Tuesday, June 26, 2018

From Hawaii to Yerucham: Don Wong on why he works to develop Israel's desert

Don Wong, third from right, with friends on Ride for Yerucham 2018. The first time Wong visited Yerucham,
he was struck by the residents' pioneering spirit.
Ride for Yerucham 2018, a four-day mountain biking trip through the desert of southern Israel, took place at one of the top seven spots in the world for mountain biking. Among those cycling through the Negev in March to raise money for the fast-growing little town southeast of Be'er Sheva was Don Wong, a retired management consultant from Kaneohe, Hawaii, and a member of the Jewish National Fund's Yerucham's Task Force since last year.

Don, an evangelical Christian with a background in public health, first visited Israel in 2001 on a Bible teaching tour. He started planting trees through JNF, and felt his connection to Israel strengthen even more after he and his wife Vivien, a retired radiologist, joined the JNF Doctors for Israel Tour in 2014 (Vivien will return to Israel in October to teach radiology residents at the Galilee Medical Center.) We spoke to Don about his passion for Israel and his involvement with JNF and Yerucham. Here are his answers, lightly edited.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Desert days in Israel on JNF trip remind student that water is life

Student Owen Harrison participated in JNF's latest Caravan for Democracy trip.

Owen Harrison, a student at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, participated in JNF's Caravan for Democracy Student Leadership Mission, a 10-day, fully subsidized trip to Israel for non-Jewish student leaders who've never been.

By Owen Harrison

For most of my life, I've had the privilege of never to having to worry about water -- where it’s coming from, or if it will run out. However, that luxury has begun to change for many people. There's a growing water crisis: People living in South Africa are currently allotted 6 gallons of water a day; to put that into perspective, the average American uses between 80-100 gallons of water daily. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Joe Adler, an immigrant’s story

By Joe Adler

Some come to America to escape oppression, others because of lack of opportunity and hunger. Most, however, are drawn to our country’s promise of a better tomorrow, not just for themselves, but, more importantly, for their children. For me, it was my mother's idea... 

I arrived in the United States at age 15, unaccompanied, after a two-week voyage on board the trans-Atlantic Israeli Zim Lines cruise ship SS Zion, in June, 1957.

My story, however, began 16 years earlier, in 1941, when my parents, Olga and Aaron Adler, escaped Hungary on board the Darien II, the very last refugee ship out of Europe.