Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Negev 'pitch night’ for new start-ups also solves local problems

The entrepreneurs on pitch night. 
By Megan E. Turner

On a balmy summer's eve in Be'er Sheva, the excitement in the air was palpable at Jewish National Fund's Lauder Employment Center as 19 entrepreneurs shared their concepts for social change with a crowd of more than 250. Each took the stage in what was billed as a local "pitch night." With only 30 seconds to sell their idea, these budding business leaders summarized the past six months of hard work on their unique ideas into just a few, fleeting moments. Even more exciting, the best pitches of the evening were awarded seed money to help get their business off the ground.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

'I won the lottery' on Faculty Fellowship 2017, professor says

Professor Markel planting a tree during Faculty Fellowship 2017. 
Jewish National Fund, along with Media Watch International, sends a group of professors on the Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel for 10 days of touring, learning, and sharing ideas with Israeli counterparts. Look out for reflections from this year's recently returned trip. Applications are being accepted for next year's program now

By Professor Karen Markel, Human Resource Management, Oakland University

I can’t believe it took me nearly 50 years, but I finally made it to Israel thanks to the 2017 Faculty Fellowship Program. Israel had always been part of the conversation throughout my early Jewish education, and I grew up planting trees in Israel to honor someone’s memory or a special event. And here I was, finally getting a chance to visit the Jewish state and not only learn about its religious history but to make connections to my profession as professor of human resource management. I have been studying how business organizations can become more inclusive to people with disabilities in the United States. I was now going to learn specifically how Israel has been making employment more accessible for all its people.

Everyday Heroes: The soldiers of Israel's War of Independence

Machal Memorial. Photo credit: Jewish Action
In concert with our most recent issue of B'Yachad celebrating Israel's heroes, we are bringing you stories that showcase inspirational men and women. If you want to become a hero too, support a hero

Tucked away halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Sha'ar Hagai, near the old Burma Road, stands a memorial that is a testament to the immense bravery and selflessness that went into the creation of the modern State of Israel.

It's title, Machal, is named for the volunteers during the 1948 War of Independence. A Hebrew acronym for "volunteers from abroad," this group was comprised of 5,000 adults; 1,250 of which were Americans and Canadians; men and women, Jews and Non-Jews alike. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

JNF Staff Spotlight: Lou Rosenberg, making it a family affair

In 1983-84, I decided to take a year off from college, what is commonly know these days as a gap year.  After some long discussions with my grandmother, I was encouraged to go to Israel and live on a Kibbutz. When I arrived in Israel on a bright and sunny October day, I looked around and proceeded to ask myself, 'what have I just stepped into?'

Friday, July 21, 2017

In the JNF Kitchen: Grilled stone fruit with zuta sorbet

This recipe of the week comes to us from La Boite, a biscuits and spice shop in New York City owned by Israeli chef and spice blender Lior Lev Sercarz. Lior and La Boite have gained international fame for mixing spices in a unique way and selling some of the world's rarest blends. He opened his culinary superstore after traveling and studying around the globe, and dreams of establishing a cooking school in Israel's north along with JNF. Lior was one of our first guests on the JNF podcast, IsraelCast - you can hear more about his journey on that episode!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What was your first time like? Reflections of an Israel newbie

By Lori Feldman

If someone would have asked me BEFORE my landing in Israel, "What is one word you would use to describe your first visit to Israel?" I most likely would have said "amazing," "inspirational," or maybe even "unexpected." Now that my trip is complete, the word I would use is "family."  

Everywhere we turned, people treated our group like family. We were welcomed to experience life from a perspective of being home. We were made to feel we have always been family and would continue to be no matter where we call home at the end of the trip.

Meet a JNF Leader: Joe Hess, who's experienced true miracles

Joe Hess on a recent trip to Israel with JNF.

Today we bring you the story of Joe Hess, a JNF leader from Garden Grove, Calif., whose fascinating personal history is a stunning example of Jewish tenacity and will in post-Holocaust America. 

Hess was born in Fulda, Germany, in 1939. He was on one of the last Kindertransport trains out of Europe, and his slight English accent is due to time spent in England, the only country to accept child transports. In fact, his first English word was "inkwell."