Friday, February 24, 2017

In the JNF Kitchen: Stuffed grape leaves and zucchinis

This recipe for stuffed grape leaves and zucchinis, a classic Galilean dish, is brought to us by Paul Nirens of Galileat, which organizes unique cooking and hospitality experiences. Four or five variations of this recipe, reflecting differences between regions and home cooks in the Galilee, will appear in Nirens' new recipe book, the Galilean Kitchen. He is currently raising funds on Indiegogo for the project, which will showcase local, authentic dishes as well as the stories behind the women who create them, those who offer home-cooking classes as part of Galileat. Learn more about the book here.

How one home cooking business empowers Galilee women

Home cooking lessons from local women, thanks to Galileat. 

By Paul Nirens

Many people get up in the morning and sigh to themselves, not particularly enthusiastically, "Another day of work ahead of me." I get up and say, "Wow, I can’t wait for another day at work." That’s because over these past four years I’ve been lucky enough to run Galileat, which organizes unique cooking workshops, hospitality, and culinary experiences in the homes of my Druze, Muslim, Christian, and Bedouin neighbors here in the Galilee. I simply love what I do.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Seeing proud IDF soldiers with disabilities give it everything they've got

Alan Wolk and wife Roni, left, along with Special in Uniform Director Tiran Attia and soldiers. 

Through services for those with special needsJNF works to ensure no member of Israeli society is left behind. During February, we join the Jewish community at large to mark Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month. Here,
some thoughts from the co-president of JNF Atlanta and chair of Special in Uniform's U.S. board of governors. 

By Alan Wolk 

We just returned from our third trip to Israel, and as usual, the experience was terrific. We enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv, the spirituality of Jerusalem, the breathtaking hilltop views in Haifa, and the artistic communities in the Golan. And we loved the food wherever we went. You can’t beat the chocolate babka from Israel! The rest of our trip was spent deep-diving into several Jewish National Fund programs near and dear to our hearts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Teacher takes lessons from LOTEM, which makes nature accessible

 Photo: Jack Roldan
Noah Arber, in the tie-dyed shirt. 
JNF works all year to ensure no member of Israeli society is left behind through services for those with disabilities and special needs. During February, we join with the Jewish community at-large to mark Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month. Join us in learning about this important and vital work for all Israelis.

By Noah Arber

Last year, I took vacation time from work to travel to Israel and volunteer for Jewish National Fund. While you may have donated money to JNF to help plant trees in Israel, you may not know JNF does so much more to help Israel develop. During my time there, I spent every day doing volunteer work with a group of peers from around the country, as well as visiting various JNF sites and seeing the impact JNF has had on the development of Israel.

Although each day of our trip was unique, the day that stuck out most to me was the first, when we were privileged enough to work with an organization called LOTEM: Making Nature Accessible. LOTEM is the only organization in Israel that provides nature activities to both adults and children with special needs. I have a background in special education and it's something I'm extremely passionate about, so naturally I was moved by working with this organization -- and by working with them in a country that means so much to me.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Saplings honoring lost life take root in Israeli soil, and sisters' hearts

The author, far right, planting seedlings with her sisters at Neot Kedumim.

This personal, heartfelt story of three sisters and their meaningful planting at JNF's Neot Kedumim arrives just in time for Tu BiShvat, the "world's first Earth day." Learn more about JNF's connection to the holiday here

By Laura Ben-David

Everyone knows about the JNF trees. With more than 250 million planted over more than a century, JNF's a true institution that has changed the very landscape of Israel. Without ever getting on a plane, Israel supporters can write a check and have a tree planted in honor or in memory of a loved one. Visitors to Israel can come and personally plant a sapling, in a special garden in central Israel, to be transplanted later to a forest. But there is even another way.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Rebirth and rediscovery on the 2017 Caravan for Democracy trip

The Caravan for Democracy Student Leadership Mission is a 10-day, fully subsidized trip to Israel for non-Jewish student leaders who have never been there. The unique educational program gives participants the opportunity to explore Israel by meeting with political, cultural, and community leaders from diverse backgrounds and faiths. Here, a reflection on this year's CFD trip by a Jacksonville University student.

By Pascal Rathle

Transformation describes the essence of my Caravan for Democracy 2017 experience.