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We Are “One!”  OC Philanthropists Join 1,400 Proud Zionists at Jewish National Fund-USA’s National Conference

A delegation of Orange County philanthropists joined over 1,400 supporters of the land and people of Israel in Boston on November 4-6, 2022 for an unforgettable weekend at Jewish National Fund-USA’s largest ever National Conference. The organization’s annual symposium is unique in that it brings together high school students, college students, rabbinical students, leading philanthropists, prominent Zionist thought leaders, and Israelis from the Negev and Galilee who are directly and positively impacted by the partnership of Jewish National Fund-USA.

Jewish National Fund-USA’s President, Dr. Sol Lizerbram, announced that the organization was close to achieving its fundraising target for its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade as its supporters reclaim the Zionist narrative and stand up against Jew-hatred.

In addition to hearing from incredible speakers and influencers including Israel’s Ambassador, Michael Herzog, Ronald S. Lauder, Olga Meshoe Washington, Rachel Fish, Hen Mazzig, and Ben M. Freeman, attendees also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Jewish National Fund-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Israel (Muss). Participants also learned about one of the organization’s largest initiatives ever announced—the creation of a 20-acre World Zionist Village to be built in Be’er Sheva, Israel, which will bring together Jews and Zionists of all ages and backgrounds from around the world.

Additionally, through various engaging plenaries and interactive sessions including a “Shark Tank-style,” event, attendees were impressed to learn how Jewish National Fund-USA is the largest provider of Zionist educational activities in the U.S., and how it is improving the quality of life throughout Israel by providing new beginnings for Ukrainian refugees and families making aliyah (immigration to Israel); creating new employment and housing opportunities; delivering ag-tech solutions to farmers in developing countries; empowering people with disabilities to thrive in Israeli society; solving global food and water crises, and so much more.

“A dairy farm in the desert, a 100% off the grid aquatic center in the middle of nowhere, building the finest culinary institute in the world located in the Greater Kiryat Shmona area—a region in which people never before talked about moving to, only moving from,” said Jewish National Fund-USA Orange County Director, Shlomit Jackson. “This is our opportunity to stand up and say to the world and to future generations, ‘we are one and we are in!’”

Jewish National Fund-USA’s National Conference also welcomed over 600 high school and college students from across the country. Other conference highlights included emotional performances by the organization’s Special in Uniform band, an initiative that empowers young people with cognitive disabilities to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and enjoy the same “rite of passage” as their peers. An exclusive late-night cocktail reception was also held for 200 young philanthropists ages 22-40.

“Seeing so many high school and college students celebrate Israel was really the highlight of the conference,” said Jewish National Fund-USA Orange County Board Vice President and member of Alexander Muss High School in Israel’s National Board, Michael Feldman. “During Shabbat, it was wonderful to meet so many Muss alumni, however, it was particularly special to see their faces light up when I shared that I was on Muss’ national board.”

Feldman attended his first Jewish National Fund-USA National Conference in 2019 in Washington, DC, but due to the pandemic, this year’s conference (the first held since DC) was only his second time attending the event. “When I attended my first conference in DC, I was still finding my way around, however, at this year’s event, I felt far more at home. It was great to meet with people in-person rather than on Zoom!”

Registration is now open for Jewish National Fund-USA’s 2023 International Conference for Israel taking place from November 30-December 3 in Denver, Colorado. Sign-up at jnf.org/nc2023 or contact Shlomit Jackson at sjackson@jnf.org or call 949.260.0400 x930.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Anaheim-Cypress Hosts “Field of Dreams”
Gala Presented by Angels Baseball Foundation

It was a dream come true for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Anaheim-Cypress, as the organization hosted its Annual Gala and Auction to a sold-out crowd of over 300 guests at Angel Stadium. The Los Angeles Angels and the Angels Baseball Foundation were this year’s Presenting Sponsor at this not-to-be-missed Gala. The event raised $283,000 to support the Club’s mission of inspiring and empowering all young people, especially those in need, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. All proceeds raised will provide a safe, positive after-school and summer program for children and youth in the cities of Anaheim, Cypress, and surrounding areas.

A highlight of the evening was the JMac Memorial Scholarship award presentation to Katelyn Robles, who began at the Club at the age of 8. Kate said she will use this $2,500 scholarship to pay for books and supplies as she studies Art at Cypress College in the fall, and later at Cal State Fullerton. She said her goal is to work for Disney.

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