As we approach Rosh Hashanah, a time of reflection, we look back at the previous year and ask ourselves, “How did we get here, and where are we going? What is our place within the community and the world at large? What is our vision for this new year?”
When you surrender to a vision, success begins to chase you.
That is the story of Jewish National Fund. In 1901, Theodor Herzl surrendered to a vision of reclaiming a Jewish homeland in Eretz Yisrael. Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents recognized the importance of that future. Coin by coin, they saved money in blue boxes for a future that most of them would never see but would forever be a part of — the land of Israel for the Jewish people everywhere.
Thanks to their foresight and vision, we carry on their legacy today. We are living their dream, and we can further that dream.
A few months ago, I participated in historical festivities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. I stood proudly on the grounds where the decisive battle for Jerusalem took place in 1967 — where, against all odds, the dream of reuniting our ancient city was realized. This is the story of Jewish National Fund. This is the story of Israel.
One of our young leaders, a member of JNFuture, said something that warmed my heart. “We will be here for the 100th reunification of Jerusalem’s celebration,” she said.
Israel — the land and its people — is a special part of who they are, of who we are. We are doing something right. They give us all hope. With your help, we can do so much more.
Our young people know they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Through the eyes of those who came before them, they see how a dream, a vision, has become a reality for their generation and the ones to come. Vision was transformed into mission and hope into success.
Years ago, many said we would never be able to bring people to settle in the desert that encompasses 60 percent of the land in Israel. Some said no one in their right mind would ever move there.
But a recent edition of CBS’ “60 Minutes” focused on Be’er Sheva, the capital of the Negev, as the future of Israel. This shows the success of Jewish National Fund’s long-term investment in creating a flourishing future for southern Israel.
Working with partners and companies like Cisco Israel, Jewish National Fund is training and providing residents the right skills to find good jobs and bolster the local economy.
Our multiyear strategic plan for the Galilee is reshaping the economy in northern Israel. To attract new residents to the region, we are focusing on entrepreneurial opportunities, small businesses and tourism.
With your help, we are strengthening the economic and social life for all who call the Galilee home.
Our sages teach us that there is a duality to Rosh Hashanah. On the one hand, it is a day of trepidation and awe. On the other hand, it is a day of happiness and festivity.
Martin Luther King Jr. did not say, “I have a nightmare.” He said, “I have a dream.” Surrounded by adversity, it would have been easy for him to speak negatively. It would have been easy to talk about a nightmare and not a dream. But he knew people don’t follow nightmares; they follow dreams.
At Jewish National Fund we believe in dreams, so I ask you to join us.
As individuals being judged, the day is filled with fear and uncertainty. However, we stand together as one people, one community. We have the strength and fortitude to enter this new year filled with joy and pride.
Be a part of the Jewish National Fund community, and take part in what we have built and what we will continue to dream and build together.
As we enter 5778, let’s work together to shape a more secure, more prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people. Become an active member of our community and our unique vision, and our success will find its way back to you.
On behalf of the entire Jewish National Fund family, I wish you a happy, healthy and sweet new year.
Beth Gluck is the executive director, greater Atlanta, for JNF (www.jnf.org/about-jnf/in-your-area/southern-zone/southeast).