Founded in 1901, Jewish National Fund is a non-profit organization. JNF is the caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners - Jewish people everywhere. The organization has planted over 210 million trees, built over 100 dams and reservoirs, developed over 250,000 acres of land, and created more than 400 parks throughout Israel enhancing the quality of life for all of Israel's citizens. For more information on JNF or to plant trees in Israel, call 800-542-TREE (8733) or visit the JNF Web site at www.jnf.org.
Jewish National Fund was established in 1901 at the Fifth Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, to purchase land and hold it in trust for the Jewish people's return to their ancient homeland, Israel. After the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, JNF's work shifted from land purchase to reclamation, development and afforestation. JNF focuses its work on six action areas: Ecology and Afforestation, Water, Community Development, Education, Research and Development, and Tourism and Recreation. Its major development projects have included the reclamation of hundreds of thousands of acres for agriculture and afforestation, as well as continuing efforts on behalf of land preservation, site preparation for housing and industry, road building, and the construction of over 100 dams and reservoirs. JNF has been involved in developing the infrastructure of hundreds of rural villages, to the point that 30% of Israel's population lives on land prepared by JNF. And due largely to Jewish National Fund's afforestation efforts, Israel is the only country in the world to actually have more trees planted at the end of the 20th century than it had at the beginning of the century. JNF's most pressing priority is the current water crisis in Israel. In battling Israel's chronic water shortage since the mid-1980s, JNF has increased Israel's water supply by more than 5% through the building of dams and reservoirs. The current drought, however "the worst in 80 years" presenting the organization with new challenges. JNF is committed to finding long-term viable solutions to the water crisis in Israel, and recently announced a $50 million plan to rehabilitate Israel's polluted rivers to restore this vital resource. JNF has been working with farmers and researchers to utilize salty waters to produce crops for export, and Israel and JNF are looking into a program that would reclaim and recycle 200 million cubic meters of wastewater annually. In addition, JNF works with various organizations like the International Arid Lands Consortium (IALC) and the United States Forest Service that promote research and international cooperation to benefit Israel's water resources. Israel's constantly growing population in the north is running out of space, and the Negev is a massive land reserve waiting to be developed. Grasp the economic, demographic and geographic realities of Israel, and you will understand the immediate need to develop the Negev. Jewish National Fund has 18 regional offices across the country, and 40 national offices around the world. International headquarters (Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael) are in Jerusalem.