Thursday, December 21, 2017

JNF Staff Spotlight: Kate Samuels takes Israel to Jews in small towns

Kate, far left, with JNF lay leaders at the National Conference in Florida this November.
"I don't follow college sports." The dinner table fell silent. It became increasingly clear that my vast knowledge on Israel would not help me here. College football was THE religion in this small town, and I had just declared I wasn't a part of it.

That was my first experience in a small-town Jewish community. Growing up in Connecticut, I gave little thought to what it meant to be Jewish or have Jewish friends. And college football was definitely not a religion where I came from. 

After my first trip to a small Jewish community in the south, I became fascinated and intrigued by those who CHOSE to live in a small town and maintain their commitment to Israel and Judaism. Being Jewish in a small Jewish community requires dedication and commitment. Throughout my years of working in small communities, I have met tremendous individuals who are working day in and day out to ensure a strong Jewish future for their children. And it's not easy for them.  

Monday, December 4, 2017

Why Connecticut license plates give me a surge of Jewish pride

Blue, white, and tin -- just like JNF pushkes.
By Bob Alper 

I've always found Connecticut license plates to be especially attractive.

I have no particular connection to Connecticut. I grew up in Rhode Island, and for the past 30 years have lived in the loveliest of all states, Vermont.

It's the colors of those Connecticut plates -- the unique blue and white -- that always, happily, remind me of Israel. And there’s another reason behind my fondness for the plates, something I realized only recently.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

In the JNF Kitchen: Chef Alaa Moussa’s sea bass filet on a bed of lemon-verbena freekeh

This recipe originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of our Byachad Magazine. You can read the full issue here!

Step into El Marsa restaurant, and you instantly become witness to the latest movement in Arabic cuisine in Israel.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Paul and Nina Freedman, aliyah pioneers and Israel ambassadors

Paul and Nina Freedman, greeting one of many Nefesh B'Nefesh aliyah flights. 
It's hard to imagine a time before Nefesh B'Nefesh -- before chartered, celebratory flights brought scores of olim from around the world to live and work in Israel. But Paul Freedman made aliyah in the ‘90s, and remembers it well. Paul, who was the International Director of USY, met his wife Nina, a lifetime Bnei Akiva member, in 1957 in Israel. The pair married in England, and finally returned to Israel on July 4, 1991, this time for good.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sukkot in Israel! A comprehensive celebration guide

Photo: Ephraim Loeb/Jerusalens Photo Contest

If you'll be in Israel this Sukkot, we've put together a list of goings-on throughout the country. There are adventures for the whole family, so take a look and enjoy the holiday with the ones you love. Chag Sameach!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Young JNF leader has a message about Israel for his millennial peers

Josh, bottom center, on a recent trip to Israel with JNF.

By Josh Goodkin, JNFuture New Jersey chairperson

Passion. That fire that burns deep inside of you. That feeling that makes you do things you never thought imaginable. That desire to stand up for your convictions, no matter what. 

My passion can be summed up in one word: Israel. It's amazing what the power of passion can do. I think of visionary Theodore Herzl, who epitomized the word passion and paved the way for the Israel we know today. Following in Herzl's footsteps, I want to share how an assimilated Jewish millennial from a small town in Jersey became a leader and advocate for everything Israel.