Tuesday, May 30, 2017

JNF Women: 'JNF more than the tzedakah box,' says Lila Chertman

The author, center, on the JNFuture Volunteer Vacation trip. 
By Lila Chertman

I have a deep sense of gratitude to my parents for inculcating my brothers and I with a love for Judaism and Israel. They worked very hard to afford sending us to Jewish day school, camps, trips, you name it, to make sure we not only knew about the history of our people but felt it tug at our heartstrings in all aspects of our lives. By college I was getting involved with political advocacy on behalf of the US-Israel relationship, and throughout medical school and residency I carved out time to stay involved, whether by working as a cantorial soloist leading religious services, learning from inspirational Jewish leaders by reading their books, attending conferences, or bringing my favorites to teach my friends and colleagues at lunch-and-learns I organized. But traveling to Israel on different programs was always the highlight because it made everything tangible, and left me with a taste of wanting more.

JNF Women: For Maia Aron, a 'beshert' connection to JNF

By Maia Aron

JNF, like many things in my life, was beshert. Before I tell you about why JNF is so important to me, let me tell you a bit about myself. I was born in Paraguay. Half my family is in Israel, and the other half in Paraguay. Both sides escaped Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s and found refuge in South America. I am a commercial litigator at a firm called Kozyak Tropin in Miami, Florida. I am married to Alex, the love of my life.

Two years ago, JNF Miami board president Ron Kriss invited me to a JNF event. I went and loved what I saw, but didn’t see young professionals there. So I decided to get involved and do my part to help JNF and Israel. I wanted to add my voice, with JNF’s help and Ron’s leadership. I told Ron I would get JNFuture Miami restarted. So exactly two years ago, I got a small board together and became president of my JNFuture chapter, and we haven’t stopped since. Our JNFuture chapter is strong and we are continuing to grow. We are a pioneer chapter!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

In the JNF Kitchen: Watermelon margaritas inspired by Israel's Arava

It's Friday, the temperatures are climbing and it's time to celebrate the watermelon season in the Arava -- with a twist! The Arava desert is a region characterized by sharp climate changes, extreme topographical conditions, scarce water, and dramatic natural beauty. It's a key focus of JNF's Blueprint Negev initiative

Monday, May 15, 2017

Evangelical Christian student reflects on powerful JNF mission to Israel

The author in Israel, overlooking the Galilee. 
By Tremayne Smith

As a Southern African-American evangelical Christian who spent his formative years in church, my devotion to Judeo-Christian values is unbending. 

I hail from Salisbury, North Carolina. My identical twin brother and I were raised by a single mother. There was always an emphasis on and appreciation for the value of hard work. 

I attended East Carolina University for my undergraduate degrees in music education and political science. In my role as student body president of 28,000 students, my eyes were opened to the convoluted yet rewarding world politic. It was in the role of student body president that I began participating in the annual AIPAC conference as a delegate. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

In the JNF Kitchen: Super easy tahini from Israel, with a twist

Tahini with goat yogurt

Meshek Hefer
Edna and one of her beloved goats.
This week's recipe is as simple, yet as delicious, as can be. 

It comes from Edna Hefer of Meshek Hefer (Hefer Farm), a ranch located in Abirim in Israel's Western Galilee. The family-owned and family-run farm operates based on principles of self sufficiency, with very few hired employees, and guests pitching in by feeding and milking the farm animals. 

The farm has a dairy that makes goat milk products under the name Edna’s Cheeses. The cheese, along with other local goods such as olive oil, olives, and unique wines from nearby boutique wineries, can be purchased by taking it straight out of the refrigerator and putting money right into the register. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Hear what KKL-JNF's forestry rep Johannes Guagnin told the UN

Johannes Guagnin at the United Nations
Guagnin with KKL-JNF's chief Israel emissary at the United Nations this week. 

Johannes Guagnin, coordinator of research and foreign relations in the forestry department of KKL-JNF, delivered the following remarks at the United Nation's Forum on Forests this week.  

At the outset, I would like to thank the chair and the members of the bureau for their leadership and for convening this session, as well as the secretariat for their invaluable work in preparation for and during this session of UNFF. 

This week, the State of Israel celebrates its 69th Independence Day. It is therefore truly fitting that as we celebrate the birth of our country, we are also here to discuss the future of forests, which give life to our planet and livelihood to so many of its inhabitants.