created at: 2010-02-22

Kibbutz Shoval recently held a ceremony to honor their local partner for its dedication to alleviate the water crisis in Israel.  Russell Robinson, Jewish National Fund CEO, and Sharon Freedman, New England Zone Director, unveiled a plaque praising the Jewish community of Bangor, Maine, who are part of the Jewish National Fund New England community, for its leadership and partnership in the rainwater harvesting program.

The program features a water system that collects rainwater from the roofs of school buildings and funnels the water into four storage tanks; which is then used to flush toilets, clean tools and irrigate small vegetable gardens on the kibbutz. All the while, saving the fresh water that had been used for these tasks in the past. 

Bangor’s longstanding relationship to JNF began in the 1950’s when the late Harry Reben served as Chairman of JNF which at the time was part of the Bangor Zionist District led by the late Myer Minsky. Myer’s son Norman Minsky has been actively serving as the JNF Bangor liaison ever since.  Sharon Freedman shared: “Norman is an incredible and dedicated leader. He has raised much needed funds for JNF from the whole community of Bangor for so many years. He diligently secures donations year after year; and we are so grateful. It is an honor to witness the critical projects that we are funding.  Our work in the Negev is really bringing life to the desert and helping our brothers and sisters in Israel.”

Kibbutz Shoval was one of many stops participants made while on the Israel Relation’s Budget & Finance Committee mission to Israel. The trip offered major donors the opportunity to see their dollars being utilized first hand, as they toured the Negev and visited projects JNF has already funded as well as learned about new projects JNF hopes to fund in the future.

Todd Patkin, the New England VP of Campaign who was also on the mission, shared, “The Bangor Community deeply supports the crucial work JNF does for the people and the land of Israel. Norman Minsky’s appreciation of our partnerships is unparalleled. We are so very grateful to have such a dedicated guardian of Israel as part of our team.”

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