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Together Summer 2015

B’Yachad: The Newsletter of Jewish National Fund

Pathway to


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


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AJPA ard er Aw o Rock w ellence c for Ex ational niz in Orga letters News




JNFuture at SXSW


JNF’s New Task Force on Disabilities


JNF went to South By Southwest (SXSW) for the first time, co-hosting a 250-person Shabbat dinner with #OpenShabbat and bringing the first Latin kosher food truck to the festivalgoers. We talked to some personalities on the Israeli startup scene about SXSW and how JNF fit in.


Israel’s Pathway to Independence


Humans of JNF - #LoveGrowsInIsrael

The story of Israel’s path to independence is kept alive for future generations by JNF’s work with the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites. Learn the stories of the heroic men and women who fought for our homeland and continue to inspire future generations. JNF’s new Task Force on Disabilities serves as an umbrella to support JNF’s initiatives with its partners. Our important work with Accessibility and Therapeutic Services ensures that people with disabilities have the opportunity to realize their full potential and live a quality life.

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: Atara Paris Winner of the AJPA Rockower Award for Excellence In Organizational Newsletters

Printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based ink

/jewishnationalfund /jewishnationalfund

JNF’s latest social media initiative is the Humans of JNF Facebook page, celebrating the everyday heroes of Israel whose lives have been touched by JNF in big and small ways. Learn more about this social campaign and the people who embody JNF’s vision.

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



Independence. Perhaps no other word has come to mean so many things to so many people. For Americans, nearly 240 years has passed since our Founding Fathers pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” on a document that serves as the common denominator in modern democracy. It was our 33rd president, Harry S. Truman, a farmer’s son from Missouri, who, after meeting Chaim Weizmann in the Oval Office in 1948, became convinced that destiny meant for him to use his office to champion for the statehood of Israel. On May 14, 1948, after Israel’s own Declaration of Independence was announced to the world, the United States became the first to recognize Israel; others followed. The road traveled since then has not always been easy. Then again, independence does not come easy, or without great rigor and pain. Fortunately, Jewish National Fund has been there every step of the way and continues to support, encourage, and invest in Israel’s future so that the generations to come will have greater opportunities to succeed. Growing up in Brooklyn, on a street named Herzl, one could say my path and connection to JNF was a matter of fate. While that may be true, it was indeed my parents, Irene and Irving Levine, themselves children of Eastern European immigrants, who early on shared the dream of Israel and displayed the JNF Blue Box in our home. That connection to Israel through JNF beckoned me to give to this great organization. That tradition continues in my own family with my wife, Randi, a Sapphire Society member, who has hosted many events and receptions to raise awareness and funds for JNF, and with our three children, Ben, Jessica and Dara, who serve on the boards and lead programs with JNFuture. As with many young people, they are linked to Israel because of an experience there, be it on Birthright, Alternative Spring Break, a study abroad program at Alexander Muss High School in Israel, or a family trip or JNF mission. Like most who visit, they never truly leave. The spirit of Israel – the land and its people – stays with you forever. As we celebrate our homeland’s pathway to independence, I hope you enjoy the many stories in this issue of B’Yachad that feature that spirit of Israel, the people that we call family, and the land that means so much to so many. You can always reach me at n


Laureine Greenbaum is National Chair of the JNF Parsons Water Fund.



Earlier this year, California Governor Jerry Brown ordered mandatory water use restrictions for the first time in California history, declaring that the state’s four-year drought had reached near-crisis proportions after a winter of record-low snowfalls. The situation in the United States stands in stark contrast to Israel’s modern, structured, and well-thought-out water system, with its five desalination plants, highest worldwide reuse rate of wastewater (85.6%), extensive monitoring of underground water supply systems for leakage, successful conservation program, and price rate for water that reflects its actual cost. As supporters of JNF, you know how JNF has contributed to this success by building reservoirs that hold recycled waste water for agricultural use and adding 1.5 percent to the Israeli water economy through the Shamir Drill, which accesses water more than a mile underground. The JNF Parsons Water Fund was created a decade ago during a time of severe drought to assist Israel in having sufficient water while the government planned and built desalination plants. The water level of Lake Kinneret, Israel’s fresh water lake, was so low that it was close to the pumping equipment at its bottom. Today, the drought has been mitigated, and desalination plants provide 50% of Israel’s drinking water. Israel’s strategic planning and smart innovations have helped secure its water supply for now and allow Israel to provide sufficient additional water for both Jordan and the West Bank, as required under the Oslo Accords. The JNF Parsons Water Fund still has much important work to do, especially with Negev communities not connected to the national water carrier or a municipal sewage system. • The Central Arava and Eilot are southern regions with extremely dry conditions and small farming communities, but no access to the national water system. Despite this, the Central Arava’s greenhouses miraculously generate 60% of Israeli produce for export. Both areas have been pumping water from overextended aquifers and the brackish water is becoming saltier. The Fund is looking into providing small desalination plants in the fields to treat the water on-site and is working with NewTech, a pioneering national government program that funds startups in the areas of water and energy, to find an economical way to accomplish this. • Project Wadi Attir, a community-based agricultural project that showcases the native Bedouin farming industry in a sustainable environment, has asked the Fund to build a constructed wetland to treat the wastewater from the Visitors Center, which would be reused to water the center’s grounds. The Fund’s wastewater treatment system will be part of an integrated infrastructure that will include solar/wind technology supplying the electric and thermal needs of the site, a biogas production facility, and a composting plant. • The Hebron stream flows through the Bedouin village of Um Batin, population 1,000, around 10km north of Be’er Sheva. While the Israeli government recognizes this village, it is not connected to a sewer network and has not constructed any system of its own. As a result, untreated sewage flows into the Hebron stream that continues all the way to the city and river of Be’er Sheva. The Arava Institute’s Center for Transboundary Water Management has proposed the construction of a specially designed on-site wastewater treatment and reuse facilities for off-grid communities such as Um Batin. • The Fund is working in tandem with the JNF Yerucham Task Force to oversee the water needs for tripling the population of the Negev town of Yerucham over the next 10 years. Plans include expanding a waste water recycling plant, extending pipes to new construction, and building a linear reservoir to create a smaller version of the Be’er Sheva River Walk, which would attract people to move to the area. • Finally, the Fund plans to underwrite 10 new Rainwater Harvesting School programs, work with two air force bases in the Negev to provide water for their recreational areas, and support Israeli high school students’ research in the international Stockholm Water Prize competition. The local Israeli winners will receive recognition with an award named after Zevi Kahanov, z’’l, the Fund’s former Staff Director. Every JNF donor should feel very proud of how much we have done and continue to do to enhance the lives of the Israeli people with the most vital element of life—water. n

JNF Program Areas


Community Building


Age 65 70 75 80 85 90 & Over

Rate* 5.5% 5.8% 6.4% 7.2% 8.1% 9.5%

JNF enhances quality of life in Israel by building new communities and bolstering existing ones in the Negev and Galilee.

Forestry & Green Innovations As an innovator in ecological development and a pioneer in forest creation, JNF has planted more than 240 million trees in Israel, providing luscious belts of green covering more than 250,000 acres.

*Single-life Gift Annuity

(Two-life rates are also available.)

“JNF’s Charitable Gift Annuity increases my annual income and allows me to donate more to JNF’s extraordinary work in Israel, based on the high rate of return combined with reduced tax payments.” -Kenneth Kaplan, Delray Beach, FL



Plant a tree in Israel in Memory of a Loved One Take part in a JNF time-honored tradition.

Water Renewal JNF has been at the forefront of water management and conservation in Israel for two decades, increasing the country’s total water supply by 12% and helping Israel become a world leader in water recycling.

Research & Development JNF has sponsored research initiatives in Israel as part of its efforts to cultivate the land and is a world leader in both technological and environmental innovation.

Trees for Israe l

Zionist Education & Advocacy JNF is the single largest provider of Zionist engagement programs in the U.S. and offers myriad ways to connect young American Jews to Israel, from trips to Israel and B’nai Mitzvah projects to Alexander Muss High School in Israel and advocacy programs on college campuses.

Heritage Sites “When you sha

ll come to the land

A Ring Of Thr ee

you shall plant

trees.” — Leviticus 19:23

Trees Will Be Pla nted In Memory Of

Robert Smith

Beloved Husban d & Father May This Ser ve As A Living Tribute To His Memory The Conrad Fam ily

800.542.TREE (8733) • JNF.ORG/TREES

JNF is committed to the preservation of historical sites associated with Israel’s rebirth. JNF works to ensure that the stories behind Israel’s history are properly documented and retold for future generations, and come to life through historical sites.

Accessibility & Therapeutic Services JNF is dedicated to ensuring that no member of Israeli society is left behind. Through a variety of initiatives, JNF provides cutting-edge rehabilitative services, special education, therapeutic riding centers, accessible parks, and medical care for people with special needs.

Project Spotlight: Lauder Employment Center IN AN EFFORT TO INVEST IN THE NEXT

Campaign All-Star: Dr. Seymour Rife DR. SEYMOUR RIFE HAS BEEN A valuable member of the Arizona Jewish community for 30 years, individually and together with his wife Sandy. His unwavering dedication to JNF, exemplified by his remarkable job as president of JNF’s Arizona board of directors, makes him a B’Yachad Campaign All-Star. “Dr. Seymour Rife has been an absolute blessing to JNF,” said Arizona Regional Director Deb Rochford. “I’m fortunate to have him as my president on Arizona’s board. He’s a well-respected positive thinker and he’s always considering new ways to grow JNF from the inside out.” In 1978, the Rifes moved from Toronto to Phoenix with their two daughters Rachel and Julie. Married for 41 years, they have six beautiful grandchildren. Seymour has practiced diagnostic radiology with Associated Radiologists Ltd. and East Valley Diagnostic Imaging for 30 years. Additionally, he has served as president and managing partner, as well as president of the medical staff at Mesa Lutheran Hospital. Seymour joined the JNF board a decade ago; within two years he joined the executive committee. He led Arizona’s annual campaign prior to being elected board president in 2013. A “take charge, make things happen” kind of guy, Seymour oversaw the region’s

largest JNF breakfast that drew nearly 900 guests. “I’ll be taking over as president, and feel lucky to have Seymour as my mentor,” said Toni Dusik. “He’s an inspiration who has overseen the largest campaign in our history. Seymour has created a leadership that is passionate about what JNF does and never lets us forget the importance of our work. In Phoenix, if you care about Israel, you care about JNF. Seymour has led that charge.” Seymour credits his parents for instilling in him a legacy of caring for the Jewish people, love of Israel, tzedakah, and tikkun olam (repairing the world). From an early age he remembers the special place that the JNF Blue Box held in his home. He has followed in his parents’ footsteps of being ultimate volunteers for Jewish and non-Jewish causes. The Rife’s love of Israel has grown stronger with each of the many trips they have taken there. Seymour has been to Israel eight times, twice on a JNF trip. “I have been friends with Seymour and served on the Phoenix JNF board with him for many years,” said Marc Kelman, assistant vice president, Blueprint Negev. “He’s the most passionate and dedicated person I know. He talks to everyone about JNF. In Arizona, Seymour is truly our voice in Israel.” n

In 2005, just 10 years ago, Jewish National Fund announced an ambitious Blueprint Negev plan to develop new communities across southern Israel, uplift poor Negev development towns, and engage in one of the largest community development projects in the history of Israel: the revitalization of Be’er Sheva. Because of that master plan and the ensuing coalitions formed by JNF, the Negev is finally progressing in the vision of BenGurion. Today one of the fastest-growing cities in Israel, the success of Be’er Sheva has spawned development in nearby Negev towns, like Ofakim and Yerucham. Blueprint Negev formed the strategic development plan for JNF and gave rise to much of what we have accomplished over the last decade. JNF is a forward-thinking organization that plans ahead and boldly shares a vision of possibility. Today, JNF’s $1 Billion Roadmap for the Next Decade guides our vision for the future. At the 2013 JNF National Conference in Denver, we announced a $1 billion fundraising goal over 10 years, and additionally we shared a master plan of initiatives and priorities for the next decade. Our plan calls for $400 million invested in community building projects like housing infrastructure, employment initiatives, North American Aliyah through our partnership with Nefesh B’Nefesh, and Bedouin community development. We allocated $350 million for ecology, investment in projects benefiting people with disabilities, and the preservation of Israel heritage sites. A further $250 million will be invested in the next generation through Zionist education and advocacy, leadership development and a Positively Israel campaign that highlights the accomplishments of Israel against a backdrop of hate and demonization. I am proud to share with you that since we announced our campaign goal in 2013, we have already raised in excess of $330 million toward our $1 billion goal and we are moving fast on our $1 Billion Roadmap action plan. We have launched a Go North initiative, based on our success of Blueprint Negev, and are at work on development projects in the Western Galilee, Beit She’an, and Valley of Springs. Our Housing Development Fund has begun investments in the expansion of six communities — three in the North and three in the South — and this past March we opened the JNF-Ronald S. Lauder Employment Center in Be’er Sheva. Now, mayors and officials from Southern towns come together regularly to devise new ways to cooperate, collaborate and share best practices – all under the umbrella of JNF. But even with these great successes and actions, there is so much more work needed to happen in order to reach our goals. Your support and involvement as a partner with JNF will help to continue to build the land of Israel for all the people of Israel. You can reach me at n


For more information, contact Donna Breitbart at or 212.879.9305 x226



generation of the Negev, this past March Jewish National Fund brought together 25 mayors from the Negev to inaugurate the Lauder Employment Center in Be’er Sheva, the first of its kind in Israel. Operated in partnership with JNF and Ben Gurion University (BGU), the center will offer comprehensive career services and provide guidance and resources to students and alumni of BGU and other area college graduates. JNF’s Blueprint Negev initiative has changed the face of Be’er Sheva and the Lauder Employment Center will help offer employment opportunities to current and future residents, fulfilling the vision of a prosperous southern Israel. “No one will move to the Negev or stay here if they can’t find work,” said Ronald S. Lauder, JNF Chairman of the Board and President of the Lauder Employment Center. “For me, this project is the realization of a dream. For the Ben Gurion University alumni to stay in the Negev, and for other Israelis and immigrants to be attracted to this region, there is a need for housing, infrastructure, and employment.” The Lauder Employment Center will serve as a vital resource to students and alumni, as well as assist businesses and potential employers throughout the Negev to find qualified employees. Each year, the center expects to provide guidance

and services to upwards of 4,500 students. These services will foster confidence and offer potential employees a competitive edge in the job market by providing all of the necessary tools for career development. Current services and activities include: • A series of employment consultations to evaluate skills and abilities, define interests, and provide career direction • Workshops on resume writing, the interview process, labor laws, and integration into the workforce • Developing personalized career plans to identify and reach short- and long-term career goals • Professional conferences for potential employers throughout the Negev • Job listings, career fairs, on-site interviewing, and employer “Spotlight Meetings” that will give students insight on businesses directly from the source JNF is committed to raising $500,000 annually to support the ongoing operations of the Lauder Employment Center. This center is an essential piece of the puzzle in the development of Be’er Sheva and the entire Negev region. n



JNF @ SXSW Known for its innovative technology panels, music sets, films, and startup brand showcasing, South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin was an ideal venue for JNF to showcase the original Startup Nation and share JNF’s vision with a new audience. For its first time at the festival, JNF partnered with #OpenShabbat to host a Shabbat dinner that drew 250 attendees. Another first: JNF sponsored the first-ever kosher Latin food truck, Kosher Carne, with delicious food by celebrity chef Deborah Benaim. As festival attendees waited in line, members of JNFuture Austin talked to them about JNF’s mission and why JNF wanted to be part of the SXSW conversation. We asked some new (and old) friends that we made about what they thought of JNF’s presence at SXSW.

David Yarus, mllnnl JNFUTURE

How many years have you been attending SXSW? What brought you to SXSW?

Brin g

in g I s r a e l to

I’ve been attending SXSW for four years, each year attending for the same reason - inspiration from friends, colleagues, and people from around the world who share my passion for social media, technology, and all things #future. #j n fs x


What did you know about the work of JNF before SXSW? What did you learn at SXSW? I have been well aware of JNF before SXSW, but seeing them at SXSW made me realize they “got it” on a different level. Do you think JNF should return to SXSW? If so, in what capacity? JNF should be there every year, for so many reasons: To connect with, engage, and inspire the next generation of Jewish entrepreneurs and philanthropists; to better understand technology trends, where the world is going, and how to stay relevant; and ultimately, to be one of the only Jewish organizations forwardthinking enough to have an active presence there! David Yarus is the Founder of mllnnl, a millennial marketing agency that helps global brands and organizations understand and engage the millennial audience. He is also the founder of JSwipe - the world’s largest and fastest-growing Jewish dating app – with over 100,000 users across 70+ countries.


sponsored by:

#OPENSHABBAT Productions

Chaim Haas, Glide How many years have you been attending SXSW? What brought you to SXSW? I have attended the Interactive portion of SXSW since 2010. The first year I went, I attended as a representative of the PR agency I was working for that was just beginning to develop a social media offering for our clients. After that first year, I have always gone to support the presence of clients like Foursquare and Skype at the festival. This year, I went to help raise awareness of Glide (, the Israeli live video messaging startup for which I now run Communications/PR. What did you know about the work of JNF before SXSW? What did you learn at SXSW? JNF is more than about trees. It is involved in funding all kinds of projects that connect the Jewish people to the land of Israel. Many of these programs are critical to the future of the land of Israel and the people who live there. Do you think JNF should return to SXSW? If so, in what capacity? Yes. The JNF has the opportunity to not only connect SXSW to Israeli startups, but to the land and culture of Israel. While this year’s food truck was a terrific effort, I would rather see JNF exposing SXSW attendees and the Austin food blogger community to Israeli food (and perhaps music), as well as to Israeli startups through a more “official” SXSW event that is open to all attendees that register. Plus, this will also make it possible to attract some of the more than 7,000 journalists who attend SXSW and can share with their audiences the strength of innovation coming out of Israel. n

Chaim Hass is Head of Communications for Glide, a video messenger app that sends and receives video messages that can be seen live (as they are being recorded) or later (like a text message).


Rising Star Deborah Benaim Cooks Up Latin-Inspired Kosher Food

Contact Deborah Benaim at and visit her website

Pollo con Aceituna (Chicken with olives) “This has been a staple at Shabbat dinner since I can remember. My grandparents grew up in Melilla (a Spanish colony in Morocco) and moved to Israel and then finally ended up in Venezuela where I was born. All along the way my family has adopted the foods from the many countries in which they’ve lived.”

Ingredients: 1 whole chicken deconstructed into breasts, thighs, wings, and drumsticks 1 bunch of thyme 1/2 cup white wine 1 head of garlic, chopped 1 white onion, chopped 1 liter of chicken stock (preferably homemade or low sodium if store-bought) 1/4 cup olive oil Flour Salt Pepper Castelvetrano Olives

Instructions: 1. Take chicken and season both sides with salt and pepper. 2. Dredge skin side of chicken with flour and set aside. 3. In a dutch oven, heat olive oil and sear the chicken skin side down until crispy. 4. Remove from heat (it’s ok if the chicken is not cooked all the way... just want to sear the skin). 5. Once you have seared all the chicken, add onion, garlic, sprigs of fresh thyme, and cook in the fat that you cooked the chicken in. 6. Once the onions and garlic start to become caramelized, add the chicken back into the dutch oven with the skin side up. 7. Add white wine and chicken stock. 8. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 2 hours until it is melting off the bone. About 15 minutes before the timer goes off, add the castelvetrano olives and crank up the oven to 400 degrees to crisp up the skin again. n


“Deborah’s SXSW menu was brimming with love, soul, and delicious flavors,” said Jessica Schapiro, JNF’s Manager of Affinities, who was there representing JNF. “Deborah’s commitment to cooking, paired with her love of Israel, made her the perfect partner for JNF’s SXSW food truck. Every dish tasted like traditional Venezuelan food with a modern and Middle Eastern twist. Deborah and her team’s energy and amazing food made the Kosher Carne food truck a SXSW highlight for hundreds of festivalgoers.” “The Kosher Carne food truck was my first time working with JNF, but I already knew it to be an amazing organization,” said Benaim. “It was such a pleasure to work with JNF and offer a new channel of connection through the vibrant and familial nature of food. With their support, we fused the Latin and kosher worlds through the Kosher Carne pop-up food truck and served over 1,000 SXSW attendees from Barcelona and Chile to New York and Miami. We brought people together in the dynamic city of Austin to converse and laugh over delicious arepas and salsa music, to learn about Venezuelan cuisine, JNF’s work, and the mission of #OpenShabbat. I can’t say enough how proud and humbled I am by all of the incredible feedback and the hard work of the Jewish National Fund and Kosher Carne family.” Benaim credits her grandmothers for instilling in her a love of cooking. From her memories of helping her grandmother cook when she was four years old to more recently spending a summer filming her grandmother making family recipes, she has taken the sentimental value of the foods that she grew up with and translated that into her food. “As a chef, Israel gives me so much inspiration,” she said. “Walking in the shuk, smelling the marzipan in the bakeries of Jerusalem, fresh produce that you don’t see in the United States… There are so many levels of my love for Israel. I have heritage and deep ties to Israel – my dad was born in Be’er Sheva and my grandparents still live in Ashdod. Aside from Israel being an amazing place, it has this power to create new memories that become nostalgic moments. “Food really brings people together,” Benaim continued. “You can talk about food, and you talk while you’re eating the food. It’s a beautiful tool.”


If food is involved, Deborah Benaim is a happy camper. A featured celebrity chef on NBC’s Food Fighters, consultant for cooking TV shows, and private chef in Los Angeles, she is a rising star in the food world. Jewish National Fund was thrilled to have Benaim as the head chef of Kosher Carne, the SXSW kosher Latin food truck sponsored by JNF, which was a hit amongst festival attendees at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX in March. Born in Venezuela, Benaim grew up in a richly multiethnic family: her mother is Venezuelan, her father is Israeli, her maternal grandparents are from Morocco and Eastern Europe, and her paternal grandparents are from Spain. That inspired her creative view on cooking, and also inspired her to challenge herself in cooking ethnically-inspired kosher food. “You don’t see a lot of ethnic food in the kosher community,” said Benaim, who was formally trained at Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant Spago Beverly Hills. “Translating ethnic cuisine into kashrut isn’t easy, but I like the challenge. You figure out unique ways to make dishes.” Looking to bring something exciting and innovative to her home state, Deborah chose to feature the arepa, a flatbread that is prominent in Venezuelan cuisine, on her SXSW menu. “I was excited to introduce people to arepas,” she said. “They’re a great food truck food: easy, fun, and full of awesome flavors that people haven’t tried before. It was an opportunity to cook the food I grew up with—my comfort food—and create awareness that this dish exists. I’ve always gotten great feedback when I’ve made them for parties. I love Latin food; it’s such fun, unpretentious food and you can find a way to make it your own.” Combining the vivid flavors of Latin cuisine and the world of kosher food, Benaim served up a menu that featured a variety of arepas, yucca fries, rice, beans, and plantain chips served with guasacaca, a Venezuelan avocado-based salsa. She even added a schnitzel arepa one day.


Spend a Day With JNF A journey up north along the scenic coastal route with Jewish National Fund takes you off the beaten path to discover places that you might never think of visiting. Here is a sample day tour to the north that you might find on one of our trips. If you’re interested in commissioning a trip that features a day like this, contact our Travel & Tours department at 877.JNF.TOUR (877.563.8687) or visit to see the wide range of trips we have to offer. Simply put, nobody knows Israel better than JNF.



8:30 AM: Caesarea

2:30 PM: Atlit Detention Camp

After a delicious Israeli breakfast at your hotel, depart Tel Aviv and begin the drive north. First stop is Caesarea, once the Roman capital of the region that is now one of Israel’s major tourist attractions. Channel your inner explorer as you survey the excavations of the Crusader’s city, the aqueduct, and the restored amphitheater, still used today as a popular venue for concerts. Interesting fact: an inscription inside the amphitheater is the only archaeological item that mentions Pontius Pilate.

Now that your belly is full and satisfied, continue north. Stop at Atlit, which JNF helped restore in partnership with the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS). During the tour, take the opportunity to experience some of the amazing stories of the 122,000 Jewish immigrants who were imprisoned by the British upon their arrival into Israel. Walk through the restored Galina ship, a replica of a ship that carried Jewish immigrants to Israel.

11:15 AM: LOTEM

4:15 PM: Ein Hod

Stop at an ecological farm in Emek HaShalom to learn about LOTEM – Making Nature Accessible, the leading organization in Israel that does amazing work at enabling people with disabilities to experience the beauty and joys of nature. A partner in JNF’s work for Accessibility and Therapeutic Services, LOTEM offers nature activities to 30,000 participants with special needs every year, including field trips, extracurricular activities, and creative workshops. During a tour along an inclusive trail and park, see LOTEM’s accessible wine and olive presses and the future site of an accessible “bakery.”

Continue to the picturesque artists’ colony of Ein Hod, on the slopes of Mt. Carmel. Take a leisurely stroll through the galleries and museums, which feature impressive works of contemporary art. Spend a few minutes at the Ein Hod Memorial Park, which serves as a reminder of the 2010 forest fire devastated the Carmel Region. The memorial symbolizes the area’s rebirth after destruction.

1:00 PM: Druze Village Visit the nearby Druze village of Daliyat El-Carmel, a colorful village on the slopes of Mount Carmel, for a traditional lunch with members of the local village and immerse yourself in the rich and unique culture of the Druze people. Enjoy an authentic and delicious lunch of olives, eggplant, cauliflower, cheese, tabbouleh salad, seasonal fruit, yogurt, baklava, and pita.

7:30 PM: Tel Aviv After an eventful day, return to Tel Aviv for dinner in the trendy new area of Sarona, which offers a special mix of history, food, and tranquility that stands out in the bustling city of Tel Aviv. A former German Templar colony, Sarona has been transformed by SPIHS into an innovative urban oasis of high cuisine, hip cafés, trendy shops, tranquil shops, and engaging playgrounds. Consider dining at Claro, a restaurant housed in an 1868 Templars building that once was a distillery and winery. For dessert head to Lechamim Bakery on Rehov Hahashmonaim. Enjoy Tel Aviv’s famous nightlife or head back to the hotel for a well-deserved rest.


Through a Bequest to JNF, Your Name Will Live On in Israel By Matt Bernstein, CFP, JNF Chief Planned Giving Officer

THOUGHT ABOUT YOUR LEGACY? Bill Miller has... He named JEWISH NATIONAL FUND in his Will “I support Jewish National Fund because it is the most effective way for me to participate in the development of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. Making a provision in my estate plan supports JNF’s long term work in Israel.” Bill Miller, Del Mar, California

Leave your Legacy to Jewish National Fund in your will or trust. Help build a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people, and receive recognition in Israel.

Contact a JNF Planned Giving Specialist Today! • 800.562.7526


There are several ways to leave a bequest and JNF’s planned giving specialists can assist you in the method that suits you best. In brief you can leave a: • Bequest of a sum – A precise dollar amount. • Specific bequest – Designate a specific asset to be used. • Residuary bequest – After all debts, taxes, and other bequests have been paid, designate the reminder of your property to be given to JNF. • Restricted Bequest – Tell us how exactly you would like the gift to be used: fund existing projects or create a new one. A JNF Planned Giving specialist can work with you and your advisors to provide specific language that can be custom tailored to ensure your wishes are carried out exactly as you desire. Here is a helpful planning tip: IRAs, 401ks and other similar retirement plans are among the heaviest taxed assets of your estate. By choosing these as bequests you can save taxes, increase the amount left to your heirs, and transfer the larger tax liabilities to JNF. If you would like more information call the JNF Planned Giving Department at 800.562.7526 or email us at Also, visit our new Planned Giving web site at, which offers helpful information, including a “Wills Planning Guide” that can be very useful as you plan your estate. We look forward to hearing from you. n


Over the years this column has dealt with some sophisticated and helpful planned giving strategies that offer our donors myriad benefits. From enhancing income through our gift annuity program to demonstrating the many benefits derived from donations of highly appreciated assets such as real estate, we have shown Jewish National Fund donors they can plan for their future while ensuring the work of JNF will continue. We call it a “win-win” scenario. One of the simplest ways to plan is to leave JNF as a legatee in your estate. In this case all you need to do is mention in your will that you would like to leave a sum of money to Jewish National Fund. What better way to commemorate a lifetime of good memories and successes or perpetuate the memory of a loved one, as well as secure your wishes for the future, than with a bequest in your will to Jewish National Fund? Through your bequest, your name and generosity live on via JNF’s critical projects in Israel, enabling the land to grow and fulfill its destiny on behalf of Jewish people everywhere. At the same time, your bequest may protect your assets from taxes and other expenses. After providing for your loved ones, there are numerous ways to help one of JNF’s visionary programs continue in your memory: Forestry and Green Innovations; Water Renewal; Community Building; Zionist Education; Research & Development; Heritage Sites; and Accessibility & Therapeutic Services.







LOS ANGELES 1. (L-R) Zeev Krieger, Zach Cohen, Mallory Lefland, JNFuture Los Angeles Chair and JNFuture National Social Media Chair Civia Caroline, Nikki Sharaf, and Jason Levine at the LA JNFuture Leadership Development Program meeting. 2. (L-R) Rubin Pikus and Allen Rishe in Israel on the JNF Mega Mission.

3. (L-R) Event Co-Chairs and committee members Francine Golden, Debbie Muer, Shari Weiner, Robin Muer, Judy Levin, Gina Raphael, Shirley Friedman, Kiana Kohan, Karen Halaszi, Claudine Unterman, Tania Greenberg, Linda Ruffer, and Judy Zweig at the Women for Israel – Israel Independence Day Brunch in Los Angeles.










(L-R) Consul General of Israel to New England Yehuda Yaakov recently visited the radio show, Radio Entrepreneurs, hosted by JNF New England Chairman of the Board, National Vice President of Corporate Sponsorships, and chairman and founder of Mage LLC Jeffrey Davis to speak about the business relationship between Israel and Massachusetts and the new direct EL AL flights from Boston to Tel Aviv. LFI member Kim Rubin (Kim M. Rubin Attorney at Law) with Chair of the Arava Institute’s Public Council and former Israeli Ambassador to France Daniel Shek, who presented a high-level briefing to LFI Society members.

3 Event Chair and Board member Alan Lobel, Capital District President Robert Ganz, featured speaker Gil Tamary, and National Assistant VP, Campaign Kenneth Segel at the first JNF breakfast in the Capital District.




(L-R) New England Board member Fred Young (BNY Mellon Wealth Management), Theodore Folkman (Murphy & King), Marc Mantell (Mintz Levin PC), Rich Hirschen (Gray, Gray & Gray CPAs), and New England Board member Russ Stein (Ruberto, Israel & Weiner) at the inaugural Entrepreneurs for Israel (EFI) Society meeting in Boston.


(L-R) JNF-Green Horizons Liaison Ido Reichman Eisikovitz updated Michael Kofman and Board of Directors member Marty Kofman about recent Green Horizons activities.


Entrepreneurs for Israel (EFI) member Kurt Steinkrauss (Mintz Levin PC), LFI and Executive Board member Jeffrey Woolf (Board of Bar Overseers), and Chairman of the Board and National Vice President of Corporate Sponsorships Jeffrey Davis (Mage LLC) at the inaugural EFI Society meeting in Boston.

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(L-R) David Lehrer, Executive Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies; LFI Sponsor and Board member Marc Zwetchkenbaum (Marc Z Legal Staffing), and former Israeli Ambassador to France Daniel Shek, who presented a high-level briefing to LFI Society members.


Members of the Yerucham Task Force at the new Yerucham training base while on JNF’s Mega Mission. (L-R) Yerucham Task Force Chair Geri Shatz, Boston Board member Zev Steinmetz, Bruce and Barbara Goldberg, and JNF/KKL Emissary Rami Hazan.


(L-R) New England & Capital District Director Sara Hefez, New England President Larry Cohen, Executive Board Member Jeffrey Woolf, National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, JNF-Green Horizons Liaison Ido Reichman Eisikovitz, Boston President Michael Blank, and Board member Russ Stein.












SOUTHERN 1 (L-R) Event Co-Chair Carole Salzberg, Marcy Friedland, Margot Alfie, Women for Israel Atlanta and event co-chair Roni Wolk,

Susan Heidt, Jill Harris, Janis Dickman, Marlene Sukkienik, Debbie Ravins, Aviva Postelnik, Women for Israel Atlanta co-chair Sharon Levison, and Melissa Bernstein at the 2nd Annual Ladies Who Lunch Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration in Atlanta.

5 (L-R) Yaki Hetz and Rosita Gaon at the Life of Service event in Houston.


6 (L-R) Zachary Sher, Beth Sher, David Perl, Samantha Perl, Aaron Sher, and Barbara Robin at JNF Austin’s First Annual Tu BiShvat

3 Lori Halpern and JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush at the 2nd Annual Ladies Who Lunch Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration in Atlanta.

7 (L-R) Tanny Berg; Ofir Fisher, Vice President of the OR Movement; Kelly Berg; and Elliot Berg in El Paso.

at a kick off for JNFuture

8 (L-R) Susan Stahl, Nina Mosier, Debbie Rosenberg, and Lauren Lewis at JNF’s 3rd Annual Breakfast for Israel in Austin.

4 (L-R) Shane Stein and John Karp at the JNF Breakfast in Dallas.

9 (L-R) Brent and Eileen Ladd at JNF’s Breakfast for Israel in Austin.










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10 4


7. (L-R) Terry Katz presented Dr. Stephanie Holzner with her Sapphire pin at the Women for Israel Brunch in Orange County, CA.

1. (L-R) Eli Shahmoon, Major General Doron Almog, and Dr. Joseph Shalev at the Las Vegas Love of Israel breakfast.

8. (L-R) Dr. Ralph Bassett and Judy Bassett at the Major Donor Weekend in Phoenix.

2. (L-R) Leo Beltnitsky, Major General Doron Almog, and Bobby Feldman at the Las Vegas Love of Israel breakfast.

9. (L-R) Dr. Steven Farber and Dr. Murray Goldberg at the Doctors for Israel Water and Wine event in Arizona.

3. (L-R) Las Vegas Board President Bernice Friedman and Neev Eden at the Las Vegas Tu BiShvat celebration.

10. (L-R) Stephanie Kelman, event chair Shelly Czopp, and campaign executive Hayley Magerman at JNFuture’s

4. (L-R) Jack Grynberg and Mountain States Regional Director Boaz Meir at the Denver Annual Breakfast. 5. (L-R) Jack Cohn, Senator Joyce Foster, Rabbi Steven Foster, and Danny Foster at the Denver Annual Breakfast. 6. (L-R) Marvin Meyers and Gene Kay at the Denver Annual Breakfast.

Shabbat in the Desert.

event at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.

2 (L-R) Regional Director Beth Gluck and Harry Berzack at a donor visit in Charlotte, NC.













5 (L-R) Dr. Keith Fishbein, former Israeli Ambassador Gideon Meir, and Dr. Nancy Feldman at the Temple Shalom Lunch


1 (L-R) Stuart and Estelle Price with Joel and Marsha Moran at the Naples Tree of Life™ Award dinner. 2 (L-R) Palm Beach Board President Art Silber, Arthur Lerner, Michael Azeez, JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, and Marty

Weiss at Baseballs, Bagels and JNF.

3 (L-R) SunTrust Corporate Sponsor and South Palm Board member Jeff Amkraut, SunTrust SVP and Sales Manager

Kimberly Cagiano, guest speaker Rebecca Shimoni-Stoil, SunTrust SVP Shawn Sackman, National Campaign Director Diane Scar and Palm Beach Board President Art Silber at the Winter Connection Breakfast in Boca Raton.

4 (L-R) Laura Salzer, JNFuture committee member Jon Solomon, Tampa Bay Board member and JNFuture committee chair Jillian Bandes, and Abby Sterensis at a JNFuture Shabbat dinner in Tampa Bay.

and Learn in Naples.

6 (L-R) Rabbi Marc Sack, Dr. Stu Bobman, Dr. Marvin Porter, former Israeli Ambassador Gideon Meir, Sherri Zucker, Juli Bobman, and Lesley Porter at a briefing in Ft. Myers.

7 (L-R) Judy Suberman and Lynn Fenster at a WFI wine tasting in Orlando.

8 (L-R) Jackie Levitt, Eve Homberger, and Linda Kaufman Weiss at the WFI Tu BiShvat Seder at the JCC in Orlando. 9 (L-R) Lawyers for Israel Co-Chair Barry Zisser at the inaugural LFI Breakfast in Jacksonville. 10 (L-R) Faye Rosing and Laurie Levin at a WFI wine tasting at the home of Charlotte Schwartz in Orlando.













11 (L-R) Dr. Jordan Steinberg, DFI Chair Dr. Dan Layish, Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby, and Dr. Danny Cohen at a DFI 17 (L-R) Executive Director of Southern Florida Dr. Roni Raab with JNF Project: Baseball Manager Peter Kurz, and guest dinner in Orlando.

speaker Dr. Glenn Copeland at the Home Run Reception for Project: Baseball in Jupiter.

12 (L-R) JNF-Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby with Dr. Allan Klaiman at a DFI dinner in Orlando.

18 (L-R) Cynthia Hertz, Judi Koch, and Estelle Mintz at the Winter Connection breakfast in Boca Raton.

13 (L-R) Marni Kriss, former Ambassador Gideon Meir, and Miami Board President Ron Kriss at a JNF breakfast in Miami.

19 (L-R) Palm Beach Director Laura Sherry, Lil Hassman, National WFI President Louise Dabrow, and South Palm Beach

14 (L-R) AMHSI Committee Chair Bob Werner and Reuben Schneider at a JNF breakfast at Akerman LLP in Miami. 15 (L-R) Broward Past President Rebecca Fischer and former Ambassador Gideon Meir at a Lunch and Learn in Weston. 16 (L-R) Melanie Fishman with Esther and Sid Dinerstein at the BallenIsles cocktail reception in Palm Beach Gardens.

Director Lee Lebovich at the WFI thank you luncheon in West Palm Beach.

20 (L-R) Sydelle Sonkin and Vivian Lieberman at the BallenIsles cocktail reception in Palm Beach Gardens. 21 (L-R) Ilana Goldenberg and Danielle Halevi at a JNFuture Shabbat dinner hosted by Laura Salzer in Tampa Bay.








22 (L-R) Sandra Crain with Rabbi Jack Engel, Rabbi Menachem Jaroslawicz, Rabbi Greg Kanter, Alan Graubard, Marty Teitelbaum, and Barbara Grau at the Delray Beach Community-Wide Synagogue Breakfast.

23 (L-R) Roberta Robinson, Eva Schlanger, and Gloria Slass at the WFI thank you luncheon in West Palm Beach. Benjamin Sherry, and Daniel Mantzoor at the Winter Connection breakfast in Boca Raton.

25 (L-R) Andrea and Elaine Sussman at the WFI thank you luncheon at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.



1. Congregation Or Zarua Choir at the Upper East Side Community Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration in New York City. in New Jersey. 3. Sandor and Ruth Frankel, Walter and Tina Panzirer, JNF Israel Operations Development Officer Ariel Kotler, and JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush visited the tunnels in Halutza.

4. (L-R) NJ & Westchester NY Area Director, Israel Advocacy and Education Anna Richlin; Westchester Board Co-President Caren Hammerman; Westchester Board member Diane Ash; Jay Shofet, Director, Parternships and Development for the Society of Protection of Nature in Israel; Rabbi Michael S. Friedman at Temple Israel in Connecticut.






5. (L-R) Helene Hammerman; Dr. Curtis Hammerman; Long Island Regional Director Howard Ingram; Noa Zer, Resource Development Director, Central Arava Regional Council; and Long Island Board President Michael Kessler at a Long Island parlor meeting.


(L-R) Ed Ward, Long Island Board President Michael Kessler, and Long Island Regional Director Howard Ingram at Hollis Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

7. (L-R) New York Board member Joan Muss, Westchester Board members Lynn Jacob, Caren Hammerman, and Adele Morton, JNF Westchester Director Stephanie Balkin, and Matana Ramati at a WFI program in Westchester.

8.(L-R) Andrew Weiss, David Rome, Michael Breskin, and Lauren Roberts at a JNFuture Tu BiShvat event.


2. (L-R) Susan Gutmann, JNF-KKL Emissary Tali Tzour, Judy Siboni, Suzette Diamond, and Robin Feuer at a WFI cooking event





9. (L-R) Larry Inbger, Charles Skop, Josh Kardisch, Ron Ben-Bassat, Rebecca Shimoni-Stoil, Bradley Segel, Jeffrey Schwartz, and Mitchel Weiss at a Long Island LFI event.

10.(L-R) Ilaria Fleischer, Olivier Sarfati, Senior Campaign Executive Jodi Perlmuth Popofsky, Lt. Col. Tiran Attia, Director of Special in Uniform, and Suzanne Dance at a breakfast briefing at Citigroup in New York City.

11.(L-R) Westchester Board President Caren Hammerman, Westchester Director Stephanie Balkin, Adele Morton, and Matana Ramati at a WFI briefing in Westchester. 12.(L-R) Hillary Muss and Jonathan Gertman, vice chair of JNFuture New York, at the Upper East Side Community Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration In New York City.

24 (L-R) Volunteers from Donna Klein Jewish Academy High School Max Moed, Bryant Meyer, Eli Grabelsky, Maya Azouli,













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7 (L-R) JNFuture members Ari Stanger, Aliyah Furman, Courtney Kimmel, Campaign Executive Kara Kimmel, JNF President Jeffrey



1 (L-R) Hosts Scott and Cheryl Metzger received a tree certificate at a Central New Jersey parlor meeting.

3 Gilad Mesica with guest speaker Micah Halpern at a Central New Jersey parlor meeting.

2 Phyllis Solomon and Central New Jersey Campaign Executive Michael Zimmerman at a Central New Jersey parlor meeting. 4 (L-R) Central New Jersey Board member and Major Gifts Chair Alyssa Russo, WFI Steering Committee member Lynn Farscht,

E. Levine, Danielle Hankin, Alexander Hankin, Chad Holtzman, and Amy Holtz at Eastern Pennsylvania’s Tree of Life™ breakfast.

8 (L-R) Jeffrey Schwartz, JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine, Terry Katz, and David Rittenberg at Eastern Pennsylvania’s Tree of Life™ breakfast in Philadelphia.

9 (L-R) Rabbi Moshe Schwartz, Seth Mirowitz, Jason Kreisman, and Alex Weimberg at Beer, Cheese and Trees, a Tu BiShvat celebration in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Central New Jersey Board and Makor member and WFI Co-Chair Marina Kirschenbaum, and Heidi Kuperman, Executive Director of New Jersey at the first Paint the Town event held by WFI of Central New Jersey.

10 (L-R) Rabbi Aaron Krupnick, Cantor Jen Cohen, Rabbi Micah Peltz, and Rabbi Gary Gans greeted by Ariel Kotler, JNF

5 Michelle Finchler, Hilary Alterman, and Robin Alterman, new JNF guests to WFI in Central New Jersey.

11 (L-R) Southern New Jersey Board member and Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) liaison Dr. Bob Belfer, AMHSI Dean

6 (L-R) Past President of Philadelphia Board Richard Cohen, Richard Gering, Robert Zuritsky, Joseph Zuritsky, Evelyn Spritz, Joseph Wolfson, and Robert Fox (back) at Eastern Pennsylvania’s Tree of Life™ breakfast in Philadelphia.

Development Officer, Israel Operations at the Ayalon Institute in Israel.

David MitchelI, and Southern New Jersey Board member and Major Gifts Chair Dr. Bob Benedon, during David’s visit in Southern New Jersey on behalf of AMHSI.









1.(L-R back row) Maryland Women’s Campaign for Israel members Ellen Rosenberg, Debbie Spector, Jayne Klein, Ellen Quinn, Felice Repas, and Shuli Raffel; (L-R front row) Susan Hackerman, host Faith Wolf, Naomi Amsterdam, and Nanci Seff at a Persian Purim cooking event in Baltimore.

2.(L-R) Maryland President Frank Spector, past Maryland President Steve Cohen, Lou Narrow, and Brian Rosenzweig, co-founder of JANVEST Technologies, at a LFI luncheon in Baltimore.

3.(L-R) DC JNFuture board members Nicole Reisman, Evan Hoffman, and Marc Kramer at the DC JNFuture Winter Speaker Series with guest speaker Jay Footlik, CEO of Global Policy Initiatives.

4.(L-R) Women’s Campaign for Israel Members Ellen Quinn, Nanci Seff, Jayne Klein, and Susan Hackerman at a WFI leadership meeting in Baltimore.



5.(L-R top row) Lynn Kapiloff, Baruch Fellner, Ken Krupsky, Steve Cohen, Regional Director Stuart Diamant-Cohen, and

Andy Klein; (L-R bottom row) Host Jonathan Fishman, Gary Kushner, National Campaign Director Diane Scar, Dr. Chet Stein, Ellen Rosenberg, Dr. Adrienne Rulnick, and Joel Friedlander at the annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Leadership retreat in Baltimore.

6.(L-R) DC President Ken Krupsky with Hura Mayor Muhammad Al-Nabari of Project Wadi Attir on the recent JNF Mega Mission in Israel.

7.Nancy Stow, Sindi Summerfield, Joey

Malin, and Lauri Malin visited the dedication plaque for their grandparents, Aaron and Rose Schnaper, at American Independence Park Visitors Center in Israel.

8.Jeffrey Menick proudly stood beside his donor recognition plaque at the donor garden in Aleh Negev.






6 4 (L-R) Ido Eisikovits of Green Horizons with Western Pennsylvania Director Amy Jonas, JNF Israel Operations Development


1 (L-R) Event Chairs Andrea Amzaleg, Chicago Board President Marcia Rubin, Lori Abrams, Karen Budin, and Susan Sacks at the Tu BiShvat Community Celebration in Chicago.

Officer Ariel Kotler, and Sylvia Elias at a private dinner reception at the home of Sylvia and Norman Elias.

5 (L-R) Southern Ohio and Kentucky Co-President Jan Armstrong Cobb with Diane Weber and Elece Kovel at a JNF VIP reception.

Rabbi Cindy Enger of Congregation Or Chadash, Rabbi David Wolkenfeld of Anshe Sholom, and Rabbi Michael Zedek of Emanuel Congregation recited from Israel’s Declaration of Independence at the Yom Ha’atzmaut Community Celebration in Chicago.

Ronna Schneider, Southern Ohio and Kentucky Co-President Dr. Ron Solomon, and Southern Ohio and Kentucky DFI Co-Chair Dr. Alan Weber at a Doctors for Israel dessert reception in Cincinnati.










7 Rabbi Jim Bennett of Congregation Shaare Emeth addressed the St. Louis Annual Breakfast. 8 (L-R) JNF Israel Operations Development Officer Ariel Kotler, Western PA 2015 Guardian of Israel honorees David and Meryl

11 (L-R standing) Judy Danenberg and Kathy Riefer; (L-R seated) Cheryl Gerson, Merris Groff. and Amy Weiss at a meeting of the Steering Committee to plan the Western Pennsylvania Guardian of Israel Award Dinner honoring Meryl and David Ainsman.

Ainsman, and Ido Eisikovits of Green Horizons in Pittsburgh.

12 (L-R) Diane Ellis, Lana Jacobson, Debbie Orlansky, and Susie Kopit at the Northern Ohio WFI breakfast.

9 Event host Aimee Guttman (standing) with Jami Edelheit, Marci Blachman, and Lana Gallop at a WFI brunch in Cincinnati.

13 (L-R) WFI Vice President Nina Paul presented Northern Ohio Board member Joni Wasserman with her Chai Society necklace.

10 (L-R) Breakfast Co-Chairs Barry Cervantes and Bob Olshan, JNF-LOTEM Liaison Alisa Bodner, co-chair Iris Salsman, guest speaker 14 Northern Ohio Board members Marcy and Brad Robbins in Israel celebrated daughter Abbey’s Bat Mitzvah in Israel. Howard Rosenman, Bob Cohn, co-chair Dan Kweskin, and Midwest Director Eric M. Goldstein at the St. Louis Annual Breakfast.


2 (L-R) Chicago JNFuture Board members Dana Rubin, Jason Zenner, and Amanda Feder at the JNFuture Purim event in Chicago. 6 Southern Ohio and Kentucky DFI Co-Chair Dr. Eugene Minevich with guest speaker Dr. Fred Finkelman, National DFI Co-Chair Dr. 3 (L-R) Rabbi Shoshanah Conover of Temple Sholom, Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann of Mishkan, Rabbi David Russo of Anshe Emet,



Couple’s Bequest to Continue Legacy of Love of Science and Israel GLORIA AND HANS SCHOTT LIVED IN



Philadelphia for most of their married life, which spanned 60 years. Theirs was a relationship that was built on a lifelong love of science and commitment to Israel. Hans was born in Germany. His family fled Nazi Germany in 1936 to Brazil, and Hans came to the United States for graduate school and met Gloria while working in New Haven, Connecticut. The couple lived in Fort Lee, NJ and in Wisconsin, before settling in Philadelphia. Sadly, Gloria passed away in January 2014 and Hans passed away three months later. The couple left a bequest to JNF. “They were a very private couple,” said Barbara Tabachnick, Gloria’s sister. “We knew they wanted to give their money to Israel. Hans’ family had to escape Hitler and Israel became central to his thinking. Gloria and I were brought up with the little Blue Box in the kitchen, so that memory may have sparked their connection to JNF.” A researcher, Hans worked in the area of chemistry and polymers going from the private sector to government,

and eventually into academia, a reverse of the path most people take. “He often said that in his lab is where he felt closest to God,” said Joan Tabachnick, Gloria and Hans’ niece. Gloria was Hans’ helpmate, a woman who Joan described as warm, welcoming and intensely curious. Her life was devoted to helping him. She too worked most of her adult life in science administration, but she also typed up all his papers and was the one to learn how to use a computer. “Without her, his research would not have flourished as quickly,” said Barbara. “Hans always had a paper he wanted to write. Even after he retired and couldn’t be in the lab anymore, he had so much research in his files that he wanted to publish. That was his life.” The Schott’s bequest will fund the Research and Alternative Energy and Environmental Sciences Center in the Arava, currently under construction. In addition to conducting research, the center, which will bear Gloria and Hans’ name, will provide jobs and opportunities for people to move to the region. The center will serve as a research hub for the study of renewable energy, geology, hydrology, and archaeology. The laboratory will attract researchers and students from Israel and neighboring countries and promote regional cooperation in the field of renewable energy to leverage development on both sides of the IsraelJordan border.

Jewish National Fund 2 0 1 5

Jewish National Fund

invites you to its



OCTOBER 26-26, 2015 T H E FA I R M O N T C H I C A G O , M I L L E N N I U M PA R K



with JNF’s highest honor, The Shalom Peace Award

Keynote Speaker


Permanent Representative of the State of Israel to the United Nations

Jewish National Fund’s National Conference brings together hundreds of committed Jewish leaders from across the country to learn about the key issues of the day that affect us in the U.S. and in Israel. For more information, call 855.356.0224 or email

Register today at

“Science was what we hoped the donation would go towards; it’s a fitting tribute,” said Han’s niece Cecilia Schott. “All of us in our family want to see peace in Israel. We feel that the work achieved at the center will act as an ambassador for Israel and help extend positive connections for Israel all over the world.” 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

On the

Path toward




srael’s Independence Day marks the establishment of the State of Israel and the end of the British Mandate. In 1948, on the fifth day of the Jewish month of Iyar, David Ben-Gurion, the state’s first prime minister, declared the country’s independence in an historic announcement in Tel Aviv. Israelis mark the holiday with various traditions, including scenic hikes, musical performances, and the well-known mangal (family barbecue). Many Israelis also visit sites of military or historic significance, seeking to infuse the day with an appreciation of the people and events that paved the path to independence. JNF spoke to Dr. Mordechai Naor, an internationally renowned scholar of the life and history of Israel and the Jewish people. Dr. Naor shared valuable insight on the importance of historical sites in connecting Israel’s past, present, and future: Independence Day did not happen in a vacuum; a series of events led up to Ben-Gurion’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. Why is it important to remember these individual moments in Israel’s history? You probably know Yigal Allon’s famous saying: “A nation that doesn’t remember its past - its present is uncertain and its future is unclear.” History is important not just for the sake of remembering, but also for comprehending the present and for building the future. Every nation builds traditions based on its history. The Jewish nation in Israel has two histories, really. One is the ancient history, based on our understanding of archaeology and written descriptions. The other is modern history, from the first Yishuv communities that formed outside the Old City walls in Jerusalem to all the subsequent aliyot,

to this very day. When looking at our recent history, we can identify tachanot baderech (stations along the way) – people and places that, taken together, tell the story of Israeli independence. When people visit these places, they understand the powerful drama that unfolded, the lives lived and lost, as the State of Israel came into being. What should future generations take from the stories of the establishment of the State of Israel? How can we make Israel’s history interesting and relevant for them? Younger generations need to see that things did not happen “overnight” here, that the reality we see before us is not to be taken for granted. It is also important to understand that Israel’s history is very, very recent, and therefore even more relevant to the ongoing development of the State, i.e., their present and future. Site visits offer much more than even the best teacher can instruct in a classroom. They bring the personal stories and voices of the country’s early pioneers, soldiers, and politicians to life, helping young people understand the sacrifice others made to create a Jewish state in the land of Israel – not for themselves as individuals, but for the sake and legacy of the entire Jewish people forever. Amazing things happened in these sites. The experience of these places, mediated by well-trained guides and welldesigned exhibits, speaks volumes. The historic site not only retells the story of what happened, but also provides a window into how and why things happened. Are places like Independence Hall and Ben-Gurion’s home in the Negev significant in telling his story? Should these sites be modernized, or should they be maintained to reflect that moment in time?

When people visit Ben-Gurion’s home in the Negev, they see it just as it was when he left it. It makes him a real person. When they visit Independence Hall, everything has been restored to its condition at the moment Israel’s independence was announced. Young people stand in the very place where their grandparents or great-grandparents stood, and they hear Ben-Gurion’s voice announcing the establishment of the State. In such a setting, they feel a part of history, and get caught up in the wave of idealism that characterized that moment. Once upgrades to the second and third floors are complete, visitors will find all sorts of interactive exhibits that smartly and effectively use modern technology. This is also important, it is their language. Both of these experiences, the preserved past and the modern interpretations together, help us to make sense of the many-layered and continually evolving story of the State.

There are more than 150 heritage sites around the country that, thanks to JNF and the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS), are open to the public to tell important stories of Israel’s history. Each one of the sites was preserved, keeping in mind how to create an interesting visiting experience for the public. JNF and SPIHS are continuing to identify important places and are working closely together on developing them. To learn more and donate to JNF’s work with SPIHS, visit

The Significance of


the Battle of

Tel Hai

18 A tour group at Tel Hai


alman Belachovsky was 15 years old when he left the comforts of his well-to-do family home in Odessa to travel to Palestine to study at the Gymnasia in Herzliya. While most of his peers went on to form the early kibbutzim in the center of the country, Zalman followed his sense of adventure and idealism, abandoning his studies altogether to join a group of Zionists on its way to settle the wild Upper Galilee. To get there, he traveled by wagon from Jaffa to Haifa, from Tiberias to Metulla, eventually landing in Tel Hai, where he worked to strengthen the small but persistent community there. In 1918, settlers from the Galilee Farmers Union had re-settled the area, first purchased by Baron Edmond de Rothschild in 1893, braving harsh conditions and often hostile neighbors to establish a Jewish presence in the northern region of Palestine. Reinforcements were slow to arrive as leaders of the Yishuv debated whether it was sensible to maintain the dangerous Galilee region. In 1919, the Galilee Defense Committee dispatched Joseph Trumpeldor to Tel Hai. On March 1, 1920, a group of armed men attacked the settlement. Under Trumpeldor’s command, the defenders of Tel Hai fought heroically, but eventually were forced to evacuate after six soldiers fell. As Trumpeldor famously stated, as he lay dying after the battle, “Never mind, it is good to die for one’s country.”

The events of Tel Hai mark a turning point in the history of the Yishuv. Following the historic battle, survivors returned to rebuild Tel Hai, despite strong sentiment within Yishuv leadership to abandon the Upper Galilee settlements. These dedicated pioneers established a stable presence that effectively guaranteed the inclusion of the Upper Galilee in the territory of the British Mandate, and later within the boundaries of the State of Israel. Zalman fought valiantly, and survived the battle relatively unscathed. He was one of the last to leave, evacuating the wounded one by one to nearby Kfar Giladi, then walking 26 kilometers to the village of Ayelet Hashachar. Zalman eventually settled down in the center of the country, where he worked in construction and raised a family. He and his wife are buried, along with other founders of Tel Hai, next to the famous “lion memorial” near the Courtyard. Today, his son Michael and grandson Yair, an officer in the IDF Education Corps, are active participants in the activities of the Tel Hai Courtyard. They visit the site frequently and speak nationwide with groups of students about the significance of what happened at Tel Hai. The small museum on the site, operated by the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS)

By Leiba Chaya David

and supported by JNF, celebrates the perseverance and heroism of the residents of Tel Hai. In the beautiful courtyard of the carefully restored buildings, dynamic guides take visitors on a journey through early pioneer life. Children are invited to take part in farming tasks using traditional agricultural tools, and have the opportunity to dress up in period costume. An exciting multi-media exhibit reenacts the scene of Tel Hai’s final battle. A small but important collection of artifacts and writings explores the contribution of Tel Hai’s brave and resourceful women. But the Tel Hai Courtyard seeks to do more than just tell a story. As director Tali Pigelson explains, “This is not just a battle site, or even a museum. It is a meeting place of culture, landscape, history, and community.” Tali explains that the Galilee of today faces many of the same challenges that early Tel Hai residents faced. Schools, hospitals, and other institutions have fewer resources. Jobs are harder to find. When the region is under threat, help is slow to arrive. Tzach Shmueli, the Tel Hai Courtyard’s educational coordinator, explains how the self-labeled “heritage center” is working to provide a solution for strengthening the Galilee: “We are not just teaching about the past here. Part of our mission is to create a sense of community and solidarity among people living in the north, and to forge links to other parts of the country at the same time. We try to encourage the young people who visit here – students, soldiers, and others – to feel like the Galilee can be a real option for them when they choose where to settle down.” When asked what Tel Hai has to teach future generations of Israelis, Michael is ready with a list of essential values: love of the homeland, faith in the righteousness of your path, dedicated friendship, mutual assistance, and most importantly, to believe that every small thing that you do can change history.

Zalman Belachovsky’s son, Michael, speaking at Tel Hai




independence and the newer arrivals. “We were called Sabonim, the ‘soaps,’ because the Germans…” Mayer can’t finish the sentence. “It turned out that this was never true,” he says, dismissing the rumor that Germans made soap out of Jewish fat during the Shoah. Even so, Mayer says, he wouldn’t change his history. “I saw the world when there was no Israel; now there is an Israel, this is a momentous miracle.” After 1946, most illegal immigrants were diverted to camps in Cyprus rather than Atlit, which was closed permanently in 1948. The disinfection building, barracks and other facilities sat abandoned. In the 1970s, when the land was slated for development, a group of students physically blocked the bulldozers’ path. The camp was saved and partially restored as a heritage site. Thanks to SPIHS, Atlit’s buildings, photographs, and artifacts were preserved and opened to the public. The site features an interactive experience aboard the restored Galina ship, a replica of a ship that carried Jewish immigrants to Israel. A new project is bringing a replica from Haiti of an airplane that was used in 1947 by the Haganah for a heroic operation that brought illegal immigrants to Israel from Baghdad. Today, the Atlit Detainee Camp has taken on a broader role, and development of the site continues with JNF’s assistance, mainly focusing on developing the massive online database of journeys, artwork and heroes ( Staff is racing against time to collect testimonies and record stories like Mayer’s before they’re lost. He still returns to Atlit to share his experiences. “I want to show the people who come there the longing to come to Israel at a time when you couldn’t cross the sea. “The Holocaust is not only about those who were killed; it’s about those who were uprooted. Atlit is a symbol of the madness of the world.”


itzchak Mayer is a successful man. He served as Israeli ambassador to Belgium and Switzerland and now, in his early 80s, continues to write and teach. But behind Mayer’s accomplishments are bleak memories: fleeing Belgium and France during World War II, and finally, in 1946, his arrest in Israel, at age twelve. His first glimpse of Israel was of armed officers and barbed wire. At the British detention camp at Atlit, just south of Haifa, Mayer passed through the disinfection building with its cavernous, sinister shower room. “We were all to be sprayed with DDT,” he recalled. “We were a kind of a disease, a walking disease. It was so reminiscent of Europe. Atlit had the look of a little concentration camp. The soldiers, the barracks, the guns.” Born in Belgium in 1934, Mayer fled to France with his family in 1940. When the Nazis arrested his father, it was up to Mayer, then eight, to speak to the Gestapo, since his mother’s papers were forged and she did not speak French. Mayer’s father was taken to Auschwitz and his pregnant mother smuggled her sons through freezing snow to Switzerland. After the war, the British allowed only 100,000 Jews to enter Palestine annually. Mayer and his brother received immigration papers, but his mother and the baby didn’t. “My brother and I were legal,” he said. “My mother and little brother were deemed criminals.” The family returned to France to wait. “There were thousands of people… all uprooted from the camps of Europe. They had no belongings, the old people looked broken.” But there was also hope. “The young people were dancing at night. They wore uniforms of the youth movements that still exist to this day: Bnei Akiva, Dror.” Finally, a ship arrived with room for 600 legal immigrants. Thousands more boarded without papers. “There were children in suitcases, smuggled in.” Halfway to Palestine, organizers had the passengers cast their lot in together. “Everybody had to throw their certificate into baskets. We all became illegal immigrants, the certificates were confiscated, thrown into the sea.” When the ship arrived in Haifa, British buses herded the refugees straight to Atlit. “These people came from Buchenwald, from Majdaneck, Ravensbruck. Here they arrive into Eretz Yisrael… and they are taken into a camp.” But even there, on either side of the barbed-wire walls, “stood thousands of Israelis, shouting names… Maybe somebody survived the war, somebody survived the extermination camps. They were standing there shouting names… this is where my mother heard, ‘Winkler, Winkler!’ She found her sister, who had arrived five years before.” Though Israel then was a land built by immigrants, there was sometimes rivalry between Jews who had fought for

By Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod


Journey to Freedom



of a Secret

Bullet Factory I

t was happenstance that Laurel Fairworth found herself at the Ayalon Institute. A few years ago, she promised her dying mother that she would visit Israel. On a 2012 Federation mission of 15 buses, hers was the only one that went to the secret bullet factory. “I remember thinking, ‘this will be boring,’” she said. “But as soon as I walked in, I felt my mother. And I thought to myself, ‘oh my god, this has the makings of a documentary.’” A TV reporter for 20 years and Today Show producer for the last decade, Fairworth, who also owns a PR/ marketing firm, recognized that the Ayalon Institute was a story worth telling and is now creating a movie that she is hoping will make it to the 2016 film festivals. Built on Kibbutzim Hill that was established outside the city of Rehovot in 1933 as a facility to train groups for kibbutz life, “Ayalon Institute” was the code name for the clandestine underground munitions plant that today is a national museum. In 1945, the Haganah approached an incoming group of kibbutzniks with the task of building an underground factory to prepare for the imminent war against the Arabs. They took on the task, and an underground factory the size of a tennis court was built 24 feet below ground. They hid two secret entrances with an operating laundry at one end to cover the noisy machinery and a working bakery at the other to disguise the factory smells. The factory manufactured more than five million bullets over a period of three years right under the noses of the British, who had a military training base within walking distance. The 45 people working in the secret bullet factory had to maintain absolute secrecy. The secret was kept until SPIHS, led by Shlomo Hillel and Yehuda Dekel, worked to preserve the original factory, and then opened it as a visitors center to the public.

Wendy Ross Photography

When Fairworth discovered that a handful of the bullet factory workers were still alive, “that’s when I decided to make this documentary,” she said. Fairworth first discovered JNF because she wanted to partner with an organization that was benefitting Israel. When she learned that JNF was involved with SPIHS in preserving heritage sites, including the Ayalon Institute, she knew JNF was the obvious choice to be the film’s fiscal sponsor. She raised enough money to go back to Israel and shoot two interviews. One was with Shlomo Hillel, former Speaker of the Knesset, Minister of Police, and Minister of Internal Affairs, who worked in the munitions factory and currently serves as president of the SPIHS, which manages the site. The other was with Yehudit Ayalon, who at age 19 worked 10-hour shifts in the factory and even took its name as her own. The timing was opportune because Yehudit passed away the night before Fairworth returned to Israel to conduct further interviews with other members. “That’s part of what makes this project so compelling,” said Fairworth. “Besides how important what they did is, and the guile and gumption they exhibited, it’s important to complete this project before it’s too late.” Fairworth also recently interviewed two battalions of IDF soldiers, because “I wanted to show why it would resonate today,” she explained. “These soldiers told me that this story was an inspiration to them. They felt part of a bigger cause; that they were standing on the shoulders of others who had come before them. “I found that pretty inspirational: what these people did 70 years ago is still remembered and still making an impact. It’s nice to give these last survivors their due. There are so many heroes who contributed to Israel surviving its infancy and becoming what it is today.” Fairworth is currently raising the additional funding needed to finish the film. Further down the road will be some significant milestones: the 70th anniversaries of the establishment of the bullet factory in 2017, of the State of Israel in 2018, and of the war’s end and the bullet factory’s closing in 2019. She plans to gift a copy of the film to the museum and to the State of Israel and hopes to take the film on a ‘Jewish Heroes’ education tour to synagogues, interfaith groups, and universities with the hope of spreading tolerance. Learn more about her project at

“There are so many heroes who contributed to Israel surviving”

Wendy Ross Photography

JNF and SPIHS are currently working together on a huge development plan for the site, including upgrading of the entrance hall, installing an elevator at the site, and much more. The updated hall will include a new stateof-the-art video and sound system, improved seating accommodations, and interior graphics that will assist in telling the story. Visitors will watch Fairworth’s movie in the upgraded movie hall before they start the tour. Reflecting on the project, Fairworth marveled, “Visiting Israel changed my life. Everything was so sweeping and historic and inspiring,” she said. “I couldn’t believe how deeply I fell in love with it.”

From the Sacrifice of


Nebbi Yusha

A Tale of Comradeship A


mnon Ben-Yehuda’s story is one of extraordinary survival: during the heroic battle of Nebbi Yusha in the Upper Galilee on April 20, 1948, the Palmach soldier and squad leader was shot in the head and rescued by his fellow soldiers to Ramot Naftali (a mountaintop settlement about a mile away), where he remained for two days before being carried down the mountain, ultimately to a hospital outside of Tel Aviv. His story symbolizes the true friendship that took place there. What happened at Nebbi Yusha, also known as Metzudat Koach, was a harrowing event in Israel’s path to independence. An attempt to capture the fortress, which the British had transferred to the Arabs five days prior, it ended with the deaths of 28 Palmach heroes. Their sacrifice is memorialized at the nearby HaReut Museum, which stands as a symbol of their comradeship (reut). Ben-Yehuda relates, “All of us [who survived] have lived under the dark cloud of that experience our entire lives.” Twelve of the soldiers who died at Nebbi Yusha were childhood friends and lived together in Kibbutz Daphna in the Upper Galilee, serving their two years of Palmach training. By the time the Nebbi Yusha night operation occurred, many of the kibbutzniks were seasoned fighters, having been involved in numerous military incidents. “This is where history was made,” said Ben-Yehuda. “We lost quite a few guys because they stayed behind to try and rescue friends who were wounded. This is what you call brotherhood.” Ben-Yehuda himself was saved by a childhood friend, Aharon “Aharonchick” Kuperman. “My squad was retreating and Aharonchick saw me lying wounded. He saw to it that I was evacuated, this all took place while we were under fire.” Ben-Yehuda was taken to Ramot Naftali where, he would learn 40 years later, two young women acting as medics— with limited training—kept him alive by using damp rags to prevent dehydration. When a group of his unit climbed up the mountain with supplies to evacuate seven infants, they were amazed to find Ben-Yehuda alive. They tied him to a stretcher and carried him down the mountain, from

there he was taken to Beilinson Hospital and operated on by Dr. Harden Ashkenazy, a renowned Romanian Jewish neurosurgeon and Holocaust survivor who had just arrived in Israel. Ben-Yehuda was the first Israeli soldier on whom Dr. Ashkenazy operated. The doctor gave him 0.5% chance of survival. Ben-Yehuda survived, and spent a year at home rehabilitating himself with a program of his own design. He came to the United States to attend UC Berkeley, where he met his wife, and has lived in California ever since, his family having grown to include grandchildren. Since 1960, Ben-Yehuda has attended an annual memorial in Nebbi Yusha for the fallen soldiers. The 40th anniversary in 1988 marked a turning point. He decided to deliver a eulogy for his fallen friends and expressed his feelings of guilt for surviving when they did not. “For 40 years we never talked about it,” he said. “This is true for all of us. It was a subject that was kept inside. When I delivered my eulogy, it was important for me to clear my soul. We were all suffering from PTSD, and that was my coming out. It helped so many of my friends.” This struck a chord with the late Menachem Shoval, z”l, a member of the same Palmach unit and one of the soldiers who carried Ben-Yehuda down the mountain. Shoval sent Ben-Yehuda a letter following the memorial ceremony and admitted that he wished to produce a film about their experience in this heroic battle, but found it hard to breach the subject matter because of the guilt he carried. “You relieved my guilt to do the film,” Shoval

wrote. Ben-Yehuda talks about his experiences in Shoval’s film, I Will Not Forget This, My Friend, which aired on Israeli television in 1990. The name of the film is taken from a Natan Alterman poem. Ben-Yehuda produced and translated an English version that he shares with audiences at his speaking engagements. SPIHS, led by the late Yehuda Dekel, founded the HaReut Museum next to Nebbi Yusha; the goal was to share the story of this important battle with the public. In January 2014, SPIHS, together with JNF, celebrated the grand opening of the museum, which provides an interactive learning experience through dynamic 3D figures, life-size models, personal effects of the fighters, and more. Six hundred people, among them many of the Palmach heroes who fought in Nebbi Yusha including Amnon Ben-Yehuda, participated in the moving ceremony. Since the opening, tens of thousands of visitors have come to visit the mountain and the new museum. The memorial site has come to symbolize the spirit of ‘48: tenacity, camaraderie, loyalty, the pioneering spirit, and the readiness to sacrifice. Though this is but one story of bravery and comradeship in battle, for Ben-Yehuda, it is a universal tale. “It’s a soldier’s story. It could be anywhere. During the war, there were many acts of heroism by many young soldiers. We have to talk about it; we can’t keep everything buried inside. Going through war is a unique and painful experience, and adjusting back to civilian life is not simple or easy. It’s a human issue.”



Gush Etzion

By June Glazer


Its Fallen “I

can think of no battle in the annals of the Israel Defense Forces which was more magnificent, more tragic or more heroic than the struggle for Gush Etzion … If there exists a Jewish Jerusalem, our foremost thanks go to the defenders of Gush Etzion.” David Ben-Gurion spoke these words on May 14, 1948 at the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. The transition period between the passing of the United Nations Resolution and the founding of the State had been marked by siege and battle, and on May 13, the day before the State was born, Gush Etzion fell after a three-day Arab offensive in which 127 defenders (21 women) were killed. In all, 240 Jewish men and women lost their lives in the campaign for Gush Etzion during the War of Independence. Ben-Gurion credited the defenders of Gush Etzion, an area that has played a significant role in Jewish history since biblical times, with helping to save a besieged Jerusalem. As a consequence of the three-day battle, preoccupied Arab forces from all over the Judean Hills were unable to turn their attention to the city, some 12.5 miles to the north, and join the fight against its Jews. Since its reunification by the IDF during the 1967 Six-Day War, Gush Etzion holds its Memorial Day commemoration

ceremony at the cemetery in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, where the heroic and final battle in May 1948 took place. This year’s ceremony, under the cypress and pine trees of the Gush Etzion forest, began with jets flying a missing man formation in cloudy skies over the cemetery plaza while hundreds gathered to pay tribute to local servicemen and civilian casualties of war and terrorism. The event also paid tribute to Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah—the three boys kidnapped and killed last summer—and Dalia Lemkus of Tekoa, a terror victim. In the presence of a military honor guard, and with an Israeli flag snapping at half-mast in a brisk breeze, attendees stood in silence for the two-minute siren, then listened as area high school students offered readings and musical selections, and local dignitaries delivered brief remarks. “On this day we need to stop everything and come together,” said Davidi Perl, mayor of Gush Etzion, who attended the gathering. “We need to think about the soldiers and people who died, and to stand with their families. We need to reflect on the meaning of their loss.” The ceremony ended with the singing of “Ani Ma’amin” and “Hatikvah.” People filed out of the plaza in somber silence, passing graves dotted with small stones of remembrance left by visitors.

The Gush Etzion Visitor Center at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion stands as a national memorial to the heroic men and women who gave their lives to protect the communities of the Etzion bloc. JNF, which first played a role in the region’s history in the 1930s purchasing land on which early attempts at settling the area took place, has joined with partners including the Israeli government, the Ministry of Tourism, the Gush Etzion Foundation, the Gush Etzion Regional Council, the Gush Etzion Tourism Authority, and the B’nei Etzion Foundation, to transform the current museum into an interactive center that will preserve the story of Gush Etzion for generations to come. “In American history, the battle of the Alamo is the recognized symbol of bravery in the face of unbeatable odds. That’s what Gush Etzion represents in modern-day Jewish history,” said Shani Abrams Simkovitz, executive director of the Gush Etzion Foundation, which works to raise awareness about the history and heritage of the region. “Every Israeli student and soldier comes to Kibbutz Kfar Etzion to learn about what happened here, and the government has declared it a national heritage site,” she said.

Commemorating the Heroic Deeds of Female Soldiers at

Nitzanim T

he group of girls—13- and 14-year-olds—had been chatting and giggling since they arrived at Kibbutz Nitzanim, located in southern Israel. Yet, as Talia, their guide, began to speak they quickly quieted down, riveted by her tale of Israel’s fight for independence just 67 years ago. Sitting in a circle on low stones in the broad leafy shade of the trees, Talia asked the girls to think of what or who people look to in times of despair. The girls volunteer different answers, until one shouts out, “family!” Talia nods; it’s the answer she was looking for. She tells the girls about how at Nitzanim, in 1948, everything seemed lost. She told them how, just like today, the members of the community looked to their children to take hope and strength from their presence. Then, suddenly, the Egyptians were at the kibbutz’s

By Mara Friedman doorstep, and the danger was too great. Under the cover of night, Mivtza Tinok, or Operation Infant, took place and all of the women and children were spirited away to safety just a few kilometers inland. All, that is, except for three women who remained behind, ready and insistent on playing their part in their nation’s fight for independence. None would survive. Today, Nitzanim hosts an average of 20 groups a week of all ages. Visitors learn about the battle: The small remaining band of fighters at Nitzanim who gazed over the horizon to see 1,200 Egyptian tanks bearing down on them. Mira Ben Ari helping her wounded commander walk towards the tanks, waving a white flag. The Egyptians shooting her commander and, Ben Ari, in the brief moment before being killed herself, seizing the

to the sculpture is a quote by Mira Ben Ari, who wrote, “I separate from my child so that he can grow up in a safe place, so that he can be a free man in our land.” In this short sentence we understand the impossible choice that faced the women who fought at Nitzanim and across Israel in her many wars: to leave their children and fight, and perhaps die, so that their children might have a chance for life. Although Nitzanim fell in 1948, today it stands proudly as a testament to women who sacrificed everything for the fledgling nation’s future.

The State of Israel


he date was Friday, May 14, 1948, one day before the British Mandate was to expire. The place was the main hall at the Tel Aviv Art Museum on Rothschild Boulevard. The dignitaries’ table and podium were at center stage. Behind it, two national flags adorned a panel of light-blue fabric. Between the flags hung an imposing portrait of Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl, and works of Jewish art lined the walls. Outside, a celebratory crowd had gathered in eager anticipation despite efforts to keep the proceedings a secret. Invitations had been sent out by messenger that morning instructing the invited guests to arrive at 3:30 p.m., but word had leaked out and the street began to swell with people. With the arrival of David Ben-Gurion, a hush fell over Rothschild Boulevard as everyone waited to hear the live broadcast by Israel Radio—its first ever—of the dramatic and historical ceremony that was about to take place inside. At exactly 4 p.m. Ben-Gurion, who at the time was executive head of the World Zionist Organization and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, banged the gavel and told the audience, “I shall now read to you the scroll of the Establishment of the State, which has passed its first reading by the National Council.” He then read aloud the declaration and ended with the words, “Let us accept the Foundation Scroll of the Jewish State by rising.” He called upon Rabbi Yehuda FishmanMaimon to recite the Shehecheyanu, a Jewish blessing of thanksgiving, and then members of the Council and Executive signed the scroll. The proceedings concluded with the singing of Hatikvah. In all, the meeting took 32 minutes and was over in time for Shabbat. “With that ceremony, Ben-Gurion put an end to the exile of 2,000 years,” said Felicita Jakoel, senior tour guide at Independence Hall, the former site of the Tel

Aviv Art Museum. The room in which Israel’s future first Prime Minister conducted the ceremony has been left intact and is open to the public. “He created a Jewish home by opening the gates for all the Jews in the world. We should never forget that this happened three years after the end of the Holocaust.” Ben-Gurion’s grandson Dr. Moshe Ben Eliezer, a baby in 1948, says his grandfather understood that the opportunity to create a state might never come again, and despite the threat of impending war, the fears of many of his comrades, and pressure from the Americans not to declare, Ben-Gurion acted. “He marked his target, and the rest followed. It was his way of thinking, which to me is the quality of a great and unique leader,” Ben Eliezer said. In fact, the decision to establish a state was not BenGurion’s alone. In a meeting on May 12 at the Jewish National Fund offices in Tel Aviv, the Jewish National Council took the decision to declare by a vote of six to five. Says Ben Eliezer: “Yes, there were others. But BenGurion was the leader. And in reality he founded the state before it was recognized by the United Nations. He built the entire substructure and foundation for its future.” The house that eventually became Independence Hall was constructed as the home of Meir Dizengoff and his wife, Zina, who were one of 66 families to begin a new neighborhood outside Jaffa in 1909. JNF gave the guarantee for a bank loan taken out by these families to build their new neighborhood, which soon grew into a thriving city with Dizengoff as its first mayor. After his wife’s death, Dizengoff donated the house to the city and in 1936 it became the art museum. In 1978 it was rededicated as Independence Hall. “To me, it has a certain reverence, and I can picture my grandfather standing there in front of the microphone,”


By June Glazer

said Ben Eliezer, who heads the executive board at Ben Gurion House in Tel Aviv, the Prime Minister’s former residence and now also a museum. “But Independence Hall is not only the place where the State of Israel was declared. It is also where the scroll was signed. That scroll is the democratic foundation upon which the State was laid and to which it must remain committed.” n

Dr. Moshe Ben Eliezer, now and with his grandfather David Ben Gurion

Independence Hall Is Born


opportunity to shoot the Egyptian commander. Today, visitors hear her story and visit the spot where she was shot. A monument stands there, a large stone mass that might almost resemble a woman’s figure. Another guide, Ran Kochva, who is volunteering at Nitzanim before he is drafted to the IDF, says that he is always moved when he sees how his tour groups, young and old alike, connect to Mira Ben Ari’s story. He recalled the time he took a rambunctious and unruly group of 5th

graders on the tour, “but then we all sat in a circle on the ground and I told them that now we’re going to talk about something serious – people who died, our history as the Jewish people, as Israelis – and they got it. Their eyes were wide open, listening, and once we got to Mira Ben Ari’s grave they all put stones on the monument out of respect. In the end, they all connect to it, and it’s beautiful.” The heroic deeds of Mira Ben Ari and of other female fighters at Nitzanim led to the development of the site as a place identifying with female soldiers and the construction of the Women of Valor Center in Nitzanim. It has come to be a site honoring all women who have fought for Israel in its history. JNF, together with SPIHS, developed the site, created a movie telling the heroic story, and is continuing to work together to create a new exhibit that will share the story with the public. Beyond the monument for Mira Ben Ari stands a large statue of amorphous yet unambiguously female figures guarding over smaller statues — The Memorial to the Jewish Fighting Woman, sculpted by Shosh Heifetz. Adjacent


TASK FORCE ON DISABILITIES I’m proud to join the JNF family as director of the new Task Force on Disabilities. For nearly 20 years I’ve worked with people with special needs and I believe that we create a better and more humane society when we invest in the most vulnerable segment of our society. Through generous donations, JNF’s important work with Accessibility and Therapeutic Services ensures that people with disabilities receive the opportunity to realize their full potential and live a quality life. Below you will read about our partners in Israel who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people with special needs each and every day. I hope that you will join us in making our dream of an inclusive society a reality. Sincerely, Yossi Kahana


As part of its focus on improving quality of life in Israel, JNF is dedicated to ensuring that no member of Israeli society is left behind. Through a variety of initiatives, JNF provides cuttingedge rehabilitative services, special education, and medical care for people with special needs and makes its forests, parks, picnic areas, playgrounds, nature trails, lookouts, and recreational facilities “inclusive” for visitors of all ability levels. Recently, JNF launched a unique task force to serve as an umbrella and coordinating body to support these partnerships in an effort to enhance their strength, fiscal viability, and effectiveness.

Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran A state-of-the-art rehabilitative village in the Negev, Aleh Negev offers unparalleled care for people with severe disabilities, helping them reach their potential for communication and development. Every square inch of this world class village is dedicated to empowering residents and outpatients to develop a greater degree of independence and become productive members of Israeli society. Residents are provided with a wide variety of innovative treatments including hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, music therapy, animal therapy, and crafts workshops. Patients benefit from occupational training, special education, and programs that encourage social interaction with family and peers. Aleh Negev has set a new benchmark in the fields of special education and rehabilitative services and is being closely studied by experts from around the world.

All across Israel, particularly in the Galilee, LOTEM is bringing nature closer to people with special needs, serving close to 35,000 participants a year. LOTEM offers field trips, accessible hikes, and creative workshops in nature for people of all ages with physical, mental and emotional disabilities, at-risk youth, and mothers and children living in shelters. All of LOTEM’s activities are adapted to the needs of its participants. People with visual impairment are provided with three-dimensional models and educational materials in braille; children on the autism spectrum are given special communication tables; and those in wheelchairs are guided through accessible nature trails, including JNF’s first inclusive park, Nahal HaShofet and LOTEM’s ecological farm in Emek HaShalom.


LOTEM - Making Nature Accessible


Located at Kibbutz Grofit, 45 minutes north of Eilat in the Arava Valley, the Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center (RMTRC) provides weekly horseback riding therapy to nearly 200 children and adults with physical and mental disabilities as well as emotional and behavioral issues. Since its establishment in 1996, RMTRC has worked towards the development and advancement of this unique therapy in the southern Arava, making it accessible to the population of a remote region that lacks many other essential medical services.

Special in Uniform Special in Uniform is an innovative program which aims to integrate youth with disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and assist in preparing them for careers following military service. The program was founded to give everyone a right to fulfill their potential and be accepted into society, regardless of any disability. Special in Uniform goes beyond the walls of IDF bases, helping its graduates integrate into the workforce and Israeli society in meaningful ways. n

Visit for more information or to make a donation to one of these projects.

Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center





26 (L-R) Robert Wigoda (Century Council, President’s Society), guest speaker Honey Kessler Amado (Century Council, President’s Society), and Steven Stender (President’s Society) at a Lawyers for Israel Lunch and Learn hosted by DLA Piper in Chicago.

(L-R) Howard Freedberg (Century Council, President’s Society), Deb Lust Zaluda (Sapphire Society), and Dan Cohan (Century Council, President’s Society) at the Yom Ha’atzmaut Community Celebration in Chicago.

(L-R) Event Co-Chair Gloria Feldman (L-R) Diane Samuels, JNF Israel Operations (Century Council, Negev Society) with Development Officer Ariel Kotler, Ido guest speaker Howard Rosenman at the St. Eisikovits from Green Horizons, David Louis Annual Breakfast. Sufrin (Herzl Society), and Jimmy and Rochelle Wagner discussed the transformative work of Green Horizons in Pittsburgh.

(L-R) Event Co-Chair Jill Weininger (Sapphire Society), guest speaker Honey Kessler Amado (Century Council, President’s Society), and event co-chair Susie Wexler at the Temple Beth-El Annual Breakfast in Northbrook, IL.

(L-R) David H. Gershuny (Herzl Society), Charlie Shor (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), and JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson at a JNF Southern Ohio and Kentucky VIP reception.

(L-R) Ian Guttman (Century Council, President’s Society), Aimee Guttman (Century Council, President’s Society, Lifetime Sapphire Society), JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, Ron Solomon (Century Council), Barb Solomon (Century Council, Lifetime Sapphire Society), Marlene Mayers (Century Council, Lifetime Sapphire Society), and Howard Mayers (Century Council) at the Southern Ohio and Kentucky VIP reception.

(L-R) Aimee Guttman (Century Council, President’s Society, Lifetime Sapphire Society), JNF-KKL Chief Israel Emissary Talia Tzour, and Nina Paul (Century Council, Negev Society, Lifetime Sapphire Society) at the Intergenerational Women for Israel brunch in Cincinnati.

(L-R) John Earnest, Rob Glimcher (Century Council, Negev Society), and Sylvia Elias at a private dinner reception at the home of Sylvia and Norman Elias.

Northern Ohio Board member Andrew Soclof (Herzl Society) with wife Nancy and daughters Kayla, Aviva and Emily at the Northern Ohio Tu BiShvat Community Celebration.

(L-R) Northern Ohio Board member Barry Feldman (President’s Society) served ice cream at the Tu BiShvat community celebration.

(L-R) Nina Paul (Century Council, Negev Society, Lifetime Sapphire Society) and Noreen Koppelman-Goldstein (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) enjoyed the Northern Ohio WFI breakfast.


(L-R) Sheryl Buchholtz (Century Council, Sapphire Society), Gwenn Kudler Gelfand, NY Board President and National Chair, JNF Parsons Water Fund, Laureine Greenbaum (World Chairman’s Council, Sapphire Society), Marjorie Shuster (President’s Society), Westchester Director Stephanie Balkin, and Noa Zer, Resource Development Director, Central Arava Regional Council, at a WFI event in Manhattan.

(L-R) Long Island Board members Jeff Schwartz, Ariel Grunberg, Larry Ingber, Lea Journalist Bret Stephens at the dedication Ruskin, Mel Ruskin, Long Island Board President Michael Kessler (Century Council), Mark of a plaque for his father Charles Stephens Engel (Century Council), and Charles Skop at the annual thank you event for major (President’s Society). donors.


(L-R standing) Michael Stoler, Jodi Stein, New York Board member Adam Belfer (President’s Society), New York Board member Andy Ashwal (President’s Society), New York Board and National Board member David Greenbaum (World Chairman’s Council); and (L-R seated) Gary Jacob (Century Council), and New York Board member Michael T. Cohen (Century Council) at a New York Real Estate Leadership panel discussion.


(L-R) Ariel Kotler, JNF Development Officer of Israel Operations, Robert Shasha, Caroline Shasha, David Shasha, New York Board member Ellen Aschendorf-Shasha (Century Council), and Jordan Shasha in Halutza.

The Gutmann family: (L-R) Sam; Jenna; Brian; Susan (Negev Society, Sapphire Society); Ben (Century Council, Negev Society), Northern New Jersey President; Lauren; Julie; and Andrew at the Be’er Sheva Ampitheater.

(L-R) Dr. Yuri and Nellie Zamdborg (President’s Society) and JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush at the groundbreaking for site of the new Halutza medical center building.

(L-R) Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, Rabbi Joshua Davidson, Rabbi Rachel Ain, Rabbi Michael Miller, New York Board President Laureine Greenbaum (World Chairman’s Council, Sapphire Society), JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council), Rabbi Roy Feldman, JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, Rabbi Jim Stoloff, and Cantor Irena Altshul at the Yom Ha’atzmaut Upper East Side Celebration.

(L-R) Northern New Jersey Board member Bob Levine (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) and Rabbi Zev Goldberg, Young Israel of Fort Lee, at the Northern New Jersey Yom Ha’atzmaut event.

(L-R) Cynthia and Bruce Sherman (President’s Society) at the Naples Tree of Life™ Award dinner.

(L-R) Toby Siegel (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Helen Glaser (Century Council, Sapphire Society), Edie Chaifetz (Century Council, President’s Society), Judy Fleischer (Herzl Society), North Florida President Mary Ellen Hogan (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and Brenda Johnston (Sapphire Society) at a Sapphire Society event hosted by Helen Glaser in her home in Sarasota.


(L-R) Arlene and Keith Silver (Century (L-R) First Vice President Alan Dabrow (L-R) Honorees Myra and Dr. Morton Council, Negev Society) at the Naples Tree (Century Council, Negev Society), Times of Friedman (Herzl Society) at the Naples of Life™ Award dinner. Israel correspondent Rebecca ShimoniTree of Life™ Award dinner. Stoil, and National President, Women for Israel Louise Dabrow (Century Council, Negev Society, Lifetime Sapphire Society) at the Winter Connection Breakfast in Boca Raton.

(L-R) Helen Glaser (Century Council, Sapphire Society) and Toby Siegel (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at a Sapphire Society event hosted by Helen Glaser in her home in Sarasota.



(L-R) Mark Schlanger (Herzl Society), with Len Glaser (Century Council), Helen Glaser (Century Council, Sapphire Society), and Northern Florida Director Uri Smajovits at the Guardian of Israel Luncheon in Sarasota.

(L-R) Mark Schlanger (Herzl Society), Guardian of Israel Award Honoree Betty Schoenbaum and Helen Glaser (Century Council, Sapphire Society) at the Guardian of Israel Luncheon in Orlando.

(L-R) Times of Israel Correspondent Rebecca Shimoni-Stoil with Dr. Judi Edelman (Sapphire Society) at the Winter Connection Breakfast in Boca Raton.

(L-R) Jacksonville Lawyers for Israel Co-Chair Barry Zisser, Caravan for Democracy alumni Claire Stern and Clayton Levins, David A. Stein (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), and Josh Whitman at the inaugural Lawyers for Israel breakfast.

(L-R) Southern Florida Executive Director Dr. Roni Raab and Joachim Rudoler (Century Council, President’s Society) at the Winter Connection Breakfast in Boca Raton.

(L-R) JNF Israel Development Director Ariel Kotler, Harry Frisch (Negev Society), and David A. Stein (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) at a luncheon in Jacksonville.

(L-R) Cantor Elaine Shapiro (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Florence Paley (Negev Society), and Southern Florida Executive Director Dr. Roni Raab at the Winter Connection Breakfast kick-off meeting in South Palm Beach.

(L-R) Women for Israel National President Louise Dabrow (Century Council, Negev Society, Lifetime Sapphire Society) pinned new Sapphire Society members Joan Wechsler (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) and Diana Schiowitz (Sapphire Society) at the Women for Israel Thank You Luncheon in West Palm Beach.

(L-R) Joyce Rothstein (Century Council, Herzl Society), Times of Israel correspondent Rebecca Shimoni-Stoil, and Elliot Rothstein (Century Council, Herzl Society) at the Winter Connection Breakfast in Boca Raton.

(L-R) Herb Siegel (Century Council, President’s Society), Palm Beach Board President Art Silber (Century Council), and Beverly Rubenstein (World Chairman’s Council, Lifetime Sapphire Society) at a Palm Beach Board of Directors campaign cabinet meeting.

(L-R) Lorelei Ennis, former Ambassador Gideon Meir, Rebecca Fischer (Century Council, Sapphire Society), and Dr. Robert Ennis at the Israel Solidarity Brunch at Temple Dor Dorim in Weston.

(L-R) Event Chair and JNF Tampa Bay Board member Byron Kolitz, North Florida President Ida Raye Chernin (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), and Northern Florida Director Uri Smajovits.

(L-R) Michael Lazar (Century Council, Negev Society), Times of Israel correspondent guest speaker Rebecca Shimoni-Stoil, and Sydelle Lazar (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at the Winter Connection Breakfast in Boca Raton.

(L-R) Times of Israel Correspondent Rebecca Shimoni-Stoil and Stephen Soble (Century Council, President’s Society) at the Winter Connection Breakfast in Boca Raton.

(L-R) Dr. Mark Gendal, Palm Beach Board President Art Silber (Century Council), Vivian Grossman (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society, Lifetime Sapphire Society), and Cantor Elaine Shapiro (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at the Winter Connection Breakfast in Boca Raton.

(L-R) JNF Israel Development Director Ariel Kotler and Bruce K. Gould (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) at the Guardian of Israel luncheon in Sarasota.

28 (L-R) Sharon Pikus (Century Council, Negev Society), Marty Weiss, Rubin Pikus (Century Council, Negev Society), Gloria Slass (Sapphire Society), Melanie Fishman (Herzl Society), Mort Fishman (Herzl Society), and Joel Klausner (Herzl Society) at a Palm Beach Board of Directors meeting.


Janet Wellish (Sapphire Society) at the Las Vegas major donor reception.

(L-R) Dr. Lawrence Copeland (Century Council, President’s Society) and Linda Copeland (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at the Las Vegas major donor reception.

(L-R) Dr. Toby Mower (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Ambassador Ron Dermer, and Dr. Mort Mower (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) at the Denver Annual Breakfast.

(L-R) Mountain States Board President Ron Werner (Negev Society), Judge Dan Fishman, and Vicky Kelman at the Denver Annual Breakfast.

(L-R) Event Co-Chairs Paul Gillis (President’s Society), Bettina Kurowski (Sapphire Society), and Dr. Melinda Wolf (Sapphire Society) at the Denver Annual Breakfast.


(L-R) Glenda Monkarsh (Herzl Society) and Larry Monkarsh (Herzl Society) at the Las Vegas major donor reception.


(L-R) JNF Northern California Executive Director Aaron Parker and Northern CA Board member Dayna Titus (President’s Society, Sapphire Society).

(L-R) Noa Gefen, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites, and Northern CA Board member Dick Berman (Century Council, Negev Society) at a meeting in Alameda, CA.

(L-R) Terry Katz (Century Council, Sapphire Society), Evelyn Binsky, Carol Luber Horwich, and Palm Springs Board President Sheri Borax (Century Council, Sapphire Society) at the Women for Israel Afternoon Tea in Palm Springs.

(L-R) Dr. Rochelle “Cookie” Sieger (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Terry Katz (Century Council, Sapphire Society), and Elaine Land-Dexter (Sapphire Society) at the Women for Israel Brunch in Orange County.

(L-R) JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, Cheryl Fey (Century Council, Herzl Society), and Bob Fey (Century Council, Herzl Society) at the Palm Springs Love of Israel Dinner.

(L-R) 2015 Tree of Life™ Honorees Al Sachs (Century Council, Negev Society) and Fran Sachs (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at the Arizona 2015 Tree of Life™ Gala.

Todd Belfer (Herzl Society) at the Men’s Roundtable event in Phoenix.

(L-R) Sheila Schwartz (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) and JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) at the Major Donor Weekend in Phoenix.

(L-R) Marti Eisenberg (Sapphire Society), Myra Fleischer (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), San Diego Board President Lauren Lizerbram (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and Judith Lief (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at the San Diego Love of Israel Brunch Table Captain reception.

(L-R) San Diego Board President Lauren Lizerbram (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), National Vice President of Campaign Bill Miller (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), and Myra Fleischer (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at the San Diego Love of Israel Brunch Table Captain reception.

(L-R) Judith Lief (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Board President Lauren Lizerbram (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and Marti Eisenberg (Sapphire Society) at the San Diego Board meeting.




(L-R) Civia Caroline, Doug Williams (President’s Society), Felice Williams (President’s Society), and Campaign Executive Jessica Lebovits at the JNFuture Soul Spark event in Los Angeles.

(L-R) Associate Director Lou Rosenberg, Alan Abramson (Century Council, Negev Society), and Allen Rishe (Century Council, Negev Society) on JNF’s Mega Mission to Israel.

(L-R) Marilyn Golden (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Alyse Golden Berkley (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and Allen Golden (Century Council, Negev Society) at the Women for Israel – Israel Independence Day brunch in Los Angeles.

(L-R) Janet Pasakarnis (Negev Society) Rhonda Forman (President’s Society) and National Assistant VP, Campaign Ken Segel (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) visited Kibbutz Grofit while on the President’s Society mission.

(L-R) New England President and Lawyers for Israel Chair Larry Cohen (Century Council, President’s Society), National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, Shira Ruderman (World Chairman’s Council), and Boston President Michael Blank (Century Council, President’s Society) at a Board of Directors meeting, where Shira presented the work of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

(L-R) Chai Society Chair Risa Aronson (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) with Pat Blank (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at a Cooking and Conversation night exclusively for New England Sapphire Society members.

David and Rachel Fine (Century Council, President’s Society) at the Yair Research and Development Center in the Central Arava on a recent trip to Israel.

(L-R) Sapphire Society members Sandy Davis (Century Council, Negev Society), Sapphire President Amy Parsons (Century Council, Negev Society), Pat Blank (Century Council, President’s Society), Yadira Patkin (World Chairman’s Council, Circle of Sapphire), and National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman.

Sapphire Cooking and Conversation hostesses Judith Sydney (Sapphire Society) and her wife Aviva Sapers, with New England Director Sara Hefez (center).

(L-R) Sapphire President Amy Parsons (Century Council, Negev Society), National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, Judi Elovitz Greenberg (Sapphire Society), New England Director Sara Hefez, and Chai Society Chair Risa Aronson (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at a Women for Israel planning meeting.

(L-R) Newly pinned Sapphire Society member Sonia Silverman with Yadira Patkin (World Chairman’s Council, Circle of Sapphire) at a Sapphire cooking event featuring Moroccan specialty dishes by Debby Hazan.

(L-R) Sapphire Society members Evelyn Miller and Christina Zlotnick at a recent Sapphire Cooking and Conversation event featuring Moroccan specialty dishes.

(L-R) Stan Sunshine (Negev Society), Mark Spiegel, and Gary Prager at the 12th Annual Jack Hirsch Memorial Breakfast in Atlanta.

(L-R) Barbara Stein (Herzl Society) and Sheldon Stein (Herzl Society) at the second annual JNF Breakfast in Dallas.

(L-R) Eric Stein and event co-chair Shari Stein (Sapphire Society) at the Breakfast for Israel in Austin.

(L-R) Zvi and Monica Yaniv (Sapphire Society) at the Breakfast for Israel in Austin.


Dr. Morris Geffen (Herzl Society) and Marla (L-R) JNF Atlanta Co-Presidents Alan Geffen (Herzl Society) at a brunch they Lubel (Herzl Society) and Alan Wolk (Herzl hosted in their home in Savannah, GA. Society) at the 12th Annual Jack Hirsch Memorial Breakfast in Atlanta.


(L-R) Robert Fox (Century Council), JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, Nancy Fox (President’s Society), and JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council) at Eastern Pennsylvania’s Tree of Life™ breakfast in Philadelphia.

(L-R) JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, Michael Boni (President’s Society), JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council), David Cohen (President’s Society), and Robert Fox (Century Council) at Eastern Pennsylvania’s Tree of Life™ breakfast in Philadelphia.

(L-R) Event Co-Chair Robert Fox (Century Council) with JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council), Tree of Life™ honoree Josh Shapiro, event co-chairs David Cohen, Robert Zuritsky (President’s Society), William Sasso (President’s Society), and Joseph Zuritsky (Century Council) at Eastern Pennsylvania’s Tree of Life™ breakfast in Philadelphia.



Vicki Solomon (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) received her Sapphire Necklace at a Women for Israel Cooking event she hosted.


(L-R) Dr. Naomi Vilko (Sapphire Society), Miki Krakauer (Herzl Society), guest speaker Dr. Clive Lipchin, and Rita Millner at an Arava Institute event at Beth El Synagogue in East Windsor, NJ.

(L-R) Chuck Fax (Century Council, Herzl Society), Bob Benedon (President’s Society), and Regional Director Lynn Norton Robins at Beer, Cheese and Trees, a Tu BiShvat celebration in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

(L-R) Ron Bernstein, founder of Kibbutz Yahel, with Burt Ziskind (Century Council, Herzl Society), who spent several days volunteering on Kibbutz Yahel during a trip to Israel.

Doctors for Israel Co-Chairs Dr. Jim Chisum (L-R) Nava and Dr. Elliott Gorbaty (President’s Society), with Dr. Mayer and Dena (Herzl Society) and Dr. Larry Amsterdam Gorbaty (Herzl Society), at a Doctors for Israel dinner hosted by the Gorbaty’s in (President’s Society, Century Council) Baltimore. with Executive Vice President of Nefesh B’Nefesh Eric Michaelson, center, at a DFI parlor meeting in Baltimore about NBN’s Physician’s Aliyah Program.

(L-R) 2015 Photography Tour Chair Chet Stein (Century Council, Negev Society) and 2105 Culinary, Wine, and Arts Tour Chair Jeff Menick (Century Council, Herzl Society) met up during their respective missions to Israel.

(L-R) Dr. Chet Stein (Century Council, Negev Society) and AMHSI Co-Executive Director Rabbi Leor Sinai at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel.

(L-R) Go North Committee member Bob Chertkof (Herzl Society) and Go North Co-Chair Ken Krupsky (Century Council, President’s Society), with the Mayor of Dimona Beni Bitton at the dedication ceremony for the Ronald Lauder Employment Center in Be’er Sheva.

(L-R) Makor members Gary Kushner (President’s Society, Century Council), Dr. Chet Stein (Century Council, Negev Society), and Ira Bartfield (Century Council, President’s Society) at the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center on the Makor Mission in Israel.

Sandye and Gerald Turnauer (Century Council, Negev Society) at the dedication ceremony for their contributions to the Carmel Ridge Fire Station on the Culinary, Wine, and Arts Tour.

Diary of JNF Alternative Spring Break Trip 2015 MARCH 16, 2015: On our first day on this incredible



experience, we toured the farm at LOTEM, an organization dedicated to making nature accessible to Israelis with disabilities. We took part in several sensory-based experiences built to be handicap-accessible, including a “grape stomping” wine making area and an olive press. Then we helped create a hiking path by pulling weeds and raking the area to form a trail that went around the farm. After lunch we toured a handicap-accessible trail with Raz Rutman, an inspirational gentleman who, despite being wheelchair-bound from an accident since age eight, still makes it his mission to give back to the community by working with LOTEM as part of his national service.


Today we spent the morning at a community garden in Haifa that was badly in need of our help. We weeded, built plant beds, and planted spring vegetables. The garden, located in a low-income area of predominantly immigrants from the former Soviet Union, is striving to become a community cornerstone and emulates similar urban gardens in the U.S. We were fortunate enough to be in Israel for Election Day and witness Israelis of all types go

to the polls. That afternoon, we walked around a Haifa neighborhood called the German Colony and asked Israelis on the street their opinions of the election. It was quite interesting to hear the many political views. Back at the kibbutz we discussed the election as a group and our tour guide gave us more background on each of the candidates from an Israeli point of view.

MARCH 18: We spent the morning

in Akko with Green Horizons, which teaches children leadership skills through outdoor activities and participated in an Amazing Race-themed program that took us around the city. In the afternoon we helped widen a forest road in the Carmel Forest to prevent the spread of forest fires. Learning about how much forest area was affected a few years ago during the Carmel fire was devastating; it felt good to do our part to prevent future fires.

MARCH 19: We painted the exterior of a housing project

in Nazareth Illit, a messy but rewarding project that will hopefully brighten up a community of predominantly low-income, elderly residents. While we were painting, residents came out to thank us and tell us that no one had come to paint in over 10 years. Later we picked vegetables with a charity called Leket Israel. A National

Food Bank and leading food rescue network, Leket Israel actively works to alleviate nutritional insecurity through its food rescue and redistribution projects, providing food to 140,000+ needy Israelis throughout the country.


We helped a community garden in Tel Aviv prepare for spring by removing trash, pulling weeds, and building fences. It was great to see families of all types come together to support a productive community urban space. In the afternoon we visited the Carmel Market to see the sights, sounds, and take in the smells of a city getting ready for Shabbat. After our Shabbat services, we enjoyed a relaxing evening and reflected on our trip.

MARCH 21: We made our way to Old Jaffa where we

held a group discussion on the concepts of leadership, volunteerism, and how they related to the week’s Torah portion. We explored Old Jaffa and enjoyed a restful Shabbat. Tonight we held our final discussion on how we can remain engaged with JNF and as young Jewish volunteers/leaders in our communities back home. n For more information on Alternative Break trips, contact or 212.879.9305 x245.

Israel and celebrate your special day at the same time! A portion of your purchase is tax-deductible. or 800.700.1312

Perspectives on Israel by Nathan Cotton, Caravan for Democracy Participant ISRAEL... ISRAEL! WHAT A PLACE, WHAT

or Gaza - so it is impossible for me to have had complete exposure to both sides of the conflict. What I’m trying to do here is simply present the experiences I did have, in a way that is worthwhile for my friends and family to read. ...I still don’t really know how I feel about many aspects of the conflict. It’s just really, really complicated, and 10 days is just a start to a lifetime of more thorough understanding. I found myself constantly wavering between two contrasting views of the conflict: that the situation is hopeless; and that a peaceful solution is possible and coming. I’m sure many others feel the same way. Regardless of how hard things seem though, it’s important to me that I live my life in an optimistic way. When I’m feeling the pressures of this positive-negative duality, I always come back to a quote by Robert Kennedy: “All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.” So they are, friends. So they are. n

This blog post appeared on Nathan Cotton’s blog, “Find a Path or Make One.” Read more about his Caravan for Democracy trip at israel-winter-2015/

The Past Teaches How We Can Support Israel Today DESPITE THE REMARKABLE PROGRESS

that the Jewish people have made since the establishment of the State of Israel, the same anti-Semitic and antiIsrael beliefs that existed at the dawn of the Jewish state persist today. And yet, nearly seven decades since Israel declared its independence, we can learn so much from the people who fought for Israel at its inception about how we can support Israel today. Among those whose contribution was invaluable are Brothers of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), the global Jewish fraternity.

AEPi at Independence Hall

AEPi Brother Eddie Jacobson, a Jewish American businessman, was close friends with President Harry S. Truman. When Truman became irritated with the endless pro-Zionist lobbying and began rejecting all meetings, it was Eddie who traveled to Washington D.C. in March 1948 to change his mind. He persuaded Truman to meet with Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the leader of the Zionist movement. Many argue that it was this meeting that instilled in Truman empathy for the Zionist movement and was the catalyst for the President’s recognition of Israel a mere 11 minutes after its declaration of independence. Immediately following World War II, AEPi Brother Sam Rothberg spent 10 life-changing weeks traveling the concentration camps all across Europe where millions of his fellow Jews had perished. Inspired to dedicate his life to supporting the Jewish people and Jewish state of Israel, in 1951, Rothberg co-founded Israel Bonds, the brokerdealer and underwriter for securities issued by the State of Israel in the United States. Since its establishment, Israel Bonds has raised nearly $40 billion and has played a momentous role in Israel’s rapid growth from a struggling agrarian nation to a global economic powerhouse. These stories demonstrate two key ways in which we support Israel today. Jacobson’s story shows how personal relationships play a vital role in the fight for Israel; the way the pro-Israel world practices coalition-building, including on college campuses. Rothberg, leading by

example, proved that financial investment into the state of Israel could yield unimaginable results, a practice we see implemented currently by Jewish National Fund. Prior to May 1948, AEPi had fewer than 10,000 lifetime members and operated on 48 campuses in the United States. Today, AEPi has 10,000 undergraduate members, 100,000 lifetime members, and spans six countries with its 180 chapters and colonies. As an organization whose members lead the pro-Israel conversation on today’s college campuses, AEPi recognizes the value in both of these practices. AEPi engages in coalition building by being an active member of the Israel on Campus Coalition and by coordinating Israel Amplified, a conference for fraternity and sorority members throughout Greek life. AEPi also invests in Israel through its recent philanthropic efforts to organizations such as Jewish National Fund. When it comes to supporting Israel, AEPi knows that its Brothers can make a huge difference in the conversation about Israel, and it is more evident than ever that these Brothers will back up their words with their actions. n

For more information about the JNF and AEPi partnership, contact Anne Tanhoff Greenspoon at


The things I’m writing about are based on what I saw first-hand, or what I was told by someone that I came to trust. I am in no way pretending to know the struggle of everyday citizens on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or intentionally making any controversial statements. I was an American student trying to gather as much information as possible, with a critical eye on both sides, looking to become more educated in Middle Eastern affairs. I tried to be equally critical of everything I saw, and to ask questions that would uncover bias if it was present. While everyone we spoke with was chosen by JNF, I never felt that anyone was purposefully giving biased or slanted reports of the conflict to us. Everyone was incredibly articulate, educated, and understanding of the importance of open dialogue. I never felt like I was being misled, or that I was only seeing one side of the story while another was hidden. We did not travel to either Palestinian territory - the West Bank


a reputation! ...From December 27, 2014 to January 7, 2015, I experienced Israel up close on the Caravan for Democracy (CFD) trip, a project co-sponsored by Jewish National Fund and The Face of Israel that introduces American college student-leaders to Israel. Along with 31 other participants, I visited some of the world’s most famous historical sites, learned a ridiculous amount about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and was inspired to bring positive change to my campus. There were two aspects to this trip, as it turned out. One, to explore, investigate, embrace, and absorb Israel; to appreciate and value the sites we visited and the people we spoke to. The second was to develop personally — to really nail down what it is you want to do and find the exact spot in which you can make an impact. I certainly benefitted from both. ...Obviously, this trip was co-funded by a Jewish organization, and it would be naive to think that JNF did not want some sort of return on their investment in this trip – in fact, this was openly said throughout. Israel, by its definition as the only Jewish state on Earth and the only country in which Jews are the majority people, faces many challenges. Furthermore, Israel’s establishment in its current location in 1948 was met with immediate criticism, which has persisted to this day.




a nation? Collective strength and immense bravery come to mind. In contemplating Israel’s pathway to independence, we remember the soldiers who fell in battle, as well as those synonymous with independence itself: David Ben-Gurion, Chaim Weizmann, and Golda Meir, among others. Today in the modern state of Israel, we continue to discover new role models. Whether it’s our brave IDF soldiers, religious and political leaders, or those in technology and medical industries who are making Israel one of the most advanced countries in the world, the people who live and work in and for Israel are people we can be proud of. Then there are the everyday heroes: moms, dads, pioneers, small business owners. Those who give Israel color, life, culture, equality and inclusiveness for those with special needs. Those whose lives have been touched by JNF’s work in big and small ways. These are the individuals we feature and celebrate on JNF’s Humans of JNF Facebook page.

Last year, we launched a social hashtag initiative called #LoveGrowsInIsrael. Its focus was on telling those stories that reach the heart of Israel. All year long when we shared those personal stories, we used this hashtag to tie the content back to this one idea. This year, with the Humans of JNF page, we are taking it one step further. The page is, in essence, the hub for all the #LoveGrowsInIsrael profiles: a microsite full of photos and quotes from all the wonderful personalities interacting with our projects in Israel. For example, this spring we shared a photo of a smiling Halutza farmer, flanked by rows of crops and displaying his produce, with the quote: “I grow tomatoes and pineapples in Halutza. There is nothing better than waking up in the morning and smelling my tomatoes and seeing how beautiful they are.” Young and old, long-time Israelis or new olim, Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Bedouins: we plan to share all their narratives. We feel these personal connections reflect the true essence of JNF’s work, the modern-day embodiment of Theodor Herzl’s

dream, and the future of Israel. Please connect with our Humans of JNF Facebook page to read along as this adventure unfolds, or if you feel you have a story to tell, feel free to send us a photo and/or quote to n

Follow us on Facebook (Jewish National Fund), Twitter (@jnfusa) and Instagram (@jnfusa). For more information, contact Miriam Braun at


Join Team JNF on the 2015 Israel Ride!

The Israel Ride is your opportunity to explore

Jerusalem to Eilat

causes. Participating in one of three cycling

Oct. 27 – Nov. 3, 2015

Register today!

Receive $150 off registration with the code “JNF”

the beauty and breathtaking landscape of Israel from the seat of a bike — all for great options, which range from 150 to 370 miles, you will triumph over your personal riding goals on this adventure of a lifetime. JEWISH INSPIRATION. SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES.

What will be your #mussmoment? Alexander Muss High School in Israel is a pluralistic, college-prep, international semester abroad program for high school students where the land of Israel becomes a living classroom.




• Explore Israel and 4,000 years of Jewish history through engaging classes and trips to the sites where history took place! • Choose our academic year 18-week or 8-week sessions - take your general studies courses to earn high school credit! Or choose our 6-week summer session - all sessions are eligible for up to six college credits from the University of Miami! • Experience a college campus lifestyle and gain skills and tools for college and beyond! • Make friendships and memories that last a lifetime, whether you’re on the bus traveling, climbing on a mountain, or on campus studying! • Join a network of over 24,000 alumni who have attended AMHSI since 1972! • 800.327.5980



A place different than any other. Come home for a visit with Jewish National Fund Travel & Tours. Young Professionals Tour

Culinary, Wine & Music Tour

July 12 – 18, 2015 For singles ages 30 – 45 Join other Jewish singles and experience Israel on a unique and unforgettable journey.

June 3 – 11, 2016 Explore the sites, sounds, flavors, and spirit of Israel as you experience the country’s rich food, wine, and culinary scene.

Spirit of Israel Tour

Queen of Sheba: Women for Israel Tour


November 1 – 8, 2015 Embark on a unique journey through Israel as you explore the country from the Negev to the North.

November 10 – 16, 2016 This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; a unique and unforgettable trip to Israel for women only — no husbands, no boyfriends — just women, experiencing Israel through the eyes of our Israeli sisters.

Law & Justice Tour

CAARI: Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel

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

January 11 – February 25, 2016 A 2-7 week program for active retirees, which combines community service and traditional sightseeing throughout Israel.

President’s Society Mission

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

November 8 – 12, 2015 Pre-Mission to Budapest: November 4 – 8, 2015 Exclusive mission for members of JNF’s President’s Society.

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

Byachad Summer 2015  

Pathway to Independence

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