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Charity Navigator, America’s leading independent charity evaluator, has bestowed its fifth consecutive four-star rating on Jewish National Fund (JNF) for the organization’s sound fiscal management. Only 5 percent of the more than 5,400 charities rated have received this coveted evaluation for five years in a row.

“In this competitive philanthropic marketplace, Charity Navigator highlights the fine work of efficient charities such as your own,” wrote Charity Navigator’s president and CEO Ken Berger in a letter to JNF. “Jewish National Fund, United States, consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America. This ‘exceptional’ designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Jewish National Fund, United States, from its peers.”

JNF was recently named to The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual Philanthropy 400 list of the nation’s biggest charities. Of the 22 Jewish charities that made the list, JNF was one of only four Jewish organizations that saw a boost in fundraising totals. At a time when so many organizations have seen a decrease in giving, JNF credits the magnitude and success of its mission with inspiring people to give. In addition, JNF has been rated a top charity by the American Institute of Philanthropy and meets the 20 rigorous standards of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance and the transparency standards of Tzedakah, Inc.

According to JNF National Treasurer Michael Lederman, “JNF is honored to be included amongst the nation’s best-performing charities.  “This recognition is of real interest and importance to our donors who are so enormously committed to developing the land of Israel and improving the quality of life for the people of Israel.”

“JNF continuously strives to meet the highest standards and is currently undergoing a realignment that will put it amongst the most technologically efficient, best-performing non-profit organizations in the country. The Orange County/ Long Beach and Palos Verdes Region of JNF was the first to participate in this new venture to reorganize our fundraising efforts,” said Dr. Rochelle Shapiro Sieger, Orange County/Long Beach and Palos Verdes Regional President.

For more information please contact Adele Bilewitz, Community Director for Orange County/ Long Beach and Palos Verdes Region at (323) 964-1400 x 986 or abilewitz@jnf.org

New Course Aids Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Students

WebYeshiva.org, the first fully-interactive Torah study program on the Web, in conjunction with the Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel and the Jewish Agency, is offering a new course for deaf and hearing-impaired students. Marking one of the first opportunities for deaf and hearing-impaired students to participate in a mainstream classroom setting for Torah studies, the course entitled “Jewish Laws of Shabbat: Cooking,” given by Rabbi Gavriel Pransky, is instructed in American Sign Language.

After receiving multiple requests, WebYeshiva.org saw the need to develop a course in sign language. The class consists of a video box of both the teacher talking and a signer who signs the entire course. The course is open to anyone who would like to attend while being the first course from WebYeshiva designed for students with special needs.

“Our new course is a testimony to the doors technology can open for people with special needs,” says Rabbi Yedidya Rausman, Founding Director of WebYeshiva.org. “Now students with special needs can attend the same courses as other students and get the same Jewish education. WebYeshiva.org is proud to be one of the first Jewish online Torah study programs to offer courses to students with special needs.”

“Jewish Laws of Shabbat: Cooking” explores the intersection between Jewish laws of Shabbat and the art of food preparation. The class includes the topics of cooking before Shabbat, reheating and all aspects of food preparation on Shabbat.

WebYeshiva.org, the first fully-interactive Torah study program on the Web, was founded to enrich the lives of Jewish students of all ages around the world. The organization was established to address the growing need for Jewish education to be accessible to anyone, anywhere over the Internet. WebYeshiva.org utilizes the latest video-conferencing technology to offer real-time, interactive classes.  The organization was founded by Rabbi Chaim Brovender of ATID, an organization dedicated to shape and develop the future of educational leadership in the Jewish community.

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