The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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Giving directly to KKL in Israel

Contrary to STN's original advice, we recommend that you do not donate to KKL-JNF directly. KKL has refused to respond to our repeated queries (since the beginning of January) about how to give directly in a way that only supports sustainable projects (see below), We gave up a long time ago on KKL-JNF's Andy Michelson (who staffs the "American desk"), who promised to give us this information.

On the other hand, we are hoping to be able to recommend that you do give to JNF-US as the changes we are discussing with them come on line. Letting JNF-US know you are planning to do this will strengthen our case that a change in JNF-US' policies and procedures will increase their support. We have also learned that you can donate right now through the the regional JNF office in Denver to the Arava Institute, and that none of this money goes to Blueprint Negev projects. Though you can get a tax-deduction, the Denver office are not set up for direct online donations (nor is the contact for their regional office listed on the JNF-US website). You can call them at (303) 573-7095.

KKL's website allows you to donate for trees directly (though not to give to other projects), through their "click to plant" page. However, there is no way there to distinguish between good forests that are sustainable and equitably developed, and forests that are unsustainable tree plantations and/or are being used to hem in Bedouin villages. Practically speaking, no trees are being planted by KKL through the fall of 2008, which is when the current Sabbatical (Shmitta) year ends. Since no tree donations will be used until after next Yom Kippur, we strongly urge you to wait to give to them. If our discussions with JNF-US, we will share with you our recommendations about how best to donate to KKL through JNF-US. In the meantime, let JNF-US know that you are willing to donate to them once these issues are clarified.

Please remember that you can also give to environmental groups in Israel through Hazon (, or support alternative energy (and reduce carbon emissions) through the Heschel Center's Good Energy Initiative.

This page will be updated whenever we ever get new information from KKL or JNF-US. You can sign up to get this information by just commenting on this page or any page about the Negev found on this site. We hope that we will soon be able to recommend which KKL forests are good for the earth and good for the Bedouin, and that we can encourage you to donate through JNF-US to those forests.



Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006