Get Started

Jewish National Fund: Essence of Life Campaign

"We are looking to our most loyal supporters - the congregations of America - to help us fight the severe water crisis in Israel. To accomplish this, JNF has launched the Essence of Life Campaign aimed at establishing a $5 million reservoir in Israel through the support of congregations throughout the U.S. This reservoir will have a direct impact on the quality of life of the people of Israel, and mean so much to our Homeland."

Stephen S. Wolnek Signature
Stephen S. Wolnek
Vice President, Community Relations
Chair, JNF Essence of Life Campaign

JNF Built Reservoir
JNF Built Reservoir


Nearly one hundred years ago, Jewish National Fund was created with the singular task of reclaiming the Land of Israel. Through the help of supporters from around the world, the organization raised money in blue boxes in order to purchase land in what would later become the State of Israel. When Israel was incorporated as a state in 1948, JNF's role shifted to developing the land, providing agricultural infrastructure and helping to make the harsh desert habitable for new settlers. For the past decade, JNF's efforts have also focused on the water crisis in Israel, which continues to suffer through the worst drought in recorded history. Jewish National Fund is the caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners - Jewish people everywhere.


Mitzpeh Ramon Air Force BaseToday, the water crisis in Israel commands our immediate attention. With more and more of the Israeli government's attention and funds - going towards security - JNF has stepped in to bridge the gap by continuing to raise funds to build reservoirs in Israel. Against a backdrop of daily terror attacks, the drought continues to worsen, and Israeli families are facing severe water restrictions and quotas that affect their agriculture, economy and daily quality of life.

One of the most important elements in JNF's efforts to find viable solutions to the water crisis in Israel is its impressive network of over 150 reservoirs and dams. Even though JNF's dams and reservoirs have already increased Israel's water supply by over 6.2 percent, unfortunately, there simply are not enough reservoirs in Israel right now to store water. Hence, the major reservoir that will be built with funds from JNF's Essence of Life Campaign will have a direct impact on the quality of life for all Israelis. It will be a direct gift from the congregational community of America to the people of Israel.


The Essence of Life Reservoir at Mitzpeh Ramon will be built through the dedication and financial support of American congregations from every stream of Judaism. The Reservoir will bring us one step closer to closing the water deficit and will be a permanent symbol of the connection with and partnership between the American Jewish community and Israelis. The reservoir site will feature an Essence of Life monument and a recognition center will be established. The monument will be a testament to your congregation's generous and unified effort. When visiting Israel, congregations will be able to visit the reservoir and see for themselves how their contribution has impacted the land and its people. They will also see how their generosity has been commemorated on the Essence of Life monument and on the Pillars of Honor. The Essence of Life Reservoir will be located on the Mitzpeh Ramon Air Force Base. The reservoir will benefit not only residents of surrounding communities, but the Israeli Air Force. While access to the base is severely restricted for security reasons, we will be able to organize occasional visits to the reservoir for congregations that have participated in the Essence of Life Campaign, contingent on the security situation.

Three-Tiered Campaign Graphic


A framed letter written and signed by the President of Israel and JNF President Ronald S. Lauder to present to your honoree or congregation.

A specially designed and crafted Essence of life plaque to display at your synagogue, commemorating your generous annual contribution.

An inscription on the Essence of Life monument at the reservoir site including the name of your congregation,honoree, Rabbi and President.

Dedicatory MonumentMaterials to run a JNF Tu B'Shevat Across America Program. Materials include TuB'Shevat sermons written by prominent Rabbis from around the world and a specially selected speaker for your event, as well as Tu B'Shevat Haggadahs, order forms to plant a tree in Israel,and special collector's edition JNF Blue Boxes for each family in your congregation.

Access to a distinguished list of JNF Israel Emissaries and other well-informed guest lecturers to speak to your Israel Affairs Committee as well as at events, meetings hosted by the congregation or at services. Speakers will address the critical water crisis in Israel, current events and timely topics such as the shared values of freedom and democracy that form a bond between Israel and the United States.*

A full page JNF ad in your congregation bulletin or newsletter 3-4 times per year, expressing our appreciation for your participation.** 

Articles for your newsletter on issues of the day, including the water crisis, the shared values between Israel and America, Zionist education, business life, environment and culture.

Full access to JNF's renowned educational programming to help the children of your congregation connect to the people and the land of Israel. Programming includes JNF's Tu B'Shevat in the Schools program, through which students connect to Israel by planting trees in honor of Tu B'Shevat; JNF's Blue Box Contest, which allows children to exercise their creativity while learning about the Blue Box and its integral role in the creation of the land of Israel; Water and Israel, which teaches children about the critical significance of preserving and increasing the water supply in Israel; programs that teach Eco-ZionismTM the connection between Israel, Judaism and the environment. You will also receive JNF's New Leaf Newsletter,which has been specially designed to complement your educational programming, allowing your school to connect to Israel through the environment.

* A speaker portfolio including biographies is available upon request.
**Ads will be sent after receipt of the first quarterly payment or the full payment for each year.

ECO-ZIONISM is a trademark of Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael), Inc.

Rabbi's who make personal donations of $1,000.00 Dollars and above will have their name inscribed in the Rabbi's Essence of Life Book of Honor, kept at the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael building in Jerusalem.

Their names will also be listed in an announcement that JNF will place in a major periodical.

To see a listing of Congregations that have committed to this very important program, click here.

For more information and to request a sponsor proposal, please contact your local JNF staff person at 1-888-JNF-0099 or