Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) largest-ever Rabbis for Israel mission will head to the Holy Land this December to see firsthand how JNF-USA’s Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade initiative is impacting Israel’s north and south.
This year’s mission will be co-chaired by Rabbi Heshie Billet of Young Israel of Woodmere and Rabbi Kenny Hain of Congregation Beth Sholom of Lawrence.
“As fires and enemy bombs cause havoc in Israel, JNF-USA fire trucks come to the rescue,” said mission co-chair Rabbi Heshie Billet. “The people in Judea and Samaria have benefited from fire trucks and museums endowed by JNF-USA. My mom used to work for JNF-USA 60 years ago. I have fond memories going to the office as a little boy and falling in love with the blue-and-white charity boxes. As an adult I have seen with my own eyes the flowering and populating of the Negev because of JNF-USA’s great work supporting water infrastructure development.”
This year’s rabbinical delegation will see and experience a number of JNF-USA projects including the Sderot Indoor Recreation Center, a signature project that has provided a much-needed sense of normalcy for residents living in the hard-hit town of Sderot located less than one mile from Gaza. The delegation will also travel to Arad Base to see JNF-USA’s affiliate’s Special in Uniform, a unique initiative that integrates special-needs youth into the IDF and assists in preparing them for career placement following army service.
“I’m excited to be a part of this delegation of prominent rabbis from across the religious spectrum as we join together to demonstrate our commitment and solidarity to strengthening the relationship between the U.S. Jewish community and the people of Israel,” said mission co-chair Rabbi Kenny Hain. “Learning about the important work of JNF-USA will not only be eye-opening but will also serve as an additional source of inspiration as we teach about the valuable impact and vital relationship that the American Jewish community has with our Israeli brethren to ensure a strong, successful, and prosperous Israel.”
This year’s delegation will also visit and learn about the Gush Etzion Visitor Center, a recently renovated museum that tells the story of the heroic men and women who gave their lives to protect the communities of the Etzion Block. In addition, the delegation will see the JNF Boys’ Promenade, built in memory of Gilad Sha’ar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach—the three teenage boys who were kidnapped and killed by terrorists in the summer of 2014, sparking Operation Protective Edge.