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Together Winter 2017

B’Yachad: The Newsletter of Jewish National Fund

jnf.org

BLUEPRINT NEGEV

THE DESERT COMES ALIVE Realizing The Dream


Together Winter 2017 We hope you enjoy this issue. Send your feedback to newsletter@jnf.org.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: 07

Celebrate 50 Years of Jerusalem’s Reunification with JNF

08

Introducing Women for Israel’s New Professional Women’s Division

16

Featured: Realizing the Dream

36

JNF’s New Offices in Jerusalem and New York

- B’Yachad Editorial Staff

B’ YACHAD STAFF

Get a front row seat to this once-in-a-lifetime historic event during an exclusive ceremony at Ammunition Hill with top Israeli dignitaries, IDF soldiers, and other special guests. Learn more about joining JNF on the 50th Anniversary of Jerusalem’s Reunification Mission in May 2017.

PUBLISHER

Russell F. Robinson EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Jodi Bodner EDITOR IN CHIEF

Daniel Peri MANAGING EDITOR

Adam H. Brill ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Meet Florine Mark and Jessica Abo, JNF’s new Professional Women’s Division spokeswomen and learn what motivated them to get involved.

Marina Brodetsky CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Don Morris ART DIRECTORS

Breyanna Knoll Atara Paris DIGITAL PRODUCTION

Greg Weber JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. Today, JNF continues to give all generations a unique voice in building and ensuring the prosperity of the land of Israel through their generosity and partnership with the people of Israel. JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism. JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers. For more information on JNF, call 800.JNF.0099 or visit jnf.org.

Fifteen years after the launch of Blueprint Negev, the Negev has undergone unimaginable transformations. Read how Be’er Sheva has become a modern metropolis, about the new communities JNF is building in the once barren desert, how we are reviving Israel’s development towns, and about our network of support for residents living on the Gaza border.

In 2016, JNF celebrated the opening of its new Israel offices in the heart of Jerusalem and the rededication of the historic Ronald S. Lauder JNF House in New York City.

Dear Reader, This past Fall, Israelis and supporters of Israel mourned the loss of Israeli pioneer, visionary figure, Nobel Laureate, former prime minister, and former president Shimon Peres (z’’l). Throughout the decades, JNF and Peres enjoyed a long and close relationship. The veteran statesman received JNF’s Tree of Life Award™ and JNF’s highest recognition, the Shalom Peace Award, for his unwavering support and commitment to ensuring a bright and secure future for the land and people of Israel.

Cover Photo: Dani Machlis

Printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based ink

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To continue his legacy, JNF established a forest in Israel in his memory. You may contribute to the forest at jnf.org/peres. May his memory be a blessing for the land and people of Israel.


Negev On The Rise A Message from our President, Jeffrey E. Levine POSSIBLY NO OTHER place in Israel defines the great

Water Update By Talia Tzour Avner WALKING THE LAND of Israel is truly the best way to feel and understand the

miracle of this great country. It is at once impressive and inspiring and helps forge a deep, genuine, and lasting bond for all who visit. Jewish National Fund’s recent water tour, “IsraelH2O: A Tour on the Trail of Israel’s Water Solutions,” was a fitting conclusion to a year-long series of 10 Water Summits held by JNF in cities across the U.S., in partnership with Seth M. Siegel, author of Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World. This special tour focused on the depths Israel and JNF went to in overcoming the nation’s and its neighbors’ water scarcity by initiating and developing innovative water solutions to serve the needs of increasing populations. Chaired by Robert Lembke, a Coloradan water industry leader and the president of the United Water and Sanitation District, the tour included 40 individuals, many from the U.S., as well as a delegation of four Thai government officials and two representatives from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The diverse group of participants and speakers—from academia, the water industry, government, and those with general interests in water—lent different perspectives to the trip. Yet, all agreed that Israel’s water industry is creating miracles and JNF plays a pivotal role in making them happen.  The group visited several key water projects including Lake Hula, the Shamir Drills, the Jordan River and the Kinneret, Amiad Water Systems, the Eshkol Filtration Plant, the Shafdan Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Sorek Desalination Plant, JNF’s Besor reservoirs, the Be’er Sheva River, water start-ups, and much more. “Israel solved a 2,000-year-old problem,” said Lembke during a site visit to JNF’s Besor reservoirs. “The incredible developments in the field of water technology in Israel over the past decades, such as runoff rainwater harvesting, effluents purification, desalination by reverse osmosis, and advanced irrigation methods, are astounding. Our goal is to share this knowledge with people and countries who are interested in it and with professionals in the field.” Anne Juepner, the Nairobi-based director of UNDP’s Global Policy Center on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification, was equally impressed and expressed her interest in sharing Israel’s water innovations and technologies through UNDP channels. “It’s very impressive to see Israel’s technological solutions for its water challenges,” Juepner said. “Some of the aspects will certainly be of interest to other countries facing water shortages.” The tour was particularly relevant to UNDP representatives as the international body is continually working on water governance and transboundary water issues. This eight-day tour presented just a taste of what JNF has to offer, yet it was clear that Israel, more than any other country, can answer the global need for knowledge and provide solutions to a global water crisis. I invite you to get involved in JNF’s National Water Task Force and learn how you can make an impact. Talia Tzour Avner is KKL-JNF’s Chief Israel Emissary. To learn more about JNF’s National Water Task Force or to join, please contact her at ttzour@jnf.org.

expanse of Jewish National Fund’s work than that of the Negev Desert. Beautiful yet barren, the Negev is drenched in history, ready for the artist’s palette to sketch endless possibilities of what could be. And it is here in the Negev that Ben Gurion envisioned Israel’s future, prophesizing its place in creativity and science. Like President John F. Kennedy, who challenged his generation to send a man to the moon, Ben Gurion saw the Negev as Israel’s next frontier. Today, JNF remains deeply committed to realizing Ben Gurion’s vision. The Negev is a vast space with incredible potential. It represents some 60% of the entire land mass of Israel, yet only 8% of the population calls it home—for now. JNF is changing the way Israelis think about the Negev, and now, more and more young Israelis are coming in search of careers, a lower cost of living, trendy neighborhoods, and a quickly developing landscape. Be’er Sheva, the Negev’s capital, is fast becoming the place for big technology and Fortune 500 companies to situate their newest headquarters. In this edition of B’Yachad, we highlight some of the amazing changes happening in the Negev. In fact, in a recent episode of 60 Minutes, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu took correspondent Leslie Stahl to Be’er Sheva to show her how this city is quickly becoming the hub for international cyber technology. While we can’t take credit for all that is taking place, we surely paved the way that others now follow. It all began with JNF’s Be’er Sheva River Park, which has proven to be the engine of the city’s rebirth. Working with the Israeli government and other partners, the new 1,300 acre waterfront district is thriving, attracting businesses and enticing visitors passing through the city to stop and enjoy all that this desert oasis has to offer. JNF’s Be’er Sheva River Park and surrounding green area is now more than twice the size of New York City’s Central Park. The new lake complex—a 22.5 acre recreational space—is moving along, and when completed will be the largest man-made body of water in Israel. Nearby, the 12,500 seat Danielle A. and Irving J. Grossman Amphitheater offers music, theater, and dance performances that showcase an eclectic mix of Israeli and international artists. The Lauder Employment Center continues to help hundreds find good, stable jobs. Each day more young families are moving and calling Be’er Sheva home and the city’s image has been transformed into that of a modern metropolis. Outside Be’er Sheva, in the communities of Givot Bar, Carmit, and Merchav Am, we are seeing growth and renewed interest as families continue to move to the Negev in search of particular purpose and life choices. Young people are returning to a revitalized Yerucham, whose leadership has worked closely with JNF to rehabilitate the development town’s image and make it thrive. In the Eshkol Region, JNF is providing support to residents living near Gaza at a Resilience Center that helps individuals cope with stresses caused by years of terrorism. This is what we at Jewish National Fund are doing to help make Ben Gurion’s dream a reality. As JNF moves forward to help the land and people of Israel, the success of Blueprint Negev serves as a source for inspiration and endless possibilities. Much like the artist’s blank canvass and palette of many colors to paint from, with your help and support we will continue to draw out a future that is beautiful for all. You can always reach me at jlevine@jnf.org.

Jewish National Fund

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CAMPAIGN UPDATE KEN SEGEL, VP, CAMPAIGN became involved with Jewish National Fund in a leadership capacity more than 10 years ago, I went on a President’s Society Mission to witness the transformative work I had previously only read about many times in this very publication. That mission took us to Be’er Sheva, the capital of the Negev. I listened as JNF’s CEO, Russell F. Robinson, and another fellow who was the project manager of something they called the Be’er Sheva River Park, talk about the big plans they had for a river bed that was filled with garbage and junk cars. Russell spoke passionately about a vision he called Blueprint Negev, and how a redeveloped Be’er Sheva was the key to bringing 500,000 new residents to Israel’s south. I remember looking at that garbage-filled river bed with skepticism, thinking it would take a miracle to accomplish what was being suggested. Yet, this bold plan was shared with such conviction that I, too, began to believe. I wasn’t alone in my skepticism. I learned that even Be’er Sheva residents didn’t believe this plan would ever materialize. But belief, hard work, and millions of dollars raised by JNF’s dedicated donors pushed this project forward and to fruition. Today, the Be’er Sheva River Park is complete with jogging and bike paths, green spaces, a stunning pedestrian bridge, and a 12,500-seat amphitheater. A lake that will contain recycled water situated in the middle of the River Park is under construction. Be’er Sheva is now Israel’s fastest growing city, and the grand vision of Blueprint Negev is becoming reality before our very eyes. New communities are blooming around Be’er Sheva, and development towns like Yerucham and Ofakim, which were created in the 1950s, are seeing new life and development. As a matter of fact, Ofakim, which has struggled economically, is undergoing a major expansion with the construction of three new neighborhoods. In a recent meeting with the mayor of Ofakim and JNF leaders, the mayor clearly stated that it is because of JNF’s successes in Be’er Sheva that communities in the area, like his, are now growing. Looking back at that first trip to Israel with JNF, it is remarkable just how much has happened in the Negev since this skeptical participant stared into a garbage strewn dry river bed. But this is JNF. As this column went to print, Israel was recovering from the worst fires to ever hit the country. With an estimated 10,000 acres of forest burned and firefighting resources nearly depleted, JNF’s funds are helping our homeland recover and assisting with much needed resources and aid. We are on the ground today and every day building a stronger, healthier, and more secure Israel. Read about JNF’s post-fire campaign on page 27 to see what the needs are and how you can help. As I am reminded by Russell every day, big vision and the belief that anything is possible, combined with the power and generosity of donors, make miracles happen. WHEN I FIRST

To get involved, contact Ken Segel at ksegel@jnf.org

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Campaign All-Star: Dr. Toby Mower Toby Mower sets the example of what it really means to give back to causes near and dear to one’s heart. Toby’s story with Jewish National Fund began one cold and snowy day in 1998 when Diane Scar, JNF’s national campaign director, scheduled a parlor meeting in Baltimore. While everyone else stayed home, Toby showed up, marking the beginning of a relationship between a natural born leader and JNF. With Toby’s leadership, JNF established Women for Israel (WFI), a society for women seeking to get involved in JNF projects, and JNF’s Sapphire Society, JNF’s Major Donor Society for women. A strong believer in the vital role the next generation has in protecting Israel, Toby helps fund the JNFuture Leadership Institute Mission ( JLIM), a program that has sent over 100 young adults to Israel on a life-changing trip. “Toby is a woman I greatly admire. She is an inspiration and treasure to me personally and professionally,” said Diane. For over 25 years, Toby worked in the healthcare field as a nurse and later received her M.S. in clinical psychology. She is a founder and board member of Jewish Recovery Houses in Baltimore and also sits on the board of governors PHILANTHROPIC TRAILBLAZER DR.

of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, where she launched the first-ever training of addiction counselors in Israel. Toby’s passion is Israel. Any conversation inevitably leads to one about the need to improve the lives of all Israelis, and the critical role American Jewry plays in it. In 2013, Toby and her husband, Mort, moved to Denver, CO. After settling in, the first thing Toby did was reach out to Boaz Meir, JNF’s executive director of Mountain States Region. “Toby makes sure that WFI and JNF’s other affinity groups continue to receive the attention they should be getting. I can think of no one else that deserves the title of ‘Campaign All-Star’ than Dr. Toby Mower,” said Boaz. Diane echoed the sentiments, and added: “Toby puts her heart, mind, and soul into the smallest acts. She has made an indelible mark on JNF and on women’s leadership roles within our organization. Toby truly is an all-star.”

FROM BIRTH TO END OF LIFE — AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. CELEBRATE EVERY SPECIAL EVENT BY PLANTING A TREE.

250 million trees planted in Israel and counting.

JNF.ORG/TREES 800.542.TREE (8733)


PLANNED GIVING

Smart Planning Strategies for Baby Boomers By Matt Bernstein, CFP, JNF Chief Planned Giving Officer

we are experiencing interesting times. The “Baby Boomer” generation is maturing, and actuaries and statisticians have estimated that between 2010 and 2030, approximately 10,000 boomers will turn 65-years-old every day. Moreover, the growth in household wealth is increasing and is estimated at $88 trillion! The question many Jewish National Fund donors are asking is how to transfer this wealth to the next generation in a way that is not only tax efficient, but also conveys and perpetuates values. The answers are numerous and both simple and complex. JNF’s Planned Giving Department is a good place to start. Not only are our specialists experts in how to make your money work for you, they can also put you in touch with relevant professionals who deal exclusively with important life decisions. At JNF, we can provide ideas that will enhance your income—such as our Gift Annuity Program—or demonstrate benefits derived from donations of highly appreciated assets— such as real estate. Time and again, we show donors that they can plan for their future while ensuring that JNF’s work will continue. We call these “win-win” scenarios. One way to plan is to leave JNF as a legatee in your estate by mentioning that you would like to leave a sum of money to Jewish National Fund in your will. What better way to commemorate a lifetime of good memories and successes, or the memory of a AS A NATION,

loved one, as well as secure your wishes for a bright and prosperous future for Israel than with a gift from your estate to JNF? With your gift, your name and generosity live on through JNF’s crucial projects in Israel. At the same time, your gift may protect your assets from taxes and other burdensome expenses. There are several ways to leave a bequest and JNF’s Planned Giving Specialists can assist you in pinpointing the method that best suits you. A bequest can be left as: ··Bequest of a Sum – A bequest of a specific dollar amount. ··Specific Bequest – Enables you to designate a specific asset to be used. ··Residuary Bequest – After all debts, taxes, and other bequests have been paid, you can designate the remainder of your property to JNF. ··Restricted Bequest – Tell us exactly how you would like the gift to be used. The gift can be used to fund existing projects. A JNF Planned Giving Specialist can work with you and your advisors to provide custom-tailored language to ensure your wishes are carried out as you desire. Here is a helpful planning tip: IRAs, 401(k)s, and other similar retirement plans are among the heaviest taxed assets of your estate. By choosing these assets as gifts from your estate, you can save taxes, increase the amount left to your heirs, and transfer the larger tax liabilities to JNF. For more information, please contact JNF’s Planned Giving Department at 800.562.7526 or via email at plannedgiving@jnf.org.

Experience Israel with JNF—Join JNF’s Sunshine Tour for active adults 55+ from September 3-13, 2017. For more information or to sign up, please call 800.562.7526.

Lily Liebman’s Legacy for the Future of the Jewish People was a private and humble woman. She generally gave no indication of her wealth or of the traumatic experiences she endured as a teenager in Nazioccupied Austria. She did, however, spend a great deal of time helping others, giving back to her community, and supporting the land and people of Israel. In November 2015, Lily passed away, but her legacy lives on with the more than $7 million bequest she left to Jewish National Fund in her will. Lily was just 17-years-old in 1938 when Hitler came to power, and her life in Vienna changed forever. While Lily, her sister Anne, and her parents were fortunate Lily and Eric Liebman that no one came pounding on their door the evening of Kristallnacht, three of her uncles were not as lucky. They were among those rounded up and sent to the Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp. Soon after Kristallnacht, Lily and her sister went to the American embassy and began looking through the telephone books of New York City and Brooklyn, writing down the contact information for all the Hamermanns (their family name) they could find. They sent over 150 letters to strangers who shared their surname, asking for affidavits so they could make their way to America. Hope came in the form of a young man from Cincinnati. His parents had forwarded Lily and Anne’s letter to him and he in turn shared their letter with the family he was renting a room from. The mother of the family, a complete stranger to these girls, decided to send them an affidavit. Anne arrived to Cincinnati in 1939, Lily in 1940, and their parents arrived in 1941. It was in Cincinnati that Lily and her family rebuilt their lives. Lily’s parents started a wholesale clothing distribution company, similar to the one they had in Vienna. LILY H. LIEBMAN

Lily married her husband, Eric, and the couple worked at the family store, later taking over the business. Lily volunteered her time helping immigrants from Germanspeaking countries with their pension applications, while Eric worked with the Munich ‘Sister City’ Association of Greater Cincinnati. Throughout her life, Lily purchased many trees for Israel and established charitable gift annuities with JNF. The ultimate and most significant show of her support was the bequest she left to JNF in her will. Lily understood and recognized the importance of Israel as the homeland and the only safe haven for Jewish people everywhere. When it came time to plan for her and Eric’s legacy, Lily immediately thought of Jewish National Fund and its invaluable work in continuing to safeguard our eternal homeland and to ensure that it thrives for generations to come. To see other stories of people who have left their estates to JNF, visit jnflegacy.org.

IRA Charitable Rollover Permanently Extended Support Jewish National Fund in a simple and easy way If you are over age 70 ½, you can rollover up to $100,000 from your IRA to JNF. ·· To qualify, transfer must go directly from your IRA to JNF ·· Gifts made from your IRA (up to $100,000 per year) are not reportable as taxable income ·· The gift cannot be used for any income producing Planned Gifts ·· The gift will qualify for your required minimum distribution Contact our Planned Giving Specialists today at 800.562.7526 or visit jnflegacy.org to learn more!

Planned Giving

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FOOD & WINE

A Meal for Every Budget Whether you’re on the run or have time to spare, Be’er Sheva is a city of culinary delights. Be sure to check out these two local favorites on your next visit. You won’t be disappointed.

Yakuta: A Taste of Morocco in Be’er Sheva’s Old City

The Best Sandwiches in Town

located in the revitalized Old City of Be’er Sheva, the rich aroma and inviting atmosphere distinct to Morocco greet you. The flavorful scents of cumin and cayenne pepper in the air coupled with the tasteful décor—beautiful and colorful overstuffed cushions, ornate golden vases, and tea kettles—transports diners across the Mediterranean Sea for a unique culinary experience. Crisp, white tablecloths, perfectly organized place settings, and the staff’s professional attire signal that guests are in for a high-end dining experience with all the trimmings. At Yakuta, diners enjoy Chef Ben Moiel Beber’s kitchen and are in for a gastronomic encounter that is chock-full of history, tradition, and modern thinking. “All of my recipes are from previous generations—my parents and grandparents—but I prepare my dishes with an awareness of healthy cooking methods, gastronomy, and psychology,” said Beber, owner as well as chef. After the warm welcome upon entering the restaurant, the first thing visitors hear is Chef Beber asking, “How adventurous are you with your food?” He likes to personally greet and seat each table, and then works to build a culinary experience that will wholly satisfy every patron. Want to try beef tongue, oxtail, or cheek? Or perhaps you’re looking for something that’s a little more familiar? Have a desire to taste an endless amount of fresh Moroccan salads? Based on each guest’s answer and interaction, Chef Beber creates a menu that will not disappoint. “The basis for a good customer experience is to ensure that they connect to the tastes,” Chef Beber explained. This personal touch and expert sense of what each individual will find satisfying means that each time a repeat patron walks through Yakuta’s doors, they are guaranteed to receive a unique experience. Don’t expect to find small portions, cheap fillers, or tables teaming with toddlers begging for pizza in Chef Beber’s restaurant—that is not the experience he and his staff are striving to build and provide. People come to Yakuta for high-quality food and superb service that is worth every cent and every second they spend there. “I want it to be special—I don’t need to be like everyone else,” Chef Beber said. When dining at Yakuta, expect to have the taste of your personalized meal linger long after the experience is over. Without even realizing it, guests will enjoy an emotional journey and excellent food—an experience connected to intimate, culinary knowledge, and years of family and cultural tradition.

of trendy restaurants and pubs lining the street, Be’er Sheva is now considered a hip, young city. One non-descript hole-in-the-wall even boasts a long line of hungry patrons, eagerly, yet patiently, waiting. This is the daily scene at the Food Corner—Sandwich Bar, a new and extremely successful Be’er Sheva eatery. Students, locals, families, and people from all walks of life come to wait in line for the succulent sandwiches that Food Corner churns out. The key word here is “patiently.” Any past visitor to Israel knows that standing in line and patience are not Israelis’ strong suits. However, people will stand and wait with little to no complaining for one of these sandwiches. They’re totally worth it! For about $8 USD/30 NIS, you can dig into a piping hot, thickly sliced corn beef, roast beef, or beef shoulder sandwich served on the freshest baguette you can imagine—crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The sandwiches come generously smothered with the eatery’s signature gourmet sauces, which include mango chili, beet and forest mushroom, mint pesto, and more. If customers have a hard time deciding, an employee will urge them to “Take it all.” This will result in an overstuffed sandwich dripping with all the juicy meat and sauces the place has on hand, à la Jerusalem-mix style. As Jesse Lerner, 32, exclaimed, “If you’ve ever doubted that delicious grilled meat and fruit should be on one sandwich, doubt no more.” The beauty of Food Corner is that food is the center of the show. There aren’t many tables and the menu is artfully scribbled on the wall in chalk. Patrons can enjoy a beer or a shot of whiskey with their sandwich all while sitting next to their neighbor, professor, student, or best friend. Everyone in Be’er Sheva knows about this place, albeit not by name. “Have you had the sandwich?” is all a local needs to hear to know exactly what is being talked about. Food Corner is an excellent example of the affordable, boutique food experience that is popping up in the middle of the Negev Desert, and rightly putting Be’er Sheva on the culinary map.

Yakuta is located at 27 Mordei HaGeta’ot St.; Kosher; ($$$); please visit http://bit.ly/2idnWgu for more information or call +972.8.623.2689.

Food Corner—Sandwich Bar is located at 15 Ringelblum St.; Kosher; ($); please visit http://bit.ly/2gZ0moA for more information.

WALKING INTO YAKUTA,

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Food & Wine

WITH A PLETHORA


TRAVEL & TOURS

My City, Jerusalem May 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War when the words har habayit b’yadenu, “the Temple Mount is in our hands,” were uttered, signaling Jerusalem’s reunification and the age-old prayer realized. The magic of that moment in time will be on display as the celebration of this transformative event in Jewish history takes center stage. Join Jewish National Fund for a front row seat to history. Choose from one of four unique tracks outlined below. All trip options include an exclusive ceremony at Ammunition Hill, site of the pivotal battle that led to Jerusalem’s reunification, with top Israeli dignitaries, IDF soldiers, and other special guests.

Spirit of Israel

Positively Israel: Interfaith

May 21 –30, 2017

May 21 –28, 2017

··Perfect for first-time visitors to Israel. ··Savor the authentic tastes, sounds, and sights that Israel is known for all over the world. ··Learn how JNF is transforming Israel’s north and south through its various projects and initiatives.

··Discover the diverse cultures, communities, and religions that were born in Israel and coexist today. ··Sample authentic, multi-ethnic cuisine and dine with Israelis from all walks of life. ··Visits to historical sites throughout Israel, as well as an optional visit to Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus.

President’s Society

Young Leadership

May 21 – May 25, 2017 (Optional extension: May 25 – 28)

May 21 –28, 2017

··An exclusive mission for JNF Major Donors; includes luxury accommodations and fine dining at Israel’s top rated hotels and restaurants. ··Witness the transformation of the Negev thanks to JNF’s accomplishments through Blueprint Negev. ··Optional extension to further explore the sights and tastes of Israel.

··Young professionals ages 25-40 will enjoy exhilarating tours to the Negev and off-roading adventures in Ramon Crater. ··Experience all that Tel Aviv has to offer including exciting nightlife, world-famous beaches, and thriving culinary scene. ··Meet young Israelis who are assuming leadership roles in their communities.

Come home for a visit on this once-in-a-lifetime journey To learn more about traveling to Israel on JNF’s 50th Anniversary of Jerusalem’s Reunification Mission, contact our Travel & Tours department at 877.JNF.TOUR (877.563.8687), email travel@jnf.org, or visit jnf.org/travel

Learn about the vital work JNF does and celebrate this Passover with MatzaFun Tours at Ocean Place Resort & Spa on the New Jersey Shore! For more information, visit matzafun.com. Travel & Tours

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WOMEN FOR ISRAEL

JNF’s Professional Women’s Division and Its Spokeswomen Jewish National Fund is proud to announce its new Professional Women’s Division, a platform that enables professional women passionate about Israel to connect with other like-minded women and work to create a better tomorrow for Israel. Leading the new division as JNF’s national spokeswomen—which consists of one division for women under age 40 and another for women over age 40—are Jessica Abo and Florine Mark, respectively. Read about their journeys and how being part of these divisions provides them with a stronger connection to Israel.

Q&A with JNF Professional Women’s Division Spokeswoman, Florine Mark How did you start your career? Given the challenges some women face, did you have any difficulties starting out, and how did you overcome them? FLORINE MARK When I started my business, Weight Watchers International, I had no idea what to do or how to do it. People either told me it couldn’t be done or that I would fail. One important thing I’ve learned over the years is that it’s better to try and fail than to never have tried at all. Entrepreneurship has always been at the heart of everything I do. In the beginning, it was difficult because there weren’t many women in business at that time. I took out a small loan to begin my company, during a time when banks didn’t loan money to women unless their husbands cosigned. But I got the loan and later expanded my Michigan operations and acquired franchises in 13 states—as well as in Mexico and Canada. Although I sold a third of my business many years ago, I continue to be the largest franchise holder of Weight Watchers International. You can’t let fear or excuses hold you back on your path toward success. When you make mistakes, don’t beat yourself up. Learn from it, and let it go. JNF

What led you to get involved with JNF and its Professional Women’s Division? Israel has been at the heart of everything I’ve done in life and everything I believe in. As a child, my family was very poor, and although we didn’t always have many of the things we needed, my grandmother instilled in me the importance of supporting Israel. As a little girl, I would stand outside a store in Detroit every Saturday morning Q

A

collecting pennies for JNF. We also had a Blue Box in our home. I am honored to serve as a spokeswoman for JNF’s Professional Women’s Division for women age 40+. This is an amazing group of women, with great insight on how to best support Israel and the families there. We all share the same philosophy and commitment to Israel, and I implore women to learn more about JNF’s Professional Women’s Division and how they can get involved. What advice would you give to professional women, and what do you think women need to do to be successful in business and life? A One of the most important lessons I learned as a business owner is that you must have a passion and love for the product or service you are selling. For me, I must have a fire in my belly and a passion in my heart with everything I do. I’ve learned to listen, learn, read, ask questions, and be myself. Positivity, self-confidence, and determination matter in breaking down those barriers. Q

Women statistically give more to philanthropic causes than men. Why do you think it is important for women to continue to be involved in philanthropy? A People used to refer to us as volunteers. Today, we’re known as philanthropists. Women are natural philanthropists—and that’s not only based on how much or how often we give, but also on our strong desire and commitment to improve our surroundings for our children, family, and future generations. We can play a vital role in making sure resources are available to better the future and lives of the land and people of Israel. Q

Florine Mark is President and CEO of the Weight Watchers Group and a spokeswoman for JNF’s Professional Women’s Division.

What JNF’s Professional Women’s Division Means to Jessica Abo I have of doing a mitzvah was when I was eightyears-old and volunteering at a soup kitchen in Pennsylvania. I remember asking my mom if I could have five dollars. I explained that I had to give it to Johnny, a man who shared that he had a daughter, but had not been in touch with her for several years. I discretely gave Johnny the five-dollar bill and told him that I hoped it was enough to cover paper, an envelope, and a stamp. To this day, I remember the smile on his face. Throughout my life, I have tried to live with the understanding that I may not be able to do everything to make the world a better place, but every day, I have the ability to do something positive. Supporting Jewish National Fund is meaningful to me because it provides me with myriad ways to empower others, not just here in the United States, but also in Israel. When I was asked to give my first JNF speech at a Baltimore Women for Israel gathering, it was inspirational to see powerful women come together to support Israel. In 2016, I was honored when Myra Chack Fleischer, vice president of JNF’s Women’s Division, asked me to become the national spokeswoman for the under 40 Professional Women’s Division, a group of professional women who want to make an impact on Israel. As a 35-year-old, I have an up-close view of the challenges many women face during this chapter of life, be it juggling dating or family time with work THE FIRST MEMORY

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responsibilities, all while trying to maintain a sense of self. There are women making room for philanthropy now that their children are older, or who are seeking a new outlet now that they have reached a certain point in their careers. Where we are in life may be different, but the message I want to share is singular: Whether you are a student, a young professional, a CEO, single, or married, you have something special to share with the women around you, and you have the ability to help the land and people of Israel. I am often asked by people what they can do to make an impact if their time or resources are limited. One of the many reasons I love directing my peers to JNF is that there are several ways women can support Israel—either through their local women’s division or by visiting JNF projects in Israel. I tell the women I meet that they have a voice and a place at JNF, and a network of women who want to see them thrive. Philanthropy is not always about writing the biggest check. Sometimes, it is as simple as putting a smile on someone’s face, and we all have the power to do that. I invite you to join JNF’s Professional Women’s Division—at a giving level of $1,800 for women under age 40, or $10,000 for 40+—and see the amazing and meaningful work being done for our homeland. We all have the ability to create positive change. Jessica Abo is an award-winning television journalist and a spokeswoman for JNF’s Professional Women’s Division. To get involved in JNF’s Professional Women’s Division, please contact Sharon David at sdavid@jnf.org or at 212.879.9305 x242.


JNFUTURE

A Call to Millennials

By Ian Sachs

characteristics and tend to follow a common path. The Great Generation, the Silent Generation, the Baby Boomers—all had a common theme or critical event characterizing their era, making them appear, in retrospect, almost homogeneous. Today’s landscape is different. The impact of technology is connecting citizens and economies around the globe, shrinking our world, and with it creating new opportunities and challenges. Enter the Millennials. I am one of 75 million people in the U.S. considered to be a Millennial (ages 18-34). On paper, I am unique, highly sought-after in the workforce, well resourced, and connected. I have all the tools to change the world, but in reality, I don’t feel any more unique or special than anyone in past generations. However, I agree that I have the opportunity and resources to change the world, and for that reason, I am a proud Millennial. Millennials can make a permanent impact on the world at an earlier age than previous generations. We do not have to wait until we find ourselves at a specific point in our lives or careers to start influencing others. It is time for Millennials to come to the realization that we do not need to wait to begin making a meaningful impact on the world, whatever their passion may be. My passions are Israel and Jewish National Fund. Why should Millennials give to JNF? Because Israel needs us and we need Israel. It is our eternal homeland and the strength of our Jewish identity lies in a vibrant and prosperous Jewish state. Our children and grandchildren deserve to have a land to call home. It is hard to imagine an Israel that was once not guaranteed. We only know an Israeli Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as a global icon. However, since its establishment in 1948, Israel’s existence continues to be challenged. Israel’s longevity and prosperity is a constant work in progress and demands our support. Why do I give my time and resources to JNF? I give to JNF because it allows me to best ensure the prosperity for the land and people of Israel. JNF gives me the opportunity to utilize my resources to grow support for Israel amongst my generation. It gives me new lifelong friends and allows me to become part of a local community and international network through JNFuture, JNF’s affinity group for young professionals. JNF is one of the strongest champions of Israel today. As a non-profit, it is second to none. JNF’s foundation is built on an incredible base of volunteers who advocate and rally people in support of Israel. We choose exactly where our dollars go and can see the projects and initiatives firsthand through JNF tours and missions to Israel. Israeli communities that are most in need grow because of JNF’s work. JNF provides opportunities and incentives for people to move and lay roots in the Galilee or the Negev—all part of JNF’s Go North and Blueprint Negev initiatives. R&D and water solutions have also allowed Israel to transform itself from a water-starved nation to a leader in water technologies. The list of great work that JNF does for Israel is endless. JNF allows Israel to become an even stronger contributing member among the world’s leading nations by driving innovations in community development and technology. For example, I live in Arizona, which is also a geographical region that needs to be cognizant of its water economy. Arizona has directly benefited from the advancements of water technology that JNF has supported in Israel. Thus far, the above answers why I give to Israel through JNF, but, a fellow Millennial may ask, what really motivates me to give? I feel obligated as a Jewish Millennial to give back to the community, and supporting Israel provides me with a sense of meaning. It fulfills me and brings my wife, Alexa, and I closer to those who feel the same way. In 2016, I had the privilege of going to Israel with both the JNFuture Volunteer Vacation and the JNFuture Leadership Institute Mission, where I witnessed the impact JNF makes. On one of these trips, I found myself in Halutza, a JNF-built community, where I helped build a children’s playground. This playground is located mere miles from the Egyptian and Gaza borders. Through our donations and volunteer work, the GENERATIONS HAVE DEFINING

children of Halutza now have a fun, safe place to play. This experience really brought everything that JNF stands for into perspective. There’s no other organization that places so much emphasis on the future generation and invests substantial amounts of time and energy into cultivating future leaders. JNF and JNFuture understand that the key to success is forging a lasting connection between Millennials and Israel. I do not wear an IDF uniform. I am not in Israel defending its borders. I am not in Israel attending political rallies. I am here, in Scottsdale, Arizona, a U.S. citizen, working in a different but equally important way. Our local community has built a strong foundation of 150 JNFuture members, more than 35 of whom have been inspired to donate at the Root Society level at a $1,000 annual commitment. We are just at the tip of the iceberg. The potential that is being tapped is limitless. I urge my peers to think about what inspires you. Dig deep. What does Israel mean to you? How can you leverage your position as a Millennial to make huge, positive impacts on the world and the Jewish people? JNF needs every one of us to do our part to help secure a bright and prosperous future for Israel. We are often asked where we see ourselves in five, 10, or even 25 years. Many have a game plan to help them realize and achieve their personal goals. But what about Israel? Where do you see Israel in 25 years, and how will you help make your vision a reality? Join and see for yourself. Ian Sachs is the Chair of JNFuture Arizona. To learn more about joining JNFuture, please contact Sharon David sdavid@jnf.org or at 212.879.9305 x242.

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND

ACROSS THE COUNTRY FOR INFO ON UPCOMING JNF EVENTS, VISIT JNF.ORG AND CLICK ON “JNF IN YOUR AREA”

SOUTHERN

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(L-R) JNF Austin Campaign Executive Arielle Levy and JNFuture Atlanta Co-Chairs Ross Boardman and Steven Prager with JNFuture Chicago Co-Chair Jason Zenner at the JNFuture Launch in Atlanta.

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(L-R) Immediate Past President of the Hebrew Order of David, Anthony Naturman, and sons Zach and Noah, present a donation in support of LOTEM to JNF Atlanta Executive Director Beth Gluck and JNF-Israel Development Director Ariel Kotler.

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(L-R) Atlanta Women for Israel (WFI) Educational Series Co-Chair Marlene Sukiennik with JNF New England Campaign Executive Yarden Fanta-Vargenshtein and WFI Educational Series Committee Member Tally Korman at a WFI Educational Series event.

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(L-R) Margo Smith, Nora Lieberman, and Susan Klein at Austin’s Annual Breakfast for Israel.

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(L-R) Kali Lang, Julie Berger, Molly Bayme, Rebecca Golden, Kara Schell, and Rebecca Hanai at JNFuture Anchors Away in Austin.

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(L-R) JNFuture Austin leaders Rebecca Levy, Joel Lowinger, Jessica Levy, Zach Silverman, and Liel Navon at their kick-off board meeting.

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(L-R) JNF Campaign VP Ken Segel, Dinner Chair Jay Bauer, and JNF Chicago Board Members Bob Wigoda and Scott Gendell addressing the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Chicago.

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(L-R) Jay Shifman, Adam Greenberg, Michelle Marowists, Alana Gerson, Loren Brook, Sunny Hertz, and Josh Rothstein at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Cincinnati.

JNF Chicago Board Member Dan Cohan at JNF’s Western Galilee Tourist Information 6. (L-R) Susan Lieberman, JNF Northern Ohio Board Members Becky Chesler and Wendy Levick, and Women for Israel (WFI) Committee Member Laura Zeefe Center in Akko. volunteer at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Cleveland. 3. (L-R) Carly and Jarrod Byer, Tree of Life™ Award Honorees Larry and Rhonda 7. (L-R) JNF Northern Ohio Board Members Marcy and Dr. Bradley Robbins, JNF Board Sheakley, with Jacquelyn Lankford and Johanna Byer at the Southern Ohio and President Noreen Koppelman-Goldstein, and Barry Goloboff at the Northern Ohio Kentucky Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Cincinnati. Board Meet and Greet at Beechmont Country Club. 4. (L-R) Nathan and Marcie Bachrach, David Gershuny, JNF Southern Ohio and Kentucky Director Eric Goldstein, JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, with Nina and Eddie 8. (L-R) JNF Northern Ohio Board Member Dr. Michael Frankel and Dr. Jack Lissauer at a Doctors for Israel (DFI) event in Cleveland. Paul at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Cincinnati. 2.

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(L-R) Bill and Nancy Rackoff with Honoree Scott Lammie at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Pittsburgh.

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Rabbi Jaime Gibson, Mary Grinberg, and Honoree Skip Grinberg at the Guardian of Israel Award Reception in Pittsburgh.

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JNF Midwest Associate Executive Director Jason Rose and Western Pennsylvania Board Chair Steven H. Schwartz at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Pittsburgh.

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Honorees Dr. David and Jody Margolis, Molly Zoll, Eileen and Dr. Glenn Graves, Director of JNF’s Task Force on Disabilities Yossi Kahana, and Aura Mollick Hirschman at the Wisconsin Annual Tribute Banquet.


MID-ATLANTIC

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Jill Sapperstein proudly stands at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, where she has honored her father, Edgar J. Hecht, and father-in-law, Julius Sapperstein, with plaques for their service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

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(L-R) Mark Biegel, JNF National Campaign Director Diane Scar, and Dr. Jim Chisum attend a meet and greet and book signing with New York Times bestselling author Rabbi Joseph Telushkin at JNF’s Community Breakfast in Baltimore.

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(L-R) Women for Israel (WFI) Members Selma Woolf and her daughter Naomi Amsterdam at a JNF community event.

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(L-R) Maryland WFI Members Nicole Talor, Monica Talor, 2013 Miss Israel winner Titi Aynaw, Erika Schon, and Ann Fried at the 2017 WFI Kick-Off event in Baltimore.

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(L-R) Dr. Cliff Faber with D.C. Major Gifs Chair Jeff Menick at JNF’s Community Breakfast in Baltimore.

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(L-R) Virginia Levin and Dr. Bruce Taylor with Baltimore Breakfast Co-Chair Dr. Ellen Taylor at JNF’s Community Breakfast in Baltimore.

(L-R) Rabbi Joseph Telushkin signs Maury Garten’s copy of Jewish Humor: What the 10. Maryland WFI Members meet 2013 Miss Israel Titi Aynaw at a WFI reception and Best Jewish Jokes Say About the Jews, following Rabbi Telushkin’s presentation at JNF’s learn how women are making an impact on Israel’s future. Community Breakfast in Baltimore. 11. (L-R) IDF Lt. Col. (Res.) and Director of Special in Uniform Tiran Attia with Gary 7. (L-R) Shoshi Wolf Ponczak and her mother, Faith Wolf, at JNF’s Community Kushner and JNF D.C. Director Stuart Diamant-Cohen at a Washington D.C. Board Breakfast in Baltimore. meeting. 6.

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(L-R) Baltimore WFI Members Nancy Medin and Susan Hackerman at the 2017 WFI Kick-Off event.

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Alan Schwartz, David and Brenda Jaffe, Ron Paley, Anne Hortwitz, Wendy Schelew, Fred Gelin, Charles Bernstein, and Esti Allina-Turnauer on the 2016 Israel Ride near Eilat.

NEW ENGLAND

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(L-R) JNF National Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Jeffrey Davis, Executive Board Member Ralph Rotman, and William Friedler at the annual New England Breakfast.

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(L-R) JNF Board of Directors Member and volunteer firefighter Adam Zlotnick was thanked and congratulated by Ambassador of the United States to Israel Dan Shapiro for his leadership in helping Israeli firefighters.

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The Cutler Family Foundation visits JNF’s Western Galilee Tourist Information Center in Akko during their family mission to Israel.

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Students from Temple Israel of Natick at the MetroWest JNF Breakfast featuring guest speaker and Israeli hero Sorin Hershko.

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(L-R) KKL-JNF Emissary Rami Hazan with Green Horizons CEO Lavi Zamir and Robert Adler in Israel.

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(L-R) Andrea Cymbalista, JNF New England Associate Director Yarden FantaVagenshtein, Rhonda Forman, and Executive Vice-Chair of the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites Noa Gefen at a Women for Israel (WFI) event.

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(L-R) Board of Directors Member Jay Shuman, Executive Board Member Steve London, Linda Shuman, JNF-Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby, Paula London, Roz and Russ Kraiterman at Ammunition Hill in Israel.

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(L-R) AMHSI Impact Students Maor Ziv-Kreger, Rachel Katz, Executive Board of Directors Member Isaac Edry, Sophie Meltzer, Jack Pierce, and Rachel Selvin on the AMHSI-JNF Hod HaSharon campus.

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(L-R) JNFuture Members Leonard Aronson, Rachel Goldberg, and Nicole Litvak with JNFuture Campaign Executive Gali Gordon at a JNFuture event. Boston President Jeffrey Woolf, Event Chair Dubi Gordon, and JNF-LOTEM Liaison Alisa Bodner at a JNF Breakfast at Temple Israel of Natick.

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JNFuture Members Allyson Parker and Seth Cohen, with General Campaign Chair and Board of Directors Member Zev Steinmetz, and JNF New England Executive Director Sara Hefez at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

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Marcia Leifer, JNF New England Executive Director Sara Hefez, and Chai Society Chair and Event Co-Chair Risa Aronson at JNF’s annual New England Breakfast.

Across the Country

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NORTHEAST

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(L-R) JNF Central NJ Director Michael Zimmerman, Central NJ Women for Israel 3. (L-R back row) JNF CNJ Director Michael Zimmerman, Ben Baum, CNJ Board (WFI) Co-Chair Phyllis Solomon, with WFI Leadership Recognition recipients Irene Member Jules Cohn, and Alex Banks. (L-R front row) Ruth Banks, Beth Cohn, and Sperling and Joy Perchick, and Central NJ WFI Co-Chair Marci Robinson at JNF’s WFI Sandy Baum at the Central NJ Garden State Brunch. Fall event at Shackamaxon Golf Club in Scotch Plains. 4. (L-R) JNF Philadelphia Campaign Executive Dara Gever, Sam Danilewitz, 2. (L-R) Jill Tekel, Sharon Seiden, and JNF Central NJ Campaign Executive Anna Richlin Yoninah Orenstein, Molli Weisband, JNF Executive Director Marina Furman, Ben at JNF’s WFI Fall event at Shackamaxon Golf Club in Scotch Plains Eichel, Event Chair Danielle Hankin, Chad Holtzman, Josh Fisher, Alexander Hankin, Ben Kahane, Matthew Hernberg, Mark Lazaroff, Ari Stanger, and Aliyah Furman at JNFuture Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey’s Axe-Throwing and Wine Tasting event. 1.

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Newly installed South Jersey Board of Directors at the Board Installation hosted at the home of Eva and Marvin Schlanger.

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(L-R) Matt, Michael, and Maxine Comisky at a plaque presentation for Michael who raised $26,000 for Project Baseball for his Bar Mitzvah project.

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(L-R) JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush, Event Host Rabbi Zev Goldberg, Bob Oppenheimer, and JNF Director of Northern NJ Jocelyn Inglis at JNF’s Fort Lee Community Breakfast.

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(L-R) JNFuture Chair Jonathan Gertman presenting Chai Necklaces to Sadie Guttman and Julie Schipper.

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(L-R) Zehava Groff, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Ivan D. Deutsch, and Sami Groff at a Lawyers for Israel (LFI) event in New York.

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(L-R) Rabbi Jeremy Donath, Rabbi Andrew Markowitz, Sara Markowitz, JNF Director of NNJ Jocelyn Inglis, Sarah Klibanoff, and Rabbi Sam Klibanoff at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

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(L-R) Randi Spinowitz, Jane Zamost, Ellen Maranca, and Patty Stegman in Israel on JNF’s Queen of Sheba Tour.

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(L-R back row) JNF Westchester Co-President Caren Hammerman, JNF Director of 9. (L-R) JNF Director of Long Island Howard Ingram and Long Island Board Member Westchester & Southern CT Stephanie Risa Balkin, Bonnie and Norman Weiss, and David Levy at JNF’s Long Island Golf & Tennis Outing. JNF-Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby. (L-R front row) Westchester Board Member 10. Mark and Anne Landman in Israel on JNF’s Chadick-Weiss Mission. Lynn Jacobs, Society for Preservation of Israel Historical Sites representative Tal Ben Nun, and Westchester Board Member Cheryl Pine at JNF’s 2016 National 11. (L-R) Bob Weiss, Richard Ziegler, Michael Zimmerman, and Mark Landman vising Conference. the Kotel in Jerusalem.

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(L-R) Westchester Board Member Shoshana Bederman with ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran CEO Avi Wortzman, and Board Members and Event Hosts Leo Goldstein and Marina Solovey at an ALEH Negev parlor meeting.

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(L-R) Rubin Pikus, David Levy, Frank DeLucia, Joseph Fingerman, George Klett, Michael Kessler, and Mark Engel at JNF’s Long Island Golf & Tennis Outing.


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(L-R) Didi Almog, Chairman of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran Major General (Res.) 4. (L-R) JNF Las Vegas Board President Janet Wellish, Larry Plotkin, Debra Cohen, 7. (L-R) JNF Mountain States President Barbara Burry and Denice Reich at a Women for Doron Almog, Cary Marmis, and JNF-ALEH Negev Liaison Avnet Kleiner at the and Dr. Kent Wellish at the Am Yisrael Chai Speaker Series-Part 2 at Eglet Advocacy Israel (WFI) event in Denver. Evening Benefitting ALEH Negev event hosted at the home of Cary and Fern Marmis Center. 8. (L-R) Mayor of Hura Dr. Muhammad Al-Nabari with Melinda Quiat, and Dr. Michael in Tucson. 5. (L-R) Chairman of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran Major General (Res.) Doron Almog Ben-Eli discussing Project Wadi Attir in Denver. 2. (L-R) Shawna Schotz, Taryn Pollack, McKenzie Ragan, Shelly Czopp, Alexa Sachs, and JNF Las Vegas Board Member Alex Woogmaster at the Am Yisrael Chai Speaker and Victoria Nazarov at a JNFuture Arizona parlor meeting with JNF-Ammunition Series-Part 2 at Eglet Advocacy Center. Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby. 6. (L-R) Las Vegas AMHSI-JNF Impact Fund Committee Member Dani Goodman, JNF3. (L-R) Sandy Rife, Didi Almog, Chairman of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran Major General Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby, and Elizabeth Goodman at the Am Yisrael Chai (Res.) Doron Almog, and Seymour Rife at a Major Donor Thank You event at the Speaker Series-Part 1 at Eglet Advocacy Center. home of Jeff and Lisa Geyser. 1.

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(L-R) JNF COO Harold Cohen, JNF Mountain States Associate Director Jessica Milstein, and Jack Grynberg at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

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Jacob Fine, Elliot Find, Laura Pizzo, Annette Blum, and Zoe Goldfarb at a JNFuture event in San Francisco.

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JNF Palm Springs Chairman of the Board Michael Saywitz, JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick, guest speaker and Olympian Mark Spitz, and Joel Johnson at JNF’s Men’s Night Out event in Palm Springs.

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Judy Brown with Joan Feldman at JNF’s Women’s Tea event in Palm Springs.

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Carol Horwich Luber, AMHSI-JNF Co-Executive Director Rabbi Leor Sinai, and Debbie Orgen-Garrett at an AMHSI-JNF parlor meeting in Palm Springs.

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JNF Pacific Northwest Director Roland Roth, Consul General of Israel Dr. Andy David, and JNF Pacific Northwest Israel Programs Admissions Director Alissa Hartnig present Dr. David with a JNF Blue Box.

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Bayley and JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick during an AMHSIJNF alumni event hosted by Jacquie Bayley in Bellevue.

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from Temple B’nai Torah of Bellevue after completing a LOTEM program.

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Shari Friedman Schenk, Dr. Frances Lobman, JNF National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, Adele Raemer, JNF San Diego Board President Lauren Lizerbram at a parlor meeting in San Diego.

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(L-R) JNFuture Orlando Board Chair Joe Davis with JNF Orlando Director Laura Abramson and Orlando Board Co-President Ed Milgrim at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

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(L-R) Karen Barth with JNFuture Orlando Board Chair Joe Davis at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

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(L-R) Shira Glickman with Orlando Board Member Lee Ossin at a JNFuture Kick-Off event in Orlando.

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UCF Hillel Students and Staff with JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, JNF National Major Gifts Chair Bruce Gould, JNF Broward Board Member Vivian Grossman, JNFuture Orlando Board Chair Joe Davis, and JNF Orlando Director Laura Abramson at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

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(L-R) Tampa Bay Board Member Tina Gordon with JNF-LOTEM Liaison Alisa Bodner, 7. (L-R) Lee Schaffler with JNF Tampa Bay Board Members Mark Miller, Marty Tampa Bay Board Co-President Mary Ellen Hogan, and Tampa Bay Board Member Solomon, and Andy Gotfried, along with Jake Gotfried and Todd Mezrah Jeffrey Gad at a parlor meeting at the home of Meg and Dr. Gary Moskovitz in representing Tampa in the 2016 Israel Ride. Tampa. 8. (L-R) Tampa Bay Board Major Gifts Chair Dr. Robert Norman with Nelle Miller, 6. (L-R) JNFuture Board Chair and guest speaker David Levy with Jon Solomon, Sarasota Board President Mark Schlanger, Richard and Bibi Ohlsson, and Magnus Ilana Goldenberg, and Dr. Marshall Marcus at a JNFuture event at the home of Dr. Gertten at an event honoring Mark Schlanger in Sarasota. Marshall Marcus.

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(L-R) JNF-Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center (RMTRC) Liaison Jill Oren Kisbee 13. (L-R) Arielle Angel with Director of Sustainability Lab Michael Ben-Eli, JNF North with Tampa Bay Board Member Richard Rappaport and the Director and Founder of Palm Beach Director Laura Sherry, and Hura Mayor Mohammed Al-Nabari at JNF’s RMTRC Rafi Ossman at RMTRC. 2016 National Conference.

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Spencer Greenfeder with Broward Board Members Eric Assouline, Art Greenfeder, Alan Cohn, and Lance Ross at JNF’s Annual Kick-Off event in Broward.

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Adele Konecky with Celia Jacobs and Irene Ostroff at a Women for Israel (WFI) parlor meeting in Highland Beach.

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Board Member Mark Gendal and Stacey Gendal at the Annual Kick-off event in Broward.

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South Palm Beach Board Members Glen Golish and Arye Corbett, with HaShomer HaChadash Director of North American Partnerships Daniel Mitchell and JNF South Palm Beach Director Lee Lebovich at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

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JNFuture Miami Board Member James Diamond with JNF South Florida Executive Director Roni Raab, Rafael Yaniz, Miami Board Member Michael Kapiloff, Helena Cohen, guest speaker Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, JNFuture Miami Board President Maia Aron, Michael Yavner, Miami Board President Ron Kriss, and JNF Miami-Dade Director Jeffrey Greenberg at the JNF-Israel Bonds Reception in Miami.


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JNFuture Miami Board Members James Diamond and Sasha Dominguez with Josh Kaufman and Levi Meyer at a JNFuture happy hour in Miami.

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Joey Loskove, Ben and Cara Freedman, and David Kay at a Doctors for Israel (DFI) dinner in Boca Raton.

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Murray Rubin with Ronald and Arlene Kessler, JNF-Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby, Bernie and Ruth Mintz, and Joe Sitrick at a parlor meeting in Boca Raton.

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Susan Cain with South New Jersey Board Member Eva Schlanger, North Palm Beach Board Member Cantor Elaine Shapiro, and Cara Zimmerman at a JNF WFI parlor meeting in Highland Beach.

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Yaron and Iris Baker with JNF Miami-Dade Director Jeffrey Greenberg and JNFuture National Board Member and Broward Board Member Josh Berkowitz at the JNF-Israel Bonds Reception in Miami.

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JNF-Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby with Boca Raton Synagogue Rabbi Efrem Goldberg at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem.

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(L-R) Alan Fragen, Miss America Kira Kazantsev, Rick Solomon, and Tom Morgan at the annual LA Golf Tournament at Riviera Country Club.

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(L-R center) David and Betsy Rosenthal and Julie and Steve Bram with two Beverly Hills Firemen at the Beverly Hills Fire Station during a Thank You Event for the Los Angeles Commercial Real Estate Group.

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(L-R) Sheena Razi, Shannon Delrahim, and Debbie Razi at Shabbat on the Beach in Malibu.

Thought About Your Legacy? Pamela and Robert Benedon have… They named Jewish National Fund as a beneficiary of their donor advised fund upon their passing.

PEDAL FOR A PURPOSE Robert and Pamela Benedon, Cherry Hill, NJ

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options, which range from 150 to 370 miles, you will triumph over your personal riding goals on this adventure of a lifetime.

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Israel from the seat of a bike — all for great

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the beauty and breathtaking landscape of

“We are so proud of the amazing work JNF does every day during our lifetime, and we are pleased to be able to continue our support with a legacy gift. JNF will be Our Voice in Israel in perpetuity.”

Across the Country

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REVISITING THE NEGEV FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, Jewish National Fund had a bold

vision for the Negev Desert designed to produce tangible changes to the land and to make it an attractive place for Israelis to call home. Years later and indeed Blueprint Negev has transformed Be’er Sheva into a sought-after city by high-tech companies and young people, and brought it into direct competition with Tel Aviv. New communities are emerging from once barren sand dunes of the desert to accommodate those seeking a different lifestyle. With JNF’s support, neglected development towns are experiencing a revival, and residents living near Israel’s borders are receiving the attention they need. Comprising over 60% of the land of Israel, the Negev has certainly changed since the days Ben Gurion beckoned Israelis to settle the desert. Blueprint Negev is the driving force behind this change. For more information on JNF’s various program areas, please contact newsletter@jnf.org or call 800.JNF.0099. Revisiting the Negev

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THE TEL AVIV EXPERIENCE REPLICATED IN BE’ER SHEVA Fifteen years since the launch of Blueprint Negev, Be’er Sheva is staking its rightful claim among Israel’s sought-after cities

“SEEING ALL THE developments and

improvements in Be’er Sheva the few short years that I’ve been here, I can’t help but think how David Ben Gurion would be ‘kvelling’ over all that’s happening in the desert,” said Allison Abraham, 26, one of the many AmericanIsraelis who decided to move to the Negev’s capital. “I love that I get to be here to see it materializing firsthand and to be part of this amazing transformation!” Although Tel Aviv is known the world over as Israel’s mecca for nightlife, culinary adventures, cultural activities, high-tech innovations, and stunning beaches, many of the same superior, top-notch experiences—save the beach—can be found today in Be’er Sheva. This burgeoning city has rapidly evolved and is taking its rightful place on the map as a tourist, cyber, and cultural capital in the Middle East, and, believe it or not, is beginning to compete with Tel Aviv. This may be a crazy 18

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notion to some, being that Be’er Sheva is in the middle of the Negev Desert, but for those living and breathing this revolution and renewal, it is an exciting reality. Both Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva share similar, modest beginnings, fast-paced development, and neighborhood expansions, resulting in increased local pride. The sprawling metropolis of modern Tel Aviv began as a humble swath of sandy desert land allotted to Jewish pioneers by Jewish National Fund ( JNF). Nothing more than a simple neighborhood outside of bustling Jaffa in 1909, Tel Aviv began to grow and expand thanks to its prime location on the coast next to Jaffa’s deep water port. As the first Hebrew city expanded in the mid-1900s, Tel Aviv was still considered to be a dirty, humid, and unattractive place to live or raise a family. The past sentiments regarding Tel Aviv are not unlike those that—unfortunately at times—are still being said about Be’er Sheva today. The city has ancient roots,

dating back to the time of Abraham; the modern city was built by the Ottomans in the early 20th century. For much of the last 100 years, Be’er Sheva remained small, isolated, and neglected, with little or no new infrastructure built other than what was left behind by the Ottomans, resulting in an image consisting of nothing more than sand, camels, and intense heat. The 1980s saw the revival of Israeli cities, chief among them and undoubtedly the most successful being Tel Aviv. Residents began to take pride in their city by the sea, taking care of its beaches, beautifying its once decaying neighborhoods, and investing in various societal, cultural, and business sectors. The end result was simple—people wanted to stay and establish themselves there, and this campaign is arguably the key turning point in Tel Aviv’s changeover into a desirable location. In recent years, Be’er Sheva has also implemented a

All photos by: Dani Machlis

By Megan E. Turner


“I have watched whole neighborhoods spring up seemingly overnight. I have seen educational institutions, cultural establishments, community centers, and shopping areas multiply and flourish.” Reesa Cohen Stone, Be’er Sheva resident

similar campaign, albeit in a much shorter time span. The city is almost unrecognizable today thanks to the intense growth and rapid expansion that have brought luxury high-rise towers, a boost in employment, and the creation of cultural attractions for locals and tourists. “Ten years ago, many of the structures you see in the city weren’t here,” Yagel Chernia, 26, a Be’er Sheva local, said. “People I’ve spoken to say that it’s almost hard to recognize the city since it has changed so much in such a short period of time. I’m constantly surprised with the local art scene, theaters, restaurants, and that I could even find a good job in the high-tech industry here, in Be’er Sheva!” Be’er Sheva’s metamorphosis was not accidental. With a young, energetic mayor, Ruvik Danilovich, born and raised in Be’er Sheva who harbors a deep love for the city, and with the support of JNF, the city is experiencing a rebirth and is blossoming. Much of the successes seen throughout the Negev are due to JNF’s groundbreaking Blueprint Negev initiative, a campaign focused on improving the quality of life for residents in Southern Israel and encouraging 500,000 Israelis to relocate from the crowded and expensive center of the country to the Negev to lay roots. In Be’er Sheva, Blueprint Negev has been responsible for a substantial amount of the development that is not only retaining the city’s population, but also attracting new residents. The challenges of living in a desert climate may remain, but for the many who have taken the step to move to the Negev’s capital city, the rewards have been worthwhile. For some residents, simply watching this once dusty, neglected city undergo a drastic transformation is a huge draw. “I have seen Be’er Sheva grow from a town of 60,000 to a metropolis of more than 230,000,” said Reesa Cohen Stone, who moved to Be’er Sheva from Canada in the 1980s. “I have watched whole neighborhoods

Pedestrian bridge at the Gav-Yam High-Tech Campus

And it’s not just one section of Be’er Sheva that is experiencing this vibrant revival. Aside from the wellknown Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Soroka Medical Center that attract young academic talent to the region, the city also boasts a high-tech park, Gav-Yam, which is growing and expanding on an almost daily basis. Big name companies like PayPal, IBM, Deutsche Telecom, Oracle, and EMC are leading the way for cyber solutions in the Negev and the world, all the while helping place Be’er Sheva on the map as a high-tech leader in innovation. The Gav-Yam campus currently has two buildings, but plans are in motion to expand to another 20 in the near future. This stunning regeneration of a town that was once thought of only as a rest stop on the way to

spring up seemingly overnight. I have seen educational institutions, cultural establishments, community centers, and shopping areas multiply and flourish.” One neighborhood undergoing a drastic revitalization is Be’er Sheva’s Old City. As little as five years ago, the Old City was dirty, dark, and even dangerous. Its prime location on the Be’er Sheva River and its rich history and architecture held a lot of potential for rejuvenation, but work was slow-going until Blueprint Negev came on the scene. JNF had the foresight to recognize the untapped potential in Be’er Sheva, and thereafter planned and executed the Be’er Sheva River Walk project. What was once a garbage-strewn riverbed where sewage flowed instead of water, JNF’s River Walk project cleaned up the area, built beautiful trails and a walking bridge, and jump-started the Be’er Sheva residents playing a game of foosball at a bar in the Old City transformation of the neighborhoods surrounding it, including the Old City. Eilat into an attractive destination both for tourism These are only the initial accomplishments of the and as a place to build a life and future is nothing River Walk project. With the recent completion of short of amazing. a 12,500 seat amphitheater, a stunning green park Not too long ago, Israelis were searching for any surrounding it, and the beginnings of a recreational way leave Be’er Sheva. Now, people originally from the lake—also part of Blueprint Negev—the amphitheater is area, as well as those from the center of the country, drawing in headlining Israeli and international music are finding the quality of life they’re looking for there artists, including HaDag Nahash, Ehud Banai, and without having to compromise on entertainment, even The Dire Straits Experience, to name a few. culture, and employment. Immigrants from all around The Old City of Be’er Sheva now hosts an artist the world are choosing Be’er Sheva as their new home colony, a vibrant theater scene, and many live music when they make aliyah. The city is becoming a booming and foodie havens. Galleries line the streets, opening tourist destination. The municipality’s partnership their doors for public showings on Friday mornings. with JNF and its Blueprint Negev initiative are proving The yearly Fringe Theater Festival draws thousands that those same dreams people have for their lives and of spectators to Be’er Sheva from all over Israel for families in cities like Tel Aviv can also be realized in three days of international productions, street theater, places like Be’er Sheva, in the Negev. master classes, and public demonstrations all held on Ushering in this new era, Be’er Sheva has been the streets and in the buildings of the Old City. On any bestowed a new nickname by some: “The Capital of given evening, one can catch a live music show at one Opportunities.” With all the city has to offer, it’s a fitting of the many pubs scattered across town, and there title. Its residents are dreaming big and realizing that are many restaurants that cater to almost any type of they can really have it all by settling in the south, and cuisine imaginable. with the best yet to come. Revisiting the Negev

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RISING OUT OF THE SAND DUNES— COMMUNITIES EMERGE IN THE NEGEV Empowered by Israel’s original Zionist pioneering spirit, young families are laying roots in the Negev By Allison Levine

travel through the Negev marveling at the beauty of its sunsets, hills, and unique craters, most would characterize the Negev with one word: sand. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, however, saw more than just sand. He saw potential. Successes in advanced innovations in water technology, cutting-edge desert studies, and the creation of solar energy farms, notwithstanding, a major part of Ben Gurion’s vision for the Negev was to make it a desirable place to live. Today, more than ever, the need for affordable and available housing options is driving young families to seek communities outside of Israel’s crowded, congested, and overpriced center, and three emerging communities—with average three-bedroom/two-bath homes starting at $350,000— are paving the way for a new wave of Israeli pioneers wishing to establish firm roots in the vast expanse of Israel’s Negev Desert. WHILE MANY PEOPLE

GIVOT BAR Established in 2004, Givot Bar, located just 20-minutes northeast of Be’er Sheva, has blossomed into a fully functioning town with a growing population of more than 1,000 people. On a typical day in this largely 20

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secular community, children of all ages can be seen riding bicycles or walking barefoot in the spacious parks that are characteristic of this green, vibrant space where a great deal of attention is paid to detail. Surrounding the community’s low rolling hills are Jewish National FundKeren Kayemeth LeIsrael ( JNF-KKL) woods, planted alongside desert flora that have been appropriately selected for the area’s climate. “Stories are told of how people would come to see Givot Bar—typically families who were coming to see if the place was the ‘right fit for them,’” explained Jewish National Fund liaison Yedidya Harush. “Driving through the barren desert, families would see very little around them, until they reached Givot Bar’s entranceway.” Funded by JNF, the entranceway was completed well before any of the town’s permanent houses were built to instill confidence that a new community was in store in the not so distant future. Families who moved in, lived first in caravans. About 10 years later, as part of JNF’s ambitious Blueprint Negev initiative,

Givot Bar now boasts an expansive park, an impressive outdoor amphitheater used regularly for community concerts and plays, and a day care center to serve the community’s children. A school is also nearby, and any municipal services currently unavailable in Givot Bar are easily accessible to residents in nearby Lehavim or Be’er Sheva, where many residents work. Today, 300 families have permanent housing in Givot Bar, and plans call for 500 additional housing units in the near future. “The Negev makes up more than half of the country, yet barely 8% of the population lives here,” Harush said. Building communities like Givot Bar is a key strategic element of JNF’s vision for the Negev. In the 1930s, during the British Mandate in Palestine, there was a campaign called “Tower and Stockade,” or Choma u’Migdal in Hebrew, where overnight, early Zionist pioneers established makeshift settlements on lands that had been purchased by JNF to create new communities at a fast pace. Today, Blueprint Negev moves forward that idea: to secure, build, and grow

“We are creating something out of nothing, and with JNF’s help, everyone who comes can see how far we’ve come.” - Chagit Ben Chaim, a founding member of Merchav Am


Israel, new communities must be built, particularly in the periphery of the country. CARMIT While new developments often begin with a small number of caravans or temporary lodgings, followed by the investment of infrastructure, land sales, and then construction of permanent homes, in the community of Carmit, located 25-minutes north of Be’er Sheva, something entirely different is happening. “Launching Carmit is one of the more ambitious undertakings as far as new communities go in the Negev,” said Harush. “This is an impeccably planned community, with a target of attracting 3,000 families. The biggest difference with Carmit is that there was no temporary neighborhood, no caravans. Anyone deciding to build their home can do so and can move right into it.” “We had longed for the chance to move to the Negev, and when we heard about Carmit, it was just what we were looking for,” said resident Rachel Wolf. “To be a part of the first group of families and to be included in a new community was a dream come true.” A selfproclaimed “pioneer,” Wolf acknowledged that the community is so attractive that many people who do not think of themselves as pioneers are coming as well. “Some are really just searching for a better quality of life and a way to get out of the hustle and bustle of the center of the country. Carmit is the answer for those families,” she said. Today, 34 families call Carmit home; another 200 homes are under construction. Said Wolf: “Even with our small numbers at the moment, we are hard at work creating a community feeling. Every new family that moves in is a big deal, and we try to help them during

Day care center in Merchav Am

the transition period. Moving to the desert requires a bit of a leap of faith.” And then there’s the synagogue. Constructed by JNF before any of the houses were ready, it epitomizes “If you build it, they will come”—and they are coming! “By erecting the synagogue first, it was a clear commitment from JNF that it is dedicated to seeing this community come into existence and flourish,” Harush said. And the commitment must be matched by the residents. “Each

New housing construction in Carmit

family that buys a lot in Carmit signs an agreement stating that they will build within a year and a half,” he added, “thus enabling the community to grow at a quick pace while eliminating lots that stand empty and undeveloped, which is uninviting.” MERCHAV AM Forty-five-minutes south of Be’er Sheva, not far from where Ben Gurion chose to make his own home at Kibbutz Sde Boker, lies the pioneering community of Merchav Am. Conditions are harsh—summers are brutally hot and winters are cold with seasonal floods. The land in and around Merchav Am is both sandy and rocky and difficult to cultivate. But it is to this community that determined Israelis, infused with the original Zionist pioneering spirit, are coming to create a greener, more sustainable future in the Negev. Although small, Merchav Am is developing and has drawn people to it from around the world, including a family who recently made aliyah from Indiana, joining the ranks of veteran immigrants originally from Russia, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Argentina, France, Ethiopia, and Australia. A true melting pot, the residents of Merchav Am are working together to settle the Negev. Thanks to Israeli water innovations such as drip irrigation, trees are stubbornly but thankfully pushing their way through the sand, greening this patch of arid desert. Religiously

diverse, the community numbers 79 families, 35 of whom are already in permanent housing—and with more than 300 children who will no doubt become the Negev’s future pioneers. Occupations vary, from work in the tourism industry to military careers, police officers, artists, or high-tech employees. As in Carmit, JNF also built a synagogue and community center in the early days of Merchav Am, thereby making it easier for families to transition to this budding oasis in the desert. “For JNF to build a community center and synagogue before a permanent neighborhood was established, it told us that we are not alone—that someone, that JNF and its family of donors, had our backs,” said Yaniv Mazaki, a Merchav Am resident of seven years and its community director. Chagit Ben Chaim, an original founding member of Merchav Am, said: “We are honored to be a part of this amazing group of people coming together to build a future in the desert. It is an emotional, exciting, and challenging experience that is infused with that authentic Israeli pioneering spirit. We are creating something out of nothing, and with JNF’s help, everyone who comes can see how far we’ve come.” Plans call for an expansion to accommodate 500 families and there is a steady stream of families inquiring about moving into the community. “We have a big dream and we will get there—we are already getting there—little by little each day,” said Mazaki with a smile. Whether drawn by the attraction of having a back yard and a supportive community, or the desire to personally contribute to establishing new communities in Israel’s frontier regions, JNF’s Blueprint Negev initiative is helping write the next chapter in the Negev’s story. Putting down both individual and collective roots in the desert sands is a way to make it just a bit easier for the next generation of pioneers to follow, so that they, too, can make their dreams flourish. Revisiting the Negev

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YERUCHAM

TO THOSE who may have heard of

the central Negev city of Yerucham, few can probably attach any positive sentiments to this dusty desert town of 9,000 people, typically viewed as remote, desolate, and, most significantly, lacking in opportunities. That is, until a few years ago. From the 1980s to the mid-2000s, Yerucham experienced an array of problems typical of Israel’s early development towns: Many of its elected mayors were forcibly replaced by the government due to their inability to keep a balanced budget. A lack of resources led to the town’s growing needs going unanswered. A third of the population was identified as needing financial assistance. Perhaps most strikingly of all, between 1991-2011, only 30 new houses were constructed within the city limits. The town was stagnant. A wasteland. Then, along came a group of young adults, native to Yerucham, armed with a vision for the town’s future. They returned to their hometown in droves, bringing with 22

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FROM DUSTY TOWN TO DAZZLING CITY With the help of JNF, new generations of leaders are breathing new life into Israel’s development towns By Megan E. Turner

them a belief in the place and its people. “For many, the dream was to move out of Yerucham, but ours was to be here and to make a difference,” said Michael Biton, 46, the mayor of Yerucham and himself a native. “What Yerucham is proving is that with a vision— and partners—we can really make a difference.” One of the most influential partners in Yerucham’s

revival has been Jewish National Fund and its Blueprint Negev initiative. “JNF understood that for Yerucham to succeed, it needed to attract the youth back. The strategy included cultivating them to become the next generation of the town’s leaders,” said Tal Ohana, 32, deputy mayor and acting head of the Yerucham City Council. Ohana spoke of herself, Biton, and many other town leaders, politicians, and entrepreneurs who began to see their future in Yerucham thanks to the opportunities to develop and grow that JNF brought about. Education and empowering the youth is key to creating prosperous and bright futures for the cities and towns in Israel’s frontier regions. In Yerucham, this took the form of the Young Leadership Center, a cornerstone project of JNF’s plan to revive the town, which became a key component in transforming returning youth into Yerucham’s leaders. “JNF has been amazing as a partner—in the past and the present. They understand that to keep the youth, we must provide them with social activities, employment opportunities, culture, and leisure, among other services,”


said Sheli Suissa, 36, CEO of Yerucham’s City Council. And it’s working. Today, 30% of Yerucham is between the ages of 20-45, due, in large part, to the town’s stunning, quickpaced revival into a thriving desert community. What’s helping spur Yerucham’s transformation from

Education has been a core pillar in Yerucham’s revival. “We want Yerucham to be a city of formal and informal education,” Biton said. This has included the establishment of three early childhood education centers, eight kindergartens, investment in youth

“What Yerucham is proving is that with a vision— and partners—we can really make a difference.” Michael Biton, Mayor of Yerucham

dusty to dazzling? “For those who weren’t aware of the town before,” said Suissa, “Yerucham has a sort of magic that comes from a sense of community and togetherness. That’s something that I didn’t find when I was living in the center of Israel.” “There has always been a uniqueness about Yerucham—mutual respect for your neighbors, being supportive of everyone, and staying open to the different traditions that call this place home,” Biton added, speaking about the various immigrant groups that settled the town in the 1950s. The Yerucham of 2017 is a rapidly growing and expansive city. On either side of the original town, beautiful neighborhoods are being constructed to accommodate new residents. Building the home of your dreams is possible in Yerucham thanks to its affordable land and housing prices. The gorgeous Yerucham Lake, an initiative and project realized thanks to Blueprint Negev and part of JNF’s larger City in the Heart of a Park project, is teeming with wildlife, and the park surrounding it—inspired by JNF’s successes with the Be’er Sheva River Walk—is being expanded to include an accessible promenade, fully equipped camping sites, and hiking and biking trails. A new tradition, also sponsored by JNF, will be an annual biking event, the Yerucham Bike Ride. The event brings tourists and riding enthusiasts from around the world to experience all that Yerucham has to offer (see dates and registration details below). The town now boasts a top-notch hotel with high-class dining, cozy and high-quality bed and breakfasts with exquisite views of the desert, cafés, cultural events, and more. Just a short seven-minute drive will take you to one of Israel’s natural wonders, the Great Crater, which has recently been renamed the Yerucham Great Crater. As if that wasn’t enough, Yerucham is also becoming home to a burgeoning high-tech park with the establishment of the Yerucham Center for Technological Entrepreneurship, which focuses primarily on research and development initiatives and projects. Young start-ups are choosing to establish themselves in this center and it is providing a muchneeded stimulus to the town’s economy. The center also provides many high-quality services for Yerucham residents, including coding classes for kids, access to 3D printing, and more. Yerucham’s youth even worked together to create a coding game, “CodeMonkey,” as a way to help other kids enter into the world of coding.

movements throughout the town, the rejuvenation of an arts center, and a wide range of after-school activities. For example, the Yerucham robotics team recently won an international robotics competition. “Today, kids can be busy from morning to night with all

and to add value to it, so there should be no divisions because we are all one.” And the facts prove it. Façades of the old apartment buildings have been renovated and much has been invested in the grounds and public spaces around the buildings. The gardening outside the older structures is being done with the residents and city workers together, so everyone feels like they are taking part in this change. “For the first time, we are experiencing migration to Yerucham,” Biton said proudly. “Through all the initiatives we are undertaking, we have been able to attract young families, export human capital, and encourage young adults to settle here.” “We want the youth of Yerucham to be our ambassadors to the world,” Suissa said. “We want them to tell others, ‘There’s no place like Yerucham!’”

Children riding bicycles in one of Yerucham’s newest neighborhoods

that we have to offer. That’s not how it was when I was growing up here,” Suissa said. With all this progress, it has remained a priority to narrow the gaps between all public sectors. “We do not want a ‘new Yerucham’ and an ‘old Yerucham,’” said Suissa. “We want to integrate the older parts of Yerucham with the newer parts culturally, socially, and developmentally. This means ensuring that older neighborhoods are just as much a part of the regeneration as the new ones.” “You feel that you’re a part of a chain of generations,” Ohana added. “You belong here, your roots are here, and you have chosen to be a part of this great town

“We have worked hard to take Yerucham from the image of a neglected town to one that is an attractive, thriving city,” Biton said. “While there is still work to be done, many of our town’s achievements have been made possible through JNF’s vision of making the Negev blossom.” Indeed, the future is and will be bright for the town and people of Yerucham. The Yerucham Bike Ride is from April 2-6, 2017, and registration is open. For more information and to sign up, please visit jnf.org/yeruchamride, or call Rami Hazan, JNF-KKL Emissary, at 617.423.0999 x813.

Revisiting the Negev

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BUILDING UP RESILIENCE IN COMMUNITIES ON GAZA’S BORDER Providing trauma relief for Eshkol residents By Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod FOR MANY ISRAELIS, the 2014 conflict with Gaza

Even community leaders sometimes need support. has long been over. For residents in the Eshkol The Center enables first-response teams comprised of Region, located west of Be’er Sheva and sharing volunteers that people turn to in times of need, to come 25 miles of border with Hamas-controlled together and confide in one another. There, they can Gaza and 13 miles of border with Egypt, the express their own fears, fears they may not be able to war has not ended, and for some, there is openly admit at home, where they are expected to be no end in  sight. pillars of strength. “We’re still at war,” said Hadas Greenshpain, a “We can’t say, ‘I can’t do it,’ or ‘It’s too hard,’” said volunteer at the Eshkol Resilience Center, a small yet powerful place that is making The Eshkol Resilience Center a big difference in the lives of the area residents. “Many residents who live in the Eshkol area or in the surrounding Gaza border communities suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg,” said Merav BenNissim Vidal, manager of the Resilience Center. “The explosions we hear from the Egyptian side of the border [in their fight against ISIS] are a continuous reminder of the trauma. Addressing this ongoing trauma and stress is urgent.” “If you’re traumatized or suffer from a traumatic episode, you’re afraid of what might happen,” Vidal explained. “We are working with a generation of people Ilana Ben Dov, a volunteer with the Center. “We have to who have grown up with the reality of catastrophes that be the heroes. But in our group meetings at the Center, will most likely happen again.” we can speak freely and admit vulnerability.” The Eshkol Resilience Center, built in partnership with After 10 years of living under constant rocket attacks Jewish National Fund, opened in 2014, just two weeks and terrorist threats from Gaza, the Center’s volunteers before the start of Operation Protective Edge. Its rocketare saddened that an entire generation of Israelis is protected therapy rooms serve as shelters so clients don’t coming of age thinking that the threat of war is a norm need to run for cover in the event of an attack. in life, a frame of thought that often results in apathy, PTSD and other emotional and trauma-related anxiety, and difficulty forming long-term plans. therapy sessions at the Center include traditional “Kids can’t commit to anything,” said Lilach Shaar, one-on-one, group, and family counseling; the another volunteer at the Center. “Everything is temporary center also provides animal therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, and movement therapy. Other creative therapeutic ways abound. Merav Ben-Nissim Vidal, Resilience Center Manager

in their minds; they’re living from moment to moment.” Adults are equally affected. For instance, Shaar’s brother opted to have his wedding in another area of the country because he feared that a war might break out in the region. “We’re all suffering to one degree or another,” Nava Levi, a volunteer, expressed. “We’re constantly preparing for the next event, so it’s sometimes hard to just live a ‘normal’ life.” Michal Uziyahu, of the Eshkol Regional Council, refers to Eshkol as the “soft underbelly” of Israel. “When Hamas discovered that the Iron Dome [Missile Defense System] would protect Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, and Ashkelon, they started firing on us,” she said. The newest terror tactic of tunneling underneath communities is especially startling. There are no sirens or early warning systems. New tunnels are discovered daily, and residents report hearing digging and Arabicspeaking voices beneath their homes during the night. The road from the train station in the town of Sderot to the Resilience Center passes within sight of Khan Yunis in Gaza. Pointing out the sprawling city’s minarets and buildings, Uziyahu said, “If we can see them, they can see us. They can see that we’re building; that we’re growing.” Uziyahu is right. From 2008-2016, Eshkol’s population, including the JNF-built community of Halutza, grew nearly 45%, from 10,500 to 15,200. “We have a great quality of life here in many ways thanks to the successes of Blueprint Negev, which has literally transformed the way everyone views the Negev,” Vidal added. JNF is there day in and day out. Whenever there are new rocket attacks in Southern Israel, Uziyahu says she immediately receives a phone call from JNF. “They just call to ask, ‘Are you okay?’ With JNF, we are one big family looking out for one another.”

“Many residents who live in the Eshkol area ... suffer from PTSD, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.”

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a special update

REBUILDING OUR HOMELAND AFTER THE FIRES Jewish National Fund continues what generations long ago planted for us FOR SIX DAYS in late November 2016, Israel experienced

the worst fires in its history. Hundreds lost their homes, thousands of acres of hand-planted forests were destroyed, and the resources of Israel’s fire and rescue services were depleted. In the aftermath, there is tremendous work to be done. Jewish National Fund was there before the fires, we were there during the fires, and we are there now. We are on the ground in Israel every day improving lives. That’s who we are. That’s what we do. Today, we are working tirelessly to rebuild, replant, and restore. We are turning black to green again. Over $6 million has been raised to aid in recovery efforts and to purchase life-saving equipment. Twenty-five fire trucks have been purchased and are on their way to fire stations across Israel, and JNF’s CEO Russell F. Robinson personally presented a $2 million check to Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services so they can begin replenishing their depleted firefighting supplies, with more funds on the way.

Said Yoram Levy, an official from the Israel Firefighters and Rescue Services, “What made this incredibly difficult to fight was the number of fires that took place simultaneously all across Israel. We had every firefighter across the country—more than 2,500—fighting them and witnessing extensive damage to infrastructure, housing, and land from the north to the south and east to west.” Based on previous experience with fires, JNF and KKL have developed great expertise and know-how in the rehabilitation of burnt forests, with a focus on assisting nature with its own natural regenerative process—a form of growing new trees or the rehabilitation of preexisting ones.

JNF foresters will spend thousands of hours clearing damaged forests and lands in an ecologically-friendly way to spark a regenerative growth. Owing to the extent of the damages caused by the fires, with over 10,000 acres burned throughout the country, planting cannot happen for at least one year so as to prevent the erosion of critically needed topsoil. During this first year, trees will only be planted along security roads, at ceremonial tree planting events, and in parks requiring fresh plantings. Once the winter season has passed, foresters will reassess what species of trees will be used for planting, taking into account any erosion of topsoil. But the needs created by the fires persist, and JNF is continuing its campaign to raise funds to purchase new and critically needed firefighting trucks and equipment. Funds raised will go towards: · $10 million to purchase firefighting apparatus · 550 new firetrucks at $125,000 each · Placement of fire suppression systems in inclusive parks · Fireproof gear, binoculars, high-powered leaf blowers, night vision goggles, water tanks, and hoses · New fire watchtowers · Emergency assistance for housing, repairs to homes and businesses · Intensive reforestation · Construction of 10 new fire stations at $1 million each As the premier Zionist organization, Jewish National Fund is committed to building a stronger, healthier, more secure Israel. In cooperation with KKL, partner organizations on the ground in Israel, and firefighting battalions, JNF continues to work to address both the immediate needs and those that will arise for the land and people of Israel. Generations long ago planted for us. Today, we must replant our roots in the soil of the land of Israel. Together we will rebuild, replant, and restore our homeland. Please visit jnf.org/israelfires or call 800.JNF.0099 to donate.


From Exporting Oranges to Becoming a Global Leader By Yaakov Katz

to imagine that some 66 years ago Israeli exports consisted of little more than citrus fruit. The year was 1950. The Arab boycott was in full force and the nascent Jewish state had sent its first commercial delegation to Argentina in a desperate attempt to court new business partners. The delegation, led by Yitzhak Navon, then one of the handful of Israeli diplomats stationed in South America and later to become the country’s fifth president, succeeded in securing a meeting with Juan Peron, the Argentinian president. “What can we do to increase trade with you?” Peron asked Navon and the delegation. “What can we buy?” Israel did not have much to offer at the time except for pressurized kerosene burners, artificial teeth, and, of course, oranges. That was the extent of Israel’s domestic goods. Unfortunately for Israel, IT IS HARD

Argentina grew its own oranges and kerosene burners were not needed in a country connected to the electrical grid. It is hard to believe how far Israel has come. Today, the Jewish state is known for its thriving high-tech industry, reaching $3.3 billion in exports just in the first half of 2016. While this is slightly lower than numbers from the same period the year prior, market analysts view the drop as the result of a newfound interest among Israeli tech companies who prefer to focus on growth rather than quick payouts. Alongside the country’s amazing economic growth, Israel’s military is revered, not just in the Middle East, but throughout the world. The Israel Defense Forces is a role model for what a 21st century military needs to look like in terms of weaponry, training, structure, and humanity. Through it all, Jewish National Fund has been there. JNF has been part of Israel’s story from the very beginning and its contribution to the building and growth of the nation can be seen in all corners— from the construction of water reservoirs that have

helped mitigate the nation’s water crisis, to the planting of forests, the revitalization of Southern Israel, the education of youth about Israel and Zionism, and preparing students for the challenges they will face on college campuses. It is an honor for me to be a member of JNF’s Speakers Bureau and to be given opportunities to speak about Israel and JNF all across the U.S. Like any democracy, Israel will continue to face numerous challenges in the years ahead and it is a work in progress. But, we have much to be proud of. As a country, its success has marveled the world, and its story is one unique from any other. It is a tale of an ancient people who returned to their historic homeland, rebuilt it and made it flourish, and succeeded despite immense challenges. I am convinced that Israel will continue to impress and surprise us in the decades to come. Yaakov Katz is the editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post and a proud member of JNF’s Speakers Bureau. To learn more about JNF’s Speakers Bureau, contact speakers@jnf.org or call 212.879.9307

Achieve Your Financial Goals and Support Israel “We are conservative investors. What’s very important to us is the annual income we receive while helping Israel, and how secure we feel that Jewish National Fund is equally conservative in the way it invests this money.” —Alan and Louise Dabrow, Haverford, PA

Age

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5.5%

70

5.8%

75

6.4%

80

7.2%

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8.1%

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9.5%

*Single-life Gift Annuity (Two-life rates are also available.) Up To 9.5% Annual Income!

800.562.7526 • JNFLEGACY.ORG

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Jewish National Fund


SUCCESS

JNF’s 2016 National Conference in New York was a Huge Hit! NATIONAL CONFERENCE WAS a great success thanks to the

generous support of our major sponsors: Jayne and Andrew Klein; The Laureine and David Greenbaum Family Foundation; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; Ariel Property Advisors; Gerber Taylor; Leumi; OneCap; Signature Bank; People’s United Bank; IsramIsrael; Icon Parking Systems; Direct Dimensions, Inc.; Rosewood Realty Group; Capital One; SterlingRisk Insurance; Morgan Stanley; Milbrook Properties; Douglaston Development; HighTower; Frenkel Benefits; USI; GGMC; Israel Wine Producers Association; MD Hospitality; EGG Electric; and Rivkin Radler; Vornado Realty Trust; Goldberg Weprin Finkel Goldstein LLP; and Steinberg & Pokoik.

With over 1,200 attendees, including 300 high school and college students, and 150 JNFuture members, National Conference reached a record number of people. Dozens of panels, discussions, and plenary sessions were held throughout the three-day event at the New York Midtown Hilton Hotel, and included inspiring speeches by Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, Israel’s Consul General to New York Dani Dayan, and JNF Chairman of the Board Ronald S. Lauder. Registration for JNF’s 2017 National Conference in South Florida is open now. Register at jnf.org/nc

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OUT & ABOUT WITH

JNF’S MAJOR DONORS

World Chairman’s Council $1,000,000 Lifetime

Century Council $100,000 Lifetime

King Solomon Society $100,000 Annual

Negev Society $25,000 Annual

President’s Society $10,000 Annual

Sapphire Society $5,000 Annual

Herzl Society $5,000 Annual

JNFuture Root Society $1,000 Annual

GREATER NEW YORK

(L-R) Resource Development Director of the Central Arava Noa Zer, Susan Chadick (Sapphire Society), JNF Yerucham Task Force Member Bob Weiss (Century Council, Negev Society), and Central Arava Council employee Tania Pons-Alon in Israel.

(L-R) JNF Executive Director of Planned Giving Judy Feig and Ora Gelberg (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at a luncheon.

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Mitzpe Ramon firefighter Yuval Kalmanovich with Susan Chadick (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) on a visit to a fire station in Mitzpe Ramon.

(L-R) A UN delegate, JNF National President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), Sara Netanyahu, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.

(L-R) Alexandra Fingerman, Joseph Fingerman (Herzl Society), JNF Long Island President Michael Kessler (Century Council, Negev Society), and JNF National President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) at Sullivan and Cromwell

JNF Executive VP of Greater NY Maidelle Goodman Benamy, Arthur Adler (Century Council, Negev Society), Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and Deborah Riegel (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at JNF’s Long Island Golf & Tennis Outing.

JNF National VP Bob (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Society) and Helen Levine (Sapphire Society) in Israel on JNF’s President’s Society Mission.

(L-R) JNF National Board Member David Greenbaum (World Chairman’s Council, Scott Shay (Century Council, Negev President’s Society), MK Erel Margalit, Arthur Adler (Century Council, Negev Society), Society) presenting at JNF’s 2016 National JNF National President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), and Conference Breakfast. JNF New York Board President Saul Burian (President’s Society) at JNF House.

Ruth and Bruce Pomerantz (President’s Society) visit Lt. Col. (Res.) and Director of Special in Uniform Tiran Attia and soldiers from Special in Uniform on JNF’s President’s Society Mission. (L-R) Bob Weiss (Century Council, Negev Society) with JNF-Green Horizons Liaison Ido Eisikovitz star-gazing in Mitzpe Ramon.

JNF National and New York Board Member Laureine Greenbaum (World Chairman’s Council, Sapphire Society) with JNF National President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) at JNF’s 2016 National Conference Breakfast.


LOS ANGELES

(L-R) Sam Delug (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) with David Frank (Century Council, President’s Society) at an LA Major Donor event.

SOUTHERN

(L-R) Judy Levin (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Alyse Golden Berkley (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), JNF National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, JNF Los Angeles Associate Director Jodi Marcus, Karen Berko (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Doug Williams (Century Council, President’s Society), and Israeli Consul General Sam Grundwerg at a welcome reception for Consul General Grundwerg.

(L-R) Alexander Muss High School in Israel (L-R) Dr. Marc Salzberg (Herzl Society) with (L-R) Helaine Sugarman (Sapphire Society) Co-CEO Leor Sinai with JNF National Dr. Paul Scheinberg (Herzl Society) at the with Michelle Horash at an Atlanta Women Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, and Atlanta Board of Trustees’ Fall Luncheon. for Israel (WFI) Series event. Hollywood executive Brett Ratner (Century Council) celebrating the launch of the LA Impact Fund.

NEW ENGLAND

(L-R) Michael Morris (President’s Society) with JNF Israel Development Director Ariel Kotler at the Atlanta Board of Trustees’ Fall Luncheon.

(L-R) Didi Almog and Major General (Res.) Doron Almog with Marion Rothstein (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Society) at a luncheon in Dallas.

(L-R) JNF National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, New England Chairman of the Board Larry Cohen (Century Council, President’s Society), Suzanne Cohen (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and Todd Patkin (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Society) at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Editor and (L-R) Irene (Century Council, Sapphire Society) and Joel Spalter (Century Council, guest speaker Bret Stephens (President’s Negev Society), Yvette, Jacob, Doug, and Drew Stayman with Didi Almog and Major Society) with Austin Breakfast for Israel General (Res.) Doron Almog at a meeting in Frisco. Event Chair Raquel Schuster (Sapphire Society).

(L-R) JNF New England Executive Director Sara Hefez with Capital Region President Robert Ganz (President’s Society) and Dorothy Ganz (President’s Society) while Dorothy proudly receives her Chai Society necklace at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

Executive Board of Directors Member and Team JNF Captain David Eisenberg (Herzl Society) planting a tree at Neot Kedumim while participating on the 2016 Israel Ride.

(L-R) Central Arava Mayor Eyal Blum, Nancy Simches (World Chairman’s Council, King Solomon Society), JNF National Campaign Director Sharon Freedman, and KKL-JNF Emissary Rami Hazan celebrating at a restaurant.

(L-R) Boston President Jeffrey Woolf (Century Council, President’s Society) with Executive Board Member Steven Aronson (Century Council, President’s Society), Risa Aronson (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Executive Board Member Martin Lowenthal (Herzl Society), Laura Rice (Herzl Society), and Executive Board Member Isaac Edry (Herzl Society) at JNF’s Annual New England Breakfast.

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(L-R) National VP of Communities Michael Blank (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Society), Julie Alcorn, Aaron Blank, and Pat Blank (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) with JNF-Green Horizons Liaison Ido Eisikovits on a family visit to JNF sites in Israel.

(L-R) JNF Associate Director Yarden FantaVagenshtein, Capital Region President Robert Ganz (President’s Society), Major Gifts Chair and Board of Directors Member Mara Ginsberg (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Go North Task Force Chair and President of the Mid-Atlantic Region Kenneth J. Krupsky (Century Council, President’s Society) at a Go North parlor meeting in the Capital Region.

(L-R) Green Horizons CEO Lavi Zamir, (L-R) JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson with Mel (L-R) Central Arava Mayor Eyal Blum with Dalit Zamir, Mary Woolf (Century Council, Cutler (Century Council, Negev Society) at Marc Perlman (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and American Independence Park in Israel. King Solomon Society) in Rhode Island. Boston President Jeffrey Woolf (Century Council, President’s Society) in Israel.

MID-ATLANTIC

(L-R) National VP of Campaign Ken Segel (World Chairman’s Council, King Solomon Society), Capital Region President Robert Ganz (President’s Society), National VP of Communities Michael Blank (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Society), National VP of Strategic Partnerships Jeffrey Davis (Century Council, Negev Society), National Co-Chair of General Campaign Robert Cohan (President’s Society), JNF New England Executive Director Sara Hefez, and Boston President Jeffrey Woolf (Century Council, President’s Society) at JNF House during leadership meetings.

(L-R) Executive Board Member and Event Co-Chair Isaac Edry (Herzl Society), guest speaker Lieutenant General Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon, KKL-JNF Emissary Rami Hazan, and Board Member Ami Joseph (Herzl Society) at JNF’s Annual New England Breakfast.

Lynn Kapiloff (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) proudly supporting JNF at JNF’s Community Breakfast in Baltimore.

(L-R) JNF National Campaign Director Diane Scar, Jayne Klein (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Shelly Malis (Sapphire Society), Orly Shalem (Sapphire Society), Debbie Spector (Herzl Society), and Erika Schon (Sapphire Society), at the Maryland Women for Israel (WFI) Campaign Kick-Off in Baltimore.

(L-R) Florence Chertkof (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) with JNFHalutza Liaison Yedidya Harush and Bob Chertkof (President’s Society) at the Chertkof’s home for a community meeting on the future of Halutza.

Nancy (Sapphire Society) and Cary Feldman (President’s Council) visiting JNF’s Special in Uniform program at an army base after participating in the 2016 Israel Ride.

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(L-R) Cary Besmanoff (Century Council) with Jack Rose (Century Council, President’s Society) at a Baltimore JNF Board Meeting.

(L-R) Chuck Fax (Herzl Society) with Russell Smith (Herzl Society) at a Memorial for Jewish War Veterans in Washington D.C.


(L-R) Baltimore Sapphire Society Co-Chairs Jayne Klein (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) and Nanci Seff (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) with Rachel Seff at JNF’s Community Breakfast in Baltimore.

(L-R) D.C. Board Members Paul Frommer (Herzl Society), Ira Bartfield (Century Council, Negev Society), JNF D.C. Director Stuart Diamant-Cohen, Baruch Fellner (Century Council, Herzl Society), and JNF Director of Special Needs Task Force Yossi Kahana during a meeting in D.C.

(L-R) JNF-Green Horizons Liaison Ido Eisikovitz meets with Delaware Board Members Marty Lessner (President’s Society) and Joel Friedlander (World Chairman’s Council, King Solomon Society) to learn how Green Horizons is building human capital in Israel.

(L-R) Andy Klein (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) and Joe Marzouk (Century Council, President’s Society) at JNF’s Community Breakfast in Baltimore.

(L-R) Irving Hyatt (Herzl Society) with JNF-Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby and Irving’s daughter, Phyllis Langwith, during a plaque dedication at Ammunition Hill in honor of Irving’s military service.

(L-R) JNF Planned Giving Director Cynthia Hizami, Ray Oretsky (President’s Society), and JNF-Ammunition Hill Liaison Yoel Rosby at the Am Yisrael Chai Speaker Series-Part 1 at Eglet Advocacy Center.

WESTERN

(L-R) JNF National Campaign Director Diane Scar, Chuck Fax (Herzl Society), JNF National President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society), Rita Stein (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Dr. Chet Stein (Century Council, Negev Society), Mid-Atlantic President Ken Krupsky (Century Council, President’s Society), Melanie Moreno (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and JNF D.C. Director Stuart Diamant-Cohen at a special briefing in D.C.

Brenda (Century Council) and Russell Frank (Century Council) at the Am Yisrael Chai Speaker Series-Part 2 at Eglet Advocacy Center.

(L-R) Jessie Norton, Sharon Bernhard (Sapphire Society), Stephanie Holzner, guest speaker Micah Halpern, Leslee Newman, with JNF Orange County Co-Presidents Deby (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Member) and Jeff Goodman (Century Council, President’s Society) at the 9/11 Community Breakfast.

(L-R) Orange County Co-President Deby Goodman (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), JNF Orange County Director Lisa Grier, guest speaker Micah Halpern, JNF Palm Springs Director Donna Raider, and Orange County Co-President Jeff Goodman (Century Council, President’s Society) at the 9/11 Community Breakfast.

(L-R) Las Vegas Board Members Bob Dubin (Century Council, King Solomon Society) and Larry Monkarsh (Herzl Society) at the Am Yisrael Chai Speaker Series-Part 2 at Eglet Advocacy Center.

(L-R) Mountain States Executive Director (L-R) Dr. Mort Mower (World Chairman’s Council), Mayor of Hura Dr. Muhammad Boaz Meir and Larry Mizel (Century Al-Nabari, Dr. Toby Mower (World Chairman’s Council, Sapphire Society), and Council) at the Night to Honor Israel Michael Ben-Eli in Denver. event at Faith Bible Chapel.

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(L-R) Green Horizons Chair Uzi Dayan and Evan Makovsky (President’s Society) in Denver.

(L-R) Northern California Board Member (L-R) Peter Wexler (Century Council, Negev (L-R) JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick with Shelly Kay (Century Council, Linda Rosen (Herzl Society) with Chairman Society) with JNF Chief Development King Solomon Society) in Menlo Park. of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran Maj. Gen. Officer Rick Krosnick in Palo Alto. (Res.) Doron Almog visiting ALEH Negev.

(L-R) Steve Crystal (World Chairman’s Council, King Solomon Society), Karla Reynolds (Century Council, Sapphire Society), Randi Levine (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), and JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine (World Chairman’s Council, Negev Society) at JNF’s Tree of Life™ Appreciation Event.

(L-R) Lisa Geyser (Sapphire Society), guest speaker and Chairman of ALEH NegevNahalat Eran Maj. Gen. (Res.) Doron Almog, Jeff Geyser, and their children at a Major Donor Thank You event at the Geysers’ home.

(L-R) JNF Pacific Northwest Women for Israel (WFI) Chair Karen Mannering (Sapphire Society) with Anat Brovman at the first-ever WFI event in Redmond.

(L-R) Lewis Rosenberg (Century Council, President’s Society), Olympian Mark Spitz, and JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick at the Palm Springs Men’s Night Out event.

(L-R) Dale Sachs (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Susan Farber (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Carol Knoppow (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Toni Dusik (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), and Susan Rothberg (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) during the Major Donor Reception at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

NORTHEAST

(L-R) JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick, Leonard Sherman (Century Council, Negev Society), and Palm Springs President Robert Sylk at JNF’s Palm Springs Men’s Night Out.

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(L-R) Jim Borax (Century Council, President’s Society), AMHSI-JNF CoExecutive Director Rabbi Leor Sinai, and Sheri Borax (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at an Alexander Muss High School in Israel parlor meeting in Palm Springs.

(L-R) Society for the Protection of Israel Historical Sites Director Noa Gefen, with JNF Central NJ Campaign Executive Anna Richlin, Helen Glaser (Sapphire Society), and Leonard Glaser at luncheon for SPIHS at the home of Helen and Leonard Glaser.

(L-R) Melissa Segal (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Central NJ Women for Israel (WFI) Co-Chair Marci Robinson (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Central NJ Board Member Allison Nagelberg (Sapphire Society), Central NJ WFI Co-Chair Phyllis Solomon (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and Sheryl Buchholz (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Central NJ Board Member Ruth Merves ( Sapphire Society) at the Central NJ WFI Fall Dinner.

(L-R) David Magerman (Century Council) presents Philadelphia Board of Directors Member Jeffrey Schwartz (Century Council) with a check to purchase two fire trucks during JNF’s #IsraelFire campaign.


MIDWEST

Newly installed President of South New Jersey Board of Directors Betsy Fischer (Century Council, Sapphire Society) addressing the Board at the Board Installation event.

(L-R) Philadelphia Board Member Dale Danilewitz (Century Council) with JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, and Toni (Century Council) and Steve Collis (Century Council) at a meeting at AmerisourceBergen.

(L-R) Dr. David Rosenberg (Herzl Society) presents the Tree of Life™ Award to Margaret (Sapphire Society) and Dr. Larry Singerman (Herzl Society) with Enid Rosenberg (Herzl Society) at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Cleveland.

Bob and Susan Grossman (President’s Society) on a visit to Independence Hall in Tel Aviv on JNF’s President’s Society Mission.

(L-R) JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick, Tree of Life™ Award Honoree Steve Lavin (Negev Society), Ambassador Danny Ayalon, Scott Gendell (Century Council, President’s Society), JNF VP of Campaign Ken Segel (World Chairman’s Council, King Solomon Society), and Robert Wigoda (Century Council, President’s Society) at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Chicago.

(L-R) Dr. Ilan Tur Kaspa, Hana Tur Kaspa, Ambassador Danny Ayalon, Lori Komisar (World Chairman’s Council, King Solomon Society, Sapphire Society), and Morrie Silverman (World Chairman’s Council, King Solomon Society) at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Chicago.

(L-R) Charlene Green, Dr. Vernon Sternhill (Century Council, King Solomon Society), Carolyn Tisdale, JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick, Barbara Cantor, Florine Mark (Century Council, Sapphire Society), and Max Robbins (Century Council, King Solomon Society) at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield.

(L-R) Rob Glimcher (Century Council, Negev Society) with Tree of Life™ Award Honoree Scott Lammie (Herzl Society) at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Pittsburgh.

(L-R) 2016 Tree of Life™ Award Honoree Gilda Cohen (Sapphire Society) enjoying Dr. Larry Singerman (Herzl Society), JNF’s Women for Israel (WFI) Sip, Shop, 2015 Honoree Barry Feldman (Century and Support event in Cleveland. Council, Negev Society), and 2016 Honoree Margaret Singerman (Sapphire Society) at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Cleveland.

JNF Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick presents Jill (Sapphire Society) and Bruce Weininger with JNF’s Tiffany Blue Box.

(L-R) Lois Roddy, WFI Aimee Guttman (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire (L-R) JNF Board Members of the Year Nina Society), Ian Guttman, and Murray Guttman at the Southern Ohio and Kentucky Tree of Paul (Century Council, Negev Society, Life™ Award Dinner in Cincinnati. Sapphire Society) and Morry Weiner with Southern Ohio and Kentucky Board President Jan Armstrong Cobb (Sapphire Society) at the Southern Ohio and Kentucky Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Cincinnati.

(L-R) Linda Frank (Sapphire Society), Susan Carneol (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), Wisconsin CoPresident Rusti Moffic (Sapphire Society), and Lorraine Mitz (Century Council, Sapphire Society) at the Wisconsin Annual Tribute Banquet.

(L-R) WFI President Nina Paul (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society), with Tree of Life™ Honorees Larry (Century Council, King Solomon Society) and Rhonda Sheakley (Century Council, King Solomon Society, Sapphire Society), and Eddie Paul (Century Council, Negev Society) at the Southern Ohio and Kentucky Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Cincinnati.

(L-R) Joshua Resnick (Century Council, President’s Society) with JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner in Pittsburgh.

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FLORIDA

(L-R) Tampa Bay Board Members Marty Solomon (Century Council, President’s Society) and Richard Rappaport (World Chairman’s Council, King Solomon Society) representing Tampa in the 2016 Israel Ride.

Orlando Board Co-President Debbie Meitin (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at a Women For Israel (WFI) Sukkot event at UCF Hillel.

National Community Campaign Co-Chair and Orlando Board Member Jim Riola (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Society) speaking at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

(L-R) Tampa Bay Board Member Lynne Merriam (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) and Atlanta Board Member Robyn Bernstein (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) in Jaffa on the 2016 Queen of Sheba Tour.

(L-R) JNF National Board Member and WFI President Nina Paul (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) with Doris Suttin and Nefesh B’Nefesh Vice President of Partnerships & Development Doreet Freedman at a parlor meeting at the home of Doris Suttin.

(L-R) KKL Representative for Israel Avinoam Binder with JNF Naples Board Member Stuart Price (Negev Society) and Estelle Price (Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at a dedication at American Independence Park in Jerusalem.

Florence Werner (Century Council, Negev Society) and Miami Board Member Bob Werner (Century Council, Negev Society) at JNF’s Annual Kickoff event in Miami.

Miami-Dade JNFuture Board President Maia Aron (Root Society) with MiamiDade Board President Ron Kriss (Century Council, President’s Society) at JNF’s Annual Kickoff event in Miami.

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(L-R) South Palm Beach Board President Rob Colton (Century Council, President’s Society) with South Palm Beach Board Member Joel Reinstein (Century Council, Negev Society) on JNF’s President’s Society Mission in Israel.

(L-R) National Major Gifts Chairman Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council, King Solomon Society) and JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

(L-R) Orlando Board Co-President Debbie Meitin (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) with Larry Gutter (President’s Society) at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

(L-R) JNF North Florida Executive Director Uri Smajovits with JNF Orlando Director Laura Abramson, Harry Frisch (Century Council, Negev Society), and JNF-Halutza Liaison Yedidya Harush in Jacksonville.

(L-R) JNF Palm Beach Director Laura Sherry with North Palm Beach Board Members Marty Weiss (Herzl Society), Robbie Puritz-Hayes, Gloria Slass (Sapphire Society), Beverly Rubenstein (World Chairman’s Council, Sapphire Society), Cynthia Hertz (Century Council, Sapphire Society), Art Silber (Century Council, Herzl Society), and Cantor Elaine Shapiro (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) at the South Florida Board Retreat in Boca Raton.

(L-R) Barbara Mautner (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) and National Board Member and WFI President Nina Paul (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at an event in Highland Beach.


(L-R) JNF South Florida Executive Director Roni Raab with North Palm Beach Board Member Joel Klausner (Herzl Society), guest speaker Art Shamsky, and North Palm Beach Board President Art Silber (Century Council, Herzl Society) at Art Silber’s home in Palm Beach.

(L-R) Guest speaker Art Shamsky with Fern Harr (Sapphire Society) and Broward Board President Rabbi Sheldon Harr at JNF’s Annual Kickoff event in Broward.

(L-R) David Schwartzwald (President’s Society), South Palm Beach Board Members Alan Cornell (Century Council, King Solomon Society) and Rand Schwartzwald (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), with Jane Cornell (Century Council, King Solomon Society, Sapphire Society) at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

(L-R) Sandra Best (Sapphire Society) and guest speaker Art Shamsky with Murray Simpson (Century Council, Herzl Society) at JNF’s Annual Kickoff event in Broward.

(L-R) New York Board Member Joan Muss (President’s Society, Sapphire Society) with North Palm Beach Board Member Marian Wiseman (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), North Palm Beach Board Member Cantor Elaine Shapiro (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society), and National Board Member and WFI Vice Present Louise Dabrow (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at JNF House in New York.

(L-R) National Board Member and WFI President Nina Paul (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) with Laura Paley (President’s Society, Sapphire Society), guest speaker Eve Harow, South Palm Beach Board Member Florence Paley (Negev Society, Sapphire Society), Nefesh B’Nefesh Vice President of Partnerships & Development Doreet Freedman, and National Board Member and WFI Vice President of Louise Dabrow (Century Council, Negev Society, Sapphire Society) at a parlor meeting at the home of Florence Paley.

(L-R) North Palm Beach Board Members Cantor Elaine Shapiro (Century Council, President’s Society, Sapphire Society) and Ad Shuster (President’s Society) with JNF Palm Beach Director Laura Sherry at JNF’s 2016 National Conference.

JEWISH NATIONAL FUND

NATIONAL CONFERENCE SOUTH FLORIDA

November 10 - 13, 2017 The Diplomat Resort and Spa 3555 S. Ocean Dr, Hollywood, FL

Register today at jnf.org/nc JNF’s Major Donors

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Social Media: Connecting Communities in the Negev to the World in many respects, feels larger than ever. At the same time, it is also more accessible— some would say smaller—than ever. We can travel halfway around the world in a day, get our news fix instantaneously, and maintain relationships with family and friends who reside oceans away. The proliferation of social media technologies such as WhatsApp; Facebook products like Groups, Messenger, and Live video; Gchat; and Skype now allow us to feel closer to Israel than ever before. Just speak to someone with a family member who has made aliyah through Jewish National Fund partner Nefesh B’Nefesh: While the distance is challenging, the availability of easy-to-use modes of communication greatly aid with the separation—truly an anxietyriddled mother’s dream come true. JNF’s groundbreaking Blueprint Negev initiative incentivizes people to relocate from Israel’s overcrowded center to Israel’s Negev Desert, a place where resources may not be as plentiful, but where the rewards are grand. One of the most gratifying aspects of living life in the desert is the comfort found in community. Often it’s the smallest towns where residents band together and become a family, differing from larger cities that can become a mass of humanity with individuals THE WORLD TODAY,

feeling lonely in a crowd. In communities like Carmit, each time a new family moves in they receive a shared flag to grace their home, which is then passed on to the next new family. Its members communicate and share information, advice, and local updates on a Facebook group or a WhatsApp group, an ever increasingly popular instant messaging platform favored by Israelis. Facebook groups and messaging apps are also vital coping tools in times of hardship or in times of war. Adele Raemer, an American olah [immigrant] who has been living on a kibbutz in the Negev for decades, runs a successful Facebook group called “Life on the Border

JNF’s New Israel Office—Your Home Away From Home By Eric Michaelson Jewish National Fund moved to its new Israel headquarters on Jaffa Street in the iconic Jerusalem Capital Studios building. Perfectly situated in a prime location and walking distance to all of Jerusalem’s sights and sounds, including the new Jerusalem light rail, JNF’s new home provides easy and comfortable access for visitors to the Holy City as well as to Jerusalemites. Inviting, open, and with an abundance of natural light, the layout provides a welcoming setting to host JNF leadership, donors, missions, guests, and JNF partners from all over the country. In addition to the events held on premises, our “open door policy” literally and figuratively invites and empowers our partners to hold gatherings around the large central conference table or on our spacious roof-top that provides a spectacular vista of Jerusalem and the surrounding landscape. IN JUNE 2016,

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Jewish National Fund

JNF’s Jerusalem office instantly became a beehive of activity and traffic for the many parties associated and involved with the JNF family; it is indeed a “home away from home” to all while in Israel. JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson, JNF Chairman Ronald S. Lauder, JNF President Jeffrey E. Levine, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz were on hand to officially open the office, complete with the affixation of unique mezuzot on door posts, many of which were received as gifts from various JNF partners and organizations. JNF cultivates and fosters over 100 partnerships and initiatives throughout the land of Israel covering vast and diverse fields including education, housing infrastructure, water and agricultural research, environmental initiatives, special needs, heritage preservation, and more. We invite you to come visit us on your next trip to Jerusalem, your home away from home. Eric Michaelson is JNF’s Chief Israel Officer in Jerusalem. For more information and to learn how to schedule a visit to JNF’s Israel office, please call 212.879.9305 x670 or email emichaelson@jnf.org.

with Gaza—Things People Might Not Know (But Should).” The group has over 2,000 members and functions exactly how a social community should—as a forum for people to share their experiences and gather comfort from others in similar situations. During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Raemer’s group gained international attention as she detailed what life was like living under constant rocket fire. Once the war ended, the group remained an apolitical place where those living in the area could provide relief and support to one another, and serves as a forum for those who do not live near the Gaza border, but wish to learn more about what life is like for those who do. While some may think that technology is driving a wedge between human interactions, in many ways it serves to reinforce our connections to others. Through forums, group chats, and communal rituals, social media is helping build and maintain communities in places like the Negev, where still-developing areas are strengthened by the many ways in which the locals can communicate with one another, as well as the world at large. The universe is indeed getting much smaller. Follow us on Facebook (Jewish National Fund-JNF), Twitter (@jnfusa), and Instagram (@jnfusa). For more information, contact Miriam Braun at mbraun@jnf.org.

Jewish National Fund Rededicates The Ronald S. Lauder JNF House In New York City On Monday, December 12, 2016, over 100 donors, supporters, friends, and neighbors joined Jewish National Fund for a special dedication ceremony of its headquarters, the Ronald S. Lauder JNF House, in New York City. JNF President Jeffrey E. JNF leadership rededicating JNF House Levine kicked-off the celebration by welcoming JNF back to its home on New York City’s Upper East Side. The building has also been awarded a Silver Rating from the United States Green Three menorahs by George Tobolowsky Building Council’s (back right) on loan to JNF by the Dallas LEED™ rating system. Museum of Biblical Art.


TRANSFORM YOUR HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE. BOOST YOUR COLLEGE APPLICATION. Spend six weeks, eight weeks, or a full semester in Israel on a study abroad academic adventure! 800.327.5980 ℅ info@amhsi.org amhsi.org

Classroom Israel: AMHSI’s Adult Trip Looking for a different way to explore our homeland? Trying to find interesting opportunities for learning that can fit into a busy schedule? Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wish I was a teenager so I could go to AMHSI!” If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Classroom Israel is the trip for you. Students at heart and people of all ages are invited to tour Israel and learn about the country’s history, along with cultural and technological advancements, through AMHSI’s model of using the land as the classroom. This tour will feature hikes that connect important lessons to the places you are visiting. · Reenact important battles at archaeological sites! · Explore current events and debate your position on how best to continue. · Feel like a kid again. Join us April 13 – May 5, 2017 for the this incredible journey.

amhsi.org/adulttrip 212.472.9300 x185


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

2 017 T R AV EL & T OUR S

Remember the family. Come home for a visit. Find your unique trip to Israel with JNF. Classroom Israel

Young Professionals Tour (for singles ages 30-45)

APRIL 23 - MAY 5, 2017

JULY 2 - 9, 2017

Students at heart and of all ages are invited to discover and learn about Israel’s past, present, and future using the land as the classroom with expert educators from Alexander Muss High School in Israel.

Join other young singles for an invigorating experience in Israel. Gain access to exclusive sights, leaders, and unique opportunities while becoming a part of Israel’s extraordinary history and future.

50TH Anniversary of Jerusalem’s Reunification Mission*

Sunshine Tour (for active adults 55+) SEPTEMBER 3 - 12, 2017

MAY 2017 | FOUR PROGRAM OPTIONS AVAILABLE

Enhance your Jewish identity with a life-changing, 10-day excursion exploring Israel from north to south.

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification on this once-in-a-lifetime, exclusive trip to Israel with JNF. All trip options include a special ceremony at Ammunition Hill, site of the pivotal battle that led to Jerusalem’s reunification. Spirit of Israel – May 21 - 30, 2017 President’s Society – May 21 - 25, 2017 (Optional extension: May 25 - 28) Positively Israel: Interfaith – May 21 - 28, 2017 Young Leadership – May 21 - 28, 2017

President’s Society Mission OCTOBER 22 - 26, 2017 | OPTIONAL PRE-MISSION: OCTOBER 18 - 22 An exclusive opportunity to experience Israel with JNF major donors and delve deeply into JNF’s work.

* For more information on the 50th Anniversary Mission, please see the Tours & Travel section on page 7.

Law and Justice Tour

Culinary, Wine, and Music Tour

NOVEMBER 26 - 30, 2017

JUNE 9 - 17, 2017 Taste and cook your way through Israel with world-renowned Israeli chefs and sommeliers as you savor the country’s remarkable food, wine and music.

R EGISTE R TODAY

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N , C A L L

877.563.8687

Take a behind-the-scenes look at Israel’s unique justice and legal system, meet with key dignitaries and top lawyers while exploring the country’s rich history, heritage, and culture.

OR VISIT

jnf.org/travel

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