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Contact: Michelle Beller
212-879-9305 ext. 269
mbeller@jnf.org

Debra Scher
212-879-9305 ext. 298
dscher@jnf.org

Jewish National Fund and Areyvut Present
Make a Difference Day and JNF GoNeutral Shabbat

February 11, 2008 -- New York, NY -- This year, Areyvut’s Make a Difference Day is going green, with a little help from Jewish National Fund (JNF). 

On April 4-6, 2008, synagogues, schools, community organizations, and families across the country will mark the first annual JNF GoNeutral Shabbat and Make a Difference Day by celebrating Shabbat in an eco-friendly way and learning about the connection between Judaism, Israel, and the environment.

Make a Difference Day is a day dedicated to helping others and actively making the world a better place. The 2008 program theme is “Preserving the Environment,” and activities will extend through the weekend as Jewish communities around the country celebrate JNF GoNeutral Shabbat.

JNF, an organization that has been greening the land of Israel for more than 100 years, has launched JNF GoNeutral, a campaign that educates individuals about their personal impact on the environment and empowers them to take steps to protect the Earth. At www.jnf.org/goneutral, visitors can calculate the average amount of carbon dioxide they emit each year and help offset their negative impact on the environment by planting trees in Israel or supporting other projects such as research and development of alternative energy. GoNeutral offers tips for incorporating environmentally friendly practices into everyday life and provides educational resources for middle school, high school, and college students as well as synagogues.

Once registered for JNF GoNeutral Shabbat and Make a Difference Day, participants will have access to an online educational resource guide with program planning tips, ideas for hands-on environmental activities including a "green" Shabbat dinner, and ways to reduce energy consumption and water use on Shabbat and every day of the week. The guide also contains sermons, suggestions for studying Jewish texts that promote environmental awareness, and a list of available environmental speakers. Participants will receive a JNF GoNeutral tote bag, an educational DVD about climate change and protecting the environment, and a certificate of recognition.

Visit www.jnf.org/makeadifferenceday to register and download the educational resource guide. For more information, email education@jnf.org

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Jewish National Fund (JNF) began in 1901 collecting coins in blue boxes to purchase land and return the Jewish people to their homeland. In over 106 years, JNF has evolved into a global environmental leader and become the central address for the land and people of Israel.  JNF has planted 240 million trees. Built over 1,000 parks and recreational areas. Constructed security roads. Educated students around the world about Israel. Created new communities so that Jews from around the world would have a place to call home.  Discovered drip irrigation and new means of growing plants under arid conditions, bringing green to the desert. Built over 190 reservoirs and water recycling centers, increasing Israel’s water supply by 10%.

As a United Nations NGO, JNF sponsors international conferences on desertification, shares afforestation techniques and funds research on arid land management. Is restoring northern Israel, making it home again to its residents. Is supporting Israel’s newest generation of pioneers by developing the Negev Desert, Israel’s last frontier.  For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit http://www.jnf.org/.  JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

Areyvut (http://www.areyvut.org/) empowers Jewish youth around the world, enabling them to infuse their lives with the core Jewish values of kindness, charity and social justice. Areyvut specializes in pairing teens with meaningful mitzvah and community service projects. This year Areyvut has inspired over 12,500 individuals with their “A Kindness a Day” Desk Calendar and Make a Difference Day programming.  

 

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