JNF campaign gala in Melbourne

September 13, 2017 by Community Editor
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Honouring heroes of the past and present and securing Israel’s future – JNF welcomed more than 1000 guests to this year’s Annual Campaign Gala event on Sunday evening at the Crown Palladium. 

JNF CEO Dan Springer, Fikre Brihun, Ruth Alter and Rinit Fraid

The room was filled with a stunning cross-section representing the diversity of  Melbourne Jewry with a particularly large number of young community thought leaders actively participating in “growing our future” through JNF.  Looking forward, it is the young leaders today who will be the flag bearers of tomorrow, ensuring the sustainability, growth and security of Israel” said Helen Shardey, Victorian JNF President & National JNF Vice President.

Speaking about the annual campaign event, Helen said, “We aim to increase awareness about the importance of impact giving through JNF projects, and how this supports growing the future of Israel.  JNF projects are especially designed to develop lifesaving infrastructure, protect and preserve the environment, create employment opportunities and encourage sustainable growthI am particularly excited to share that, from this year, JNF will be breaking new ground and is now also able to support benevolent relief projects. This means that in addition to our environmental core, we are also able to address key issues of poverty and distress, sickness and disability.”

This year JNF’s new projects include Sderot’s Park of Courage – bringing hope and relief through the development of a green parkland to this beleaguered border town community living under siege of missile attacks every single day. Atidim is a cadet scholarship program, supporting students who would otherwise never have the opportunity to study, excel and become future municipal leaders, forming the fabric of society in Israel.

Key note speaker Tamir Pardo, Director of the Mossad 2011 – 2016, and modern-day hero provided a candid and truly sobering insight into the active role he played in securing the future of Israel.  Dan Shapiro, US Ambassador to Israel 2011 – January 2017 spoke about the central role he played in the Middle East Peace Process, strengthening cooperation between the U.S. and Israel.  Reporting back to the community about the life-changing benefits provided through the JNF’s Atidim Cadet Program, Fikre Brihum spoke very emotionally about her journey.  Having begun life in a small Ethiopian village and now, at 26 years old, employed by Intel, Fikre is a proud Israeli citizen and eager to give back.  Hagit Yaso, former Israeli Pop Idol winner from the border community of Sderot, sang beautifully, lighting up the room with her magical voice.

The Launch of JNF’s new projects for this year provide exciting and meaningful opportunities to support Israel.  Helen Shardey concluded, “Supporting JNF with your pledge is the only means we have of making the dreams and visions for a green, sustainable, secure and growing Jewish homeland, come true.  As always, the future of Israel depends heavily on the generosity and commitment of our Australian community.  With your partnership, JNF makes these dreams grow into reality.  Now more than ever, there is no end to the good that you can do through JNF.”

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