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Inside this Issue



Dear Reader, Israel is currently experiencing its worst water shortage on record. Jewish National Fund’s water projects have already increased Israel’s water supply by 12%. But that is not enough. Turn to pages 14-20 and read how JNF’s leadership in alleviating the shortage continues through reservoir construction, cutting-edge technology, and advocacy and education. JNF is committed to increasing Israel’s water supply by 440 billion gallons over the next decade. On pages 12-13 learn how JNF responded to the worst fire in Israel’s history, how it plans to rehabilitate the Carmel Forest, and what you can do to help. We hope you enjoy this issue. Have something to say? Don’t be shy! Send your feedback to

Introducing Marc Kelman


Our new Vice President of Campaign shares his commitment to JNF and plans for the 2011 campaign in his first column.

14–20 I srael’s

Water Economy: The Situation, The Solutions

Learn about what the JNF Parsons Water Fund is doing to alleviate the water crisis, including a deep water drill at Kibbutz Shamir, a newly dedicated reservoir in Sderot, and finding new water resources for farmers in the Negev Desert.


National Conference: Energy! Insight! Innovation!

Regards, B’Yachad Editorial Staff

J NF hosted its biggest annual National Conference to date in Atlanta in October. Check out the highlights.


The First Lady of the Jewish People: Ruth Popkin

In her 90’s, Ruth Popkin, Past President of JNF, is an inspiration to the JNF Community.


Prime Time for JNFuture Young Leadership Insititute Mission planned for Summer 2011.

Winner of AJPA Rockower Award for Excellence

Cover Photo Credit: Amnon Gutman


Printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based ink


Jewish National Fund (JNF) began in 1901 collecting coins in blue boxes to purchase land and return the Jewish people to their homeland. In over 109 years, JNF has evolved into a global environmental leader and become the central address for partnering with the land and people of Israel. JNF has planted 240 million trees; built over 1,000 parks and recreational areas; constructed security roads; educated students around the world about Israel; created new communities so that Jews from around the world would have a place to call home; discovered new means of growing plants under arid conditions, bringing green to the desert; and built over 210 reservoirs and water recycling centers, increasing Israel’s water supply by 12%. Today, JNF is supporting Israel’s newest generation of pioneers by bringing life to the Negev Desert, Israel’s last frontier. A United Nations NGO, JNF sponsors international conferences on desertification, shares afforestation techniques, and funds research on arid land management. JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers. For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit

Israel’s Water Economy: The Problem, The Solutions By: Amy Parsons and Dr. Morton Mower, JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Members

A MEssage from Our President Stanley M. Chesley

neret will no longer be a viable fresh water resource, an irreversible situation. The other water sources in Israel are in no better shape. The Yarkon Taninim aquifer, one of the biggest in Israel, is at its lowest level ever and shrinking daily. And as a result of the very low precipitation levels over the last few months – lower than in previous years – water reservoirs across the country are also reaching the lowest levels in history. A pressing danger associated with such limited rainfall is desertification. According to experts, continued drought could cause central Israel to be covered by desert in 50 years. The Investigation Committee found that the water crisis has been further aggravated by errors in management of the water system, including overdrawing reserves, failing to reduce domestic consumption, and delaying the development of alternative water sources such as desalination plants. Following the committee’s conclusions,

I always say that JNF is the single organization

I know that can get the job done in record time. It sees a need, it fills it. JNF does not procrastinate, does not wait for others to start. Rather, its credo is NOW, let’s do it now, and who’s going to join with us on this fantastic journey we call the land and people of Israel? Take a look at Israel today and you can see this is true. It is a blooming land of more than 240 million trees, parks and playgrounds made inclusive for all, recreation areas in volatile border areas for children to play out of harm’s way, tourist sites that testify to the nation’s rich history, and a desert that is becoming home to tomorrow’s generation of Israel’s residents. It is a country that leads in water conservation and recycling and then shares its expertise with all who can gain from it. Everywhere you turn, JNF — with your help – has played a role. JNF’s accomplishments in the U.S. have been no less spectacular. Just recently, Charity Navigator, America’s leading independent charity evaluator, bestowed its fifth consecutive 4-star rating on JNF for the organization’s sound fiscal management. Only 5% of the more than 5,400 charities rated have received this coveted evaluation five years in a row. JNF was also recently named to The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual Philanthropy 400 list of the nation’s biggest charities. Of the 22 Jewish charities that made the list, JNF was one of only four Jewish organizations that saw a boost in fundraising totals — at a time when so many organizations have seen a decrease in giving. We are one of the most technologically efficient, highperforming non-profit organizations in the country. And it’s not just me telling you; it’s the opinion of independent watchdogs. Our scrupulous business standards enable the organization to direct more money towards projects that donors can visit and see their support in action. What are we doing now, you ask? Whatever is needed, what matters most, what will make a difference in the quality of lives – you name it, we’re doing it. In September, we will commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at a memorial site in Jerusalem where there already sits a statue on a spacious plaza, the only place outside of the U.S. where the names of all those who died that day are written. JNF created this site with the vision that this will be a place of shared democratic values, of a wish for peace where people of all faiths and nations can go and sit and contemplate. Developing the Negev Desert was David Ben Gurion’s dream. But Israel, a small country, was busy protecting itself and creating a nation, so the Negev was forgotten about. No longer. Today it looks vastly improved, healthier, more vibrant than it did a mere decade ago. JNF made that happen. We are heavily involved in our Blueprint Negev campaign. Just visit Be’er Sheva and see how a community can undergo a revival. On the pages of this B’Yachad you will see the challenges and successes of one of our biggest efforts: The JNF Parsons Water Fund. This is a vast and necessary initiative to help Israel and its neighboring countries battle the critical issue of drought. There was an essential need. We recognized it. And we are doing it – now. There is so much more that we are doing. We are the NOW organization, thanks to our leadership and thanks to you.


According to experts, continued drought could cause central Israel to be covered by desert in 50 years.

and with the backing of the government, the Water Authority was directed to prepare a master plan for Israel’s water economy. As a natural extension of JNF’s work with water, the JNF Parsons Water Fund is assisting the Water Authority in this endeavor. While JNF supports the country’s plan for more desalination plants, we continue to look for other ways to provide water to the region. The Investigation Committee is pursuing JNF’s suggestion to import water from a neighboring country. We also support upgrading wastewater treatment plants to the tertiary level, utilizing energy-saving technologies that meet our environmental standards. The recycled water from these plants can be used to water all agricultural crops, irrigate parks and gardens, and replenish streams. Each drop of recycled water used saves a drop of fresh water. JNF is identifying the next 100 sewage treatment systems that need to be developed for Israel to recycle 90% of its water, an increase from the current 77%. Above all, we encourage greater public awareness about the need to conserve water. With so much work to be done, we are looking for help. If you are creative, have vision, and are interested in helping find solutions to the water crisis in Israel and the region, we invite you to join the JNF Parsons Water Fund Board of Directors. Be a part of the solution. Join those who give life to the people of Israel. If you are interested, please contact Pnina Dor at 212-879-9305 ext. 262 or at pdor@jnf. org.

Jewish National Fund

There is valid reason for the recent headline, “Going Dry,” published in an Israeli newspaper. Israel’s Water Investigation Committee’s recent findings were grim: water levels in the Kinneret and the aquifers have become dangerously depleted due to overexploitation, and even a succession of rainy years will not be able to replenish Israel’s water economy. It is necessary to launch a policy of emergency management. Israel has experienced drought for the past six years and is headed for a seventh drought year. The water level in the Kinneret is only a few centimeters above the black line, which constitutes the level that prohibits pumping. Each year, the shrinking water level of the Kinneret leads to a higher concentration of salt in the water. If this continues the Kin-

Earn up to 11.3% on your money, and 100% of a nation’s gratitude. For as little as $5,000, you can help achieve your financial goals and those of a nation — Israel.


There is more reason than ever to create a charitable gift annuity with Jewish National Fund. JNF offers planned giving opportunities that give you a generous return, the benefit of tax savings, plus recognition in Israel. At the same time, JNF receives much-needed support to continue major projects that enhance the quality of life for the people of Israel.

S JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson surveying the damage to the Carmel region immmediately after the blaze was brought under control.

Are We So Insecure? By: Russell F. Robinson, CEO, Jewish National Fund


It was five years ago, but I still remember how proud I was when I saw a picture of an El Al plane landing in Little Rock, Arkansas, full of supplies provided by the people of Israel and Jewish National Fund donors. Crate after crate was unloaded — from baby wipes to formula — basic necessities being provided by Jews the world over to the people of New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of the disastrous Hurricane Katrina. The outpouring of donations and volunteerism was massive and came from all corners of the organized Jewish community. It was a proud moment, seeing us — always a giving people — open our hearts and our pocketbooks in a time of crisis. Day schools and youth groups made special trips to New Orleans to assist with the clean-up. The same happened when fires raged across Montana, when earthquakes hit California and even with the BP oil spill: Jewish organizations and congregations throughout America mobilized to assist those in need. That’s what we do. In none of those situations did I see a rabbi refuse to give his money or time, or question the preparedness of the United States. I never heard of any professional from a Jewish organization question whether $100,000 was needed or $1 million. Not one of us spent our precious time asking “Who was at fault?” We simply responded because that is the Jewish way. Why then, when a catastrophe like the Carmel mountain fire broke out, did I receive emails from rabbis and read articles stating that Israel should have been better prepared? And questioning whether JNF planted the right trees over the past 100 years? How are these their first thoughts when such a tragedy occurs? Have we become so insecure with who we are as a Jewish people and with our connection to the land and people of Israel, that for other catastrophes anywhere else in the world, we say yes, and yet for Israel, we question?

Perhaps a fire hose could have been purchased for $1.99 less or a non-indigenous tree was planted. There may even be another fire where something goes wrong because we overlooked a detail. But that’s how it goes the world over. You hopefully learn from your mistakes and you move on. You don’t stop caring! Thankfully, etched more deeply into my memory, are the great heroes and spirit of the people that I encountered when I went to Israel to survey damage after the fire.







65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73

6.0% 6.1% 6.2% 6.3% 6.4% 6.5% 6.6% 6.7% 6.8%

74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82

6.9% 7.1% 7.2% 7.4% 7.6% 7.8% 8.0% 8.3% 8.5%





N N U I T Y*


83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 & over


8.8% 9.2% 9.5% 9.9% 10.2% 10.6% 11.0% 11.3%*

*Two life rates

will vary

For more information, call 1-800-562-7526 As recognized by

Within 48 hours, thousands upon thousands made online gifts to JNF.

Jewish National Fund During the first three days of the fire, over 38,000 Israelis signed up on Facebook looking to volunteer during Tu Bishvat and help re-plant and clean up. Within 48 hours, thousands upon thousands from throughout the U.S. made online gifts to JNF. Hundreds of synagogues and temples held Shabbat services and rallied their congregations for the land and people of Israel. That is the Jewish spirit I know. Israel’s firemen drew a line in the sand and held the flames away and saved a kibbutz, putting their own lives in peril. There were JNF foresters who drove a fire truck right into the forest, battling the flames for four days and treating every tree as if it were a life that needed to be saved. One of the foresters took me to a dedication stone. “This is for a family that planted trees in memory of their father,” he said to me. “I planted trees in memory of my parents. Every tree in Israel has a name and a connection and it is my honor to work to save every one.” There will no doubt be other emergencies in America, in Israel, around the world. Each time we are faced with a crisis, I know that as a Jewish people, we will respond with the passion and commitment that has made us a great people. I am secure in that knowledge and proud to tell the world that I am a Jew.

LoyaLty Program Get Great Savings While Supporting Israel Check out all the fantastic deals: Israeli jewelry, Israeli wine, El Al, hotels, Direct TV, flowers & gifts, and more!

Project Update:

Campaign Update

9/11 Living Memorial Prepares for 10-Year Anniversary of the Attacks The 9/11 Living Memorial, located in Jerusalem’s Arazim

We are proud to highlight Bruce Gould, from Orlando,

the major gifts category. His most successful solicitation was a $300,000 gift to JNF. A participant on JNF missions at least three times a year, Bruce has gone to Israel on over 20 different JNF trips, including the Budget & Finance missions, multiple President’s Council missions, Orlando community missions, and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies Bike mission. Understanding the importance of lay leaders “giving and getting,” in addition to the strong fundraising role he plays, Bruce, a member of the World Chairman’s Council, is also the named sponsor of the Gould Legacy Society through his commitment of a $1 million life insurance policy and has also committed $1 million for the Ammunition Hill Amphitheater Project. His initiative and leadership in Florida make Bruce an invaluable team player. He travels frequently throughout the state to speak and help solicit and is the catalyst for the JNF National Board‘s decision that Orlando, FL will host the JNF National Conference in 2012. A true “mensch,” we are fortunate to have him as our leader.

FL, as a JNF Campaign All-Star. Bruce has been an active leader in JNF circles since joining a New Future Leadership group in 1997 after a JNF Artzenu mission experience. Subsequently, he held many different positions at JNF, including Orlando Regional President, Products Committee Chairman, National Assistant Treasurer, and his current roles as a member of the National Board of Directors, a member of the Land of Promise Foundation Board, Co-chair of Zones and Regions, President of the Florida Zone, and lay consultant to JNFuture. Bruce is often called upon to lend his passion, vision, and experience – and his answer is always YES. Bruce has demonstrated his love for JNF and Israel through these many leadership roles and through his clear understanding of his ever-critical role as fundraiser. Each year, Bruce solicits a minimum of 20 gifts in the $1,000-$5,000 range Congratulations to Bruce Gould! and is a leading player in securing significant donations in


Campaign All-Star: Bruce Gould

As this is my inaugural column as Vice President of Campaign, I would first like to congratulate my predecessor Chuck Fax. Chuck has taken the campaign to new heights and has set the bar to a new standard. Chuck, a fellow Makor member, has become a close friend and I will miss working with him. Many people ask me why I have devoted so much time and energy over the past 11 years to JNF. To me, the answer is simple. The Jewish people need a strong, secure homeland to survive and there is no better organization to ensure this than JNF. Our mission statement says it all: caretakers of the land of Israel for the Jewish people everywhere. It is our job to protect and develop the infrastructure as well as enrich the lives of all Israelis. JNF has come a long way since planting our first tree 109 years ago. We have built entire communities and are watching the Negev Desert flourish. We have built security roads to protect our people and have brought dignity to those with disabilities by making our parks inclusive. Our next challenge is solving the serious water shortage. The future stability of the Middle East may soon be dependent on water, not oil. Israel is on the cutting edge of water conservation, reclamation and desalination, and JNF has taken a leading role in assisting this process. The 2011 campaign will be heavily focused on increasing the availability of water to the region through the JNF Parsons Water Fund. This past year, JNF further strengthened its superb record as a nonprofit organization. For the 5th consecutive year, JNF received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, and has recently been added to The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s top 400 charities. This provides donors with a lot of bang for their buck and sets JNF apart from other charities as the gold standard of giving. I like to look at most things in life through the concept of a team approach. My role as 2011 National Campaign Vice President means that I am responsible for getting the ball rolling. But I can’t get the job done without your help; we’re a team. I am counting on your enthusiasm and commitment to enable JNF to reach new heights. You can count on me to continue to roll up my sleeves and dedicate myself to working diligently to achieve success. Together we will be united in our mission of prosperity and greatness for the land of Israel.


Park, commemorates the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and stands as a reminder of shared loss and a call for collective understanding. The monument, which was dedicated by JNF on November 12, 2009 and funded by Ed Blank and the Bronka Stavsky Weintraub Trust, is the first major international memorial to the victims of the attacks and the only site outside of New York that lists the names of the nearly 3,000 men, women, and children who perished. Designed by award-winning Israeli artist Eliezer Weishoff, the 30-foot high bronze sculpture represents an American flag transforming into a memorial flame. It rests on a granite base that includes a metal beam from the wreckage of the Twin Towers, generously donated to the Jerusalem Municipality by the City of New York. Surrounding the sculpture is a crater-like stone plaza lined with metal plates that bear the names of those who lost their lives in New York, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Amphitheater-style benches along the interior provide visitors with a place for viewing and reflection. To increase international awareness of this important site, beautify the park and enhance the visitor experience, JNF has launched a $2 million development project that will culminate with a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Plans involve a grove of olive trees around the monument where individuals can dedi-

cate plaques to loved ones; permanent display panels with information in English and Hebrew on the attacks, the memorial, and the surrounding area; audio information stations in various languages; guided tours of the site; a small visitor center with brochures, information, and a special memorial prayer for visitors; a wall recognizing the more than 90 countries who lost citizens in the attacks, where visiting dignitaries can lay a wreath in honor of those who died; restroom facilities, water fountains, and shaded areas with seating; improved access for vehicles, hiking and biking; upgraded signage; and expanded parking for buses and private vehicles. Contributions of $25,000 and above in support of this campaign will be recognized on-site. For more information and to watch a video of the dedication, visit

Marc Kelman, vp, Campaign

Jewish National Fund

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

JNF Across the country

  New England Zone

 Southern Zone


  Los Angeles Zone










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New england Zone

Southern Zone

Los Angeles Zone

1 New England board and Sapphire Society members at the 2010 National Conference.

1 JNF Board of Directors member Robert Port proudly held his bike above his head during

1. Alyse Golden Berkley and Arava Regional Council Mayor Ezra Ravins took a moment before

(Back, L-R) Ed Hershfield, Ralph Rotman, Ken Segel, Colonel (res.) Sharon Davidovich, Patricia and Michael Blank, Aviva Sapers, Judith Sydney, Claudia Fine, Lee Aronson, Lawrence Cohen and Michael Lederman. (Front, L-R) Todd Patkin, Sharon Freedman, Phuli and Bob Cohan.

2 JNF hosted a welcome reception for Shai Bazak, Consul General of Israel to New England.

(L-R) Board member Marc Zwetchkenbaum, Shai Bazak, Phil Rosenfield, and board member Brian Nagle.

Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride, along with 114 others, ages 12 - 74, from four different countries. David showed strength and his passion for Israel throughout the 300 miles of the ride.

4 Dr. John Deutch, former head of the CIA and MIT professor, was the featured speaker

at JNF’s advisors breakfast. Board member Ralph Rotman presented the advantages of planned giving. (L-R) Event co-chairs Ralph Rotman and Judy Mendel, Dr. Deutch, and VP of Campaign Todd Patkin.

5 In Israel, Capital District board member Warren S. Geisler and his brother Edward

dedicated a plaque for their father, Mortimer, at Ammunition Hill. The Geisler-Friedman family presented the plaque with a great amount of pride to their family patriarch for his wonderful accomplishments. (L-R) Ed, Warren, and Mortimer Geisler.

Bouskila of Sderot at the home of Marty and Deena Singer in Beverly Hills. (L-R) Marty Singer, David Bouskila, and Deena Singer.

Sweetwater Brewery with a night filled with BBQ, beer and entertainment. (L-R) Steven Green, Cobi Edelson, Bennie Cohen, and Julie Samet.

3. More than 225 people came together to hear from Amir Levy, Fire Chief of the Western

3 Participants gathered in Dr. Jim Libby’s Atlanta home for the Doctors for Israel Leadership

4 (L-R) Southern and Florida Zone emissary Ronnie Porat, National Secretary Geri Shatz,

Ezra presented to a group of women from the Sapphire Society.

2. More than 40 people attended an intimate Major Donors reception with Mayor David

2 JNFuture young professionals kicked off the JNF National Conference in Atlanta at the

breakfast with Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post. (L-R) Dorit Mordel, Tuti Porat, Gladys Hirsch, Gil Hoffman, Rosi Fiedotin, Sharon Levison, and Beth Gluck, JNF Southern Zone director.

3 Board of Directors member and team JNF captain David Eisenberg participated in his 5th

the JNF Bike Ride for Israel trip in October during which participants rode over 300 miles from Jerusalem to Eilat.

and JNFuture member Jessica Fraidlin worked the JNF booth at the “We Celebrate Israel” festival at Victory Park in Dallas. Over 3,000 people visited the JNF booth.

5 (L-R) Volunteers Vanessa Lustig, Rachel Kaufman, and Andrea Whitman Steiger helped out at the JNF booth at the “We Celebrate Israel” festival at Victory Park in Dallas.

6 Leon Esquenazi (second from left), JNF supporter and lifelong tree planter in Israel, visited the “We Celebrate Israel” festival with his grandchildren. (L-R) Granddaughter Elaine Steinfeld, Leon Esquenazi, grandson Joshua Esquenazi, and National Secretary Geri Shatz.

Galilee at the JNF Breakfast. (L-R) Breakfast Co-Chair Mark Egerman, Larry and Sunny Russ, Breakfast Chair Doug Williams, JNF Campaign Executive Ariel Kotler, and Chief Amir Levi.

Florida Zone










JNF Across the country












Florida Zone

1. (L-R) Meredith Avrach, Dr. Jeffrey Caplan, Miami-Dade board member Rosalie Schlaen, and

9 Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, gave an update on the

Horacio Schlaen at the Miami-Dade kick-off held at Avenue 29 in Aventura, FL.

current peace talks with the Palestinians and the situation with Iran to an attentive gathering at Jewish Academy of Orlando. He also addressed 50+ students at University of Central Florida on behalf of Caravan for Democracy.

2. (L-R) Gili and Orli Zimmerman at the Miami-Dade kick-off held at Avenue 29 in Aventura, FL.

3. (L-R) Miami-Dade Board President Michael Benchetrit, JNF Campaign Executive Robert

Swire, Miami-Dade JNFuture chair and event chair Joshua Berkowitz, and Miami-Dade board member Barry Stein at the Miami-Dade kick-off held at Avenue 29 in Aventura, FL.

4. (L-R) Ellen Reisel from Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center, Tree of Life™ honoree Harold Joels, and campaign executive Beth Morris at a recent Sarasota Tree of Life™ Award dinner planning meeting.

10. JNF Palm Beach board member and General Campaign chair Mort Fishman with Palm

Beach board member Melanie Fishman at the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center during their recent trip to Israel.

11. (L-R) David Litsky, Lisa Manfra, Rona Bartelstone, JNF Palm Beach Board President Art

Silber, JNF Palm Beach board member Mort Fishman, and host Mark Mirkin, Esq., during a recent JNF breakfast meeting at the law office of Carlton Fields in West Palm Beach.

12. (L-R) Edith Shambon, Carole Cornell, Elaine Zukerman, JNF South Palm Beach board

5. (L-R) Denice Piller, Dr. Rob Norman, USF Hillel students Brittany Grossfield and Emily Rizzo, and Alexander Muss alumni Glen Gilzean at a recent JNF phone-a-thon.

6. Lt Col. (Res) Ronnie Porat spoke at the inaugural Jacksonville JNF Doctors for Israel Society event hosted by Drs. Dayan & Jeffrey Sandler. (L-R) Ronnie Porat, Dr. Mitchell Levine, Dr. Craig Morgenthal, and Dr. Ron Elinoff.

7. (L-R) The Honorable Susan Dlott, JNF President Stanley Chesley, and Tampa Bay board member Ida Raye Chernin at the National Conference in Atlanta.

8 (L-R) Dr. Rich Gitlin and Tampa Bay board member Barbara Gitlin enjoyed the festivities at the Major Gifts reception at the National Conference in Atlanta.

member and Education chair Cantor Elaine Shapiro, and Judi Bukaitz enjoyed each other’s company at a recent Rosh Chodesh meeting.

13. (L-R) Marissa Hollander, member of the Palm Beach “Women, Mothers and Israel-Lovers”

Spa event Committee, and Robin Elkain at the Women’s Campaign for Israel kick-off event held at Eau Spa by Cornelia, Ritz Carlton, Palm Beach.

14. (L-R) Talie Leder, member of the Palm Beach “Women, Mothers and Israel-Lovers” event

committee, and Marsha Zidel enjoyed time to reflect, replenish and renew at the Women’s Campaign for Israel kick-off event at Eau Spa by Cornelia Ritz Carlton, Palm Beach.

15. (L-R) JNF Broward Board of Directors member and General Campaign chair Craig Feld-

man, Judge Jeffrey Levenson, and David Sherry, Esq. at the recent Tower Club Broward JNF Lawyers for Israel breakfast sponsored by Greenspoon Marder, P.A.

16. (L-R) Phyllis Kahn, Robin Lewin, Vita Gopman, and Karen Firestone enjoyed the musical “Motherhood” at the recent Broward Women’s Alliance event.

17 (L-R) Host Steven Zuckerman and Rabbi Norman Lipson of Temple Dor Dorim shared a moment together at the parlor meeting hosted by Brigitte and Steven Zuckerman in Weston.

18 (L-R) Rabbi Michael Resnick of Temple Emanu-EL, Palm Beach, and JNF Palm Beach Board member Melanie Fishman at the West Palm Beach Marriott during the JNF Palm Beach breakfast.

Western Zone

JNF Across the country









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Western Zone

1 (L-R) Lori Citron, Brenda Schwartz, Lynn Barinbaum, and Peggy Hiller at the Women’s Alliance luncheon in Phoenix.

2 Natalie Eisenberg (center) welcomes two new members to JNF’s Women’s Alliance who were treated to an afternoon of JNF, a cooking demonstration and a wonderful kosher buffet lunch. (L-R) Doreen Feldberg, Natalie Eisenberg, and Eve Danoff.

3 (L-R) Sheila Groman, JNF board member Toni Dusik, Dottie Goodman, Adi Kaliki, Sapphire Society member Valerie Richter, and Sue Kurn attended a Women’s Campaign for Israel luncheon, which featured intimate stories from women who care about Aleh Negev, Israel and JNF.

4 (L-R) Judy Berkovitz, community director and Bob Dubin, JNF Las Vegas president, at the Desert Torah Academy new campus dedication, where they presented a JNF tree certificate dedicated to the new school.

5 (L-R) Golf tournament event chair Dr. Richard Chudacoff and Robert Freymuller, CEO of

Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, at “Negev Night on the Golf Course,” the annual JNF Las Vegas golf tournament held at Siena Golf Club.

6 (L-R) Dr. Lionel Weiss, Dr. Danny Schumann, golf committee member Alan Margolies, and Dr. Avi Weiss at “Negev Night on the Golf Course,” the annual JNF Las Vegas golf tournament held at Siena Golf Club.

7 Josh Boxer of Englewood, CO hit a home run with his mitzvah project by collecting muchneeded equipment for JNF Project Baseball.

8 The equipment that Josh Boxer collected for JNF Project Baseball is being put to good use in Israel.

9 On a recent trip to Israel (L-R) Arnold Landsberg and JNF Palm Springs and Desert region

board member Annette Sunshine visited JNF projects in the Negev, including Be’er Sheva, Givot Bar and Aleh Negev.

10 (L-R) Gary Kremen, founder of the Internet dating site, and Mark Goldman,

CEO of Armageddon Energy, in the VIP suite at the San Francisco Giants Jewish Heritage night.

11 (L-R) Jerry Brown and Alan Kushnir in the VIP suite at the San Francisco Giants Jewish Heritage night.

12 (L-R) Pam Baer, JNF CEO Russell Robinson, JNF regional director Rebekah Wildman, and Larry Baer, president of the San Francisco Giants in the VIP suite at the San Francisco Giants Jewish Heritage night. In appreciation of their leadership and support of the San Francisco Jewish community, Russell presented Larry and Pam with a beautiful JNF mezuzah and a DVD of the film “Holy Land Hardball.”

13 (L-R) JNF Tree of Life Co-Chairs Michael Feldman and Larry Katz present the Tree of Life Award to Jerri Ann and Gary Jacobs and their son Adam for their continued humanitarian work around the world.

14 (L-R) JNF Palm Springs and Desert region board member Judy Cohn and husband Marty Cohn, a former board member, dedicated the vocational training center at Aleh Negev on behalf of the Palm Springs and Desert region.

15 (L-R) Host Barbara Platt and dinner chair Cheryl Fey at the Palm Springs and Desert region Table Captain reception.

16 (L-R) JNF Tree of Life™ co-chairs Larry Katz and Michael Feldman presented the Tree of Life Award to Linda and Jeff Church, pictured with their children.

Greater New York Zone

  Midwest Zone










JNF Across the Country













Greater New York Zone

1 Mayor David Bouskila of Sderot visited NY and NJ area schools to speak about the

lives of the children of Sderot. (L-R) GNY Zone Director Michael Feinman, Mayor David Bouskila, Rabbi Benjamin Yasgur, Marjorie Shuster, Barbara Deutsch, and Danielle Obrart at HANC High School in Uniondale, NY.

Midwest Zone

1 (L-R) Keith J. Shapiro, Tree of Life™ Honoree Harold Kaplan, and Lee Miller at the Chicago Negev Nights Benefit Dinner.

2 (L-R) Sharon Kaplan, Women’s Campaign for Israel chair Lori Abrams, Chicago campaign executive Michael Anderson, and host Lori Dekalo at a JNF Women’s Campaign wine tasting in Chicago.

2 (L–R) Ben Jablonski, JNFuture national chair; Jessica Levine, event chair; Ben Levine, JNFuture events chair; Amy Dorf, host committee member; and friend at JNFuture’s 4th Annual Garden of Eden Gala at the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel in New York.

3 (L-R) Jaymie Stein Green, Dustin Stein, Arts & Design Circle chair Ari Lankin, and Jac

3 Marianna Brown Bettman (center) received the JNF/Judge Carl B. Rubin Attorney of the Year award. (L-R) Todd Bailey, former special assistant to President Clinton and keynote speaker Jay Footlik, Bettman, JNF Southern Ohio Region president Louise Roselle, and Al Gerhardstein.

Lahav at an evening celebrating emerging Jewish artists at the Ohm in Chelsea.

4 (L-R) Robert Derector, National Director of JNF Parsons Water Fund Col (Res.) Sharon Davidovich, and Professional Circle member Alan Levine at an exclusive breakfast briefing on Israel’s water crisis and JNF’s innovative water projects, held at Robert Derector Associates.

4 JNF Executive Board member Patti Schneider received the 2nd Annual Board Member

5 Herman Margules (second from right) spoke about JNF’s Ammunition Hill project at a NY Veterans Day Event. (L-R) Sandy and Ruthie Engelman, Ruth Margules, JNF Emissary Talia Tzour, Herman Margules, and David Margules, president of JNF’s Mid-Atlantic Zone and Century Society member.

6 Doryne and Milty Davis hosted an event at their home in Bergen County with guest speakers Sderot Mayor David Bouskila and Linda Scherzer, former CNN correspondent to the Middle East and a Northern New Jersey JNF board member. (L-R) Mickey Davis, Doryne Davis, Alana Davis, Mayor David Bouskila, and Milt Davis.

7 The Cohens - son Jeremy, grandsons Josh and Benjamin and second cousin Marsha dedicated a pillar in memory of Joe Cohen in American Independence Park.


8 (L-R) Ashley Israel, Michigan Region board member; Jeanette Weissman; Seth Gould; and Buddy Sollish listened to guest speaker Rick Krosnick, Chief Development Officer, at an outreach meeting hosted by Michigan Region President Dr. Leora Bar-Levav.

9 Jordan Pachefsky planted a tree in Israel along with 30 classmates as part of the Milwaukee Jewish Day School’s 8th grade class trip to Israel.

10 JNF On Campus, College Democrats, College Republicans, Hillel and the Israel Club welcomed Sderot Mayor David Bouskila at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. (L-R) Shawn Matson, College Democrat; Heidi Rattner, Hillel Director; Mayor David Bouskila; Diana Azimov, JNF on-campus representative; Savannah Hunnicutt, Israel Club president; Kate Edwards, College Republican; Jared Bierbach, College Democrat, and Sidney Rivkin, JNF Wisconsin regional director.

of the Year Award. (L-R) Southern Ohio Regional president Louise Roselle, Tree of Life™ co-chair and recipient Patti Schneider, and Eddie Paul, past Zone and Regional president, National Board Member, and Special Events co-chair.

11 Past JNF Wisconsin region honorees Felicia and Jamie Miller, together with their daugh-

At the Southern Ohio region Tree of Life™ dinner: (Back, L-R) Margie Adler, dinner cochair; Randy Miller, dinner co-chair and JNF executive board member; and Diane Weber, dinner co-chair. (Front, L-R) Patti Schneider, dinner co-chair and JNF Executive Board member; and Mary Ellen and Tom Cody, Tree of Life™ honorees.

12 (L-R) Nancy Rackoff, Eva Blum and Bill Rackoff celebrated Tree of Life™ honoree Eva’s

6 (L-R) Debbie Rothschild, regional director, Mitch Wasserman, community campaign chair, Sderot Mayor David Bouskila, and Teri Hochberg, Park Synagogue Religious School director at an event hosted by Park Synagogue.

7 (L-R) Event chairs Ron Sollish, Eli Scherr, Robert Kaplow, and Matt Bernstein at a tax and estate planning seminar hosted by Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.

ters, Hilary (left) and Erin (right), dedicated a marker at the Dedicatory Wall at AIP during their family visit to Israel.

accomplishments at the Tree of Life™ dinner at the Omni William Penn.

13 (L-R) David and Barbara Burstin, Danny and Barbara Shapira and JNF board member Rabbi James Gibson enjoyed the Tree of Life™ dinner honoring Eva Tansky Blum.

Northeast Zone

  Mid-Atlantic Zone

JNF Across the country















10 7


Northeast Zone



Mid-atlantic Zone

1 (L-R) Central NJ president Marc Leibowitz and Central NJ board member Andrew Rubenstein at a board meeting in Roseland.

1 (L-R) Past Maryland board president Steve Cohen and JNF Lawyers for Israel member Leon Berg at a Baltimore JNF Lawyers for Israel event.

2 (L-R) Orazio and Alyssa Russo, Central NJ board member, at the National Conference in Atlanta.

2 (L-R) JNF Lawyers for Israel member Bruce Kauffman, Major Gifts chair and Makor speaker Ellen Rosenberg, and JNF Lawyers for Israel

3 (L-R) Central NJ board members Robert Wolfson and Alan Kirshenbaum at a Central NJ board meeting in Roseland. 4 Ari Nahmani, son of Yossi and Lynne Nahmani from Philadelphia, PA, at the B’nai Mitzvah Remembrance Wall in Israel. 5 (L-R) Rich Cohen, incoming Philadelphia Board President, and David Dinenberg, incoming Philadelphia Board Vice President and General Campaign Chair, at the Philadelphia Board of Directors installation.

6 President’s Council members Susan Kestenbaum and Marcie Cohn with speaker Sharon Davidovich at the Philadelphia JNF/Gratz College event.

7 (L-R) Volunteers Barrie Solomon, Goldie Robins, and Lynn Jungreis at the sign-in table for Southern New Jersey’s 5K for H20. 8 (L-R) Debbie Drachman and Barrie Solomon, co-chairs of the 5K for H20. 9 (L-R) Judy Galler and Meryl Rodgers, JNF Women’s Alliance co-chairs, at a parlor meeting featuring Makor speaker Ellen Rosenberg.

chair Anna Davis.

3 (L-R) JNF Lawyers for Israel chair Anna Davis and Teresa Alpert discuss the impact of an increase in women’s philanthropy throughout the Mid-Atlantic zone.

4 (L-R) Orly Shalem and JNF Emissary Tali Tzour discussed the Be’er Sheva River Park at a recent JNF Women’s Alliance meeting. 5 (L-R) Toby Mower, JNF Women’s Alliance chair Susan Levene, and Cherie Brownstein at a recent event at Cherie’s home. 6 (L-R) Frank Spector, JNF Lawyers for Israel chair Anna Davis, and our newest Lawyers for Israel member Katherine Bornstein at the Baltimore event at which the topic was Women’s Rights in Israel.

7 (L-R) Washington DC Regional director Stuart Diamant-Cohen, Amy Krupsky, and Rita Stein discussed the water situation in Israel and JNF’s response.

8 (L-R) JNF Doctors for Israel chair Dr. Jim Chisum and Lawyers for Israel chair Anna Davis discussed unique ways to involve the professional community in JNF activities.

9 (L-R) Washington DC Green Sunday chairs Denise Katz-Prober and Jared Benoff spoke at the board meeting to discuss their involvement with “Generation Y.”

The Legacy of Heroism in Gush Etzion By: Ariel Kotler, Development Officer, JNF-USA Israel Operations

In early November I spent a day with Yossi Ron (Rozenfeld), an amazing individual whose life, in my eyes, tells the

On January 14, 1948, the first major attack on Gush Etzion took place. Though greatly outnumbered, residents managed to drive away the attackers, leaving the kibbutzim in desperate need of medical supplies and ammunition. The Haganah sent a platoon of 35 soldiers who were massacred en route by Arab militants and became known as the Con-

11 Yossi receiving Colonel rank in 1986, with wife Esti and his children.

voy of 35 or the Lamed He (35 in Hebrew). The final assault on Gush Etzion occurred in May 1948. For three days residents were able to hold off the Arab Legion trying to make its way to Jerusalem. After surrendering just one day before the declaration of independence of the State of Israel, 240 men and women were murdered – Tziporah and Hilik among them. Another 365 people were taken into captivity, and Gush Etzion was razed. The next day, May 14, 1948, when David Ben Gurion declared the State of Israel, the smoke from the battles of Gush Etzion was still seen from Jerusalem. Ben Gurion called the two stacks of smoke the “Shabbat candles of the State of Israel.” The day of the Kfar Etzion battle – May 13 – became “Yom Hazikaron,” the national Memorial Day for all of Israel’s soldiers who fell in battle. The next day is celebrated as Israel’s Independence Day. Yossi was “adopted” by one of the widows of Kfar Etzion and grew up believing she was his real mother. When he was nearly 10 years old, he was stopped on the street by someone who told him how brave his parents were for sacrificing their lives for the State of Israel. His adoptive mother lovingly addressed his confusion and took him to the military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem to show him his parents’ graves. After serving for many years in the IDF, Yossi was discharged with honor as a colonel in the Israeli Air Force. Married with six children, he has infused them with love for the people and land of Israel. His eldest son is named Hilik for his father. His first daughter was named Tziporah for his mother. When his daughter Tziporah was 20 years old, she was killed in a car accident; she was the same age

Hilik and Tziporah Rosenfeld.

her grandmother Tziporah had been when she was killed in Kfar Etzion. In 1967, after the Six Day War, Jews returned to Gush Etzion. Today, with 20 communities and more than 70,000 people, the Gush is beautiful and thriving. JNF is committed to building a new state-of-the-art museum in Kfar Etzion. Yigal Alon, one of Israel’s pioneers once said: “If a nation doesn’t know its past, its present is uncertain, and its future is unclear.” The museum will teach the next generation what the State of Israel means to Jews all over the world, why our homeland is so important, and the heavy price we paid for it. JNF received the first major gift towards the project after the President’s Council mission visited Gush Etzion in October. Please put Gush Etzion on your itinerary during your next trip to Israel and come live history. To learn more about the Gush Etzion Visitor Center, go to

Proposed design for the new interactive Gush Etzion museum.

Ben Gurion called the two stacks of smoke the “Shabbat candles of the State of Israel.”


story of the rebirth of the State of Israel. We were in Gush Etzion filming a new presentation about the area and its storied past: located only 15 minutes south of Jerusalem, the Gush Etzion battle was one of the deadliest in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Yossi is the son of Hilik and Tziporah, two Holocaust survivors who married when the war ended; Tziporah, 17, and Hilik, 20, had lost their entire families in the Holocaust. In 1946, the two decided to immigrate to Israel. A pregnant Tziporah was allowed in and arrived in Kfar Etzion, but Hilik was sent back to Cyprus. As an “illegal immigrant,” he was then taken to the Atlit detention camp south of Haifa (today a museum funded by JNF-SPIHS). Hilik was still in Atlit when Tziporah gave birth to Yossi. He was finally able to join them in Kfar Etzion when Yossi was seven months old. Between 1927 and 1943, Gush Etzion was settled and resettled three times on land purchased by the Jewish people (80% of the land in the region is owned by JNF). The first two attempts were short-lived, as residents were forced to abandon their homes in the face of violence from neighboring Arab communities and harsh physical conditions. In 1943 one of the abandoned kibbutzim, Kfar Etzion, was resettled with the help of JNF, and three additional kibbutzim were founded: Masuot Yitzchak, Ein Tzurim, and Revadim. In response to the 1947 U.N. resolution to partition Palestine, Gush Etzion’s strategic location made it a buffer against a southern assault on Jerusalem. The area soon became a battleground. Eventually, most of the women and children were evacuated, while the remaining residents stayed to defend their home alongside the Haganah and Palmach. Tziporah chose to send one-year-old Yossi to safety with the rest of the mothers and stayed with Hilik to fight for Kfar Etzion.

WORST FIRE IN ISRAEL’S HISTORY Four days after the worst fire in Israel’s history was finally extinguished, Micah Silko stood in the forest that has been an important part of his life for the last 25 years, surveying a once-verdant landscape suddenly reduced to black. “Do you see? There’s still smoke here and there, four days later, even after the rain,” said Silko, a JNF forester who helped battle the massive blaze that ravaged thousands of acres of the Carmel Forest during the first week of December. “I was one of the first on the scene the day the fire broke out. It spread so far, so rapidly, that there was no way to control it. There was a moment when I thought, it’s too much, let’s just get out of here and save our lives. But I remembered the trees that I’ve worked with all my life and I couldn’t abandon them.” The wildfire began on December 2 near the Druze village of Ussifya, south of Haifa. For more than 82 hours, 100-foot flames spread rapidly across the Carmel Mountain Range, fanned by extremely strong eastern winds and dry conditions brought on by months of drought. Forty-four people lost their lives, more than

Bringing the Green Back to the Carmel Unlike the arid landscape characteristic of much of the country, northern Israel is dotted with lush forests. The Carmel Mountains soar high above the Mediterranean coast from Caesarea to Haifa, forming a breathtaking, dense strip of green against an azure backdrop. In a country where only 7% of the land is forested, the Carmel is a natural treasure. Some of the trees that burned in the fire were between 50 and 100 years old.

17,000 residents were evacuated, and hundreds of homes were destroyed or severely damaged. The ecological toll was no less staggering. An estimated 5.4 million trees burned in the fire and thousands of animals were killed; those that managed to escape returned to a destroyed habitat. The area of destruction, which includes both natural woodlands and planted forests, is equal to about a third of the entire Carmel Forest reserve. “It was literally hell on earth,” said Michael Weinberger, a forest supervisor for the Western Galilee and Carmel Mountain. “It was a sight unlike anything I had ever seen, and I’ve been working for JNF since 1979.” As soon as the magnitude of the fire became clear, JNF launched Operation Carmel Renewal: From Black to Green, an emergency fundraising campaign to repair the vast environmental damage to the Carmel and provide firefighters with much-needed equipment and supplies. Visit for information and updates.

JNF’s forest management in the Carmel and throughout the country includes firefighting and prevention, which involves maintaining a fleet of specially-designed fire trucks, manning watchtowers, installing early detection systems, supervising controlled grazing, and creating firebreaks. Two hundred foresters fought the Carmel blaze alongside the fire department and emergency personnel, working not just in the woodlands but in the communities they border as well. The JNF fire trucks, built specifically for fighting forest fires, proved invaluable. “I cannot overestimate the critical importance of these fire trucks, which were donated by friends of JNF from all over the world,” said Weinberger. “If not for them, a lot more of the forest would have been destroyed.” Now the same foresters who battled the fire have begun the long forest rehabilitation process.

“We are ready to channel our energies to the arduous work of bringing the color green back to the Carmel forests,” said Dr. Omri Bonneh, JNF’s director of forestry in the northern region. While a desire to replant immediately is an understandable reaction to such widespread destruction, rehabilitating the Carmel will involve much more than simply planting new trees. JNF is part of a government committee, headed by Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, responsible for formulating a comprehensive rehabilitation plan to be approved by the Cabinet. Extensive areas will be left to regenerate on their own, which will take decades. The labor-intensive and costly process of facilitating nature’s work will require JNF foresters to examine each tree and determine which can be salvaged; clear away burnt vegetation and recreation equipment that

Supporting Israel’s Bravest

To support JNF’s Operation Carmel Renewal, visit or call 888-JNF-0099.

HOW THE DRoUGHT MADE THE FIRES WORSE According to experts, there is nothing Israel could have done to prevent the Carmel fire from reaching the proportions that it did. The extent and intensity of a fire depends on the conditions of the forest: while a young and damp forest will not burn, a mature forest like the Carmel Forest that has accumulated many combustible materials will burn easily. Because there has been no rainfall for the past eight months, the Carmel Forest was extremely dry; coupled with strong winds, the fire escalated at an uncontrollable rate.


Operation Carmel Renewal will provide Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services and JNF’s Fire Department (a combined 1,700 firefighters) with much-needed firefighting equipment. Millions of dollars worth of equipment were lost in the fire, which includes depleted supplies as well as equipment that had to be abandoned in the flames. As the U.S. fundraising arm of Friends of Israel Firefighters (FIF), JNF has provided Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services with safety equipment, firefighting supplies, new trucks, and upgraded command stations since 2004. All donations made by JNF donors are matched by the Israeli government. To date, more than 50 fire trucks have been deployed in communities throughout Israel. In addition to continuing this support, Operation Carmel Renewal will also establish a scholarship fund for the Fire Scouts volunteer program in memory of Elad Riven, the 16-year-old volunteer firefighter who lost his life in the Carmel blaze. “There aren’t enough words to describe the help we are getting from JNF,” said Shimon Romach, commissioner of the Israeli Fire and Rescue Service. “The need is great, but we have a great partner.”


present a fire hazard; prevent soil erosion in the absence of the vegetation that usually stems the flow of water; closely monitor the forest while trees regenerate because they will grow too densely, threatening tree health, forest biodiversity, and drought resistance; perform frequent thinning operations; create firebreaks to prevent the spread of future fires; and restore recreation infrastructure and scenic forest roads, which also serve as firefighting access roads. Alongside natural regeneration, limited areas will be prepared for eventual planting of indigenous trees once the state of the forest is thoroughly evaluated. New plantings will mostly be focused around recreation areas, allowing the public to gradually return to and enjoy the Carmel’s unique landscape. JNF will also help to re-green the open spaces of communities that were devastated by the fires, including the Yemin Orde Youth Village, Ein Hod, Kibbutz Beit Oren, and Ussifya. JNF can offer its expertise to make these communities feel like home again and ensure that residents don’t come back to charred trees and ashen ground but rather to a green, welcoming environment.

The next six pages outline some of the innovative and creative ideas that JNF is actualizing to help Israel combat its water shortage. The JNF Parsons Water Fund, a $100 million initiative, was created to find ways to increase Israel’s supply of high-quality water by more than 440 billion gallons over the coming decade. The board members, featured later in this publication, are proud to be part of the Israel Water Authority’s advisory team and a special mission headed by Jeffery Klein and Marvin Rosenberg will visit Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel in mid-January 2011 to im-

merse themselves first-hand in seeking the solutions to the water crisis that plagues Israel and her neighbors. JNF is proud of this entrepreneurial spirit and ability to think outside the box and provide creative solutions for developing new water sources in Israel. To learn more about JNF water projects, visit or contact Pnina Dor at 212-879-9305 x262.

PROBLEM: As a result of the severe water shortage plaguing Israel, water prices have increased while the quota for all agricultural communities has been cut by 30%. Sderot’s farmers, who have also

RESERVOIR RESCUES SDEROT’S FARMERS By: Col. (Res.) Sharon Davidovich and Jerry Berko, JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Members

132,000,000 GALLONS

264,000,000 GALLONS

396,000,000 GALLONS






dealt with rocket attacks from nearby Gaza, are suffering yet again. Additionally, the existing regional reservoir that supplies water to them can hold no more than 132,000,000 gallons of water – far less than what is needed – so the farmers must also use precious drinking water to irrigate their fields, as agriculture is a main source of income. In addition, a growing amount of sewage in Sderot and its environs urgently requires treatment as effluents that flow untreated cause serious environmental damage to the beautiful nearby Shikma Nature Reserve. SOLUTION: The recently dedicated Sderot Reservoir holds around 264,000,000 gallons of water, and deals with effluent from the town of Sderot, Kibbutz Erez, Kibbutz Or HaNer and nearby factories. The treated water will be able to irrigate an additional 1,250 acres of orchards and citrus groves (currently, the existing reservoir irrigates 800 acres). As part of this project, the existing reservoir and adjacent sewage treatment plant is being upgraded and will purify the effluent to the highest level, allowing it to be used to irrigate public parks and all types of crops. The reservoir was the vision of Natan Parsons, z”l, who on a visit to the region five years ago immediately understood the need for this system. Completion was also made possible by the generous donations of other donors from the New York and New England boards, including Rhode Island residents Claire and Marc Perlman, new World Chairman’s Council members and friends of the late Natan and his wife Amy. Amy and the Perlmans traveled to Israel to attend the dedication. “The Sderot Reservoir is part of Natan’s vision of helping farmers, improving water quality, enhancing the environment, and encouraging tourism in the Negev,” said Amy at the dedication. “He would be very excited and proud to see how the various organizations have cooperated to complete the reservoir. Natan is always in our hearts, and he is here with us today.” Alon Shuster, head of Shaar HaNegev Regional Council, added, “Apart from the reservoir’s significant contribution to the environment and agriculture, it will also strengthen the endurance of the local people. The knowledge that we are not facing this struggle alone, but that Jews in the U.S. and the rest of the world are standing shoulder to shoulder beside us, heartens us greatly.” As Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said: “It’s not just the army that fights the war for our right to live in this country. Supporting the local people strengthens the community and ensures that we shall remain here.” Said Marc Perlman: “The water crisis is a serious problem that Israel is facing now, and which the whole world will have to confront soon. The Sderot Reservoir is an excellent example of what a difference people can make when they work together. It’s exciting to see how an idea that was proposed a number of years ago has been transformed into an active project that will change the lives of the local people.”

PROBLEM: Only 700 families, many of them farmers, reside in the Central Arava and battle sharp climate changes and extreme topographical conditions. The Central Arava Regional Council hopes to double the area’s population by the year 2020, but there is not enough water to sustain that growth. SOLUTION: JNF Parsons Water Fund Board members Bob and Sheila Friedland, Geri Shatz, Bruce Cohen, and Sharon Davidovich recently participated in a unique seminar in the Central Arava that focused on the region, its challenges, and what is required for future development – namely water. They came away with a plan. The Arava, a region in southern Israel, is the most peripheral and remote area of the country. Located halfway between

Be’er Sheva and Eilat, the average distance to the closest urban centers is 80 miles. It is comprised of six moshavim, or agricultural communities: Idan, Hatzeva, Ein-Yahav, Ein Hatzeva, Tzofar, and Paran; Sapir, the regional center; and Zuqim, a new eco-tourism-based community established with the help of JNF’s Sapphire Society. Of the area’s roughly 3,000 residents, approximately 480 farming families produce nearly 60% of Israel’s fresh vegetable exports and 10% of the cut flower exports.

preventing this increase in population, including housing, education, and adequate medical services; but the most significant limitation is the water shortage. The water shortage prevents our expansion of the agricultural sector, our main source of income. Because of this, we can’t absorb new families.

“Our goal is to increase the number of residents in each of the six moshavim in the region and develop the urban area,” said Ezra Ravins, Mayor of the Regional Council. “In contrast to other moshavim and kibbutzim around the country, we are experiencing a unique phenomenon: the boys and girls who were raised here are eager to return to live in the Arava after they serve in the army and attend university. Several limitations are

The Central Arava’s water sources are limited and originate from local water drills that produce brackish water unfit for drinking. To provide residents with potable water, the brackish water undergoes various purification processes including desalination. The water, delivered to most of the communities from a central site, is then collected by the residents in tanks. Only two of the communities are equipped with local water systems that deliver drinking water to each household, usually to only one tap – typically, the kitchen. Other household uses of water, such as showering, are performed with saltwater.


Only Zuqim, which was established thanks to the support of JNF, has its own water system that supplies drinking water directly to every tap in each household.

By: Geri Shatz, Bob Friedland, and Beckie Fisher, JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Members

WATER IN CENTRAL ARAVA Water for the region is used by farmers to grow produce and flowers and for domestic usage.

480 FARMING FAMILIES Of those 3,000 families in the Arava, 480 are farming families.

“The Arava needs partners to promote the development of the area and lobby government officials to make the development of the region a priority,” he added.

Over the years the area’s farmers have developed various crops that are capable of absorbing water with a limited amount of salt. These farmers have become Israel’s largest exporters of fresh vegetables. Because they use salt water to grow the crops, salt is transferred back to the aquifer, raising its salt quotient. While several long-term solutions are being debated, the JNF Parsons Water Fund, working with the Water Authority and Mekorot, has developed some immediate answers.

3,000 RESIDENTS The water supplies 3,000 residents in the Arava.



• A special budget has been allocated for Mekorot to construct a desalination plant for the Central Arava communities to be used exclusively for drinking water. Mekorot is committed to the immediate publication of a bid and estimates that within two years the communities will be connected to a new desalination plant. • The JNF Parsons Water Fund will consider building a desalination plant for Moshav Paran to improve the quality of water for agriculture. This plant will yield 792,000,000 gallons of water that will be diluted with brackish water sources, thus producing an additional 1.4 billion gallons of water at a standard required for agriculture. The development of the Central Arava is a vital part of JNF’s Blueprint Negev campaign. A special committee headed by Beckie Fischer of Hollywood, FL and Bob Friedland of Yonkers, NY will visit the Central Arava in February 2011 to further explore ways to double the population of the region by 2020. Participants will include urban planners, people with backgrounds in real estate, medicine and education, and those with a passion for being true pioneers in the last frontier in Israel!

DRILL, BABY, DRILL By: Col. (Res.) Sharon Davidovich and Marjorie S. Federbush, JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Members

PROBLEM: The Golan Heights and northern Israel, among the most fertile areas in the country, are known as “Israel’s fruit basket,” with 74,000 agricultural acres supplying apples, plums, avocados, and mangos, as well as grapes for Israel’s fine wine industry. This area provides fruit for the entire population of the State of Israel and exports huge quantities to Europe as well. But with the water crisis, there is not enough water for irrigation. In 2004, experimental drilling was conducted in northern Israel near Kibbutz Shamir with the goal of finding a new source of water. After several months of drilling to a depth of 4,000 feet, water at a temperature of 188°F erupted 400 feet into the air. All of the partners in the drilling celebrated as this source has the potential to add about six to seven inches of water to the dwindling Lake Kinneret and supply the water needs of more than one million residents, while also providing much-needed water for their crops. However, the results of the initial water quality testing found that the water contained elements of sulfur and copper. An interdisciplinary team of researchers comprised of top-level scientists from Israeli universities was established to thoroughly examine the Shamir Drill water from multiple perspectives and identify the best methodologies available for cleaning water to the levels needed for all proposed usages. At the same time, the Water Authority decided to transfer the development rights to the Galilee and Golan Heights Agricultural Associations, owners of the land on which the site is located. Although would-be developers quickly began a fundraising effort, and despite financial commitments from the Israel Water Authority and the Agricultural Associations, they fell short of their target of more than 100 million shekels – the capital required for the project’s implementation. Thus, five years passed from the time of discovery of the new water source – years that were also five of the worst drought years in Israel’s history. SOLUTION: Frustrated, the Water Authority in 2009 turned to JNF and its Parsons Water Fund with a request to consider supporting the immediate implementation of the Shamir project. A series of meetings with all the partners in Israel ensued while the research team investigating the Shamir Drill water quality announced they had identified water treatment methods that would enable the water to be used for both drinking and agriculture.





6-7 INCHES Amount of water added to Lake Kinneret each year.

In July 2009 a solution to the financial challenge was also found. Acting on her daughter Daniella Lipper Coules’ keen interest in helping Israel identify achievable measures to ameliorate its water deficit, Dr. Evelyn Gruss Lipper, President of the Gruss Lipper Family Foundation, together with the Foundation’s special consultant, Ms. Marjorie Federbush, and the Foundation’s director, Ms. Erika Stern, flew to Israel with JNF’s Col. Sharon Davidovich in September to visit the proposed drilling site. There they saw, first-hand, water emanating from the drill’s experimental bore hole which, if developed, would become a major asset to Israel’s water economy in general and to the residents of northern Israel in particular. Further discussions followed, and the Gruss Lipper Family Foundation agreed to join the already existing public-private partnership by pledging the share of outstanding funds and giving a “green light” to JNF’s involvement. As a result of the generous foundation grant, the JNF Parsons Water Fund is awarding the developers a philanthropic loan for the remaining 30% of the cost of completing the drill. The Water Authority will finance 50% of the cost of the project and the water associations will finance 20%.



The project began in April 2010. As this publication was preparing to go to press, the first drilling was expected to reach its proposed depth of one mile, the deepest water drill ever performed in Israel. Beginning in 2011 this should supply the Israeli water economy with approximately 3.1 billion gallons of new water, about 40% of the total output expected from the entire drill site. With a forecast that 2011 will be the seventh drought year in a row, this water quantity will provide water to hundreds of thousands of residents, maintain agriculture in the north, and keep the “Israeli fruit basket” afloat. Upon completion of the first drill, the remaining two drills will begin. It is estimated that by the end of 2011, all three drills will be fully operational, adding 8.2 billion gallons of water to Israel’s water economy. This water will not only give life to hundreds of thousands of residents and help maintain the agricultural enterprise in northern Israel, it will also help lift the water level of Lake Kinneret as fresh water from the Jordan River, water that would otherwise be allocated to the area’s farmers, will now be freed up to flow to the Lake and help replenish its water supply.

PROBLEM: The 1,700-acre Be’er Sheva River Park is designed to be as popular and widely-used as New York’s Central Park. The plan will use water as an attraction in two ways: the first, a 23-acre lake; the second, a riverbed with water flowing year-round. But where will the lake get its water in a region that lacks water sources? SOLUTION: Research sponsored by the JNF Parsons Water Fund concluded that the solution lies in creating a synergy between three existing sites and upgrading the water and sewage systems for the Nevatim Air Force Base, the Bedouin village of Arara, and the village of Nevatim. The new independent water source created from that synergy will provide for present and future needs of the lake in the Be’er Sheva River Park. • The need for upgrading the entire water and sewage system at the Nevatim Air Force Base became apparent when thousands of soldiers were brought in under an IDF base relocation program in 2009, launched in collaboration with JNF’s Blue-

print Negev campaign. The base command applied to the JNF Parsons Water Fund for assistance in examining the possibility of establishing an independent wetland similar to the one at the Ramon Air Force Base.

In early 2009, the JNF Parsons Water Fund presented a comprehensive plan to Israel’s Water Authority that addressed the problems of these three communities, resulting in the Arara Project.

• The Bedouin village of Arara, situated in close proximity to Nevatim, is one of seven Bedouin communities established by the government of Israel and houses 15,000 residents, with an annual growth rate of more than 4%. The village has a small sewage treatment plant that does not even meet its current needs, let alone future requirements that will come with the growth rate. In addition, the quality of purified water is poor and cannot be recycled for any application, as it may lead to contamination of the area’s streams.

The Arara Project consists of four major components: 1. The Air Force will connect the Nevatim Air Force Base’s sewage system to the Arara water treatment facility. 2. The JNF Parsons Water Fund will upgrade the Arara facility to produce water at the tertiary level, including chlorination (this is the standard required for the Be’er Sheva Lake). 3. The Water Authority is responsible for laying a pipeline from the Arara facility to the Lake, and will connect it to a planned reservoir in Moshav Nevatim. 4. The Nevatim agricultural association will construct a reservoir that will store the surplus purified water.

• In the village of Nevatim, located south of Arara and the Nevatim Air Force Base, the community’s farmland is not wellutilized due to insufficient water allocations. The local water association is planning to build a water reservoir in the next two years that will increase the water quantities needed for agriculture.

The Arara Project will benefit Air Force personnel and their families, the Bedouin residents in the Negev, the farmers of Nevatim and the entire present and future population of the Negev.

ROUND AND ROUND THE WATER GOES By: Col. (Res.) Sharon Davidovich and Laureine Greenbaum, JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Members


ARARA COMMUNITY 15,000 residents with a 4% yearly increase in population.




Smaller circle represents the size of NYC’s Central Park in relation to Be’er Sheva River Park.

• Figuring out what to do with the excess electricity generated by the power station and how to deliver it to Amman and other consumers in the region. • Building water systems that can deliver the brine to the Dead Sea and the rest of the fresh water to the Palestinians and to Israel.

RED SEA – DEAD SEA CANAL COULD SUPPLY WATER TO ISRAEL’S NEIGHBORS By: Jeffrey Klein and Marvin Rosenberg, JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Members

The other three tests focus on the environmental impact: • The impact on the marine ecology in the Red Sea. • The effect on the Syrian African Rift through which the pipeline will run. Could earthquakes occur? What are the dangers should seawater penetrate the existing aquifers? • It is not obvious that transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea will have positive effects on the Dead Sea. It is important to know in advance the environmental implications that may be created by this process.

500,000,000,000 GALLONS Of desalinated water for Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

162,000,000,000 GALLONS





4,500 FT.

1,689,000,000,000 BOTTLES DEAD SEA

PROBLEM: This problem is two-fold: The Dead Sea, one of the most important natural wonders in the world, is losing about 330 feet of water, or about 264 billion gallons of water, annually. Additionally, Amman, the capital of Jordan on the Red Sea, suffers from a lack of water for its residents. LONG TERM SOLUTION: The Red Sea – Dead Sea Canal (RSDS) project holds the possibility of transporting 500 billion gallons of seawater each year from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, taking advantage of the altitude differences and the gravitational pull between the two regions. A desalination plant (with its own electrical power station) will be built near the Dead Sea and will manufacture 264 billion gallons of desalinated water a year for drinking; 164 billion gallons will be delivered to Amman, Jordan; 15 billion gallons to the Palestinians; and 25 billion gallons to Israel. The balance of the water, including the brine—a by-product of the desalination process—will be transferred to replenish the Dead Sea.

The project began with an official joint request submitted by Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel to the World Bank. A joint steering committee established by the World Bank, with representatives from Jordan, the PA and Israel, was awarded $15 million to conduct a feasibility study composed of four major tests to determine the project’s possibilities. The first test considers the engineering challenges of implementing the project: • Constructing a delivery system that can carry 500 billion gallons through various topographies. • Building a power source vast enough to produce enough power for what would be the largest desalination plant in the world, producing 264 billion gallons of fresh water a year. Currently, the largest desalination plant in the world is located in Israel and produces 60 billion gallons of water a year. • Finding a way to transport the water to Amman, taking into consideration altitude differences that reach more than 4,900 feet.

The feasibility study began in 2005 and will continue until the end of 2011. The joint steering committee convenes every 3-4 months to review progress reports from the professional crews. To date, most of the engineering solutions have been found; the professional teams estimate that the construction of the project will take about five years at a cost of $8 billion. The environmental studies are still ongoing and intermediate results are expected to be submitted during the first part of 2011. Assuming that all the tests are completed and the necessary solutions found, it is estimated that the project will not be completed before 2022. While these water quantities would make a significant difference in the region, the involved parties cannot wait that long. Today, Amman allows running water only three days a week and on the Israeli side of the Arava the salinity levels of underground water are on the rise, threatening the existence of agriculture in the region (see article on the Central Arava, page 15). So an intermediate solution must be found. SHORT–TERM SOLUTION: Under discussion is the construction of a desalination plant in Aqaba that will produce 40 billion gallons of water a year and more than meet the needs of the city. Water will also be transported to Amman, the Arava, and Eilat. The brine produced from the desalination process—about 20 billion gallons a year—will be transported through a pipeline from the Aqaba desalination plant to the Dead Sea. If this idea is implemented, it will provide immediate water relief and also act as a pilot test (using smaller quantities) of the effects on the Red Sea and the Dead Sea when brine is introduced. The RSDS project is only in the feasibility study stages and the road to bringing the project to realization, is long. The project offers a water solution for Amman, Jordan’s capital, but the added benefit for the Dead Sea and the international platform for implementing projects that create regional collaboration should not be dismissed.






























At home, the average person uses between 100–175 gallons of water a day! And that’s just water you can see directly. Freshwater consumption we don’t see, known as virtual water, is the amount needed to create the foods we eat and the products we use. This includes the amount of water farm animals drink, the water used to grow their feed and clean their waste and the water needed to manufacture clothing. See below for what this water footprint looks like.





















Abe Levine JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Schools Projects

Alan Levenson JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Investments Committee

Amy Parsons JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Vice Chair

Andrew Klein JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Corporate Development

Col. (Res.) Sharon Davidovich JNF Parsons Water Fund National Director

Bob Friedland JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Central Arava Project

Bruce Cohen JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Technical Committee

David Sterling JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Governmental Relations

Ed Blank JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Investments Committee

Evelyn Spritz JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Makor Liaison

Frances Lee Kaufman JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member

Franklin M. Fisher JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member

Geri Shatz JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Central Arava Project

Harold L. Kaplan JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member

Howard Rosenbloom JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member

Jeffrey Klein JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Water Mission 2011

Jerry Berko JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, KKL Projects

Laureine Greenbaum JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Vice Chair and Zones & Regions Liaison

Leonard Miller JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Environment, Water Policy and External Relations

Lou Cohen JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Investment Committee

Marjorie Federbush JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Shamir Drills Project

Marvin Rosenberg JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Water Mission 2011

Mike Lederman JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Treasurer

Dr. Mort Mower JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member, Chairperson

Pnina Dor JNF Parsons Water Fund Senior Coordinator

Toby Mower JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member

Todd Patkin JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member

Andrew Rubenstein JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member

William Rubenstein JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member

Ron C. Barshop JNF Parsons Water Fund Board Member


The Board of the JNF Parsons Water Fund is comprised of a group of passionate individuals dedicated to improving Israel’s water economy through a diverse portfolio of cutting-edge projects. Many members are personally involved with the projects initiated and overseen by the Fund, regularly visit the project

sites in Israel and bring progress reports back to JNF’s National Board and to our donors across the country. We are committed to resolving Israel’s water crisis. Join our Board today! If you are interested, please contact Pnina Dor at 212-879-9305 ext. 262 or at

After the Fire, Schools Raise Funds for Operation Carmel Renewal Almost immediately after the fire broke out in the Carmel forest region, hundreds of schools across America rallied to raise funds for the land and people of Israel launching emergency tree drives or simply encouraging students to bring in extra tzedakah. Here are some stories from across the country: “Congregation Brothers of Israel has a long connection with JNF and a very strong commitment to Israel. We have always supported the planting of trees in Israel. On the Sunday after the fires broke out, we asked our families to support the protection of the land of Israel by donating extra tzedakah to help arm firefighters with the protective gear and equipments. We raised $700 in one day; we’re a small school, but we do a lot.” Joan Hersch, Education Director, Congregation Brothers of Israel Religious School in Newtown, PA “Giving tzedakah is very important for AEPi undergraduates. The philanthropy task force decided it would be a great idea to give the $5000 that the AEPi chapters have raised so far to JNF to help with the forest fire campaign. AEPi stands with Israel and it is very important to help out.” Michael Waitz, AEPi Lorber Director of Jewish Programming & Philanthropy

“We felt it was important to show our solidarity with Israel and teach our students that all Jews are family and must support each other in times of need. The crisis hit close to home, since a number of our teachers have family in the Haifa area. Krieger Schechter Day School is a school of 390 students, K-8, and the response was gratifying. We encouraged every student to bring in a check of $18 addressed to JNF; we raised $6,500 in one week to go towards fire helmets.” Dr. Paul D. Schneider, Headmaster, Krieger Schechter Day School, Pikesville, MD “Temple B’nai Abraham Religious School conducts an annual Plant a Tree in Israel drive through JNF, usually coinciding with Tu BiShvat. This year, our tree drive began during Hanukkah in response to the devastating forest fires. We wanted to send immediate assistance to Israel to begin the process of replenishing, reseeding and rebuilding. Through JNF, we can. We are proud to do our part in turning Black into Green again!” Janet Resnick, Religious School Director, Temple B’nai Abraham, Livingston, NJ “Camp JCA Shalom holds an annual community-wide Tu BiShvat festival that draws more than 1,500 people. As a lo-

Send JNF Water Certificates for All Occasions. By sending JNF water certificates, your donation goes to further JNF’s water resource development projects for the people and land of Israel. It’s a great way to address Israel’s most pressing need and show you care at the same time. A beautiful certificate with your personal greeting will be sent to the recipient of your choice. Use water certificates for all occasions! 1-800-542-8733

cal leader in Jewish environmentalism, it was natural for us to partner with JNF and have a JNF booth at the festival. We are excited to promote a Shalom Institute grove of trees in Israel – a $5,000 tree planting goal – that will help replenish trees lost in the forest fire.” Bill Kaplan, Executive Director, Shalom Institute, Malibu, CA

Janet Resnick, Religious School Director of Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, NJ, pictured here with some of her students who held a tree drive to regreen the Carmel forest.

Alexander muss high school in israel


2010 NATIONAL CONFERENCE What a conference! We had it all: drama, passion, insight, inspiration, motivation, and camaraderie. One of the best parts of JNF is the connection it fosters between donors and Israel, but also the connection it fosters amongst us. These conferences always affirm that this wonderful work we do for the land and people of Israel, we get to do together. In two very packed days we learned about how much has been accomplished and the tough challenges Israel faces. We were taken aback by uninvited adversaries, welcomed by our friends Martin

Luther King III and Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed, moved by Shuly Natan’s “Jerusalem of Gold” and the words of Israeli Ministers Gilad Erdan and Uzi Landau, and gave a standing ovation to the inspiring words spoken by Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat: “Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of the Jewish people.” We left with focus and determination and, as one participant said so eloquently, a decisive role. He wrote: “We are living in a special time in history, for we have the opportunity to play an active role in one of the greatest generations in Jewish history. Our descendants will know us as the generation that re-established and sustained the State of Israel – a country that will continue to make a vastly disproportionate contribution to making the world a better place.”


The First Lady of the Jewish People: Ruth Popkin Even today, well into her 90’s, Ruth Popkin exudes

JNF,” said Joe Hess, JNF VP of Government Relations, who has been active now for decades. “She made it possible for people to get involved, be active, and make a difference.” “When a love and passion inspire someone to become active,” said Michael, “you get someone like my mother.” Said Levine: “Having served JNF on the national level for more than 40 years, if I had to pick my JNF hero among the lay leadership of the organization, Ruth Popkin would be my heroine!”


Ruth Popkin at a dedication ceremony in Israel.

Sapphire Member Finds Answers in JNF’s Work “What is a Zionist?”

It was that question, asked of her by a friend, which led to Vivian Grossman’s involvement with JNF. And that involvement deepened when Vivian and her husband Glenn decided to make a sizeable donation to the JNF/OR Gateway to the Negev Information Center in Be’er Sheva in memory of his son, Greg, z”l. The Grossmans have always loved Israel – Glenn even travels there yearly to volunteer with the army – but it wasn’t until a friend questioned this dedication that Vivian realized what she had to do. “The pivotal moment came when a friend asked me, ‘Why does Glenn go to Israel to volunteer? You’re not religious and don’t go to temple,’” Vivian said. “I told her that we were both Zionists. And she didn’t know what that was.” The Grossmans had already decided to make a larger commitment and find a way to give back. Vivian had been researching organizations in the hopes of finding one that spoke to them. Then she found JNF. “The work that JNF does for the people and land of Israel

was the perfect fit,” she said. Within just a few years, Vivian has become a lifetime member of the Sapphire Society, the women’s major gift division of JNF and is currently a President’s Council member and a member of the Broward County board. On this year’s President’s Council mission to Israel, the Grossmans were amazed at the vast range of JNF’s projects. “I didn’t know what to expect before going on this mission, but I was overwhelmed at what I experienced,” she said. “Before this, I had trouble putting into words what JNF does and describing it to others. Now I don’t. It’s amazing to see how JNF takes ideas and puts them into action. JNF really thinks outside the box.” The Grossmans used the mission to pick a project as a lasting legacy to Greg. “He was so dedicated to Israel,” she said, “and we needed a tangible connection to this land he loved so much.” They saw many options over the course of the mission and then through a conversation discovered a loose personal connection to Ofir Fisher, president of the OR Movement.


the same feistiness and passion that earned her the title, “the First Lady of the Jewish people.” A regular attendee of JNF Board meetings, the past president is still outspoken and opinionated. “My mom belongs to and personifies the generation that built the land of Israel,” said her son Michael Popkin. “Israel is an ideal to live for; it is in her blood and in her very being. It’s what she did every day of the week.” And she still does. The indomitable Ruth Popkin grew up in Brooklyn and at 16 was the youngest graduate of James Madison High School. She rolled bandages during the war, and then married and raised a family. Bright and talented, she found her cause in Israel as the Jewish homeland and became National President of Hadassah from 1984-1988. When her tenure there ended, she became National President of JNF in 1989, a position she held for four years. “On my second day as CEO of JNF,” recalled Russell Robinson, “there was an event here at JNF House. Ruth grabbed

my arm and said ‘be my date – but don’t think you’re gonna get lucky.’ Her passion, opinions and spirit were evident in everything she did, even in making me feel welcome. Always a lady, Ruth was and still is a powerful force in the Jewish world, and she takes everything seriously – from something seemingly little like correcting words in our board meeting minutes to more global issues like going head-to-head on Zionist politics.” “Ruth was one of Hadassah’s most beloved presidents,” said Hadassah Past President Marlene Post. “She helped turn the male associates into donors and was truly interested in people and their families, especially the younger generation – she really understands the value of cultivating the next generation. Most commendable is that even after she serves in a given organization, she stays involved and to this day continues to have a real interest in all things Zionist.” “Under Ruth’s leadership here at JNF,” said Bob Levine, JNF Vice President of Education, “a leadership arm of volunteers was formed. Called the President’s Council, it gave voice to volunteer fundraisers all over the country. “It was due to the leadership qualities that she brought to JNF that we were able to build a large following of volunteer lay leaders throughout the United States. She was the architect of our growth. Even as various Zionist organizations grew weaker or disappeared, JNF’s growth grew stronger.” “Ruth is completely responsible for my involvement in

“It all clicked,” said Vivian. “This center, located in a beautiful Turkish building that houses an information and relocation center on the top floor and a visitor’s center on the ground floor, provides comprehensive information to people on housing and job opportunities, as well as tourism. We knew this would have been meaningful to Greg, and so we went with it.”

Vivian and Glenn Grossman on the President’s Council Mission to Israel.

Prime Time for JNFuture



What does it mean to be a leader and a change agent for Jewish philanthropy? A delegation of aspiring JNFuture leaders will discover the answer to that very question on the first ever JNFuture Leadership Institute Mission planned for July 2011. “While the majority of JNFuture members have been to Israel through programs such as Alexander Muss High School in Israel and Birthright, this is an opportunity to experience Israel through the eyes of JNF,” said Stephanie Kelman, a JNFuture member working to establish a JNFuture chapter in Columbus, OH. “It is a very different experience that will help encourage our generation to fully understand the importance of Israel.” For the inaugural mission, 20-30 young leaders will be selected to participate in a week-long trip to Israel. Designed to promote leadership growth over the course of the mission, participants will visit JNF projects and learn about what leadership is. “For instance,” said Ben Jablonski, JNFuture National Chair, “what characteristics did Ben Gurion have that made

him a leader in the Jewish community? Times change, but the qualities of leadership don’t. Once you know what leadership is and see JNF projects firsthand, you can work out what leadership means to you in the context of JNF.” The Leadership Mission seeks to build partnerships within and across leadership demographics, allowing for intra- and inter-generational learning that will broaden the perspective of both up-and-coming and established leaders to ways of making the organization better. The program will also foster a generation-to-generation connection by pairing established JNF leaders with selected future leaders for the mission. Upon their return they will serve as philanthropic mentors. “JNF recognizes that a crucial way to build leadership is to show leaders the interesting and vital projects firsthand, allowing them to connect directly to the cause and see how their contributions really affect the lives of others,” said Bruce Gould, who as chair of the Zones and Region Committee will oversee the JNFuture sub-committee. Said JNFuture co-founder Gabrielle Carlin: “This mis-

sion will catapult the JNFuture program into a national leadership development program where it will build upon its success thus far and bring new young philanthropists into the organization.”

For information, visit

JNFuture National Conference 2010 attendees.


877-JNF-TOUR • •


Weekly JNF Day Tour: Every Wednesday!


Private Family Trips: Unique and personalized itineraries that are customized to suit every family.


Jewish Heritage Tour • Grand Jewish Heritage Tour • Ultimate Israel Tour


JNF will arrange a special ceremony, celebration and customized tour to fit your family’s needs.

Florida Donor Devoted to JNF’s Water Projects

JNF Makes Estate Planning Easy and Efficient by Matt Bernstein, CFP, JNF Chief Planned Giving Officer The financial commentators call them green shoots. You know, those little pieces of evidence that the winter of the great recession is behind us and the spring of a new growth phase has just begun. Some may feel this is optimistic, but optimism may be all we have. Here’s to hoping that 2011 will be better than 2010 for all of us. For many of our donors, however, the historical lower interest rates that still persist have not only impacted spending decisions; it also impacts the ability to support those causes which are important to them, including Jewish National Fund. Now may be a good time to explore the option of supporting Jewish National Fund through our Charitable Gift Annuity program. As many of our donors know, JNF runs one of the most successful Charitable Gift Annuity programs in the country. We believe it is because we offer very competitive annuity rates and our donors enjoy the stability of receiving a steady income check with the knowledge that their support of Israel goes undiminished.

So how does this work? A JNF Charitable Gift Annuity is a simple agreement that offers our donors a lifetime income in exchange for their gift. In addition to the income, there are valuable tax advantages such as tax-free income, an income tax deduction, and the avoidance of lump sum capital gains taxes if the donation is made with long-term appreciated stocks or mutual funds. Our annuities can be structured to cover one or two lives and can even be designed to act like a supplemental retirement plan by deferring income for a number of years. Here is a sampling of the single life annuity rates we currently offer: Age 65 Age 70 Age 75 Age 80 Age 85 Age 90+

6.0% 6.5% 7.1% 8.0% 9.5% 11.3.%

might benefit you, please call 800-562-7526 and speak with any of our Planned Giving specialists. We are ready to answer all of your questions. The recent tax bill passed by the House and Senate extends the extraordinary opportunity to make tax-free rollover gifts from a traditional or Roth IRAs to charity. To make sure that your gift will qualify for the tax-free treatment you must satisfy a few regulations: • You must be over 70 1/2 years old • The transfer from your IRA must go directly from your IRA to Jewish National Fund • The gift cannot exceed $100,000 in 2011. A couple with separate IRAs can each make separate gifts of $100,000. • The gift must be an outright gift*

*Transfers of IRA gifts to donor advised funds, supporting organizations, charitable gift annuities, or charitable reTo receive information, including a detailed illustra- mainder trusts do not qualify. The gift is not eligible for an tion on how a Jewish National Fund Charitable Gift Annuity additional charitable income tax deduction.


Cynthia Hertz and her husband, Matthew J. Hertz (z”l), got to know JNF through its Planned Giving department. Ever since, she has become a devotee. “Matthew believed it was good financial planning to invest in JNF,” said Cynthia. “He was always very supportive of its work, JNF practices efficient fiscal management, and it is a way to be charitable and get an annuity.” The couple established a strong connection with JNF through a variety of Planned Giving projects: gifting a piece of real estate to a Charitable Remainder Trust, setting up a

in which she was featured. “A lot of people wrote back saying that they didn’t even know that Israel had a water shortage,” she said. “I want to help make people more aware about JNF and all the good that it is doing for the land and people in Israel.” A few years ago, Cynthia decided it was time she had a bat mitzvah. Upon completion of the two-year study program she took with 16 other women in her neighborhood, she gave a water certificate to each member of her bat mitzvah class. “I give them all the time,” she said, “as a way to commemorate an event or memorialize a loved one. Most people don’t know that like tree certificates, you can give water certificates as well.” And two years ago, when she celebrated her bat mitzvah for the first time, she asked guests to donate to JNF’s water development. Cynthia became a Sapphire Society member in 2009 and recently attended her first JNF National Conference in Atlanta. “That was such a wonderful experience,” she said. “The speakers and presentations were so informative and engaging. I really enjoyed learning about all the projects in which JNF is involved. Everything we are doing is very impressive.”


Cynthia Hertz at the dedication of her family’s pillar at Sderot Reservoir.

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust, and a Charitable Gift Annuity. They also established the Dr. Matthew & Cynthia Hertz Charitable Lead Trust, which generates a yearly income to JNF, among several other charities, and funds water projects as per the Hertz’s designation. Born in the Bronx, Cynthia met Matthew while he was in dental school and she was in college. The couple settled in Ardsley, NY and Matthew opened up a dental practice in nearby Riverdale, where he went on to practice with his son, brother-in-law and nephew. Cynthia earned her degree in Library Sciences and Special Education and worked in Jewish education as a Library/Media Specialist for 30 years. The couple moved to Boynton Beach, FL in 2003. Matthew passed away in 2005. In 2006, through the income generated from the Lead Trust, funding was provided to the East Bahan Reservoir at Emek Hefer. Cynthia has a keen interest in the water situation in the Middle East and sees JNF’s water projects as a solution to the problem. Her family’s contribution was marked by a pillar at the reservoir which was unveiled for her at a private dedication ceremony. Always looking for ways to raise JNF’s profile, Cynthia recalls sending friends an ad about a recent JNF fundraiser

out & about WITH

JNf’s major donors   Greater New York Zone JNF’s Major Donors


Rabbi Eric Lankin, Chief of Institutional Advancement and Education, spoke at the home of Joan and Samuel Ginsburg about JNF’s Caravan for Democracy on college campuses. (L-R) Amy Berko Iles (Century Club, President’s Council), Sam Ginsburg (Century Club, President’s Council), Rabbi Eric Lankin, and Joan Ginsburg (Century Club, President’s Council).

(L-R) Jerry and Honie Berko (Century Club, President’s Council) recently visited the JNF 9/11 Memorial in Jerusalem. Their friend and fellow NY Region Board member, Ed Blank, was a major benefactor of this moving memorial.

Sderot Mayor David Bouskila was hosted by Doryne and Milty Davis at their home in Bergen County and addressed more than 70 guests. (L-R) Jerry Rosen, Northern NJ board member; Sderot Mayor David Bouskila; Ben Gutmann (Century Club), President of the Northern NJ board.

(L-R) Bernie Lever (Century Club) and Mayor David Bouskila of Sderot at the home of Doryne and Milty Davis in Bergen County.

  Western Zone

At the Sderot Reservoir dedication. JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson presented a plaque honoring the New York Region’s participation to Sheila Scharfman (Century Club).

JNF’s Professional Circle welcomed Jonathan Tisch (Herzl Society), CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Loews Corporation, as the inaugural speaker for the Insider Perspective series, a six-part breakfast series that aims to engage members and offer opportunities to connect with leaders in diverse industries who share their values in business and philanthropy.

National Sapphire Society Chair Dr. Carol Ford Freidkin and Cookie Shifris presented Tree of Life™ Honoree Jenny Norton (center) with her Sapphire pin in honor of her becoming a member of the Sapphire Society.

Alan Kerner, Board of Directors (Herzl Society), right, and friend at the “Negev Night on the Golf Course” at the Siena Golf Club in Las Vegas.

(L-R, standing) Negev Night on the Golf Course committee members Judy Berkovitz, Don Greenspan, Bob Dubin, JNF Las Vegas president (President’s Council), Shelley Dubin (Sapphire Society), Efraim Berkovitz, David Kruger, and Alan Margolies. (L-R, seated) Janice McLanahan and Tammy Ofek.

(L-R) Negev Night on the Golf Course committee members Alan Margolies and Bob Dubin (President’s Council).

Rick Altman (President’s Council) of Denver, CO enjoyed an exhilarating day on the Arava Bike Ride during his first trip to Israel.

(L-R) Makor members Sharyn Spillman, Dr. Carol Ford Freidkin and Marc Kelman at the Arizona region’s Leadership Leads Meeting.

(L-R) Guest speaker Terry Katz, National Chair for the Women’s Campaign for Israel, National Sapphire Chair Dr. Carol Ford Freidkin and Natalie Eisenberg celebrated the success of the JNF Women’s Alliance luncheon, where over 50 women learned about JNF projects throughout Israel.

(L-R) Carole Kushnir and regional board member Barbara Sommer (Century Club, President’s Council) in the VIP suite at the San Francisco Giants Jewish Heritage night.

Southern Zone

(L-R) Atlanta board member Gregg Cohen (Century Club) and fiancé Lori Maxell, alongside Gabrielle and Todd Starr (Herzl Society), SE co-president, celebrate JNF’s success at the Georgia Aquarium during the National Conference.

(L-R) Atlanta Board members Michael Jacobson and Michael Alterman (Century Club) co-chaired the 3rd Annual Sam P. Alterman Memorial Golf Tournament at The Standard Club in Atlanta, GA. With glorious weather and great accommodations, the golf players had fun while supporting JNF’s Be’er Sheva River Park project.

Gil Hoffman was the guest speaker at a JNF Doctors for Israel breakfast in the home of Sheri and Dr. Jim Libby in Atlanta. (L-R) Israel Emissary to Southern and Florida Zones Ronnie Porat, Dr. Jeff Kunkes (Century Club), Dr. Nathan Mordel, Gil Hoffman, Michael Weinstock (Herzl Society), Dr. Jim Libby, and National Community Campaign Chair Michael Miller (Century Club).

  Mid-Atlantic Zone

JNF’s Major Donors

(L-R) Atlanta board member Gladys Hirsch (Century Club) and incoming SE co-president David Birnbrey (Herzl Society) recite the motzi together at the National Conference Sunday evening gala dinner at the Georgia Aquarium.


(L-R) Speaker Yoram Peri, Chair of Israel Studies from the University of Maryland, and event host Alan Levenson (JNF Parsons Water Fund, President’s Council) got acquainted before the Maryland Board meeting at T. Rowe Price.

(L-R) National JNF Parsons Water Fund Chairman Dr. Morton Mower (World Chairman’s Council) and Col. Sharon Davidovich, National Director of JNF Parsons Water Fund, discussed their progress and goals.

(L-R) Dr. Chet Stein (Makor, Century Club) and Washington DC board member Dr. Sam Halperin (Century Club, President’s Council) caught up at JNF’s annual thank you event at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.

Marvin Rosenberg (Century Club, JNF Parsons Water Fund) and his wife Joan spoke with National Director of JNF Parsons Water Fund Col. Sharon Davidovich in Washington, DC.

(L-R) Mid-Atlantic campaign associate Marc Ashed with Maryland Board President Jonathan Fishman (President’s Council) discussed Jonathan’s experiences on the recent Presidents Council mission at a recent board meeting.

National Vice President for Zones and Regions Andrew Klein (World Chairman’s Council, JNF Parsons Water Fund), National Director of JNF Parsons Water Fund Col. Sharon Davidovich, National JNF Parsons Water Fund Chairman Dr. Mort Mower (World Chairman’s Council), Dr. Toby Mower (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Council, Circle of Sapphire) and Mid-Atlantic Zone Director Diane Scar gathered for a picture at the thank you event at the Israeli Embassy.

  Florida Zone

(L-R) Jayne Klein (Circle of Sapphire) and Major Gifts Chair Ellen Rosenberg (Makor, Sapphire Society) at a recent Sapphire Society event in Baltimore.

(L-R) Sheldon Sacks (President’s Council), Dr. Sam Halperin (Century Club, President’s Council), and DC board president Baruch Fellner (Century Club) gather at a Washington, DC Executive Board meeting.

Lawyers for Israel Chair Anna Davis (Sapphire Society) and her husband Richard Gordon (Lawyers for Israel) arriving at a reception at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.

Stephen Muss (World Chairman’s Council), chairman of the Alexander Muss Institute For Israel Education, at the JNF National Conference in Atlanta.

(L-R) Efi Stenzler, chairman of KKL; Mayor Nir Barkat of Jerusalem; and Dr. Robert Norman, Tampa chair of Doctors for Israel (Century Club) at the National Conference in Atlanta.

Florida Zone

JNF’s Major Donors

(L-R) Helene Blumenfeld (Sapphire Society) from NJ along with Tampa Bay Sapphire Society members Barbara Gitlin, Ida Raye Chernin and Betsy Marcadis at the National Conference.

(L-R) Chris Lamia, Lauren Mescon (Sapphire Society, Makor), Rabbi Mendy Dubrowski, Mark Miller (Herzl Society), Tampa Bay board co-president and Mary Ellen Hogan (Sapphire Society) and chair of Lawyers for Israel Society Tampa at the inaugural Lawyers for Israel Breakfast hosted by Mary Ellen Hogan of Bryant, Miller, Olive in Tampa.

(L-R) Drs. Leon and Sara Mandell (JNF Doctors for Israel), Betsy Marcadis (Sapphire Society) and Tampa Bay board co-president; Susan Turner (Sapphire Society) and Tampa Bay board member, at the second annual Doctors for Israel dinner at the Palm Restaurant hosted by Dr. Robert Norman, benefiting the Alexander Muss High School in Israel Program.

(L-R) Andy Klein (World Chairman’s Council), Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council) at the JNF National Conference.

(L-R) Alan Cohn, JNF Broward Board of Directors member and JNF Lawyers For Israel chair, JNF Broward Board of Directors president Beckie Fischer (Sapphire Society, Makor), Chuck Fax (Century Club, President’s Council, Makor), Vice President, Israel Action at the recent Broward JNF Lawyer’s For Israel Society Breakfast.

JNF Parson’s Water Fund National Director Sharon Davidovich was the featured speaker at the parlor meeting co-hosted by Judi Edelman in her Weston home. (L-R) Co-hosts Paul and Rochelle Koenig, Sharon Davidovich, JNF Broward board member and Makor member Judi Edelman (Sapphire Society), and David Gordon.

(L-R) JNF South Palm Beach Board of Directors member and General Campaign chair Scott Brenner (Herzl Society), JNF South Palm Beach board member and Education chair Cantor Elaine Shapiro (President’s Council, Sapphire Society), South Palm Beach Board of Directors president Michael Lazar (President’s Council), JNF Parsons Water Fund National Director Sharon Davidovich, and South Palm Beach Board of Directors member Joel Reinstein (President’s Council) at the South Palm Beach JNF breakfast held at Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton.

(L-R) Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council), with Orlando board members Jill and Jim Riola (Sapphire Society) at the JNF National Conference.

(L-R) Florida Zone director Glen D. Schwartz; Caroline Marcus; Debbie Stayman (President’s Council, Sapphire Society); Gush Etzion Mayor Shaul Goldstein; Shani Simkowitz, director of the Gush Etzion Foundation; JNF Broward Board of Directors president Beckie Fischer (Sapphire Society. Makor); JNF Broward board member Myron Stayman (President’s Council) at the home of Debbie and Myron Stayman.

(L-R) JNF South Palm Beach Board of Directors member and Education chair Cantor Elaine Shapiro (President’s Council, Sapphire Society) and Michael Zimmerman (President’s Council) enjoyed the National Conference in Atlanta.

(L-R) Allen Dubbrin and JNF South Palm Beach Board of Directors member Cynthia Hertz (Century Club, Sapphire Society) at the JNF 2010 National Conference in Atlanta.

28   Midwest Zone

(L-R) Laura F. Sherry, director of Broward/Palm Beach region, Lynn Silber (Century Club, President’s Council), and JNF Palm Beach board president Art Silber (Century Club, President’s Council) at the recent parlor meeting held at the home of Brigitte and Steven Zuckerman.

(Far Left) JNF Palm Beach Board of Directors member Charles Kramer (Herzl Society) at the Ammunition Hill Wall of Honor for a dedication ceremony during the JNF President’s Council Mission to Israel.

(L-R) Immediate past president of JNF Palm Beach Board of Directors Irving Wiseman (President’s Council) and Elaine Miller at the West Palm Beach Marriott Hotel during the Palm Beach JNF breakfast.

(L-R) Scott Gendell (Century Club), Chicago Regional director Rick Kruger, and JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick shared a lighter moment at the Chicago JNF Negev Nights Benefit.

(L-R) Assistant Treasurer Ted Banks (Century Club), Israeli enviromentalist Dr. Alon Tal, Rabbi Vernon Kurtz of North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, and Chicago Regional president Robert Mintz (President’s Council) at a JNF dinner at the synagogue honoring Rabbi Kurtz.

(L-R) Sophia Siskel, President of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Harriet Resnick, Vice President of Visitor Operations at the Garden, and Jim Boudreau, Vice President of Marketing for the Garden, at the Negev Nights Dinner with Chicago Region Vice-President Sue Sacks (President’s Council).

JNF National President Stanley M. Chesley (previous Shalom Peace Award recipient, World Chairman’s Council) and past Tree of Life™ Award recipient John Barrett of Western & Southern Financial Group (Century Club, President’s Council) at the Cincinnati Tree of Life™ Award dinner.

JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick, Special Event co-chairs and JNF National board members Eddie Paul (Century Club, President’s Council) and Nina Paul (Century Club, President’s Council, Sapphire Society), past Tree of Life™ Award recipient Dick Weiland (Herzl Society), and JNF CEO Russell Robinson (Century Club, President’s Council) at the Cincinnati Tree of Life™ dinner.

Over 500 family and friends gathered to watch Sol Siegal receive the Tree of Life™ award in Cleveland. Personal tributes were given by Michael and Anita Siegal and Lynn Zimet. (L-R) Zachary Siegal, Sol Siegal, and Michael Siegal.

JNF’s Major Donors

This year’s Cincinnati Tree of Life™ Award recipients were Mary Ellen and Tom Cody (Herzl Society). (Back, L-R) JNF CEO Russell Robinson (Century Club, President’s Council), Michael Fisher (Tree of Life™ Award presenter), Tom Cody (Tree of Life™ Honoree), JNF National President Stanley Chesley (previous Shalom Peace Award recipient, World Chairman’s Council); (Front, L-R) Suzette Fisher (Tree of Life™ Award presenter) and Mary Ellen Cody (Tree of Life™ Honoree, Herzl Society).

29 Michigan participants at the JNF National Conference included (L-R) Ron Sollish, board member; Buddy Sollish; Dr. Leora Bar-Levav (President’s Council) and Michigan board president; Michael Traison, Michigan and Chicago board member; and Yaron Iram, Michigan Regional director.

JNF CEO Russell Robinson was the keynote speaker for Sol Siegal’s Tree of Life™ dinner, in Cleveland which featured a heartwarming musical tribute by Sheri Gross. (L-R) Russell Robinson, Larry Harlan, Margie Bach, and Debbie Harlan.

(L-R) JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick presents a plaque to outgoing Midwest Zone president Hannan Lis in honor of his leadership and enduring support of JNF.

(L-R) Dr. Arthur and Joan Rose of Huntington Woods, MI, new members of the Gould Legacy Society, holding a limited edition Tiffany Blue Box presented to them in recognition of their legacy gift to JNF.

(L-R) Maureen Komisar (Sapphire Society), Sidney Rivkin, Wisconsin Regional Director, Maureen’s son Noah, and Mayor David Bouskila of Sderot at a reception at Maureen’s home. Noah displayed the stuffed animals he has been collecting for the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center as his Bar Mitzvah project.

(L-R) Selma Zeiger (Sapphire Society) and co-chairperson of the Wisconsin Regional board, and Rusti Moffic, Wisconsin Regional co-president, spoke with Mayor David Bouskila at a luncheon following his successful speaking engagements in Milwaukee.

Honored at JNF Wisconsin Region’s Annual Banquet were (Front, L-R) Susan Wichman, Diana Azimov (first recipient of JNF’s Next Generation Leadership Award), Melanie Wasserman (Young Leadership Cabinet), Chashy Samuels, Judy Wolkenstein, Gail Komisar (Sapphire Society), and Barbara Simon (new board member); (Back, L-R) Dr. Mark Wichman, Russell Wasserman (Young Leadership Cabinet), Rabbi Yoseph Samuels, David Wolkenstein, Martin Komisar (Century Club), and Al Simon (new board member).

(L-R) Eva Tansky Blum received the Tree of Life™ award from Sy Holzer (Century Club), President of PNC Bank Pittsburgh.

Northeast Zone

  Los Angeles Zone

JNF’s Major Donors

Members of the JNFuture board gathered at the home of Bud and Judy Levin (World Chairman’s Council) for a day-long retreat to kick off the 2011 campaign year. One session included a special Q&A with (L-R, seated) JNF board members Alan Abramson (Century Club), Alyse Golden Berkley (Century Club, Sapphire), and David Frank (Century Club).

Tom Morgan (Herzl Society), Be’er Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, Larry Russ (Century Club), and Itai Freeman, Be’er Sheva River Park project manager, take a break from meetings about the Be’er Sheva amphitheater.

Mayor David Bouskila, right, presented Fred Fleming (Century Club) with a special memento from the Mayor’s office thanking him for his support of the JNF Sderot Indoor Recreation Center.

Frank Gurtman (President’s Council) at a Halutza greenhouse while on the President’s Council mission.

(L-R) Central NJ board members Andrew Solomon (President’s Council) and Doran Young (Herzl Society) at a Central NJ board meeting in Roseland, NJ.

(L-R) Outgoing Bucks County Board President Edgar Jay House (Herzl Society), and outgoing Philadelphia Board President Joe Wolfson (President’s Council, Makor Leadership chair) at the installation of the Philadelphia Board of Directors.

(L-R) National Board of Directors First Vice President Alan Dabrow (Century Club, President’s Council), National Women’s Alliance Chair Louise Dabrow (Century Club, President’s Council, Sapphire Society), Audrey Pollin (Sapphire Society), and Arthur Pollin at the 2010 Philadelphia Board of Directors installation.

(L-R) Scott Barsky, Chai Fund co-chair, and Robert O’Dell at the 2010 Philadelphia Board of Directors installation.

(L-R) Southern New Jersey board president Mark Kramer presented Bob Benedon, National Major Gifts Chair, with a plaque thanking him for serving as Northeast Zone president at a Southern New Jersey board meeting.

Dr. Naomi Vilko (Sapphire Society) and Rabbi Eric Lankin at the Princeton Theological Seminary for a JNF/Israel presentation.

Kenneth Segel, Capital District president, served as national chair of the President’s Council mission to Israel. The mission highlights included a special visit to Ammunition Hill and meeting with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. (L-R) Nancie Segel (Sapphire Society, Century Club), Ken Segel (Century Club, Makor), and Ehud Olmert.

(L-R) Todd Patkin (World Chairman’s Council), VP of Campaign; JNF Chairman of the Board Ronald Lauder; Lawrence Cohen (Century Club), NE Zone president; and JNF CEO Russell Robinson at the National Conference in Atlanta.

New England Jewish and Christian community leaders gathered to welcome the new Consul General of Israel to New England, Shai Bazak. (L-R) Lawrence Cohen (Century Club), NE Zone president; Combined Jewish Philanthropies president Barry Shrage; Shai Bazak; and JNF Boston President Robert Cohan (President’s Council).

Roberta Greenberg (Sapphire Society) hosted a brunch at which Sapphire Society President Amy Parsons briefed attendees on the JNF dedication of the Sderot reservoir in memory of her late husband, Natan, and the ElovitzGreenberg therapy room at the JNF Sderot Recreation Center. Pictured: Roberta Greenberg (seated, holding her dog) with Sapphire Society members and friends.

30 Barbara and Steve Squires (Herzl Society, Central NJ Board) at the National Conference in Atlanta.

  New England Zone

(L-R) Dr. Sid Goldfarb (JNF Doctors for Israel), Dr. Naomi Vilko (Sapphire Society), Dr. Richard and Marianne Mautner visited the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center while on a JNF VIP tour of Blueprint Negev.

Elaine and Gerry Elovitz dedicated a therapy room at JNF’s Sderot Indoor Recreation Center together with their daughter (Executive Board member) Judi and husband Norman Greenberg.

Alexander muss high school in israel

JNF/Tampa Bay benefit from a spectacular human investment By Daniel Smajovits

upcoming AMHSI sessionS

Early decision incentive discount available — visit for more details.



April 2011 April 27 Summer 1

Glenton “Glen” Gilzean Jr., a 28-year-old African American, is eager to discuss his

June 14 August 2

Summer 2 June 26 August 12 September 2011 Sept. 6 November 4 December 2011 Nov. 29

January 24, 2012

AMHSI Welcomes New CEO In the Fall of 2010, Jonah Geller became AMHSI’s Chief Executive Officer. For nearly 15 years, Jonah was a highly regarded leader in the Jewish camping industry, having most recently served as Tamarack Camps’ Executive Director for approximately nine years. “Returning to AMHSI is quite an honor,” Jonah said, referring to his service as a madrich (counselor) in the ’90s. “I believe our program has a clear and dramatic impact on our participants, their families and communities at large.” AMHSI’s immediate past CEO, Gideon Shavit, welcomed Jonah’s succession: saying, “Jonah has many talents, a high energy level, wonderful skills and a very strong commitment to the success of AMHSI.” AMHSI welcomes Jonah to the organization and foresees a strong future under his leadership! Jonah can be reached at

AMHSI turns 40! As AMHSI approaches its 40th anniversary in 2012, a number of events, celebrations, and new endeavors are in the works! Stay tuned for ongoing updates and plans for the 40th anniversary, including upcoming events in your area! Check out for more details!


unparalleled affinity and love for the State of Israel. He may be the best investment the Jewish community of South Florida has ever made. Born in New York City to Jamaican immigrants, Glen’s connection to Israel ran no deeper than the foundations of a Florida home, until his senior year at Nova High School in Davie, Florida. “I built great relationships with some Jewish students,” he said. “One of them said that they were going to go to Israel for a semester – and I said: ‘I want to go to Israel too!’” He got the approval from his mother with one condition. “My mother loved that I was ambitious, but didn’t know how we would be able to afford the trip,” said Glen. “She said that if I could find a way to get some of the resources, she would find a way to match it.” Glen took his passion to the local Jewish Community Center. His proposal – to give them the perspective of this trip from a Christian African American – took some convincing, but ultimately, his enrollment in the Alexander Muss High School in Israel became a reality, and a few weeks later, Glen landed in Israel. With a handful of friends, he began to open up his mind, and his heart as well. “It provided me an opportunity to really understand and appreciate a culture that was completely different from my own,” he said. “In a Burger King I saw a group of young people who were just like us, joking around, but they had M16’s on the floor.” Despite some culture shock, Glen quickly took to Israel as a second home. “I have such rich memories of my trip from the smallest detail of the blue falafel stand in Hod HaSharon to the tireless efforts of the Alexander Muss teachers,” he said, “to being on Ben Yehuda Street, in the Negev at David Ben Gurion’s house, or on a kibbutz with my friend Victor. The kibbutz was not too far off from what my grandparents had in Jamaica when they had to work off the land. “Planting trees in JNF’s American Independence Park just outside of Jerusalem was one of the most joyful moments,” he added. “Everyone felt proud, not that they contributed to the trip, but also to life.” Glen has used the values and life lessons learned from

his semester in Israel to guide him. While climbing the professional ladder in politics and education, Glen has followed his passions and established “Educate Today,” a non-profit in Tampa. “It provided me an opportunity to see life from another perspective. My job is to create new perceptions; if the only thing these children perceive is within a five mile radius of their homes, that becomes their reality,” he said. “If you can take a young mind and expose it to something new, I truly believe that will propel them to leave their radius and do something better.” He’d like to raise enough money to send some of Educate Today’s children on the AMHSI experience. An active volunteer and proud advocate for JNF, Glen speaks to groups about the amazing partnership between JNF and the Alexander Muss High School in Israel. “I would love to see more students from a low socio-economic background, both Jewish and non-Jewish, take part in AMHSI. Right there we will be creating something that will have a huge impact in the future,” said Glen. “I know how important our relationship with Israel is and it is so important that we have our future leaders understand that also. There’s such hatred towards the Jewish homeland due to the lack of education. If you can get a community educated, that’s the ultimate equilibrium.” While his goals are lofty, Glen believes that they are within reach. He hopes that by sharing his story, others will realize the impact this program can have on Jews and non-Jews alike. “It’s up to us to create a society that understands so that all the efforts and sacrifices of the past will not be in vain,” he added. “Even if we take one young person at a time, let them be exposed and understand, then that one person can come back and bring their experience to others.”

Return June 21

Alexander muss high school in israel

AMHSI promotes, builds, and strengthens lifelong bonds between youth and Israel through study of the history and culture of the people of Israel. AMHSI is a premier academic experience in Israel that prepares students for college and beyond. Since its founding in 1972, AMHSI has successfully impacted over 20,000 students. To learn more, visit



Loss of life. Destruction of property. 5 million trees destroyed. Israel needs us. Help our Jewish homeland recover from the worst fire in her history. After four days of continuous fighting in the Carmel Forest near Haifa, the Israeli firefighters succeeded in dousing the flames, but the road to recovery has only begun. 2 Ways to Help Now: • Restore the Carmel Forest: Donate to Jewish National Fund Operation Carmel Renewal: From Black to Green at • Support Friends of Israel Firefighters: Provide firefighters with muchneeded equipment. Donate now at The restoration of the Carmel Forests may take years, but your donation can have an immediate and long-lasting effect on the region. • 1-888-JNF-0099

B'Yachad Winter 2011