Jewish National Fund-USA’s Ambassadors (lay leaders) and professionals welcome the organization’s new executive director of Illinois, Assaf Grumberg, who will spearhead fundraising efforts across the state to support the organization’s game-changing philanthropic investments in the Negev and Galilee.
“Rarely have I met anyone in the philanthropic world like Assaf who has the wisdom to understand the need of the donor,” shared Jewish National Fund-USA Illinois board president Charles (“Chuck”) Kafenshtok. “In his past life, I had many interactions with Assaf. They were always successful. He always made me feel like I was bettering the cause, and he understood my motive. We’re lucky to have him, and together with our incredible professionals led by the inspiring Ellen Spira Hattenbach, we have truly assembled a dream team.”
Equally sharing in Kafenshtok’s excitement, Grumberg said he felt honored to take on this important role. “Growing up in Israel, I was always aware of Jewish National Fund’s historic involvement in the rebirth and development of the State of Israel. Today, Jewish National Fund-USA continues this crucial role in strengthening Israeli society and developing the country’s frontier regions in the north and south. I feel honored to play a role in this important mission and am excited to deepen our incredible philanthropic community’s connection with the land and people of Israel.”
Born in Israel, Grumberg served as a communications officer in the Israel Defense Forces before witnessing an anti-Israel protest on a college campus that inspired him to pursue a career in Israel advocacy. He went on to serve for a decade with StandWithUs, working with their campus department and later serving as the organization’s Midwest executive director. A proud Zionist, in 2015, Grumberg was named in “Chicago’s 36 under 36 Jewish Young Professionals.”
Grumberg believes that Israel is an essential driver of Jewish unity and the center of the community’s mutual values as Jewish people. He said that “in times of rampant antisemitism, sometimes disguised as criticism of Israel, we need a strong and flourishing Israel more than ever before.”
Recently, Jewish National Fund-USA achieved the fundraising goal of its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, and as Grumberg explained, there has never been a more important time for Zionist philanthropists to support Israel. “Our organization leads crucial projects in Israel that strengthen communities and directly impacts the lives of millions, ensuring that our ancestral soil remains a home to Jews around the world,” he stated.