Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

Ron Lauder Re-elected: J.N.F.'s President

Jewish National Fund (JNF) announced today that it has re-elected Ronald S. Lauder as president of the organization. News of the unanimous vote was made public at the conclusion of JNF's annual Board of Directors meeting that was held in New York at the prestigious JNF House. Mr. Lauder was first elected to serve as president of JNF after more than a decade of support and involvement in the organization. His new term will begin immediately.

Also on the agenda for the meeting was the presentation of a commemorative JNF plaque to Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, the New York Fire Department Chaplain, who received it on behalf of the New York Fire Department. JNF honored the New York Fire Department for its dedication and service to the community, especially over the past months. Rabbi Potasnik, who is also vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis and co-host of a popular WABC radio program, was presented with this plaque representing trees planted in Israel in honor of New York's bravest.

"JNF is extremely excited and fortunate to have Ronald Lauder at the helm of our organization for the next few years," says Russell F. Robinson, JNF executive vice president. "Over the past few years, Ronald Lauder has been largely responsible for shifting focus of JNF from an organization that raised money through Blue Boxes and trees, to one that also receives major gifts from donors across the U.S. Through his leadership, Mr. Lauder has increased JNF's net proceeds to Israel by more than double over the last few years," adds Robinson.

"What makes Ronald Lauder so successful as president of JNF is his experience outside the organization, including his involvement with an innovative network of business enterprises and a mosaic of philanthropic and professional endeavors that reach out around the world," explains Robinson. One of the many examples of Mr. Lauder's for-profit approach to building JNF is the new strategic plan adopted today by the Organization. It has been developed and adopted to guide JNF over the next five years and ensure that it thrives through all economic climates, and reacts to the changing Jewish population while remaining true to its mission. Today's adoption of the strategic plan was the final outcome of a unique one-year process developed and implemented by JNF at the suggestion of Mr. Lauder. In September 2000, Mr. Lauder charged the co-chairs of the strategic planning process, Shoshana S. Cardin and W. James Schiller, with the task of forming a Strategic Planning Committee to: set goals and priorities, and articulate JNF's future; define JNF's image; develop ways to involve more people; understand the past and the present to plan for the future; be open to change regarding obstacles and opportunities and determine JNF's resources. (More information on JNF's new strategic plan to follow).

"I am very pleased at the outcome of today's vote," says Lauder. "Not only because I am honored to remain at the helm of such an outstanding organization, but because through JNF I can truly make a difference and have a real impact on the land of Israel and its people. JNF is constantly working to improve the quality of life for Israelis, who live their lives with the kind of heightened anxiety we in America have now experienced firsthand. Recent world events have underscored the importance of my role as the president of JNF as well as the significant role JNF must play. In these times of hardship people need leaders who strongly support Israel and urge others to do the same. JNF as an organization has taken a leading role in standing by Israel and I'm proud to be a part of that," adds Lauder.

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