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Friday, September 29, 2017 6:21 pm

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JNF supporters meet at local breakfast; review promoting fair media coverage of Israel with Joe Hyams

From left, Ken Segel, national vice president of campaign; Breakfast Co-Chairpersons Karen Setzen and Alan Lobel, Capital Region board member; Joe Hyams, CEO of HonestReporting, and program speaker; Robert Ganz, Capital Region president; and Sara Hefez, executive director of the New England and the NY Capital Region. Photo courtesy of Josh Crystal.

ALBANY–Ninety Israel supporters filled the room at the Albany Marriott to show their unwavering passion for the work of Jewish National Fund (JNF) during its annual Breakfast for Israel, according to JNF organizers.

“I am so proud of our community for their unwavering support of Israel and the work Jewish National Fund does every day on the ground to improve the lives of all Israelis,” said Capital Region Board President Robert Ganz. “Israel needs us now more than ever to battle for it. This battle is being fought and will be won with our words, hearts, and financial support,  he said.” Ganz added that he was proud to note that for the third year in a row, the Capital Region Breakfast for Israel had one of the highest percentages of people making a financial contribution, compared to similar events held throughout the nation.

The program featured guest speaker Joe Hyams, CEO of HonestReporting. Hyams has trained thousands of people to effectively identify and counter anti-Israel bias. Hyams has been the CEO of HonestReporting, a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) and Israeli non-profit organization, since 2005 and is dedicated to promoting fair and accurate media coverage of Israel. He provided the attendees with a framework to use in their everyday interactions with those who may harbor anti-Israel bias. Hyams noted that informing others of the positive work JNF is doing for all of Israel’s residents is a vital part of such an approach.

Attendees at the breakfast also watched a video that provided a glimpse into the vision of JNF. Among  JNF efforts to enhance the  quality of life to all of Israel’s residents is  the “greening” the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks across Israel, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping to develop innovative arid agriculture techniques and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism, according to Sara Hefez, executive director of the New England and this region’s JNF.

Ken Segel, national vice president for JNF and an Albany native, presented a fiscal picture of JNF’s accomplishments and future plans. He spoke of the One Billion Dollar Campaign for the next decade. The campaign takes JNF through Israel’s 75th jubilee and pairs financial target with a comprehensive strategic vision.  The orgainztion is three years into the plan and has raised $425 million. The plan may be viewed online at: http://www.jnf.org/assets/pdf/thebilliondollarroadmap_digital_v-1.pdf.

Hefez, at shefez@jnf.org or 617-423-0999, ext. 811,  can provide information about involvement with JNF.

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