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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jodi Bodner
JNF Director of Communications
212-879-9305 ext. 221
jbodner@jnf.org

50 Homes, One Voice; All for Sderot

‘Moms for Israel’ to Give Respite to Sderot’s Children

May 23, 2008 -- New York, NY -- Beginning June 3, Jewish women from across the country and around the world will gather in their homes to raise money to send “our children” in Sderot, Israel to summer camp.

To date, more than 50 homes have signed on to host meetings in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Cincinnati, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona and even Paris and Hong Kong!

The goal is to send all of the approximately 3,000 of Sderot’s school-age children to summer camps in other parts of the country for at least five days of respite.

“As summer was nearing and we started getting our kids ready to go to camp, we realized we just had to something for the children of Sderot,” said New York resident Meredith Berkman, who approached Jewish National Fund to be an anchor partner in the campaign. In just a few short weeks, the campaign was mobilized and other major Jewish organizations -- UJA-Federation of NY, JAFI, Art for Israel, and One Family Fund -- have signed on to partner in this initiative.

Berkman and her friend Sarah Sternklar -- both mothers themselves --who founded Art for Israel during the war with Hezbollah, also raised money last summer to fund a Magen David Adom Emergency Services Center in Sderot. When they went for the dedication just recently and saw the desolate streets with no sign of normal everyday activity, they knew they had to do more.

“When parents in Sderot kiss their children good night, they can never tell them, ‘don’t worry, it will be alright,’” said Sternklar. “That realization had a profound effect on us.”

Sderot first came under rocket fire from Palestinians in 2001, but since Israel withdrew from Gaza the number of rockets attacks has risen significantly. In recent months, rocket fire has become an almost daily event. There have been days that 50 rockets were launched from Gaza into Sderot.

Studies have shown that at least 75 percent of children ages 4-18 in Sderot suffer from post-traumatic stress, including sleep disorders and severe anxiety. They suffer nightmares, loss of appetite and problems in school. Some 120 children are currently undergoing long-term mental health therapy.

“The ‘Moms for Israel’ campaign is designed to appeal to women,” said Elisa Schindler, JNF’s National Director of Women's Campaign for Israel & Special Campaigns. “Women -- mothers, grandmothers, and aunts -- can relate when they hear that the mothers in Sderot are keeping their children inside, depriving them of normal childhood activities in the hopes that they will be safe from the barrage of rocket attacks.”

“We are a partnership of women, banding together at the same time to help our children in Sderot,” said Berkman, “It’s a very powerful feeling, a very powerful message.”

From the time a siren goes off indicating an incoming rocket, Sderot’s residents only have 15 seconds to make their way to a bomb shelter; not enough time if you’re a young child playing outside with friends or riding around the neighborhood on your bicycle, or really doing anything that kids do. So they don’t do anything.

Said Schindler: “’Moms for Israel’ aims to help relieve mothers’ stress, to help give children a respite from these attacks, and to help put a smile back on Sderot’s residents’ faces.”

A five-day summer camp experience costs $500 per child. This includes round-trip transportation, hiking, activities, food, accommodations traditional camp activities-- and best of all respite and a chance to be a kid.

For more information or to donate, go to support.jnf.org/momsforisrael or call 888-JNF-0099.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Suzanne Maltz

Public Relations Consultant

917-757-4804

s.maltz@rcn.com

 

May 15 Banquet at the UN Celebrates Israel at 60

Support for the Jewish State From the Non-Jewish World

 

April 28, 2008 -- New York, NY -- To declare support for Israel and Jerusalem and to help send as many non-Jewish students as possible on its Israel Experience Scholarship Program, Eagles’ Wings is holding its 4th Annual Jerusalem Banquet on May 15 at the United Nations in New York City.

 

Founded in 1993, Eagles’ Wings is a global network of churches, ministries, and individuals focused on education, leadership development, humanitarian initiatives, and the strengthening of Israel in the eyes of the non-Jewish world.

 

Eagles’ Wings collaborates with Jewish National Fund (JNF) on college campus initiatives such as Caravan for Democracy which drives constructive dialogue on campuses throughout the U.S. by bringing speakers representing a wide spectrum of political and philosophical thought from Israel to discuss the issues affecting Israel, how it is covered in the media, and its unique role as the only democracy in the Middle East. Other organizations, including AIPAC, also collaborate with Eagles' Wings.

 

The dinner will feature guest speakers Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin of Efrat, Israel; Ambassador Asaf Shariv, Consul General of Israel in NY; and Reverend John C. Hagee.

 

“We are looking to build coalitions,” said Hannan Lis, vice president of JNF's Land of Promise Foundation. “The more people who get involved in pro-Israel activities on college campuses, the better.”

 

The Israel Experience Scholarship Program was launched in 2004 by Eagles’ Wings’ executive director Reverend Robert Stearns. The month-long program focuses on the best and the brightest Christian leaders ages 18-26 at colleges and universities across the States.

 

“I cannot think of a better strategy to strengthen the connection between Israel and the world than to train non-Jewish young people to become passionate lifelong advocates for Israel,” said Stearns.

 

“What happens if we touch a 20-year-old?” he asked. “Can they live a life of influence? Israel is not just a Jewish nation, it's a beacon of democracy and human rights. This program brings students to Israel for one month to learn firsthand what Israel really is, not what they see on the news. It is a complete life-defining experience after which they go back to their campuses and sponsor pro-Israel events. Not only are these students educated about Israel, they take ownership of it. They learn to take responsibility for responding to the challenges at hand.”

 

“I went to Israel and discovered the truth and reality of the country,” said Marcia Madero, an alumna of the inaugural trip. “I learned to advocate without fear and with facts and truths. I expected to meet bitter people in Israel but the people I met, though they had experienced pain, were filled with hope, not hate.”

 

Stearns is looking to change the national conversation here in the States by growing the program to 1,000 students yearly. “Five thousand dollars [the cost of the trip] does more than just invest in one leader,” he said. “It's an investment in their family -- their brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins -- and in their children and granchildren also. It’s not about changing the direction of one person’s life; when you hear them speak you know how their children and grandchildren will speak.”

 

For information or to make a dinner reservation, please contact Joel James at 716-759-1058 or joeljames@eagleswings.to.

 

Caption: Reverend Robert Stearns.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Orly Gottesman
(201) 906-8334
og325@nyu.edu

Green Peace: Bringing the Dead Sea Back to Life
Israeli Environmentalist to Speak at NYU

April 3, 2008 -- New York, NY -- On Monday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m., JNFuture: College Edition, Masa, and The Bronfman Center at NYU will present Green Peace: Bringing the Dead Sea Back to Life featuring renowned Israeli environmentalist Professor Alon Tal. 

This is the first event for JNFuture: College Edition, the gateway for the next generation to JNF.  A community of young adults committed to environmentalism and social improvement in Israel, JNFuture: College Edition reaches out to college students in NYC through programming and events to engage them in the work of JNF.

Dr. Alon Tal, founder of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and a professor in the Desert Ecology Department at Ben Gurion University, will speak at the Bronfoman Center at NYU about the declining water level of the Dead Sea and its environmental, social, and economic consequences for the Dead Sea region and beyond. He will also discuss the Israeli-Jordanian agreement to study the feasibility of transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea as a way to halt the rapid decline. 

The Dead Sea, one of the world's cultural and ecological treasures, is disappearing. In the last 50 years, the water level has dropped more than 80 feet and the sea has shrunk by more than a third, taking water away from plants in the region.  In the next two decades, the sea is predicted to fall at least 60 more feet.

At the annual World Economic Forum in May 2005, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority announced their agreement and commitment to develop solutions to the rapidly declining levels of the Dead Sea.

This effort offers an opportunity for those who live in the lower Jordan Valley to work together and strengthen relationships with their Israeli neighbors while addressing an environmental and water scarcity challenge of regional and global interest and significance.

For more information visit support.jnf.org/jnfuture or contact Orly Gottesman at (201) 906-8334 or og325@nyu.edu,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ruth Goodman
Israeli Dance Institute
212-983-4806 ext. 143
917-689-7677
Festival@israelidanceinstitute.org
 

A CELEBRATION OF ISRAEL AT 60 IN DANCE AND SONG:
57th Annual Israel Folk Dance Festival in NYC

March 26, 2008 -- New York, NY -- AM YISRAEL CHAI - ISRAEL ALIVE! - will be the theme of the 57th Annual Israel Folk Dance Festival and Festival of the Arts to be held on Sunday, April 6, 2008 at the Martin Luther King, Jr., High School in New York City.

A project of the Israeli Dance Institute (IDI) in partnership with Jewish National Fund (JNF), the festival is an exuberant celebration featuring over 250 dancers and singers that brings communities from across the United States together on one stage. Guest artist Ron Eliran, Israel's Ambassador of Song, will join with the festival performers in a special tribute to Israel at 60.  As part of Jewish Heritage NY 2008, the festival will reflect the diversity of Jewish ethnic communities in Israel and the rich culture that is mirrored in New York City.
 
The day will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Rivkaleh's Fair designed to delight the entire family. Visitors of all ages will be able to participate in community dancing and singing with live music by the popular Israeli duo Amir & Ron, an Israeli fashion show with audience participation, Judaica and crafts vendors featuring Israeli products, hands-on activities for children and Israeli food. The festival performance follows the fair at 3:30 p.m.
 
The festival performers represent national youth movements, day schools, universities and community dance troupes from across the United States.  With colorful costumes and the spirit of their hearts, they will share their visions of Israel in dance and song: the diversity of immigrant heritages, echoes of the biblical past and the lively hora rhythms of Israel now.  Returning this year will be Hora Keshet, an exciting youth dance troupe from South Florida.  The festival, a multi-media pageant of uncommon warmth, camaraderie and enthusiasm, will delight people of all ages and backgrounds.

Since its sponsorship of the festival’s inaugural year, JNF has partnered with IDI to foster a connection to the land and people of Israel through the arts. JNF has sponsored numerous summer camp caravans, teaching the story of the Jewish people to thousands of young Jewish students through song, dance and theater. 
 
Festival tickets are $15 each, $12 for groups of 15 or more, and $10 for students and seniors. Admission to the fair is free.  For more information, contact Ruth Goodman at 212-983-4806 ext. 143, 917-689-7677, or Festival@israelidanceinstitute.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jodi Bodner

JNF Director of Communications

212-879-9305 ext. 221

 

JNF Names New Zone Director for New York

Michael Feinman Takes on a Top Post

 

March 10, 2008 -- New York, NY -- Jewish National Fund (JNF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Feinman to zone director for Greater New York. The region encompasses Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, Long Island, Westchester, and Fairfield County, CT.

 

“Michael’s innovation, energy and repeated successes in setting records for annual contributions make him stand out,” said Jeffrey Levine, president of JNF’s Greater New York board. “The campaigns and creative, new fundraising initiatives that he developed and implemented over the course of his career make him a terrific leader for the New York community.”

 

Feinman was most recently executive director at Israel Cancer Research Fund in New York prior to which he led development departments at both UJA-Federation and the Anti-Defamation League. Responsible for multi-million dollar campaigns, he exceeded his goals and set fundraising records. Feinman has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s in social work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

 

Feinman has served on a variety of committees at Temple Israel, is currently a member of Or Zarua, and is also active in the Manhattan New School.

 

“The tradition and history of JNF was a terrific pull for me,” said Feinman. “I have always considered JNF the ultimate Jewish organization to work for and now that I am here I know I was right. A real sense of Jewish pride permeates both the professional staff and the lay boards and much attention is given to the younger generation which is wonderful as they are our future.

 

“I am looking forward to educating New York about the breadth and scope of what this organization does and engaging the community in JNF’s rich history and vibrant future. This is what will connect them to Israel."

 

"Michael will be a terrific asset as we move forward in funding projects that will help develop the Negev Desert," said JNF's Chief Executive Officer Russell F. Robinson, speaking about the Blueprint Negev campaign. "Our dollars are all donor directed and NY has already committed to several projects that will make a big difference in the lives of all the Negev's residents. With his skills and his ability to reach a wide audience, I know we can effect even greater changes for the land and people of Israel."

 

Feinman lives in New York City with his wife Patti and their two daughters, Jordyn and Jamie. He can be reached at 212-879-9305 ext. 503 or mfeinman@jnf.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elisa Schindler
JNF Women’s Campaign for Israel & Special Campaigns
212-879-9305 ext. 297
eschindler@jnf.org

JNF Women’s Alliance Hosts Reception
Featuring Middle East Expert Yossi Olmert

February 29, 2008 -- New York, NY -- On Thursday, March 13, 2008, the Women’s Alliance of Jewish National Fund (JNF) will host “An Insider’s Update on Israel’s Challenges in the Middle East,” a breakfast featuring Middle East expert Yossi Olmert.

The event will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the JNF House in Manhattan. 

Dr. Olmert is a well-known expert on the modern Middle East, Islamic militants, Iran, terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and U.S.-Israel relations.  He has taught at many universities both in Israel and abroad, including Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University, Cornell University, City College New York and York University in Toronto. He lectures on Middle Eastern issues at hundreds of American colleges.

Dr. Olmert has held several senior positions in the Israeli government including director of communication for Prime Minister Shamir and policy advisor to Defense Minister Arens. He was sent on numerous diplomatic missions, participated in the Madrid peace conference and was a member of the Israeli delegation for peace talks in Syria. Dr. Olmert has published extensively on Middle Eastern and Israeli political subjects, and has written three books and numerous articles.

Currently based in New York City, Dr. Olmert works as an advisor to various organizations. He is a member of JNF's Speakers Bureau. 

This reception is the third in a series of five events about Israel and Judaism hosted by JNF’s Women’s Alliance. The Women’s Alliance is a special group of JNF supporters who commit to a minimum annual tax-deductible donation of $360.  The Women’s Alliance provides all women the opportunity to come together to learn, to share and to experience the personal satisfaction of participating in the preservation of the State of Israel -- the land and its people. 

JNF House is located at 42 E. 69th Street, New York, NY 10021.  For more information or to RSVP, contact Elisa Schindler at 212-879-9305 ext. 297 or eschindler@jnf.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jonathan Brody
JNF Campaign Executive
212-879-9305 ext. 501
jbrody@jnf.org

Solomon Schechter School of Queens
Holds Second Annual JNF Phone-a-thon in Memory of Former Student

February 11, 2008 -- New York, NY -- A little over a year ago, the eighth grade class at Solomon Schechter School of Queens was preparing to participate in a phone-a-thon to benefit Jewish National Fund (JNF) as part of the school’s community service requirement.

But just weeks before the event, a fellow classmate named Ari Kraft was killed in a tragic accident, and their efforts took on a whole new meaning.

The students held the phone-a-thon in Ari’s memory and raised $6,800, enough to plant a grove of trees in Israel in his name.  In March 2007, the class traveled to Israel together and planted some of those trees with their own hands. Ari’s mother, the former longtime head secretary of the school, met the students in Israel for the emotional ceremony. 

This year, the eighth grade class wanted to repeat its success.  On a morning in late January, armed with lists of names and numbers, 30 kids manned the phones at the JNF offices in Manhattan, raising nearly $2,300 to benefit the organization.

“We wanted to hold another phone-a-thon for JNF in honor of Ari and Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees,” said Ofier Sigal, Solomon Schechter’s middle school coordinator. “It was a great bonding experience for the students and a way to keep the memory of Ari alive while performing the mitzvah of tzedakah and planting the trees."

"I am really glad that I have helped contribute trees to the Solomon Schechter School of Queens grove in Israel," said eighth grader Jordan Ben-Haim. "I am also happy that my classmates and I were able to perform our community service project at JNF.  We are looking forward to visiting our grove on our trip to Israel."   

For more information, contact Jonathan Brody at 212-879-9305 ext. 501 or jbrody@jnf.org.

Caption: Eric Frank and Benjamin Iskhakov take a break from phone calls to smile for the camera.  Photo available as high-res jpeg upon request.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elisa Schindler
JNF Women’s Campaign for Israel & Special Campaigns
212-879-9305 ext. 297
eschindler@jnf.org

JNF Women’s Alliance Hosts Reception
Highlighting Israel Travel Programs for Young Adults

January 8, 2008 -- New York, NY -- On Monday, January 14, 2008, the Women’s Alliance of Jewish National Fund (JNF) will host a reception highlighting two opportunities for young people to connect to the land and people of Israel: Taglit-Birthright Israel and JNF’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB).

The reception will take place from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the JNF House in Manhattan.  Guests will hear from Anne Lanski, executive director of Shorashim -- JNF’s partner in organizing and operating Birthright Israel trips-- as well as past Birthright Israel and ASB participants whose lives have been impacted by these two programs.
 
A project of JNF’s Israel Advocacy and Education Department, Taglit-Birthright Israel is a 10-day, free experience for Jewish students and young adults,18-26 years old, who have not previously participated in an organized peer program to Israel.  On JNF/Shorashim trips, participants experience the beauty, excitement, and complexity of Israel while traveling with American and Israeli peers.

For those who have participated in Birthright Israel or other peer programs, JNF’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) provides Jewish college students, graduate students, and young adults under the age of 30 the opportunity to connect with the land and people of Israel through meaningful acts of community service. 

The third annual ASB will send 300 young adults to volunteer in Israel during their spring break vacations this March and help with JNF’s Blueprint Negev initiative.  Last year, the group’s community service work in post-war northern Israel was featured on MTV’s "Amazing Break."

This reception is the second in a series of five events about Israel and Judaism hosted by JNF’s Women’s Alliance and open to the community. The Women’s Alliance is a special group of JNF supporters who commit to a minimum annual tax-deductible donation of $360.  The Women’s Alliance provides all women the opportunity to come together to learn, to share and to experience the personal satisfaction of participating in the preservation of the State of Israel -- the land and its people. 

JNF House is located at 42 E. 69th Street, New York, NY 10021.  For more information or to RSVP, contact Elisa Schindler at 212-879-9305 ext. 297 or eschindler@jnf.org.

 

Dr. Olmert is available for interviews.  To schedule an interview, please contact Sarit Schonbrun at 212-879-9305 ext. 222 or sschonbrun@jnf.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sarit Schonbrun
JNF Communications Manager
212-879-9305 ext. 222
sschonbrun@jnf.org

Dr. Yossi Olmert to Speak at Temple Judea in Massapequa

November 15, 2007 -- Massapequa, NY -- Temple Judea in Massapequa will welcome Middle East expert Dr. Yossi Olmert as the guest speaker at Shabbat services on Friday, November 30, 2007

Olmert, a member of Jewish National Fund's Speaker's Bureau, will visit Temple Judea as part of a three-month national speaking tour with JNF.  He will discuss the upcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace conference scheduled for the end of the month in Annapolis, Maryland. 

“We all believe that peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and Israel and her neighbors, is vital,” said Rabbi Michael Kramer.  "The Annapolis conference offers a unique opportunity for Israel to open the doors between itself and the Palestinians.  Our prayers, of course, are for peace, and we hope that Dr. Olmert will offer us optimism for a future path towards reconciliation."

Dr. Olmert is a well-known expert on the modern Middle East, Islamic militants, terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and U.S.-Israel relations. He received his Ph.D. from the prestigious London School of Economics and graduated from The Hebrew University magna cum laude.

He has taught at many universities both in Israel and abroad, including Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University, Cornell University, City College New York and York University in Toronto. He also lectures extensively on Middle Eastern issues at hundreds of American colleges.

Dr. Olmert has held several senior positions in the Israeli government including director of communication for Prime Minister Shamir and policy advisor to Defense Minister Arens.  He was sent on numerous diplomatic missions, participated in the Madrid peace conference and was a member of the Israeli delegation for peace talks in Syria. Dr. Olmert has published extensively on Middle Eastern and Israeli political subjects, and has authored three books and numerous articles.

Dr. Olmert is currently based in New York City where he works as an advisor to various organizations.

Shabbat services begin at 7:45 p.m. and are open to the entire community. Temple Judea is located at 98 Jerusalem Avenue, Massapequa, NY 11758.  For more information, call 516-798-5444. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elisa Schindler
JNF Women’s Campaign for Israel & Special Campaigns
212=879-9305 ext. 297
eschindler@jnf.org

An Ecological Perspective on Israel and the Middle East
JNF Women’s Alliance Hosts Breakfast with Israeli Environmentalist Alon Tal

October 24, 2007 -- New York, NY -- On Wednesday, October 31, 2007, the Women’s Alliance of Jewish National Fund (JNF) will host a breakfast featuring Israeli environmental leader Dr. Alon Tal from 8:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the JNF House in Manhattan. 

The first in a series of five lectures about Israel and Judaism open to the community, the event is entitled “An Ecological Perspective on Israel and the Middle East.”  Dr. Tal, who has been fighting for a better environment in Israel for almost twenty years, will discuss the serious environmental issues facing Israel today and explain that the early vision of Zionism was one of reaching harmony with the land, an ideal to which Israel is returning.  Dr. Tal will also talk about the challenges of climate change and the potential for pursuing environmental cooperation with Israel’s Arab neighbors.    

In addition, he will discuss JNF’s evolution from an organization known for planting trees in Israel to its role today as a global environmental leader, with internationally renowned expertise in afforestation, arid land management, water conservation and recycling, and combating desertification. 

A professor at the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Studies at Ben Gurion University, Dr. Tal founded The Israel Union for Environmental Defense, a leading public interest law group, and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a graduate studies center where Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian students join environmentalists from around the world in an advanced interdisciplinary research program. 

He currently serves as chairman of the land development committee on the international board of Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, overseeing forestry, river restoration and other sustainable development projects.  Dr. Tal also represents Israel's Foreign Ministry at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

In 2006, Dr. Tal was named Israel’s most influential environmentalist by Ha’aretz daily newspaper and was also awarded the Charles Bronfman Prize for environmental leadership. The $100,000 award has been largely directed to establish The Tal Fund - a new grassroots ecological initiative in Israel in conjunction with JNF.

Dr. Tal has published dozens of academic and popular articles.  His most recent books are “Speaking of Earth -- Environmental Speeches that Moved the World” and “Pollution in a Promised Land -- an Environmental History of Israel.”

JNF’s Women’s Alliance is a special group of JNF supporters who commit to a minimum annual tax-deductible donation of $360.  The Women’s Alliance provides all women the opportunity to come together to learn, to share and to experience the personal satisfaction of participating in the preservation of the State of Israel the land and its people.  The JNF House is located at 42 East 69th Street, New York, NY 10021.  For more information or to RSVP, contact Elisa Schindler at eschindler@jnf.org or 212-879-9305 ext. 297.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gabrielle Carlin
JNF Campaign Executive
212-879-9305 ext. 506
gcarlin@jnf.org

Young Jews Go Green with JNFuture


October 11, 2007 -- New York, NY -- JNFuture, today's gateway to Jewish National Fund (JNF) in New York for individuals in their 20s and 30s, will host its launch event, “See the Desert Bloom: JNFuture in the Garden of Eden” on Thursday, October 25 at HOME, 532 W. 27th St. in New York City.

The event, which will include an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and dancing, will celebrate the natural beauty of the land of Israel.  Each guest will have a tree planted in Israel in his or her name with the purchase of a ticket.

This is not your typical young professionals’ event.  JNFuture chair and founding member Ben Jablonski, a 24-year-old Australian-born investment banker, has assembled a dynamic group of young New Yorkers from around the world to serve as JNFuture. Their vision is to come together, regardless of religion or politics, to make life better and greener for all Israelis.

“With the growth of the global economy and media, the world is more interconnected than ever, and JNFuture reflects that,” said Jablonski. “We’ve got young Jews coming to this event that hail originally from Montevideo, Melbourne, Pittsburgh, and Addis Ababa. What unites them is a love for Israel, commitment to the environment, and the desire to have a blast.”

In keeping with its international focus, the New York division of JNFuture is planning future events and group missions with its counterpart JNFuture groups in Europe.

Founded in 1901 as caretaker of the land of Israel, JNF began its work by planting trees and filling blue boxes with coins to bring life to the desert. Today, JNF is more than trees; it has evolved into a global environmental leader. The founders of JNFuture want to encourage commitment and raise awareness of their peers to support JNF’s environmental stewardship that made Israel the only country on earth to end the 20th century with more trees than it had at its dawn. But they want to help Israel go greener - and further - still.

Proceeds from the October 25 event will help fund JNF’s Blueprint Negev, an environmentally sensitive development initiative to benefit all Israelis by transforming the Negev Desert. Specific projects include the development and support of 25 new communities, a migratory bird reserve, building reservoirs, and endowing The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, the premier environmental academic institution in the Middle East.

Ben Jablonski is available for interviews and can be reached at 646-287-1063.

Tickets are $81 until October 10 and increase to $100 after that date. The evening begins at 8 p.m. To register, visit support.jnf.org/jnfuture.

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