Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Seeing proud IDF soldiers with disabilities give it everything they've got

Alan Wolk and wife Roni, left, along with Special in Uniform Director Tiran Attia and soldiers. 

Through services for those with special needsJNF works to ensure no member of Israeli society is left behind. During February, we join the Jewish community at large to mark Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month. Here,
some thoughts from the co-president of JNF Atlanta and chair of Special in Uniform's U.S. board of governors. 

By Alan Wolk 

We just returned from our third trip to Israel, and as usual, the experience was terrific. We enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv, the spirituality of Jerusalem, the breathtaking hilltop views in Haifa, and the artistic communities in the Golan. And we loved the food wherever we went. You can’t beat the chocolate babka from Israel! The rest of our trip was spent deep-diving into several Jewish National Fund programs near and dear to our hearts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Teacher takes lessons from LOTEM, which makes nature accessible

 Photo: Jack Roldan
Noah Arber, in the tie-dyed shirt. 
JNF works all year to ensure no member of Israeli society is left behind through services for those with disabilities and special needs. During February, we join with the Jewish community at-large to mark Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month. Join us in learning about this important and vital work for all Israelis.


By Noah Arber

Last year, I took vacation time from work to travel to Israel and volunteer for Jewish National Fund. While you may have donated money to JNF to help plant trees in Israel, you may not know JNF does so much more to help Israel develop. During my time there, I spent every day doing volunteer work with a group of peers from around the country, as well as visiting various JNF sites and seeing the impact JNF has had on the development of Israel.

Although each day of our trip was unique, the day that stuck out most to me was the first, when we were privileged enough to work with an organization called LOTEM: Making Nature Accessible. LOTEM is the only organization in Israel that provides nature activities to both adults and children with special needs. I have a background in special education and it's something I'm extremely passionate about, so naturally I was moved by working with this organization -- and by working with them in a country that means so much to me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

In the JNF kitchen: Fish wrapped in dough

Fish in dough, or salt crust.
For the next few weeks, our #RecipeOfTheWeek series will host some fantastic Israeli chefs. These culinary masters are slated for the itinerary of the amazing JNF Culinary, Wine and Music Tour this June. Learn more about this cultural experience here

This recipe comes from Erez Komarovsky, a chef and baker. Afar described him as "the first contemporary baker to introduce artisanal bread to Israel" and he's considered to be one of the leading cooks who defined Israeli cuisine in the late '80s and '90s.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Saplings honoring lost life take root in Israeli soil, and sisters' hearts

The author, far right, planting seedlings with her sisters at Neot Kedumim.

This personal, heartfelt story of three sisters and their meaningful planting at JNF's Neot Kedumim arrives just in time for Tu BiShvat, the "world's first Earth day." Learn more about JNF's connection to the holiday here

By Laura Ben-David

Everyone knows about the JNF trees. With more than 250 million planted over more than a century, JNF's a true institution that has changed the very landscape of Israel. Without ever getting on a plane, Israel supporters can write a check and have a tree planted in honor or in memory of a loved one. Visitors to Israel can come and personally plant a sapling, in a special garden in central Israel, to be transplanted later to a forest. But there is even another way.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

In the JNF kitchen: Shakshukeet from a famed Jerusalem restaurant

Photo: Machaneyuda
For the next few weeks, our #RecipeOfTheWeek series will feature some fantastic Israeli chefs. These culinary masters are on the itinerary of the amazing JNF Culinary, Wine and Music Tour this June. Learn more about the cultural experience here

This recipe comes to us from Chef Assaf Granit of Jerusalem's Machneyuda restaurant. He was born and raised in Jerusalem, and the city has always been an integral part of his life, but food, not so much. 

Growing up, "my house didn’t have any culinary inheritance," he says. "My mom was the worst cook ever," (though quickly adds he promised his mom he would try not to repeat that!) But when his family ate in restaurants, Granit fell in love with what he saw. After the army he started helping out as an unpaid kitchen assistant in a coffee shop to learn from chefs he admired.

Rebirth and rediscovery on the 2017 Caravan for Democracy trip



The Caravan for Democracy Student Leadership Mission is a 10-day, fully subsidized trip to Israel for non-Jewish student leaders who have never been there. The unique educational program gives participants the opportunity to explore Israel by meeting with political, cultural, and community leaders from diverse backgrounds and faiths. Here, a reflection on this year's CFD trip by a Jacksonville University student.

By Pascal Rathle

Transformation describes the essence of my Caravan for Democracy 2017 experience. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

After everything was taken away, this legacy donor focused on giving

Margot and her husband, John, a customer at her workplace Macy's who persistently tried to get her phone number. 
Margot Cohn was born in the fortress town of Torun, Poland (then occupied Germany) in 1913. Her story is one of tragedy and heroism, as her family endured the brutality of the Holocaust. During Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass), which occurred in Germany on November 9th and 10th of 1938, Margot's father was killed. Luckily, her brother escaped the night before and she and her mother managed to escape when Margot selflessly insisted her mother get on a train set to leave the area, in her place, thus ensuring her mother's survival.