Over 1,400 supporters of the land and people of Israel, including nearly 250 from New England, united in Boston on Nov. 4-6, 2022, for an unforgettable and riveting weekend at Jewish National Fund-USA’s largest ever National Conference. The organization’s annual symposium is unique in that it brings together high school students, college students, rabbinical students, leading philanthropists, prominent Zionist thought leaders, and Israelis from the Negev and Galilee who are directly and positively impacted by the partnership of Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF)
JNF’s president, Dr. Sol Lizerbram, announced that the organization was close to achieving its fundraising target for its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade as its supporters reclaim the Zionist narrative and stand up against Jew-hatred.
In addition to hearing from incredible speakers and influencers including Israel’s Ambassador, Michael Herzog, Ronald S. Lauder, Olga Meshoe Washington, Rachel Fish, Hen Mazzig, and Ben Freeman, attendees also celebrated the 50th anniversary of JNF’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel (Muss). Participants also learned about one of the organization’s largest initiatives ever announced—the creation of a 20-acre World Zionist Village to be built in Be’er Sheva, Israel, which will bring together Jews and Zionists of all ages and backgrounds from around the world.
Additionally, through various engaging plenaries and interactive sessions including a “Shark Tank-style,” event, attendees were impressed to learn how JNF is the largest provider of Zionist educational activities in the U.S., and how it is improving the quality of life throughout Israel by providing new beginnings for Ukrainian refugees and families making aliyah (immigration to Israel); creating new employment and housing opportunities; delivering ag-tech solutions to farmers in developing countries; empowering people with disabilities to thrive in Israeli society; solving global food and water crises, and so much more.
“A dairy farm in the desert, a 100% off the grid aquatic center in the middle of nowhere, building the finest culinary institute in the world located in the Greater Kiryat Shmona area—a region in which people never before talked about moving to, only moving from,” said JNF’s CEO Russell F. Robinson. “This is our opportunity to stand up and say to the world and to future generations, ‘we are one and we are in!’”
“We are particularly proud of the role Jewish National Fund-USA continues to play in broadening and deepening the people-to-people connection between Israel and the U.S.,” said Boston-based philanthropists and National Conference co-chairs, Risa Aronson and Michael Blank.
JNF’s National Conference also welcomed over 600 high school and college students from across the country. Other conference highlights included emotional performances by the organization’s Special in Uniform band, an initiative that empowers young people with cognitive disabilities to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and enjoy the same “rite of passage” as their peers. An exclusive late-night cocktail reception was also held for 200 young philanthropists ages 22-40.
“It’s incredible to see how my family’s philanthropic investment helps make Israel thrive,” said Boston vice president and Women for Israel chair, Rhonda Forman. “Jewish National Fund-USA’s annual National Conference is a must for anyone who considers themselves a Zionist.”
Registration is now open for Jewish National Fund-USA’s 2023 International Conference for Israel, which will take place from Nov. 30-Dec. 3. in Denver, Colorado. Sign-up at jnf.org/nc2023 or contact Sara Hefez, JNF-USA executive director, New England and the Capital District at 617-423-0999 x811 or SHefez@jnf.org.
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