Thursday, September 11, 2014

Calling all JNF social-media superstars!

This Israeli firefighter just got a much-needed new tool belt. Hopefully he can pry it away from his daughter. #LoveGrowsInIsrael #JNF 
You just read about a JNF-sponsored field trip for Israeli children touched by war, and you want to share the story on Facebook. Or you're in Israel on a JNF mission and visited a site you think the world should know about. What's the best way to share JNF experiences and impressions on your social-media platform of choice? Here are a few tips to keep in mind, JNF social-media superstars.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

After days of war, giving kids a chance to be kids

Israeli kids enjoy a much-needed yom kef, or fun day, sponsored by the Jewish National Fund. 
More than 2,000 Israeli kids enjoyed a much-needed reprieve from months of fear and tension recently when the Jewish National Fund took them on a field trip to the biblical gardens of Neot Kedumim, halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

In Israel, such a day is called a yom kef, or a fun day. The field trip included 
1,500 elementary school students from Sderot, a city of 24,000 located less than a mile from the Gaza border. For them, the day offered dramatic relief from the tension they live with every day.

The fun day for the children from Sderot came together in just 72 hours. Driven by their desire to do something special for the children of Sderot, staff from JNF, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL), and Neot Kedumim, as well as administrators from every elementary school in Sderot, worked around the clock to coordinate the complex logistics of the day.

"Today was a day of relief for the children of Sderot," said 
Alon Badihi, executive director of JNF Israel. "We want them to know that we love them. We want to thank them for being there for the Jewish people. We want to send them the message of how important it is for Jewish children all over Israel to keep living their lives and to remember how to have fun."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fear not, the younger generation gets it

Photo: Alicia Yaffe
JNF Social Media Executive Committee member Anne Taillandier samples the crop at Earth's Promise, a cooperative community garden farmed mostly by new immigrants from Ethiopia. 
By Vivian Grossman

I've often wondered whether generations to come will continue to fan the flame of Zionism. Will they understand the importance of how and why a strong Israel is critical to the quality of their lives in America? I've wondered how, with Holocaust survivors leaving us daily, the next generation will connect the dots and understand how Jews have survived for centuries despite countless attempts to rid us from the earth.
After recently returning from another amazing trip to Israel, I fear not. I spent a week with a group of rock-star social-media professionals from around the country who represent the leaders of tomorrow. They gave up their very valuable time to travel to Israel with the JNF and keep the message going. They're delightful, bright, funny, and serious, and they get that Zionism has a capital Z and is something to embrace. It's a word to be held in the highest esteem, not one to be disgraced.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Solidarity Mission shares impressions on i24news

Our L'Chaim Solidarity Mission has returned from an awesome week of helping out on the ground. Listen and see what they have to say. And read a compilation of emails written by mission co-chair Vivian Grossman.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Where victims of terror remember victims of terror

By Gary Hill

Ever hear the expression "You can’t get there from here?" Due to construction of a new high-speed rail line from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, it is almost a true statement as you try to find the Living Memorial dedicated to the victims of 9/11. That's correct, a memorial in Israel for victims of terrorism who died in New York City, Washington, D.C., and a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. But once you find the memorial you understand why it is in Israel and how important it is to visit.

Israel has lost nearly 3,000 civilians to acts of terrorism -- each of their names is inscribed at the Victims of Terror Memorial on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem. The United States lost nearly 3,000 victims to acts of terrorism on September 11, 2001, and each of their names is inscribed at the 9/11 Living Memorial in Jerusalem's Azazim Valley, in the Ramot neighborhood. Only one place outside of the United States lists the names of all the victims of 9/11 -- the 9/11 Living Memorial in Israel. The the 9/11 victims were of all religions and ethnic groups and came from more than 50 nations, including five from Israel.

A project of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and Keren Kayemeth Lelsrael (KKL), the memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2013. The center of the memorial is a 30-foot bronze sculpture of an American flag curled in the shape of a memorial flame. Under the flame and encased in the base of the memorial is a beam from the remains of the World Trade Center. Some of the granite base came from the Twin Towers and was donated by the city of New York. The Living Memorial Plaza sits on 5 acres and includes a curved Wall of Remembrance on which plaques with the names of 2,974 people killed on September 11, 2001 are listed.

Monday, June 30, 2014

We remember Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal

This afternoon, the world learned of the killings of the three teenagers in Israel: Naftali Frenkel, 16; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Eyal Yifrach, 19. Our prayers and thoughts go out to their families and to all who knew and loved them.

In a way, their loss is one that we all share. Each of us came to know Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal in the last two weeks through the global campaign #BringBackOurBoys. Their story and captivity brought people together from many backgrounds and nations to support their release. It was indeed an unprecedented display of emotion and community not seen in some time.

However, the fact remains that these young men were abducted and struck down for no reason. They were not soldiers but Jewish students who loved Israel, desired to learn Torah, and had their entire lives before them.

In tribute to their lasting memory, Jewish National Fund will create gardens to honor Naftali z"l, Gilad z"l and Eyal z"l.

Friday, May 23, 2014

'Fireman’s fireman' honored with new truck in Jerusalem

By June Glazer 

No. 38 is the newest fire truck in Jerusalem. Weighing in at 12 tons of red fiberglass and pulled by a 240-horsepower engine, it is capable of driving over steep hills, rocks, and ditches, and is perfectly suited for the terrain of Israel's capital city and its surrounding forests.

Last week, family and friends gathered at a fire station in Jerusalem's Givat Mordechai neighborhood to dedicate No. 38 in memory of fallen American firefighter Captain David L. Bailey from Los Angeles, California. Captain Bailey, who died in the line of duty in 2012, was known as a "fireman's fireman," and the truck, which will bear his name in perpetuity, testifies to the esteem in which he was held by those who knew and loved him.

"Dave was one of the most highly certified firefighters in the Los Angeles County Fire Department," said Sam Heller, Bailey's good friend and the force behind acquiring the fire truck for the Jerusalem fleet. "At his funeral, which was attended by over 2,000 firefighters, the fire chief who spoke asked all those assembled to rise. Then he listed multiple accreditations and one by one asked the firefighters to remain standing if they held that accreditation. After going through a long list of possible accreditations all fighters were seated, to which the Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief said, 'If Captain David L. Bailey was among us today, he would still be standing. That's the kind of professional firefighter Dave was.'"