Itai Gul, a farmer in the Arava Desert, with a crop of watermelons growing on trellises
f the Winner o r ockowe R A P J A e 2009 cellenc x E r o f Award ational z i n a g in Or t t ers Ne w s l e E-mail us at email@example.com B'Yachad 路 42 East 69th Street New York, NY 10021-5093
Inside this Issue
Ever wonder what happens after the project is finished and the dedication ceremony is a distant memory? At JNF, we take seriously our role as partner with the land and people of Israel, always striving to improve the quality of life of all Israel’s residents. But it’s not often you get to hear first-hand how JNF is making a difference in the lives of individual Israelis. In this issue, we bring you stories of people who are touched by JNF’s work every day. Turn to pages 14-22 and meet the children who are learning about water conservation through rainwater harvesting, the Arava farmers who benefit from R&D, the firefighters who keep Israel safe, the Air Force personnel and their families enjoying the new park at Ramon Air Force Base, the youth choosing to settle in the Negev, and more. Their stories are a testament to the progress JNF has achieved with your support over the past 108 years. We hope you enjoy this issue. Have something to say? Don’t be shy! Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water Conflicts or Regional Collaboration?
A look at the way JNF and Israel seek to collaborate with neighboring countries to alleviate the water crisis.
A new column on volunteer commitment and success stories.
Story: The Lives We Touch
From firefighters to farmers, from Bedouin and Air Force pilots to Holocaust survivors and Negev youth, get to know the Israelis who benefit every day from JNF’s work.
Bar and Bat Mitzvah Projects
Read about three teens across the country who raised funds for JNF’s important projects as part of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
JNFuture: One Year Later Check in with JNFuture chapters around the country and learn how JNF’s young leadership program has grown over the past year.
Printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink
Regards, B’Yachad Editorial Staff email@example.com Jewish National Fund (JNF) began in 1901 collecting coins in blue boxes to purchase land and return the Jewish people to their homeland. In over 108 years, JNF has evolved into a global environmental leader and become the central address for partnering with the land and people of Israel. JNF has planted 240 million trees; built over 1,000 parks and recreational areas; constructed security roads; educated students around the world about Israel; created new communities so that Jews from around the world would have a place to call home; discovered new means of growing plants under arid conditions, bringing green to the desert; and built over 210 reservoirs and water recycling centers, increasing Israel’s water supply by 12%. Today, JNF is supporting Israel’s newest generation of pioneers by bringing life to the Negev Desert, Israel’s last frontier. A United Nations NGO, JNF sponsors international conferences on desertification, shares afforestation techniques, and funds research on arid land management. JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers. For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit www.jnf.org.
A JNF Parsons Water Fund Update: Water Conflicts or Regional Collaboration? By: Col. (res.) Sharon Davidovich, National Director, JNF Parsons Water Fund Leonard Miller, Chair, Environment, Water Policy & External Relations Committee
Take a long look at the good-looking man in the picture, circa 1947. There is a poster of him
in my office at JNF House that I’ve been looking at for years, but never tire of. This man represents the post-WWII pioneering spirit and every time I look at it, I am in awe. The most horrific time in modern Jewish history had just passed and this man could have looked defeated. He could have looked weak and incapable. Instead he exudes a power, an energy, a determination and a spirit that says, “We will not cower, we will not fail. We are here to build the land of Israel. Now and forever.” He makes me smile. He makes me proud. He makes me remember how far we’ve come in such a short time and what we need to do going forward. He energizes me, and so I share him with you. More than six decades later, Israel’s landscape has changed. For one thing, you have made it green by planting over 240 million trees with JNF. We have seen flourish those communities built when the State was established. The country has grown up and now contributes more to the world than any other in so many areas – high-tech, medicine, science, sustainable agriculture, R & D, security, you name it. Israel recycles nearly 77% of its waste water, far more than even the next in line (Spain at 17%), and at long last we are making strides in improving the quality of life for those living in the Negev Desert. The landscape may have changed, but our indomitable spirit remains intact. Today’s pioneer may dress differently from my 1947 muse, but his passion is the same. Meet any one of the trailblazers at any of the new communities we are building in the Negev, and you can’t help but be excited about the future. Whether they are a young couple just starting out, an older kibbutznik or farmer looking to continue the tradition, or a family evacuated from Gush Katif starting a new life amongst the sand dunes, they exude a purity of spirit and a sense of purpose that is enviable. I am a more committed Zionist and a better president of JNF for knowing them. JNF has been around for nearly 109 years. We have worked tirelessly and endlessly to create a Jewish homeland. We have given more than seven million people - working towards 10 million in 2020 - a physical home, and a spiritual home for those of us in the Diaspora. We have connected millions to their biblical roots, to their heritage and to their future. We have touched their lives and each other’s lives and we are not stopping now. We are JNF. For Israel, forever.
• Exploring the possibility of importingwater from Turkey to be shared among Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. • Upgrading the water treatment plant in the Bedouin town of Arara, which will for the first time enable a Bedouin community to develop modern farming and collaborate with the farmers of the nearby town of Nevatim. • Developing the largest constructed wetlands in the Middle East at Israel’s Ramon Air Force Base, which will serve as a model for waste water treatment and reuse in all arid countries. • Looking for ways to address the problem of sewage flowing from Hebron in the West Bank to the Be’er Sheva River channel, based on the cleanup of the Alexander River conducted by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. • Participating in periodic meetings with the World Bank, Jordan and the Palestinians to examine the construction of the Red SeaDead Sea channel, which has the potential to revolutionize the development of the Israeli and Jordanian Arava, an area with a shortage of high quality water. • Reaching an understanding with Jordan for collaboration on water drills for agriculture in the Arava, which can save the region’s agriculture industry and ensure its future. • Working to expand educational programs in Jewish, Arab, secular and religious schools in Israel to raise awareness for water conservation and promote dialogue. • Planning a unique mission for 2011 that will meet with senior water officials and then visit the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and Israel to see up-close the challenges of developing the region’s water economy and the opportunities for collaboration. In the upcoming campaign year, the JNF Parsons Water Fund board will close its ranks by recruiting the remaining 18 board members. If you are interested in joining this exclusive group of dedicated JNF donors, sharing your expertise, and becoming part of our success, we invite you to contact Sharon Davidovich, the Fund’s national director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-8799305 ext. 241, or visit www.jnf.org for more information.
Stanley M. Chesley
Jewish National Fund
The western U.S. has had a long history of conflicts over the use and allocation of water. There is a continuing water dispute between southern California and northern California and disputes between several states, including Arizona and California, over water from the Colorado River. But the battles over water are not just in arid regions of the U.S. or in developing countries. Georgia, Alabama and Florida are mired in litigation about the control and usage of water from Lake Lanier, and after 20 years a solution has yet to be reached that would satisfy the interests of all three states. There are 263 water sources throughout the world—aquifers, rivers, streams, lakes— that cross borders. As population numbers and demand for fresh water continue to climb—according to a recent UN report on water, “Water in a Changing World,” global water consumption has doubled in the last fifty years—the potential for “water wars” also increases. And in volatile regions like the Middle East, which is home to about five percent of the world’s population but contains only one percent of its fresh water, the battleground is far more serious than a courtroom. Egypt has warned its neighbors repeatedly about using water from the Upper Nile River. Turkey is embroiled in an 80-year conflict with Syria and Iraq over water rights to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and has built dams to prevent the flow of water into those countries. And numerous clashes have erupted between Israel and its neighbors—Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians—over the sharing of natural water sources. While the severe water shortage currently plaguing the Middle East and the continuing issue of water allocation could lead to conflict, it also poses a unique opportunity for regional collaboration. The JNF Parsons Water Fund, established almost two years ago, is working to promote the possibility of regional cooperation, while focusing on improving Israel’s water balance. The Fund’s 22 active board members have been working on some exciting and innovative approaches, including:
A Message from our President
My Favorite Photo from Israel
In schools across Israel, the Rainwater Harvesting Program, part of the JNF Parsons Water Fund, reduces each school’s reliance on other sources of water by
Roughly farming families in the Negev’s Arava region produce nearly of Israel’s fresh vegetable exports and of the cut flower exports.
The acre park that JNF built at Ramon Air Force Base in the Negev is enjoyed by more than Air Force personnel and their families, including children, who live on the base.
Since 2007, JNF and the OR Movement have placed more than university students in internships at companies throughout the Negev.
During the past summer, an average of people used the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center on a daily basis.
y iv Universit t the Tel Av a r a in m se nting a alk one l Aviv prese a relaxing w g in While in Te k ta s a ine, I w rollers and ental Medic ng all the st o m A School of D . n o rk ing a HaYa bench enjoy ng Rechov a lo n a o n g o o in tt rn e si aft tion gentleman d “congrega noticed this le I b , m rs e e o ss g a ch is bea nd feeding h tertaining a n e e il h w t a tre of pigeons.” nfield David Gree A Newton, M
You can be featured in the next issue of B'Yach
Submit your favorite photo taken on a trip to Israel with a short caption describing the photo and why you chose it. Email Ariel at email@example.com with your submis sions. Good luck!
The Gush Etzion Museum, which will be transformed into a cutting-edge educational institution, is visited by people annually.
The new -square-foot JNF Yerucham Young Adult Community House building will house ZVI’s social and educational programs for Yerucham youth.
The forest fires in northern Israel this past summer destroyed nearly trees. Experts say it will take be restored.
years for the forests to
Preserving the History of Israel’s Struggle for Independence
Charles S. Fax, VP, Campaign
JNF is helping renovate and expand a 25-year-old memorial museum housed in the very building where residents hid during the final attack. Already visited by 60,000 people annually, the museum will be transformed into a modern and sophisticated institution that utilizes cutting-edge educational technology, making it a must-see destination for anyone interested in the saga of Israel’s independence. Total cost of the project is $5 million.
Campaign All Star resident Nina Paul exemplifies JNF’s new Campaign All Star category with great distinction. Over the last year, Nina has raised more than $365,000 for JNF—in both large and small gifts—with her winning personality and Nina Paul as Cincinnati’s JNF spokesperson. She has even appeared in several JNF videos for the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, Aleh Negev, the Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Inclusive Parks Project, and the new Negev community of Givot Bar. A founding member of the Sapphire Society, JNF’s women’s major giving division, Nina has personally recruited many of Sapphire’s current members and works diligently on bringing new members on board. She herself is a full circle Sapphire and has encouraged others to follow suit. Cincinnati will play host to JNF’s National Conference in either 2012 or 2013, thanks to Nina, who announced on the Israel Relations Committee mission that she wanted the conference to be held in her hometown. Cincinnati, OH
Owing to her track record, service and well-formed case, that will indeed happen. Nina and her husband Eddie were also responsible for helping to bring Stanley Chesley on board as our National President. Nina recently secured $100,000 for the JNF Parsons Water Fund, and she has brought new donors and major donors to the table by engaging them in the Women’s Campaign for Israel. During JNF’s 31 Days in May springtime campaign, Nina again stood out as one of the top fundraisers in closing major gifts. “What makes Nina such a special partner to JNF is her passion for and commitment to the land and people of Israel,” said Rick Krosnick, JNF’s National Campaign Coordinator and Midwest Zone Director. “It comes easily for Nina to sell what JNF is doing in Israel because she deeply believes in our work and has committed herself to engaging others to participate in the redemption of the land. For Nina, fundraising for Israel is indeed a mitzvah; I know she is energized every time she closes a gift, whether it is a major six-figure gift, or the tzedakah of a child planting a tree in Israel.” Congratulations to Nina Paul!
Proposed design for the new Gush Etzion Museum.
A LIFE YOU TOUCHED This is my final column as Vice President for Campaign. After three years, I am “retiring,” to be succeeded by Marc Kelman (Phoenix, AZ), who brings with him an outstanding record of campaign leadership in the Western Zone. Energy, creativity and passion are the words that I associate with Marc and the remarkable success that he and the Western Zone leadership have already achieved. Marc’s commitment presages great success for JNF’s fundraising future. As I began to compose my thoughts for this essay, I re-read my past columns. Not surprisingly, they share a common theme. As V.P. for Campaign, I traveled throughout the country meeting with leadership and donors. Not only did I attend many board meetings and events, often I was able to return to cities where I had been before, allowing me to see lay leadership’s evolution over time. The growth has been astounding. Despite recent challenges in fundraising, JNF stands robust, committed and poised for the economic upturn that inevitably will come. Our next goal is to raise $100 million annually, and under Marc’s leadership, we soon will. When I recall my experiences as Vice President, I think also of the personal guidance that you – JNF’s leadership – gave me. I have learned so much about Israel, and what it means to be a Zionist and a Jew in today’s tumultuous times. I feel so fortunate to have been able to further words with deeds in support of our people’s immemorial values and aspirations. I have looked around the room at every JNF event I have attended over the years, and at the regional, zone and national board meetings in which I have participated, and I have seen giants. Of all of my teachers, I think of one person and an incident that punctuated my growth in JNF and are emblematic of the entire experience. I was sitting alone on the beach in Tel Aviv after a Makor mission, sipping my drink and meditating on the state of the world, when Gene Kay of Denver, a fellow JNF Makornik and then-chair of the Century Club, ambled up and sat down next to me. He told me, forthrightly, that I should increase my pledge and join the Century Club. This entailed a huge financial commitment, one that I could not comfortably afford, and I told him so. Gene reached out, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Chuck, you cannot afford not to do it, and here’s why.” I, of course, knew the JNF story pretty well, but in Gene’s telling, tears came anew to my eyes. I knew that he was right. Today, I believe that the investment that I made in JNF and in Israel – next to my children’s education – is the best money I have ever spent. Mine is a life that all of you have touched.
JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
situated between Jerusalem and Hebron, is a region steeped in biblical and modern Jewish history. It was here that Abraham walked on his way to Akeidat Yitzhak (the binding of Isaac), that King Herod built his summer palace, that the Maccabees rebelled against the Greek Empire. And it was here that a remarkable and tragic battle was fought during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. For almost six months, Gush Etzion’s residents held off much larger invading armies moving towards Jerusalem, ultimately succumbing just one day before Israel’s founding. When eulogizing the heroic defenders of Gush Etzion, Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion stated, “I can think of no battle in the annals of the Israel Defense Forces which was more magnificent, more tragic or more heroic than the struggle for Gush Etzion… If there exists a Jewish Jerusalem, our foremost thanks go to the defenders of Gush Etzion.” Nineteen years later, the children of those who perished in battle returned home after Israel’s stunning victory in the Six-Day War. Today, Gush Etzion is a flourishing region made up of 19 communities with a population of about 62,000. To preserve the heritage and history of Gush Etzion for future generations and pay tribute to its brave defenders, Gush Etzion,
Jewish National Fund
Across the country For info on upcoming JNF events, visit www.jnf.org and click on “JNF in Your Area”
JNF Across the country
Los Angeles Zone
Greater New York Zone
Los Angeles Zone
Greater New York Zone
1. (L-R) Dr. Mark Surrey and his son Jacob at the B’nai Mitzvah Remembrance Wall in JNF’s
1 Over 250 people attended GNY’s annual Tree of Life™ Award dinner honoring Joseph
American Independence Park outside of Jerusalem, where the family dedicated two plaques celebrating Shane and Jacob Surrey’s bar mitzvahs.
Moinian, CEO of The Moinian Group. Dinner chairs were Jeffrey E. Levine, Douglaston Development, Floyd Warkol, KSW Mechanical and journal chair, and Oscar Brecher, the Moinian Group. (L-R) Mitchell Moinian, honoree Joseph Moinian, and Sidney Banon, New York Board president.
2. Golfers and poker players came together in support of the 20th annual JNF Golf & Texas
Hold ‘Em Tournament at the prestigious Valencia Country Club. More than 72 players participated in raising funds for the Arava Institute. (L-R) Richard Koral, Jay Morrison, Steve Kovi, Rick Solomon, and Chuck Eberly.
2 (L-R) David Picket, Jerome Belson, Steven Goodstein, and Ronald S. Lauder,
JNF Chairman of the Board, at the NY annual Tree of Life™ dinner, held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC.
3. Alan Abramson, chairman emeritus of the 20th annual JNF Golf & Texas Hold ‘Em Tourna-
3 At the Long Island Tree of Life™ Award dinner, Russell F. Robinson, JNF CEO, spoke
ment, and his foursome enjoyed a beautiful day on the golf course. (L-R) Steve Winston, Larry Abramson, Alan Abramson, and Kim Keneze.
about the profound impact of JNF’s work on the land of Israel. A video tribute to honoree David Sterling by former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak was shown. (L-R) Russell F. Robinson, JNF CEO, David and Mona Sterling.
4 In the presence of more than 200 family members, friends, and business associates, David Sterling was presented with the Tree of Life™ Award. (L-R) Mark Engel, Long Island Board president, Sharon Pikus, David Sterling, and Melvyn Ruskin.
5 The 2nd annual JNF National Golf Invitational took place at the Bayonne Golf Club. The
sold-out event began with brunch and ended with cocktails, dinner and the golf awards. (L-R) Jeremy Halpern, Ari Wise, Ira Steinberg, event co-chairs, and Russell F. Robinson, JNF CEO.
6 A great time was had by all of the participants at the 2nd annual JNF National Golf Invitational and funds were raised for JNF’s Sderot Indoor Recreation Center. (L-R) Rubin Pikus and Mark Engel.
7 JNFuture, JNF’s young philanthropy division, hosted its 3rd annual Shabbat in the Park at the Central Park Zoo. Co-chaired by Brooke Goldstein and Daniel Hassid, Shabbat in the Park raised funds for the Rainwater Harvesting Program to build a water conservation system for the Geulim School in Jerusalem. (L-R) Ben Jablonski, National JNFuture chair, Andy Ashwal, NY JNFuture chair, and Daniel Hassid, Shabbat in the Park co-chair.
8 Over 350 young philanthropists celebrated the connection between conservation, Israel
and the environment under the stars at JNFuture’s 3rd annual Shabbat in the Park. Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev was the event’s keynote speaker. (L-R) Naomi and Zvi Lantsberg, JNFuture Israel Relations chair.
New England Zone
JNF Across the country
New england Zone
1 (L-R) President Emeritus Ronald Lubin and his wife Susan joined in paying tribute to
1. A parlor meeting was held at the home of Rosalie and Horacio Schlaen. (L-R) Ron Bern-
golf tournament honorees Paula and Steven London, and Kathy and Ed Hershfield. The tournament raised funds in support of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.
2 Over 250 people gathered at the post-tournament dinner to pay tribute to the Hershfield
and London families. (L-R) Julia Cohen, Boston president Bob Cohan, Dr. Phuli Cohan, Zone President, National Missions chair Larry Cohen and golf co-chair Stephen Karp.
3 (L-R) Lawyers for Israel and board member Mark Furman of Tarlow Breed Hart & Rodgers,
PC, which sponsored the golf tournament, together with board member Brian Nagle of BNY Mellon and his wife Kathleen Genova, vice president and general counsel of Subaru of New England, the generous hole-in-one sponsors.
2. (L-R) Rabbi Mayer Abramowitz and Ron Bernstein, Israel emissary, at a parlor meeting at
6 (L-R) Philadelphia Board member Lenard Cohen, son Alec, and his wife Lauren, dedicated a B’nai Mitzvah wall plaque in honor of Alec’s Bar Mitzvah. Alec raised thousands of dollars for the B’nai Mitzvah Wall and the Indoor Recreation Center in Sderot during JNF’s Green Sunday, which was his mitzvah project.
10. South Palm Beach board member Sandra Crain at the 31 Days in May phone-a-thon held at JNF’s Boca Raton office.
3. Joshua Berkowitz, Miami-Dade board member and special events chair, at a Lawyers for
11. (L-R) Palm Beach board members Melanie and Mort Fishman paused for a picture during
Israel Society planning meeting.
5. (L-R) Ammunition Hill supporter Herman Weinberg with Anita Glickman and Rabbi Herbert Rose at the Jewish War Veterans meeting in Sarasota, where Ammunition Hill’s Wall of Honor was highlighted.
6. (L-R) Lawyers for Israel chair and Tampa Bay board member Mary Ellen Hogan with husband Dr. Robert Lavey at a reception in Tampa Bay.
the 31 Days in May phone-a-thon.
12. (L-R) Marissa Hollander, comedian/actor Paul Reiser, and Jeffrey Hollander at the Tree of
4. (L-R) Former Bernard Selevan Tree of Life™ Award honorees Lois Chepenik, Irene Jaffa, and Dinah Kossoff at an honoree get-together luncheon in Jacksonville.
Sharon Davidovich, Zone Director Sharon Freedman, board members Karen Hausler and Dr. Warren Geisler, regional president and event chair Ken Segel, emcee Liz Bishop and senior campaign executive Sara Hefez. (L-R, front row) Board members Susan Farber, Jane Golub, and Nancie Segel. “Product Stewardship for Israel’s Environmental Community,” at a forum hosted by New England Zone President Lawrence Cohen of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. (L-R) Zone Director Sharon Freedman, Scott Cassel, Larry Cohen, Dr. Alon Tal, and Laurie Hall.
Boca Raton office.
the home of Rela Schniadoski, Miami-Dade board member, and Julio Schniadoski.
4 At the Capital District Walk for Water: (L-R, back row) Rabbi Scott Shpeen, Colonel (Res.)
5 Dr. Alon Tal and board member Scott Cassel of the Product Stewardship Institute introduced
9 (L-R) Benjamin Sherry and Eli DuBosar at the 31 Days in May phone-a-thon held at JNF’s
stein, Israel emissary, and Rosalie Schlaen, Miami-Dade board member.
7.(L-R) Randy and Linda Poole and Sy and Debra Israel at the dedication of the Galina immigration ship donated by the Israels to the Atlit Detention Center.
8 (L-R) Debra Israel, Sy Israel, Bruce Gould, Sonia Atkinson, Carl Atkinson, Linda Poole, Randy Poole, Valerie Shapiro, and Jim Shapiro at Maktesh Ramon on the Israel Insights mission. The group enjoyed an exciting jeep ride through the crater.
Life™ Award dinner held at the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach.
13. (L-R) Carole Cornell with guest speaker Dr. Samuel Edelman, executive director of Scholars For Peace in the Middle East (SPME), during the Rosh Chodesh meeting at the Boca Raton home of Judi Bukaitz.
14. (L-R) Ron Lewittes, South Palm Beach board member, and Suzanne Lewittes at the parlor
meeting hosted by Sydelle and Michael Lazar, South Palm Beach board president, in Boca Raton.
15. (L-R) Debbie Ring and Lorelei Ennis at the Women’s Campaign for Israel event hosted by Vivian Grossman in her Weston home.
JNF Across the country
8 For her bat mitzvah, Rebecca Schwartz recognized family and friends by planting trees in
1 (L-R) Recent college graduate Jackie Shapiro spoke with Sapphire Society members Bonnie
Kluger and Sharyn Spillman about the need to educate high school and college students to become advocates for Israel.
2 JNF Open golfers enjoyed a beautiful, cool morning of fun and friendship while raising funds 9 for Aleh Negev. (L-R) Neil Hiller, Seymour Rife, and Ted Zinman, JNF Open chair.
Israel with JNF. In lieu of a candle lighting ceremony, she had each person hang a paper pomegranate, a symbol of Jewish righteousness, on a pomegranate tree out of a Manzanita branch, designed by her grandfather. JNFuture spent a “Day in the Dirt” at EKAR Urban Farm planting trees and harvesting crops that were delivered to the local food pantry. (L-R) Amir Steinhauer and Rena Dulberg.
3 (L-R) Arizona Region president Bruce Goldberg and board member Ron Blau at the JNF Open 10 (L-R) Gadi Maier, Jim Fox, and Greg Sterling, Bay Area board member and immediate past president, at a parlor meeting held at the Palo Alto home of Bay Area board president Marlene and Gadi Maier.
4 U.S. Forest Service mascot Smokey the Bear led the way at the 1st JNF Tu B’Shivat Community Walk for Israel. 5 (L-R) JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, Pamela Ring, Rhoda Ring, and Bob Dubin at a Las Vegas parlor meeting.
11 (L-R) Alan Kushnir, Carol Kushnir, Alan Fisher, Marlene Maier, Bay Area board president,
Rebekah Wildman, JNF Regional Director, and Judith Perl gathered at the Palo Alto home of Marlene and Gadi Maier for an inspiring evening featuring an alumna of the Arava Institute.
12 (L-R) David Weisberg, Executive Director of Friends of Arava, Rebekah Wildman, JNF Regional Director, and guest speaker Ilana Meallem, Arava Institute alumna.
6 Prospective donors and major donors listened intently as JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson spoke
13 (L-R) Amir Halevi, Israel Emissary, and Bay Area board president Marlene Maier greet visi-
about current JNF projects in the Negev. (L-R) Nathan White, Sivan, Don Greenspan, Helen Edell, Pamela Ring, Dr. Garet Gordon, and Robert Feldman.
7 JNF CEO Russell Robinson addressed the Las Vegas parlor meeting. (L-R, seated) Helen Feldman, Faye Steinberg, Shirley Koufman, and Toni Koufman.
tors at JNF’s booth at San Francisco’s annual community event, Israel in the Gardens, in June.
14 JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson gave an update on JNF’s projects in Israel. (L-R) Adele Bilewitz, Bob Rich and Russell F. Robinson.
15 Over 35 guests attended a parlor meeting in Newport Coast hosted by Roz and Elliot Vogfanger. (L-R) Elliot Vogelfanger, Adele Bilewitz, campaign executive, and Roz Vogelfanger.
16 (L-R, bottom row) Dr. Ra’anan Gissin, Debbie Orgen, JNF board member. (L-R, top row)
Adele Bilewitz, campaign executive, George Abramson, JNF Advisory Board member, and Beth Elster of B’nai Israel.
17 Cheryl Fey was named a 2010 Love of Israel Dinner chair for Palm Springs and Desert Area.
18 Dr. Burton Fogelman was appointed a 2010 Love of Israel Dinner chair for Palm Springs and Desert Area.
19 (L-R) Muriel and Louis Parker were presented with a certificate acknowledging their generous gift in the form of a Charitable Gift Annuity to JNF by JNF Palm Springs and Desert Area President Rick Stein (not shown).
JNF Across the Country
6 Southern Zone
1 Lauren Mescon, Southeast co-president (right), with David Frolich (left) and Henry Oliner
(center) at a National Conference recruitment rally in Macon, GA. Ya’ll come down now, ya hear?
1 Ari Ben-Zeev of Skokie presented a check from his JNF Bar Mitzvah tzedakah project to Chicago regional director Rick Kruger. (L-R) Rick Kruger, Ari Ben-Zeev, Matthew BenZeev, and Chicago board member Jon Spoerry.
2 (L-R) In Savannah, GA, Ronnie Porat, JNF emissary to the Southern Zone, and Barney Port-
2 (L-R) National board member Scott Gendell, Dr. Neil Friedman, Dr. Ra’anan Gissin, Dr.
3 Phyllis Cooper and Gerry Steinberg hosted a JNF parlor meeting at their home in Sun City
3 (L-R) JNF Chicago board member Marcia Rubin enjoyed time with General Doron Almog
man (grandson of Sam Portman z’’l, past JNF president in Savannah). Barney continues his grandfather’s dreams by leading the JNF campaign in his Savannah community. of Bluffton, SC to help expand and support JNF’s initiatives and campaigns in Israel. (L-R) Phyllis Cooper, Jerry Steinberg, Walter Diamond, Mary Yaacobovich, Marsha Weiss, Ronnie Porat, Kurt Fried, Marlene Fried, and Fred Weiss.
4 (L-R) Soon-to-be married Gary Dreyer and Marcie Hirshberg have asked that their wedding
gifts be directed toward JNF.
5 The Atlanta Moms for Israel event committee with Sandy Springs mayor Eva Galambos
at the Anne Frank in the World exhibit as part of an ongoing Women’s Campaign for Israel initiative to support JNF’s Caravan for Democracy-High School Edition. (L-R) Teresa Levine, Hadara Ishak, Mayor Eva Galambos, Southeast co-president Lauren Mescon, Marlene Weingart, Sharon Levison, and Women’s Campaign for Israel co-chair Janis Dickman.
6 At the Anne Frank in the World exhibit in Sandy Springs, GA, JNF Southern Zone director Beth Gluck (left), presented Sandy Springs mayor Eva Galambos with a tree certificate in honor of the exhibit. Galambos shared personal stories about being a Jewish woman, community leader, and wife of a Holocaust survivor and discussed the importance of supporting Israel.
Ed Atkins, and Chicago board member David Pogrund at the JNF Chicago region annual breakfast. after the Chicago board meeting.
4 (L-R) Nina Paul, JNF National Board member and past Southern region president, Ira Berman, and Yafa Osona, breakfast co-chair at the first Southern Ohio Region JNF breakfast with keynote speaker Jonathan Adelman.
5 (L-R) Grace Johnson, Laura Norris, and Ken Norris. 6 Dick Weiland, JNF Executive Board member, and Florence Lieberman, JNF past president, are inducted into Cedar Village’s Jewish Senior Hall of Fame (8 over 80).
7 Joan and Chuck Whitehill hosted a thank you event in Cleveland. (L-R) Chuck Whitehill, Stuart Mintz and Rabbi Yehuda Appel.
8 Chuck Whitehill, board president, announced that the 2010 Tree of Life™ Award would be presented to Sol Siegal. (L-R) Chuck Whitehill and Justin Wolfort.
9 (L-R) Pastor Glenn Plummer with 2010 Michigan Region Tree of Life™ Award honorees L. Brooks Patterson, and Dave Bing.
10 Rabbi Paul Yedwab of Temple Israel provided the invocation and led the Hamotzi. 11 (L-R) Arthur and Gina Horwitz, 2008 recipients of the Tree of Life™ Award.
17 12 (L-R) Dan Kweskin, Dr. David Kantor, Lynnsie Kantor, Dr. Jonathan Adelman, Congressman Russ Carnahan, Wendi Pressman, Norm Pressman, Isabel Boniuk, and Dr. Isaac Boniuk.
13 (L-R) Dr. Jonathan Adelman, Miki Zimring, and Morrie Zimring. 14 At Wisconsin’s 10th Annual Summer Happening, the kick-off to the annual summer solicitation campaign, Barry Grossman, a local attorney, discussed water issues facing Milwaukee.
15 (L-R) Keith Lindenbaum, Sidney Rivkin, Wisconsin regional director, and Barry Grossman, at the kick-off event for the Wisconsin summer solicitation campaign.
16 (L-R) Fred Safer, Wisconsin Planned Giving chairperson; Yossi Kahana, development director of Aleh Negev and guest speaker; Sidney Rivkin, Wisconsin regional director; Jack Spector, board member; Rick Rakita, immediate past JNF honoree; Rena Safer, Israel Advocacy and Education chair; and Peter Gilbert, supporter, at a parlor meeting for Aleh Negev.
17 (L-R) Jerry Fingeret, Friends of the Arava Institute executive director David Weisberg, and
Arava Institute alumna Ilana Meallem at the Team JNF/Arava Institute event in Pittsburgh.
JNF Across the country
1 Over 100 people attended and enjoyed JNF’s Wine, Trees and Cheese event, co-chaired by Doryne Davis and Joan Oppenheimer at the Mark Gallery in Englewood, NJ. (L-R) Northern NJ board member Bob Levine, Israeli emissary Tali Tzour, and board members Janice Rosen, Doryne Davis, Gisele Ben-Dor, Joan Oppenheimer and Jerry Rosen.
2 (L-R) Kenny Fried, Northern NJ board member and leader of the next JNF Baseball Mission to Israel, with a friend at the JNF Northern NJ Poker Tournament.
3 (L-R) Robert Grossman, Susan Tarnofsky, Central NJ board member Marc Leibowitz, Central NJ board president Eve Kaplan, Central NJ board member and Wine, Cheese & Trees chair, and Lynn Berman, Central NJ board member, at JNF’s Wine, Cheese & Trees event at Temple B’nai Or in Morristown, NJ.
4 (L-R) Lara and Natalie DiFabrizio, Northeast Zone director Joel Leibowitz, and Michael
DiFabrizio at a plaque presentation of the parkland planted in memory of their daughter Nicole DiFabrizio at the annual New Jersey Golf Classic at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains, NJ.
5 The JNF Northern NJ 2nd annual Poker Tournament attracted over 100 people who supported JNF and enjoyed a poker and casino night with friends. (L-R) First place winner Adam Cohen, Barry Honig, event chair, second place winner Hyatt Hank, Eli Ben-Dor, and Tali Tzour.
Mid-atlantic Zone 1 Celebrating their purchase of life-saving equipment for the Carmiel fire station are Michael Renbaum, his wife Tsipi Renbaum, and their grandchildren David and Sarah Renbaum.
2 Mid-Atlantic Zone director Diane Scar (right) greeted Michael Schiff, a new Maryland board member, at a board gathering.
3 ASB alumna Barri Defrancisci (right) spoke about her fascinating experiences on the Alternative Spring Break program at a Maryland board meeting. With her is ASB Mid-Atlantic Zone Chairman Bruce Kauffman.
4 (L-R) Delaware Lawyers for Israel campaign chair Joel Friedlander, Arava Institute alumna Ilana Meallem and Mousa Diaba, and David Weisberg, executive director of Friends of the Arava Institute.
5 ASB alumna Barri Defrancisci (left), with Mid-Atlantic Zone campaign associate Alex
Simone (right), thanked Dr. Irving Taylor (center) for his ongoing support of Kerem Shalom and the Mitzpe Ramon Air Force Base.
6 Washington, DC regional director Stuart Diamant-Cohen with Kampelman leadership at a recent Kampelman luncheon. (L-R) Stuart Diamant-Cohen, Ken Krupsky, David Bickart, Baruch Fellner, and Russell Smith.
7 (L-R) Melody Bormaster, Shari Yudenfrund Sujka, Michael Blicher, Philip Waldman, Neil Eisensdat, Dava Berkman, Stuart Diamant-Cohen, Rita Stein, and Dr. Chet Stein on the bird-watching mission.
8 Tsipi and Michael Renbaum visited the Carmiel fire station in Israel and proudly displayed a fire truck donated by Lowell and Harriett Glazer and Earl and Lorraine Raffel of Baltimore, MD.
9 (L-R) Dava Berkman, Dr. Chet Stein, Michael Blicher, Rita Stein, and Stuart Diamant-Cohen proudly displayed the new pillar marking the completion of the Mid-Atlantic Zone’s section of the promenade at the Be’er Sheva River Park.
Israel: The Land of Promise and Opportunities BY: Ariel Kotler, Development Officer, JNF-USA Israel Operations
Jewish national fund
It’s been a year since my wife and I and our children moved back to Israel from New Jersey. The Promised Land, our eternal Homeland, is on the fast track in an always changing reality. A small country, smaller in fact than NJ, with enormous and endless possibilities. The land and people are blessed to have JNF. So often I meet Israelis who are grateful for what we do. A couple of days after we arrived in Israel, the cable guy came to install our internet service. He was a very nice young man named Shimon, who emigrated from Ethiopia with his family. While Shimon was installing the router under the desk in my office, he asked me what I do. When I told him I work for JNF, he got up from under the desk to shake my hand. He lives in Sderot and was so appreciative of the fact that we
The Team in Israel: (L-R) Ariel Kotler, Alon Badihi, Shahar Hermelin, and Meirav Atis.
made such a change in his and his family’s life by building the secure Indoor Recreation Center. During the summer months an average of 900 people use our center on a daily basis. I was there recently with the Kigner family from NJ. As we were leaving, Jeff Kigner stopped me. He said, “Looking at it through the eyes of someone from NJ, it seemed sad to see a state-of-the-art playground double as a bomb shelter. But through the eyes of a parent or child from Sderot, it is the happiest place on earth.” The land of promise has endless opportunities. We have taken the city of Be’er Sheva, and re-crowned it the capital of the Negev. We have changed people’s mindset all across the country as we bring Ben Gurion’s dream of making the desert bloom to fruition. We are succeeding in this chal-
lenge and ready to take on the next. Recently, I was in the city of Arad with Lionel Ohayon, a world-renowned architect, to see how we can turn this city in the Negev into a beautiful and flourishing community that attracts young couples. Once again, JNF is concerned about Israel’s future and is taking action. It is an amazing privilege to observe the process become a reality. JNF takes a desert and transforms it into a field of dreams. How we achieve this is with wisdom, patience, perseverance, passion, and you. I look forward to seeing you on your next trip to Israel, and showing you how YOU have seized the opportunity. How TOGETHER we kept and are keeping the promise. As an Israeli, I just want to say, thank you!
Travel To Israel wITh JNF JEWISH NATIONAL FUND
Queen of Sheba: This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience - a unique and unforgettable trip to Israel for women only – no husbands, no boyfriends, no kids – just women experiencing life as sisters do. See and feel Israel as you connect to the land and the people. February 27 - March 6, 2011
Unique Day Tours: Only have a day? Visit the Ayalon Institute, a secret bullet factory established during the War of Independence, the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, the new Negev community in Givot Bar, and walk in the footprints of Abraham at the Be’er Sheva River Park. Wednesdays
Birdwatching: Observe hundreds of thousands of birds on their journey from Europe to Africa, watch desert birds come to life during night tours of the Israeli desert, take a nature photography workshop with a professional photographer, and much more! February 24 - March 6, 2011
Canadian and American Active Retirees in Israel Program (CAARI): CAARI offers an in-depth view of Israel for active seniors by providing them with the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture and connect with Israel’s vibrant people.
Culinary & Wine: Experience the sites, sounds, flavors, and spirit of Israel as you explore the country’s food, wine, and culinary scene. Take several cooking classes with renowned chefs and learn to prepare traditional Israeli food and delicacies. March 18 - 26, 2011
Private Tours: JNF offers unique and personalized itineraries that are customized to suit every family. Celebrating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? JNF will arrange a special ceremony, celebration, and customized tour to fit your family’s needs.
Israel’s Great Frontier: The Negev: Tour the Ramon Air Force Base, meet IDF soldiers and see JNF’s Constructed Wetlands Project. Visit a secret bullet factory established during the War of Independence, the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center and many more of JNF’s exciting sites. May 12 - May 19, 2011 To register for one of these unique tours of Israel or for more information, contact JNF Travel & Tours:
1-800-563-8687 or visit www.jnf.org/travel
See a Lot of Israel in Just One Day Once a week, a bus leaves the JNF offices in Jerusalem and opens the eyes of its passengers to a world they never knew existed.
Along the way and in between stops, participants are also informed of the JNF work that they’re not seeing: projects for the Bedouin, support for firefighters, Timna copper mines, and cutting-edge agricultural techniques in the Arava. “They see a lot and they hear a lot,” said Hermelin. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn not just about JNF, but about Israel, the Israelis, the Negev as a burgeoning region with great potential and possibilities, the issues, the challenges, the vision, the future. And we know we’re doing something right because the feedback has been terrific.”
To learn more or to register for a Day Tour, visit www.jnf.org.
Day Tour participants at the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center were amazed by what they saw.
Across the Country, Doctors Unite for Israel Doctors Naomi Vilko, Will Winter, and Robert Norman joined JNF’s Doctors for Israel (DFI) Society so they could play a role in Israel’s growth and future alongside likeminded members of the health care profession. And they are. “Doctors for Israel allows people in the medical profession who share similar passions to see what JNF is all about and participate in its important work,” said Dr. Winter, a psychiatrist in NY. “I’ve known about JNF my whole life and was a founding member of JNFuture in 2007, but Doctors for Israel has given me another way of reaching out to involve more people in JNF’s work while providing me with the chance to network and establish relationships with colleagues in the area. It’s a win-win situation.” “We established Doctors for Israel precisely for that reason,” said Dr. Melinda Wolf, the national chair. “Members of the health care community know what it means to work hard to help others, take on new and tougher challenges, and never stop until they’ve done everything they can to achieve positive results. So does JNF.” Dr. Naomi Vilko, a psychiatrist in NJ, already has ideas for broadening the newly formed society’s role. On a visit to Israel last summer, she toured the secure Indoor Recreation Center in Sderot and was greatly impressed with what she saw, especially the on-site counseling for the chil-
Dr. Naomi Vilko
Dr. Will Winter
dren who are coping with post-traumatic stress disorders from years of rocket attacks. “Israel is the leader in the field of treatment of trauma, both medical and psychiatric; the Sderot indoor rec center is a prime example of that,” Dr. Vilko said. “We should have a Doctors for Israel mission during which the medical professionals can engage in volunteer work and see first-hand what JNF is doing for the people of Israel.” “The Doctors for Israel Society is a great way for us as physicians to communicate and be on the same wavelength
Dr. Robert Norman
about what we can do for Israel,” said Dr. Robert Norman, a Florida-based dermatologist. “This gives us a common footing. I look forward to interaction with Israeli medical professionals so we can learn more about their work, their challenges, and their needs.” To learn more about JNF’s Doctors for Israel Society, visit www.jnf.org/doctorsforisrael or contact elisa frankel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-879-9305 ext.297
The Internet, advertising, and ever-important word of mouth have all helped JNF’s Day Tours grow in popularity. Hermelin ably leads participants through a maze of projects: the Ayalon Institute, a one-time secret bullet factory in Rehovot, where they learn about the importance of preserving the story of Israel’s road to statehood; the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, where they see JNF’s concern for security and quality of life; the Nir Am reservoir, for insight into Israel’s water crisis and what’s being done to alleviate it; the new Negev community of Giv’ot Bar, where 21st century pioneerism is being realized; and the Be’er
“Of course we also take them to The Golden Goose restaurant for lunch,” said Hermelin, “arguably one of the best restaurants in Israel for Mediterranean fare.” Jewish National Fund
“Both the Israelis who take our one-day bus tours, as well as the Americans, know JNF only as trees,” said Shahar Hermelin, Director of Tourism, JNF-USA - Israel Operations. “This very packed one-day tour expands their knowledge of the work we do. They ask a lot of questions, are amazed at the scope of our reach, and many go on to become donors.”
Sheva River Park, the 1,700-acre central park JNF is building in the capital of the Negev.
“The fire started in the forests next to Moshav Geffen and quickly threatened to move towards the moshav’s houses where I live. I saw the fire and called it in to the station. That is a sight you don’t see every day. You could hear the fire moving and getting bigger. I raced out, joined my team, and we battled it for quite some time. We were all overcome by a great sense of pride and accomplishment since no one was hurt badly.” Franko Shmuel, age 36, has been a firefighter in the northern Galilee for 14 years, but he still finds it hard to be in the thick of large fires in open areas and watch the green turn to brown and then black. “As I am busy fighting the fires my mind is racing,” he said. “How fast can we extinguish it? How can we prevent it from spreading? What’s the best way to deal with this? And of course I think of how I must stay safe since I have a family waiting for me back home.” The increase in this summer’s fires placed a major financial strain on fire stations, which are already stretched to the limit due to underfunding. “It’s not just natural areas that are damaged,” said Amsalem. “Our equipment is damaged too, and our vehicles break down. The hoses are also affected. It’s not easy to replace these things.” In partnership with Friends of Israel Firefighters, JNF is raising funds to provide fire departments across Israel with new trucks, state-of-the-art rescue equipment, and upgraded stations. A compact fire truck donated to the Beit Shemesh Fire Department proved invaluable over the summer, its small profile allowing it to easily navigate rough forest terrain. Firefighter Franko Shmuel battles fires in northern Israel.
ARE FIRES EVER Y SUMMER OWIN G TO WE A THE THER , BUT WAS THIS THE WORST .”
The largest fire up north near Kfar Sagur affected the nature reserve of Har Meron. “The fire started in someone’s backyard,” said Shmuel. “They were trying to burn a log and the wind carried the embers into the nature reserve. The area is hilly, making it harder to reach the fire, so we used firefighting Shmulik Amsalem , age 35 and a resident of Beit Shemesh, planes to drop foam and water. It took us eight hours to extinhas been a firefighter for 15 years. His expertise was put to the guish the fire with nine teams working. test this past summer when forest fires raged across Israel, destroying property as well as nearly 500,000 trees. Arson is “When you see everything burnt it’s a really bad feeling. I suspected in many cases, especially in the Beit Shemesh area, know how long it takes for a tree to grow and here up north and authorities have labeled the summer as one of the most we do everything we can to keep it green. It’s really crazy that destructive in Israeli history. Experts say it will take 50 years a fire that started in someone’s backyard did more damage for the forests to be restored. and burned nearly double the amount of trees than the Second Lebanon War! There are fires every summer owing to the “One of the biggest fires was outside Beit Shemesh,” said weather, but this was the worst.” Amsalem. “Twenty-seven teams were called to the scene with 68 firefighters and seven planes. They came from Tel Aviv, Ramle, Rehovot, Ashkelon, and Rishon LeZion. Five men were sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Up-to-date firefighting equipment is vital to the security of Israel’s communities and environment. To support Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services and ensure that every city and town is protected, visit www.jnf.org/fif or call your local office at 1-888-JNF-0099.
(Inset) Mayer with his mother and brothers in Switzerland in 1944 as they escaped through the Swiss Alps.
Yitzchak Mayer’s mind when asked about the Atlit Illegal Immigrant Detention Center in Northern Israel.
see where we died. I want them to see where we fought to live. I want them to identify with our strength and our courage and the story of Atlit does that.”
“We had just left one hell,” said the 76-year-old Holocaust survivor, who emerged from WWII with his mother and two younger brothers and has made Israel his home since late 1945, “and we were immediately thrown into another hell. Atlit personifies the madness of the world. The British soldiers who fought with us against the Nazis were now the very same who imprisoned us! Crazy!
JNF, in partnership with the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS), has helped transform the former detention camp into an educational heritage site that tells the story of the Jewish people’s determination and struggle to enter the country. Thanks to Sy Israel, an Orlando-area businessman, a restored boat like the ones used to carry the Holocaust survivors and illegal immigrants was recently dedicated at Atlit.
“But at the same time Atlit represents our spiritual resistance,” he continued. “I find it the most romantic place on Earth because it tells the love story between the Jews and Israel. People risked their lives on severely overcrowded boats to get to Israel’s shores; if they didn’t have this profound love and desire for Eretz Yisrael, they would never have done so. And it is for that reason that it is so important that Atlit be kept up as a museum and heritage site. Our children must know this story. They must learn about the Holocaust, but I don’t want them to
Born in Belgium, Mayer survived the war along with his mother and siblings; his father was arrested by the Gestapo and died in Auschwitz. With the war’s end they had to make a choice: they could return to Belgium, go to Hungary (his mother’s birthplace) or go to Israel. “A man described Israel as a place with white houses where they speak Hebrew,” said Mayer. “I told my mom, it must be a magical place, we have to go. So we did.”
'Hell' and 'romance' are the two words that come to
HAT T D O IN “I F PLE WH’T PEO IT DON VIS LIEVE .” BE EYES IR THE
One of 4,000 on a boat that was built to fit hundreds, Mayer and the other passengers were arrested by the British who boarded the boat in Haifa. They were taken to Atlit, “and it was striking to see the same barbed wire, the same barracks, the same watchtower,” said Mayer, “but beyond them were palm trees.” After a few weeks in Atlit, Mayer and his family began their official lives in the Promised Land. A career in education was followed by ambassador appointments to several countries. Today, Mayer speaks regularly to groups at Atlit. “I find that people who visit don’t believe their eyes,” he said. “They see another era unfold in Israel’s history and it tells the love story of the Jewish people for their home -- a most important story to preserve.”
The Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS) was established to protect the irreplaceable historical buildings and heritage sites associated with Israel’s rebirth. JNF is raising funds for the over 250 sites in need of restoration. To learn more, visit www.jnf.org/heritagesites OR CALL YOUR LOCAL OFFICE AT 1-888-JNF-0099.
Students at Geulim Elementary School learn about water conservation.
UTE -MIN 0 1 USES “A SHOWER 0 LITERS.” 7 0 6 ATER OF W
the sign above the sink in a bathroom at Jerusalem’s Geulim Elementary School reads. Over another sink, the admonishment, “It’s not automatic, you know! You have to close it yourself,” speaks volumes.
“Don’t leave me open,”
“We hung up signs all over the school,” said one student, “all to teach people and remind them how important it is to save water. We got so into it that it really became a matter of pride for us to learn how much water we were saving.” Under the tutelage of Roei Yehuda, a guide with Green Horizons/Hugey Sayarut—the Zionist and environmental youth development program in Israel that fosters independence, initiative, leadership, responsibility, companionship, caring, and involvement in the community through outdoor activities—the Geulim students spent a year learning about one of the most pervasive issues in Israel today: the water crisis. “The solution to this crisis must come from both the careful use of water as well as education,” said Yehuda. “The Rainwater Harvesting Program is about educating children of all ages
to understand what we’re dealing with, how it concerns them in their everyday life, and what they can do.”
consuming habits. Surprising facts about wasteful water consumption were discovered.
Funded by JNFuture as part of the JNF Parsons Water Fund—a $100 million initiative to increase Israel’s supply of high-quality water by more than 440 billion gallons over the next decade—the Rainwater Harvesting Program was developed by Israeli schoolteacher Amir Yechieli with the dual purpose of conservation and education. Tanks are installed on school rooftops to collect and reuse rainwater that would otherwise be wasted, reducing each school’s reliance on other sources of water by 77%. Students are involved in the planning and management of the system and participate in a dynamic educational curriculum—led by Green Horizons members— that teaches them about the water crisis and the need for conservation.
“Everyday activities use up a lot of water,” said a student. “I could not believe that a 10-minute shower uses 60-70 liters of water.”
Making the school water system economical was only the first step. The message of conservation has to filter up as well.After educating the schoolchildren about wasteful water use habits, the focus was switched to their families’ water
“Roei showed us how to test, examine and even repair the tanks installed on the school’s rooftop,” said another student. “It really helped us understand the importance of what we were doing. I especially liked when he brought in 100 empty 1.5 liter water bottles so we could really understand what it means that the average person uses approximately 150 liters of water a day. I was shocked. “I hung up a sign in the bathroom at home,” he continued. “It says: ‘Every minute you spend in this shower is 6-7 liters. Is it worth it? Hurry up!’ And my family is listening. I guess it’s hard to ignore a child when they’re asking you to do something positive for the environment and for the country.”
The cost of implementing this 5-year program in each school is $50,000. The money saved on water-related expenses is earmarked for continued funding, making the program self-sustaining. Sixty-nine schools currently participate; the goal is to implement the program in as many schools as possible throughout Israel. To learn more visit www.jnf.org/ water OR CALL YOUR LOCAL OFFICE AT 1-888-JNF-0099.
Five years ago, many of the young adults in Yerucham, a development town 25 miles southeast of Be’er Sheva, had one thing in common: they had no intention of staying there. The way they saw it, their future was anywhere else but their birthplace, which suffered from a significant image problem, as well as a lack of opportunities and appealing programs for the younger generation. Michael Bitton and Keren Gaspan decided to do something about that. Today, ZVI (Zeirim Be’Yerucham, or Young Adults of Yerucham), the organization that Bitton and Gaspan founded, is one of the biggest success stories in the region. Together with six of their friends – Tal Ohana, Hani Briga, Sagit Shindler, David Bitton, Kineret Swisa and Yishai Ben-Simol – they run social and educational programs that are making a big difference in Yerucham. “Right from the beginning, we realized that we had to do anything we could to prevent young adults from leaving Yerucham, since the future of the Negev depends on keeping the local young forces,” said Bitton, who is ZVI’s chairperson. “Yet we knew that young people would stay only if they felt that they were not alone. We determined that what was needed was an active local social network that would highlight Yerucham’s potential, and help the youth assume a responsibility for it.” Today, more than 200 young adults—Yerucham natives and
others who come from all over the country—are involved in ZVI’s programs and projects. This number is expected to double by next year. And finally, they have a place of their own. After working out of a small office at the local community center, the group is now moving into Beit ZVI, a 2,000-squarefoot building funded by JNF through a donation by the late Jean Filstein Martin and the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee. The JNF Yerucham Young Adult Community House is established in memory of Jean Filstein Martin, Abe Filstein, Beckie Filstein, Cy Filstein, and Albert Martin. The facility will be dedicated during the last week of October. “This is not just a building, it’s home,” said Tal Ohana. “It strengthens our commitment to really putting down roots in Yerucham, for taking responsibility for the future of our birthplace.” With the full support of Yerucham Mayor Amram Mitzna and the municipality, ZVI is bursting with new initiatives, ideas, and programs carried out almost on a daily basis. Activities include: • Young Adults in Academia: Providing local students with professional counseling, tutoring, and other assistance needed to succeed in college. • Civil Service: A 12 to 24-month program that allows 18 to 19-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds who, for
various reasons, did not join the IDF, to give back to society in other ways—all recognized and approved by the government—including volunteering in local kindergartens and the municipality. • For the Soldiers: Encouraging high school students to serve in the IDF and helping seniors prepare for their service; helping area soldiers cope with difficulties that arise during their service and keeping them socially involved in the community. • Young Community: Training graduates of Young Adults in Academia who choose to settle down in Yerucham to be educationally involved in the community. “We are grateful to JNF and the Ministry for helping us make this happen,” said Bitton. “Creating a social network and teaching people to take responsibility for their future is extremely important, but a physical place makes them believe a real change is happening. Beit ZVI is exactly that kind of place. I call everyone to join us and help support our program for a better implementation of our dreams.”
To learn more about building similar youth houses in other communities or about JNF’s work across the Negev, please visit www.jnf.org/blueprintnegev OR CALL YOUR LOCAL OFFICE AT 1-888-JNF-0099.
GR ATE FUL AND THE MINISTR Y FOR HELPIN G US M AKE THIS H APPEN .” TO JNF
The team behind the ZVI success story in Yerucham.
L-R: Top row: Hani Ghadir; Fahed Alasibi; Ibrahim Alatrash; Ali Abu lkean; Aattef Abu Ajaj; Naifa Alnabari; Dr. Michael Ben-Eli; Yones Nabari. Front row: Mohammed (Shahdeh) Abu Sbeit; Dr. Mohammed Alnabari; Ali Alhawashleh; Mariam Abu Rakayek.
When you hear the word 'Bedouin,' images of shepherds most
often come to mind. While that profession still exists today, the realities on the ground for this desert community are radically changing thanks to Project Wadi Attir. A joint initiative of the Sustainability Laboratory, a U.S.based non-profit, and the Hura Municipal Council, the governing body of a local Bedouin township, and funded in part by JNF, Project Wadi Attir is a Bedouin community-based enterprise in the Negev Desert of Israel. The project seeks to develop and demonstrate a breakthrough model for sustainable, organic farming operations, adapted to an arid environment. It is designed to combine Bedouin aspirations, values and experience with sustainability principles and cutting-edge approaches to renewable energy production, resource recycling, and arid land stewardship. “Project Wadi Attir represents a completely new approach,” said Dr. Mohammed Alnabari, a founding member of the Wadi Attir Cooperative and head of the Hura Municipal Council in an interview with Nawwaf Nabbari from Kol Israel, who contributed to this article. “It represents a complete innovation in the Negev and, I believe, at the international level as well.” At its core, the project involves raising a mixed herd of sheep and goats for organic meat and dairy products. It will also include cultivation of desert medicinal plants that have been
valued by generations of Bedouin for their health benefits and the development of a line of healing and body care products. In addition, the project 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. A basic concept of Project Wadi Attir is to minimize its ecological footprint and to ensure the most efficient use of resources. Byproducts of one activity will be available as resources for another activity through an integrated, closed loop system of use, reuse, and recycling. The project will aim for carbon neutrality by minimizing harmful emissions and through a program of extensive planting. Building design will feature “green” technologies appropriate for arid zone conditions. At all stages of developing the project, strong emphasis has been put on community participation and values, commitment by individuals to each other, and care of the environment. Job opportunities, employment for women, and local capacity building are primary goals. With time, the cooperative will encourage participation by new individuals, as well as whole communities, who can join as providers or consumers of products and services, or as full members.
“Driven by innovative principles developed by the Sustainability Laboratory and its founder, Dr. Michael Ben-Eli,” said Alnabari, “and during months of open discussions with a group of people from within the local community, including a number of Bedouin community activists, the idea took shape. Projects rarely happen this way. I have already gained new abilities and profited from my involvement in the project, going through a real process of personal empowerment. “But it’s not just me who’s being affected. This project is changing awareness within the local community itself, empowering it and raising its level of self confidence. We knew that this would happen and already we see the positive impact with new partnerships being formed and attention being paid by the government.” “It is a project that came just in time,” continued Alnabari, “and will help bridge the gaps and distrust that exist between the Bedouin population and the government. This project is proof to all that there is a way to do things differently.”
Project Wadi Attir will also function as a research and learning center and as an ongoing source of empowerment and training for surrounding communities. 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. To learn more, Visit www.jnf.org or call your local office at 1-888-JNF-0099.
IS THE PARK THE “THE ION FOR DS NEE SOLUT IONAL A ND AT IES RECRE FAMIL .” REN OF THE R CHILD I THE
Air Force personnel and their families enjoy the park at the Ramon Air Force Base.
days, families gather and organize their celebrations there and the park’s amphitheatre – the only one in the region – is host to many concerts to which the outside public is invited, especially the youth movements. It is a perfect opportunity to show them – Israel’s future – the spirit of an air force base.”
partnership between the American Jewish community and Israel. In addition to the amphitheatre, the park includes an entry plaza, picnic areas, lawns, playing fields, a promenade, parade grounds, and a donor recognition area. It is a green oasis in the midst of the arid desert.
But life at the Ramon Air Force Base in the Negev Desert is like a walk in the park—literally—thanks to the 7.5 acre park that JNF built for more than 3,000 Air Force personnel and their families, including 200 children, who live on the base. (This number increases during high alert situations when reserve pilots, maintenance crews, and security units are called upon.)
The Ramon Air Force Base is one of Israel’s most important military installations. Located in a strategic position in the Negev, it serves as the country’s main air force base and houses the finest squadrons and airborne units, as well as the most sophisticated aircraft.
“The park is amazing,” said the current base commander. “It is the only one of its kind on an air force base and should serve as a model to the others in the way that it has transformed the quality of life of the pilots and their families. So many have to relocate time and again, and this oasis eases the transition.”
“The park is the solution for the recreational needs of the families and their children,” said one pilot who lived there with his family before and since the park was built. “Now children can spend time with their parents after a day’s work. Before, they had nowhere to go. They just stayed inside or left the base. Today the park is the main source of entertainment. On holi-
Through the support of synagogues across the United States, JNF created the park to improve the quality of life of the dedicated people who are crucial to Israel’s security and vitality. Called the “Essence of Life Campaign,” the effort has brought together 160 congregations from every stream of Judaism, and is a permanent symbol of the connection and
Life can be harsh on an air force base in the desert, especially
if you’re a child. It is hot, dry, dull in color and boring. Surrounded by sand and mountains, there’s usually not much to do; off-site activities are often the only escape.
Note: For security reasons, the names of the people interviewed in this article could not be revealed.
To irrigate the park at the Ramon Air Force Base while efficiently treating the base’s waste water, the JNF Parsons Water Fund is building the largest constructed wetlands in Israel. This cutting-edge technology will purify the base’s waste water organically; the high-quality recycled water will then be used to irrigate the park without drawing upon scarce and expensive fresh water. It will save 80 million gallons of drinking water a year, ensuring that the park remains green and healthy and enabling additional plantings throughout the base. An education center will also be established at the base to teach soldiers about water conservation and wetlands technology. To learn more, visit www.jnf.org/water or call your local office at 1-888-jnf-0099.
If Ron Ben Haim , 29, had not interned at MATI Be’er Sheva (Center for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship), he may never have been connected to his current employer, Green Creative. And if he hadn’t been connected to Green Creative, he may have found a job in Tel Aviv. And if he had found a job in Tel Aviv, he would not have stayed in Be’er Sheva.
ity of life in Be’er Sheva, but they feel that they have no choice but to leave in order to progress professionally and financially. That is just not the case.” In a recent survey conducted by Market Watch to gauge the Israeli public’s opinions about the Negev, “shortage of employment opportunities” was one of the main reasons cited by respondents for not wanting to live there.
“Assisting students in finding high-quality employment opportunities when they are nearing the end of their studies is an incentive for them to stay in the south,” said Ben Haim. “There In reality, though, there are hundreds of jobs available in are many college and university graduates who enjoy the qual- Israel’s southern region each month. To counter this mispercep-
tion, and as part of JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign to increase the Negev’s population and transform it into an attractive place for a new generation of Israelis to call home, JNF and the OR Movement have been working since 2007 to place more than 200 university students in internships at companies throughout the Negev, many of whom later become full-time employees. The program has gone a long way in encouraging students to see the Negev as an inviting place to settle down after earning their degrees and is helping to reverse the post-graduation migration trend out of the region. It is a win-win for both the interns, who gain valuable work experience and exposure to business contacts, and the employers, who are assisted in finding highly qualified personnel, which has been an obstacle for many in the past. “I’ve had a lot of trouble finding engineers and managerial staff,” said Zvi Oren, owner of Matar, a railway factory in Be’er Sheva. “It doesn’t make sense; we have such good universities here. It is vital that we catch the brains before they leave. This program is a terrific answer to the problem I’ve faced since I opened my factory 15 years ago.” Adi Assis, the human resources coordinator for Metal-Tech, a material and chemical manufacturing and R&D company in Ramat Hovev, just outside of Be’er Sheva, is very happy with the internship program. “Instead of going to the center of the country to find employment, the students come to us,” she said. “They are then hired as regular employees and continue to live in the south. Everybody benefits—the students as well as the company. The program allows us to examine the students’ performance at minimal cost, and the students gain a real professional advantage over other prospective employees. There is no doubt that the program keeps high-quality human resources in the Negev.” Noa Bahir’s experience exemplifies the situation perfectly. “There are many students interested in staying in the south, but the lack of employment options makes them go back to central Israel,” said the 27-year-old who started as an intern at the Maavarim employment center a year and a half ago and was hired as a permanent employee at the end of her internship. “Because of my experience with this program I am developing professionally and learning a lot. I love and feel connected to the south and I see my future here. The internship program is an indispensable springboard for students who are searching for work and quality of life.”
M GRA PRO “THE HIGH KEEPS HUMAN LITY IN QUA Say RESOURCES it WithGEVa.”JNF NE THE
Card This New Year Prospective interns learn about job opportunities at a job fair in Be’er Sheva.
The cost to sponsor one intern is $3,500, which covers stipends that are matched by employers, project management, special events, job fairs, and advertising. Students work an average of 100 hours per month over a threemonth period. The program is limited only by its budget. 40 interns were placed this year—far fewer than the 435 students who expressED interest in an internship. The goal is to increase participation to 500 interns per year. For more information or to support the program, visit www.jnf.org OR CALL YOUR LOCAL OFFICE AT 1-888-JNF-0099.
ILANA MEALLEM attended to the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES), a JNF partner, with the intention of studying Israel’s bottlenose dolphin population. What she learned changed her life. Dolphins aside, a field trip to an unrecognized Bedouin community piqued Meallem’s attention and her academic focus switched to studying the Bedouin community; she even lived with a Bedouin family for 6 months. “Living in the Bedouin village, I was exposed to situations faced by other citizens in Israel,” said Meallem, who was raised in a pro-Zionist, pro-Israel household. “Though I had volunteered around the world and was passionate about the environment, suddenly my eyes were opened to issues that were right under my nose. So I followed a calling that would do something to benefit others.” Focused on exposing the problems and potential of waste in Bedouin communities, Meallem co-initiated the Bedouin Biogas and Women’s Health Project in 2005 while researching her master’s degree, introducing a system wherein organic waste is broken down to produce biogas that can be used to fuel household appliances and generators. A donation from JNF World Chairman’s Council donor Frances Lee Kaufman provided the seed money for the first biogas recycling system, which was built under the guidance of Yair Teller from the AIES in May 2010 in a family’s home in the West Bank village of Susyia.
improve the quality of life of Israel’s Bedouin community. “If given the right chance,” said Meallem, “the Bedouin community could be an amazing example for the world on how to achieve a more sustainable life. The biogas project is in its infancy right now. JNF helped to get it off the ground but the more support we have, the more lives we can change.” The cost to implement a biogas recycling system is $1,000. For information, call 1-888-JNF-0099 or call your local office at 1-888-jnf-0099.
Ilana Meallem working on the construction of a biogas digester.
“The system is working well,” she said. “The family has goats and sheep, and they can now cook with gas produced from the animal manure. We have Arava students studying how women are adapting to it and how it’s being incorporated into family life.” This is only the beginning. A program to train a core group of Arava alumni to be technicians and builders will enable these systems to be incorporated into Bedouin villages and smallscale farms. Meallem and the AIES Biogas team are working in cooperation with Prof. Julie Cwikel from the Centre for Women’s Health Studies and Promotion – Ben Gurion University to add a women’s health component to the program to educate women, the community’s primary waste handlers, on the health hazards of breathing in toxins created from the burning of waste. “Women are agents of change in the household,” said Meallem. “So we need to make them more aware -- not just about the way they’re burning waste but about the need for clean energy and the way to get it. With a simple teaching aid, we can train one woman to then train 20 in neighboring houses.” The project has grown considerably over the last five years, spreading to other countries in the Middle East and building partnerships. The AIES Biogas team has consulted, informally, on implementing a biogas system in a poor community in Cairo and is working with Jordan to develop similar systems there. And of course, they are focused on growing it to continually
DA D OLLOWE “I F T WOUL A TH TO ING ING CALL .” DO SOMETH OTHERS T EFI BE N
“I LOVEACE PE THE QUIET AND .” HERE
Arava farmer Chemi Barkan with his peppers.
grabs your attention. Upon closer scrutiny, the shape and scent kick in. And then you take one bite, and then another bite – of the best pepper you have ever eaten.
The color is what first
The pepper comes from the Arava, a region in southern Israel known as the most remote area of the country. Located halfway between Be’er Sheva and Eilat, the average distance to the closest urban center is 80 miles. It is comprised of eight moshavim, or agricultural communities: Idan, Hatzeva, Ein Yahav, Ein Hatzeva, Neot Hakikar, Ein Tamar, Tzofar, and Paran; Sapir, the regional center; and Zuqim, an eco-tourism-based community founded with the help of JNF’s Sapphire Society. The area’s roughly 3,000 residents (700 families) are scattered throughout a desert with sharp climate changes and extreme topographical conditions. Owing to the desert’s mountains and hiking opportunities, one would think tourism is the area’s main industry. Surprisingly though, the main source of income for residents is agriculture. Roughly 480 farming families produce nearly 60% of Israel’s fresh vegetable exports and 10% of the cut flower exports. And thanks to the farmers’ partnerships with the Zohar and Yair R & D stations, funded by JNF and the government of Israel, they are producing small miracles like the delicious pepper every day.
“The R & D station has helped us to improve and increase our yields substantially,” said Eldad Krouk, who was born in Ein Yahav, lives there with his wife and four children, and grows peppers for export. “They educate us on the best temperatures and moisture levels for shipping, which pepper varieties are most durable and the best way to package them.” Itai Gul, a farmer who lives with his wife and four children in Ein Yahav where he grew up, concurs. “The R & D station has helped us farmers by opening new markets in the U.S. and Europe. The scientists provide useful information for post-harvest production; I even get daily updates off their website about the local weather and evaporation.” “Ten years ago, our produce was sold mostly in the local markets,” said Alon Gadiel, director of R & D in the Arava and a resident of Ein Yahav. “Today, 85-90% is exported, which has helped our economy tremendously. Most of the produce—peppers, tomatoes, melons, eggplants, and flowers—is grown in hothouses. We have some orchards for dates and grapes. A burgeoning business of fish farming for ornamental fish is also taking hold. Ten years ago we exported about 20,000 tons of produce; today that figure is 130,000 tons for about a $250 million industry. Of course, profits fluctuate with the currency exchange rates.”
Despite the big business, life in the Arava is not easy. Scarcity of labor, exceedingly hot temperatures, virtually no rainfall, keeping small farms afloat, and a need for increased population and services present the greatest challenges. But these farmers and their families would not live anywhere else. “The Arava is my home,” said Chemi Barkan, who lives in Paran with his wife, one son and his family. “I love the peace and quiet here, the farming identity, the freedom of being at home at every hour of the day.” “After so many years it isn’t even a question,” said Miriam and Shaike Oren from Ein Yahav, “This is our home. When we arrived in the Arava the word ‘Zionism’ was said with pride. Though that may have changed elsewhere, it still instills in us a sense of pride. “Thanks to the JNF R&D centers, we are able to live our dream. Without theM the local agriculture industry would quickly fall behind and fail to compete with other farming areas around the world. The R & D has helped us become and stay Zionists.”
To learn more about R&D funding opportunities, visit www.jnf.org or call your local office at 1-888-jnf-0099.
B’nai Mitzvah Kids Connect to Israel Through JNF
In the winter of 2009 , the hottest ticket in West Palm Beach
that she’d heard about. Allison included educational flyers was “From Bar Mitzvah to Broadway,” Noah Jacobson’s about therapeutic riding centers in Israel in her bat mitzbar mitzvah project. The two-person cabaret-style show, vah invitations, and used eco-friendly JNF tzedakah boxes which he performed with his co-star Julie Jacquays, fea- as centerpieces at the event. Her bat mitzvah certificate tured popular Broadway songs, mixed with comedic banter. was presented to her by Nina Paul, past president of Adath Noah, who staged the show at several retirement and as- Israel Congregation, as well as past president for both the sisted living facilities in the West Palm Beach area, raised regional and local JNF. Allison’s fundraising efforts raised $1,200 and donated the proceeds to the JNF Sderot Indoor over $1,000 for therapeutic riding centers in Israel. Recreation Center. For his bar mitzvah project, Jake Belitsky combined his “I remember learning in school that Sderot was in two passions: Israel and baseball. “I love helping charities trouble; it was constantly getting attacked by missiles,” and I love giving back to Israel,” he said. said Noah. “I thought about the kids and how they were so traumatized. When I found out about the Sderot Indoor Jake created a JNF personal web page and had family and Recreation Center I thought, ‘Wow, if I can raise money for friends donate money online. He also hosted a screening of these kids, they’ll have a chance to be kids. They’ll have Holy Land Hardball, the documentary that tells the story of somewhere to go.’” how the Israel Baseball League started, which was attended by 60-70 people. All his hard work paid off: Jake raised Noah’s is just one of so many stories of Jewish youth who over $2,000 for JNF Project: Baseball. have chosen to commemorate their b’nai mitzvah by raising money for a JNF project. Whether using a personal web Jake has never been to Israel, but he hopes to go when page at www.jnf.org and raising money online or creating he’s 14. “I’d like to play baseball there and see some of the their own project and donating the proceeds to a JNF proj- fields that have been built since 2007.” ect, these youths have found interesting and meaningful ways to demonstrate their enthusiasm for establishing Noah too looks forward to seeing the people who have their Jewish identity and supporting the State of Israel. benefited from his bar mitzvah project donation: “In the very near future I am going to visit Israel and I definitely Allison Nemoff enjoyed the horseback riding lessons plan on visiting the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center while that she took at Cincinnati’s JCC summer camp. “Once up I’m there.” on the horse, I knew that this was a sport that I would love for the rest of my life,” she said. “Helping individuals with For more information on JNF Bar/Bat Mitzvah Projdisabilities experience the joy of riding a horse really reso- ects, visit http://www.jnf.org/mitzvahprojects or call the nated with me.” Israel Advocacy and Education Department at 212-8799305 ext.245. When choosing a bat mitzvah project, she immediately thought of the special therapeutic riding centers in Israel
Israel advocacy and Education
Allison Nemoff raised money for therapeutic riding centers in Israel.
Noah Jacobson and Julie Jacquays performed for seniors around West Palm Beach for the JNF Sderot Indoor Recreation Center.
Jake Belitsky, with his dad Mark, combined his love of baseball and Israel to support JNF Project: Baseball.
California Donor Affirms His Love of Israel Through JNF he and his classmates would place five-cent stickers on paper trees until they had raised the requisite $1.50 to buy a tree to be planted in Israel. “I always believed in JNF as a youngster,” said Gursky. “But when I was growing up money was so tight, it was actually tougher for me to buy a tree then than to buy a charitable trust today. I don’t think I ever made the $1.50 goal.” Born in Montreal, Canada, Gursky was raised in a very Zionistic home and was a member of the Habonim youth movement as a teenager. In May 1948, the word went out that there was a need for people to work the boats bringing refugees to Israel. But Gursky, who was a senior in high school at the time, was told to graduate first, and by June 1948, the war was over. Though Gursky wandered away from Zionist activities, he continued to be interested in Israel. An avid collector, Gursky owns every coin and medal issued by the State of Israel up until two years ago. He also has in his possession every Israeli stamp that was issued since the establishment of the State of Israel, and 80% of the various types of paper money. Gursky moved to California in 1959, and in 1966 he founded Commercial Washroom Equipment Company, which manufactures grab-bars and distributes bathroom
Years ago, when David Gursky was in grade school,
David Gursky in Israel with his parents, wife, son and sister in 1974.
accessories. He retired after selling the business to his son, Michael. A member of JNF’s World Chairman’s Council, Gursky serves on the Los Angeles Zone board. In 2000 he established a Charitable Remainder Unitrust naming Jewish National Fund as the sole beneficiary by donating some commercial property he owned. In addition to creating a lasting legacy for JNF, Gursky received valuable tax benefits: he avoided capital gains taxes, reduced his income taxes, and saved his estate significant taxes as well. Additionally, his charitable trust will provide him with a generous income for as long as he lives. When Gursky passes away his trust will be used to fund vital JNF projects. It was a win–win scenario for him and for JNF. Gursky has visited Israel on many occasions, often on JNF missions. In 1974, for his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, Gursky took them to Israel. Joined by his wife
Vivian, z”l, his son Michael and his older sister Diane, the family toured the country. “My parents had been to Israel before, but it was always to visit a brother, sister, cousin, nephew. They had never really seen Israel,” he said. “We planted trees in JNF’s Kennedy Forest, and to see my mother with her broken hip and my father, who had survived a stroke, planting in Israel, well, that was the highlight of the trip. “My favorite place in the country is the beautiful memorial in Rabin Park that I dedicated in 2002 to honor my parents,” he said. “I invited all my family and friends in Israel. Honoring my parents is more important than honoring me.” His other projects include the Chashkeh Glouberman and Sloimkeh Gursky Forest at Rabin Park.
JNF Helps Donors Solve Financial Challenges by Matt Bernstein, CFP, JNF Chief Planned Giving Officer
as JNF’s Planned Giving Director, I have had the opportunity to hear about many ideas to enhance JNF’s fundraising. Through our partnerships with various allied professionals in the investment, legal, accounting and insurance fields I am able to learn about the latest trends that are not only attracting significant donations for other charitable institutions, but are helping
Over the course of my tenure
donors solve financial challenges as well. One of these trends is the idea of using a life settlement. Simply put, a life settlement is a way to unlock the value of a life insurance policy you already own through the disposition of the policy in a secondary market rather than through the issuing life insurance company. Many of our donors own policies that were purchased years ago to ensure that their families would be taken care of in the case of a premature death, or for estate planning purposes. As needs change, as children grow up and make a life for themselves, or as the estate laws change, this insurance is no longer a necessity. The result is that many of JNF’s donors are saddled with a significant premium payment for an insurance policy they no longer need. In the past, the disposition of life insurance polices was controlled by the insurance companies themselves. This often left policy holders with little choice and relatively little value for their investment. As mentioned above, over the last few years a second-
ary market has emerged for the disposition of unneeded life insurance policies. And, as with everything else, when a new market appears, competition increases. In this case the result is the ability to unlock far more value from an existing policy than ever before. How does this concern Jewish National Fund? If you have unneeded policies, consider donating them! You will receive a tax deduction equal to the tax adjusted value of the policy, and JNF will have the choice to either keep the policy in force or dispose of it in the manner that will pay JNF the greatest amount of settlement. If you have an interest in learning more about life settlements and to determine if this could be an option for you, please feel free to contact me or any of the Planned Giving Specialists in JNF’s award-winning Planned Giving Department. You can reach me via email at email@example.com, or at our toll free number at 800562-7526. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.
investment in Israel through JNF. Our first priority in the Atlanta chapter is to engage participants by introducing the organization at large; we hope their next step will be to become active JNFuture members. Michelle Jackson (Los Angeles): I am hoping that we can continue to organically grow our membership and bring in strong leaders who are invested in the success of JNF and JNFuture in L.A. and elsewhere.
JNFuture: One Year Later JNF checked in with JNFuture leaders across the country. Here’s what they had to say!
What has it meant to you to be involved in JNFuture? What is your JNFuture chapter up to? JNFuture Greater New York celebrates its annual Shabbat in the Park at the Central Park Zoo.
What are your hopes for JNFuture in general and your chapter specifically?
Plant a Tree in Israel Today A Living Tribute to your Friends or Loved Ones Memorials · New Babies · Birthdays Weddings · Retirement · New Home Anniversaries · B’nai Mitzvah
TO LEARN MORE, VISIT WWW.JNF.ORG/JNFuture.
Adam Belfer (New York): At last year’s National Conference, I met JNFuture leaders from across the country and was impressed with the talented individuals who compose the next generation of JNF. Our next challenge in NY is to empower our new members to take ownership of leadership roles within the organization. Our goal for 2011 is to capitalize on the talents of 100+ members to further grow the organization and cultivate the next round of executive committee personnel. Cobi Edelson and Steven Richman (Atlanta): Our hope is that people continue to expand their connection to and
Adam Belfer (New York): We currently have over 100 active members and have more than doubled our initial fundraising goal in a challenging economic environment. Both our Garden of Eden and Shabbat in the Park events were hugely successful, with great turnouts. Our parlor meetings, featuring insightful presentations from influential people in U.S. and Israeli communities, keep our members engaged with JNFuture. Cobi Edelson and Steven Richman (Atlanta): We are actively building a core group of involved participants by promoting the Alternative Spring Break program, organizing special briefings and creating interesting hands-on events to bring JNF’s work in Israel home to Atlanta. Michelle Jackson (Los Angeles): We are seeking to revitalize the L.A. chapter through our first leadership retreat in September at which a panel of major donors and board members will talk about lay leadership. We will plan the calendar and fill leadership positions for 2011.
Adam Belfer (New York): I have had the privilege of working with a fantastic group of individuals whose passion for the organization is contagious and has helped JNFuture grow by leaps and bounds over the past three years. Cobi Edelson and Steven Richman (Atlanta): JNF exemplifies the idea that “every little bit helps.” It is the only charitable organization where you truly see the tangible results of your contribution, where you know that you are helping make an actual difference in the daily lives of Israelis. Michelle Jackson (Los Angeles): JNFuture creates numerous opportunities to support Israel and the Jewish community around the world and keeps members informed and educated about current events. Further, I have developed great relationships with my peers as well as respected and admired philanthropic and business leaders in Los Angeles.
out & about WITH
JNf’s major donors Greater New York Zone JNF’s Major Donors
On June 20, Ed Blank (World Chairman’s Council, JNF national board and New York board member) dedicated the 9/11 Living Memorial in Jerusalem. Surrounded by friends and dignitaries of JNF-KKL, Ed laid a wreath at the foot of the magnificent sculpture. The dedication was followed by a tree planting ceremony.
(L-R) Bob Levine (World Chairman’s Council), Helen Levine (World Chairman’s Council), and Ed Blank (World Chairman’s Council) participated in the unveiling and dedication of the 9/11 Memorial in Jerusalem.
More than 100 people attended a special briefing with Consul General Asaf Shariv at the home of World Chairman’s Council members Laureine and David Greenbaum. The Consul General discussed the flotilla incident off the Gaza coast and Israel’s severe water crisis. The group was also addressed by Col. (Res.) Sharon Davidovich, national director of the JNF Parsons Water Fund. (L-R) Col. (Res) Sharon Davidovich and David Greenbaum.
Rita and Charles Salfeld (Century Club) at the TOL dinner. Rita, past president of the New York board and national board member, introduced the JNF video that was presented.
(L-R) JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, Laureine Greenbaum (World Chairman’s Council), Floyd Warkol (Century Club), Gary Jacob (Century Club), and Jeffrey Levine (World Chairman’s Council).
(L-R) Sapphire Society members Cookie Shifris, Natalie Eisenberg, Sharyn Spillman and Sue Hughson at a Moms for Israel program.
(L-R) Shelley Dubin, Robert Feldman (Century Club), and Jack Davis (Herzl Society) at a major donor thank you event in Las Vegas.
(L-R) Roberta Witkow, campaign executive, and Lela Fenster Kay (Century Club) shared the JNF story at the Boulder Jewish Festival.
(L-R) Steve Solomon (Century Club), Sharon Solomon (Sapphire Society), Priscilla Schwartz-Hodes (Sapphire Society), and Helen Feldman (Sapphire Society) at a major donor thank you event in Las Vegas.
Leslie and Bernard Friedman (Century Club members) enjoyed the festive annual Tree of Life™ Award dinner at the Mandarin Oriental hotel honoring Joseph Moinian, CEO of The Moinian Group. Bernard is also a member of the New York board.
(L-R) Vice Prime Minister of Israel Silvan Shalom, with World Chairman’s Council member Ed Blank, holding up the new Israeli stamp honoring the 9/11 Memorial in Jerusalem funded by Ed. Shalom offered an insider’s briefing to major donors and board members at JNF House.
(L-R) Sapphire Society members Sharyn Spillman, Carol Ford Freidkin, Cookie Shifris, Natalie Eisenberg, Sue Hughson and host Bonnie Kluger shared a moment at the Moms for Israel program in Phoenix to support Caravan for Democracy – High School Edition.
(L-R) Rebekah Wildman, regional director for Northern California and Pacific Northwest, Frances Lee Kaufman (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Council, Sapphire Society, Legacy Society), host Eric Berzon, Ilana Meallem, Arava alumna, and David Weisberg, Executive Director of Friends of Arava Institute at the Oakland Hills home of Eric Berzon and Danielle Ruymaker.
Helen Spiegel (Herzl Society) and brother-in-law, Werner Spiegel, with Israel Tzofim Scout leaders after their performance at Huntcliff Summit in Atlanta, GA.
(L-R) Past president and President’s Council member Steve Cohen, along with Dr. Mort and Dr. Toby Mower (World Chairman’s Council members), celebrated the success of the JNF Parsons Water Fund.
JNF’s Major Donors
Ilana Meallem presented Frances Lee Kaufman (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Council, Sapphire Society, Legacy Society) with a maple sapling as a symbol of appreciation for her support and generosity.
JNF’s Maryland region enjoyed an informative presentation on the environmental issues facing Israel today. (L-R) Dr. Jim Chisum, Susan Levene (Sapphire Society, Women’s Alliance chair), and Dr. Irving Taylor (Century Club, World Chairman’s Council).
(L-R) Dr. Mort Mower (National JNF Parsons Water Fund chairman, World Chairman’s Council) and Andrew Klein (National Vice President, Zones and Regions, World Chairman’s Council) planned strategies to raise additional funds for the JNF Parsons Water Fund.
Mid-Atlantic Zone leadership at recent national committee meeting of the JNF Parsons Water Fund. (L-R) Dr. Morton Mower, Marvin Rosenberg, Jeffrey Klein, Leonard Miller, and Alan Levenson.
(L-R) Ken Krupsky (President’s Council) and Washington, DC regional president Baruch Fellner (President’s Council) welcomed Seth Morrison, a new Washington, DC executive committee member and new Herzl Society donor.
(L-R) Adrienne Rulnick (Herzl Society), Ken Krupsky (President’s Council), and Amy Krupsky (President’s Council) at a recent Washington, DC board meeting.
(L-R) Mid-Atlantic Zone president David Margules (Century Club) and Delaware Lawyers for Israel campaign chair Joel Friedlander (President’s Council) discussed campaign strategies for engaging new lawyers in Delaware.
(L-R) Previous Tree of Life™ honoree Doug Cohn chatted with new Herzl Society member David Scher at a major gifts reception in Tampa.
Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council), center, dedicated a classroom at Alexander Muss High School in Israel with Gideon Shavit, left, CEO of AMHSI and Chaim Fishgrund, right, Head Master of AMHSI. Plaque reads “May your education at Alexander Muss High School in Israel help you find the love of the land of Herzl’s dream.”
Delaware Lawyers for Israel campaign chair Joel Friedlander (President’s Council) reviewed campaign numbers and planned for a successful 2011 campaign year.
(L-R) Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Sidney A. Goodman (President’s Council) was presented with his award by Tampa copresidents Betsy Marcadis (Sapphire Society) and Mark Miller (Herzl Society) at Tampa’s 2010 Tree of Life™ Award dinner.
(L-R) Yossi Kahana, director of Aleh Negev, visited with supporter Richard Rappaport (President’s Council) at the Tampa Tree of Life™ Award dinner, where Aleh Negev was the focus of the evening.
JNF’s Major Donors
Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council), right, presented Flora Shushan, mayor of Mitzpe Ramon, with a JNF memento from his community in Orlando.
Sy Israel (Century Club, President’s Council, Herzl Society), Debra Israel and family attended the dedication of the Galina immigration ship donated by the Israels to the Atlit Detention Center. (L-R) Caryn, Debra, Lily, Sy, Brandon, and Mark Israel.
(L-R) Palm Beach board member Irving Wiseman (Century Club, President’s Council), General Doron Almog, and Palm Beach board member Sheila Wilensky (Century Club, President’s Council, Sapphire Society) at a parlor meeting hosted by Palm Beach board members Linda and Roger Benjamin at their home.
(L-R) Co-president of the JNF Southeastern region, Makor member and guest speaker Lauren Mescon (Sapphire Society) with Vivian Grossman (President’s Council, Sapphire Society) at Vivian’s home during a Women’s Campaign for Israel parlor meeting.
(L-R) South Palm Beach board president and Guardian of Israel Award honoree Michael J. Lazar (President’s Council) and Sydelle Lazar (President’s Council, Sapphire Society) at the Tree of Life™ Award dinner at the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach.
At a meeting of the Palm Beach Board of Directors at Frenchman’s Creek hosted by board president Irving Wiseman were (L-R) Charles Kramer (Herzl Society), incoming Palm Beach board president Art Silber (Century Club, President’s Council), Israeli Emissary Ron Bernstein, and Palm Beach board president Irving Wiseman (Century Club, President’s Club).
President’s Council members Rich and Sharon Kaplan (Sapphire Society) spent a moment with Ra’anan Gissin (middle) at the JNF Chicago annual breakfast.
(L-R) National Board member Ted Banks (President’s Council) chatted with General Doron Almog at the JNF Chicago board meeting.
(L-R) Broward board member Myron Stayman (President’s Council) and Broward board member Debbie Stayman (President’s Council, Sapphire Society), with actor/comedian Paul Reiser at the Tree of Life™ Award dinner at the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Dania Beach.
(L-R) South Palm Beach board member and Florida Zone major gifts chair J. David Polen (Century Club, President’s Council), actor/ comedian Paul Reiser, and Dr. Sherri Bluth (Sapphire Society) at the Tree of Life™ Award dinner at the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Dania Beach.
28 www.jnf.org South Palm Beach board member and Doctors For Israel Society chair Dr. Robert Colton (President’s Council) and Dr. Andrea Colton (President’s Council) enjoyed the Tree of Life™ Award dinner at the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA).
Broward board president and Makor chair Beckie Fischer (Sapphire Society) at the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) during the Tree of Life™ Award dinner.
(L-R) Emilie Zuckerman, Steven Zuckerman, Brigitte Zuckerman (Sapphire Society) and Logan Zuckerman at American Independence Park during a recognition ceremony while on the Temple Dor Dorim Israel trip.
(L-R) Century Club member Dr. Edward Atkins received a comprehensive introduction to Aleh Negev at a Chicago event. (L-R) DeDe Almog, General Doron Almog, Dr. Edward Atkins, and Yossi Kahana.
The true representation of l’dor v’dor—3 generations of Bergman/Adlers attended the Cincinnati JNF breakfast and showed support by purchasing JNF’s Sderot Tulip. (L-R) Lori Adler, Margie Adler (JNF board member), Thelma Bergman and Harvey Bergman (Herzl Society members).
Chuck Whitehill, board president, announced with great pride that the 2010 Tree of Life™ Award will go to 40-year board member, Sol Siegal. (L-R) Sol Siegal (Century Club), Chuck Whitehill (President’s Council) and Michael Jacobson.
JNF’s Major Donors
During a visit to see their son, Jonah (currently attending Ben Gurion University), the Guttman family stopped for a dedication of Cindy’s Sapphire Society plaques at American Independence Park in Jerusalem. (L-R) Jeremy, Cindy, Harold and Jonah Guttman.
JNF board members, friends and supporters celebrated at a thank you event at the home of Joan and Chuck Whitehill. (L-R) Jean Geller, Debbie Harlan (Century Club), Sol Siegal (Century Club) and Larry Harlan (Century Club).
Michigan held its Tree of Life™ Award dinner honoring Dave Bing, Mayor of Detroit, and L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive. (L-R) Rick Krosnick, national campaign coordinator/Midwest Zone director; Dave Bing; Jim Hiller (President’s Council), chairman of the board; Dr. Leora BarLevav (President’s Council), regional president; Hannan Lis (Century Club); Florine Mark (Century Club); and L. Brooks Patterson.
Over 250 attendees came to honor the award recipients and show their support for JNF. Florine Mark, 2000 TOL recipient, spoke about her strong personal connection to JNF and deep ties to Israel. (L-R) Florine Mark (Century Club) and Don Benyas (Century Club).
(L-R) Former regional presidents Neal Zalenko, Robert Schwartz, current JNF Michigan president Dr. Leora Bar-Levav (President’s Council), Hannan Lis (Century Club), Eli Scherr, and Jim Hiller (President’s Council) at the 2010 TOL Award Dinner.
(L-R, back row) Wisconsin region co-president Rusti Moffic, co-president Enid Bootzin Berkovits, (L-R, front row) co-chair Selma Zeiger (Sapphire Society), Neena Florsheim (Sapphire Society), banquet co-chair Linda Silberman, and campaign chair Merle Wasserman enjoyed themselves at a dessert reception hosted by the Florsheims for this year’s Wisconsin Region’s annual banquet honorees.
(L-R) Chuck Perlow (President’s Council), Arava Institute alumna Ilana Meallem, and Judy Perlow (President’s Council) at the Team JNF/Arava Institute event in Pittsburgh.
Los Angeles Zone
JNF’s Major Donors
Members of the Sapphire Society gathered at Bocca Restaurant in Encino to hear from The OR Movement’s Ofir Fisher about JNF’s important work building new communities in the Negev. (L-R) Selma Alpert, Francine Golden, Judy Levin, Alyse Golden Berkley, Carole Shnier, Ofir Fisher, Beverly Pine, Marilyn Golden (Circle of Sapphire, Lifetime Society), Vera Schoening, and Carole Bolotin.
(L-R) Marilyn Golden (Circle of Sapphire, Lifetime Society) and Carole Bolotin (Century Club, Sapphire Society) at a Sapphire Society luncheon.
(L-R) Doris Leibowitz (Sapphire Society), Marcy Needle (Sapphire Society, Makor), and Ellen Rosenberg, Makor guest speaker, at the Central NJ Wine, Cheese & Trees event at Temple B’nai Or, Morristown, NJ.
New England Zone
30 www.jnf.org (L-R) Honorary chairman Saul Leighton (Herzl Society) and Joel Leibowitz, Northeast zone director at the Annual New Jersey Golf Classic at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains NJ.
(L-R) Aviva Sapers, Israel Emissary, director of the JNF Parsons Water Fund Colonel (Res.) Sharon Davidovich (Herzl Society), and board member Judith Sydney (Sapphire Society) at the New England Zone Golf Tournament at Belmont Hill Country Club.
(L-R) Ben and Susan Gutmann (Century Club, President of Northern NJ Board) celebrated Ben’s 60th birthday with 50 family members and friends on a trip to Israel. With the entire Israeli and American family in attendance, Ben and Susan dedicated the new recreation park in Nofey Prat near Jerusalem.
Capital District president Ken Segel (Century Club) was presented with a plaque at the Walk for Water for his dedication and success as event chair. (L-R) Sr. campaign executive Sara Hefez, Director of the JNF Parsons Water Fund Colonel (Res.) Sharon Davidovich, Segel, and Zone director Sharon Freedman.
Beloved long-time board member Lee Aronson (Sapphire Society, Century Club), Steven Aronson (Herzl Society), with Director of the JNF Parsons Water Fund Colonel (Res.) Sharon Davidovich at JNF’s golf tournament. Aronson Insurance served as proud tournament co-sponsor and the Aronson Family are past honorees.
(L-R) Herzl Society members Paula and Steve London and Kathy and Ed Hershfield were honored for their dedication to Israel, JNF and Hadassah at the New England annual Golf Tournament at Belmont Country Club, which raised funds for the Arava Institute. Steven and Ed both serve on the executive board.
(L-R) Randy Hustvedt (Sapphire Society), campaign executive Deborah Budd, Judi Elovitz Greenberg (Sapphire Society), Elaine Elovitz (Sapphire Society), Joyce Guior Wolf (Sapphire Society), Sandy Davis (Sapphire Society) and hostess Amy Parsons (Sapphire Society president) gathered for a “Tequila Tasting from the Feminine Perspective” where Makor and Sapphire member Ellen Rosenberg inspired the crowd.
Alexander muss high school in israel
Enroll in An upcoming AMHSI session today! Early decision incentive discount available — see below
AMHSI Shapes Lives – testimonials from students and parents
and visit www.amhsi.org for more details.
January 25, ‘11
April ‘11 April 27 June 21 Summer 1 June 14 August 2 Summer 2
June 26 August 12
January 24, ‘12
Early Decision Incentive
Going on AMHSI was an experience of a lifetime. We did more than just travel around Israel and see historic sites. Our trip to Masada was not just a hike up a mountain with a twenty minute tour and a spending spree in the gift shop. Rather, my trip up Masada started at 3:30 am at the foot of the mountain, and when we finally reached the top, we started our morning with meditation at sunrise. This signaled a day of deep thought and insight. On Masada, we didn’t just learn about the Zealots and their leader Ben Yair; we became them. As a group, we had to determine for ourselves how to proceed against the Romans, despite what the actual Zealots chose to do. We spent four hours on the top of Masada learning to live like the Zealots. We crawled on the ground as if we were fighting in battle, entered their homes and imagined what their home
life was like. I could not have had this experience on a different type of trip to Israel. I cannot imagine experiencing Israel any other way. Aron Wolfson, Miami, FL Thank you so much for all that you did to help educate our daughter Julie this spring and for all your kindness to her personally. She couldn’t stop raving about you as a teacher and constantly talked about how dedicated you were to the learning process. She said that it was the first time in her entire life that she had a teacher who actually cared that she learned! You were inspirational to her and I am sure to all of the other kids as well. The Israel experience was the trip of a lifetime and as a parent, I never in a million years dreamed that I could provide this opportunity for my child. My husband and I are thrilled beyond words. Thank you for helping to make this an experience that will hopefully shape the rest of her life. Pam Zingeser, Rockville, MD We are, needless to say, unbelievably happy to have our daughter Taylor home. What she has brought home with her is amazing. It’s not what she bought, but what she has been able to share from within. Her growth into a young adult with a passion for life is incredible. I would like to thank everyone at AMHSI for being there for her and running the program with such professional style. Taylor is blessed to have had this experience. I know she realizes it now, but I believe that she will realize it more when she ventures out into the world ahead of her. My heart is filled with such joy to see my daughter like this. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Jennifer Smith, Costa Rica
AMHSI will give you $400 off your tuition when you sign up for any of AMHSI’s core sessions (Feb/April/June/Sept/ Dec) at least four months in advance! Start planning early for the experience of a lifetime! There’s no reason to delay! Sign up today. Once you’ve made the decision to attend AMHSI, why not bring your friends with you? You will receive $100 for each enrolled participant that you refer! Earn money for having your friends join you! It’s that simple! For more details, visit www.amhsi.org or contact your local Director of Admissions. *Discounts apply to core program sessions only. Not applicable to day school/community group trips.
AMHSI’s Online Store Have you always wanted an AMHSI t-shirt? Did you have an AMHSI hat 10 years ago when you were a student and now it’s definitely time for another one? Would you like to sip your morning coffee out of your very own AMHSI mug? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re in luck! Now you can buy AMHSI products like t-shirts and sweatshirts online and show off your AMHSI pride! Wear it out and who knows how many other AMHSI alumni you’ll encounter! Go to www.amhsi.org/store to start shopping!
I want to express my appreciation for the great program and experiences that I had during my two months at AMHSI. My two core teachers cared tremendously about my success and the rest of my peers and did a lot to enhance my trip. The madrichim (counselors) worked tirelessly to ensure that we fit as many great activities as we could into our schedule. I learned so much about Israeli history and feel that I can now hold my own in a conversation about Israeli politics or how the country has developed over the years. I’ve gone on several other trips to Israel, but none have had quite the same effect on me as AMHSI. I met so many great people and feel that I have connections everywhere I travel in the United States and in Israel. I deeply appreciated the generous scholarship that I received and kept it in mind whenever I was on a particularly great experience. I plan to be a great ambassador to the Alexander Muss program; I have already convinced a couple of kids in my school to go! Andy Devries, Deerfield, IL
Alexander muss high school in israel
AMHSI aims to promote, build, and strengthen lifelong bonds between youth and Israel through study of the history and culture of the people of Israel. AMHSI is a premier academic experience in Israel that prepares students for college and beyond. Since its founding in 1972, AMHSI has successfully impacted over 20,000 students. To learn more, visit www.amhsi.org.
If only Adam and Eve had 240 million other trees to choose from. For over a hundred years Jewish National Fund has been planting trees in Israel. To learn more about how JNF trees prevent soil erosion, preserve vital ecosystems, reclaim deserts or to plant trees, go to www.jnf.org.