The Heart of the Matter
FS: Within the community, are there certain demographics that are more responsive than others?
RR: That depends on what the ask is for. The older generation, the one that remembers a time before the existence of the state of Israel, has a stronger connection to the state ... they lived through a time when there was no Israel; they understand how important it is to ... not only hold on to it but build it up and make it stronger.
We’re finding the connection to Israel in the younger community growing stronger yearly. In our college programs we’re finding thousands of Jewish students who want to show their involvement with Israel. In our high-school programs and our other educational initiatives, we’re finding involvement and attachment. Across the U.S. we have a representation of people 40 to 50 years old leading many of our local JNF boards.
That excitement is not part of an event or a project, but of a vision, of JNF’s message, and the Jewish community is attracted to that vision — the growth of the Jewish people.
JNF builds and takes care of the land of Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Our message, our vision, is about the environment; it’s about water; it’s about community development; it’s about afforestation and the land. What we do gives young people an attachment and a chance to be involved in Israel, in Jewish life and in world life.
The JNF is working on a new initiative — developing the Negev Desert by bringing 250,000 people over the next five to 10 years to live and work in an area that until now has been largely uninhabited.
To learn more about the Jewish National Fund, call 212.879.9305.