Over 1,400 supporters of the land and people of Israel gathered at the opening plenary of Jewish National Fund-USA’s National Conference at the Omni Boston Hotel to celebrate the organization’s historic achievements while also hearing from Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Herzog and the organization’s Chair Emeritus, Ronald S. Lauder.

During the November 4 opening plenary, Jewish National Fund-USA President, Dr. Sol Lizerbram, announced that the organization was ahead of schedule and close to achieving its fundraising target for its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade initiative, which is revitalizing and reshaping the north and south of Israel. Supporting underserved and unrepresented communities in the Negev and Galilee, the roadmap is creating world-class education, employment, and healthcare opportunities throughout the country’s frontier regions.

Jewish National Fund-USA National Conference Co-chairs, Risa Aronson and Michael Blank

The largest pro-Israel event of its type to take place in 2022, Jewish National Fund-USA’s National Conference also welcomed over 600 high school and college students from across the country who gathered to learn about the organization’s work in Israel and how they can become informed and proud Zionists on campus, with their enthusiastic cheers echoing throughout the opening plenary.

Inspiring the audience, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Herzog, shared why Jewish National Fund-USA’s support is so vital, now more than ever, as Jewish students, youth, and families face rising antisemitism around the world. Looking out at the packed room, he remarked, “we are not alone.”

Jewish National Fund-USA Chair Emeritus and President of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, also celebrated the organization’s achievements, speaking about the concerning rise in antisemitism but also the Jewish people’s ability to overcome it, saying, “We will no longer be silent. We cannot fight this rise in hatred if we ourselves are not united. We must look at ourselves as one people…If a jew hater doesn’t care if a Jewish person wears a yarmulke, then why should we?”

Ronald S. Lauder addresses Jewish National Fund-USA

The opening plenary also featured National Conference Co-chairs, Risa Aronson and Michael Blank, who celebrated the organization’s achievements.

“From Abraham to Moses to Herzl and now to all of us, we carry a sacred obligation to be the force for good,” noted Blank. “We are the changemakers, the doers, and most importantly, the people who care for Israel, our sacred ancestral soil and its people.”

Aronson added, “This conference is a celebration of everything that we do to make Jewish National Fund-USA the place where ‘it’ happens; where Zionism comes to life and evolves for the future; where our Jewish continuity is supported and strengthened; where connection, community, and success happen; where hope has a home; and where Israel’s rightful place in the world is supported and is a source of pride.”

With Jewish National Fund-USA supporting over 60,000 people with disabilities in Israel, it was fitting that the event’s entertainment was provided by the organization’s affiliate, Special in Uniform, and its recently formed band. Not a dry eye remained as the band sang renditions of A Million Dreams, The Sound of Silence, One Day, and classic Israeli songs taking the audience through an emotional and vibrant repertoire of hope and pride.

Jewish National Fund-USA’s Special in Uniform band

For more information about this year’s Jewish National Fund-USA National Conference, visit jnf.org/nc.

About The Publishers
JNF-USA
Jewish National Fund-USA
JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, JNF-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation.
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