'The Jewish Future Pledge is a wakeup call'

Tamar Uriel-Beeri in conversation with Russell Robinson, CEO of JNF-USA, about the Jewish Future Pledge

 Russell Robinson (photo credit: JNF-USA)
Russell Robinson
(photo credit: JNF-USA)

Tamar Uriel-Beeri, managing editor of Jpost.com, speaks with Russell Robinson, CEO of JNF-USA, about the importance of the Jewish Future Pledge and the Jewish Youth Pledge, two unique initiatives designed to help sustain the future of the Jewish people. JNF-USA, says Robinson, is an enthusiastic proponent of both pledges.

“If we work so hard on building what we have built as a foundation for Jewish Life,” he notes, “isn’t it worth the extra effort to talk to our children or children’s children about participating in the same way we did today, for tomorrow?”

The Jewish Future Pledge ensures the future of the Jewish people by having members of the Jewish community sign the pledge, earmarking half of the charitable funds that they leave at their passing to support the Jewish people and/or the State of Israel, while the Jewish Youth Pledge asks Jewish teenagers and young adults – ages 13 to 24 – to commit to being active, contributing members of the Jewish community throughout their lives.

To take the Jewish Future Pledge >>>

Robinson explains that the world is about dreams, aspirations, hopes and tomorrows. The Jewish Future Pledge, with its emphasis on Jewish continuity, fits into the conversation perfectly with JNF-USA, which believes in the importance of maintaining Judaism and helping to make a difference in Jewish life.

“All of us have an assumption,” he adds. “We raise our children, and we’re assuming that they’re going to be part of the Jewish community, and our own estates are going to be part of that as well. The Jewish Future Pledge starts that conversation.”

The Jewish Youth Pledge engages teens with their Jewish heritage and role in the Jewish community through a pre-planned lesson, including videos and discussion prompts. Participants write a letter on their smartphone or tablet to their future selves, answering questions such as, “If you could meet yourself in the future, what would you hope to hear that you had accomplished or contributed?” The letter is stored in a secure Digital Time Capsule and shared with participants at key junctures throughout the next two decades of their lives. Says Robinson, “If get that wakeup call in five years, and again in another five years, that’s ok.  Because a wakeup call will say to be ‘Give me breath in my chest and say go forward. I’m a leader, and I need to create an opportunity for the Jewish world for tomorrow.’”

To take the Jewish Future Pledge >>>