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Together Fall 2015

B’Yachad: The Newsletter of Jewish National Fund

Solutions for a Water -Starved World AJPA ard wer Aw e o k c o R ellenc E for xc ational iz n in Orga letters s w e N


Three generations of farmers loving the land

Electronic service requested E-mail us at B'Yachad · 42 East 69th Street New York, NY 10021-5093

See Inside p. 4





Let There Be Water: A Q&A with Author Seth M. Siegel

Changing Israel’s Image, One Drop at a Time UN Ambassador Ron Prosor writes about Israel’s innovations with water and their

Seth M. Siegel speaks to us about

impact on the world’s perception of

Israel as a water superpower and the knowledge it is has to share with


the world in the face of a global water crisis.




Solutions for a Water-Starved World

The Journey of a Watermelon

What Israel has done in alleviating

Follow the growth of a watermelon

its water crisis and finding

over 4 months from a farm in the

innovative solutions for improving

Negev to the markets of Tel Aviv,

its water economy is nothing short

and see how JNF’s work with water

of remarkable. Read about JNF’s

enables farmers to earn their

partnership on important research


and development, and what the future holds for Israel’s water situation.

We hope you enjoy this issue. Send your feedback to Regards, B’Yachad Editorial Staff B’YACHAD STAFF EDITOR IN CHIEF: Ariel Vered • PUBLISHER: Russell F. Robinson EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Jodi Bodner • MANAGING EDITOR: Adam H. Brill CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Sherene Strausberg Winner of the AJPA Rockower Award for Excellence In Organizational Newsletters

Printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based ink

/jewishnationalfund /jewishnationalfund

JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel

for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. Today, JNF continues to give all generations a unique voice in building and ensuring the prosperity of the land of Israel through their generosity and partnership with the people of Israel. JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.


JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers. For more information on JNF, call 800.JNF.0099 or visit





Considering all of the great achievements humankind has made in the last century, one of the most serious issues we continue to face today is access to good clean potable water. The media has rightfully begun to sound the alarm with its reporting on the escalating drought that threatens the future for millions of people from California to Texas. And that is merely the beginning. Scientists and water experts foresee long-term water challenges in the Midwest and even in the Northeast, from Washington, D.C to Long Island. Fortunately, there is a way to mitigate this situation if we begin to plan and take action now. As reported in USA Today, Israel and JNF know a thing or two about drought and have the answers and technology to overcome it. It didn’t happen overnight, and it required the buy-in from everyone—from the highest government minister to the average consumer—along with the adoption of a national education and conservation plan, smart but fair pricing, infrastructure upgrades, and modern technology. The people of Israel also had JNF as a partner in the effort. JNF had the foresight to invest in hundreds of reservoirs, water recycling, and education, giving Israel the opportunity and time it needed to bring desalination plants online. Never has a philanthropic investment seen such a great return. When our Chairman of the Board, Ronald S. Lauder, became JNF president in 1997, Israel had but three reservoirs. With the support of JNF and its donors around the country, today there are more than 250. These reservoirs store recycled and reusable water and harvested rainwater, providing 55% of Israel’s agricultural water, while desalinization provides 40% of the country’s drinking water. As a result, Israel has become a pioneer in water-saving technology. Water crises are not limited to arid environments. Here in the U.S., water scarcity affects more than your lawn at home, or whether or not a waiter will give you a glass of water. It affects our agricultural industry— which uses approximately 80% of our nation’s water supply—and, in turn, our food supply. By using rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, and reclaimed sewage water for crop irrigation, Israel through JNF has increased the number of facilities to store water for a secure agricultural future. While Israel is now more water secure than it has ever been, our work is not over. Our past accomplishments and successes have laid the groundwork that now enable us to focus on the next generation of water needs and develop the Negev, Israel’s vast frontier. Not every country is fortunate enough to have an organization like JNF to help them navigate water crises. Israel has the know-how and technology to make certain our world is not water-starved. Israel is willing to help share its solution as this challenge is one we must all face together. Israel makes the world a better place. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Please email me at


Dear Reader, Nearly two decades ago, I surveyed the Kinneret—the Sea of Galilee—and I was in shock: the only freshwater reservoir in the land of Israel was running dry. I vowed that Israel’s drought and water issue would be solved. We at JNF were going to make a difference. I marveled at the vision, commitment, and leadership of Israel’s then-leaders, who understood that Israel’s survival was not just on the battlefield; it also rested on the drawing boards to develop new water systems that would ensure the future of the land for the people. As I watched tractors tear up farms due to lack of water, I resolved that I would not allow that to continue. Our Zionist dream was not going to be lost. Not on JNF’s watch. And our donors responded. JNF took on the challenge of mitigating the water crisis and discovering solutions to an issue that no other country had yet solved. Prior to 1995 there were only three reservoirs in Israel. Working with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL), JNF built 200 reservoirs between 1996 and 2005. These reservoirs were desperately needed to store recycled water and rainwater, which would then be utilized by Israeli farmers to bring food to the markets during the country’s dry summer season. We started to recycle water for reuse. Everybody told us desalinization was the only solution; however, we knew that desalinization alone was not only too costly, but also years away from coming to fruition. We needed a stopgap solution. We built recycling plants and reservoirs, and began seeing a difference every day. We use recycled water, together with brackish water from deep underground, mix in rainwater, and produce tomatoes that have longer shelf lives and are sweeter than others in the world. Water from fish farms is drained and used to irrigate olive orchards. For us, every drop of water is preserved and used more than just once. As recently highlighted in the New York Times, Israel now re-uses nearly 85% of its water. Today, over 250 reservoirs store more than 350 million cubic meters of water for the land and people of Israel. And, in addition, more than 50 million cubic meters of water, stored in JNF reservoirs, is made available to Jordan as part of the peace agreement. That is the story of the Jewish people, JNF, and our perseverance for building life. Israel shares so much of her technology around the world. Water filtration systems created in Israel are being used in cities across the globe and soon in Southern California. An African farmer puts food on the family table because of water advancements created in Israel. Israel’s achievements are being used in Southeast Asia, and we train young people from these countries at the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT). Project Wadi Attir, one of the largest Bedouin projects in Israel, is using every drop of water for agriculture, and is bringing resources of environmental technologies and economic development to over 10,000 Bedouins. We are proud to ring the bell of success in providing water for all citizens of Israel, but we have not yet won the battle. While Israel is now more water secure than it has ever been, our work is not over. We still need to produce another 100 million cubic meters of water for farmland that is still out of the reach of the nation’s water system. We need to produce more water for more green spaces. The land of Israel, the soul of the Jewish people, needs every drop of life we can provide. Together, we have accomplished a remarkable feat. Along with efforts around water research, treatment, and recycling, we are also zeroing in on river rehabilitation, as well as education and conservation programs that will inform future generations of water issues that plagued Israel less than a decade ago. With your help, we will ensure those dire conditions never happen again. It is not just a drop of water for which we have worked so hard and come so far. It is the essence of life. Ronald S. Lauder JNF Chairman of the Board

Let There Be Water: Q&A with Author Seth M. Siegel



Seth M. Siegel is the author of Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World, a book likely to be of interest to every JNF supporter. It is a lively and interesting account of how Israel developed the world’s most sophisticated water system—and what it means for a world sliding into a water crisis likely to soon affect everyone. The book has been called an “extraordinary work” by former Israeli President Shimon Peres and “essential reading” by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. We sat with him for this interview: What is the central thesis of your book? It’s now pretty clear that there is a global water crisis coming. Israel’s world leadership in water governance and management can serve as a model in avoiding the worst of the water challenges that will be widely faced. I tell the story of how Israel came to be a water superpower. It is a largely unknown, yet inspiring story with lessons beyond water and one that needs to be told.

What gave you the idea for the book? I attended a seminar titled something like “The Coming Global Water Crisis” and was amazed to learn what a crisis the world was going to face. I started reading more about these issues and learned that Israel was secure in its water supply and also had high-quality water. I realized that this was an important story with implications for environmentalists, how governments function, businesspeople, and people who care about Israel. What kind of research did the book require? In all, I interviewed 220 people, and read file cabinets full of reports and shelves of books. It was likely the most interesting and satisfying work I’ve ever done. The Israeli attitude is that water belongs to the nation. How has this helped the country historically? By being able to plan for what is best for the country as a whole, water policy focuses on long-term needs. This way, Israel can be ahead of demand. People give up the kind of individual water ownership rights that we have in the U.S., but, I’d argue, with far better results. In what ways has Israel created a water-respecting culture? As I started to research, I grew excited to see that from antiquity to today, both Jewish culture and Zionist identity were tied to an understanding of the central role of water. Whether in educational programs in school, signs all over the country, or the public celebration of water as in the circle dance song “Mayim Mayim [Water Water]” played at Jewish weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, to some extent, Israel’s water history is a new way of telling the story of Israel. In Israel, water users are charged for the full price of water to encourage consumers to use only the water they need. As well, usage patterns are measured to create accountability and monitor potential problems. Why is this an effective way of pricing water? These are somewhat different issues, but both speak to the success of Israel in water. In the mid-1950s—long before computers were tracking data—Israel passed a law that all water in the country had to be metered. It allowed the country to track what water it was using and anticipate new water needs. Real-world pricing of water has two benefits. First, all of the water fees are used to pay for the country’s water system and its innovations. Second, by using market forces like price, water use in Israel declined significantly. It is a conservation tool. You position Israel as a water superpower. Why should its philosophy in water governance be replicated? What is the alternative? Broken water systems. Rationing of water. Higher prices for food. Social unrest. If the world wants to get ahead of the coming global water crisis, it would do well to be more like Israel. Israel provides the answer to this potentially catastrophic problem.

Israel is home to more than 200 water-based start-ups formed just in the last decade. How has Israel’s start-up culture elevated the water industry? The innovation mentality that made Israel so famous in high-tech and other fields is now part of Israel’s approach to water. The old paradigm was that the way out of a water shortage was to drill more and put in more pipes and pumps. The new approach—the Israeli approach—is to use every drop of water as efficiently as possible and, as I show in my book, that is often thanks to technology invented in Israel. Is drip irrigation, pioneered in Israel and adopted throughout the world, Israel’s most significant contribution to solving the global water problem? Some disagree with me and cite other innovations, but I think there is nothing like drip irrigation in changing the global water profile. Farmers can grow more food with less water. Since agriculture is the largest user of water, universal adoption of drip irrigation can reduce the amount of water needed for farming and increase the water available for homes and recreation. What importance will cooperation between Israel and its neighbors have for the water situation in the region? Water has the potential to serve as a pathway to peace among the parties. Already, Israel provides water to the Palestinians and to Jordan. Israel also trains water professionals throughout the region. Everyone can build on this important cooperation. In your book, you coin the phrase “hydro-diplomacy.” What is it and why is it important? Israel has been diplomatically isolated since its birth. Yet to a degree I found remarkable, Israel has used its water expertise as a door opener. While the US had “ping pong diplomacy” to open the door to China, Israel established diplomatic relations there by sharing water know-how and technology. Israel uses water training as one of the major means of engagement with the less developed world. Many countries still vote against Israel in the UN, but their water needs offer a vehicle for establishing diplomatic relations and ongoing dialogue. Even countries that don’t have diplomatic relations with Israel—and I’m not allowed to say which ones—invite Israeli water professionals and companies into their countries to work quietly on irrigation and water projects. You tell the amazing story of Israel’s role in Iran’s water industry. From 1962 to the Islamic revolution in 1979, Israel, to a large degree, ran the water industry in Iran. The irony is that today Iran has among the worst managed water systems in the world. They are running out of water. Given the drought situation in the United States, what can we learn from Israel? The U.S. government projects that 40 of our 50 states will be facing water issues within the next 10 years. Although California gets nearly all of the news coverage, many other states are already feeling water supply problems. California has entered into an arrangement with Israel to help with its water sector. I’m sure that other states will follow. Israel has so much to teach the world about how to prepare for a drier, more water-limited future. What water challenges is Israel still facing? Why is it important to continue and support Israel’s water economy? If there is a single lesson I learned from the Israel experience, it is that you can only be complacent about water at your peril. Even when you think you have all of the water you need, a change in weather, a surge in population can cause your water profile to spiral quickly. Israel may appear to have all of the water it needs now, but it needs to be continuously planning, building infrastructure, introducing technology, and educating the public on the value of conservation. With regard to JNF, there are still many treated water reservoirs to be built and new communities to be planned, including their water needs. Israel still seeks to improve on its world-leading reuse of treated wastewater and to further reduce the amount of water it loses to leaks. If you ever think you are done, you are in trouble. n Visit to purchase Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a WaterStarved World.


JEWISH NATIONAL FUND gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.


JNF enhances quality of life in Israel by building new communities and bolstering existing ones, especially in the north and south. PROJECTS INCLUDE: Go North Initiative, Blueprint Negev, Be’er Sheva River Park, Nefesh B’Nefesh, Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, Friends of Israel Firefighters (FIF), Project Wadi Attir


As an innovator in ecological development and a pioneer in forest creation, JNF has planted more than 240 million trees in Israel, providing luscious belts of green covering more than 250,000 acres. PROJECTS INCLUDE: Firefighting & Fire Prevention, Agricultural Infrastructure Development, Soil Conservation, Combating Desertification, Harvey Hertz-JNF Ceremonial Tree Planting Center



For over 100 years, JNF has sponsored research initiatives in Israel as part of its efforts to cultivate the land. JNF is a world leader in both technological and environmental innovation. PROJECTS INCLUDE: Agricultural R&D Stations, Solar Power Innovation, Fish Farming, Coral Reef Restoration, Water Research & Technologies

ZIONIST EDUCATION & ADVOCACY JNF is the single largest provider of Zionist engagement programs in the U.S. and offers myriad ways to connect young American Jews to Israel. PROJECTS INCLUDE: Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI), Alternative Spring Break (ASB), Green Horizons, Caravan for Democracy, Blue Box Bob


JNF is committed to the preservation of historical sites associated with Israel’s rebirth and to ensuring that the stories behind them are properly documented and retold for generations to come. PROJECTS INCLUDE: Atlit Immigration Center Museum, 9/11 Living Memorial, Ammunition Hill, Gush Etzion Visitor Center, Ayalon Institute


JNF is dedicated to ensuring that no member of Israeli society is left behind by providing cutting-edge rehabilitative services, special education, and medical care for people with special needs. PROJECTS INCLUDE: Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran, LOTEM-Making Nature Accessible, Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center at Kibbutz Grofit, Special In Uniform

To continue in its vision of building a stronger, healthier, more secure Israel JNF has committed to a $1 Billion Roadmap for the Next Decade, a ground-breaking and unprecedented plan for Israel’s future.


JNF has been at the forefront of water management & conservation in Israel for two decades, increasing the water supply by 12% and helping Israel become a world leader in water recycling. PROJECTS INCLUDE: Recycled Water Reservoirs, River Rehabilitation, Rainwater Harvesting Program, Constructed Wetlands


Israel is a nation where innovation is required for survival. Long before she became known as a start-up nation in the high-tech sphere, it was Israeli ingenuity that allowed development of a barren, rocky and sand covered landscape to become habitable. Central to Israel’s growth as a first world economy was harnessing a scarce water supply for agriculture, industry, and, of course, drinking. Enter Jewish National Fund, who, some 20 years ago, and spurred on by one of Israel’s worst droughts in history, developed a plan to build a system of water reservoirs to capture run off rainwater and store recycled water. JNF invested tens of millions of dollars in R&D and worked alongside Israel’s leading hydro engineers to improve water recycling techniques. Today, Israel reuses more than 80% of it water, making it the world leader. Other countries are much farther behind; in fact, Spain comes in second place, recycling 17% of its water. And in California, less than 5% of water is reused. Now that Israel has a robust water desalination program, and with help from JNF’s water recycling successes, there has been much chatter in the media that Israel has eliminated its water problem. While the accolades are appreciated, it is a reach to declare total victory, considering the scarcity of natural fresh water, constant drought conditions, and a fast-growing population. “Mayim L’Chaim”… Water is indeed life, and though we have been successful in recent years, complacency can undo all we have accomplished. There is much the world can learn from Israel’s achievements in water, but our success story will be short-lived unless JNF raises an additional $50 million to keep ahead of the constant drought conditions and population boom. Significant water infrastructure is still required in both the Negev and the Galilee, and with the rise in population, there is damage done to the fragile eco-system and pollution to the rivers and streams. JNF experts are at the forefront of river rehabilitation and the management of wetlands. We pioneered a wetlands at Ramon Air Force Base in the Negev that has widespread applicability for sewage recycling. Various projects around Be’er Sheva have provided the water needed for the Be’er Sheva River Park, which has rejuvenated the area. Additionally, in cooperation with JNF partner Green Horizons, one of Israel’s leading youth groups, we are building micro-water recycling systems in schools through our Rainwater Harvesting Program and teaching kids about the importance of water conservation. The Rainwater Harvesting Program for school rooftops has had major educational value for young students and has promoted water conservation in family homes. Schools that have participated in this program are saving tens of thousands per year in water costs, and we are confident that the kids learning about conservation today will be the leaders spearheading new water technologies in the future. Make your commitment today. You can always reach me at n

JNF Program Areas

The Accomplishments of the JNF Parsons Water Fund by Dr. Mort Mower



Natan Parsons, an inventor, water expert, and member of JNF’s National Board. Parsons noted that, although JNF had done a great deal to ameliorate Israel’s water economy through the building of reservoirs, many projects that JNF had built and turned over to the local communities to run were not being well-maintained and required additional monies for refurbishment. Parsons wanted to find a way to solve this. He felt there was no sense of ownership and responsibility on the part of the recipients and that JNF ought to be loaning money (albeit at philanthropic rates) rather than giving the money outright. By so doing, strategic planning and provision for upkeep could be built into contracts between the parties. He proposed a JNF revolving fund dedicated to water-related projects in which any return on investment would be used to support additional projects. In 2008, it was approved by the national board to raise and deploy $25 million for worthy projects. Sadly, soon afterwards, Parsons passed away, the fund was renamed JNF Parsons Water Fund in his memory, and I assumed the chairmanship. The Fund has accomplished some remarkable, groundShamir Drill breaking projects that have significantly enhanced the quality of life in Israel. After lobbying the agencies and testifying to the Knesset Investigatory Enquiry, we earned ourselves a seat at the table in water matters. This enabled us to enlist financial support from the government and the Water Authority for projects that had been languishing. The Shamir Drills project, accomplished by a coalition between the government, banks, private investment, and the JNF Parsons Water Fund through the generous support of Evelyn G. Lipper M.D. and the EGL Charitable Foundation, accessed an aquifer deep underground in the Golan Heights to provide critical water supply for the region. Previously, local farmers had been unable to qualify for credit to do this. This project—at a time when the Kinneret had fallen to its lowest levels ever—saved agriculture in the north of Israel. The Rainwater Harvesting Program for schools has had major educational value for young students and has promoted water conservation in family homes. We pioneered one of the largest wetlands ever built at Ramon Air Force Base in the Negev that has widespread applicability for sewage recycling. Various projects around Be’er Sheva have provided the water needed for the Be’er Sheva River Park, which has rejuvenated the area with one of the largest urban parks in Israel. Not every project we explored came to fruition. We looked into the transport of fresh water by tanker from Turkey to sites along the coast, which, while economically feasible, was made impossible for the moment by the disagreeable political climate. We also attempted to further relationships with Jordan, but, despite a major meeting in Amman that elicited great interest, political problems again interfered. Nevertheless, we were always looking for new and dynamic ways to add to Israel’s water economy. The Israeli water challenges have been partially treated, but there are still many issues to be taken care of. JNF, as part of its vision and mission, will continue to play a major role in solving these issues and enriching the water economy in the country. n Dr. Mort Mower is former Chairman of the JNF Parsons Water Fund.

National Water Task Force Update by Talia Tzour Avner


one of the first pioneers of greywater recycling in Israel. In the early 1930’s, she recognized that water was scarce and the importance of using the precious limited water quota supplied to the homes smartly. She understood that shower water could be re-used for the laundry; laundry water to wash the floors; dishwater for watering plants; and so on. My grandmother’s resourceful spirit is but one example of the ways in which Israel has demonstrated ingenuity in being a model for growth and intensive progress. Israel is considered a front runner in cutting-edge technology, producing innovations that have brought global changes and have led the world forward, such as the first cell phone, voicemails, and text messages; the first high-resolution camera for cell phones; the first fully computerized, radiation-free diagnostic scanning device for breast cancer; and the first PC anti-virus—to name a few. With this background, it is no wonder that Israel has turned the previous decade’s severe water crises into an opportunity to develop technologies to increase its water sources. Israel has gained global kudos for treating its water resources in a smart and sustainable way; promoting water education and conservation; treating 85% of its wastewater, a world record in reused water; building desalination plants; and managing the use of its freshwater. And yet, all of Israel’s water issues are not solved. Desalinated water is very expensive, making it difficult for farmers to pay the bills. Transporting water is limited to specific areas. There are wide areas, especially in the agricultural periphery, where the farmers still face a severe shortage of decent water sources. Israel’s population and the level of quality of life of the middle class are constantly growing and, hence, the water demand, and, as a nation located amongst 22 Arab countries, it must be self-sufficient both in water and in food. Israel must plan, prepare, and build for future generations; otherwise, by 2050 it will face a severe problem again. Solutions will include: increasing the percentage of recycled water to almost 100%, adding water sources to areas that are not connected to the national water grid, restoring rivers, and more. JNF’s impact on enriching the Israeli water economy—establishing hundreds of water reservoirs, building wetlands, deep water drillings, river restoration—has enabled Israel to provide its residents with a regular water supply, even during years of a severe drought. Furthermore, JNF’s involvement in the water economy works hand in hand with our work in strengthening communities in the periphery. JNF is establishing the National Water Task Force (NWTF), which will be responsible for determining Israel’s water needs and raising funds in the United States. To our successful water projects roster, we have added additional projects including: the restoring of Yerucham River; recycling water in Wadi Attir; the man-made lake at Be’er Sheva River Park; supporting new research in water; treating wastewater that flows into Israeli rivers; educating the Bedouin community to treat and use its wastewater; building 10 additional Rainwater Harvesting systems in schools throughout the country; supporting the Stockholm Water Prize; aiding Arava farmers in developing new water resources; and more. The JNF Parsons Water Fund will continue to exist as a vital arm within the NWTF and will locate water projects for which we can raise money as a revolving fund. And with the upcoming Water Summits with Seth M. Siegel, we will be showcasing Israel’s amazing innovations with water throughout the United States. n Talia Tzour Avner is JNF-KKL Chief Israel Emissary. If you’re passionate about water, join us! For more information contact me at or 212.879.9305 x241.

Changing Israel’s Image, One Drop at a Time by Ambassador Ron Prosor WE HAVE ALWAYS FACED CHALLENGES TO

I participated in the first JNF Parsons Water Fund mission to Israel in 2008. Seeing up close how desperate Israel was for water, I was instantly enamored of the idea of joining the Fund, whose vision is to grow Israel’s water economy through innovative solutions. The group of highly dedicated members of the JNF Parsons Water Fund was from all over the country. A few were already quite knowledgeable—we had a water engineer and a former EPA attorney on the board—but the majority of us were new to the water area. We learned about how much JNF had already accomplished in improving Israel’s water economy, as well as the incredible Israeli inventions including drip irrigation, water system monitoring and biological/ chemical water treatment. No detail was too mundane; our enthusiasm for water was contagious. Over the years, my involvement with Israel water issues has continued, and I am proud to now chair the new National Water Task Force. With this new task force,

Cooperation at the Foreign Ministry, utilizes cutting-edge water technologies in humanitarian operations around the world. Following the earthquake in Nepal, Israeli responders were among the first on the ground, using tools such as atmospheric water generation to create ‘drinking water-from-air.’ Israel’s technological feats have not gone unnoticed. From my unique vantage point as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, I have observed that while many countries may not vote with us, the world is thirsty for our knowledge. That is our advantage. While there is

our efforts are evolving to focus on the next generation of water needs in Israel including river rehabilitation, recycling, and further investment in water technology research and development. This is a very exciting time. In addition to our ongoing efforts to enrich the water resources of Israel, we are thrilled with the publishing of the book Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solutions for a Water-Starved World by Seth M. Siegel. JNF is hosting a series of Water Summits throughout the United States dedicated to highlighting Israel’s singular water accomplishments. Cities include Chicago, Austin, San Diego, L.A., Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Boston, New York, Washington D.C., and more, with Siegel as the keynote speaker. These summits will be especially significant in our own country’s drought-stricken areas. Please join me as we continue on this ever-important journey. Email to get involved. n Laureine Greenbaum is Chair of JNF’s National Water Task Force and was noted in the Wall Street Journal as a water wonk.

a market for bias against Israel, there is also demand for Israeli know-how. Despite the difficulties, the UN is a place where partnerships are made, and Israel stands together with the rest of the international community to meet the challenges of the future. Recently, Israel, alongside the other member states of the UN, came together to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a universal call to action on the most critical challenges facing the globe over the next 15 years, one of which is water security. As a pioneer in water technology, Israel took an active role in the negotiations and will continue to contribute in combating the problem of water scarcity around the world. Israel’s experience demonstrates that it is not the quantity of resources that determine a country’s success, but the quality of its people. In less than seven decades, the pioneering spirit and ingenuity of Israelis has made the desert bloom, and transformed a land of swamps and sand into the “start-up” nation. Out of necessity, Israelis learned to squeeze the most out of every drop, finding solutions to create as much as possible using as little as possible. As former President Shimon Peres once said, “We are cultivating fish without water, veggies without soil and lettuce without roots. We take salt out of the sea and sand out of the desert.” For years, concern over water supply was so pressing that the water level of the Sea of Galilee, our largest

Alexander River restoration

freshwater source, was an anticipated feature of the daily news. It has now become old news. Our story can be used as a model for turning scarcity into surplus, desperation into innovation, and the potential of technology into the promise of peace. Today many countries face water issues similar to those Israel once faced. In 2015, Israel has the opportunity to share its story and technology with the world. n Ron Prosor is the former Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations.


Why Water? By Laureine Greenbaum

uncontaminated water each day, increasing efficiency and access, while drastically cutting the prevalence of water-borne diseases. MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development


our peace and security, but in the early years, the primary strategic threat to Israel was the scarcity of our freshwater supply. Faced with this challenge, Israel, side by side with JNF and other partners, has sought creative solutions and devised groundbreaking technologies in desalination, waste management, drip irrigation, water monitoring, and filtration, becoming a world leader in water innovation. One of our greatest achievements has been turning the salty waters of the Mediterranean Sea into a drinkable source of water. Today, desalinated water accounts for more than one third of our country’s tap water, and some estimate that it will eventually provide up to 80% of the country’s total potable water. In Israel we don’t just use every drop; we use it twice. The groundbreaking Israeli water technologies, from cultivating crops in the Negev Desert to the desalination of seawater, are now being used to sustain entire communities across the world from Europe and North America to Asia and Africa. Take drip irrigation, for example. Revolutionized by Netafim, a pioneering Israeli company, drip irrigation targets the placement of each individual drop of water for maximum efficiency and growth. This is especially useful in arid lands where rainfall is scarce, as it provides enough water to raise crops year-round. Drip by drip, this technology has made a big splash, from the sugarcane fields of Senegal and Peru to greenhouses in South Africa. In the Kenyan village of Kitui, farmers using this irrigation system no longer have to haul water from wells, resulting in a 140% increase in harvest yields and doubled income. In Uganda, where sun is abundant but clean water is hard to find, an Israeli company uses a solar-powered water pumping system to purify and distribute water to small villages. The system provides 20,000 liters of

Making the Desert Bloom Water Reservoirs and Israel 's Agriculture

When you think of the desert, you typically think of a lack of water. However, traveling south to the Eshkol Regional Council in Israel’s southern Negev, the landscape doesn’t get browner and dryer, as one would expect. Instead, it gets greener. Fields of watermelon line the highway, ready to be harvested, and a gentle, humid breeze is a steady reminder of the vegetation in the region. It only takes water. Arie Schrieber, an 82-year-old local farmer, came to the area in 1949 just after the War of Independence, and was a founding member of Kibbutz Nirim’s current location. The kibbutz was first founded in 1946 for military purposes near the border with Egypt, then moved to its current location three years later. “When we came here, there were no trees, no birds, no animals; it was just brown and dry,” Schrieber recalls. It is difficult to imagine this area as strictly desert, when today one is met with the sights of lush, green fields of peanuts and endless avocado and citrus orchards. This is all because of the power that massive water reservoirs have brought to the area. “We’ve got good weather and good soil, yes, but without the water, we can’t grow anything,” he said, referencing these game-changing reservoirs. The reservoirs are the last in a complex, four-step process that takes sewage water and recycles it into clean, usable irrigation water. As the entire world teeters on the edge of a large-scale water crisis, Israel recognized back in the 1980s just how dire the situation was and began to take action through this water recycling process. While Israel is not the only country recycling sewage water, it is doing so on the largest and, arguably, most successful scale. Israel recycles 85% of its sewage water

back into reusable water, which is then sent to open-top reservoirs across the country. The Besor River Reservoir Complex, located just next to the orchards of Schrieber’s kibbutz in Eshkol, houses two of these reservoirs. JNF’s network of 250 recycled water reservoirs provide almost half of the water used for agriculture in Israel, thereby saving enough freshwater to meet the needs of 4.4 million people a year. This particular complex, completed in 1996, was made possible through JNF donations from Australia, England, Canada, and the United States. Moreover, the reservoirs have transformed the area into a tourist destination, complete with beautiful lookout points, hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and a thrilling suspension bridge— “You’ll wait for three hours during the right season just to cross that bridge,” Schrieber said, describing the large numbers of tourists who now frequent the area. Before the arrival of these reservoirs, farming was no easy task for Schrieber and others in the region. They initially drew water from one well to raise a meager amount of grape and apricot crops in the 1950s. Though challenging, this farming was extremely critical to the new residents of the region who migrated down to protect Israel’s borders. “There was no food here. We couldn’t feed people,” Schrieber remembers. Eventually, public works brought in a bit more water, but not enough to really take advantage of the agricultural potential in this area of the country. The Besor River Reservoir Complex has had a remarkable impact, making an additional 600 million cubits of water available for crop irrigation in the region. According to Schrieber, the addition of the reservoirs was critical to the agricultural success of the area. “Every cubit of water

impacts our livelihood,” he said. The water brought to the region by the reservoirs has enabled production to expand significantly: crops now include peanuts, avocados, sweet potatoes, herbs, and every type of citrus fruit imaginable. Where the crops are exported depends on the global climate and demand. For instance, peanuts and much of the citrus fruit are almost exclusively designated for international export, and sweet potatoes are sold locally, all over Israel, and abroad. Schrieber, who is officially retired, continues to work for the kibbutz and manage the business of the orchards. He credits the success of Israeli agriculture to JNF, and acknowledges that “There is nothing here that is green that isn’t from the water [from the reservoirs].” The success can also be measured in the fact that people are beginning to move to the area. Whereas when Schrieber first moved there, “it was a choice for us to stay here, but it was very hard in the beginning for people to stay.” Today, he is the patriarch of a thriving family— father to five, grandfather to 17, and great-grandfather to six, all who live on neighboring kibbutzim and in the small towns of Otef Aza. As new residents flock to the Negev and tourism booms, Schrieber summarizes the importance of these reservoirs succinctly: “Every cubit of water equals one dunam of crops, which equals more residents and more success to the region.” n

by Megan E. Turner

The Turtles Have Returned To the Alexander River

One of Israel’s most ambitious and successful environmental projects, the rehabilitation of the Alexander River in the Hefer Valley has been completed. The turtles have returned to the River—and with them thousands of visitors. The park on the banks of the Alexander River, which winds its way from the West Bank all the way to the Mediterranean, draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, who walk along its shores, and picnic and play in its beautifully landscaped grounds. A big draw is the “Turtles Bridge.” This area of the river is populated by dozens of Nile softshell turtles, Israel’s largest population of this species of turtles. The turtles, averaging around 30” and 70 lbs., are a main attraction for the many families walking along the bridge area. Volunteers like Amram Eshel, retired Professor of Biology from Tel Aviv University, work throughout the year to care for the turtles, and guide visitors. “The turtles lay their eggs from May to July,” explained Professor Eshel. “We scour the river’s banks and wherever we find eggs nesting, we cover them in netting to protect them from predators.” But getting to this point wasn’t easy. What began as a haven, deteriorated into a polluted, gaping wound after years of neglect. From the 1960s through the 1980s the

river was plagued by industrial pollution. Factories along the river dumped their industrial waste, and sewage from both sides of the Green Line flowed freely into it. Visitors stayed away and though the carnivorous softshell turtles survived this dark period, their numbers dwindled. This all changed in 1995 as JNF and the regional Hefer Valley Council spearheaded the restoration of the Alexander River. Today, in the rehabilitated river and with the support of a network of volunteers, the turtle population is thriving. Work on the river, which spanned from 1995 to 2015, won first prize in the 2003 Thiess International Riverprize, an environmental rehabilitation competition in Australia. Eldad Shalem, Deputy Council of the Hefer Valley, credits the cooperation between the Hefer Valley Council and JNF as a driving force for the success. “The river became a gaping, polluted wound in the area from the 1960s to the 1980s,” said Shalem, who recalls swimming in the clear river as a child in Kibbutz Ma’abarot. “In 1995, we at the Hefer Valley Council joined forces with JNF on this ambitious project. The work was very effective—the team we worked with at JNF were professional, flexible and we worked in a good atmosphere and with effective dialogue.” The cost of the rehabilitation project totaled $24 million, with the

establishment cost funded by JNF, while the Hefer Valley Council shoulders the cost of the maintenance. The cooperation between the council and JNF continues with a bird park planned on 75 acres on the banks of the river next to Kibbutz Ein Horesh. In addition to the draw of the turtles, the rehabilitated and landscaped park is also home to cultural and art events, including a monthly Kabbalat Shabbat by the river that features music and dancing, and the annual “Bridges on the River” festival, the Hefer Valley’s biggest cultural event, which takes place during the last week of August. The free festival, featuring headlining musical acts, a klezmer festival, and artwork displayed on the bridges of the river, draws tens of thousands of visitors every year. The festival creates bridges between different communities: religious and secular, Jewish and Arab, and more. With families picnicking and playing along its banks, a thriving Nile softshell turtle population, and a vibrant arts and culture scene, the Alexander River has evolved from an ecological hazard to a green lung in the Hefer Valley of Israel. n

by Mickey Chesla

A Lifeline

For Israeli Fruit Growers and Fish Farmers

The primary challenge for northern farms and fisheries of Israel’s Galilee-Golan region is, as one might imagine, availability of water. Roni Keidan, head of water operations for Kibbutz Ein Zivan and an active member of the Mei Golan Water Association, explains that “even in a year of seemingly good rainfall—like this past year—we operate as if we are in a drought.” Unlike farmers in other parts of the country, the Galilee-Golan region has no access to treated sewage water. That leaves only a few options, Keidan explains: “Rainfall, which we can’t control; desalinated seawater, which is too expensive and difficult to transport; and pumping from distant sources, which is time-consuming and problematic from an environmental standpoint.” Enter the Shamir Drills, a partnership between the Israeli government, the Upper Galilee and Golan Heights Water Associations, and the JNF Parsons Water Fund (through the generous support of Evelyn G. Lipper, M.D. and the EGL Charitable Foundation). The Shamir drilling complex, comprised of three drills (each around 1.5 kilometers deep) is drawing unprecedented amounts of water from an artesian aquifer, estimated to be 5,000 years old. One of the deepest drilling operations in the world, Shamir taps into two and a half billion cubic meters of water, more than half the volume of the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee. Contained at a tremendous pressure, the drills release 600 cubic meters (around 16,000 gallons) of water per hour. After a brief onsite aeration process that helps evaporate minerals, chemicals, and bacteria, the water is pumped from Shamir up to the Wasset reservoir, then channeled to the JNF Merom Golan reservoir near Ein Zivan. Usually mucky and green midsummer, the reservoir is a surprising aquamarine even in July, due to the influx of water from

Shamir. Relying mostly on the economical force of gravity, the water is piped from the reservoir to the fields and orchards of several kibbutzim and moshavim. Keidan reports that close to 80% of Ein Zivan’s water come from the Shamir geothermal artisan reserve. Thanks to Shamir, even during Israel’s driest months (July to September), the apple, pear, and nectarine orchards of the kibbutz appear lush and green. During the summer of 2014, the Shamir water supply was critical. With reservoirs at a record low after a dry winter, the pumped-in geothermal water prevented close to $39 million in crop damage to the fruit orchards of the Golan. “I have tremendous respect for the Mei Golan Water Association, a relatively small non-profit organization, for having the foresight to get involved in this project, and of course thanks to JNF for making it possible on such a broad scope,” said Keidan. Golan farmers are not the only ones benefitting from the Shamir water. For the nearby fishery at Lehavot Habashan, the geothermal waters have been a godsend. One of the varieties of edible freshwater fish raised in Lehavot Habashan is Amnon (tilapia). Considered one of Israel’s most popular fish, Amnon has a very short growing season, for which it requires warm temperatures. The cold temperatures of the Galilee limited its productivity, and the fishery had to transport entire populations of young Amnon to locations farther south during the winter, a costly and time-consuming endeavor. Now, warm water is pumped from the Shamir geothermal drilling operation into the fish ponds, dramatically altering the temperature of the ponds so that even in the winter months, the water stays warm enough to maintain longer spawning conditions. Sales have increased significantly in the past year, and the fishery is rapidly becoming one of the kibbutz’ most promising industries. Shabtai Glass, director of the Shamir project, explains the impact of this technique: “Amnon is eaten by everyone in Israel. It’s one of the ingredients in gefilte fish, which

is one of the most popular Jewish foods in the world. The geothermal water is enabling the fishery to produce large quantities, which is good for the industry and the entire region.” The Mei Golan Water Association is developing a multimillion shekel project designed to renew agricultural infrastructure and to create jobs (including training) in agriculture. This initiative complements JNF’s Go North program, a revolutionary plan to bring 300,000 new residents to Israel’s Galilee-Golan region over the next decade by revitalizing the economy and expanding the housing market. Farming is a powerful draw for many young people, both as a way of life and as a Zionist value. Yet the success of northern agriculture in the coming decades will depend on the ready availability of water. As Yigal Hen, head of Mei Golan, says, “We can’t bring people up here promising them jobs in farming, only to have them fail miserably because there is not enough water.” The ongoing growth and development of the GalileeGolan region will be the combined effort of government agencies, non-profit organizations, business leaders, foreign investors, and community members. The waters flowing from the Shamir drilling site—one of JNF’s most successful water projects to date—represent the first drop in the flow of the region’s future. n

by Leiba Chaya David

Introducing the BioFil ter System On a nondescript street in the city of Ramla in central Israel, a curvy swath of tall green reeds cuts along an unassuming sidewalk. In the road, a metal grating sits at the bottom of a slope just before an intersection. Standing at that intersection you would never imagine the processes that are taking place beneath your feet, between the grate and the grassy reeds. Ramla is a diverse city on the economic periphery of Israeli society, despite its central location; the city is ranked four out of 10 on the socioeconomic scale. So when Mayor Yoel Lavi decided that he wanted his city to be part of the worldwide effort to go green, he didn’t have access to the same resources that major global cities have. That didn’t stop him. He plans to transform Ramla into a water sensitive city, one that provides water security in both water-poor and water-rich futures by accessing diverse water sources, providing ecosystem services to supplement the natural environment, and mobilizing urban residents to participate in decision-making. First implemented in Australia by Yaron Zinger, the biofilter system collects rainwater through a grate and uses natural plants to filter out dirt, oil, and grime, which pollute water sources. The clean water is then returned to the natural underground aquifer, an essential source of natural water that is rapidly becoming depleted throughout Israel as the nation develops and covers more of its green spaces with roads and buildings. It takes just eight months to implement a

biofilter system, which lasts roughly 20 years. The network of biofilter systems that will be installed throughout Ramla will provide the city with about half of its water consumption requirements. “This is about making a real difference in Israeli society and standing by environmental principles,” said Sharon Ettner, the Manager of Environmental Quality and Business Licensing for the city of Ramla. Working with JNF, who paid about 60% of the cost of the system, (the Ramla municipality contributed roughly 40%), the city installed this impressive project about a year ago, along with modular technology for runoff water reclamation, which is being tested in Israel for the first time in Ramla. The innovative, modular, and compact system, which does not require vegetation, efficiently harvests stormwater in places where drainage is challenging, and thus can be installed in areas lacking open public spaces. By implementing these innovative technologies—a pilot study that will help formulate regulation legislation for promoting the concept of the water sensitive city throughout Israel—Ramla is making a major statement about its priorities and its place in Israeli society as a pioneer in implementing green technology. The close cooperation between Ramla and JNF has been an integral part of the city’s overall efforts to go green. “At first the city officials just thought it looked nice and made the neighborhood look prettier; they didn’t necessarily realize the extent of what it was right away,” said Haim Messing, Central Region Director for JNF. Although local residents might not feel the full impact now, he explained that the ultimate goal is to positively impact the cost of living by working with the water

company to lower the price of water in cities that have a biofilter installed. The Ramla system today can produce 500,000-1,300,000 gallons of treated urban runoff water per rain season, depending on the amount of rain. Furthermore, “The biofilter has no limits,” said Messing. “It can expand; we just have to invest in it.” As education and awareness have been driving forces in alleviating Israel’s water issues and implementing innovative solutions, JNF has created an educational campaign for local residents and students on the biofilter system. The city of Ramla has worked closely with JNF to implement a broad cutting-edge school curriculum, which includes engaging course materials, trips around the country to explore nature, and talks by environmental experts to teach and inspire the city’s students to become environmentally conscious citizens and innovators. Thanks in part to this initiative, Ramla won the President’s Prize for Education three years in a row, an incredible honor for a city that at times feels ignored. In fact, when JNF held its annual environmental quiz last year, students from Ramla took first and second place; they were the only ones to correctly answer a question about the biofilter. With this investment, Ramla has positioned itself as a forward-thinking city taking its place on the forefront of implementing green programs and technology. While some of the biggest cities in the world are making major efforts to become “green” by investing money and resources into programs that have flashy titles and garner publicity, the Ramla biofilter sits on a quiet road, thoughtfully chosen because of its tendency to flood, doing essential work that will impact Israeli society’s well-being and nurture the country’s ability to sustain itself and grow. n

by Mara Friedman

Photo by Asaf Meron Studio

A strong proponent of innovation and R&D in Israel, JNF has supported numerous water-related research projects that have increased Israel’s water economy and helped alleviate the country’s water crisis. Below, some researchers share the discoveries yielded thus far. To learn more about any of the projects, email

Research from the Shamir Drilling Project by Shabtai Glass The Shamir Drills project has made a significant contribution to the water economy of the Galilee and Golan Heights: from the three drills, it’s possible to produce about 2,000 cubic meters of water per hour, or 17.5 million cubic meters of water per year, for agricultural use. Once drilling began, we conducted a preliminary research study on the components of the water and the effect of the water on agricultural crops, plants, the aquaculture industry, land, equipment, and accessories such as pipes and irrigation systems. The study, conducted by researchers from the Migal Galilee Research Institute and the Technion and national service volunteers, determined that the 115 degrees Fahrenheit water is suitable for agricultural crops and aquaculture and was not found to harm the land. JNF is assisting and advancing two research studies. The first study dealt with concerns of fast corrosion of the drill and water filters in the depths of the drill, which could harm the drill pipes within a few years and cause blockage that could significantly decrease the drills’ productivity. This study was helped by Dr. Israel Gav, geologist at the Water Authority, and Dr. Avi Burg, geologist at the Geological Institute, both of whom conducted the preliminary surveys, set the location, and planned the drills. Judging from deep photographs of the drill, researchers’ concerns were alleviated regarding acceleration of blockage and corrosion. The second research study looks at the impact of the Shamir Drill water on the transport and delivery systems and whether it could harm the pumps, steel pipes with cement covering, and other covering equipment. The study, planned to span three years, is managed by Dr. Gidi Sagi. A field test of pipe systems and equipment has been established, study samples are being taken, and tests done to compare the results. Research has also been done in taking maximum advantage of the drills’ warm water and reuse of it in the region for aquaculture (the raising and farming of fish year round), agriculture (growing plants and fruit in greenhouses), and tourism. At the end of the entire process, the water will return to the farmer to irrigate his fields. Smart use of the water and development of agriculture and tourism uses will contribute greatly to the economy of the Galilee and Golan Heights and enable an increase in the region’s population. S Shabtai Glass is General Manager, The Upper Galilee Water Works Enterprises, Centralized Agriculture Association Ltd.

Water Balance in the Hula Valley by Prof. Eilon M. Adar, Avshalom Babad, Dr. Avi Burg & Prof. Ofer Dahan

The Hula Valley water system is a vital component of Israel’s natural water resources. JNF joined with Ben Gurion University’s Institute for Water Research to learn more about the Hula Valley water system, which is a vital component of Israel’s natural water resources. Production deep wells, drilled between 2003-2011 along the margins of the Hula Valley, produce a large amount of fresh groundwater from underground aquifers. The common perception is that only a limited amount of groundwater flows into the valley’s low permeable formations, and that all Hula Valley sub-aquifer units are recharged over the surrounding mountain ridges where permeable rocks are exposed. However, hydrological information from the deep wells suggests that substantial groundwater flows into and through deep-seated aquifers in the Hula Valley fill. The precise location of groundwater recharge and the outlet of the deep aquifer units are yet to be determined. New findings propose significant additional groundwater storage, which is not yet included in Israel’s water budget. As a result, reevaluation of the Hula Valley’s water balances is required. Groundwater produced from abandoned gas wells that have been drilled into the Hula Valley’s sediments fill reveals the geochemical and isotopic compositions of various sub-aquifer formations. Similarities between the groundwater in the Hula’s sediments fill and the regional aquifers designate specific hydrological connectivity among aquifer units and illuminate on complex groundwater flow pattern. There is a significant difference in the hydrochemical and isotopic composition, which differentiates between the groundwater that has recharged over the Hermon Mountain and the groundwater that has recharged at the lower elevated mountains surrounding the northern Hula Valley. The natural outlet of the Hula Valley groundwater system is still unclear. An obvious outlet is upward to the Hula Valley’s surface through massive evaporation from the flooded Agmon and Hula Nature preserved marshy areas. This is probably not the only outlet. A spatial hydraulic head analysis offers three options, which do not contradict each other; one is a westward groundwater flux beneath the Galilee mountains. A combination among the three scenarios is also possible. One objective is to assess the potential disruption of the natural groundwater flow regime due to intensive use of surrounding regional aquifers. We must evaluate the potential damage (if any) to the Hula Valley hydrological ecosystem—in particular, the impact of the unique freshwater habitat surrounding the Agmon and the Hula Nature preserved area. Results shown in the schematic groundwater flow diagram already provide new insight to the complex hydrological and ecological systems of the Hula Valley. S Prof. Adar, Mr. Babad & Prof. Dahan are with the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Dr. Burg is with the Geological Survey of Israel.

The Politics of Transboundary Water in Israel

Effective Planning for Israel’s Water Security

by Clive Lipchin

by Annette Huber-Lee, Ph.D.

The political climate in the Middle East makes it impossible to discuss water without addressing the political contexts that have shaped its availability. All of Israel’s freshwater resources are shared with her neighbors: the Mountain and Coastal Aquifers with the Palestinian Authority; the Jordan River with Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and Syria; and Lake Kinneret’s eastern border used to be the border with Syria. Almost all of these resources are over-exploited; recent drops in quality and quantity underscore the fact that current use is unsustainable in the long term. Nevertheless, Israel has entered into agreements for managing water resources with her neighbors, in particular Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. The roots of water conflict trace back to a study commissioned by the British Mandate of the water resources and irrigation potential in the Jordan Valley Basin. It formed the main reference for the 1947 UN Partition Plan and proposal to divide British Mandate Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. In October 1994, Israel and Jordan signed a bilateral peace treaty, which also addressed shared water resources. Israel transfers 50 million cubic meters of water to Jordan annually from northern Israel in return for use of groundwater wells on the Jordanian side of Wadi Araba. The two nations agreed to cooperate in developing new and existing water resources, preventing contamination of water resources, minimizing wastage, and rehabilitating the Dead Sea. In February 2015, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding for further water sharing. Jordan will build a desalination plant in the southern city of Aqaba and transfer a portion of water to Israel for Eilat and the southern Arava. In return, Israel will transfer a similar amount of water to Jordan in the north.The brine wastewater from the desalination facility will be piped north to the Dead Sea to determine whether it can contribute to restoring the Dead Sea water levels, which have dropped due to upstream overuse of the Jordan River and the Kinneret by Israel, Jordan, and Syria. Despite conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, cooperation over shared water resources has continued since the 1995 Oslo II Accords, wherein Israel recognized the Palestinians’ water rights to the Mountain Aquifer system and a Joint Water Committee was established to sustainably manage this resource. There are numerous projects for water allocation from Israel to the Palestinian Authority, such as improvement and upgrading of Palestinian water infrastructure. Many issues remain—including untreated wastewater flowing from the West Bank into Israel—but cooperation between water experts from both sides is ongoing. Finally Israel has developed innovative water solutions, including desalination, which helps Israel’s drinking water needs, and wastewater reuse, primarily used to meet agricultural water demand. JNF has been at the forefront of the efforts to augment Israel’s water supplies with the construction of reservoirs for agricultural use, the innovative treatment of wastewater, and river and stream rehabilitation. JNF’s contribution to the production of these alternative sources of water reduces dependence on fragile natural water supplies and opens opportunities for Israel to share water with her neighbors while limiting the over-exploitation of the region’s freshwater resources. S

A team of Israeli and American researchers has developed a comprehensive, high resolution representation of the Israeli water economy, implemented using the Multi-Year Water Allocation System within the Water Evaluation and Planning Platform (MYWASWEAP) funded by the JNF Parsons Water Fund. A national water management model designed to achieve the most efficient water resource management, MYWAS determines optimal spatial water allocation throughout the country, given user preferences and price policies, and establishes a comprehensive system of water prices that incentivizes efficient water supply and demand and cost recovery. The model presents insights on where water is most scarce, and the impacts of different pricing and other policies on revenues to the country, farmers, and water users. It enables simulation of government pricing policies, assessment of the welfare consequences of changes from optimal allocations, an evaluation of implications for international water trade between Israel and her neighbors. Results demonstrate losses to consumers under current pricing of hundreds of millions of dollars per year, due in part to high water prices, resulting in lower consumption. Based on this, the policy recommendations are that prices should reflect marginal costs only; recovery of fixed costs should be achieved through charges that don’t affect consumption (constant payments, connection fees); and optimal desalination capacity of up to 500 million cubic meters/year in 2040—far below the current designed capacity of 585 million cubic meters/year. Towards the end of 2014, three agricultural economics professors from the Hebrew University published a policy recommendation paper employing MYWAS, in which they urged against a sharp increase in the price of irrigation water, claiming it would have an adverse effect on the water economy and lead to less efficient water allocation, partial shutdown of desalination capacity, and loss of social welfare. In a May 2015 Yediot Ahronot article, prominent Israeli journalist Sever Flotzker concluded that this exceptional paper would have gained more attention in economic public opinion if it had not been published so close to the elections. This prompted the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources to contact the Hebrew University team the following day. Dialogues with Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, Water Authority, and Farmers Association continue. As far as next steps, the team is actively pursuing funding to further build upon this important effort, including linking MYWAS to the Vegetative Agricultural Land Use Economic (VALUE) model, to enable analyzing the impact of agricultural policies on the water economy (e.g., the irrigation limits); incorporating dynamics in salinity levels to differentiate freshwater from desalination and natural sources; studying the costs of assigning water to nature; incorporating hydrological processes that allow for an examination of climate change; and exploring the implications of trade in water with neighboring countries. S

Clive Lipchin is Director, Center for Transboundary Water Management, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

Annette Huber-Lee is Senior Scientist and Co-Leader of the Water, Energy and Food Nexus, Stockholm Environment Institute.

Israel’s Future Water Needs By Avraham Tene

The water sector in Israel is now stable and sustainable, with solutions to water and wastewater challenges that include water saving, water reuse, and desalination. But what is going to be the situation in 35-40 years, and how will it affect Israel and its neighbors? There are several alternatives. I would like to concentrate on two of them: continuing on the current path, and looking at what would happen in the event of a peace agreement with one of our neighbors. In the case of continuing on our current path, four decades from now, Israel will have a population of about 15 million people. We will need to supply all the population’s water needs, treat the country’s wastewater, and supply water to Jordan and the Palestinians. These water demands require that we will need about 3.5 billion cubic meters of water per year to fulfill all those needs.

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Population: 15 million

Netafim is Going “MAD” in the Fight Against Food Scarcity By Naty Barak Today’s severe drought conditions in California and elsewhere, along with diminishing natural resources, are major causes for global concern, particularly due to world population growth forecasts. According to the United Nations, the world’s population is expected to increase by 30%, to 9 billion, by 2050. Given this rapid pace of growth, we won’t be able to produce enough food to feed the world without introducing technological improvements in crop cultivation. As the pioneer and global leader in drip irrigation, which enables the precise delivery of small amounts of water and nutrients to the plant, Netafim understands the global water shortage. Established 50 years ago to help Israeli farmers overcome severe drought conditions in the Negev Desert, Netafim’s innovation has proven to be a cost-effective water-saving solution for droughtstricken and arid agricultural areas worldwide. While agriculture consumes some 70% of the world’s fresh water supply, drip is used in less than 5% of all irrigated agricultural land. That’s despite the fact that the technology delivers water savings of up to 50% compared to alternative methods. With that said, 75% of all irrigated fields in Israel use drip. It also has made great strides in parts of the world, particularly in California, where it has a nearly 40% share of all irrigated fields. Netafim has adopted a new strategy called Mass Adoption of Drip (MAD). For drip to play a major role in the fight against global food scarcity, it must penetrate the basic crop market. Netafim has developed solutions for commodity crops such as corn, sugarcane, and alfalfa, a popular California crop that consumes enormous amounts of water. The most significant MAD breakthrough involves drip irrigation of rice, the most widely consumed staple food in the world and the nutritional and economic lifeline for hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers worldwide. Not long ago, we would’ve never imagined irrigating rice, commonly cultivated by flooding the fields, with drip. However, extensive research has revealed that with drip, farmers can double rice production, while using half the amount of water compared to flooding, on any type of land—even sandy terrain and sloped areas. Methane gas emissions and nitrogen use are virtually eliminated and the absorption of metals by rice roots is dramatically reduced compared to flooding. Recently, our MAD efforts for commodity crops have started to gain public exposure. At Agritech Israel 2015, one of the world’s leading agricultural technology exhibitions, we displayed a large vertical wall with basic crops like rice, sugarcane, corn, alfalfa, and tomatoes irrigated by drip. For Israel’s Expo Milano 2015 pavilion, funded by JNF-KKL we developed and installed the drip system for an enormous 62 x 12 meter vertical crop wall growing rice, corn, and wheat. Two Expo 2015 demo projects will underscore our work with basic crops to help fight food scarcity. Vigo 2015 involves the cultivation of corn via a comprehensive drip solution; Lombardy Demonstration Initiative (LoDI) 2015 shows new agricultural methods for the cultivation of rice, corn, and soybeans in sloped areas that cannot be flood irrigated. We’re confident that MAD and the introduction of drip-irrigated rice can effectively fight global food scarcity. By increasing the awareness and understanding of drip irrigation for commodity crops, our ground-breaking solutions will help revolutionize agriculture and make the world a better, more sustainable place. S

75% Water Needs: 3.5 billion m3





What will be our resources for supplying that demand? According to longterm modules, we will get only about 1.1 billion cubic meters per year (in an average year) of natural water from Israel’s aquifers and the Kinneret. That means we will need to reuse about 800 million cubic meters of waste water per year for agricultural irrigation and will also need to desalinate about 1.6 billion cubic meters per year. To do that, we will need to build five to six new large-scale desalination plants along the Mediterranean coasts. In the case of a peace treaty, this would probably involve giving up some of our natural water resources, which means that we will need to build even more large-scale desalination plants; in my estimation, another six to seven desalination plants would be required. Another solution would be to bring the Red-Dead project to fruition. This proposed project, which would connect the Red Sea and Dead Sea via pipes, would allow Israel to get more water to the Arava, Jordan to supply much more water to Amman and the Jordan Valley, and for the Palestinians to receive more water to the West Bank. In any case, I am confident that Israel will be able to continue its successful sustainable approach in the water sector and will have the ability and technology to fulfill all its needs in the water sector for the future. The amazing revolution in the water sector that started about 15-20 years ago with JNF at the forefront gave the government of Israel all the tools needed for a sustainable and safe water sector. I am glad to have played a part in bringing about this innovative period in Israel’s water history and assisting in building the foundations for a strong and sustainable water future in Israel. S Avraham Tene is Former Head of Desalination Division for the Israel Water Authority.


Naty Barak is Chief Sustainability Officer for Netafim.

Israel’s Water Industry—Answering the World’s Wake-Up Call By Oded Distel It seems that everywhere you look these days, the U.S. has “discovered” Israel’s water industry, which was featured in a New York Times cover article, and countless other publications. This, of course, is due to the severe drought in California. Environmental changes and issues in water management have created a situation in which there is simply not enough water in some areas in the U.S., and the situation is becoming dire. Why is Israel drawing so much attention? Israel is perhaps the only country in the world to have basically solved a severe water shortage problem. Despite its dry, desert climate, today Israel finally has enough water for all its needs. Moreover, if the need arises, Israel is ready to face years of relatively low rainfall and drought and knows that it will have enough water. How was this accomplished? Many attribute this success to Israel’s innovative “start-up nation” culture. It’s true that Israel is home to a disproportionate number of innovative water start-ups, but to truly understand how Israel was able to reach this level of water security, we must dig deeper into the nation’s history and culture. An Israeli friend who lived in California for a few years once conveyed to me his shock at hearing his daughter come home from kindergarten singing, “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.” In Israel we are raised on nursery rhymes that welcome rain. We remember our parents telling us to close the faucet when we brush our teeth and take short showers. Water was always scarce, and water conservation was part of the country’s ethos from day one. The success of the water industry is also deeply rooted in the socialist “kibbutz” ideology upon which Israel was founded, where the state controls natural resources. In 1959 Israel passed the Water Law, which proclaimed all water a property of the state. Theoretically, if you place a bucket outside your home in Israel and it fills with rainwater, this is government property. This central control enabled Israel to create an effective, centralized water system, led by the national Water Authority. I’ve often heard people from the U.S., Asia, and Latin America say that “Water is God’s gift to mankind.” This view, while romantic, is detrimental to water conservation. We must accept that water has a monetary value. With this perception, water

can be charged for, and there is incentive to conserve, measure, and manage. The world needs to change their perspective on the essence of water if it is to overcome the global changes underway in the world’s water supply. California is a wake up call, and there will surely be others throughout the world. So we arrive at the situation today. Not only is Israel’s water industry able to securely provide

for its population’s water needs (an impressive feat for such a dry country!), but Israel’s water companies export solutions and technologies all over the world. Israel’s successful high-tech culture has merged with the country’s mature water industry to create some fascinating combinations.

Monitoring, big data, sensor technology, water reclamation for agriculture, measurement and control of urban water systems, and more are all areas with a vibrant Israeli start-up scene. They also all merge Israeli high-tech skill and ingenuity, and bring it to the water industry. For example, there are a number of companies, such as TaKaDu and Ayyeka, that use software to measure and analyze data at various points in the water supply chain. Knowledge—through measurement—is an important first step to improved water management and conservation. Israel’s mature water industry, led by companies like drip irrigation pioneer Netafim, which has been active for 50 years, has in the past few years received a boost of fresh energy from talented people who come from other advanced disciplines and bring their perspective to the water sector. So many areas in which Israeli research excels— cyber security, nanotechnology, even military or medical devices—can become relevant for the water arena. This merging of disciplines and fields is likely to continue into the future and bring us more exciting innovations from Israel. At Israel NewTech we’re happy to play a role in the success of Israel’s water industry. The program was founded in 2006, when the Israeli government identified water as an industry with high potential for export. We work every day to bring Israeli companies and technologies to global markets. We have also invested a lot of thought into identifying—even creating—new markets for Israeli companies. We understand that ‘water is in everything,’ and that we need to look beyond water utilities. More efficient use of water can be a game changer in a number of industries, saving operational costs dramatically and helping companies meet regulations. We have opened the doors to numerous Israeli companies in industries like oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage and more. The next time you read about an Israeli water startup winning an innovation award, or closing a major contract, know that today’s innovation is based on a rich history of water conservation and management. S Oded Distel is Director of “Invest in Israel” and Israel NewTech, Ministry of Economy.

The Ten Commandments of Water 1. Defrost smart.

Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or by using the defrost setting on your microwave.



Jewish National Fund National Water Summit Series We are taking it on the road. Join us at one of the water summits taking place around the country to learn about global water issues and Israel’s successes in water technology. • • • •

Hear from keynote speaker Seth M. Siegel, author of Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World Participate in an interactive panel on both Israeli and local water technology and solutions Hear from today’s key influencers in water reuse and development Learn how Israel has mitigated its water crisis and how the U.S. can do the same Network with urban planners, environmentalists, water industry leaders, and more

2. Keep a water jug.

Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cold glass of water.

3. Clean green.

Only do a load of laundry or dishes when you have enough to fill a load. Switch to a cold water detergent to save on heating bills as well.

4. Insulate your water pipes.

You’ll get hot water faster, plus you’ll avoid wasting water while it heats up.

5. Water your lawn weekly & in the morning.

As a general rule, lawns only need watering every 5-7 days. Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are

OCTOBER 26,2015

NOVEMBER 17-19, 2015

Chicago, IL

Boston, MA

the lowest. This reduces losses from evaporation.

6. Switch to a low flow shower head. DECEMBER 1-3, 2015

DECEMBER 8-10,2015

Austin, TX

San Diego, CA

JANUARY 26-28, 2016

FEBRUARY 2-4, 2016

Denver, CO

Las Vegas, NV

FEBRUARY 25-26,2016

MARCH 1-3, 2016

Miami, FL

Los Angeles, CA

MARCH 25-28, 2016

MAY 23-24, 2016

Phoenix, AZ

Albany, NY

You can greatly reduce your water consumption by switching to a low flow showerhead.

7. Does your toilet leak?

Check your toilet for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.

8. Water your plants.

Instead of throwing your half-finished cup of water down the drain, water your plants with it.

9. Conserving electricity conserves water.

Running a 60-watt bulb for one hour requires 1.3 gallons of water. Turn off those lights when you leave a room; it’ll cut your bill and contribute

JUNE 8-9, 2016 Washington, DC

SEPTEMBER 15-16, 2016 New York, NY

to water conservation at the same time!

10. Compost!

Kitchen sink disposal require lots of water to operate properly. Start a

For more information and to register for a JNF Water Summit near you, please visit or call 212.879.9305 x262


compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste instead of using a garbage disposal.

Tear out JNF’s Water Commandments and follow in your home!

The Next Generation Tackles Global Water Issues MEET MAYA BRAUN. IN 2011 SHE AND AVISHAI KETKO REPRESENTED

Order your copy now at and enter for your chance to




If you would like to contribute to the Stockholm Water Prize, contact


Israel at the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition, an annual competition hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) considered by many to be the Junior Nobel Prize for Water Research. Then students at Moshe Sharett High School in Netanya, the duo designed a prototype of a unique and efficient solar water purification system based on UV radiation and the properties of water drops. The project, conceived with third-world countries in mind, took first place in the Stockholm feeder competition that is held in Israel each year funded in part by JNF, and third place at the 2011 international event. “I was always interested in science. My parents are both doctors so I was immersed in it growing up,” said Maya, now 21-years-old and a medical student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A soldier in Israel’s Air Force, the military granted her a hiatus from her service to complete her medical degree. The system Maya and Avishai developed began as a school project, when their science teacher, Reuven Dinovitch, challenged his class to identify environmental concerns and research possible solutions. “The first thing that came to mind was Israel’s water economy,” said Maya. “We don’t have a lot of water in this country. It’s an issue that touches every one of us who lives here.” Through their research, the two discovered that the situation in developing countries, especially in Africa, is “really horrible” in comparison to Israel. “In Sierra Leone, for example, only three percent of the entire population has access to potable water,” she said. The two set out to find an inexpensive and simple way to purify water and, with the guidance of their science teacher and encouragement of their principal, Dr. Shosh Avraham, they developed a system that employs solar energy, a commodity that is available in abundant supply on the African continent. “The current system used in Africa involves filling liter plastic bottles with water, putting them on the roofs of houses, and exposing them to the sun for eight hours. With this method, only about 80% of the bacteria in the water is killed. So, even after the long wait, people are still drinking contaminated water,” Maya explained. “In our system, we can purify that same bottle of water in two hours, with 99% of the bacteria killed,” she said, noting that the key to their method is to take advantage of the unique characteristics of water drops. “Within every drop of water Braun and Ketko with their Stockholm Water Prize project. is trapped 46% of the radiation energy needed to kill the bacteria. We were able to increase that to 99.8% under sunny conditions and 80% under conditions simulating a cloudy or wintery day by creating a concentrated area of sunlight using mirrors to focus sun rays on drops falling into a water trough.” After winning the Israeli competition, the pair presented their project in Stockholm, where its true potential was driven home. An audience member with tears in his eyes told them that he was from a poor village in Nigeria and that the hypothetical African family they were talking about could have been his. “He said our system, had it been available when he was growing up, could have changed everything about his life.” Maya in part credits the Stockholm competition for her decision to become a doctor and a researcher. She is quick to add that the excellent education she and every Israeli student receive nurtured that dream early on. Her advice to others who may want to follow in her Stockholm footsteps? “I’d tell them that they are privileged to receive such an education and that it is their obligation to do something with it. My hope is that more ways to help Israel, as well as other countries that are less privileged than we are, will be developed in the future.” n

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(d f,y w trewu) x,gybu .rtv kt utuc, wf “When you shall come to the land you shall plant trees.”— Leviticus 19:23 ”

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Find the best speakers for meetings, community events, synagogue gatherings, retreats or conferences. Gain insight and unparalleled perspectives on Israel, JNF, and other vital topics. • • 212-879-9307

THOUGHT ABOUT YOUR LEGACY? Nancie and Ken Segel have... They named JEWISH NATIONAL FUND in their Will “The future is what you make of it. We have made a gift in our will to Jewish National Fund because it is an easy way to create a legacy and support JNF’s long-term work in Israel.” Nancie & Ken Segel, Albany, NY & Miami, FL

Request a free Wills Guide to learn how to leave your Legacy to Jewish National Fund in your will or trust. Contact a JNF Planned Giving Specialist Today! • 800.562.7526

The Power of Women: A Young Woman Farmer Thrives in Halutza AS A YOUNG GIRL LIVING IN THE SMALL AGRICULTURAL SOUTH African town of Heidelberg, Nava Uner always felt a connection to agriculture and farming. A self-described “pioneer,” Uner, who converted to Judaism nearly four years ago and made Aliyah, is realizing those dreams, raising her family and a crop of tomatoes in Halutza, with the assistance of JNF’s Young Farmer Incubator Project. The spark that led Uner, now 25 years old, to convert to Judaism and make Aliyah was “searching for what God really wants, and doing His work,” she said. She also credits her experience coming to Israel at age 18 to volunteer for a few months on Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, a small agricultural kibbutz close to the Gaza border, as a catalyst in her desire to help develop Israel’s south and make the Negev an attractive place for people to live and work. Uner recalls leaving Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha motivated and questioning, “How can I be a pioneer?” Uner’s path to Halutza and her tomato farm began after her conversion and marriage to her Israeli husband Uriel, who was originally from southern Israel and whose family owned a successful pineapple plantation there. Instead of choosing to make their new home in Israel’s crowded and more costly center, the couple headed south to work on the pineapple plantation. “My husband had an established business and he had a few dunams in a moshav in the south,” Uner said. “It really felt like living in South Africa.” Soon after she began working with her husband on the pineapple plantation, Uner heard about JNF’s Young Farmer Incubator Project. A program run by JNF with support from the Ness Foundation, Karen Ferber, and Ellen Aschendorf, the Young Farmer Incubator Project provides young individuals greenhouses in Halutza for a two-year period with minimal capital down, as well as training and mentoring from veteran farmers. This is when Uner decided to go into tomato farming by herself. “A greenhouse costs about 200,000 shekels to build, so JNF really has made it possible for me to get a head-start by giving these greenhouses to grow in,” Uner explained. At the urging of her moshav’s rabbi, Uner and her husband, now a farmer in a nearby kibbutz, chose B’nei Netzarim,

one of Halutza’s communities near the Israel-Egypt border, as their new home. In addition to giving Uner the opportunity to get a start in farming, she and her husband felt that the community’s religious character was the right fit for her family’s needs; the couple has a baby boy, Hillel. Although in recent years Israel has been successful in mitigating its water scarcity, Uner says that water for her community and its farms is still very expensive and she would love to have it reduced. Halutza’s agricultural water needs are currently met with a mixture of desalinated water, brackish water for irrigation from subterranean saltwater reservoirs, and recycled water from the Talmei Nava Uner and her son Hillel in front of her yield of tomatoes. Yosef JNF reservoir. Despite these water challenges, Uner, who is starting on her second year in the JNF program, has just harvested her second yield of tomatoes, which she sells locally and in Jerusalem’s markets. When asked how she feels about her decision to move to Halutza and taking part in JNF’s Young Farmer Incubator Project, Uner responded, “I absolutely love it! This program has really made my farming dreams come true.” n Join the Women’s Campaign and make a difference in the lives of women in Israel. Contact Sharon David at or 212.879.9305 x242.





1. (L-R) Doug Levy, Fred Silberberg, and 2. JNF Greater Los Angeles Board Members with the Israeli Special Olympic Team at a JNF Cares event to promote the Special in Gal Ben-Naim at JNF Cares event with Uniform program. the Israeli Special Olympic team.

3. JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson enjoyed a thank you lunch with Sapphire and Chai Society women (L-R standing) Robin Muer, Francine Golden, Karen Berko, Alyse Golden Berkley, Anna Taylor, Gina Raphael, Laurie Tisser, Deena Singer, Marilyn Golden, Debbie Muer, Myrtle Sitowitz, Sherry Burdorf, and (L-R seated) Sara Cannon, Harriet Finebaum, Lorraine Ross, and Judy Levin in Pacific Palisades.


















(L-R) Board Members Jonathan Plaut, Marc Zwetchkenbaum, National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, and Mark Furman at a special gathering the board members hosted for Sharon before her relocation to California.


(L-R) Board Member and Event Chair Alan Lobel, New England Director Sara Hefez, Capital District President Robert Ganz, Board Member Mara Ginsberg, and National Vice President of Campaign Ken Segel at the JNF Breakfast in Albany, NY.


(L-R) Board Member David Kaufman, National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, and New England President Larry Cohen at a parlor meeting hosted by Paul Feldman and Judy Mendel.


(L-R) Board Member and event chair Alan Lobel, Karen Setzen, and table captain Dr. Gavin Setzen at the JNF Breakfast in Albany featuring Gil Tamary.


(L-R) Howie Rodenstein, Susie Rodenstein, Ilana Edry, and New England Board members Isaac Edry and Ron Lubin came together to thank Sharon Freedman.


(L-R) National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, hosts Paul Feldman and Judy Mendel, featured speaker Ezra Ravins (former mayor of the Central Arava), and New England Director Sara Hefez. The evening raised funds and awareness for the Arava International Center for Agriculture Training.


(L-R) Marion Lidsky, Mary Woolf, National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, and Jennifer Lourie at the Women for Israel Spring Soiree.


(L-R) Kenneth Handler, Vice President of Communities & Regions and Boston President Emeritus Michael Blank, and Mary Woolf at a special gathering.


(L-R) Norman Greenberg, Vice President of Communities & Regions and Boston President Emeritus Michael Blank, and Cherry and Paul Garrido celebrated together.

10 (L-R) Paula London, board member Steve London, and Susan Lubin.


(L-R) Julia Cohen, New England President Larry Cohen, and Judy Mendel.


(L-R) Michael and Jennifer Lourie with National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman.









1 (L-R) Katie Fischman, Brittany Grossfield, Ilana Goldenberg, Josef Rosen, Jon Solomon, and Jillian Bandes at JNFuture Night for the Negev in Tampa.

2 (L-R) Jim Abramson, Tina Gordon, Carol Norman, Yvette Eichberg, JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush, Dr. Rob







6 Yelena Lewenson sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award Dinner. 7 (L-R) Adeline Silverman celebrated her 95th birthday with Tampa Regional Director Uri Smajovits at a Sarasota committee meeting.

Norman, Rabbi Lazer Rivkin, Dr. Rodolfo Eichberg, Dr. Fred Merriam, and Dr. Lynne Merriam at a parlor meeting at the home of Carol and Dr. Rob Norman in Tampa.

8 (L-R) Bill Wilson, Harvey Kobrin, and Julian Meitin at a Past Honoree event in Orlando.

3 (L-R) Tampa Bay Co-President Ida Raye Chernin, honoree Rabbi Ed Rosenthal, and Tampa Bay Co-President Mary Ellen

9 (L-R) Gale Milgrim and Dr. Ron Oppenheim at a Past Honoree event at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando.

Hogan at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

4 (L-R) Dr. Rick Miller and Michael Sobel at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award Dinner. 5 (L-R) Dr. Stephen Kreitzer, Paola Olivares, Shirleyann Haveson, and Jack Ross at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

10 (L-R) Ed Milgrim, Bruce Gould, Rob Gebaide, guest speaker Brian Rosenzweig, and Aaron Gorovitz at a LFI event. 11 (L-R) Lynn Fenster and Debbie Meitin at an LFI event.






12 (L-R) Joe Davis, Caryn and Mark Israel, and Richard and Louise Weiner at a Past Honoree event at the Dr. Phillips







17 (L-R) Guest speaker and Jerusalem Post chief political correspondent and analyst Gil Hoffman, Board President Alan

Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando.

Cohn, Rabbi Howard Needleman, and Southern Florida Executive Director Dr. Roni Raab at Temple Kol Ami in Plantation.

13 (L-R) JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush and Janet Cohen at her home in Naples.

18 (L-R) Bruce Libhaber, guest speaker and Jerusalem Post chief political correspondent and analyst Gil Hoffman, Southern

14 (L-R) Vivienne Ivry and Palm Beach Director Laura Sherry at a JNF lunch in Palm Beach. 15 Guest speaker and Jerusalem Post chief political correspondent and analyst Gil Hoffman and Robbie Leifer at Temple Judea in Palm Beach.

16 (L-R) Joyce Croft, guest speaker Brian Rosenzweig, Richard Ehrlich, and Ron Lewittes in Boca Raton.

Florida Executive Director Dr. Roni Raab, Joshua Berkowitz, Alex Bokor, and Maia Aron at an LFI breakfast in Miami.

19 (L-R) Sasha Dominguez, Alex Bokor, and Maia Aron at a JNFuture event at the Delano Hotel in Miami Beach.

20 (L-R) Southern Florida Executive Director Dr. Roni Raab presented Mollie Gross with a JNF tree certificate for her 100th Birthday.

21 (L-R) Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Southern Florida Executive Director Dr. Roni Raab, and Rabbi Philip Moskowitz at JNF’s new office mezuzah dedication.








22 (L-R)Joshua Berkowitz, Maia Aron, Jaime Mittleman, Adam Landa, Oriah Bengal, and David Reischer at a JNFuture meeting in Miami.

23 Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, Southern Florida Executive Director Dr. Roni Raab,

1 (L-R) Albert Labovitz, Matthew Labovitz, Allan Tuck, and Louis Tuck at the 8th Annual Sam P. Alterman Memorial Golf Tournament in Atlanta.

2 (L-R) Sam Fishman, Ryan Silverman, and Zach Morris at the 8th Annual Sam P. Alterman Memorial Golf Tournament in Atlanta.

3 New Israel Consul General to the Southeast Judith Varnai Shorer and Regional Director Beth Gluck at a welcome reception in Atlanta.




1. (L-R) JNF Board Member Amy Zeppelin, JNFuture Board Member Amy Hinton,

Mountain States Director Boaz Meir, and event co-chair Max Wolk at the Whiskey and Water Summer Social.

2. (L-R) JNF Board Member and WFI Chair Barbara Burry and JNF-LOTEM Liaison Alisa Bodner at the Women for Israel Speaker Series parlor meetingt.

3. JNF Board Members Hazel and Dr. Herzl Melmed at the Whiskey and Water Summer Social.

4. General Campaign Chair and Palm Springs Board Member Debbie Orgen-Garrett and JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson at a regional ladies luncheon.

5. Diane Cohen and JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson at a regional ladies luncheon.

















6. Palm Springs Board Member Evelyn Binsky and JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson at a regional ladies luncheon.

1. (L-R) Alan, Carrie, and Alexa Chalup with JNF-LOTEM Liaison Alisa Bodner at LOTEM.

7. (L-R) Debbie Perelman, Kim Kotzin, Cheryse Miller, and Beth Katz at the Chai Society Thank You reception in Phoenix.

2. (L-R) David Gershuny, Sydney Klein, Ben Klein, Batya Klein, JNF Development Officer of Israel Operations Ariel Kotler, and Nefesh

8. (L-R) Penelope Karp Abad, Stephanie Kelman, and Kalie Kelman at a parlor meeting featuring Avnet Kleiner from Aleh Negev in

B’Nefesh Director of Strategic Partnerships Doreet Freedman at the Nefesh B’Nefesh flights sponsored by the Kleins. 3. (L-R) Michael Kesselman and Michael Kessler received awards at the Long Island Golf and Tennis Classic.


9. (L-R) JNFuture Austin Board member Julie Franklin, Lauren Bookatz, and Isaac Cohen at the JNFuture Austin Shabbat in the Park. 4. Ruth and Hank Margules at Shabbat in the Park in Manhattan. 10. (L-R) Erica Greenwald, Molly Abrams, and JNFuture member Jessica Goodman at JNFuture Austin Shabbat in the Park. 5. JNFuture members Lauren Roberts and Michael Breskin at the Root Society dinner. 11. (L-R) JNFuture Austin Board Member Joel Lowinger, Carly Sheridan, JNFuture member Lili Serfaty, Brad Rabin, Jackie Mintz, 6. (L-R) JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson and NY Board member Adam Belfer. and Rachael Genson at JNFuture Austin Shabbat in the Park. 12. (L-R) CEO of IDE Americas Mark Lambert with JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson in Carlsbad.

7. JNF-Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby and Aly Robinson at Ammunition Hill.


and Rabbi Philip Moskowitz at JNF’s new office mezuzah dedication.











1 (L-R) Event committee members Steven Dabrow, Alan Gubernick, Joseph Wolfson, Jeffrey Schwartz, Howard Levin, and JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson at Eastern Pennsylvania’s first golf tournament.


2 JNF Regional Director Marina Furman, Ingrid Warshaw, Julie Gubernick, Louise Dabrow, and Terry Katz at a Philadelphia Board meeting.

3 (L-R) Eastern Pennsylvania Board President and event chair Michael Boni and William Kramer at Eastern Pennsylvania’s 8th Annual Poker Tournament.

4 (L-R) Barry Stein, Robert Kitchenoff, Joel Freedman, and Jay Minkoff at the first golf tournament in Eastern Pennsylvania.





5 Betsy Fischer led the Second Annual Women for Israel Summer Jam Event in Margate, New Jersey. 6 (L-R) Committee Members Gerrie Rudoler, Michele Winigrad, Louise Dabrow, Sherri Middleberg, Judy Galler, Andrea Barsky, Lori Dabrow, and Helene Blumenfeld at Women for Israel’s Summer Jam in New Jersey.

7 (L-R) Northern New Jersey Board Member Jules Cohn, IDF Lt. Colonel Tiran Attia, and Beth Cohn, visit with members of Special in Uniform.

8 (L-R) Lt. Colonel Tiran Attia and Northern New Jersey office in Tenafly, NJ.

Board and Special Needs Task Force member Barry Honig at Mr. Honig’s







1.(L-R) Mid-Atlantic JNFuture Members Nicole Lubel, Aaron Bregman, Lauren Kaufman-Bergmann, Nelson France, Kira Borman, and Michael Hantgan in Israel on the JLIM leadership program.

2.(L-R) Sylvia Pardes, Betsy Narrow, event co-chair Erika Schon, guest speaker Jay Footlik, and National Campaign Director Diane Scar at the Annual JNF Community Breakfast in Baltimore.

3.(L-R) JNF Senior Campaign Executive Eric Narrow, Baltimore JNFuture Board Members Michael Hantgan, Esther Blinkoff, David Haber, Nicole Talor, Ilana Knobel, and Nadav Banai at the first annual Anchor DC JNFuture Gala on the Potomac River.



4.Baltimore JNFuture Board Members Michael Hantgan and Nicole Talor at the Annual JNF Community Breakfast in Baltimore. 5.(L-R) Sylvia Pardes, Bob Chertkof, Leon Berg, and Jack Finkelstein at a dinner and discussion in Baltimore. 6.(L-R) Delaware Board Members Russ Silberglied, Fred Rosner, and Jerry and Susan Grossman at the first annual Delaware Community Breakfast.

7.(L-R) JNF-LOTEM Liaison Alisa Bodner and DC Board Member Mimi Kress at a parlor meeting in DC to highlight LOTEM’s newest programs.













8.Baltimore Breakfast Co-Chair Dr. Ellen Taylor and Maryland Board President Frank Spector at the Annual JNF Community

1 (L-R) Guest Speakers Mark and Harriet Levin with event co-chairs Tami and Reuben Warshawsky at the Chicago Suburban

9.(L-R) Delaware Board Member Martin Lessner, Lior Ron, Stuart Grant, and Governor Jack Markell at the JNF Community

2 (L-R) Simon Lebovitz, Jon Merel, Tony Cogan, Ari Topper, and Russell LeBoyer at the Chicago Project Baseball event.

10.(L-R) National Makor Chair Ellen Rosenberg presented newest Chai Society member Wendy Eisenberg with her Chai Society

3 (L-R) Chicago JNFuture Chair David Eisenberg, Lawyers for Israel Co-Chair Robert Wigoda, guest speaker Mitchell Bard, and Lawyers for Israel Co-Chair Steven Stender at the Chicago Loop Professional Lunch and Learn.

Breakfast in Baltimore.

Breakfast in Wilmington, Delaware.

11.Rabbis for Israel Members Rabbi Jonathan Schnitzer and Rabbi Bill Rudolph were presented with a certificate of congratulations at the Washington D.C. Annual Community Breakfast.

12.Washington DC JNFuture Board Members (back row) Kira Borman, Nicole Lubel, Shelley Greenspan, Evan Hoffman, Jared

Greene, Allen Meizlish, (front row) Aaron Bregman, and Lauren Kaufman-Bergmann at the first annual Anchor DC JNFuture Gala.


4 (L-R) Southern Ohio and Kentucky Board Co-Presidents Jan Armstrong Cobb and Ron Solomon, and board member Carol Neuman at Southern Ohio and Kentucky’s “The Event of the Year” breakfast.

5 (L-R) Elece Kovel, Morry Wiener, and Diane Weber at Southern Ohio and Kentucky’s “The Event of the Year” breakfast. 6 (L-R) Event Co-Chairs Velma and Roger Mitchell at Southern Ohio and Kentucky’s “The Event of the Year” breakfast.







7 (L-R) Northern Ohio Board Members Wendy Levick and Susie Kopit worked JNF’s table at the B’nai Jeshurun Family Fun Day. 8 (L-R) Dr. Roger Klein, Tree of Life™ Award honoree Barry Feldman, and Marlene Klein at the Northern Ohio Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

9 (L-R) Rich Loeb and honoree Barry Feldman at the Northern Ohio Tree of Life™ Award Dinner kick-off event. 10 (L-R) Arthur, Gina and Stephanie Horwitz of Detroit visited the Pipes Bridge in Be’er Sheva. 11 (L-R) Ronna and Dan Askin, and Charlie Saul enjoyed cocktails at the Western Pennsylvania Guardian of Israel Award Dinner.





12 (L-R) JNF Israel Operations Development Officer Ariel Kotler, and Merris and Dr. Yram Groff at the Western Pennsylvania Guardian of Israel Award Dinner.

13 Members of JNFuture Wisconsin with JNF staff at the Wisconsin Community Breakfast. (L-R back) JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson,

Matthew Bernstein, Stef Sager, Jake Velleman, Dmitry Krivochenitser, and JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick. (L-R front) JNFuture Marketing Chairperson Deb Carneol, Sarah Arnold, Chicago Campaign Executive Hannah Feldman, and Anna Kraft.

14 (L-R) Honorees Michaela Bear, Anna Goldstein, Seth Haines, Isaac Vineburg and Jnana Konjo of the Marquette University Jewish Student Union at the Wisconsin Annual Tribute Banquet.

15 (L-R) Milwaukee NBC Affiliate Meteorologist Scott Steele presented Julie Feldman with recognition at the Wisconsin Annual Tribute Banquet.


necklace at a women’s event in Baltimore programs.







about a solidarity mission to Israel last summer during Operation Protective Edge, she said to herself, “I have to do this. I want to be there. I want to show my support.” Solomon wasn’t involved with JNF, but with parents who were ardent Zionists, the love and passion for Israel was passed down through the generations. So when Solomon called her daughter to say she was going on JNF’s Solidarity Mission, her daughter instantly agreed to go. “My daughter said, ‘We have to show our support at this time. It’s an important moment in our history.’” Along with her daughter and one of her grandsons, Solomon had her first real experience with JNF’s work in Israel. “We went to Soroka to visit wounded soldiers, which was a heart-wrenching and fulfilling experience,” she said. “We went to the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, which was filled to capacity with children. We met with families in Halutza and saw the bomb shelters. Just speaking about it pulls at my heart again.” This mission propelled her to become a member of the Chai Society and to learn more about the involvement and impact that JNF has in Israel. “What really impressed me on the Solidarity Mission,” she recalls, “is that we had highly Three generations on the Solidarity Mission: Grandson ranked professionals like CEO Dylan Moshe, Phyllis Solomon, and daughter Lori Moshe.

Russell Robinson and CFO Mitchel Rosenzweig, but also lay leadership that is so dedicated and involved and knowledgeable.” She describes the feeling as “contagious—you’re part of it, and before you know it, you’re in it.” Eager to return to Israel, the 2015 International Spirit of Israel Tour was the perfect opportunity. It coincided with a ceremony for handing out scholarships to the Be’er Sheva Conservatory through her family’s Chancy Memorial Foundation. “I never thought any mission to Israel would surpass the Operation Protective Edge mission of 2014; however, JNF once again provided a magical experience for the participants,” Solomon said. “Being in the Be’er Sheva Amphitheatre—that JNF built— with JNF members from all over the world, a world of people who care and the coming together of Israelis, Americans, and Europeans, all there to show our spirit of solidarity, was transformative.” Among the places Solomon visited on her last trip were the LOTEM facilities that provide services for children with special needs. “LOTEM was especially meaningful for me because I teach art class for people with special needs at home,” she said. Since returning from her last trip, Solomon increased her support for JNF by becoming a member of the Sapphire Society, JNF’s major donor society for women. As a little girl growing up in Brooklyn, there was always a Blue Box in the house, but, as she said, it was her first-hand experience in witnessing JNF’s work that opened her eyes to a whole new level of engagement with Israel: “I’m thoroughly impressed by everything that goes on in the organization. I have been part of the Jewish community and organizations my entire adult life, and I have never seen this type of involvement before. As long as I can, I want to make going to Israel on a JNF trip an annual event. I’m so thrilled to be part of the JNF family.” n For more information on upcoming JNF Tours, contact Talia Aviani, Missions Manager at or 212.879.9305 ext. 254.

Exciting news!

Join JNFuture for an unforgettable week of volunteering and fun.

Birthright Israel now offers the opportunity to pre-register year-round for FREE trips running November 2015 - March 2016 Applicants can pre-register at Make sure to choose Shorashim as the trip provider.

JNFuture Volunteer Vacation for ages 25 - 35. December 26, 2015 - January 3, 2016 Loved Israel and can’t wait to go back?

Join us on Alternative Break this winter or spring! Young adults ages 18-24. WINTER • SPRING

December 29, 2015 - January 6, 2016 March 12-19, 2016 FREE after minimum fundraising goals is met.


A Couple’s Bequest Continues to Make an Impact on JNF Programs DR. GALLI S. ASCHER SPENT MUCH OF HER LIFE DEVOTED

Galli believed in charity for those less fortunate, according to Unterman. “I know she was a big proponent of education,” he said, “and, specifically, opportunities for the advancement of women.” The Aschers’ bequest will benefit JNF’s program areas of Zionist Education & Advocacy, and Disabilities & Special Needs. They include supporting the Educational Center at Aleh Negev, a communal rehabilitative village in Ofakim that assists individuals with mental and physical disabilities; $1 million for the Muss Impact Fund, a special fund that sets up scholarships for high school students wishing to studying in Israel at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI); and contributing toward the Muss Capital Campaign, which will help finance AMHSI’s plans to construct a new campus. In addition, the Muss Quad at the new AMHSI campus will be named in memory of Dr. and Mr. Ascher. n

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


Contact our Planned Giving Specialists today at 800.562.7526 or

Promoting Israel Education and Advocacy Through a Charitable Bequest By Matt Bernstein, CFP, JNF Chief Planned Giving Officer HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE ACRONYM BDS? These three initials stand for the words Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. These words together call for the boycott of Israel, Israeli products, and culture; divestment of all companies doing business in Israel, including pension plans and other entities; and sanctioning Israel for alleged human rights abuses of the Palestinian people. It is a growing movement on college campuses in the United States and other countries designed to both de-legitimize Israel and equate Israeli society with the apartheid policies of South Africa years ago. A Google search of “BDS” will yield articles and references that will leave you speechless. JNF launched the JNF Boruchin Israel Education and Advocacy Center to combat the falsehoods of the BDS movement and to advance the truth—that Israel makes the world a better place. The JNF Boruchin Israel Education and Advocacy Center is a $100 million fund created through the generosity of John and Dora Boruchin’s estate. This represents the most significant and impactful fund created for the specific purpose of educating the public, promoting a positive message about Israel, and educating our children. JNF will be strengthening our own programs such as the Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI), as well as partnering with other organizations, as a source of funding and other resources.


to caring and helping others as a medical doctor in the field of pathology with a specialty in hematology and cancers of the blood. When she passed away in February 2014 in Long Beach, CA, she left a legacy of altruism that will continue through a generous bequest of over $4 million to JNF from the estate of Dr. Ascher and her late husband Lionel F. Ascher. “The Aschers were big supporters of Israel,” recalled Alan B. Unterman, a close family friend and Trustee of the Ascher Family Trust. Alan knew Galli since he was a young boy; his father David Unterman worked alongside her in the Pathology Department of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Long Beach for many years, where she held the position of Chief Pathologist. “I grew up knowing the Aschers,” he said. “They were present at my bris, bar mitzvah, Passover seders, and other celebrations. I remember them to be an eccentric couple; Galli was extremely opinionated, while Lionel was more bookish. They were always on the hunt for new and different things.” Born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1925 to parents who had emigrated from Austria, Galli graduated from medical school in 1950, and later relocated to New York City to complete her residency in pathology and microbiology at Mount Sinai Hospital. It was in New York when she met Lionel F. Ascher, a native New Yorker; they married in 1953. Before they met, Lionel had worked for MGM Studios in Los Angeles, served as a Public Relations Officer in WWII, and had received several honors of recognition. Later in life, the Aschers moved to Orange County, where Galli worked in the Pathology Department of the VA Hospital and Lionel worked as a librarian for the City of Westminster. At the time of Lionel’s death in 2002, the couple had been married 49 years.

For more information about the JNF Boruchin Israel Education and Advocacy Center contact the Planned Giving office at You can help JNF in this important project with an outright donation or through a contribution to a Charitable Gift Annuity. As many of our donors know, JNF runs one of the most successful Charitable Gift Annuity programs in the country. We believe our success is due to the fact that we offer very competitive annuity rates, and that our donors enjoy the stability of receiving a steady income check, all with the knowledge that their annuity gift will ultimately support JNF projects in Israel. So how does this work? A JNF Charitable Gift Annuity is a simple agreement that offers our donors a lifetime income in exchange for their gift. In addition to the income there are valuable tax advantages such as tax-free income, an income tax deduction, and the avoidance of lump sum capital gains taxes if the donation is made with long-term appreciated stocks or mutual funds. Our annuities can be structured to cover one or two lives and can even be designed to act like a supplemental retirement plan by deferring income for a number of years. Take a look at our ad on page 28 to see a sampling of the single life annuity rates we currently offer. We are ready to answer all of your questions. We look forward to hearing from you. To receive information and a detailed illustration on how a JNF Charitable Gift Annuity might benefit you, contact our Planned Giving Specialists at 800.562.7526 or n


From Generation to Generation JNF recently spoke to members of JNFuture and their parents about what inspired them to get involved and the importance of the next generation’s participation in ensuring the future of Israel. They shared their inherited commitment to environmentalism and passion for the people and the land of Israel.



Stephanie Kelman, Phoenix, AZ JNFuture Arizona Leadership Chair; JLIM Participant

Cindy Guttman, Cincinnati, OH Lifetime Sapphire Society

What does it mean to you to share your parents’ involvement with JNF?

What does it mean to have your child involved?

My parents’ and grandparents’ involvement in JNF inspired me to follow in their footsteps. They were hands-on at every level. They taught me that it is just as important to lead an organization as it is to give money; to inspire others to follow my example. It’s rare that my generation finds the same meaning in an organization as our parents and grandparents did. I was taught from an early age how important it is to ensure Israel’s survival and to always give back however I could.

What is the importance of having the next generation involved in developing Israel?

Many of my peers do not necessarily see Israel as much of a priority as previous generations have. They see a flourishing country with one of the world’s strongest economies and armies. What they don’t see is that Israel’s development for longevity still has a long way to go. My generation needs to continue to work to support Israel, and while we may be able to achieve that in different ways, the vision and drive will always be the same. Marc Kelman, Phoenix, AZ National Vice President, Blueprint Negev; Chairman, Arizona Board of Directors

What does it mean to you to have your child involved? It means the world. It makes me feel like maybe I did something right as a parent and set the right example for Stephanie.

What is the importance of the next generation being involved with JNF and developing Israel? I’ve always said that people born after 1948 take the existence of Israel and a Jewish homeland for granted. We can’t take the existence of Israel for granted because, as we all know, Israel still faces threats. We need the next generation to continue to build a strong and vibrant Israel. Sadie Guttman Gelb, New York City Incoming JNFuture NYC Events Chair; JLIM Participant

What does it mean to you to share your parents’ involvement with JNF? Growing up, we always had Blue Boxes and planted trees when we were in Israel. As I get older, I want to get more involved on my own. On JLIM, we visited a playground that my family donated to at the Be’er Sheva River Park. It’s powerful to see their contribution making a difference. Now, I can take on that responsibility. It’s cool to be the next generation giving back and filling our parents’ shoes.

What is the importance of having the next generation involved in developing Israel? I feel a responsibility to take on what our parents and grandparents have done. When I returned from Israel, I asked my grandparents what they were doing when Israel became a state. They remember parades in the street celebrating; they’ve been through the whole history. Our generation can make a huge impact on what past generations have already built for the Jewish people.

Our children were raised knowing how important JNF is to Israel. By the example we have set for them, they feel the same! When JNF started building the Be’er Sheva River Park, I had the idea to donate a playground along with the Guttman and Acklen families in loving memory of Harold’s mom. To have Sadie see it first was a special thing for us all.

What is the importance of the next generation being involved with JNF and developing Israel? Being Jewish and involved is very important to all of our children. Having Sadie and her husband Josh involved in JNF and JNFuture is wonderful. JNF Cincinnati has asked our daughter Ariella to join the board. Our involvement is part of who we are as a family. Nicole Lubel, Washington, DC Anchor DC Co-Chair; JLIM Participant

What does it mean to you to share your parent’s involvement with JNF? It’s cool. To see your parents committing their time and resources to an organization and then to find that you share the same passion and become involved yourself is meaningful and fun.

What is the importance of having the next generation involved in developing Israel? JNF has always been involved in helping make Israel bloom; it’s important that the next generations continue this. I’m fortunate to be able to do this alongside my father. My next goal is to convince my brother Josh to go on JNF’s Alternative Spring Break. Alan Lubel, Atlanta, GA Major Gifts Chair, Atlanta; Lawyers for Israel Chair, Atlanta; Makor

What does it mean to you to have your child involved? Our family has always had a strong tradition of support for the Jewish community and for Israel. It’s important to see Nicole continuing her family’s traditions of community service and support for Israel. It’s especially gratifying to see her channeling her passion for Israel through JNF.

What is the importance of having the next generation involved in developing Israel? One of JNF’s main goals is involving young people to get them to appreciate the importance of Israel, to really feel it, so that they will continue to financially support JNF. As it has been said, there’s an Israel today in large part because of the work begun by Herzl over 100 years ago. Israel’s future and its quality of life depends on what we do now and how we involve the next generation. To learn more about JNFuture chapters across the country, contact Jessica Schapiro at 212.879.9305 x297 or


The Journey of a Watermelon, the Quintessential Israeli Fruit By Koby Ben Simhon (Translation: Leiba Chaya David)

This article was previously published in Haaretz 1.7.2011. Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. All Rights Reserved ©


How do you feel now? “Like a lion.” You have two more months of harvest, and then what? “On the watermelon patch we will plant zucchini, and start all over again.” June 20: The Tikvah Market in South Tel Aviv At five in the evening, the sun shines on a pile of expertly arranged watermelons situated on old carpets at the watermelon stand of Yaakov Ben Meir in the Tikvah market in south Tel Aviv. “I’ve been selling watermelons since I was 14,” Ben Meir says. “Israelis and watermelon: it’s a love story. Watermelon goes at anytime, morning or night. In our hot summer, at any hour, it’s good and thirst-quenching.” Israel’s agricultural industry produces approximately 130,000 tons of watermelon annually.


February 14: Big Rains “The rain changes all the plans,” says Guy Kahlon. “Now there is no chance that we will plant on time. In all the fields where I want to plant watermelon, there are still potatoes. We should have taken them out by the beginning of the month, but now the ground is wet and the combine can’t work. I can’t free up the land for watermelon and the preparation for planting is delayed.” Kahlon, 39, a farmer from Moshav Ketavim in the northern Negev, is one of the country’s biggest watermelon growers. “In total, I plan to plant 124 acres of watermelon this year,” he says. February 20: The Art of Grafting The life cycle of our watermelon begins in the Shorashim nursery on Moshav Mivtahim, where Kahlon’s seedlings have been ready since the beginning of February. Raviv Oakart is the second generation owner of the nursery, which was established in the 1970s. “It all starts with the farmer’s order, three months before the planting,” he explains. “Guy ordered 1,262 seedlings of the seedless variety for planting in mid-February. Photo by Nir Kafri Based on his order, we worked backward and decided on the exact seeding time.” As part of the grafting process, squash seeds are planted alongside watermelon seeds. “We manufacture and grow the two products in parallel,” explains Oakart.“The squash is harder and more resistant to earth-borne disease. They grow for two to three weeks, until we take them for grafting, wherein we cut the stem of the squash by hand and graft the watermelon to it. The seedling then moves for two weeks to a room where specific levels of humidity and temperature are maintained. Once the tissues are fused, the seedling produces the root system and stem of a squash, with its upper half remaining a watermelon.” The grafted seedlings provide a considerable added value to the farmer. “Because more and more pesticides are being rotated out of use, the farmer needs a seedling that will be more disease resistant,” explains Oakart. The squash enables the watermelon greater foliage growth, allowing the plant to carry more fruit and producing a greater yield. In addition, creating the seedling in the nursery saves the farmer over a month’s worth of watering. February 28: No Rest Two weeks late, the truck carrying the seedlings arrives at the fields in Ketavim. Kahlon meets it with great anticipation. “When the seedlings arrive, I feel the beginning of the season. It’s like a half a year of intoxicated senses. I love it,” he says. Kahlon bought the farm on Moshav Ketavim four years ago “because in the center of the country the water and land are disappearing fast. Much of the land we used to work in Mazkeret Bata, near my parents, has been set aside for building. So I decided to move south.” What happens now, after the planting? “Covering the ground with plastic warms the earth, and prevents rapid evaporation and the growth of weeds. The upper cover of plastic above the metal arches warms the seedling, so it feels like summer. It also provides protection from rain and hail. In this way, the seedling is in a small greenhouse.” April 4: Fertilizer Break The seedlings have established themselves as young plants, their thin branches crowned with leaves. “At this point,” says Kahlon, “we face the biggest decision: when to open little windows in the tunnels of plastic. We can’t take the plastic off yet because winter isn’t over. The seedling will spread out nicely inside the tunnel, but only after the plastic is removed can bees get to the first flowers to start their work. For this reason, I stopped fertilizing, and am now only watering. I don’t want ripening to happen without the flowers being fertilized.

“Watermelons consume a huge amount of water,” he continues. “To water my watermelon fields, I use drip irrigation and the water is reused water: sewage water coming from the Tel Aviv region that is recycled. This water is much cheaper and is high quality. As water is a big part of the expenses of a farmer, this is what allows us to survive. If I didn’t have this reused water I wouldn’t be able to grow watermelons.” April 8: Complete Ripening In recent days, workers have disassembled the arches and removed the plastic tunnels. A watermelon patch is exposed. “We placed the hives two days ago, and the bees are already highly active,” says Kahlon. April 28: Coping with Pests The winter has passed, and tiny fruits are hiding under the thick foliage— watermelons ranging in size from that of a ping pong ball to that of a tennis ball. “At this stage, after the ripening and until the harvest, the primary goal is to maintain the health of the plant and to protect it,” he says. “This is a critical time for dealing with pests, for example leaf fungus that can harm the foliage and irreversibly interrupt the growth process. Because the foliage provides nutrition to the fruit, damage to it drastically affects the size and taste. This is why it is important to prevent disease before it occurs, through preventative spraying. Every 10 days a spray plane passes over the area to keep it pest free.” May 25: Almost Ready for Harvest Kahlon opens a watermelon. “The fruit is pinkish red, its rind is a centimeter thick, and it is beginning to hold sugar. It already has a taste. Because the weather is nice and there have been no severe heat waves, the fruit draws the minerals and sugars from the earth. We can already determine the day of harvest—I estimate another two weeks or so.” June 16: Harvest Time A group of workers bend down on the path, where they have gathered hundreds of watermelons. Just before lunch, a tractor drives up, and they load boxes onto its trailer. Kahlon is running around to different markets in the center of the country, and is available to Photo by Nir Kafri speak only in the evening. “When the harvest time comes, my wife starts to cry,” says the father of four. “Every day I leave the house in the morning and don’t know when I’ll be back. There is a massive amount of work, with no break. I sleep four hours a day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. I am tired and not tired. I am energized, I don’t know from where, to achieve maximum results. It is a very aggressive market and thus one needs to be alert. You need to fight.”

Making Aliyah with Nefesh b’Nefesh by Aaron Parker ON A HOT AUGUST DAY, 232 AMERICANS, RANGING FROM A



six-week-old baby girl to a 90-year-old great grandmother, boarded a Nefesh b’Nefesh El Al charter flight to become Israel’s newest citizens. I watched fathers cover their children with a tallit and bless them. I saw mothers kiss their children and grandchildren goodbye. I stood in awe of the 60 American boys and girls who had enlisted as IDF Lone Soldiers to protect the Jewish state. I accompanied the flight, which departed New York carrying Americans, but arrived in Tel Aviv bearing freshly minted Israeli citizens, thanks to Nefesh b’Nefesh, a 13-yearyoung organization supported by JNF. The life-changing 10-hour flight was followed by an even more transformative event on the tarmac of Ben Gurion airport, where more than 1,000 Israelis welcomed the group as long-lost family. Members of Knesset, flagwaving soldiers, prior immigrants, and even Israeli rock star Idan Raichel were there to greet us. Nefesh b’Nefesh has revolutionized North American emigration to Israel in the 13 years since its founding, diminishing the bureaucracy that has historically awaited newcomers, and instead emphasizing the heroism of those who emigrate. The organization’s numbers reflect its success. Before Nefesh, 60% of Americans who emigrated to Israel returned to the U.S. within 18 months. Today, 93% remain in Israel, not only after 18 months, but also up to 13 years later and counting. Nefesh tracks all 43,000 Americans it has brought to Israel, monitoring their success, and also ensuring it, with a steady flow of opportunities for socializing, employment, counseling, and more. This summer, JNF’s San Francisco chapter and JNF donors Ben and Batya Klein of New Jersey co-sponsored the flight. “We made Aliyah for a day with one of our daughters, Sydney. It was an incredible experience and amazing to show her,” said Ben Klein, whose generous gift helped enable 232 American Jews to come home to Israel. It was clear from the experience that Aliyah from America is no longer about leaving a land of opportunity, but rather joining one. Israel is a success story, and together, we’re

Campaign All-Star: David Gershuny DAVID GERSHUNY HAS A SIMPLE

approach to solicitation: Ask for a minute to share the JNF story. Gershuny, JNF’s National Vice Chair for Nefesh B’Nefesh, has shown an exemplary passion for Israel and promoting JNF’s work, most recently during JNF’s 31 Days in May campaign. How does he do it? After JNF’s annual breakfast in Cincinnati, the Southern Ohio and Kentucky Executive Board member took the time to call everyone who attended to thank them for coming to the event and have a conversation about JNF: “I don’t look at it as a solicitation; I look at it as sharing a story.” Said David: “After working on JNF’s 2011 National Conference in Cincinnati, I got engaged with national and lay leadership. I really liked what this organization stands for. They are unbelievable stewards of the money they raise. “JNF is involved in every Israeli’s life. From turning on the faucet to use water made possible by JNF’s R&D, to helping

those in Israeli society who can’t help themselves, to providing housing and agricultural development, to creating ambassadorships around the world with AICAT, and so much more—it is so impactful that the work that we do affects the entire world. Every time there’s a need, JNF is there. So many organizations talk about the problem, and raise money, but they don’t seek solutions; JNF does. We say we are your voice in Israel, and we are. “Yes, JNF is a fundraising organization. That said, we all have a singular passion: Israel. If we don’t go out, solicit, and share our passion, we’ll never succeed. When I’m in Israel, I schedule time to meet with our partners and see the good work that we do. When I call someone, I share what I’ve seen, and they open up their heart and their checkbook. They’ll often say, I can’t go and do what you do, but this is how I can help. Every donation, every gift, is meaningful to me, whether it’s $1,800 or $18,000.” n

The Nefesh b’Nefesh flight in Israel

making it stronger. Those on the flight expressed a powerful pull to help build a young country, and described their contribution as a privilege, not a sacrifice. They came not because of antisemitism or hatred, but out of free choice to build their lives in an exciting, opportunity-filled place, full of meaning and purpose. We live in an incredible time. Israel is here as an opportunity for us all, and we reaffirm that we are here for Israel. We may not physically be on the flight, but we are all proud of those who are. Through it all, JNF will continue to do its part. This is the future of Israel. n To sponsor an Aliyah flight or to learn more, visit

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(L-R) Tali Shear, Judith Shear (Century Council, Negev Society), LOTEM tour guide Raz Rutman, Ori Shear, and John Shear (Century Council, Negev Society) dedicated a bakery at LOTEM in Israel. (L-R) Breakfast Co-Chairs Mark and Harriet Levin, Annette Lidawer (Century Council, Negev Society), and Rob Rubin (Century Council, Negev Society) at the Chicago Suburban Breakfast.

Sandra Zieve (Sapphire Society) received the Sapphire Society necklace from Northern Ohio Board member Chuck Whitehill (Century Council, Herzl Society).

(L-R) JNF National Treasurer Ted Banks (Century Council, President’s Society) and guest speakers Harriet and Mark Levin at Chicago City Breakfast.

(L-R) Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) Chair Patti Schneider (Sapphire Society), AMHSI Professor Reuven Spero, and Vice President, Women for Israel Nina Paul (Century Council, Negev Society, Lifetime Sapphire Society) at the Southern Ohio and Kentucky Board meeting.

(L-R) Nefesh B’Nefesh Chairman and Co-Founder Tony Gelbart, David Gershuny (President’s Society), and Nefesh B’Nefesh Co-Founder Rabbi Yehoshua Fass arrived in Israel on a Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldier flight.

(L-R) Northern Ohio Board Member Chuck Whitehill (Century Council; Negev Society) presented honoree Barry Feldman (Negev Society) with the Tree of Life™ Award.

(L-R) Northern Ohio Board Member Dan Geller (Herzl Society) and honoree Barry Feldman (Negev Society) at the Northern Ohio Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

(L-R) Ellen Teri Kaplan Goldstein, Linda Horwitz, Judy and Chuck Perlow (Century Council, Negev Society), and Jeff Letwin at the Western Pennsylvania Guardian of Israel Award Dinner.

(L-R) Wisconsin Co-President Rusti Moffic (Sapphire Society), JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick, Banquet Chair Sue Carneol (Sapphire Society), Wisconsin CoPresident Enid Bootzin Berkovitz, and Scott Schreiber (Century Council, President’s Society) at the Wisconsin Annual Tribute Banquet.

(L-R) JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick, and Donald and Marilyn Chudnow (Century Council, President’s Society) at the Wisconsin Annual Tribute Banquet.

(L-R) Shelly Shor Gerson (Century Council, President’s Society, Lifetime Sapphire Society), Jane Eisen, and Andrea KravetzKatz (Herzl Society) at Southern Ohio and Kentucky’s annual “The Event of the Year” breakfast.

(L-R) Event Co-Chair Gloria Feldman (L-R) Herb Sheer (Century Council, (Century Council, Negev Society) with Negev Society), JNF Israel Operations guest speaker Howard Rosenman at the St. Development Officer Ariel Kotler, Barbara Louis Annual Breakfast. Sheer (Century Council, Negev Society, Lifetime Sapphire Society), JNF National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, and Western Pennsylvania Director Amy Jonas at the Western Pennsylvania Guardian of Israel Award Dinner. (L-R) Honorees David and Meryl Ainsman (President’s Society) received the Guardian of Israel Award in Pittsburgh.

(L-R) JNF Wisconsin Co-President Rusti Moffic (Sapphire Society) presented a Chai Society necklace to JNF Wisconsin Co-President Enid Bootzin Berkovits.



(L-R) Tampa Bay Co-President Mary Ellen Hogan (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), honorees Betsy and Dr. Abe Marcadis (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society),and Tampa Bay Co-President Ida Raye Chernin (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

(L-R) Tampa Bay Co-President Ida Raye Chernin (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), honoree Dr. Robert Entel (Negev Society), and Tampa Bay Co-President Mary Ellen Hogan (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

(L-R) Honorees Mark and Dr. Michele Miller (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), and Shari Mezrah (Herzl Society) at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

(L-R) Tampa Bay Co-President Mary Ellen Hogan (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), guest speaker Dr. Suzanne Salamon, honoree Lilly Salcman (President’s Society), guest speaker Julie Salamon, and Tampa Bay Co-President Ida Raye Chernin (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

(L-R) Shari Mezrah (Herzl Society), Tampa Bay Co-President Mary Ellen Hogan (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Tina Gordon (Sapphire Society), David Pearlman, Ellyn Kessler (Sapphire Society), Maxine Solomon (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and Tampa Bay Co-President Ida Raye Chernin (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

(L-R) Jordan and Marina Cicero with Neil and Sandra Malamud (Century Council, President’s Society), Lisa, Mathew, and Alexandra Cicero, and Co-Executive Director of Alexander Muss High School in Israel Rabbi Leor Sinai at a dedication ceremony at the Hod Hashoron Campus in Israel.

(L-R) Maria Waksman (Sapphire Society), Sol Schick (Herzl Society) and Melissa Albert Waksman (Herzl Society), Susan Deveaux (Sapphire Society) at a Past Honoree event at the Dr. Phillips Center of Waksman (Sapphire Society), and Deena Silver (Sapphire Society) at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts in Orlando. Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

(L-R) JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush met with Ernie Kretzmer (President’s Society) at his home in Sarasota.

Past Tree of Life™ Award Recipient Cindy Spahn and Richard Rappaport (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) at the Tampa Bay Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

30 (L-R) JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush and Dr. Rob Norman (Century Council, Negev Society) at a parlor meeting held at his home in Tampa.

(L-R) Southern Florida Executive Director Dr. Roni Raab, Paulette Kenney (Sapphire Society), guest speaker and Jerusalem Post chief political correspondent and analyst Gil Hoffman, Lidia Nahoum, and Palm Beach Director Laura Sherry at Temple Judea in Palm Beach.

(L-R) Debra Israel (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), and Sy Israel (Century Council, Negev Society) at a Past Honoree event at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando.

(L-R) Jim Riola (World Chairman’s Council, Herzl Society) and Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) at a Past Honoree event at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando.

(L-R) Southern Florida Executive Director Dr. Roni Raab, Zena Gruda, Jeff Bloom, Cantor Elaine Shapiro (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and Adele Konecky (Century Council) at Temple Judea in Palm Beach.

(L-R) Lynn Klausner (Herzl Society), guest (L-R) Glenn Grossman (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), Ronald Emanuel, speaker and Jerusalem Post chief political Stephen Greenspan, and Rikki Greenspan at a JNF Project Baseball event at Marlins correspondent and analyst Gil Hoffman, Park. and Joel Klausner (Herzl Society) at Temple Judea in Palm Beach.

Paulette Kenney (Sapphire Society) and Erich Kupferberg on JNF’s Spirit of Israel Tour.

(L-R) Phyllis Rich (Herzl Society), JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush, and Norman Rich (Herzl Society) met in Sarasota.

(L-R) Rabbi Dov Ber Thaler, Allen Dubbrin, Cynthia Hertz (Century Council, Sapphire Society), Devora Leah Thaler, and guest speaker Laura Ben David at the home of Vivian and Glenn Grossman.


(L-R) Renee Resler (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) and Carol Knoppow (Sapphire Society) at a Sapphire Society thank you luncheon.

(L-R) Linda Nash (Century Council, Sapphire Society, Negev Society) and Ellen Kelman (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at a reception hosted by Beth Katz. (L-R) Orange County and Palm Springs Regional Director Donna Raider, Sheri Borax (Century Council, Lifetime Sapphire), JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, and General Campaign Chair and Palm Springs Board Debbie Orgen-Garrett at a regional ladies luncheon.

Former Palm Springs President Sheri Borax (Century Council, Lifetime Sapphire) and JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson at a regional ladies luncheon.

(L-R) Desert States Major Gifts Director Itzik Becher, Rabbi Yocheved Mintz (Sapphire Society), and Desert States Executive Director Deb Rochford.

Jack Lief (Century Council, Negev Society), (L-R) Century Council and Negev Society Honorable Lynn Schenk, and Shari Schenk members Larry Goldstein, Alan Stock at the Love of Israel Brunch in San Diego. and Bob Dublin at the Las Vegas Men’s Roundtable.

(L-R) JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick and Bobby Feldman (Century Council, President’s Society) at the men’s roundtable in Las Vegas.

(L-R) Mountain States Board President Ron Werner (Negev Society) and JNFuture AMHSI Chair Max Wolk at the Whiskey and Water Summer Social.

JNF Board and Makor Member Nancy Siegel (Sapphire Society) and Senior Campaign Executive Matthew Leebove at the Whiskey and Water Summer Social.



(L-R) JNF Development Officer of Israel Operations Ariel Kotler, Murray and Dottie Goodman (Herzl Society) , Stephanie Goodman, Ava Goodman, Ryan Goodman, Talia Goodman, Adam Goodman, and KKL-JNF Liaison Liat Itzhak at the JNF B’nei Mitzvah Wall in Jerusalem’s American Independence Park.


(L-R) JNFuture Founder Ben Jablonski (Herzl Society), Dr. Mort Mower (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), Dr. Toby Mower (World Chairman’s Council, Sapphire Society, Negev Society), and JNFuture Colorado Committee Chair and Root Society member Simon Schwartz at the Whiskey and Water Summer Social.

(L-R) Larry Goldstein, Alan Stock, and Bob Dubin (Century Council, Negev Society) at the Las Vegas Men’s Roundtable.

(L-R) Stuart Werner (President’s Society), (L-R) Len David, JNF-Halutza Liaison Westchester Board member Norman Weiss Yedidya Harush, Robert and Sarah (Century Council), Bonnie Weiss (Century Goodman (President’s Society, Century Council, Sapphire Society), Rhea Wolfthal Council), and Rochel David at the JNF (Sapphire Society), Westchester and Southern Sderot Indoor Recreation Center. Connecticut Co-President Caren Hammerman, Josh Gorfinkle, and Michael Blank at the 3rd Annual Summer Luncheon in Scarsdale.

(L-R) Author Donna Rosenthal and Jane Jozoff (Sapphire Society) at an Arizona Sapphire Society luncheon.

(L-R) Bonnie Weiss (Sapphire Society), Westchester and Southern Connecticut Director Stephanie Risa Balkin, Rhea Wolfthal (Sapphire Society), Joan Muss (Sapphire Society), and Lynn Jacobs (Sapphire Society) at the 3rd Annual Summer Luncheon in Scarsdale.

Susan Guttman (World Chairman’s Council, New York Board Members Richard Wolloch Century Council, Sapphire Society, Negev and Joan Muss (President’s Society, Society) and Northern New Jersey Board Sapphire Society) at Shabbat in the Park. member Ben Gutmann (World Chairman’s Council, Century Council, Negev Society) at Shabbat in the Park in Manhattan.

Aleta and Ariel Grunberg (Century Council) on the Spirit of Israel Mission with LOTEM tour guide Raz Rutman on a tour of LOTEM’s facilities.

(L-R) JNF National President Jeffrey E. Century Council members Karl and Tracy Levine (World Chairman Council), JNF CEO Kaplan at American Independence Park. Russell F. Robinson, JNFuture member Hillary Muss, and New York Board member Joan Muss (Sapphire Society). (L-R) JNF-Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby, and Lily, Alison, and Lawrence Wolfson (President’s Society) at Ammunition Hill.

(L-R) New York Board Member Ben Jablonski (President’s Society), Israel Baseball League’s Peter Kurz, New York Yankees President Randy Levine, New York Board and Makor member Debby Riegel (President’s Society), and Mark Rattner (Century Council, President’s Society) at Yankee Stadium.

(L-R) New York Board Member Lionel Ohayon (President’s Society), JNF Chief Operations Officer Harold Cohen, and New York Board member Andrew Wilshinsky (President’s Society, Century Council) at JNF’s New York City Breakfast. (L-R) New York Board Member Steven Shalowitz (President’s Society), JNF Senior Campaign Executive, Greater New York Jodi Popofsky, Bret Stephens (President’s Society), and JNF President and New York Board member Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council) at JNF’s New York City Breakfast.




(L-R) JNF LA Golf Tournament Champions and Century Council and Negev Society members Steve Winston, Laurence Abramson, Don Kaplan, and Alan Abramson.

(L-R) JNF LA Golf Committee Members Richie Koral (President’s Society) and Richard Solomon (Century Council, President’s Society).

(L-R) Lt. Colonel Tiran Attia, David Frank (Century Council, President’s Society), and Allen Rishe (Century Council, Negev Society) at the JNF Cares event in LA to promote Special in Uniform.

(L-R) Faye Berzon (Century Council, (L-R) Sapphire Society members Christina Negev Society, Sapphire Society) and New Zlotnick and Sara Wilstein at the Women England Director Sara Hefez at the Women for Israel Spring Soiree. for Israel Spring Soiree, which helped raise much-needed funds for Aleh Negev.

(L-R) Sapphire Society members Judith Sydney and Bunny Aronson at the Women for Israel Spring Soiree.

Avnet Kleiner, Director of Marketing & Development for Aleh Negev, and Rhonda Forman (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at the Women for Israel Spring Soiree.

(L-R) National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, Judi Elovitz Greenberg (Sapphire Society), Chai Society Chair Risa Aronson (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Major General Doron Almog. Sapphire President Amy Parsons (Century Council, Lifetime Sapphire, Negev Society), and New England Director Sara Hefez.

(L-R) New England Director Sara Hefez, KKL-JNF Emissary Rami Hazan, and Marion Lidsky (Century Council, President’s Society) at the Women for Israel Spring Soiree, which featured Major General Doron Almog.

32 (L-R) Jennifer Lourie, National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, and Sonia Silverman (Sapphire Society).

(L-R) National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, Roberta Greenberg (Sapphire Society), and Linda Gersten (Sapphire Society).

Irene Spalter (Century Council, Sapphire Society, Negev Society) and Joel Spalter (Century Council, Negev Society) visited withs hosts Anne and Laurence Miller at a Night for Israel parlor meeting in Little Rock.

Irene Spalter (Sapphire Society), Marianne Tettlebaum, and Shelly Baron shared the Israel spirit at a JNF parlor meeting in Little Rock.


(L-R) Todd Patkin (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), Chai Society Chair Risa Aronson (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Lee Aronson (Century Council, Lifetime Sapphire), JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, and Yadira Patkin (World Chairman’s Council, Lifetime Sapphire) at a special send-off hosted by the board in honor of Sharon Freedman. (L-R) Marion Lidsky (Century Council, President’s Society), JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, and Sinai Lidsky (Century Council, President’s Society) celebrated the success of New England this summer.

(L-R) JNF Boruchin Israel Education & Advocacy Center Chair Michael Lederman (Century Council, President’s Society), National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, National Vice President of Campaign Ken Segel (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), and Boston President Emeritus and Vice President of Communities & Regions Michael Blank (Century Council, President’s Society) at a National Board meeting.

(L-R) New England Director Sara Hefez and Alyse Golden Berkley (Century Council, President’s Society, Lifetime Sapphire) Mara Ginsberg (Sapphire Society) at the and Gloria Price enjoyed a JNF Night Capital District’s inaugural breakfast. parlor meeting in Dallas.

(L-R) Roni Wolk, Alan Wolk (Negev Society), Israel Consul General to the Southeast Judith Varnai Shorer, and Atlanta Board Co-President Alan Lubel (Negev Society) at the welcome reception for the new Consul General in Atlanta.


(L-R) Senior Campaign Executive Michael Zimmerman presented Central NJ President Andy Solomon (President’s Society) with a tree certificate at the Central NJ end-of-the-year Board BBQ.

Susan Hirsch (Sapphire Society) received her Sapphire Society pin from Makor member Barbara Bortniker at a parlor meeting hosted by Susan and Andy Hirsch.

(L-R) Tournament Co-Chairs Scott Barsky (Herzl Society), David Rittenberg, Robert Kitchenoff (Herzl Society), and JNF’s CEO Russell F. Robinson at Eastern Pennsylvania’s golf tournament.

(L-R) Event Chair Andrew Miller (Herzl Society) and past Board President and committee member Richard Cohen (Herzl Society) at the 8th Annual Poker Tournament in Philadelphia.

(L-R) Nathan Relles (Herzl Society), Eileen Chudnow (Sapphire Society), Mary Relles (Sapphire Society), event hosts Frank Chudnow (Negev Society)and Margie Patlak (Sapphire Society), and former Israeli Ambassador to France Daniel Shek, at a Friends of the Arava Institute gathering in Philadelphia.



Central NJ Major Gifts Chair Alyssa Russo (Sapphire Society) at JNF’s Sderot Indoor Recreation Center.


(L-R) Lou Cohen (Century Council, Negev Society), his son, Marc Cohen, and grandsons at the JNF Community Breakfast in Baltimore.

(L-R) JNF-Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby presented a paratroopers unit beret to Bob Chertkof (President’s Society) in recognition of his past military service and outstanding support of preserving Israel’s history at Ammunition Hill.

David Schwaber (Century Council, Negev Society) was presented with his Century Council Blue Box by National Campaign Director Diane Scar.

(L-R) Delaware President Joel Friedlander (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), and board members David Margules (Century Council, Herzl Society) and Bob Pincus, at the first annual Delaware Community Breakfast.

Andy and Gail Quartner (Century Council, President’s Society) at Ammunition Hill following the dedication of plaques honoring their parents at JNF’s Wall of Honor.

Ira Bartfield (President’s Society, Century Council) received a handmade Star of David, given to him by JNF-LOTEM Liaison Alisa Bodner, in recognition for his outstanding support of LOTEM and JNF.

(L-R) Delaware Governor Jack Markell received an historic JNF Blue Box from Delaware Board President Joel Friedlander (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), in recognition of his outstanding support of the State of Israel and Zionism at the first annual Delaware Community Breakfast.

(L-R) Washington, D.C. Board Members Mimi Kress (Sapphire Society), Dr. Chet Stein (Century Council, Negev Society), and Rita Stein (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at the annual DC JNF Community Breakfast.

(L-R) Saul Pilchen (Herzl Society), Cary Feldman (Herzl Society), and Ken Krupsky (Century Council, President’s Society) at the D.C. JNF Community Breakfast.

(L-R) Baltimore Breakfast Co-Chair Erika Schon (Sapphire Society), guest speaker and former White House Advisor Jay Footlik, and National Makor Chair Ellen Rosenberg (Century Council, Lifetime Sapphire) at the Baltimore Community Breakfast.

(L-R) Baltimore Board Members Lynn Kapiloff (Century Council, Negev Society) and Jayne Klein (World Chairman’s Council, Lifetime Sapphire, Negev Society) at a Women for Israel event in Baltimore.

Mid-Atlantic President Ken Krupsky (Century Council, President’s Society) and Melanie Moreno (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at the D.C. JNF Community Breakfast.




whose roots date back to ancient humans detailing narratives via hieroglyphics (there’s a reason it’s called writing on someone’s “wall”). Throughout time, stories live on through their tellers. At JNF, we are fortunate to have some amazing storytellers. As part of our attempt to stay cutting edge and on the cusp of all things social, we organized our second successful social media executive committee to Israel. After months spent finding and cultivating this group, we ventured to Israel together for five full days of content gathering and enriching immersion. The work has only just begun, as we sift through the arsenal of photos, videos, quotes, blog posts, and other engaging content. One place we explored was the Besor Water Renewal Project, meeting with Dr. Clive Lipchin, professor at the Arava Institute and expert on trans-boundary water management. Besor is Israel’s largest dry river system. On one of the hottest days of Israel’s summer, in one of the hottest places in the country, we stood overlooking this dry riverbed and learned about the importance of the unique trans-boundary quality of this infrastructure. The watershed receives about 1.3 billion gallons of sewage water from Palestinian communities in the West Bank, as well as from neighboring Israeli farms. This particular watershed is a model for 16 other highly polluted trans-boundary streams in the area. With the development of Besor, we are laying the groundwork and opening the lines of communication for the kinds of projects that promote and encourage peace and

conversation. As Clive said to our group, “Just like water that flows across political borders, so too does pollution. Cooperation amongst neighbors is therefore essential to resolve both water and pollution problems for the benefit of all of us and our shared environment.” These are the kinds of stories and projects that we tell and will continue to tell in order to show the world what JNF—and Israel—is all about. As the stories gathered on our trip unfold on social media in the form of campaigns highlighting our work in Israel, look out for ideas about water and how Israel is the only country A Humans of JNF Facebook post in the world to have solved its water crisis, and is now sharing its ideas with others in need. Telling these stories will hopefully teach the world about the positives of Israel, which is something that we at JNF are so proud of driving—not the defensive or the negative narrative, but the positive, the things we teach the world. That’s one story we hope to tell for generations for generations—on social media, or the next great story-telling vehicle. n Follow us on Facebook (Jewish National Fund), Twitter (@jnfusa) and Instagram (@jnfusa). For more information, contact Miriam Braun at

Students Learn to Conserve Water EDUCATION AND AWARENESS are critical tools for preparing the next generation to make smart decisions regarding Israel’s water issues, how it concerns their everyday lives, and what they can do. JNF’s Rainwater Harvesting Program has had a meaningful impact on students since its inception in 2009. “We hung up signs all over the school,” said one student, “to remind people how important it is to save water. It became a matter of pride to learn how much water we were saving.” Funded by JNF, the Rainwater Harvesting Program was developed by Israeli schoolteacher Amir Yechieli with the dual purpose of conservation and education. Tanks installed on school rooftops collect and reuse rainwater that would otherwise be wasted, reducing the school’s reliance on other sources of water by 77%. Students of all ages are involved in the planning and management of the system and participate in a dynamic educational curriculum—led by Green Horizons members—that teaches about the water crisis and the need for conservation. They

learn how to test, examine, and repair the tanks installed on the school’s rooftop. Currently, 36 schools participate in the program, and the systems will be ready for the start of the Israel’s rainy season, which typically begins in November. “It helped us understand the importance of what we were doing,” said another student. “Our guide 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.” The curriculum also emphasizes smart water use habits at home. “I hung up a sign in the bathroom,” the student 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. It’s hard to ignore a child when they’re asking you to do something positive for the environment and for the country.” n 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 selfsustaining. To learn more, contact Tali Tzour at

TEENS TRAVELING TO ISRAEL LEARN ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER Students at AMHSI have an opportunity to learn about the role of water throughout Jewish history to the modern-day success story of the Israeli water industry, a model replicated by governments around the world. • 800.327.5980

stretching from the Mediterranean coast in Northern Israel to the Kinneret. The students camp outdoors, wade in natural pools, sometimes mountain bike, and of course learn about each historical and archeological spot they pass on the way. Besides the Yam le-Yam hike, the students kayak in the Jordan River, swim in the seas, and during winter, visit the natural hot springs of Hamat Gader in Northern Israel. The trip also affords the opportunity for students to visit the sites reflecting Israel’s impact on the water industry. Visit Israel today and you would never imagine that this was once an arid land with no agricultural development. Through support of JNF’s R&D and impressive technological advancements, Israel has overcome the desert climate becoming an oasis of life with a rich agricultural industry and a patent for water conservation in the Middle East. This is something AMHSI students get to witness first hand. As a part of their Israeli tech education, AMHSI students often visit Shafdan, the Dan Region Wastewater Treatment Plant and Biofilter facility in Kfar Sabah. During their travels throughout the land they witness the network of JNF Reservoirs built to help support Israel’s agricultural and domestic water needs. They learn about the impact of the water shortage on the lives of Israelis, the agricultural industry, and the technological developments needed to overcome water limitations. They also learn about the role of water in regional politics. At AMHSI, students travel throughout Israel, looking through their own lens, to better understand how the past and the present impact our future.



The Hebrew Bible acknowledges the importance of water from the very first verses in Bereishit (Genesis), to the detailed account of Israel’s bodies of water in the Biblical times. Fourteen of Israel’s 47 principal rivers are mentioned in the Bible, as well as all of Israel’s seas: the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Dead Sea, and the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret), which geographically is classified as a lake. Each of the rivers and seas in Israel holds a biblical or historical significance. Students from all around the world coming to Israel on Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) programs learn about the importance of water throughout Jewish history and witness the modern-day success of the Israeli water industry. AMHSI is an accredited semester abroad program for high school students where the land of Israel becomes a living classroom. Students from North America and around the world explore Israel and 4,000 years of Jewish history, while continuing with their regular high school studies. AMHSI campus—just twenty minutes from Tel Aviv—allows for an immersive Israel experience through informal encounters with Israelis, exposing students to the local culture, language, and environment, as well as providing them with a place to call home. AMHSI was founded in 1972 and has seen over 23,000 alumni. In 2013, JNF announced a new and expanded partnership with the AMHSI and integrated AMHSI into JNF’s broad array of educational initiatives. As a part of the curriculum, many AMHSI students go on one of the most popular internationally-acclaimed hikes in Israel called Yam le-Yam, or Sea-to-Sea,



THIS IS THE MAGICAL CITY OF JERUSALEM. A place different than any other. Come home for a visit with Jewish National Fund Travel & Tours.



Law & Justice Tour

Culinary, Wine & Music Tour

November 15 - 19, 2015 Join JNF on our first Lawyers for Israel Tour for a unique look inside Israel’s justice system.

June 3 - 11, 2016 Explore the sites, sounds, flavors and spirits of Israel as you experience the country’s rich food, wine & music scene.

CAARI: Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel

Young Professionals Tour

January 11 - February 25, 2016 Capture Israel’s spirit through community service and learn first-hand about the history of the land and current issues.

July 10 - 17, 2016 Join other Jewish singles and experience the sights, sounds, flavors and spirit of Israel on a unique and unforgettable journey.

Doctors for Israel Tour

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

February 14 - 18, 2016 Join healthcare professionals on a unique trip to Israel for a special look at Israel’s healthcare industry.

Spirit of Israel Spring Tour May 18 – 26, 2016 Enjoy luxury experience with access to exclusive sights, inspirational leaders, and unique opportunities to witness and participate in Israel’s extraordinary history and future as it continues to grow in the 21st century.

Birthright November 2015 - March 2016 Pre-register year-round. Visit and choose Shorashim as the trip provider

Alternative Break (for young adults 18-24) December 29 - January 6, 2016 or March 12 - 19, 2016 Loved Israel and can’t wait to get back? Join us this winter or spring! Visit

Negev & President’s Society Mission May 22 - 26, 2016 Negev Optional Extension: May 26-28, 2016 Experience Israel through an exclusive JNF lens and learn how JNF is enriching the land and people of Israel.

Sunshine Tour (for active adults 55+) May 29 - June 7, 2016 Renew your spirit and soul with a life-changing 10-day excursion through Israel.

For more information, contact 877.JNF.TOUR (877.563.8687) or visit

Byachad fall 2015  
Byachad fall 2015