Mayor Ruvik Danilovich with Jewish National Fund-USA donors at the River Park and amphitheater JNF has built in Be’er Sheba.
(photo credit: JNF-USA)
Jewish National Fund-USA has raised $500 million dollars in five years, half the budget of their ambitious “Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade” plan, the organization announced on Sunday.
Since 2014, 600,000 donors have donated $505m. to the plan, which aims to enhance the quality of life of Israelis throughout the country. The plan’s initiatives run the gamut from community building, infrastructure projects, assisting Israelis with special needs and preserving the country’s heritage sites.
JNF-USA President Dr. Sol Lizerbram said: “Thanks to our stakeholders, the most passionate and dedicated Zionists in philanthropy today, we’ve reached the half-a-billion mark well ahead of schedule, and I look forward to us meeting the goal line also ahead of schedule. By meeting our key objectives, we are bringing to fruition all of JNF-USA’s plans in the Roadmap for the benefit of the land and people of Israel, and the Jewish people everywhere.”
Twenty-five percent of the Roadmap is geared toward connecting to the next generation. According to a statement from the organization that includes: “15,000 children kindergarten through middle school; recruiting 1,000 young people each year to send to Israel through Taglit-Birthright Israel: Shorashim-JNF Israel Adventure; subsidizing 1,700 college students on Alternative Break to Israel during the last four years; and reaching 10,000 college students on nearly 60 campuses across the US with Positively Israel programming and speakers.”
The plan allocates 40% of its funds to infrastructure and community building work. Programs include a new medical center in the Arava and the southern Negev town of Halutza and establishing a housing development fund to help individuals buy homes in Israel’s North and South.
Other projects on the docket include building 90 new reservoirs to combat Israel’s looming water crisis, a second campus for the Alexander Muss High School in Israel in Beersheba and building a state-of-the-art convention center in Mitzpe Ramon.