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JNF Refocuses Attention on Key Constituencies

Rabbi Eric Lankin Set to Lead Newly Restructured Department of Israel Advocacy and Education


Contact: Jodi Bodner
JNF Director of Communications
212-879-9305 ext. 221

JNF Refocuses Attention on Key Constituencies; Rabbi Eric Lankin Set to Lead Newly Restructured Department of Israel Advocacy and Education

PR Eric lankin croppedSeptember 21, 2005 New York, NY - With an eye to the future, Jewish National Fund is refocusing attention on Jewish institutions that have educational components as a source of creativity and participation in JNF’s mission. To that end, JNF is uniting several departments -- Congregational Relations, Government Relations, Israel Education, Speakers Bureau and College Advocacy -- under one banner: the Department of Israel Advocacy and Education. This will better enable JNF to work more closely and effectively with these key constituencies to further the JNF mission.

To lead this effort, JNF is pleased to announce that Rabbi Dr. Eric Lankin has joined its staff as Chief of Institutional Advancement and Education.

"As we look to the coming decade," said JNF CEO Russell Robinson, "JNF’s mission of responsibility for the Land of Israel and its environment is clear. The social and educational institutions that make up the fabric of our communities can play a more significant role in that vision and we turned to Eric Lankin, an outstanding Jewish educational leader, who has tremendous connections to the American Jewish community to make that vision a reality."

"JNF is uniquely able to engage the American Jewish community in our ongoing mandate of caring, cultivating and bettering the Land of Israel," said Rabbi Lankin. "This department will create and provide transformative Israel education experiences for the American Jew in synagogues, on college campuses, in schools, and in camps, in support of Israel."

Rabbi Lankin served as Director of Religious and Educational Activities of United Jewish Communities (UJC) for the past four years. As the senior rabbinic professional of the North American Federation system, Rabbi Lankin facilitated the relationship between the UJC, the 155 Jewish Federations and 400 independent communities across North America, and the synagogue movements, rabbinical associations and rabbinical schools. He directed the UJC rabbinic cabinet and served as the rabbi for its 300-member staff.

Previously, Rabbi Lankin had served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and as a congregational rabbi for 14 years in Elkins Park, PA; West Hempstead, NY; Miami Beach, FL; and Harrisburg, PA.

Born in Philadelphia, he is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he received his B.S. in Marketing. Rabbi Lankin earned his M.A. in Judaica and Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He has earned two Post-Masters Certificates from the Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute of the Institutes of Religion and Health and the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, both of New York City, in Pastoral Care and Pastoral Counseling. He received his Doctorate in Pastoral Counseling from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (NY Campus).

He is married to Jeanne Lankin, LCSW, ACSW, a psychiatric social worker in private practice in Middlesex County, NJ. They are the proud parents of four children and live in Highland Park, NJ.

Said Rabbi Lankin: "It is the responsibility of the new department to take the message JNF develops nationally and bring it to the local communities. We have a terrific staff and are actively building new relationships with other organizations in support of Israel. I am looking forward to facilitating this process."


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