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Home August 2023 News & Jews- Former Jewish National Fund-USA Orange County President...

News & Jews- Former Jewish National Fund-USA Orange County President Honored for Decades of Philanthropic Leadership

Joe Hess, Lauren Lizerbram, Marjorie Hess and Sol Lizerbram

    California resident Joe Hess, born in 1932, was just six years old when he and his sister hugged their parents for the last time before being whisked away on the Kindertransport out of Nazi-occupied Germany. The former Jewish National Fund-USA president in Orange County, now living in the Northridge suburb of Greater Los Angeles, believes that he survived the Holocaust for a reason and has spent decades of his life tirelessly volunteering, donating to charity, supporting the global Jewish Community, and trying to make the world a better place.
    Jewish National Fund-USA recently honored Hess for his decades of philanthropic support at an exclusive event chaired by Paul Jeser at Valley Beth Shalom synagogue in Encino.
    A United States Airforce veteran, Hess is the Vice President of the International Arid Lands Consortium, which is dedicated to exploring problems and solutions that improve the lives of people living in the arid and semiarid regions of the world. A former government technical manager, international aerospace consultant, and United Nations volunteer, he has also developed annual workshops around the world to help developing nations use space technology to improve the lives of their residents.
     Hess has also been a partner (donor) and ambassador (lay leader) at Jewish National Fund-USA, the leading philanthropic organization for Israel, for nearly 30 years. “If Israel had existed, my parents would have been saved,” is a thought that drives Hess in his tireless volunteer leadership work with the organization.
    “When I look back at everything Jewish National Fund-USA has achieved for the land and people of Israel, I’m reminded that philanthropy isn’t about money—it’s about people; those who give and those who receive,” said Jewish National Fund-USA’s President, Dr. Sol Lizerbram. “Joe is one of the founding fathers of the modern Jewish National Fund, and so much of what we have achieved is because of his leadership and commitment to our future.”
    In addition to having previously served as Jewish National Fund-USA’s Orange County President, National Campaign Chairman, and Vice President of Zones and Regions, Hess is a proud Jewish National Fund-USA Century Council member and recipient of the organization’s Tree of Life® Award. Hess was also one of the first people to draft plans to secure Israel’s water future through the creation of reservoirs.
     With leadership from individuals like Hess, Jewish National Fund-USA has helped Israel overcome an existential water crisis, building over 250 water reservoirs throughout the country. Additionally, under his guidance, Jewish National Fund-USA achieved NGO status at the United Nations.
    “Honoring Joe Hess was a privilege,” said Jewish National Fund-USA National Campaign Director Sharon Joy. “Joe’s many accomplishments, including his work with water resources and bringing non-Jewish professors to Israel through Jewish National Fund-USA’s Faculty Fellowship program, has changed so many lives for the better.”
    For more information and ways to honor Joe Hess, contact Sharon Joy, JNF-USA National Campaign Director at or 23-964-1400 x810.  


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