Monday, January 21, 2019

Meet three inspiring young women Zionists working to protect Israel

In honor of Tu BiShvat, which is January 21, we're profiling three amazing women who proudly serve the land and people of Israel through Hashomer Hachadash, which assists farmers and ranchers faced with challenges in protecting and securing their land. 
Esther and husband, Raz

My name is Esther, and I am 24 years old, married to Raz and living in a community in the northern region of Israel. I grew up most of my life in Manchester, England, in a Zionist home and as an active member of the Bnei Akiva youth movement. 

I always had a deep connection to Israel, and felt as if it was a home away from home. After high school, I decided to take a gap year in a seminary based on a kibbutz in the north. I took part in a program to get the real "Israel experience." 

I thoroughly enjoyed my gap year and bonded with many Israeli girls on the program, which opened my eyes to what I was looking for in terms of my future. I suddenly found it difficult to accept that I was supposed to go back to England and start university, while the Israeli girls on my program were about to get drafted and give two years of their lives defending our country. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Building Israel and battling terrorism, one tree at a time

Rosaline and Alan Barron, both doctors from Newton, Mass., encourage planting trees
in Israel for Tu BiShvat. 
Alan and Rosaline Barron are kicking off their new JNF-sponsored mission right before the Jewish festival of Tu BiShvat, the "New Year for Trees." It's  time of renewal, and a celebration of nature and the environment. They are encouraging others to do the same. This article originally appeared here

By Marina Brodetsky

For years, Dr. Rosaline Barron woke up every day and asked herself the same question: “What have I done for Israel today?”

Now the recently retired gastroenterologist of Newton, Mass., has an answer -- and it's the same one every day. She's committed to planting a tree in Israel every day for the rest of her life through Jewish National Fund, continuing to help build the land of Israel.

"I can’t yet be there to live and work, but I can commit to Israel with the gift to JNF of planting one tree every day. It’s really a gift to myself,” she said. “By doing this small thing, my husband and I have participated in the ongoing journey to take care of building the land of Israel."

A child of Holocaust survivors, Barron remembers always having a Jewish National Fund Blue Box, or pushke, in the home that served as an inseparable link between Diaspora Jewry and the people of Israel. She and her husband, Alan, a retired internist, honeymooned in Israel and have returned many times, visiting the well-known sites, spending time with family, and yes, planting trees.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

JNF receives Charity Navigator's Highest Rating for 7th Consecutive Year

In a country with 1.5 million American charities, Charity Navigator, America’s leading independent charity evaluator, this month bestowed its seventh consecutive 4-star rating on Jewish National Fund (JNF-USA) for the organization’s strong financial health and a perfect score of 100.00 for commitment to accountability and transparency, placing it in the top 5% in the country.

A Chanukah message of miracles

These remarks were originally delivered  by Steven London, President of the Jewish National Fund in Boston, at the Jewish National Fund Breakfast in Boston on December 3rd. 

At the beginning of this program, we all stood and sang two national anthems, the Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah.  Hatikvah is a song of hope -- the Jewish people’s 2,000 year old hope to return to the land of Israel.  

Last night, we started our Chanukah celebration. Chanukah is about a miracle.  When the Maccabees reclaimed  our Temple in Jerusalem. And the oil we found for our Menorah  burned for eight days, not just one.  Eight crazy days, as Adam Sandler sings in his Chanukah song.  

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Joining the JNF family feeling engaged, affirmed and optimistic

By Doran Arik Miller 

In relative terms, I’m a Jewish National Fund baby. In the span of just a few months, I made my first charitable contribution to JNF, joined my local JNFuture board, and attended my first JNF National Conference. I jumped into the proverbial JNF deep end without really knowing what I was getting myself into -- I just knew I was supporting Israel, and that was enough to convince me to dip a toe in. 

Now, here I am, sitting on the other side of JNF National Conference 2018, and I feel engaged, affirmed, optimistic, motivated, moved, and so much more. But let me back up.

I grew up proudly Jewish and strongly affiliated with Israel. My mom was born there, and my maternal grandmother was too. My maternal grandfather fled Germany as a young child with his parents in the early 1930s to then-Palestine. My family members were the early Zionist pioneers, settling the land and fighting in the wars that made it a state. It is literally true that without Israel, I would not be here. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In the JNF Kitchen: Roast turkey, Mousa style

This special Thanksgiving-themed recipe of the week comes to us from La Boite, a biscuits and spices shop in New York City owned by Israeli chef and spice blender Lior Lev Sercarz

Lior and La Boite have gained international fame for mixing spices in a unique way and selling some of the world's rarest blends. Lior opened his culinary superstore after traveling and studying around the globe. His latest venture, along with Jewish National Fund-USA, is Beit Asher, a Food Innovation and Technology Center and the JNF-USA Institute of Culinary Arts in Israel's Upper Eastern Galilee. 

This initiative, which is also in partnership with, ii2020, an Israeli NGO, aims to focus on bringing food technology and innovation, business accelerators and incubators, and a world-class Institute of Culinary Arts to the Upper Eastern Galilee. With this rollout, Jewish National Fund is playing a direct role in changing the narrative and landscape for the region by creating employment, bringing new residents, and changing the look, feel, and spirit of the area.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Meeting real-life heroes on the Queen of Sheba mission to Israel

Myra (left) and JNF First Lady Lauren Lizerbram on the mission.
By Myra Chack Fleischer

It was a beautiful sunny morning in Jerusalem as 36 participants of the Queen of Sheba Mission of the Women for Israel Campaign departed our hotel on Veterans Day headed for the 9/11 Memorial. It's the only memorial for the worst terrorist attack on US soil outside of the United States. We knew it would be an emotional morning, but we were not prepared for how much so.

When we arrived, another group was there. It was Heroes to Heroes, an organization that provides healing and support for American veterans who have PTSD or are on a path to self-destruction due to their service in countries such as Iraq and/or Afghanistan. With funding help from Jewish National Fund, the Heroes to Heroes program embraces them, brings them to Israel and helps them on a road to healing the moral injury suffered.