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Contact: Sarit Schonbrun
JNF Communications Manager
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Union for Reform Judaism Biennial to “GoNeutral” with Jewish National Fund

December 11, 2007 -- New York, NY -- This year, the largest Jewish gathering in North America is going green.   

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial -- an event that will bring nearly 5,000 people from over 500 Reform congregations and 14 countries to San Diego on December 12-16 -- will minimize its carbon footprint by planting trees in Israel through GoNeutral, an environmental campaign of Jewish National Fund (JNF)

In addition to handing out fewer printed materials, donating leftover food, and listing eco-friendly travel tips on its website, URJ will plant trees to offset emissions from staff travel and the convention center operations, and will encourage individual participants to offset their own travel.   

Through email notices sent out before the event, attendees are being directed to the JNF GoNeutral website,, where they can calculate the average amount of carbon dioxide that will be emitted by their trip to San Diego.  They can then make a contribution to plant trees in Israel as well as support JNF’s other environmental initiatives, such as research and development of alternative energy sources.  In addition, there will be kiosks at the Biennial where participants can access the GoNeutral website.

About GoNeutral- An Environmental Movement for Tomorrow

Judaism teaches that we are stewards of this earth, with a unique responsibility to preserve and sustain it.  As Israel’s oldest environmental organization, JNF has taken the lead in educating individuals about their impact on the environment and empowering them to take steps to curb climate change with JNF GoNeutral - An Environmental Movement for Tomorrow. 

Through this new campaign, participants can:

  • Help to offset the carbon dioxide they emit by planting trees in Israel, one way of removing the harmful greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. 
  • Take an active role in JNF’s cutting-edge environmental projects. 
  • Make simple lifestyle changes to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by their daily activities and purchases.

At, visitors can calculate the average amount of carbon dioxide they emit each year by answering a series of questions about their lifestyles and energy consumption, and then offset these emissions by supporting JNF’s century-old afforestation program in Israel.  GoNeutral participants can also support JNF’s other cutting-edge environmental work, such as the research and development of alternative energy sources, water recycling techniques, arid land management, and combating desertification.  

For more information, visit

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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  JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.


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