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20 2 0 09 & r oc k owe AJPA R e nce r E x cell o f d r a Aw nal ni z a t io a g r O in t te rs Newsle





Dear Reader, Welcome to this issue of B’Yachad, celebrating the power of women. As a founder and past president of Sapphire Society, my passion for Israel has reached unbelievable heights. What greater honor than knowing you are part of the important plan to expand the horizons and potential of our homeland? I am so thankful for the opportunity to speak to Jewish women across the United States and share stories of the remarkable women in Israel who hold a valuable place in the future of the country. Our story is an emotional one that appeals to all who hear it. Our fundraising success is a tribute to not only the lay leaders but, in particular, our dedicated and focused professional staff who continually provide the facts and direction that motivate us all.

Water Update

The JNF Parsons Water Fund is contributing to Israel’s water economy through a variety of development projects. Here’s an update on its exciting progress.

4 J NFuture

JNFuture members Carla Kutnick, Lisa Elkan, and Michelle Parsons participated in the first JNFuture Leadership Institute Mission last summer. They share their impressions and ideas for the future.


National Conference

Yasher Koach to all of you! Terry Katz Vice President, Women’s Campaign

JNF hosted its biggest National Conference to date in Cincinnati in September. Check out the highlights, including keynote speaker John Boehner and honoree Larry King.



Women in Israel

All across Israel, women are contributing in important ways to the development of the country. Read the inspiring stories of the women who are helping to realize Ben Gurion’s dream of populating the Negev, who are caring for adults and children with disabilities, and who are establishing the future of Israel with passion and determination.


Let Us Play!

With the JNF Israel Advocacy and Education Department’s Let Us Play! Program, children of all ages can raise money for the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center and help give the children of Sderot a safe place to play. WINNER OF THE AJPA ROCKOWER AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ORGANIZATIONAL NEWSLETTERS


Cover Photo Credit: Danny Hadas Printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based ink


JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 collecting coins in blue boxes to purchase land and return the Jewish people to their homeland. In over 110 years, JNF has evolved into a global environmental leader and become the central address for partnering with the land and people of Israel. JNF has planted 250 million trees; built over 1,000 parks and recreational areas; constructed security roads; educated students around the world about Israel; created new communities so that Jews from around the world would have a place to call home; discovered new means of growing plants under arid conditions, bringing green to the desert; and built nearly 220 reservoirs and water recycling centers, increasing Israel’s water supply by 12%. Today, JNF is supporting Israel’s newest generation of pioneers by bringing life to the Negev Desert, Israel’s last frontier. A United Nations NGO, JNF sponsors international conferences on desertification, shares afforestation techniques, and funds research on arid land management. JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers. For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit JNF.ORG.

JNF Parsons Water Fund Update


THE POWER OF WOMEN. WHAT A GREAT TITLE. HOW APT. HOW ON TARGET. HOW TRUE. The women in my life—both personal and professional—never cease to amaze me. The wisdom my wife imparts on a daily basis not only affects me but thousands of others; as Chief Federal District Judge she resides over the Southern District of Ohio Court bench as the Honorable Susan Dlott. I watch as my daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters make their way in this world—the ease with which they navigate their varied and demanding roles, the compassion they show towards others, the brilliance they flash—and I am awestruck. The women of JNF are no different. Passionate, committed, vocal, proud, formidable, opinionated, adamant, strong, determined, creative—you name it. They see something that needs to be done—a goal, a vision, a need—and they go out and make it happen. The women of JNF have built communities, protected children from harm, empowered high school and college students here in the United States to advocate for Israel, and aligned with female firefighters. There is no population in Israel that doesn’t concern them, that doesn’t compel them to do more, to give more. The women of JNFuture are equally impressive. They know they are changing the face of this world even as they understand the responsibilities they shoulder for the future. What will they do with that? I honestly don’t know, but I am excited to find out and see what the coming years bring. We need more of them. More young women, more female board presidents, board members, campaign chairs, more female fundraisers. According to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2011 Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy and The Impact of Women’s Giving Networks, women are more loyal to philanthropic causes, more educated and informed about philanthropic choices, and more trusting of nonprofits than others. In nearly 90 percent of high net worth households, women are either the sole decision maker or an equal partner in decisions about charitable giving. That’s real power, that’s real influence. Women spend more time than men on due diligence before making decisions about giving to a charitable organization. Women expect a deeper level of communication with the organizations they support and place greater importance than men on the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization and hearing about the impact of their gift. Women want to be actively involved with an organization and its mission, with volunteering being among the most important motivations for women to give. JNF is the most vital, forward-thinking non-profit I know in the Jewish world. Imagine how much more so we would be if the power of women was in full force.


Rain Harvesting in Israeli Schools This is an impressive water conservation and education project that the JNF Parsons Water Fund has been operating in 18 schools throughout Israel for the past few years. Four more schools are commencing the program as of the end of last year. The program’s goal is to create a new water source that can substantially reduce water consumption in schools. In the course of this process, the program provides the schools with a multi-year, hands-on water education program that gives the young students the tools to address water issues. JNF’s Green Horizons team, together with each school’s teaching staff and students, construct a water harvesting system to collect rainwater during the rainy winter months. The system collects run-off water from roofs and pavements into short-term tanks that are repeatedly filled and emptied many times throughout the winter, supplying up to 95% of the water consumed by a school during a fair portion of the school year. The water is used for toilet flushing, cleaning, and irrigation of greenhouses and indoor planters. During the summer, the system harnesses water from drinking fountains and taps for irrigating the school grounds. JNF’s specialist team provides an educational program on water and environmental issues to expose students to national and international water needs and issues while encouraging them to person-


Students test a rainwater collection system.

ally be part of the solution. Students are involved in the planning and management of this system and are encouraged to develop scientific curiosity in addition to environmental awareness. Other Project Updates: The Shamir Drill project in the Upper Galilee—which consists of three deep water drills that will soon add over 1.3% to Israel’s annual water needs—will be completed by the end of 2012. A piping system to deliver the water to the fields and fish ponds will be implemented, along with a water research program. The Ramon Air Force Base Constructed Wetlands has been completed and is being tested to treat effluents that will provide water to irrigate the base’s JNF Essence of Life Park and surrounding farms. Gomeh Reservoir is a large storage facility to be developed in the Upper Galilee for the purpose of providing recycled water for agriculture. With the granting of construction permits finalized, construction will commence this year. The Arara Water Treatment Center is being upgraded to a tertiary level facility, allowing the water produced there to be used for unrestricted irrigation. Once operational, it will treat effluents from the Nevatim Air Force Base and provide water for farming communities as well as the Be’er Sheva River Park. The Or Haner Reservoir augments another project of the JNF Parsons Water Fund: the newly dedicated Sderot reservoir. Together, the two reservoirs will provide recycled water for agriculture. The Or Haner reservoir is in need of repair, expansion and resealing to preserve the quality and quantity of the water it will store. The reservoir will supply water to the kibbutzim of Erez and Or Haner along the Gaza Strip border. Water from the reservoir will be used to irrigate 1,250 acres of field crops, orchards and citrus groves. Earthworks have just been completed and sealing works are now underway. The reservoir is expected to be operational by February 2012. To learn more about the JNF Parsons Water Fund and its projects, visit or contact Prina Dor at or 212-879-9305 ext. 262.




Feel the


JOIN JNF’S WOMEN’S CAMPAIGN FOR ISRAEL Membership in Jewish National Fund’s Women’s Campaign for Israel provides access to a large partnership of women philanthropists bound together by a shared desire to participate in the growth and prosperity of the land and people of Israel.

Get Involved.

Join The Sapphire Society, the women’s major gift division of JNF, or the Women’s Alliance today. Call Elisa Frankel at 212-879-9305 ext. 297 or email to be a part of JNF’s Women’s Campaign for Israel.

But it was her trip last July on the inaugural JNFuture Leadership Institute Mission (JLIM) that changed everything for her. Gather 24 young professionals from all over the country, and you can expect to walk away inspired. “Before I went on JLIM, I really thought I knew everything about JNF, but it was after the trip when it all clicked,” said Parsons. “Everyone was really passionate in their own way. And visiting the JNF projects, we were all blown away. The final thing we did as a group was plant a tree.” The four-day JLIM mission was an intense and invigorating bonding experience for the group. The mission brought together JNF’s future leaders from all over the country and gave participants a chance to connect to JNF’s work in a new and emotionally impactful way. Of the 24 JLIM participants, 10 were women. For many of them, the trip strengthened an already burning passion to connect like-minded women professionals to JNFuture. “It’s one thing to know you’re raising money for a great cause; it’s quite another to be able to see it with your own eyes,” said Lisa Elkan, a founding member of JNFuture Los Angeles. “By getting involved, young, bright Lisa Elkan in Sderot. Jewish women can educate other young Jewish adults about our group and its cause and ensure the future of JNF.” “As a woman who is deeply devoted, both professionally and personally, to Israel, it’s wonderful to hear the passion of these young women upon their return from the JLIM mission,” said Yael Septee Kane, Chief Leadership Development Officer. “It is a testament to the JNFuture leadership and membership that such a mission was developed and that it attracted these selective young men and women who took time from their busy lives to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The future

success of our organization and its critical work in Israel is ensured due to JNFuture participants and their heartfelt devotion and commitment.” Carla Kutnick, a founding member of JNFuture Denver, wants to inspire her two young children and make them feel a part of ancient and modern-day Israel. For her, getting involved in JNFuture is a logical step in ensuring that Israel is looked after for the next generation and generations to come.

Carla Kutnik and Michelle Parsons.

“Young women should be knowledgeable about Israel and to do that, you can’t sit on the sidelines; you have to be in the action,” she said. “JNF wasn’t my parents’ path; it feels like it was something inside me. As a Jewish community member, I feel that I have as much responsibility for Israel as an Israeli.” Since it was established in 2007, JNFuture has expanded to chapters across the country, bringing together enthusiastic young Jewish professionals looking to gain leadership skills and engage other American Jews in supporting Israel through JNF. To hear from its members, the JNFuture program has proven to be successful in transmitting a love and passion for Israel. “The time I spent on JLIM gave me a love for Israel and JNF that is incredibly powerful, and also completely different from what my parents instilled in me,” said Parsons, who serves as President of JNFuture Boston. “It’s our job to shape what Israel will become, which is an amazing responsibility,” she continued. “When you get involved young, you develop a bond, and when you’re in a position to give later on, it’s natural.” For more information, vistit jlim.

Project Spotlight: Women of Valor Center at Nitzanim KIBBUTZ NITZANIM, located

Campaign All-Star: Laureine Greenbaum A DEDICATED SUPPORTER.

An innovator. A thinker. A doer. Laureine Greenbaum is all of these things and more as she works tirelessly to further JNF’s mission. Laureine truly is a Campaign All-Star. Caring for others is deeply rooted in Laureine, an attorney who practiced commercial and copyright law at CBS Inc. for a decade before shifting her primary focus to the non-profit world. In 2000 Laureine co-founded and currently serves as co-chair of Project Cicero, a New York City-wide book drive that has donated one million books to under-resourced city public schools since its inception. At JNF, Laureine wears many hats, among them Assistant Secretary of JNF’s National Board and a founding member of the New York Women’s Campaign for Israel chapter. She is most passionate about her work as Vice President of the JNF Parsons Water Fund. In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, Laureine jokingly referred to herself as a “water wonk” and is always quick to point out that droughts are not just a problem in the Middle East; we face severe water shortages in several parts of America as well, and it would serve the world well to start paying attention to all that JNF does to address Israel’s water shortage.

“Laureine’s work with the JNF Parsons Water Fund is a manifestation of a deep commitment to and love for Israel and JNF, as well as a practical response to the need for developing Israel’s depleted water resources,” said Zevi Kahanov, National Director of the JNF Parsons Water Fund. “Laureine is an excellent example of the emotional and philanthropic investment in Israel’s water issues shared by all members of the Water Fund board and donors.” This past October, Laureine was elected President of JNF’s Greater New York Board, “for her passion, leadership, and commitment, which have been invaluable assets to JNF,” said Michael Feinman, Greater New York Zone Director. “There is no obstacle that she cannot and will not tackle. It was because of that level of dedication that we selected Laureine and her husband David as honorees at our most successful Tree of Life™ Dinner this past November, where we raised over $1 million.” “Laureine’s dedication and vision are two traits that encourage other lay leaders and the professional staff to want to work alongside her,” said Rick Krosnick, JNF Chief Development Officer. “As an active member of the National Board of Directors, Laureine has emerged as one of our most eloquent spokespersons in New York and is an example of the vibrancy of JNF’s leadership team.” CONGRATULATIONS TO LAUREINE GREENBAUM!


Women have been a powerful force in the lifeblood of the Jewish people since the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah literally gave birth to a nation. And throughout the history of the Jewish people, women have been leaders who have shaped the destiny of the Jewish people and the State of Israel: prime ministers, scholars, fighter pilots and soldiers, high-tech entrepreneurs, farmers and Supreme Court justices; in every profession and in every walk of life, women are leaders in shaping our world. So it should come as no surprise that women as a demographic group are the philanthropic leaders in the Jewish community as well as the community at large. A 2009 Forbes article provides some interesting insight as to the power of women in philanthropy: Women now control more than half of the private wealth in the U.S. and make 80% of all purchases. According to Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, women will inherit 70% of the $41 trillion in intergenerational wealth transfer expected over the next 40 years. In addition to controlling wealth and consumer activity, women tend to donate more of their wealth than men do. A Barclay’s Wealth study titled Tomorrow’s Philanthropist, released in July 2009, showed that women in the U.S. give an average of 3.5% of their wealth to charity, while men give an average of 1.8%. Jewish National Fund has relied on women’s giving to help our campaign grow to the record-setting levels we now enjoy, and women will be relied on even more in the years ahead. Over the last five years, female donors have given more than $64 million to JNF. JNF’s women’s major gift society, The Sapphire Society, has raised millions of dollars for important projects in Israel, and literally built a new town out of the Arava sand, Zuqim. Twenty-seven percent of JNF major donors are women. As you turn the pages of this B’Yachad magazine, you will see the faces of some of the outstanding women who give of their time, leadership and financial resources to allow JNF to do our important work in Israel. You will also meet the women who are making things happen all across the land of Israel. Go-getters, all of them. Since the founding of JNF 110 years ago, women have been at the forefront of building a homeland for the Jewish people. Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah may have given birth to our nation, and yet it is the women of today and the women who participate in the JNF campaign that are developing our Jewish homeland into a modern-day miracle.


end of which 33 Israelis—kibbutz members and soldiers—lay dead on a nearby sandy ridge. Ben-Ari and two other women were among the fallen. The battle, and especially the role of the kibbutz’s women, was never forgotten and the site has come to symbolize the heroism and sacrifice of all female soldiers throughout Israel’s history. JNF and the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS) are developing a memorial and museum at Kibbutz Nitzanim, called the Women of Valor Center, to commemorate the contributions of women to the defense of Israel. An exhibition hall will tell the story of women in the military through photographs, films, objects, newspaper articles, letters, diaries, and poems. An activity hall will engage visitors in an interactive multi-media presentation about the ways in which women have carried and continue to carry the burden of the defense and the existence of the State of Israel. It will explore concepts such as the complexity of the fighting experience, the role of women in the fighting, and the moral dilemmas of war. For more information, visit


near the Jaffa-Ashdod-Gaza Highway, was the site of a massive attack by the Egyptian army during Israel’s War of Independence. When the Egyptian invasion of Israel began in May 1948, Nitzanim’s children and most of its women were immediately evacuated, but 10 women insisted on staying behind with the men to deter the advance of the Egyptian troops. One of those women was the kibbutz’s communications officer, Mira Ben-Ari, who tried desperately to contact the headquarters of the Givati Battalion during the attack. Her final telegram read: “The Egyptians are in the kibbutz. I am destroying the machine and the code and am going off to fight.” The battle for Nitzanim lasted 14 hours, at the





  New England Zone

  Southern Zone





  Los Angeles Zone

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1 Tom Leighton, co-founder of Akamai Technologies, was the featured speaker at JNF’s

1 (L-R) Billy Levine, Sachin Shailendra, Matt Lieberman, and Richard Davis enjoyed the Sam P. Alterman Golf Tournament. 2 (L-R) Jon Birnbrey, Stuart Nelson, Jay Dermer, and Adam Freedman at the Sam P. Alterman Golf Tournament. 3 (L-R) Jere Carman, Director of General Studies for Akiva School of Nashville, TN, and school

1 World Chairman’s Council member Bud Levin spoke at a Women’s Campaign for Israel

corporate breakfast hosted by Zone President Lawrence Cohen of Edwards, Angell, Palmer & Dodge LLP. (L-R) MIT Professor Daniel Kleitman; Todd Patkin; Tom Leighton; Cohen; event co-chair Richard Noone; Sharon Freedman, National Campaign Director; and event co-chair Paul Garrido.

2 (L-R) Jessica Steinmetz; Zev Steinmetz, President of JNFuture National Board; Sara Hefez,

the Beer Sheva Promenade. (L-R) Alexander, Ellen and Richard Calmas at Sderot Reservoir’s New England Pillar, on which Richard’s name is proudly listed along with fellow board members.

4 (L-R) Boston President Michael Blank, Brian Nagle, Judith Sydney, Robert Cohan and

Jonathan Plaut at the 2011 Golf Tournament at Belmont Country Club honoring Todd Patkin.

5 N ew England Board Member Martin Kofman hosted Green Horizons guide Neta Amitai,

who spoke to youth at schools and synagogues about volunteerism and leadership in New England. (L-R) Past President and Green Horizon’s National Chair Ronald Lubin, Neta Amitai, Zone President Lawrence Cohen and Martin Kofman at a New England Board of Directors meeting.

2 JNF CEO Russell Robinson presented Karen Berko-Gibson with a Sapphire pin to welcome her to the JNF Sapphire Society.

3 Sapphires gathered with Russell Robinson to hear about JNF updates. (L-R) JNF Regional

representatives Marci Rosenblum and Daniel Hoffman, honored all of the bar and bat mitzvah teens with a tree planted in Israel.

New England Regional Director; Michelle Parsons, New England JNFuture Chair; and JNFuture Cabinet members Alex Bloom and Seth Cohen at the 2011 National Conference Tree of Life™ dinner in Cincinnati.

3 The Calmas Family of Boston visited Sderot Reservoir, Sderot Indoor Recreation Center and

event that raised money for the Israeli Fire Scouts program. (L-R) Event co-chairs Karen Eide, Esther Vered, Orna Delrahim, Judy Levin and Bud Levin.

4 (L-R) Ann Kahn, Sheila Gardner and Nora Contini, publisher of J. the Jewish news weekly of

Northern California, enjoyed the ceremony where JNF’s B’Yachad newsletter won the 2010 AJPA Rockower Award.

5 The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art hosted a JNF Poster Exhibit in Tulsa, OK.

Director Allison Krumholz, Sapphire Society members Carole Shnier, Judy Levin, Alyse Golden Berkley, Helene Rosenzweig, Judy Zweig, JNF CEO Russell Robinson, Deena Singer, Lane Sherman, and Karen Berko-Gibson.

Florida Zone






















1. Dr. Horacio Schlaen and Miami-Dade board member Rosalie Schlaen at the Miami-Dade Region opening board meeting.

2. (L-R) Broward board member Vivian Grossman, Miami-Dade board members Ophir Sternberg, Claudia Villar, Patti Stauber-Klein and Dennis Klein at the Miami-Dade Region opening board meeting.

3. (L-R) Betsy Marcadis, co-president of the Tampa Bay board and new board member

Michelle Cohen at a Tampa Bay board meeting at board member Matt Masem Junior’s office at BNY Melon.

4. (L-R) Florida Zone Director Glen Schwartz with Miami-Dade board members Dr. Harold Goldstein, Marni Kriss, Ron Kriss and Jordon Weitz at the Miami-Dade Region opening board meeting.

5. (L-R) Dr. Rodolfo Eichberg, Gideon Shavit, and Dr. Abe and Betsy Marcadis at the Tampa Bay Doctors for Israel dinner supporting Alexander Muss High School in Israel.

6. (L-R) Yvette Eichberg, Laura Kreitzer, and Betsy Marcadis at the Tampa Bay Doctors for Israel dinner at The Palm Restaurant in Tampa.

7. (L-R) Stewart Donnell, Gideon Shavit, and Etta Donnell at a parlor meeting at the Donnells’

home, where attendees discussed JNF’s partnership with the Alexander Muss High School in Israel program.

8 (L-R) Dr. Randy Kahn and Dr. Robert Norman co-sponsored the Tampa Bay Doctors for Israel Society dinner at The Palm Restaurant.

9 (L-R) Dr. Robert Entel, Betsy Marcadis, and Drs. Sara and Leon Mandell at the Tampa Bay Doctors for Israel dinner. 10. (L-R) Seth Amkraut, Stephanie Temple and Robin Amkraut at the “Raise a Glass to Israel” wine tasting event in Fort Lauderdale.

11. (L-R) Vivian Grossman, Alan Levy, Judi Edelman and Campaign Executive Debbie Regent at the “Raise a Glass to Israel” wine tasting event in Fort Lauderdale. 12. (L-R) Santiago Klein, Lance Ross, Beckie Fischer, Alan Levy and Cort Neimark at the Broward wine tasting event.

13. (L-R) Jennifer Goldman, Phyllis Goldman, Karen Kofsky and Bobby Levy at a Women’s Alliance cooking event.

14. Jeff Amkraut and Cynthia Hertz at a South Palm Beach board of directors meeting. 15. Rosh Chodesh participant Judi Bukaitz and JNF Florida Zone Director Glen D. Schwartz at the JNF/MacKenzie-Childs cocktail reception at their new store on the Island of Palm Beach.

16 Lynne and Alan Levy at a musical reception to kick off fundraising for the Gateway to the Negev Visitor and Information Center, held at the home of Ken Esrig.

17 (L-R) Jane Karp and Sheila Wilensky at the JNF/MacKenzie-Childs cocktail reception held at the new Mackenzie-Childs store on the Island of Palm Beach.

Western Zone

  Mid-Atlantic Zone


























10. (L-R) Mimi Gross, San Diego Planned Giving Chair; Debbie Seid, San Diego Israel Advocacy

1. Sam Charm (right) manned the JNF booth at the Sukkot Fair sponsored by Kollel and Yeshiva Day School of Las Vegas.

and Education Chair; Linda Church, San Diego Major Gifts Chair; Myra Chack Fleischer, San Diego President; Lauren Lizerbram, San Diego Women’s Campaign for Israel Chair; and Ellen Rosenberg, Makor member and guest speaker, at a JNF Women’s Campaign for Israel event.

2. (L-R) Ira Bernstein, Sam Charm, and Tammy Ofek at a JNF Las Vegas board of directors social gathering in Efraim and Judy Berkovitz’s sukkah.

3. (L-R) Lisa Guthery and Carla Kutnick planted a tree in Israel during the inaugural JNFuture Leadership Institute Mission. 4. (L-R) Palm Springs and Desert Region President Allan Nyman, Vice President Evelyn Binsky,

and Love of Israel Dinner chairs Marcia and Rick Stein welcomed table captains to a reception and briefing at the home of Barbara Platt.

11. (L-R) JNF Women’s Campaign for Israel Chair Lauren Lizerbram, San Diego Campaign Ex-

ecutive Ezra Erle, and new San Diego Board President Myra Chack Fleischer at a Women’s Campaign for Israel event.

12. (L-R) Carolyn Michaels, co-host Lauren Lizerbram and Makor member Ellen Rosenberg at the JNF San Diego Women’s Campaign for Israel event.

5. (L-R) Love of Israel Dinner table captains Dr. Paul Ross, Don Shaevel and Marvin Lewis with Palm Springs and Desert Region President Allan Nyman.

6. Barbara Platt welcomed Jim Borax to her home for the JNF table captains reception. 7 .Skeeter Marcus (left) made it into the “10 Club” by raising over $10,000 during this year’s campaign. She is pictured with Ted Kort (back), Rick Krosnick and Seymour Rife.

8 R on Blau and Barbara Harel visited Aleh Negev, where the Arizona Region recently completed funding of a second vocational center.

9 (L-R) Sara and Robert Ross of Tucson with JNF Development Director Ariel Kotler in Israel on a JNF Sukkot day tour. The Rosses visited the JNF-Harvey Hertz Ceremonial Tree Planting Center at Neot Kedumim and participated in a dedication ceremony at American Independence Park in memory of Sara’s mother.


1. (L-R) Ariel Kotler, Development Officer for JNF in Israel, thanked Jason Shapiro of Columbia, MD on behalf of JNF and Friends of Israel Firefighters for contributing towards the Howard County fire truck.

2. (L-R) Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt of B’nai Tzedek of Potomac, MD was congratulated by Ariel Kotler, Development Officer for JNF in Israel, for raising funds for a fire truck to protect the residents of Beit Shemesh.

3. (L-R) Washington DC Regional Director Stuart Diamant-Cohen and Major Gifts Chair Dr. Chet Stein celebrated their successful campaign year.

4 .(L-R) Dr. Orr Karassin, professor at the Open University of Israel in Ra’anana; Omri Yadlin,

Dean of Sapir Academic College Law School; Amy Krupsky; DC Board President Ken Krupsky; and Jimmy Weinblatt, President of Sapir Academic College Law School in Sapir.

5. (L-R) Ira Bartfield, Kate Shelter, Jayne Klein, Suzie Levene, and Dr. Jim Chisum at the JNF National Conference in Cincinnati, OH.

6 .(L-R) Lawyers for Israel Co-Chair Anna Davis and Israel Advocacy and Education Chair

Bruce Kauffman discussed Dr. Ra’anan Gissin’s thought-provoking presentation at a JNF Lawyers for Israel luncheon.

7 .(L-R) Lou Cohen, Dr. Bernard Kapiloff, and Maryland Board President, Jonathan Fishman, proudly discussed the region’s achievements in supporting initiatives of the JNF Parsons Water Fund at a board meeting.

8 (L-R) Lou, Jill, and Erin Sapperstein dedicated Ammunition Hill plaques in honor of Lou’s father, Julius Sapperstein and Jill’s father, Edgar Hecht, on a recent trip to Israel.

9 .(L-R) National Campaign Director Diane Scar, Lori Dym, Mitch Berliner, and Penny Bonda enjoyed a reunion of the first annual JNF Culinary & Wine Mission.

10 (L-R) Dr. Chet Stein and JNF Development Officer Ariel Kotler discussed the region’s contributions to the fire fighting services in Israel.

11 (L-R) National Campaign Director Diane Scar, Gary Kushner, Jeff Menick, and Mitch Berliner toasted to JNF’s campaign year in Israel.

Midwest Zone



















1. (L-R) Rob Bohm, Dr. Robert Taxman, Ken Birenbaum, Greg Yawitz, JNF Shaliach Ron Bernstein, Rabbi Jim Bennett, Jim Kalishman, and David Segal enjoyed Congregation Shaare Emeth’s first annual JNF Breakfast.

2. (L-R) Mike Jaffe, Jeff Silverman, and David Bossy admired a Sderot Tulip at JNF’s Tree of LifeTM Dinner in Chicago.

3. (L-R) Rhonda Salins, Tree of LifeTM honoree and Chicago Region Vice President Bob Wigoda, and Lauren Salins enjoyed the JNF Tree of LifeTM Dinner in Chicago, which honored the ZBT 1977 graduating class from the University of Illinois.

4. (L-R) Louise Roselle, Southern Ohio Regional President, presented the 3 annual Board rd

Member of the Year Award to Randy Miller, Executive Board Member. The award was based on Randy’s philanthropic commitments, years of behind-the-scenes service and dedication to JNF’s mission.

5. At the Wisconsin annual banquet, Jacob Markey (left) was presented with the Next Generation Leadership Award for exemplary student activism, leadership and Israel advocacy on college campus from past JNF honoree and current Advisory Board member Rabbi Ronald Shapiro.

6. At a JNF/Judge Carl B. Rubin Legal Society event featuring keynote speaker Jonathan

Adelman, VP Todd Bailey recognized Jon Lieberman, who founded the society, for his commitment and dedication to JNF. (L-R) Todd Bailey, Jonathan Adelman, Louise Roselle, and Jon Lieberman.

7 .(L-R) Melissa and Bradley Rothschild supported JNF at the Schechter Day School’s annual kosher rib burn-off.

8 .Yakov Yarmove, the Ethnic Foods Manager for SuperValu Foods, visited the Biriya Forest during his recent trip to Israel. Under Yakov’s direction, SuperValue-owned grocery stores across the U.S. hold an annual High Holiday promotion of JNF and Osem products.

9 (L-R) Michigan Regional President Dr. Leora Bar-Levav hosted Dr. Deborah Charfoos, Dr. Hamid Banooni, guest speaker Dr. Judith Edelman and Yaron Iram at Detroit’s inaugural Doctors for Israel event.

10. (L-R) Bill Rackoff, Lou Plung and Mark Mason at the Pittsburgh Tree of LifeTM Dinner.

11. (L-R) Rick Marcus, event co-chair; Rusti Moffic, co-president; Selma Zeiger, co-chair;

Moshe Berniker, guest speaker; and Sidney Rivkin, Wisconsin Regional Director at the 11th annual Summer Happening event, which kicked off the annual summer solicitation campaign.

12. (L-R) Cindy Goodman-Leib, Asher Wiseman and Scott Leib attended Hillel’s Campus Superstar at the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh.

13. Pittsburgh Tree of LifeTM Dinner co-chairs Joanie and Sam Kamin with honoree Most Reverend David A. Zubik, Bishop of Pittsburgh.

14. Nine community activists were honored at the Wisconsin Region’s annual banquet for

their devotion to Jewish causes and the State of Israel. (L-R, seated) Bobby Miller, Nadine Zuckerman, Karen Loeb, Lorraine Hoffmann and Judith Lensky. (L-R, standing) Jay Miller, Jacob Markey, Roger Carp and Rabbi Melech Lensky.

15. JNF’s dedicated friends from Cedar Village attended the Tree of Life™ Dinner

honoring Nina and Eddie Paul. (L-R) Helen Werner, Alice Zipkin, Bess and Herb Paper, Florence Lieberman, and Inge Goldberg.

Northeast Zone

  Greater New York Zone

















10 7







1 (L-R) Marc Leibowitz, past Central New Jersey board president, and Alan Kirshenbaum,

1 (L-R) Raphael Capon; Howard Ingram, Long Island Zone Director; Michael Kessler;

8 (L-R) Andy Ashwal, Greater New York board member; Ilana Derman; Troy Berman; and Lindsay Ashwal at JNFuture’s annual Shabbat in the Park. 9 (L-R) Dustin Stein; Ilana Feiglin, JNFuture co-chair; and Asaf Palgi, Greater New York board mem ber at JNFuture’s annual Shabbat in the Park. 10 (L-R) Dr. Ivy Engel, Doctors for Israel Chair and Women’s Campaign for Israel committee member,

event co-chair and Central New Jersey board member, at the Central New Jersey Poker Tournament at The Maplewood Country Club.

2 (L-R) Joel Leibowitz, Northeast Zone Director; Andrew Rubenstein, Central New Jersey board member; and Russell Robinson, JNF Chief Executive Officer, at the Central New Jersey Poker Tournament at The Maplewood Country Club.

3 (L-R) William Rubenstein; Joel Leibowitz, Northeast Zone Director, and Andrew Rubenstein, Central New Jersey board member, at the Central New Jersey Golf Tournament at Echo Lake Country Club.

4 (L-R) Southern New Jersey board members Bob Benedon, Debbie Drachman, Lois Forman,

Meir Yusherovitz and Malka Gevitz at the Dix Hills Jewish Center honoring Gush Etzion captives.

2 (L-R) Joan Ginsburg, Mona Abramson, and Amy Berko Iles at the Westchester Women’s Campaign for Israel kick-off luncheon. 3 (L-R) Nancy Zaro, event hostess; Hila Elroy, Advisor to the Consul General of

and Paula Friedland from LOTEM enjoyed a parlor meeting at the Drachman home.

5 (L-R, standing) Bob Benedon, JNF National Major Gifts Chair; Debbie Drachman; Eva Schlanger; Mark Kramer; and Mitch Benedon; (L-R, seated) Lois Forman, Marni Shatz, and Lynn Norton Robins, JNF Regional Director, at the Southern New Jersey board meeting.

6 Philadelphia guests enjoyed a luncheon featuring Paula Friedland of LOTEM (center) at the home of Terry Katz.

7 (L-R) Sheldon Bender, Evelyn Spritz, Louise Dabrow, Joseph Wolfson, Alan Robbins, Stewart Anmuth, Michael Boni, Alan Dabrow, Scott Barsky, Charles Pavlov, Robert Kitchenoff, Elaine Beck, Hana Brem, Andrea Gottlieb, Richard Cohen, David Dinenberg, and Marina Furman kicked off the new campaign year at the Philadelphia board meeting

Israel in New York; Larry Frankel, Westchester Board President; Mona Abramson, Westchester board member; and Laureine Greenbaum, New York Board President at the Westchester Women’s Campaign for Israel kick-off luncheon.

4 (L-R) Melvyn Ruskin, Long Island board member; Member of Knesset Amir Peretz; Judge Kenneth L. Gartner; and Jeffrey Schwartz, Long Island board member at a Lawyers for Israel meeting at the Nassau County Bar Association.

5 (L-R) Sharon Pikus, Long Island board chair; Russell Robinson, JNF CEO; Rubin Pikus, event co-chair; and Michael C. Slocum, Tree of Life™ recipient at the Long Island Tree of Life™ Dinner.

6 (L-R) Joseph Mawad, co-honoree; Mark Engel, event chair; Sharon Pikus; Michael

Berr, co-honoree; and Rubin Pikus, event chair at the 2011 Long Island Golf and Tennis Classic.

7 (L-R) Adam Belfer, JNFuture chair, and Ben and Cheryl Rubinstein at JNFuture’s annual Shabbat in the Park in New York City.

sat with fellow committee member Kathy Gantz at a JNF 101 luncheon in New York.

11 (L-R) Event chairs Jon and Currie Estreich with honorees Laureine and David Greenbaum at the NYC Tree of Life™ Dinner.

12 (L-R) Emily Golden, Women’s Campaign for Israel committee member, and guest speaker Tali Tzour, JNF Israel Emissary, at a JNF 101 luncheon.




October 21-22, 2012 Hilton Orlando Orlando, FL

Preserving the History of America’s #1 Address for Supporting the Land and People of Israel


12 JNF House will keep its historic exterior as it undergoes a renovation.

Alice Goldschmidt Sachs and Arthur Sachs.

(L-R) Mary Sachs, Arthur Sachs, Vicki Daly, Nadine Zimet, and Tim Sachs.

Before it was JNF House, the limestone mansion at 42 East 69th Street was home to a young boy and girl and their family. Today, a $25 million capital campaign is underway to renovate the building and create an additional 1,765 square feet of usable area, while keeping the historic look and feel of its first and second floors and ensuring that JNF’s home will remain the pride of the Upper East Side. While JNF has fundraising staff in 30 cities and five Centers of Excellence across the U.S., the national headquarters is the center of the thriving organization and the embassy of the Jewish people in NY. Executive management, Marketing and Communications, Planned Giving, Israel Advocacy and Education and the Greater New York Zone fundraising staff are housed in the imposing brownstone in this historic district. The building provides meeting space for JNF community events such as notable speakers, celebrations of Jewish holidays, gatherings for Jewish war veterans, and an open house for participants in the annual Israel Day Parade. Dignitaries from Israel—including President Shimon Peres as well as several Prime Ministers and Knesset members—ambassadors from around the world, and members of Congress have visited these offices. Many Jewish organizations utilize the space as well, including Hadassah, Nefesh B’Nefesh, Chabad, AIPAC, B’nai B’rith and others. JNF House is truly a center for Jewish life in the city and an outpost of Jewish pride in a neighborhood of international organizations and embassies. But after nearly a century of existence, the building is in dire need of repairs. The choice facing JNF’s Board of Directors—to sell and relocate, or to renovate—was met with earnest debate. After weighing economic factors and considering that the building is in a historic district as well as the associations and pride the stakeholders have in the structure and its importance to the neighborhood, the Board decided to remain at JNF House. “This renovation,” said Stanley Chesley, JNF President, “will transform a distinguished but poorly functioning building into a LEED-certified showcase for the city and the Jewish community. It’s an honor to preserve JNF House and ready it for what is sure to be tremendous future growth.” Part of the Upper East Side Historic District, one of New York’s largest landmark districts that stretches along Fifth Avenue from 59th Street to 78th Street, the house is an example of the Gothic Revival style popular at the time of its construction. It was designed by C.P.H. Gilbert, the architect responsible for a number of other distinguished homes that are now The Jewish Museum, The Marymount School, and The Consulate General of Poland, among others. The house—originally two 25-foot wide mansions razed to create a “modern English basement residence”—was built in 1921 by Arthur Sachs, a member of the banking firm Goldman Sachs Co. He and his wife Alice and their two children, James and Nadine, lived there until 1930 when Alice died. Edward H. Foley Jr., the Under Secretary of the

Treasury under President Truman, lived there with his family from 1931-1954, when it was sold to JNF of America. Walking through the house as if the walls could reveal secrets about their family, Vicki, Nadine and Arthur, grandchildren of Arthur and Alice Sachs, along with Arthur’s wife Mary and their son, Tim, recently visited the mansion for the first time. “They had a nanny who was called ‘mademoiselle,’” said Vicki, who pointed out that the 2nd floor, which now houses the boardroom and some offices, were his and hers living rooms. The 3rd floor, now all offices, contained two bedrooms, the 4th floor had three bedrooms and the staff lived on the 5th floor. “I know they entertained a lot,” said Nadine. In fact, Alice died not long after they held a lavish reception at the house following a concert by Andrew Segovia. Following his wife’s death, Arthur sold the house and moved to France, where he remarried and had another child. “They weren’t very religious,” said Arthur, “but I have seen a photo of my grandfather wearing a kippah at a family event.” Plans for the renovation of JNF House include addressing the building’s infrastructure problems, replacing outdated systems, addressing code deficiencies, and creating a better work environment for JNF staff. Building security will be enhanced, as will public areas and technology access. Additionally, the renovation will provide important long-term economic benefits to the organization with increased market value, improved energy efficiency, improved space utilization for sub-tenants, and reduced liability insurance. For information, please call Michael Feinman at 212-879-9305 ext. 503.


Lt. Roslyn Schulte is Honored at Ammunition Hill AIR FORCE 1ST LIEUTENANT ROSLYN SCHULTE would not have considered

Mayor Nir Barkat will gather at Ammunition Hill to commemorate the event. As the centerpiece of JNF’s May 2012 Road to Jerusalem mission, which will take participants to key sites of events from the Six-Day War, it will surely be a unique and moving experience for everyone gathered. For Lt. Schulte’s parents, visiting their daughter’s plaque on the Wall of Honor is on their to-do list for some point in the future. “The thought that the impact she made will be recognized worldwide, is wonderful,” said Susie. “Hopefully, others–particularly other women–who see the plaque or read this story will be moved to go on and be a role model and further carry on Roz’s legacy.” For more information about Ammunition Hill, visit To learn more about the Road to Jerusalem mission, visit


Wall of Honor at Ammunition Hill.

Evelyn Spritz Relishes New Role on National Board of Directors IN NOVEMBER 1991, Evelyn Spritz was approached to join the

JNF Philadelphia Board of Directors. It was an opportune time: Evelyn had just decided to work part-time at Blank Rome, where she was a comptroller, and involve herself in charity work.

Evelyn Spritz

“I wanted to start giving back,” she said. “I had a strong feeling that life had been rather good to me and I wanted to return the favor by becoming active in charity.” When she walked into her first Philadelphia board meeting to see two dozen men in navy blue pinstripe suits, she was unsure that this was the right fit for her. That is, until she listened to what JNF was doing in Israel. “I was fascinated,” Evelyn recalled. “I loved what I was hearing and immediately agreed to be on the board.” Twenty years later, Evelyn is one of the newest members of the National Board of Directors. Over the years, she has become increasingly involved with JNF’s work. “I don’t have any family or friends in Israel,” she said. “It is through JNF that I have developed and strengthened my connection to Israel. I made JNF one of the centers of my life, and I’m happy to raise money whenever I can.” A strong supporter of JNF’s work with water, Evelyn is a member of the JNF Parsons Water Fund board and has always earmarked her annual contribution for water projects. She is also past president of the Philadelphia board, the Eastern Pennsylvania Region and the Northeast Zone, and is a member of The Sapphire


herself a role model or a hero. “She just felt there was a right way to do things,” said her mother Susie, “and expected others would behave the same way. “Roz was very committed to servLt. Roslyn Schulte ing her country,” said Susie, “and we fully supported her in that. To the end, she liked what she was doing and as parents that’s what you hope for with the choices your children make. We continue to be proud of the fact that she was doing what she wanted to.” Lt. Schulte, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on May 20, 2009, will be memorialized with a plaque on JNF’s Wall of Honor at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem. The first female graduate of the Air Force Academy killed in action, Lt. Schulte chose to pursue a career in military intelligence after training to be a pilot. “She felt she could make a greater impact in a leadership role,” said her father Robert. “She felt she was making a difference in the Afghanistan community by teaching them to be self-reliant intelligence officers and helping out at orphanages.”

Lt. Schulte graduated from John Burroughs School in St. Louis. Her family is a longtime member of Temple Israel; Rabbi Mark L. Shook presided over her funeral, which drew an overflow crowd of 1,300 members of the Jewish and greater community. The memorial plaque, at Ammunition Hill, donated by family friends Norman Pressman and Wendi Alper Pressman, is a testament to the impact that Lt. Schulte made in her life. “Lt. Schulte deserves to be remembered along with other Jewish heroes at this special place,” said Norman Pressman. “Her death was a major loss to our community. Now, St. Louisans can visit her plaque when they come to Israel.” JNF’s Wall of Honor stands as a tribute to the courage of Jewish soldiers like Lt. Schulte who have fought in defense of countries throughout history and around the world. Its location, Ammunition Hill, was the site of a pivotal battle during the Six-Day War that led to the reunification of Jerusalem. An important Israeli landmark, Ammunition Hill hosts induction ceremonies for paratroopers and the annual Jerusalem Day celebration. This year marks the 45th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification, and high-level dignitaries including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and Jerusalem

Society, President’s Council, Century Club, and Makor. The February 2012 Makor mission will be her 14th trip to Israel. “I have had countless life-enriching experiences through JNF,” Evelyn said. “The average citizen does not have these opportunities. JNF opens up all kinds of doors, and even though we’ve been to Israel many times and visit projects again and again, there are always unbelievable experiences to be had.” Evelyn can pinpoint the experience that sealed her commitment to JNF: a five-person mission to Israel to see first-hand the ravages of drought in January 1992, shortly after she had joined the Philadelphia board. “It was one of the best investments JNF has ever made,” said Evelyn. “All five of us were captivated by the experience and remain involved with JNF to this day. I have a passion for Israel and JNF that I discovered on that trip 20 years ago. I never knew that I was a Zionist. It took this trip to bring it out of me. JNF has given me a foothold with my Judaism in Israel and it becomes stronger as time goes on.” Evelyn retired from Blank Rome three years ago, which has only led her to step up her activity in all other things. “I’m blessed with a tremendous amount of energy,” she said. “I remain very committed to JNF. As long as I have the means, strength, time, and energy, I will continue to support the organization every way I can.”





(L-R) Maureen Komisar, Randi Schachter, and Gail Komisar.

THE KOMISAR FAMILY (L-R) Risa, Lee and Bunny Aronson.


The Aronson family of Newton, MA, has been lifelong and proud supporters of JNF. At a Sapphire Society event that Lee hosted at her home five years ago, she introduced her daughter Bunny and daughter-in-law Risa to the JNF family. They were both so impressed with the work at Zuqim, a new Negev community which was then in its early stages, that they decided to become Sapphires. “Lee was so excited to have the two of us join,” said Risa. “Giving to JNF, we know that we’re partnering with communities to build a stronger, safer Israel.” Risa returned from this past President’s Council mission enthusiastic as ever. “I would continue to give to JNF whether I went to Israel or not, but going on the President’s Council mission enriched it so much more for me,” she said. “To visit Aleh Negev, Be’er Sheva, the Carmel forest…I thought to myself, ‘We’re not just giving money, we’re partnering with this country to help them continue to exist.’” Lee and Bunny went on the Queen of Sheba women-only mission five years ago and came back very inspired. In 2008, the family was honored at New England’s annual golf tournament and last year Risa’s husband Steven was elected to join the New England board. While Risa’s children are not yet involved in JNF, she hopes that someday they will be follow in her footsteps. “I hope when my daughter moves back to Massachusetts, she’ll become a Sapphire with me. It’s about the legacy you leave,” Risa said.

Milwaukee resident Gail Komisar and her husband Martin joined a JNF mission in 2003 after their synagogue mission was cancelled. It was her first time back to Israel in almost 15 years, and an incredible experience. Since 2007, the Komisars have been going on the President’s Council mission every year. “My belief is that you have to go to Israel and experience it,” said Gail. “You have to plant a tree, touch the land, go to the Negev and see everyone living like a pioneer so that Israel can continue to be a strong, independent state.” After Gail became a Sapphire, the rest of the women in her family followed suit: mother-in-law Claire, sister-in-law Maureen, and Gail’s daughter Randi. On the 2010 President’s Council mission, Randi’s in-laws joined for their first time in Israel, and Randi’s mother-in-law Wendy Schachter became a Sapphire. The Komisars’ involvement with JNF is another step in the family’s connection to Israel. Gail describes the family as “very Zionistic” and sees the connection to JNF as an embracing of their roots, their faith and their link to Israel. “We do what we feel from our hearts in every facet of our lives,” said Gail. “JNF strengthened my Jewish identity by giving me the opportunity to go on a mission. My goal is to go every year. When you see everything that JNF has done to give everyone in Israel a better life, it allows us to lead a better life. “As a woman, you have a sense of being a mother, of the need to nurture and take care of other people. It’s a women’s nature. In this case, instead of taking care of people, we’re taking care of our homeland.”

(L-R) Amy Berko Iles, Honie Berko, and Karen Berko-Gibson.


“I think it is of tremendous importance to have families focused on philanthropy,” said Amy Berko Iles, a New York resident. “It has been really rewarding to my family to have so many of us involved in JNF: my parents, my sister, myself, and both of my children, who are involved with JNFuture. It is very rewarding to share in these values.” When her father was President of JNF’s New York board, Amy was approached to join the Westchester board and eventually went on to become its President. Upon moving to New York City, she joined her father on the New York board and recently became the chairperson for the Women’s Campaign for Israel. A few years ago, Amy’s sister Karen Berko-Gibson joined parents Jerome and Honie on a trip to Israel and ended up staying on for a President’s Council mission. She loved it so much she became a Sapphire right then and there, and has enjoyed being involved ever since. Honie recently became a Sapphire herself. For the family, it is not one area that appeals to them, but JNF’s mission as a whole. “If you look at it over the long term, we haven’t been beholden to one specific area, but feel that our giving to JNF has evolved with JNF,” said Amy. “As JNF grows as an organization and what it accomplishes in Israel, so too does the direction of our family’s JNF philanthropy.”


Road to Jerusalem trip, May 15-22, 2012 or choose from our exciting array of tours and missions.

877 - JNF - TOUR • 877 - 563 - 8687

There’s a little bit of Israel in all of us. Come find the Israel in you.

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J N F. o r g

“I was so honored,” she said. “For so many years, I have felt a love of the land and people of Israel, and a strong sense of commitment to them. Makor membership gave me a real opportunity to do something about it.” Ellen has been a member of Makor, JNF’s specially trained cadre of highly-involved volunteers, since 2008. Committed to educating the public about JNF and its projects, Makor members participate in an annual mission to Israel to learn first-hand about new and ongoing initiatives and to see JNF dollars in action. “Since not everyone is able to go to Israel to see the projects for themselves,” said Ellen, “it’s my job as a Makornik to go out into the communities upon returning from Israel and paint a picture that illustrates to current and prospective donors the exciting progress that we have made.” A native of Los Angeles, Ellen, a matrimonial and family lawyer, has called Baltimore home for the past 29 years. She has lived in Israel on three separate occasions: during her junior year of college, on a kibbutz in between college and law school, and during a semester of law school. Since then she has visited at least once a year, and sometimes as often as two or three times a year. When she came into contact with JNF for the first time, the timing was right. During the Lebanon War of 2006, she had gone to Israel to see what she could do. There, she learned about JNF and, upon returning home, At the Sderot Playground. wanted to learn more. After years of being a full-time working single mother, she had just become an empty nester and finally had the time to devote to volunteering. In 2007, she helped raise money through JNF to purchase a fire truck for a community in Israel. But it was joining Makor that really clinched it. “Makor is a distinct and special opportunity to find out, in a hands-on way, about the amazing work of the organization and

Ellen with an organic carrot on a farm in Halutza.

experience the impact that JNF is having on real people and communities,” said Ellen. “Then we get to spread the word. It’s exhilarating and quite rewarding at the same time.” For Ellen, there isn’t just one area of JNF’s work that captures her passion. Currently, the project that she is most excited about is the development of the museum and battleground at Ammunition Hill, site of a pivotal battle during the Six-Day War. On her last trip to Israel, she dedicated plaques on JNF’s Wall of Honor at Ammunition Hill for her husband and her deceased father, both of whom served in the U.S. Army. “I’m enraptured with what Ammunition Hill means to the State of Israel,” said Ellen. “Preserving historic sites for our children, who are now young adults, is of utmost importance. They weren’t raised in a time before 1967, and don’t understand what that moment meant. They should know about the miracles that happened in our lifetime.” Ellen recognizes that most people are unaware of the breadth and scope of JNF’s work; this is something she is working to change. “People are constantly amazed when I tell them, ‘If you want to connect to Israel, JNF is the way to do it,’” she said. “If you’re interested in children’s issues, there’s the Sderot playground. For water issues, there are the JNF Parsons Water Fund projects. If your husband served in a war, you can find out about Ammunition Hill. It’s wonderful to see people get so excited about all that JNF does for the land and people of Israel. “And, once people know what we do, they’re eager to sign up.” To learn more about Makor, contact Joel Leibowitz at or 973-593-0095 ext. 820.


Plant your own tree in the land of Israel on JNF’s




Makor Member Spreads the Word

A nurse at Aleh Negev. A firefighter in Jerusalem. A forester in northern Israel. A therapeutic horseback riding instructor. A young American making aliyah. A Regional Council Director. Meet some of the dynamic women who are making Israel a better place for the next generation.

Ira Heitin JNF-KKL Forester

Photo Credit: JNF-KKL photo archive


eaning against a tall tree, Ira Heitin, 29, surveys Yehiam Forest, just outside of Nahariya, with a sense of pride. She is the first female forester at JNF-KKL who received her forestry degree in Israel, a distinction that earned her the honor of lighting a torch at Israel’s 62nd Independence Day torch lighting ceremony in May 2010. Ira is proud to join the next generation of foresters as a caretaker of the land of Israel and the honor of lighting a torch at the Independence Day celebration is one that she will remember always. “It’s really hard to explain the feeling in words,” she said. “It felt like a dream. I was one of a few people who got to stand in front of the entire nation! Thousands of pairs of eyes looked at me that evening. It felt like magic!” Ira and her parents first arrived in Israel 17 years ago from Riga, Latvia. After a year in an immigrant hostel they moved to Ma’alot, a small town surrounded by forests. Ira remembers looking out at the green landscape. She never imagined that one day this would become her life’s calling, that she would earn her living amongst the trees.

Her workdays vary: sometimes she is in the office, and some days she works outside in the forest. “I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to do something connected to nature,” she said. “For me, the Israeli forests are amazing.” With nearly three million saplings planted each year, JNF-KKL has created recreational areas in Israel’s forests so that people from all over the country can enjoy the forests as a community place. In addition to planting new forests, JNF maintains existing woodlands through pruning, clearing brush, and other fire prevention and fire fighting efforts. Thanks to experienced foresters like Ira, Israelis and tourists can enjoy green park areas. Ira says that what interests her most is to look at the trees in the forest and imagine them in another twenty or thirty years: to try to foresee how they will develop and grow and what she, as a keeper of the forest, needs to do to provide them with optimal conditions for growth. “Anyone who takes care of forests has to be very creative,” said Ira. “Today, with advanced technology and a changing

climate, it sometimes seems that there is no room for ‘old school’ forestry. But the real challenge is to use the technology in forestry practices to keep our forests strong and healthy for many years.” Ira, who lives in Nahariya, a ten minute drive from “her forest,” epitomizes a new immigrant realizing the Zionist dream of developing the land. After completing her army service, she studied in the Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot and completed a degree in plant studies. She then joined Future Foresters, JNF-KKL’s program to train the next generation of foresters, a choice that she continues to find fulfilling every day. “Every year more and more girls go into the study of forestry,” said Ira. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t make a difference whether you are a man or a woman. It’s about your love of the trees.” To learn more about JNF’s work with forestry and ecology, visit


Ellen Reisel & Kathy Shoval Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center at Kibbutz Grofit Photo Credit: Danny Hadas

n her first morning as a volunteer at the Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center at Kibbutz Grofit in 2001, Kathy Shoval recalls pulling her red instructor’s shirt over her head and anxiously rushing to greet her first patient, an 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy named Adva Yudkin. “Working with these children and adults makes me see life from a very different perspective every day, over and over again,” said Kathy. “When I work with a rider or a family that either has overcome, or has the positive outlook on life to try and overcome obstacles that life has put in their way, it doesn’t compare to anything else.” It has been more than a decade since Kathy’s first day, and Adva, now 23, is still a patient of hers. Like Kathy’s other patients, Adva’s cerebral palsy is not going to go away, and even though therapeutic riding takes years to show distinct effects, Kathy finds it rewarding all the same. “Once I get that hug from a patient, see the twinkle in their eye, or sense that they are—even for the moment—satisfied with being who they are, that is enough for me,” said Kathy. “It gives me motivation to continue in this field. Some days, I even leave with more energy than when I came.” Since 1996, therapeutic riding has been a fixture at Kibbutz Grofit in the southern Arava, thanks to Ellen Reisel, founder and supervising psychologist, and to funding from JNF. After witnessing the benefits of therapeutic riding as Director of the Psychology Clinic of the Southern Region of Hevel Eilot, Ellen was inspired to partner with Kibbutz Grofit to create a therapeutic riding center that would enable enrollment on a large scale. Now entering its fifteenth year, the center’s instructors undertake the challenging task of accommodating each patient’s mental or physical illnesses. “People deserve to develop and grow no matter the situation they are in,” explained Ellen. “At Grofit, 200 riders each week are getting a chance to feel a sense of capability. Horseback riding shows an improvement and impact not only in motor achievement, but also in building self-confidence and esteem.” As a wife and mother of three daughters, Kathy constantly finds herself juggling a long, taxing work day and taking care of her big family. “There is almost always something—a doctor’s appointment, parents’ day at school—that collides with something in my work schedule. But I have learned to be flexible both at work and at home, and to be spontaneous when life surprises me, which is almost every day.” Ellen concurs. “In my family we refer to the riding center as our ‘fourth child,’” said Ellen. “It is a life project with the Zionist aspects of building a green pasture in the desert, providing a service for those in need and the art of giving. My husband and children have been involved from day one in many different facets and they always contribute willingly.” The work that Ellen, Kathy, and the team of instructors at Grofit do is vital to the treatment of so many individuals who are fighting to overcome their illnesses. It may be difficult sometimes, but as Kathy sees it, the sense of fulfillment that she gets makes it worth it, day in and day out. “I feel privileged to be a part of these families’ lives, and thankful to them for letting me into their world,” she said. “There are plenty of days when I am frustrated with the suffering I see, but on the other hand, I get an inner glow from each and every one of my riders on a daily basis.” To learn more about JNF’s support for therapeutic riding centers, visit


t’s more than a year later but the sights, smells, and sounds of the Carmel fire are still fresh in Shoshi Mishali’s mind. “I insisted on going to the Carmel and doing my job to save lives,” she said. “The memory of those lost is a constant reminder that we have a dangerous job.” Since 2006, Shoshi has served as a combat firefighter in the Jerusalem Fire Department, responding to hundreds of calls for fires, car accidents, rescues and other emergencies. But the calls she remembers most are the terror attacks in Jerusalem. “As first responders, we often are faced with difficult situations,” said Shoshi. “I especially remember a terror attack in Jerusalem where a mother and child were trapped in a car. We weren’t able to rescue her, but we were able to save her young child.” As one of Israel’s 10 female firefighters, Shoshi may fall in the minority, “but she is an equal member of our team who sacrifices so much for the safety of the people of Jerusalem,” said Jerusalem Regional Fire Chief Shmuel Friedman. “It is admirable to watch her running up flights of stairs into a burning apartment to save lives.”

Like every Israeli, the Jerusalem native joined the Israel Defense Forces after high school, serving in the telecommunications corps. After her discharge in 1998, Shoshi worked at a gas station and a local radio station. “But I was searching for a more meaningful career where I could make a difference,” she said. For decades Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services was a menonly organization. In 2004, as part of a national change, it opened its gates to include women. When the Fire and Rescue Services sent out a call for open enrollment in 2006, Shoshi jumped at the chance to apply. Out of the 70 participants who signed up along with her for the physically and emotionally demanding eight-week course, there were only three women. “In addition to having to keep up with the guys on all levels, it was very important for us to show that we weren’t princesses,” recalled Shoshi. “We were there to be firefighters who can do the same thing and work under pressure to save lives.” As a single mother of a two-year-old boy, Shoshi is very sensitive to rescues involving children and parents. “Only

after a rescue do I let my mind wander, since I wouldn’t be able to function if I was thinking about my son while I am rescuing someone else,” she said. “I am not alone in this world––I have this child to care for and to love and I do think every time I go out to an event that I am risking my life. That’s why when I rescue children and families it means so much more to me––I can relate to the situation so much more.” Despite the stress that comes from being one of Israel’s first responders, Shoshi couldn’t imagine doing anything else. “I always wanted to be part of the firefighters, to save lives,” she confessed. “When I heard about the first female firefighter who joined in 2004, I was so excited. She inspired me to follow my dream. “To be a firefighter is challenging, fun and rewarding. After I gave birth to my son, I was back at the job three months later. People said to me, ‘Get an office job––why risk your life?’ But I love this job. It’s very dynamic and it’s who I am.” To support Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services, visit

Photo Credit: Yael Levontin

Shoshi Mishali

Firefighter, Israel Fire and Rescue Services

Sarah Cahners Hindman Photo Credit: Haim Zach


rowing up, I spent every Sunday hoping my mother would forget that I was supposed to be in Hebrew school. For me, Hebrew school doused the flickering flames of my Jewish fervor. I felt more identification with my heritage strolling down the kosher aisle of my nearest grocery store. I had no interest in an activity that made me sit indoors on sunny weekends and read a language backwards. How did a Hebrew School drop-out end up saying this past year, “L’Shana Haba’ah bi Yerushalem” (Next Year in Jerusalem) at the Passover Seder table—and truly meaning it? While the Birthright spell was powerful, it was performing community service and making a difference—for myself and for Israel—that truly solidified my need to live in Israel. In the winter of 2008, I participated in JNF’s Alternative Break to Israel. The week-long program intrigued me, since it was about working in Israel rather than tanning in traditional college spring break hot spots like Cabo. And it was a chance to see the “real” Israel, not just through a tour bus, but through hands-on experiences. To participate in the trip, each of us were required to raise $900 for the indoor recreation center that JNF built

Administrative Associate, JNF Israel

in Sderot to provide the children of the region with the everyday luxury of playtime without the worry of rocket attacks. The building was constructed to provide a safe space for the kids no matter what was happening beyond its walls, giving them security I took for granted when I was growing up. To my pleasant surprise, my friends and family actually needed little explanation as to why they should donate to the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center. It was the first time that I understood the meaning of the global Jewish community and the powerful connection that links us together. Every push of a shovel and swipe of a paintbrush I made while on this JNF program brought me closer to Israel and made me feel that I was authentically part of the Jewish community along with the people who helped fund my trip. JNF took us to places not seen by the typical tourist, enabling us to visit a broad range of towns and villages in the Negev such as Yerucham and Arad. We worked together as true Zionists, tearing unwanted weeds from the soil to make room for the delicate new roots of the trees we were planting. We learned that our hours spent painting the bomb shelters with decorative colors encouraged the local

residents and made them feel less isolated. We could see for ourselves the difference we made by serving freshly prepared meals at the nearby soup kitchens. Through our work, we became one with Israel and with each other. As the mayor of Yerucham told us, “You came here with Israel on your minds, you will get Israel on your hands, and you will leave with Israel in your hearts.” He was right. I’ve saved the work gloves I made muddy working during that winter break in Israel. They remind me of how thrilling it was to make a difference and to be part of building a great nation. With Israel in my heart, I was ready to make it my home. After working in Israel, I discovered what being a Jew means for me; it means exerting all my effort to be part of something important, extending into the future—our future. Sarah Cahners Hindman made Aliyah to Jerusalem in August 2011 from Boston, MA. She participated in JNF’s Alternative Break in the winter of 2008. She now works in JNF’s Israel office. To learn more about JNF’s Israel Advocacy and Education programs, including Alternative Break, Taglit-Birthright, and Alexander Muss High School in Israel, visit

Noa Zer

Head of Resource Development, Central Arava Regional Council


ast summer, Noa Zer and her husband, Rea, were faced with a big decision: stay in Tel Aviv, their home of the past 11 years, and focus on their successful careers—Noa as a manager of a company that specializes in bringing people to Israel for medical treatments and surgeries, and Rea as the head of the Solar Division for one of the largest companies in Israel—or embark on a completely different path and build their future somewhere else. They chose the latter. Today, they live on a small farm in Moshav Paran, about 70 miles north of Eilat, where Rea grows peppers and Noa is the head of resource development for the Central Arava Regional Council. As a new farmer, it has been a challenging experience for Rea to own a business and learn to run his own farm. Noa faces new challenges in her position as well. But what may seem like a dramatic lifestyle change fits perfectly into the couple’s vision for the future, and their desire to help create and develop something, something bigger than themselves. “There is a perception that the Arava is ‘in the middle of nowhere,’ or just a pit stop on the way to Eilat,” said Noa, “but I believe we can change that. My husband and I came to the Arava to build our life and raise our children. With the help of organizations like JNF, who act as real partners in the process of developing each project, we are sure they will have a brighter future.” While Noa had lived her whole life in the Tel Aviv area, Rea was born in Moshav Paran. “For my husband, it was coming back home,” said Noa. “For me, it is a new experience. Though it is difficult to live far away from my family and friends, the community in the Arava has embraced me and my husband. There is a strong sense of community here that has been built over the years because, living in an arid and distant area of Israel, we feel that we all share the same destiny.”

The Arava offers many benefits not available in central Israel: a peaceful way of life, being close to nature, and feeling a strong connection to the land. Noa sees herself as following in the footsteps of the inspirational women who have come before her. “Women in the Arava have played an essential part in building the community,” she said. “They worked in the fields, helped build the moshavim, and participated in every aspect of community life.” In her new position at the Central Arava Regional Council, Noa is looking to solve the challenges that come with living a considerable distance from an urban center. “What is needed is to improve the quality of life and the quality and range of services provided to the local community––from basic services like education and health, to culture and entertainment,” said Noa. Currently, the biggest difficulty is that the nearest hospital is located an hour and a half away. “There are medical needs that cannot be addressed in the Arava,” she explained. “For women, this is especially significant in relation to pregnancy monitoring and child development services.” This issue will soon be resolved with the construction of a new medical center, with the help of JNF and the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee. “I take a lot of pride in my job,” said Noa, “and wake up every morning with a strong sense of mission. And what better way to participate in the vision of settling the Negev than as a new resident in the Central Arava and as a public servant? I feel blessed to be able to help promote the community in which I live. “If you choose to live in the Arava, that means you are not afraid of challenges,” she said. “And I choose to live here.” To support JNF’s work in the Central Arava, visit

Photo Credit: Danny Hadas

Photo Credit: Amnon Gutman

Sigal Moran Head of B’nei Shimon Regional Council


n 2009, Sigal Moran was elected head of the B’nei Shimon Regional Council against an opponent who campaigned on his past as a former soldier in the prestigious IDF Special Forces. Throughout the campaign, Sigal made a point to never give an opinion regarding gender or appeal to the female audience to get votes. “I believed that I was the right person for the job and wanted to be elected because of that,” she said. She won the election in a landslide. “As long as I can remember, I have played a central role in anything I joined: counselor for a youth group, commanding officer in the IDF, plot coordinator for Kibbutz Shomria, and now as head of the B’nei Shimon Regional Council,” said Sigal. The day after the election, when speaking with news agencies, Sigal realized that she had inadvertently received an additional role: “To empower and strengthen women to believe in themselves and act by what is true for oneself, no matter the odds.” Sigal sees her role as a professional woman as equally im-

portant as her roles as mother and wife, and she is willing to work hard to be her best at both. “My message to all women and girls out there is, It is all possible and it’s definitely worth it,” said Sigal. “I have a wonderful family, successful and happy children, many loving friends, and a job which allows me to leave my humble mark on the region and the country in which I live.” Sigal was born and raised in Rishon LeZion in central Israel. It was during her military service in the IDF’s Nahal Brigade that she came to the Negev, to found a new kibbutz at Shomria. It is where she was married, where she gave birth to her children, and where she stayed for 17 years, before moving to Kibbutz Beit Kama in the northern Negev. “I chose to relocate and build my home in the Negev,” Sigal said. “Every morning that I wake up I choose yet again to stay here.” In 12 years of working with the B’nei Shimon Regional Council, Sigal has made her mark on the region. She established the council’s strategic unit, which she directed until

the end of 2008. Sigal was instrumental in bringing about significant changes in both the demographic structure and the social fabric of the council’s communities, and was the driving force behind the establishment of new neighborhoods in established villages and kibbutzim, as well as nurturing a brand new community, Givot Bar. Her efforts have clearly paid off: From 2000 to 2010, the B’nei Shimon Regional Council doubled its population, from 4,000 to 8,000. Currently, the number of people requesting housing plots in the regional council is greater than the actual amount of plots available and the population is expected to double again by 2020. For Sigal, there is no better place to live than the Negev. “I love the special air that we have here, I love the people, and I love the challenges and opportunities unfolding before our eyes,” said Sigal. “There is a real chance to influence, motivate, develop and change the Negev; this is the world to me.” To support JNF’s work with new communities, visit


Mindy Tsur Nurse, Aleh Negev

Photo Credit: Amnon Gutman

fter a recent dinner and a bedtime story, nurse Mindy Tsur kissed her eight children goodnight and made the 30-minute commute to her night shift at Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran Rehabilitative Village, a JNF partner organization, where she has worked since September 2010. “I thank God for the health of my children,” said Mindy. “Working at Aleh Negev, I see children every day who are bedridden and face a lifetime of tubes and medications. As a mother, it’s heartbreaking.” Working with critically ill children day in and day out, caregivers like Mindy forge a strong emotional connection with them. Mindy cannot help but feel protective of her patients, among them a 23-year-old whose lung disease has left her unable to speak or eat on her own. “I remember one day, she pointed to a newspaper ad for yogurt,” recalled Mindy. “Telling her that she could no longer enjoy those treats, that she could only be fed through a feeding tube, was so difficult. It was at that moment that I promised myself I would do whatever I could to make her comfortable.” It was to this young girl’s room that Mindy rushed that night, where the girl was in critical condition and unable to breathe. She survived the incident, but Mindy knows that not all are as lucky. And in moments like these, Mindy must navigate the delicate emotional balance of her professional duties and her motherly emotions for her Aleh children. While she has worked with children with special needs for two decades, Mindy only recently returned to the nursing profession, having taken time off following the birth of her fourth child 10 years ago. Now, a mother to eight children, Mindy’s focus at home is infusing her children with the same sense of Zionism that encouraged her to make aliyah from the United States. To this end, she moved her family from Jerusalem to Halutza, a recently established Negev community supported by JNF. Embodying the lifestyle of modern-day pioneers, her husband Rabbi Neriya is the principal of the Halutza elementary school and the family lives in a caravan until they have enough money to buy an actual home. “When I made aliyah at 18, I was filled with a sense that I was doing something for the Land of Israel,” she said. “Now my children get to be pioneers as well.” Mindy admits that there isn’t anything easy about juggling her roles as a mother, a nurse, and an ardent Zionist. Even after her shift is over, Mindy is still on duty. “Sometimes I will send a text message to the nurse taking care of my Aleh ‘kids’ to make sure everything is okay,” she said. “I still think about them throughout the day. I know that they may never be able to walk, no matter what I do. Every nurse knows that their patients may never be able to have children, get accepted to their dream job, or even express themselves verbally.” And yet, Mindy has no complaints. “Truthfully, I was hesitant about returning to health care, but it’s my dream to work with individuals with special needs. After my time off, I actually needed the position again––it gives me purpose,” she said. “To do something for my children, for my patients, for Israel––that is what matters to me.” To support JNF’s work with Aleh Negev, visit


oa Bahir assumed that, upon finishing her B.A. in behavioral sciences and financial management at Sapir College in the Negev, she would have to move to central Israel to find a job. She’s not alone. “There are hundreds of students interested in living in the south, but they think that there is a lack of employment opportunities so they move back to central Israel following their studies,” explained Noa. The JNF-OR Movement Negev Internship Program is helping to change that perception. The program places university students in internships with companies throughout the Negev, and many stay on as full-time employees after graduation. At any given time, there are about 900 jobs available in the Negev, but employers struggle to find people to fill them. Noa is one of over 250 students who have participated in the internship program since its inception in 2007. Each internship offers an important building block for the future of the Negev. “The internship program has helped me and my friends get our lives started with a quality job,” said Noa. “It’s a

useful platform for students in the Negev. I am developing professionally and learning a lot.” The 27-year-old Negev native––she was born and raised in Kibbutz Dorot in the northern Negev—interned as an employment coordinator at Ma’avarim, a center for employment for the B’nei Shimon, Sha’ar HaNegev, and Yoav Regional Councils. When her internship was over, she was hired as a permanent employee at Ma’avarim. Three-and-a-half years later, she continues to work there while she completes a Master’s Degree in business management at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and has since been promoted to Director of Business and Entrepreneurial Relations. Through her role at Ma’avarim, she guides people who have started new entrepreneurial ventures and small businesses, focusing on assisting the networking between businesses. Most of Noa’s friends live in the Negev as well. She can see herself settling down in the Negev, hopefully getting a managerial position, and starting a family in the near future.

Photo Credit: Amnon Gutman

Noa Bahir

Student, Negev Internship Program

“There is a lot of open space, beautiful views and the air is much cleaner here in the Negev,” she said. “And there is parking.” The only challenge Noa foresees has to do with her ability to purchase a private house. “There are a number of young couples my age living in the south who would love to purchase a home and settle down in the Negev, but are finding it hard because of the rising housing costs here,” she said. “But with organizations like the OR Movement helping with this trend, it is becoming easier.” Said Noa: “I was born here. All of my family and friends are here. I feel a connection with this special region. But I wasn’t sure if I would be able to stay here after my studies. Without this program, I would probably be living in a small one bedroom over-priced apartment in Tel Aviv. I love and feel connected to the south and I see my future here.” To donate to JNF’s work in the Negev, including the Negev internship program, visit

Let Us Play! Campaign Connects Jewish Youth to Sderot Playground ISRAEL ADVOCACY & EDUCATION


Alison Berg

Alison Berg, a sophomore at the University of Michigan, was on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip last summer when she visited JNF’s Sderot Indoor Recreation Center. She, along with the rest of her group, was moved by the significance that a simple playground made in the lives of the town’s children. While listening to the personal stories their tour guide shared of how children weren’t able to play outside before the bomb-safe playground was constructed, Alison realized that she had another connection to the Sderot Rec Center: As a member of the Jewish Community Youth Foundation in ninth grade, Alison’s

group had made a $3,300 donation to JNF’s Let Us Play! campaign to help fund the indoor playground. “Children of all ages and backgrounds have raised funds for the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center,” said Mara Suskauer, JNF’s Executive Director of Israel Advocacy and Education. “This is a JNF project that they can directly relate to and educators can easily explain, as they understand the need and importance of having a fun and safe environment to play in.” The Jewish Community Youth Foundation, a young philanthropy program run by Jewish Family and Children Services, teaches youth about the importance of giving tzedakah (charity) and how to incorporate tikkun olam (repairing the world) into their everyday lives. Each student contributes $120 that is matched by United Jewish Federation and the Ricky and Andrew J. Shechtel Philanthropic Fund. As a group, the kids decide how to spend their money. The group had chosen the Let Us Play! campaign because, as Alison explained, “I don’t think any of us could imagine a childhood without a community playground. The idea of not feeling safe in our own hometown is foreign to us. We decided that a city that sees so much tragedy deserves a

place of happiness and refuge. Living in constant fear and without joy is not really living at all.” “It’s difficult to imagine the impact that your money will have when its destination is so far away, so being there and feeling the energy that the Rec Center held was so rewarding,” said Alison. “You could tell that the citizens of Sderot felt safe when their kids were playing in the Rec Center, and it was one of the few places that a family could play carefree. I also think it had a big impact on my Birthright group. Seeing me react so strongly gave them the sense that even as students thousands of miles away in America, we can make a difference.” Standing in the very playground that she had helped fund, Alison remembers being overwhelmed with happiness. “I cried as I moved slowly through the Rec Center and marveled at every piece of equipment. The tour guide hugged me and cried with me as she thanked me over and over again. I had an amazing sense of pride and though tears were flowing from my eyes, I could not stop beaming.” To learn more about Let Us Play!, visit let-us-play.

Act Now! Rates will be going down on April 1, 2012. S i n g l e - l i f e g i f t A n n u i t y* Age






65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73

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

74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82

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

83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 & over

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

Earn up to 11.3% on your money, and 100% of a nation’s gratitude. For as little as $5,000, you can help achieve your financial goals and those of a nation—Israel. There is more reason than ever to create a charitable gift annuity with Jewish National Fund. JNF offers planned giving opportunities that give you a generous return, the benefit of tax savings, plus recognition in Israel. At the same time, JNF receives much-needed support to continue major projects ranging from water conservation, education and planting trees to building security roads and enhancing the quality of life for the people of Israel.

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

*Two life rates will vary

JNF is rated a top charity by the American Institute of Philanthropy and meets the 20 rigorous standards of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.

Creative Ways For Women to Give: Sapphire Legacy Society GERI SHATZ wanted to do some-

2012 is a Good Time for Charitable Gift Annuities By Matt Bernstein, CFP, JNF Chief Planned Giving Officer As you read this 2011 will be a recent memory, and with it one of the most volatile years in history with regard to the stock market. Financial news focused on the overall level of our country’s debt, the downgrade of U.S. Treasury obligations, and the European debt crises. Every mention of a solution to these problems propelled the stock market hundreds of points higher in a single day, only to be followed by equally stunning declines the very next day. Added to this scenario were interest rates so low that hiding cash in a mattress seemed like a very prudent investment strategy. For many of our donors the extreme market volatility and record low saving and investment rates are not only confusing but impact spending and life decisions, such as retirement, as

well. Also affected is their ability to support causes that are important to them, including Jewish National Fund. Now may be a good time to explore the option of supporting JNF through our charitable gift annuity program. As many of our donors already know, JNF runs one of the most successful charitable gift annuity programs in the country. This is because we offer very competitive annuity rates and our donors enjoy the stability of receiving a steady, reliable income check with the knowledge that their support of Israel goes undiminished. How does this work? A JNF charitable gift annuity is a simple agreement that offers our donors a lifetime income in exchange for their gift. In addition to the income there are valuable tax advantages such as tax-free income, an income tax deduction, and the avoidance of lump sum capital gains taxes if the donation is made with long-term appreciated stocks or mutual funds. Our annuities can be structured to cover one or two lives and can even be designed to act

like a supplemental retirement plan by deferring income for a number of years. To the right is a sampling Age 65 6.0% of the single-life annuity rates Age 70 6.5% we currently offer. These rates for a single-life Age 75 7.1% gift annuity are very comAge 80 8.0% petitive when compared to Age 85 9.5 % investment rates in the com+ mercial markets. The rates for Age 90 11.3% a two-life annuity are lower Rates going down April 1 than those listed here, but are still very attractive. To receive more information, including a detailed illustration of how a JNF charitable gift annuity might benefit you, please call 800-562-7526 and speak with any of our award-winning Planned Giving specialists. We are ready to answer all of your questions.


Here’s how it works: Shatz purchased a life insurance policy with a face value of $100,000 and named JNF as owner and irrevocable beneficiary. To fund the policy, Shatz will write a check to JNF in the amount of $1,000 each year. JNF will, in turn, pay the premium to the insurance company. This will allow her to preserve her tax deduction. Upon her demise, JNF will receive the $100,000 and will establish an endowment in Shatz’s name whose purpose is to permanently fund her Sapphire gift. “I will continue to make a major gift to Geri Shatz, former National Chair of the Sapphire Society, pinning new Sapphire Janis Dickman at Zuqim. the annual campaign of JNF, and now will be a Sapphire member eternally, which and, just as I have, you’ve locked in a gift in perpetuity to a is so meaningful,” she said. “This is a great way to have your cause that is close to your heart.” To learn more about the Sapphire Legacy Society, concommitment continue even when you can no longer make a gift, and it does not affect the inheritance you leave for your tact JNF’s Planned Giving Department at 800-562-7526. family. You can set this up now, when the cost is manageable,


thing important through Jewish National Fund for the State of Israel, but, said the Bucks County, PA resident, “there’s a real limit to how much more I could give each year.” The answer: Shatz bought a $100,000 life insurance policy and named JNF as the owner. Geri Shatz “I wanted to make a statement with this decision,” she said, “and I hope others, particularly other women, follow suit. It’s important for women to be part of the major gift conversation. For Sapphire Society members who have filled out their pins, this is a way to open up a ‘second century of giving.’ Our donors will have the opportunity for permanent recognition for this action.” In October 2009, the Sapphire Legacy Society was introduced for members to use life insurance policies to create a gift in perpetuity for The Sapphire Society, JNF’s women’s major gifts division. As visionaries who recognize the importance of developing the land and improving the quality of life for the people of Israel, Sapphire Society members act not only as an integral part of Israel’s present, but also as a key to its future. Shatz’s involvement in JNF is enthusiastic and far-reaching. She is Secretary for the National Board of Directors, is actively involved in Makor, JNF’s leaders group, and serves on the JNF Parsons Water Fund Board. And now, Shatz has endowed JNF with a major gift forever in her name.




(L-R) Mark Engel (Century Club), Melvyn Ruskin (Century Club), Sharon Pikus (Century Club), Rubin Pikus (Century Club), and Michael Kessler (Herzl Society) at the Long Island Golf and Tennis Classic.

(L-R) Ari Wise (Herzl Society), Jeremy Halpern (Century Club), and Ira Steinberg (Herzl Society) at the Bayonne Golf Outing.

(L-R) Russell Robinson, JNF Chief Executive Officer, and Ben Jablonski (Herzl Society) at Shabbat in the Park.

The Greenbaum family posed with their award at the Tree of Life™ Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria. (L-R) Jessica, Allison, David (World Chairman’s Council), and Laureine (World Chairman’s Council, Circle of Sapphire) with JNF President Stanley Chesley (World Chairman’s Council).

  New England Zone

Laureine Greenbaum (World Chairman’s Council, Circle of Sapphire) and David Greenbaum (World Chairman’s Council) at the Tree of Life™ Dinner in their honor at the Waldorf-Astoria.

(L-R) Rabbi Eric Lankin, JNF Chief of Institutional Advancement and Education, Joan Ginsburg (Century Club), and JNF CEO Russell Robinson at JNF House.

(L-R) Richard Noone (President’s Council), Joyce Guior Wolf (Negev Society), Judi Elovitz Greenberg (Sapphire President Emeritus), Sarah Goldstein (Century Club), Sandy Davis (Century Club), Amy Parsons (Sapphire President, Circle of Sapphire, Century Club), Sharon Freedman, National Campaign Director, and Brian Nagle at a Women’s Alliance lunch hosted by BNY Mellon.

(L-R) Judith Sydney (Sapphire Society), Yadira Patkin (World Chairman’s Council, Circle of Sapphire), Amy Parsons (Sapphire President, Circle of Sapphire, Century Club), Sandy Davis (Sapphire Society, Century Club), and Christina Zlotnick (Sapphire Society) at a Women’s Alliance lunch hosted by BNY Mellon.

JNF New England Sapphire Society President Amy Parsons (right) welcomed new Sapphire Valerie Friedman of Brookline at a Sapphire Society dinner.

(L-R) Matt Cohen, Barak Lurie (Herzl Society), and Matt Fragner (President’s Council) came together to speak on behalf of the Lawyers for Israel Society at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers.

(L-R) Tom Morgan (Herzl Society) presented outgoing L.A. Board President and Century Club member Larry Russ with a plaque of appreciation for his dedicated leadership and service to JNF.

  Los Angeles Zone

(L-R, standing) Lawrence Cohen (Century Club, President’s Council) and Regional Director Sara Hefez; (L-R, seated) Joe Stone (Century Club, Herzl Society) and Adam and Christina Zlotnick (Sapphire Society) at the JNF National Conference.

(L-R) Jeffrey Davis (Century Club, President’s Council), State Treasurer Steve Grossman, Todd Patkin (World Chairman’s Council), Sharon Freedman, National Campaign Director, and Robert Cohan (President’s Council). Patkin was presented with a plaque for his dedication, passion and commitment to Israel at a tribute dinner in his honor.

(L-R) David Frank (Century Club), Robin Frank (Sapphire Society), Marty Singer (President’s Council), Deena Singer (Sapphire Society), Barak Lurie (Herzl Society), Stacey Lurie, Judy Levin (Sapphire Society) and Bud Levin (World Chairman’s Council) at a country western line dance party to benefit Aleh Negev and the Arava Institute hosted by the Singers.

Florida Zone

(L-R) Broward board member Judi Edelman (Sapphire Society), national board member Myron Stayman (Century Club), Debbie Stayman (Century Club, Sapphire Society), and Broward board member Alan Cohn at the Broward board kick-off event.

(L-R) Richard Rappaport (Century Club) and Gideon Shavit, CEO of AMHSI, with the Wall of Remembrance plaque that Rappaport proudly dedicated to his late parents, Sam and Lena.

(L-R) At the 2011 JNF National Conference in Cincinnati, Sapphire Society members Mary Ellen Hogan, Tina Gordon, Ida Raye Chernin (Century Club), Dr. Shari Yudenfreund-Sujka, Tampa Bay Co-President Betsy Marcadis, and Orlando Board President Jim Riola (Herzl Society) promoted next year’s conference, which will be held in Orlando.


(L-R) Harvey Hertz (World Chairman’s Council) visited with Gideon Shavit, CEO of the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, at a breakfast meeting in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.


(L-R) Ida Raye Chernin (Century Club, Sapphire Society), Tina Gordon (Sapphire Society), Tampa Bay Co-President Betsy Marcadis (Sapphire Society), Florida Zone President Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council), and Orlando Regional President Jim Riola (Herzl Society) enjoyed the JNF National Conference in Cincinnati and promoted next year’s conference to be held in Orlando.

Florida Zone President Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council), together with his family, presented his parents and his brother’s inlaws with a JNF “Golden Book of Marriage” certificate on their 60th and 50th anniversaries. (L-R, back row) Robert Gould, Norman Gould, Jeanne Gould, Rebecca Conviser, Steve Conviser, Lorraine Conviser-Gould and Jeffery Gould (Herzl Society); (front) Bruce Gould.

(L-R) Broward board member Sharon Gilbert (Sapphire Society) and Vivian Grossman (Century Club, Circle of Sapphire) at the Broward board kick-off event.

(L-R) South Palm Beach board member and Education Chair Cantor Elaine Shapiro (President’s Council, Sapphire Society) and South Palm Beach board member and Community Campaign Chair Sandra Crain (Sapphire Society) at a meeting of the South Palm Beach Board of Directors at the Boca Grove Plantation Country Club.

Palm Beach board member Charles Kramer (President’s Council) at a phone-a-thon held at the JNF office in Boca Raton.

(L-R) Glenn Gilzean, alumnus of the Alexander Muss High School in Israel program, and Dr. Rob Norman (Century Club) at Tampa Bay’s 3rd annual Doctors for Israel Society dinner at The Palm Restaurant.

(L-R) Broward Board President Beckie Fischer (Sapphire Society), Broward/Palm Beach Regional Director Laura F. Sherry, Vivian Grossman (Century Club, Circle of Sapphire), Debbie Ring and Lorelei Ennis at the Broward kick-off event.

(L-R) Ofir Fisher, founder and director of the OR Movement, South Palm Beach board member Jan Silverman (Sapphire Society), Sydelle Lazar (President’s Council, Sapphire Society) and Laura F. Sherry, Broward/Palm Beach Regional Director, at the kick-off musical reception for the Gateway to the Negev Visitor and Information Center.

Sydelle Lazar (President’s Council, Sapphire Society) and South Palm Beach Board President Michael Lazar (President’s Council) at the musical reception kick-off for the Gateway to the Negev Visitor and Information Center held at the home of South Palm Beach board member Ken Esrig in Boca Raton.

Mid-Atlantic Zone


Cyna Cohen (Sapphire Society) was presented with a Sapphire Society plaque for her continual support of the Women’s Campaign for Israel in Washington, DC.

(L-R) Amy Krupsky, Washington DC Board President Ken Krupsky (President’s Council), and Dr. Orr Karassin, professor at the Open University of Israel in Ra’anana, at the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center.

Delaware immediate Past President David Margules (Century Club, Makor, President’s Council) received a plaque in honor of his contributions to JNF and Ammunition Hill.

Sheldon and Ruth Weinstein (Century Club, President’s Council) proudly accepted a plaque honoring their many years of dedication to Israel and JNF in Delaware.

(L-R) Suzie Levene (Sapphire Society) congratulated newest Baltimore Sapphire Leah Rosin at a Women’s Campaign for Israel event in Baltimore.

(L-R) Karen Fellner (Sapphire Society), Lynn Kapiloff (Sapphire Society), Rita Stein (Sapphire Society), National Campaign Director Diane Scar (Sapphire Society), and Gail Kushner (Sapphire Society) enjoyed an event in Rockville, MD honoring Dr. Chet and Rita Stein on behalf of JNF and the Arava Institute.

Midwest Zone

28 Mid-Atlantic Zone President Baruch Fellner (Century Club, President’s Council) congratulated Rita Stein (Sapphire Society) and Dr. Chet Stein (Century Club, Makor, President’s Council) on receiving the Peace Building and Environmental Stewardship Award from the Arava Institute in Rockville, MD.

Dr. Chet Stein (Century Club, Makor, President’s Council) and Rita Stein (Sapphire Society) received the Arava Institute’s Peace Building and Environmental Stewardship Award at a dinner in their honor; they are shown here with guest speaker Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed (right) from the Arava Institute.

Incoming Delaware Board President Joel Friedlander (Herzl Society) with a plaque honoring his dedication to JNF and Aleh Negev.

National Circle of Sapphire Chair Dr. Toby Mower (L-R) Karen Budin (Sapphire Society), Ethan Budin (President’s Council) and Sue Sacks addressed the Maryland board about the progress of Sapphire Society projects in Israel. (Sapphire Society, President’s Council) at the Chicago Tree of LifeTM dinner.

(L-R) Laurie Glenner, Tal Brody, Israeli basketball hero, and Cary Glenner (President’s Council). Cary was honored as a member of the University of Illinois ZBT Graduating Class of 1977.

(L-R) Lisa Gendell and incoming Chicago Regional President Scott Gendell (Century Club, Herzl Society) at the Chicago Tree of LifeTM Dinner.

(L-R) JNF National President Stanley M. Chesley (World Chairman’s Council) with Tree of Life™ Award recipients Nina and Eddie Paul (Century Club, Negev Society). The Tree of Life™ Dinner, combined with the National Conference in Cincinnati, was a huge success.

(L-R) Past Tree of Life™ award recipients and strong JNF supporters Dick Weiland (Herzl Society), Oscar Robertson, and Eileen and John Barrett (Century Club, President’s Council) joined JNF to honor this year’s recipients.

(L-R) Alan and Diane Weber (Herzl Society), Barry Simon, and Ellen and Joel Golub celebrated with over 800 people at the Tree of Life™ Award Dinner.

(L-R) JNF’s Negev Society Chairperson Bill Miller (Century Club) of St. Louis/Del Mar and Ellen and Adam Beren (President’s Council) of Wichita, Kansas visited the new Sderot water reservoir, which provides irrigation water for farmers in the Sderot region.

(L-R) Dan Geller (Herzl Society), Chuck Whitehill (President’s Council), Regional Director Debbie Rothschild, and Nancy and Joel Kay (Century Club) enjoyed a beautiful evening at the home of JNF President Stanley Chesley during the National Conference in Cincinnati.

(L-R) Stanley Cohen, Edward and Linda Goldston (Century Club) and their son Joe Goldston at the Pittsburgh Guardian of Israel reception, where Ed received the 2011 award.

(L-R) Rob, Megan, Layne and Brock Glimcher (Century Club) of Pittsburgh, PA with Ariel Kotler at the Teveria Fire Department after dedicating a new mini-pumper fire truck.

(L-R) Board Co-Chair Richard Marcus, guest speaker Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council), Board Co-President Rusti Moffic, (Sapphire Society), Board Co-President Enid Bootzin Berkovits, Board Co-Chair Selma Zeiger (Sapphire Society), and Wisconsin Regional Director Sidney Rivkin congratulated Rusti Moffic as she received her Sapphire Pin at the Wisconsin Region’s annual banquet.

(L-R) Wisconsin Regional Director Sidney Rivkin, Board Co-President Rusti Moffic (Sapphire Society), and Lorraine Mitz (Herzl Society) welcomed Bruce Gould (World Chairman’s Council) as guest speaker at the Wisconsin Region’s annual banquet.

(L-R) Doris Gendelman (Century Club), Richard Edelman, Lisbeth Rattner, and Nina Edelman posed in front of a JNF-donated fire truck with the Hadera Fire Chief on their trip to Israel.

Northeast Zone


(L-R) Elissa Heilicher (Sapphire Society) and Phyllis Heilicher visited the Sderot Reservoir as well as several other JNF sites including Givot Bar, Aleh Negev and the Be’er Sheva River Park.


(L-R) Russell Robinson, JNF Chief Executive Officer, Beverly Rubenstein (World Chairman’s Council, Circle of Sapphire), and Andrew Rubenstein (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Council) at the Central New Jersey major donor thank you event.

(L-R) Steve Squires (Herzl Society) and Mark Rattner (Century Club, President’s Council, Makor) at the Central New Jersey major donor thank you reception.

(L-R) Joel Leibowitz, Northeast Zone Director, and Andrew Solomon (World Chairman’s Council, President’s Council) enjoyed the Central New Jersey Golf Tournament at Echo Lake Country Club.

Alan Blumenfeld (Century Club) and Helene Blumenfeld (Sapphire Society) at the dedication honoring Alan’s parents and sister at the hydrotherapy pool at Aleh Negev.

President’s Council members Caryn and David Bross, Pam Benedon (Sapphire Society), and Bob Benedon (Makor chair-elect, Major Donor Campaign Chair), picked organic carrots in Halutza and witnessed desert farming first-hand.

(L-R) Betsy Fischer (Century Club) was presented with a special gift by Ariel Kotler and Israel Fire Chief Shahar Tzairi for the fire truck donated by the Fischer family in honor of Jameson Fischer’s bar mitzvah.

Southern Zone

(L-R) Beth Gluck, Abe Levine (Century Club, President’s Council), Michael Miller (Century Club, President’s Council), JNF CEO Russell Robinson, Rosie Fiedotin (Century Club, President’s Council), Gladys Hirsch (Century Club), and Arnoldo Fiedotin (Century Club, President’s Council) at the Fiedotin home.

(L-R) Michael Miller (Century Club, President’s Council), Morris Maslia, Abe Levine (Century Club, President’s Council), Russell Robinson, Rosie Fiedotin (Century Club, President’s Council), Gladys Hirsch (Century Club), and Arnoldo Fiedotin (Century Club, President’s Council) at the Fiedotin home.

(L-R) Katri Maoz, Executive Director of Ammunition Hill, Gregg Philipson (President’s Council), and Nachum Baruchi, Chairman of Ammunition Hill, took part in a dedication ceremony at Ammunition Hill in Israel.

Western Zone


Dr. Garet Gordon (Herzl Society) and wife Bernice Friedman at a get-together of the Las Vegas Board of Directors in the sukkah of Efraim and Judy Berkovitz.

JNF Las Vegas Board President Bob Dubin (Century Club), center, presented a plaque to Shel Kolner, President of Bet Knesset Bamidbar, and Doris Ross, administrator of Bet Knesset Bamidbar, for planting thousand of trees in Israel.

Alan Cohen (center) with his Israeli cousins Shlomo and Varda Berlin at the dedication ceremony for the Cohen Forest. The forest, which will be planted in memory of Alan’s grandson Noah Warren Cohen, is located within the Lahav Forest, 10 kilometers north of Be’er Sheva.

(L-R) During the JNF President’s Council Mission to Israel, David Findley (Negev Society, Century Club) met up with Major General Doron Almog at the Aleh Negev Rehabilitative Village to see the difference his gift will make for the adults and children with mental and physical disabilities living at Aleh Negev. His gift was made in memory of his wife, Miriam Mazow Findley.

Marlene Maier (President’s Council, Century Club, Lifetime Sapphire), Northern California’s Regional President, celebrated after completing the Israel Ride with Team JNF.

(L-R) Arizona Regional Director Ted Kort, Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick, and Marc Kelman (Century Club, President’s Council) celebrated a successful campaign year by proudly displaying their caps at the “10 Club” dinner.

(L-R) Si Eisenberg (Century Club), Rick Krosnick, Marc Kelman (Century Club, President’s Council), and Carol Ford (Circle of Sapphire, President’s Council, Century Club).

(L-R) National Chair of the Women’s Campaign for Israel Terry Katz (Century Club, President’s Council, Sapphire Society) pinned new Sapphire Society member Myra Chack Fleischer, JNF San Diego Board President, during a board meeting.

(L-R) Laurie Coleman (Sapphire Society) and Linda Church (Sapphire Society), JNF San Diego Board Major Gifts Chair, at a Women’s Campaign for Israel event.

30 On a trip to Israel, Dr. Alan Fisher (Negev Society, Century Club, Doctors for Israel) visited A Better Place, an electric car/sustainable transportation company. Alan and his wife, Dr. Barbara Sommer (Negev Society, Century Club, Doctors for Israel), held a JNF parlor meeting at their home in Atherton, CA to build awareness of and support for the construction of a new medical facility in the Central Arava.

JNF San Diego Sapphire Society members welcomed newest member Laurie Coleman at a Women’s Campaign for Israel event co-hosted by Linda Church and Lauren Lizerbram. (L-R) Board President Myra Chack Fleischer (Sapphire Society), Laurie Coleman (Sapphire Society), Major Gifts Chair Linda Church (Sapphire Society), and Women’s Campaign for Israel Chair Lauren Lizerbram (Century Club, President’s Council, Sapphire Society).

(L-R) Carol Ford (Circle of Sapphire, President’s Council, Century Club), Ann Zinman (Sapphire Society, President’s Council) and past Arizona Regional President Burt Kruglick (Century Club) celebrated the completion of the campaign year.


Exploring Our History, Ensuring Our Future By Linda Marks Shapiro

ON A 1992 TRIP TO ISRAEL, my hus-

AMHSI is the only program in Israel that is accredited as an American high school, enabling students to seamlessly continue their studies while abroad. Sessions use the well-known campus at Hod Hasharon and, beginning with the April 2012 session, will also use the newly-built dorm on the new campus in Eshel Hanassi in the Negev. To help promote the program, over the last few years, AMHSI has sent a number of teachers and educators to Israel to experience AMHSI firsthand. These teachers live and learn the AMHSI way, traveling with the students, learning in the classroom, and touring the facilities. After their AMHSI experience, the teachers return to their home communities and schools as strong advocates for AMHSI, recognizing the unique value the program offers and helping spread the AMHSI word across the country. After retiring from AMHSI as Director of Admissions, I stayed involved with the organization and became a member of the National Board of AMHSI; it is an honor I cherish. Through AMHSI’s partnership with JNF, I have also become more involved in JNF, and had the opportunity to attend the last few JNF National Conferences. At the 2011 National Conference in Cincinnati, co-chaired by Andrew Klein and Dr. Melinda Wolf, a fellow AMHSI National Board member, AMHSI welcomed JNFuture members at an AMHSI-JNF dessert reception hosted by the Chair of the AMHSI Board, Stephen Muss, for whose father the school is named. Working together, AMHSI and JNF help students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to empower them to be leaders for Israel. The secret of Jewish continuity is to send our young people to Israel; it has been proven in many studies that developing a connection to Israel during the formative high school years is most impactful. AMHSI, JNF, and the land of Israel itself provide the path to Jewish identity. Having the opportunity to work with students and influence their path has been a privilege for me. Seeing them depart for Israel, when they are just about to find out who they really are, and then seeing them upon their return, more mature and with a different look in their eyes, made me feel that our collective job of providing them the path to Jewish identity was accomplished—they could and would now take over carrying the torch. I cannot think of a greater measure of success.

SESSION April 2012 Summer 1 Summer 2 September 2012 December 2012

DEPART April 17 June 19 June 27 September 4 November 27

RETURN June 12 July 31 August 8 November 2 January 22, 2013

Full semester programs now available! Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 For more information, visit

AMHSI AND JNFUTURE During the recent JNF National Conference, AMHSI participants spoke at the JNFuture Affinity Breakfast, Teen Conference, and JLIM Reunion Breakfast and attended the Tree of Life™ dinner. The JNFuture Leadership Institute Mission, which included some AMHSI alumni, visited AMHSI’s Hod Hasharon campus while in Israel this summer and talked about getting people involved with JNF and AMHSI, first as young children, then as AMHSI students, and then as JNFuture members.

To see some of the JLIM highlights at AMHSI, go to

DID YOU KNOW? Students continue with their high school subjects, such as math, science, and foreign language, while studying abroad at AMHSI. AMHSI is an accredited American high school by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Students on the AMHSI program earn their high school credits, exchanged on their transcripts through curriculum planning between AMHSI and their home high school. They are also eligible to earn up to nine college credits. Not only are they furthering themselves on their college career paths, but most students return to their high school classes having advanced further in the high school curriculum than their classmates.


band, Jerry, and I visited our niece, Tracy Kaplowitz Seitz, who was attending the September session of Alexander Muss High School in Israel. While on the AMHSI campus, we went to class, rode on the bus, and participated in the day’s study. We came away with the realization that Tracy was learning more about Israel and Jewish history in eight weeks than we had learned in our entire lives. We immediately called the national AMHSI office asking for someone to come to our hometown of Greensboro, NC and speak with our local Jewish high school students about this important and lifechanging opportunity. As a result of this visit, the Chico Sabbah family began a scholarship, making it possible to send all Greensboro teens to AMHSI to study. This has had an exponential effect on the individual students, their families, the Greensboro community at large, and the whole Jewish community worldwide. It is a dream for many of us that every Jewish teen have the opportunity to attend AMHSI! I was later asked to join the AMHSI staff as Director of Admissions to help recruit students from across the country. Having seen firsthand the unique aspects of AMHSI —learning the history of the Jewish People—I was excited to be able to share the AMHSI experience with teens and their families and help them through the process to attend AMHSI. I cannot imagine a more exciting way of learning than the AMHSI experience!


AMHSI promotes, builds, and strengthens lifelong bonds between youth and Israel through the study of the history and culture of the people of Israel. AMHSI is a premier academic experience in Israel that prepares students for college and beyond. Since its founding in 1972, AMHSI has successfully impacted over 20,000 students. To learn more, visit or call 800-327-5980.

EXPERIENCE ISRAEL WITH JNF THE ROAD TO JERUSALEM MISSION 45 Years After the Reunification: May 15 - 22, 2012

A once-in-a-lifetime experience, unique to JNF • Start in the Golan and end in Jerusalem, as you experience the Six-Day War unfold • Enjoy VIP status and meet high-level dignitaries, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, at a special ceremony in honor of the 45th Anniversary of Jerusalem’s unification at Ammunition Hill, the official site in Israel where Yom Yerushalayim is celebrated annually.

Upcoming Trips and Missions: Sounds of Israel Mission: April 21 – 28, 2012

Culinary, Wine and Arts Mission: March 1 – 11, 2013

Explore the sights and sounds of Israel from the Carmel Forest region in the north to the new communities in the Negev. Celebrate Israel’s National Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut, in the heart of Jerusalem and attend the famous ceremony at Mt. Herzl.

Explore Israel’s food, wine and culinary scene while experiencing Israel’s arts and cultural institutions. Enjoy cooking lessons with top Israeli chefs, wine tastings with renowned wine connoisseurs, participate in workshops with famous artists and visit important JNF sites.

Sunshine Mission: June 3 – 12

Israel at 65: Independence Day Mission April 14 – 18, 2013

Experience Israel with Hal Linden, JNF’s National Spokesperson, aka “Barney Miller.” Begin in ancient times and travel through the ages to modern Israel gaining a sense of Israel’s important history, current life and hopes for the future.

Join JNF on a mega mission for Israel’s 65th anniversary. Travel throughout Israel and experience Yom Hazikaron, Day of Remembrance, and Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, in Israel with Israelis.

Discover Israel Mission: October 28 – November 7

Experience More

Travel throughout Israel visiting important JNF projects as well as major tourist sites. With 11 days on the ground in Israel, this longer mission offers participants a truly in-depth experience that includes a plethora of interesting, exciting and unique activities.

JNF One Day Tours: Wednesdays Only have a day? Visit the Ayalon Institute, a secret bullet factory established during the War of Independence, the new Negev community in Givot Bar, and walk in the footprints of Abraham at the Be’er Sheva River Park.

To register for one of these unique tours of Israel or for more information, contact JNF Travel & Tours: • 877-JNF-TOUR (563-8687)


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