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Testimonials

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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Jewish National Fund, which continues to develop everything from schools to culinary programs in Israel, held their annual Jewish National Fund’s Tree of Life™ award dinner on Wednesday, September 13th at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The event is JNF’s biggest regional fundraiser for the organization’s important work in Israel, and honored those in the community who inspire others and who have worked tirelessly to ensure JNF continues to grow and realize its mission.

From forestry and green innovations to community building and Zionist education and advocacy, JNF is much more than an organization known widely for their tree planting in Israel. Corcoran CEO Pamela Liebman and JNFuture’s board member Jonathan Gertman were selected to receive awards for their work and passion surrounding JNF programs and initiatives both here and in Israel.

The New York Real Estate Leonard Tree of Life™ Award, a humanitarian honor given in recognition of outstanding community involvement, dedication to the cause of American-Israeli friendship, and devotion to peace and security of human life, was awarded to Corcoran CEO Pamela Liebman for her continuous support of charitable and humanitarian organizations. In 2015, the dinner was renamed in honor of the late Leonard Litwin who was a longtime friend and supporter of Jewish National Fund and Israel, and a pillar of the New York City real estate industry.

“It is an honor to receive the award, and an opportunity to focus attention on the extraordinary work and achievements Jewish National Fund has made in its commitment to the land, the people and the future of Israel,” said Liebman on what JNF means to her. According to the Corcoran CEO, “being a Jewish woman has been a plus for me in my career. The industry that I chose, real estate, is an inclusive one open to women succeeding at all levels. It is very much a business of connections and community, and no group of people networks and builds community better than the Jewish people, especially Jewish women.”

Dinner Co-chair and famed photographer Annie Leibovitz presented her good friend Pamela Liebman with her award and told the audience “this is a humanitarian award given to outstanding people and Pam is an outstanding leader, a friend, a mother.”

Mrs. Liebman also thanked her family and JNF, especially CEO Russell Robinson, who she said “works tirelessly to build a better and more prosperous Israel. This incredible organization enables Israel to be better in every possible way and I am so grateful to receive this award.”

Jonathan Gertman, recipient of the Gregory A. Davis Leadership Award, is Vice President of Development at The NRP Group, a national developer and builder of multifamily housing, and chair of New York City’s JNFutureBoard.

“Serving as a leader of JNF’s young leadership division has been a great honor over the last six years. The creative leadership and bold vision of JNF keeps the organization as vibrant and relevant as the state of Israel. Jewish National Fund lives the words of Theodor Herzl each and every day, and I am proud to be part of making the dreams of our ancestors a reality.”

The Jewish National Fund began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF board member, Phil Brody, said “the gala is a great way to honor people who have done a lot for JNF, the community and their industry. JNF is developing a lot of programs in the desert, establishing new communities and helping the disabled in Israel. They build reservoirs and work on developments that are beneficial for the people of Israel and the money raised goes right to these programs.”

JNF CEO Russell Robinson, who has turned JNF into a leading force in the state of Israel, is most proud of the organization’s work in the Negev. Blueprint Negev aims to improve quality of life for all residents of the region and encourage a population shift away from crowded, expensive central Israel. Today, Be’er Sheva and the surrounding communities are blooming in a once barren desert.

Most recently, JNF has been credited with creating a culinary hub in the Northeast Galili. The Billion Dollar Roadmap campaign is designed to make a ten-year, $1 billion investment in the future of Israel. To learn more, listen to JNF’s new podcast, IsraelCast or visit JNF.org to get more involved in the Tri-State area, from volunteering to donating to visiting Israel.

By: Julie Sagoskin