre man-made lake, which will be filled with recycled water and double as a reservoir supplying water to irrigate the entire park. With bike and pedestrian paths, restaurants, shops, galleries, bird-watching spots and picnic areas, it is the centerpiece of the Be’er Sheva River Park, offering relaxation and amusement for residents and tourists alike. Additionally, other milestones have been achieved in the construction and development of the park’s main attractions. The Danielle A. and Irving J. Grossman JNF Amphitheatre, a 12,000-seat entertainment complex, will be Israel’s largest outdoor performance venue, and Abraham’s Well, a multimedia visitor center with the majority of funding from the estate of Howard and May Mann of Phoenix, AZ that showcases the life of the patriarch Abraham, is expected to draw 100,000 visitors a year. The uniquely designed Pipes Bridge, which crosses the Be’er Sheva River, whose primary funding is from the estate of Raya Cohen, has become a favored location for wedding and bar mitzvah pictures. Hard at work at developing new communities (see map on previous page), JNF is also dedicated to strengthening existing communities in the region. Task forces of lay leaders from throughout the United States for Central Arava, Yerucham and Arad are working with the towns’ regional councils in order to strategize the communities’ priorities and needs and determine where JNF’s assistance can be most effective. “Blueprint Negev is JNF’s vision,” said JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson. “With this new government initiative, any financial commitment helps us continue to transform our vision into practical developments. Be’er Sheva’s growth, the River Walk, the amphitheatre, Abraham’s Well, seven new communities, initiatives in Arad, Dimona, Yerucham, Ofakim, and our partnerships with moshavim and kibbutzim from the Dead Sea to Eilat—they have all been impacted by JNF’s work and meaningful commitment to the people and land of Israel.” Prime Minister Netanyahu called the government’s plan “a historic move in the context of government decisions to approve a national plan for the development of the Negev.” “The Negev, with Be’er Sheva as its hub, is going to quickly become an important high-tech center for the State of Israel,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu. Heralding the development of Be’er Sheva as a cybercenter through joint planned projects with the Israel National Cyber Bureau, Netanyahu called it “a sign for the future, a better future for Be’er Sheva and the communities of the Negev.” We see it as a continuation of our vision. It wouldn’t have happened without JNF. B

The new Pipes Bridge.

For more information, visit


Drawing of the Arava Medical Center.

Fostering Community Building Lauren Mescon remembers her first trip to Central Arava—a jeep ride through the region with thenMayor Ezra Ravins—and being impressed with the region’s immense potential. “I think Central Arava represents a microcosm of everything JNF does, from water to infrastructure, to community development, to agriculture,” said the Atlanta resident and co-chair of the Central Arava 2020 Task Force. The Central Arava 2020 Task Force is one of three Jewish National Fund has created so far in the Negev— Yerucham and Arad are the other two—each designed to assess how JNF can assist that particular community in growing, developing, and attracting residents to settle in their midst. Visits to these communities are held yearly where task force members, comprised of JNF donors from around the country, meet with local authorities, municipal councils and residents to strategize and determine priorities and goals. To date, the Central Arava Task Force’s greatest success has been securing matching funding from the government for the much-needed Central Arava Medical Center. A group of U.S. doctors even spent time with doctors and nurses in the area, which “brought incredible, much-appreciated dialogue, and discussed the design of the medical center,” said Central Arava 2020 Task Force co-chair Barbara Sommers. “As a result, there were changes made in the actual design of the new facility.” The task force plans to attend the opening of the medical center in April. Now working with current Mayor Eyal Blum, new priorities for Central Arava include doubling the population of Moshav Ein Yahav (which is currently 175 families) and expanding the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT) in Sapir, which welcomes students from various Asian countries to learn about Israel’s desert agricultural techniques. JNF previously funded a computer room and now has plans to build a campus for 2,000 new students.

On her first visit as head of the Yerucham 2020 Task Force, NY resident and JNF National Secretary Geri Shatz learned that a chief need among the community is affordable housing for young couples and families. JNF is now involved in the renovation of a group of four dilapidated three-story garden apartments located a half block off the main street that Geri believes will have a great effect on commercial and retail business in the town. “In many ways, Yerucham is a backwater town, but it is also a town on the brink of great success,” said Geri. Prior to the task force being formed, JNF had built JNF-Yerucham Young Adult Community House, a social center for young adults for people who were coming to Yerucham to interview for jobs and needed a place to stay. There is more to do. Yerucham is looking for a sort of gentrification that will raise the level of the people who are attracted to the community. Yerucham Mayor Michal Biton wants to create a town that draws committed and community-minded people. “It’s empowering,” said Geri Shatz of participating on a task force. “It’s a wonderful way to do philanthropy, to not just give philanthropy. When I go with our group, none of us are architects or urban planners, but we’re all sentient, experienced people who bring with us our knowledge and an open mind.”

New Skate Park in Arad.

JNF-Yerucham Young Adult Community House.

Terry Katz, head of the newly-formed Arad 2020 Task Force, agrees. “It’s an opportunity to do something connected to Israel,” said the Philadelphia resident and the JNF Assistant Vice President for Israel Action. “The challenge is to come up with ideas to make a marriage between our JNF donors and the city, and to implement these projects reasonably quickly.” The task force has yet to have an official mission, but on a recent trip to Israel, Terry and fellow leader Jim Riola of Orlando toured Arad with Mayor Tali Ploscov and brainstormed ways of improving the community’s housing problem and expanding its tourist base. Meeting with young families looking to move to Arad—including some who grew up in the city and are looking to return— Terry noted their vision of creating a New York City Greenwich Village vibe—coffeehouses, restaurants, clubs, artist’s studios—was possible. But due to a lack of housing there is no place for them right now. To attract visitors to Arad, Terry points to the area’s reputation as having the cleanest air in all of Israel. That inspired the idea that the town could open a health spa offering organic food, meditation, and mud baths with mud brought from the Dead Sea. Another idea is to revive the Hebrew music rock festival that Arad has hosted in previous years and has been compared to Woodstock; it attracted 15,000-20,000 people from all over Israel, which would be a boon for expanding the city’s tourism. “The positive attitude of the city’s residents is incredible,” Terry said. “The city is very open and everybody is very positive about Arad. I think this will be a very thrilling project.” B To join or learn more about each task force, contact Lauren Mescon (Central Arava) at, Geri Shatz (Yerucham) at, and Terry Katz (Arad) at

SCIENTIFIC Great Potential R&D in the Arava

the Arava desert. We have proven that it is possible to do state-of-the-art science in the desert. Now we must encourage good people to come to the Arava. To do that we must give them opportunities—the structure and infrastructure to pursue their interests and the ability to fulfill their dreams.” Dr. Russek-Blum concurs: “The community here is strong and has a high spirit. One of our main goals is to give people a home where they can accomplish great things and realize their potential. The R&D Center is growing and giving the second generation here in the Arava a place to do this work.” Born in Ra’anana, Dr. Russek-Blum is married to Dr. Eyal Blum, the recentlyappointed Mayor of Central Arava and a second generation Central Arava farmer. The Enter the state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) building in Central couple, who met doing PhDs at the Weizmann Institute—she in Brain Development, Arava, and it feels as if Ben Gurion’s vision for the Negev has come to life. Located he in Plant Sciences—returned to the Arava to raise three children. Of second deep in the Arava Valley, approximately a third of a mile from the Jordanian border, generation born Negev residents like Mayor Blum, 70-80% are coming back to the this building, completed three years ago with the support of JNF, is the site of Arava; the lucky returnees find themselves in agriculture but some are left without innovative and exciting research. To Dr. Rivka Ofir, an expert in Microbiology and a job because there aren’t many other options. Immunology, this is a dream come true, having spent almost a decade doing her “I was very happy to join my husband here as a pioneer,” said Dr. Russek-Blum. research alone in a small caravan in the middle of the desert. “Everything we’ve done in the Arava has an impact. As a Zionist, I believe that it’s “In the beginning I was the only one doing basic science in the Arava for many important to live in and develop the Arava. We established here a most advanced years,” she recalled. “I would never have dreamed that this would happen. When zebrafish facility and equipped laboratories to be able to conduct excellent science. the new JNF building opened, activity really flourished. The building has made a very I’m happy to be able to fulfill myself in this remote place in a most professional way, big impact on our work.” without compromise.” The R&D Center in Central Arava is dedicated to promoting agriculture and Involved in the study of neurodegenerative disorders, Dr. Russek-Blum is scientific research and development, as well as ecological and environmental establishing an infrastructure for the development and improvement of therapeutic studies. Scientists like Dr. Rivka Ofir and her colleague Dr. Niva Russek-Blum are true drugs for two projects—one that looks at clinical strokes and one that looks at modern female pioneers—settling in the Arava as well as conducting research that is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)—using zebrafish as an relevant to the region but also has worldwide applications Dr. Rivka Ofir and Dr. Niva Russek-Blum. animal model for establishing a disease model. in areas such as cancer research, drug discovery, and “The zebrafish are around 70% close to our genome,” animal models for biotechnology purposes. she said. “Their genome sequence is known to us by now. Dr. Ofir joined her husband, Moshe, a farmer and one These fish are transparent, so we can anesthetize them of the founders of Moshav Hatzeva, in the Arava in 1973 and follow their nerve and immune cells in the normal and spent 10 years raising three children and picking and the diseased brain. We hope that advances in our tomatoes on the farm before returning to Ben Gurion understanding of the inflammatory and degeneration University for her PhD. Driving the 65 miles from Hatzeva pathways involved in zebrafish, which is a suitable and to Be’er Sheva, she knew that to be able to perform simplified vertebrate model, will reveal new molecular research while living in the Arava and encourage more targets and related therapeutic strategies to be tested in scientists to join her, a research institute in the Arava higher vertebrate preclinical models of brain diseases.” was needed. Both scientists believe that a strong community of When Dr. Ofir began her scientific work in the Arava scientists can help in making the desired change in the she decided to explore the natural surroundings of the Arava. The scientific activity has been established and Arava in search for some innovative research ideas. promoted by the Ministry of Science and Technology as “It occurred to me that, given that plants are the part of a national effort to enhance the periphery areas source of most drugs in the universe, desert plants that of the State of Israel. survive under harsh conditions could be producing unique Currently the center is the home of four senior entities,” she said. “In addition I hope that my research scientists, seven students and five technicians as well will not only help find cures to terrible diseases, but also as over 15 agricultural experts and researchers, all living in the Arava. Dr. Ofir, Dr. will help us preserve and protect some of these almost extinct plants.” Russek-Blum and their fellow researchers are eager to expand the center and grow Dr. Ofir has built a library of 250 desert plants collected from the Red Sea to the the local scientific community in the region by attracting researchers to the area as Dead Sea that are used to screen various models of human diseases. She is currently well as providing work opportunities to people in the region who are not farmers. focused on two kinds of disease models: in vitro, which involves growing cells that “Our dream is to create a genuine excellence center in the middle of the desert represent the disease, in this case for cancer research; and in vivo, in which zebrafish by expanding the current lab and recruiting new staff members,” said Dr. Ofir. “It are used to study human brain diseases. Dr. Ofir notes that they chose zebrafish is a ripple effect; when you have one scientist, they recruit 10-15 people to work because Dr. Niva Russek-Blum, whose work is with zebrafish, was joining the center. with them. After all, it was David Ben Gurion who said, ‘Israel’s capacity for science “The potential that we have in doing our research here is enormous,” she said and research will be tested in the Negev and it is incumbent upon our scientists and “Today almost every pharmaceutical company has a natural drugs department, B researchers to focus on new areas of research.’” where they are trying to explore natural substances that might be a base for the next future drugs. Here in the Arava we are doing unique work by using the plants of

For more information, contact Zevi Kahanov at or 212.879.9305 x241.

TIMNA PARK Visit Timna Park, and you will be transported through time to a site of great historical wonder and beauty. The sandstone pillars of King Solomon’s mines rise up from the valley amongst a striking landscape of unique geological formations with beautiful striations. It is truly a breathtaking sight to behold. Located 17 miles north of Eilat in the Negev Desert, the world’s oldest center of copper production has become a premier Israeli recreational tourist destination. And it is all thanks to JNF donors across the country and the patronage of the Chudnow family of Milwaukee, under the vision and dedication of patriarch Avrum (z”l) and matriarch Anita (z”l). Timna Park today stands as a testament to making the impossible happen. It started almost 30 years ago with discarded blueprints for a four-acre lake in the middle of the desert. Many deemed the idea unworkable, but not Avrum, who spearheaded the campaign to build the lake. He would be proud to know that the lake and the park that has been developed around it is visited by more than 120,000 visitors each year and growing every year. “Timna Park is something for the generations to enjoy and appreciate,” said their son David, who took over the role of National Chairman of Timna Park from his late father. “My father loved seeing all the activity—kids playing around the lake, people sitting on the steps of the lake, bicycling, hiking, and so much more.” It was on a 1965 JNF mission with Anita that Avrum first became fascinated with Jewish National Fund. “He saw JNF as the developers of the country and liked that the work was so tangible,” said David. It was a relationship that spanned 50 years. Avrum served on JNF’s National Board for many years and as President of the Milwaukee Board for 25 years. The lake project developed into what has become a legacy of the Chudnow family in Israel. They have funded the chronosphere that transports visitors to ancient times which has been upgraded with a new high-tech focus, as well as a network of interactive lookouts throughout the park that explain the history of the site. Their generous donation to Timna put Avrum and Anita in JNF’s World Chairman’s Council. Giving charity was a behavior that Avrum and Anita instilled in their four children. “We grew up always thinking that it was very important to give to charity,” said their daughter Lois Chudnow Infeld. “We were raised to be supportive of the people of Israel. And our parents felt that their involvement in JNF was extremely important.”

A Tourist Attraction, A Family Legacy

Philanthropy is a long-standing tradition in the Chudnow family. Both Avrum’s and Anita’s mothers were very involved with charities in Milwaukee. Avrum’s mother, a nurse and midwife in Russia, worked to establish a Milwaukee Jewish convalescent home so that in a city with few Jews, there was a facility for elderly Jewish people that was kosher. Through the years, Anita often accompanied Avrum on his many trips to Israel to attend meetings and monitor the progress of the projects. She also had her own tradition of giving: she was involved in Bikur Cholim, Na’amat, and Hadassah, and at her funeral, donations could be made to Hadassah and JNF. When it came to Timna, Avrum and Anita worked together to bring it to fruition. “When my father would give charity,” said Lois, “he didn’t want individual recognition. He gave on behalf of the entire family; he wanted to it to be from the Chudnow family.” The development of Timna Park continues on through the Chudnow children. The next phase—a multimillion-dollar upgrade of the visitor’s center—will begin construction this fall. It will be called the Chudnow Visitor Center and will provide a world-class and user-friendly experience for all visitors. Said David, who is a World Chairman’s Council member and sits on JNF’s Los Angeles Board, “We are constantly working to improve Timna and keep it fresh.” The success of the park’s development is causing exciting ripple effects in the region. Plans in the works include: the relocation of the Eilat airport adjacent to the park, a rapid transit system from the airport to the city, and the proposal of a hotel near the entrance of the park. In 2006, three generations of Chudnows traveled on a family mission for the completion of a series of outlooks and paths throughout the park. Though Anita was unable to join the family mission, she was there in spirit, as was Avrum. Now they hope to organize another family mission for the completion of the Chudnow Visitor Center, where they will pay tribute to Avrum and Anita and everything they were able to accomplish: making the impossible possible. B For more information, visit


Anita Chudnow (second from right) on a jeep ride with son Dan and his wife Brigitte.

Avrum and Anita Chudnow at the ribboncutting ceremony for Timna Lake.

Negev Bedouin Take Pride in New Project Naifa Alnabari, a resident of Hura



and mother of eight, had always dreamt about a Bedouin community that combined the historical traditions of their culture with a vision that would help the community thrive in a modern and sustainable manner. She need not dream any longer. Naifa now works as an employment coordinator in Hura and is one of the founders of Project Wadi Attir. “For Bedouin women, employment opportunities are very limited,” said Naifa. “Project Wadi Attir, in partnership with JNF, has not only provided numerous career options for women, but has brought wonderful changes and developments to the city of Hura.” Located near the Bedouin town of Hura, Project Wadi Attir is developing a model for a sustainable, communitybased agricultural enterprise that is adapted to a desert environment. In addition to making a real difference for local Bedouin populations, it will serve as a model for arid regions in other parts of the world. The project’s focus is on developing an integrated organic farming operation involving livestock, dairy and fiber products. It will re-introduce nutritious, desert-hardy, indigenous vegetables which once formed an important part of the Bedouin diet. These native vegetables will be grown on-site, a seed bank will be established to preserve this precious genetic material, and a women-led program will be launched to help spread the cultivation of native vegetable gardens on family managed plots. “Project Wadi Attir is a true example of how the Bedouin community can use its full potential to develop

something extraordinary,” explained Mohammed Shahdeh Abu Sbeit, coordinator at Project Wadi Attir’s visitor and research center.

Bedouin women from Hura, where project Wadi Attir is located.

The project will bring job creation, including employment opportunities for women—a primary goal— and will help communities grow. The site will also function as a research and knowledge center, serving the broader neighboring community as an ongoing source of empowerment and training. A visitor’s center will include an exhibition area, lecture hall, laboratories, offices and classrooms, and a restaurant and gift shop to promote Bedouin hospitality, culture, local crafts, and the farm’s agricultural products. “Project Wadi Attir represents a completely new approach,” said Dr. Mohammed Alnabari, a founding member of the Wadi Attir Cooperative and mayor of Hura. “It represents a complete innovation in the Negev and, I believe, at the international level as well. JNF is an important partner in this ground-breaking initiative.”

Dr. Michael Ben Eli, founder of The Sustainability Laboratory and co-chairman of Project Wadi Attir, agreed. “JNF’s participation has been crucial to the success of Project Wadi Attir. JNF has been instrumental in raising funds for the project, performed the earth moving and site preparation work, and opened the door to the Israeli government’s participation in underwriting this project. We look forward to continuing our partnership with JNF for many years to come.” Project Wadi Attir is in its advanced stage of planning and site preparation, with development scheduled to begin at the end of the year. The project aims to minimize its ecological footprint and to ensure the most efficient use of resources. All stages of developing the project will strongly emphasize community participation and values, commitment by individuals to each other, and care of the environment. “This is a step in the right direction for Israel and the Bedouin people,” said Naifa. “Together, we will succeed in bringing a project to the region that will attract people from all over the world from different cultures and backgrounds, particularly to the Negev. “When this project comes to full fruition,” she continued, “it will bring so much pride to the residents of Hura and throughout southern Israel and across the country, empowering people economically, technologically, and environmentally. Only good comes from having partners like JNF.” n For more information, visit

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Michal Ansky Pioneers Israel’s Culinary & Food Culture Every recipe is a memory. This IS MICHAL


to export—fruit, vegetables, herbs, honey, goat cheese, olive oil, and wine, to name a few—Michal felt it was time for Israel and Israelis to enjoy the local produce. “I see myself as a curator, as one of the people who leads this revolution in Israel’s food industry. There are tomatoes that grow in the Arava, and people didn’t even know about them. Now you can find them in the average supermarket thanks to the exposure Israeli produce has received from the farmer’s markets. To me, it’s about celebrating the abundance of what this earth grows and eating seasonal local fresh food.” Michal’s passion for food is unmistakable, and the Jewish kitchen plays a very big part in Michal’s food philosophy, which is clear in her first cookbook “Food From Home,” which was published earlier in Hebrew this year. “It’s about having a gorgeous feast inside the boundaries of the Jewish kitchen,” she said in describing her cookbook. “This is who we are. This is our identity. Food is a very emotional thing. It defines who we are. We don’t want to lose the memories of our grandmothers.” Her next dream is to open an all-kosher market, where visitors could get matzoh ball soup, herring, potato salad, egg salad, chopped liver, challah—the hallmarks of traditional Jewish home cooking. Her market would offer a deli where people can pick up food to take home and a kosher restaurant. “I feel like Israel shouldn’t emulate the United States or France or Italy. We have our own character. We cannot combine meat and milk; we cannot eat seafood or pork. We have boundaries and in these boundaries we have the place to excel. Otherwise


Ansky’s culinary philosophy. “Israel is a melting pot, quite literally, of places; a young country of immigrants,” she said. “Everyone brings their memories and defines themselves by the foods they eat.” Michal’s love of food began at an early age, spending time in the kitchen with her mother Sherry, who wrote a food column for Ma’ariv for 25 years, authored 11 cookbooks, and tested recipes. Her father Alex is a wellknown radio personality in Israel, and Michal notes that she knew from an early stage in her life that she’d be involved in the media in one way or another. Michal has become a well-known media personality herself, known for her Israeli television shows As Fresh As It Gets and The Queen of The Market, as well as serving as a judge on MasterChef Israel, and a guest judge on MasterChef USA with Gordon Ramsay. At the 2012 TedxJerusalem talks, she delivered a talk entitled “The Danger of Eating Your Memories,” in which she spoke of how her love story with food began and the way in which food is invariably intertwined with memory, love, and family. In a country of pioneers, Michal can be considered a pioneer in Israel’s culinary and food culture. She is the cofounder of Israel’s first indoor market “Shuk Hanamal,” as well as the co-founder of Israel’s seven farmer’s markets throughout the country. The idea to open Israel’s first farmer’s market came while Michal was pursuing a Masters course at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and saw the farmer’s markets of France and Italy. With so many amazing products going

Photo credit: Dan Peretz/Food From Home

Michal Ansky

we are doing what everyone else is doing. Within these boundaries is the place where we can shine.” n Follow Michal on Twitter @AnskyMichal. Visit to learn more about Tel Aviv’s first indoor market.

Recipe: My Grandmother Hannah’s Pickled Cucumbers

Photo credit: Dan Peretz/Food From Home

For a large jar:

P r e pa r at i on :

2 lbs. small cucumbers

1. Rinse the cucumbers and remove any remaining barbs.

10 peeled garlic cloves

2. Spread the garlic and the hot chili pepper in the bottom of a tall jar and pack

(sliced lengthwise)

the jar with the cucumbers and the dill. Add the bay leaves and the peppercorns.

1 green chili pepper

3. Boil water with salt—about one heaping teaspoon per cup of water. After

(sliced in half)

the water comes to a boil, lower the flame. Wait 2–3 minutes; then pour the

2-5 sprigs of dill

hot, salty water over the cucumbers. Add the vinegar. Lay the gauze over the

2-3 bay leaves

cucumbers, and place the heel of bread on top of the gauze. Place top on jar,

1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns

but do not seal shut.


4. Set the jar in a sunny place, on a windowsill. Two or three days later, when the


cucumbers and the pickling water change to a khaki color, they are ready to eat.

2-3 tbs. natural vinegar

Remove the pickles with a fork or tongs.

1 heel of day-old bread (end of loaf)

Earn up to 9.5% on your money, and 100% of a nation’s gratitude. For as little as $5,000, you can help achieve your financial goals and those of a nation — Israel. There is more reason than ever to create a charitable gift annuity with Jewish National Fund. JNF offers planned giving opportunities that: • Give you a generous income JEWISH NATIONAL FUND


• Offer the benefit of tax savings • Provide recognition in Israel • Ensure JNF receives much-needed support for its projects in Israel

For more information, call 800.562.7526 or visit

SINGLE-LIFE GIFT ANNUITY* Rate Age Rate Age 5.5% 6.8% 65 78 5.5% 7.0% 66 79 5.6% 80 7.2% 67 7.4% 5.7% 81 68 7.5% 69 5.8% 82 5.8% 7.7% 70 83 5.9% 7.9% 71 84 8.1% 6.0% 85 72 8.3% 6.1% 73 86 6.3% 8.6% 74 87 6.4% 88 8.9% 75 9.2% 6.5% 89 76 6.7% 77 90 & Over 9.5% *Two life rates will vary. Rates as of April 1, 2012.

JNF Speakers bureau Bring world-renowned speakers to your next event JNF Speakers Bureau is a unique community service that brings top speakers to your organization or community. Gain inside and unparalleled perspectives on Israel and a variety of other topics at your meetings, community events, synagogues, schools, sisterhoods, men’s clubs, and conferences. Bring a powerful voice to your next event.

Book your speaker today at For more information contact or 212.879.9307.


Celebrating Israel on the Sunshine Mission For Susan and Stanley Friedman of

New York, JNF’s Sunshine Mission wasn’t their first time in Israel, but it was their first time on a JNF mission. “It was our 60th anniversary,” said Susan. “We celebrated our 25th by taking our first trip to Israel and we

Hal Linden at American Indpendence Park.

Through an IRA rollover, Gilda made a commitment to JNF Parsons Water Fund. “That’s an area I’m particularly interested in because of how important it is to find solutions.” The Sunshine Mission visits many of the top tourist sites but also opens its participants’ eyes to the world of Jewish National Fund. From JNF’s bird sanctuary in the Hula Valley, to the vibrant play of children in the JNF

An IRA Rollover is a Tremendous Incentive By Matt Bernstein, CFP, JNF Chief Planned Giving Officer Ever



economy began its slow recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, the stock market has seen tremendous growth, even reaching new highs this year. As a result, balances in IRA accounts have also reached new highs and people are feeling better about things; or at least the general malaise seems to be dissipating. The result of this may produce an opportunity to save significant tax dollars and support Jewish National Fund. For years, enormous amounts of money have been placed into retirement accounts, as the IRS allows an income tax deduction in the year the contribution is made to the IRA, and any growth in the accounts goes untaxed until the money is withdrawn. Not a bad deal: a current income tax deduction and a deferral in recognizing any gains. Now the tax bill is coming due for many of our donors, because at 70 ½ years old, the IRS requires

or forces money to be taken out of these accounts. This forced withdrawal is called Required Minimum Distributions, or RMDs. For many JNF donors, this has become an imposition. The effect is increased income taxes on income that may not be needed. Moreover, the extra income may push some donors into higher tax brackets. It may also cause a tax on social security payments. The IRA income is top margin income and there are few deductions you can use to offset this “bonus.” The amount of these RMDs is generally based on a schedule the IRS uses. Luckily, there is now a solution. The most recent tax act passed in 2013 reinstated the opportunity to make a tax-free gift from an IRA to JNF. The IRS will allow up to a $100,000 gift for 2013. The benefit is that the gift may be used to satisfy the RMD and is 100% TAX-FREE. This type of gift is called a Qualified Charitable Distribution, or QCD. This is a tremendous incentive because not having to declare the RMD keeps it from being taxed and also avoids the other unfavorable effects mentioned earlier. In addition, a gift of this type will not cause a reduction in personal exemptions or allowable deductions. Check with

Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, to the state-of-the-art care in Inclusion & Therapeutic Services, participants gained a deeper understanding of the vision that JNF has. Another participant, Dr. Anna Taylor, a UCLA professor, has become a more substantial donor in the past few years, donating and attending more events. She has since established a Donor Advised Fund and will be traveling on the upcoming President’s Society mission. “I’m interested in the Arava region and found the Arava Institute fascinating,” she said. “I particularly enjoyed the day in the Negev and learning what JNF was doing.” “We take participants on a journey through history, integrating the past, present, and future of the State of Israel,” said Buddy Freed, who will lead the 2014 mission with Hal Linden and Dr. Melinda Wolf. “We want to show people all the ways in which JNF has made a huge difference in the development of the country. Our goal is to have everyone come back loving Israel and feeling very connected to JNF.” n

The next Sunshine Mission will take place June 8-17, 2014. For more information, contact Matt Bernstein or Judy Feig at 800.562.7526.

To learn more about JNF’s Planned Giving opportunities, please contact us at 800.562.7526. your tax advisor as to how this type of gift will directly affect you. Claiming your QCD is a relatively simple process and we can help you with it. There are a few rules to follow, which include: •You must be 70 ½ years old or older. •The transfer from your IRA must go directly to JNF. •The gift cannot exceed $100,000 in 2013 per individual. •It MUST be completed by December 31, 2013. •The gift must be an outright gift. This means it can’t be used for a Donor Advised Fund or any income producing Planned Gifts. A gift from an IRA can be used and applied to existing pledges and will qualify you to become a member of one of JNF’s prestigious lifetime giving societies. Plus, your gift will have a lasting impact on JNF’s vital work in Israel. This tax-savings opportunity is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2013 and there is no guarantee that it will be available next year. Therefore, avoid the end-of-year scramble and contact a Jewish National Fund Planned Giving Specialist at 800.562.7526 for the information you need. We can make this easy for you! n


thought it would be a nice way of celebrating this milestone. On our first night, they surprised us with a cake!” JNF’s Sunshine Mission for active adults 55 and over is a unique journey through Israel led by JNF national spokesperson Hal Linden and Dr. Melinda Wolf. The Friedmans were delighted to discover that they had mutual acquaintances with Hal Linden from the High School of Music and Art, their alma mater and where Susan and Stanley met. For a couple whose relationship with JNF has mostly been buying trees, the mission opened the Friedmans’ eyes to the scope of the work that Jewish National Fund does. “We didn’t know JNF was involved in preserving history projects in Israel,” said Susan. “We also found it very interesting to learn that JNF was working to solve Israel’s water problems.”

Gilda Cohen at JNF’s American Independence Park.


Susan and Stanley Friedman

Upon their return from the trip, they established a charitable gift annuity directed for water projects. “We thought a Charitable Gift Annuity would give us a good return on our money, as well as putting the money to good use,” said Susan. Many attendees on the Sunshine Mission had been to Israel before, but were experiencing their first JNF mission. Cleveland’s Gilda Cohen and her friend Len Senkfor, for instance, were looking to fly to Israel after taking a cruise but preferred to travel to Israel with a group rather than on their own; the Sunshine Mission fit perfectly with their schedule. “It was such a lovely trip,” said Gilda. “We appreciated that we went to places that we had never been to before even though we’d been to Israel a number of times.”

out & about WITH

JNf’s major donors   New England JNF’s Major Donors


Jim Elkind (Century Council, Negev Society) at Yair Agricultural Research Station in Israel.

(L-R) JNF New England Chairman of the Board and host of “Radio Entrepreneurs” Jeffrey Davis (Century Council, President’s Society) interviewed JNF-Halutza liaison Yedidya Harush, who appeared on the broadcast to discuss Blueprint Negev.

(L-R) JNF Parsons Water Fund Vice Chair and New England Sapphire Society President Amy Parsons (Century Council, Negev Society, Circle of Sapphire), special guest Colonel (Res.) Sharon Davidovich, and New England Board member Judith Sydney (Sapphire Society) at a Negev Nights themed party.

(L-R) JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, National Vice President of Campaign and Capital District President Ken Segel (Century Council, Negev Society), his daughter JNFuture member Aimee Segel, JNF Chairman of the Board Ronald Lauder, and JNF Chief Financial Officer Mitchel Rosenzweig at The Summit with JNF in Las Vegas.

Judy Bachman (Sapphire Society) and Alan (L-R top row) Steve Solomon (Century Bachman enjoyed the recent JNF Garden Council) and Bobby Feldman (Century Council); (L-R bottom row) Sharon Solomon Party in Las Vegas. (Century Council, Sapphire Society), Joan Davis (Sapphire Society), and Laurence Davis at The Summit with JNF in Las Vegas.

JNF Garden Party hostess Toni Chaltiel (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) shared the JNF story in Las Vegas.

(L-R) Celeste Grynberg (President’s Society), Bob Rottman, and Lisa Soicher attended the JNF Annual Breakfast in Denver.

Richard Rappaport (Century Council, Negev Society) and his daughter Dayna Titus (Sapphire Society) displayed Dayna’s Sapphire pin at a recent meeting in Northern California.

(L-R) Palm Springs & Desert Region President Sheri Borax (Sapphire Society), Beverly Lavin (Sapphire Society), and Evelyn Binsky (Sapphire Society) at a parlor meeting in Palm Springs, where Beverly was presented with her Sapphire pin.


JNF Chief Planned Giving Officer Matt Bernstein presented Aloha Saxon (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) with a Tiffany Blue Box in honor of her support of JNF at a recent major donor event in Orange County, CA.

(L-R) National Presidential Advisor and New England Executive Board member Todd Patkin (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), New England Executive Board member Karen Ferber (Sapphire Society President Emeritus, Negev Society, Circle of Sapphire), and Yadira Patkin (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society, Circle of Sapphire) at a luncheon hosted by the Patkins honoring Ferber for her long-term commitment and vision.

(L-R) Joyce Zeff (Century Council) with (L-R) Mo McMaken, Denice Reich (Sapphire Bob Rottman and Barbara Goldburg at the Society), and Rabbi Joe Black enjoyed the JNF Annual Breakfast in Denver. JNF Annual Breakfast in Denver.

(L-R) Sophie Dube, Suzanne Hilton (Negev Society), Shari Hilton, Harrison Hilton, and Steve Hilton (Negev Society) of Arizona visited with a firefighter on a trip to Israel.

(L-R) Lesley Hammer (Sapphire Society), Arizona Board President Ann Zinman (Century Council, President’s Society, Circle of Sapphire), and Toni Dusik (Sapphire Society) at a Sapphire Society luncheon in Arizona.



(L-R) Charlie Flesicher (Century Council, President’s Society) and JNF San Diego Board President Myra Fleischer (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) were presented with a Century Council Blue Box by San Diego Campaign Executive Ezra Erle at the San Diego Love of Israel Brunch.

(L-R) Negev Society Chair Bill Miller (Century Council, Negev Society) and Kim Miller (Century Council, Sapphire Society) were presented with a Century Council Blue Box by San Diego Campaign Executive Ezra Erle at the San Diego Love of Israel Brunch.

(L-R) Sol Lizerbram (Century Council, President’s Society) and San Diego Women for Israel Chair Lauren Lizerbram (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) were presented with a Century Council Blue Box by San Diego Campaign Executive Ezra Erle at the San Diego Love of Israel Brunch.

(L-R) Mavis Rothman and Dr. Judi Edelman (Sapphire Society) at a JNF Women for Israel event in Weston.

JNF’s Major Donors

(L-R) Sharyn Spillman (Century Council, President’s Society, Circle of Sapphire), Bonnie Kluger (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Natalie Eisenberg (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Judi Gottschalk (Sapphire Society), and Valerie Richter (Sapphire Society) at a Sapphire Society event in Arizona.


(L-R) Dana Kramer, Dr. Sharon Gilbert (Sapphire Society), Roee Watstein, Angie Watstein, Sandye and Gerald Turnauer (both Century (L-R) Russell Selevan (World Chairman’s and Mara Gober at a JNF Women for Israel brunch in Weston. Council, President’s Society) at a reception Council, Negev Society) and Jacksonville for major donors in Boca Raton. Board member Richard Sisisky during a Positively Israel presentation.

Northern Florida President and Tampa Bay Board member Mary Ellen Hogan (Sapphire Society) with David Stein (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) during a Positively Israel presentation.

Dr. Mark Rubin (President’s Society) with his twin children Caroline and Charles at an Israel Day celebration in Naples.

(L-R) David Stein (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), Jack Selevan (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), Dan Edelman, JNF Israel Operations Development Officer Ariel Kotler, and Bud Levin (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) inside the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center during the JNF-KKL World Leadership Conference mission.

(L-R) JNF Assistant Treasurer and Orlando Board member Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) with Orlando Board President Jim Riola (Century Council, President’s Society) in front of Jack Freeman Park at Kibbutz Yahel in the Negev during the JNF-KKL World Leadership Conference mission in Israel.

(L-R) JNF Chief Executive Officer Russell F. Robinson, Tampa Bay Board member Ida Raye Chernin (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), and JNF Assistant Treasurer and Orlando Board member Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) during the JNF-KKL World Leadership Conference mission in Israel.


JNF’s Major Donors

William and Lillian Sandler (Herzl Society) (L-R) JNF-LOTEM liaison Alisa Bodner with Ellen and Herman Weinberg (President’s accepted the JNF Guardian of Israel Award Society) at the Bagels and Nosh event at the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. at their home in Palm Beach.

(L-R) David Chaifetz (President’s Society), Northern Florida Director Uri Smajovits and Greg Band at a Guardian of Israel luncheon at Michael’s on East.

(L-R) Myron Stayman (Century Council, Negev Society) and Debbie Stayman (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro during the JNF Negev Society mission to Israel.

(L-R) Sarasota Board members Brenda Johnston (Sapphire Society) and Bob Kramer (Herzl Society) with JNF-LOTEM liaison Alisa Bodner at the Bagels and Nosh event at the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

(L-R) An IDF soldier and Ike Taffel (Herzl Society) during the JNF Israel @ 65 Mission.

  Greater New York

28 (L-R) Jenny, Alex, Ian, Isaac, and Tampa Bay Board member Ida Raye Chernin (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) visited the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center on a family mission to Israel.

(L-R) Tampa Bay Board member Richard Rappaport (Century Council, Negev Society) with granddaughter Madison Titus and daughter Dayna Titus at Aleh Negev during a family mission to Israel.

(L-R) Tree of Life™ Award honorees Brent and Debbie Sembler with Tampa Bay Board member Tina Gordon (Sapphire Society) at a Tree of Life™ Award dinner at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.

(L-R) At The Herzl Tour qualifying tournament at Bayonne Golf Club, tournament co-chairs Aaron Tucker (President’s Society), Jeremy Halpern (Century Council, Negev Society), Ira Steinberg (Herzl Society) and Ari Wise (Herzl Society) received framed copies of the B’Yachad article about the tournament.

(L-R) JNF National Secretary and Yerucham 2020 Task Force Chair Geraldine Shatz (Century Council, Circle of Sapphire), J. Lew Schepps (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Society), and Geraldine Kory (Century Council, President’s Society) at a Planned Giving Yom Yerushalayim event in Manhattan.

(L-R) Ellen Rosenberg (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), JNF National Secretary and Yerucham 2020 Task Force Chair Geraldine Shatz (Century Council, Circle of Sapphire) and North Palm Beach Board member Ruth Margules (Sapphire Society) at JNF Women for Israel’s first Sapphire Society thank you luncheon and fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue.

(L-R) Greater New York’s newest Sapphire Society member Joanne Cohen was presented her Sapphire pin by New York City Board President, Assistant National Secretary and Vice Chair of JNF Parsons Water Fund Laureine Greenbaum (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society, Circle of Sapphire).

(L-R) JNF Northern New Jersey Board President Jill Janowski (Herzl Society) with JNF National Secretary and Yerucham 2020 Task Force Chair Geraldine Shatz (Century Council, Circle of Sapphire) in Israel for the JNF-KKL World Leadership Conference.

(L-R) Greater New York JNFuture Event Chair Jessica Levine; GNY JNFuture Chair Adam Belfer; JNFuture Founder, New York City Board member and recipient of the Gregory A. Davis Leadership Award Andrew Ashwal (Herzl Society); JNFuture Founder Benjamin Jablonski (Herzl Society); and GNY JNFuture Chair Ben Levine at JNFuture’s 6th Annual Shabbat in the Park.

(L-R) Herman Margules (President’s Society), Greater New York Director of Major Gifts Ella Newman, and Ruth Margules (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at a salon meeting that featured KKL Director of Major Donor Relations Talia Tzour in Manhattan.

(L-R) Greater New York Director of Major Gifts Ella Newman, JNF Women for Israel National President and Event Co-Chair Louise Dabrow (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Lori Dabrow (Sapphire Society), and JNF Regional Director, Eastern Pennsylvania Marina Furman at JNF Women for Israel’s first Sapphire Society thank you luncheon and fashion presentation at Saks Fifth Avenue.

(L-R) Guest speaker and Dean of Columbia Law School David Schizer and Greater New York Lawyers for Israel Co-Chair and Greater New York Board member Arthur Adler (Negev Society) at a JNF Lawyers for Israel event in Manhattan.


  Greater New York

(L-R) Greater New York JNFuture Chair Ben Levine, GNY JNFuture Event Chair Jessica Levine, GNY JNFuture Education Chair Jonathan Gertman, and GNY JNFuture Chair Adam Belfer—all Root Society members—at JNFuture’s Shabbat in the Park Pre-Reception for host committee members.

(L-R) JNF-Green Horizons liaison Karmit Arbel Rumbak, JNF Finance for Israel Co-Chair and New York Board member Deborah Weinswig (President’s Society), Chairman of Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran Major General (Res.) Doron Almog, Didi Almog, and JNF Finance for Israel CoChair and New York Board member Daniel Kamensky (President’s Society) at a JNF Finance for Israel rooftop happy hour in Manhattan.

(L-R) Sam Delug (President’s Society), world-renowned singer and featured performer Dudu Fisher and Mark Egerman (President’s Society) at a recent major donor appreciation event at Sam’s home in Los Angeles.

(L-R) Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with new World Chairman’s Council members Leno and Paul Sislin (Century Council, Negev Society) at a private reception held at the Hillcrest Country Club for Los Angeles major donors.

(L-R) Linda May (Herzl Society), former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Jack Suzar (Herzl Society) and JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson at a private reception in Los Angeles hosted by Linda and Jack.



JNF’s Major Donors

(L-R) Northern New Jersey Board President Jill Janowski (Herzl Society) with Breakfast Co-Chairs Dr. Sharon Fried (Century Council, Negev Society) and NNJ Board member Dr. Kenny Fried (Century Council, Negev Society) at the first annual Northern New Jersey Breakfast.


(L-R) Eileen Ladd, Vivian Grossman (Century Council, Negev Society, Circle of Sapphire), Southwest Regional Director Julie Malin, and JNF Shaliach Ron Bernstein enjoyed the 2nd annual JNF Women for Israel event in Austin, TX.

(L-R) Lauren Mescon (Sapphire Society), Chairman of Central Arava Task Force, and Edna Jackson, Mayor of Savannah, GA, at the JNF Yom Ha’atzmaut Tree of Life™ dinner in Savannah, GA.

Washington, DC President and JNF Assistant Vice President of Galil Ken Krupsky (President’s Society) at the JNF-KKL booth at Arava Open Day during the Negev Society mission.

Tree of Life™ honoree Barney Portman (Herzl Society) at the JNF Yom Ha’atzmaut Tree of Life™ dinner in Savannah, GA.

Amy Krupsky (President’s Society), Rachel Krupsky, and JNF Assistant Vice President of Galil and Washington, DC President Ken Krupsky (President’s Society) met up with JNF International Board member Dr. Alon Tal (second from left) on the Promenade in Tel Aviv.

Jeff Menick (Herzl Society) enjoyed the beauty of the Galilee on the Culinary, Wine, and Arts mission.

(L-R) Delaware President Joel Friedlander (President’s Society) and Jack Rose (Herzl Society) celebrated the success of the 2013 campaign.

(L-R) Major General (Res.) Doron Almog and Didi Almog, founders of Aleh Negev, had breakfast with JNF National Campaign Director Diane Scar (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) and Richard Rynd (Herzl Society).

(L-R) Didi and Major General (Res.) Doron Almog thanked Jonathan Fishman (Century Council, President’s Society) for his tremendous support of Aleh Negev.


JNF’s Major Donors

(L-R) Yossi Kahana, Director of Development for Aleh Negev, with Bob Chertkof (Herzl Society) and Florence Chertkof (Herzl Society) at a fundraiser for Aleh Negev in Baltimore.

(L-R) Dr. Mort Mower (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), Israeli Air Force Lt. Col. Shay Moscovici, and Dr. Toby Mower (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at a major donor thank you event in Baltimore.

(L-R) Ira Bartfield (Century Council, President’s Society) and Donald Kane celebrated the success of the Washington, DC JNF breakfast.

Andy (President’s Society) and Gail Quartner (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), after she was “pinned” as a new Sapphire Society member.

(L-R) Betsy Berner (Sapphire Society) and Dr. Stacey Berner (Herzl Society) at a JNF Doctors for Israel event.


30 (L-R) Breakfast Co-Chair Jon Feiger (Herzl Society), Lori Dekalo (Sapphire Society) with guest speaker Rabbi Micah Halpern and Breakfast Co-Chairs Marcia Rubin (Sapphire Society) and Joe Sameh (Herzl Society) at the Chicago Annual Breakfast.


(L-R) Women for Israel Co-Chairs Judy Galler (Sapphire Society) and Meryl Rogers (Chai Society) at a Women for Israel brunch in Longport, NJ at the home of Judy Rosenbaum. (L-R) Amy Brown, with mother Louise Dabrow (Women for Israel National Chair and Sapphire Society) and Elaine Gelb (Chai Society) in Longport, NJ at the home of Judy Rosenbaum.

(L-R) Dr. Eugene Mandrea, Marisa Mandrea (Sapphire Society), Ali Friduss, Karen Budin (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and Jen Herz at the Chicago Young Women’s Summer Lunch and Learn. (L-R) Father Michael J. Graham, S.J., the Honorable Stan Aronoff, guest speaker and National Director of JNF Parsons Water Fund Zevi Kahanov, JNF Past National President and JNF America Ambassador to KKL & Israel Stan Chesley (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), and Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory at the 4th Annual Breakfast in Cincinnati.

(L-R) Eastern PA Director Marina Furman, JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, Randi Cohen (Negev Society), Fredric Cohen (Negev Society), and Lenard Cohen at a JNF Doctors for Israel event hosted and chaired by Fredric and Randi Cohen in Phoenixvelle, PA.

(L-R) Keynote speaker Dr. Jonathan Bernstein, JNF Doctors for Israel Co-Chair Dr. Eugene Minevich, keynote speaker Dr. Marc Rothenberg, event host and JNF Doctors for Israel Co-Chair Dr. Ronna Schneider (Sapphire Society), JNF Doctors for Israel Co-Chair Dr. Steve Perlman, and Southern Ohio and Kentucky Board President Dr. Ron Solomon at a JNF Doctors for Israel dessert reception in Cincinnati.

(L-R) Lt. Col Shay Moscovici and Dan Randolph of Ritter & Randolph LLC (President’s Society) at the Jewish National Fund/Judge Carl B. Rubin Legal Society “Lunch and Learn” in Cincinnati.

(L-R) Senior Campaign Executive Amy Jonas, Dinner Chairs Herb and Barbara Shear (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Guardian of Israel Award founder Stanley Cohen, Guardian of Israel Award honoree Rabbi Mordy (L-R) Ayalon Region Fire Chief Amir Levi Rudolph, and Dinner Chair Chuck Perlow visited Rob Glimcher (Century Council) and (Century Council) at the Western Senior Campaign Executive Amy Jonas in Pennsylvania Guardian of Israel Award Pittsburgh. dinner in Pittsburgh.

(L-R) Joshua Resnick (Century Council, President’s Society) and Debbie Resnick (Sapphire Society) at the Western Pennsylvania Guardian of Israel Award dinner in Pittsburgh.

(L-R) Event Co-Chair Tami Astorino, event host Sarah Vogel (Chai Society), and event Co-Chair Mary Relles (Sapphire Society) at a JNF Women for Israel event in Ambler, PA.

(L-R) Andrea Barsky, (Herzl Society), Shira Goodman (Herzl Society), Susan Schwartz (President’s Society), and Julie Gubernick (Sapphire Society) at an event in Philadelphia.

(L-R) Event sponsor William Rubenstein (Century Council, President’s Society), JNF Central New Jersey Executive Director Joel Leibowitz, and Central New Jersey Board member Andrew Rubenstein (Century Council, Negev Society) at the annual JNF Saul Leighton Golf Classic.

(L-R) Ayalon Region Fire Chief Rami Avraham, JNF Assistant Vice President of Investments and Central New Jersey Board member Joe Korn (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Society), and JNF Israel Operations Development Officer Ariel Kotler at a meeting in New Jersey to discuss the donation of a new fire truck to the Ayalon Region.

(L-R) Wisconsin board Co-President Rusti Moffic (Sapphire Society) and Board member Joel Pittelman enjoyed the dessert reception of the 13th annual “Summer Happening.”

(L-R) Central New Jersey Board member Jonathan Diskin (Herzl Society) and Saul Leighton at the annual JNF Saul Leighton Golf Classic.

1 9 7 2

and fun An Academic Adventure


For more than 40 years AMHSI has brought over 22,000 Jewish youth from across the globe to Israel for an unforgettable experience in which participants receive an in-depth education, international academic experience, college credits, and feel the spirit of a nation.

admissions see Alexander Muss High School Breaking News: College in Israel study abroad experience as a PLUS!

. We commend ume is impressive “Rachel, your res dying in Israel. stu r yea sophomore you for spending t is why we tha d l perspective, an You have a globa ty. rsi can Unive want you at Ameri ding academic of your outstan In recognition er a Dean’s off to d ase are ple achievements we nually.” an 00 amount of $10,0 Scholarship in the

Today more than ever, a competitive edge is what will give students a leg-up on college acceptance. Valuable skills that are commonly attributed to graduates of high school study abroad experiences such as AMHSI include:

adaptability • critical thinking worldliness • independence maturity • self-confidence a passion for learning • ambition

time management

During sessions, students complete two college-level courses. Eligible students may earn six college credits awarded through the University of Miami. These credits are transferable to most colleges/universities, and students may save up to $7000 on future college tuition.

Return Date

Summer 1

Hod June 17, 2014 HaSharon

July 29, 2014

Summer 2

Eshel HaNassi

August 7, 2014

6-Week Summer

Alumni credit their personal, academic, and professional accomplishments to their Alexander Muss High School in Israel experience. Lauren Scavo said, “Not only is AMHSI a really fun and memorable experience, but it’s also great preparation for college. I learned a lot about what works (and what doesn’t work) when it comes to dorm life and it made the

June 25, 2014

8-Week School Year December Session February Session’s also great preparation for college. transition to college a lot easier for me. I’ve also found the lessons useful. It’s amazing to realize just how much we learned over those two months and it’s fun to share what I’ve learned with my friends.”

Campus Departure Location Date


December Session

Hod Dec 3, 2013 HaSharon Hod HaSharon Feb 4, 2014 Hod HaSharon Dec 2, 2014

Jan 28, 2013 April 1, 2014 Jan 27, 2015

18-Week Semester

“Colleges want students who are going to work hard, take risks, be independent, and be passionate about learning and passionate about the world. Having something like AMHSI on an application shows all that and more,” said Brittany Kahn. Alexander Muss High School in Israel is renowned for offering teens an academic and fun experience which combines college living in a high school environment. Students are able to test their abilities in a safe way—they have freedom within a monitored environment and they learn to balance their social life and school work, enabling a successful and smooth entry to college environment. Go online and add your name to the list!

Spring Session

Eshel HaNassi

Jan 26, 2013

Fall Session

Eshel HaNassi

August 24, 2014 Dec 26, 2014

May 30, 2014

Combined Program AMHSI & March of the Living

Hod April 23, 2014 HaSharon

June 19, 2014

Calling all AMHSI alumni: We are looking for you! Go to and click on the AMHSI Alumni & Friends tab to update your information. In return, and for a limited time, you will receive an I HEART AMHSI bumper sticker and magnet for free. • 800.327.5980


For more than 40 years Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) has given Jewish youth from across the globe an unforgettable, life-changing educational experience. While in Israel, students gain an in-depth understanding of Israel’s role in Jewish culture, history and identity, and a high quality high school education. AMHSI is more than a study abroad program; it is a unique and outstanding college preparatory experience, which gives students a distinct advantage in college acceptance.

The unique AMHSI curriculum inspires students to reach new levels of understanding and teaches them that learning goes beyond the acquisition of facts. AMHSI students are instilled with the leadership and motivational skills that enable them to excel in higher education and beyond.

alexander muss high school in israel


Alexander Muss High School in Israel

SPIRIT OF israel: Spring MISSION April 1 – 9, 2014

Experience a unique journey through Israel as you explore the country from the Negev to the North.

Finance for Israel Mission

January 19 – 23, 2014 Join finance professionals for a special look at Israel’s financial sector.


March 23 – 27, 2014 Exclusive mission for members of JNF’s Negev Society.

Pride of Israel

June 5 - 12, 2014 Experience Israel’s unique diversity and connect with the land and people as we celebrate the pride that is Israel.


June 8 – 17, 2014 Travel from ancient times to modern Israel on a unique journey for active adults ages 55+ with JNF national spokesperson Hal Linden.


June 27 - July 5, 2014 (2015 dates: March 21 – 29) Explore Israel’s food, wine and culinary scene while experiencing Israel’s art and cultural institutions.


November 13 - 20, 2014 Experience a unique journey through Israel as you explore the country from the Negev to the North.

Doctors for Israel Mission

November 30 - December 4, 2014 Join healthcare professionals on a unique mission to Israel for a special look at Israel’s healthcare industry.


Only have a day? See the Northern Negev and JNF projects—a new and unique Israel experience. Departs from Jerusalem every Wednesday.


Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel January 9 – February 16, 2014 A 2–7 week program for active retirees, which combines community service and traditional sightseeing throughout Israel.

PLUS: Family trips, B’nai Mitzvah trips, Group tours, Tree Planting, and more

To register for one of these unique tours of Israel or for more information, contact 877.JNF.TOUR (563.8687) or visit

IF YOU BUILD IT... The Ripple Effects of Blueprint Negev  

Fall 2013

IF YOU BUILD IT... The Ripple Effects of Blueprint Negev  

Fall 2013