In mid-June JNF Canada hosted an event for past Negev Dinner honourees in Ottawa. More than 60 Honourees and JNF Presidents gathered from across Canada to attend this exciting event. The purpose of the event was to recognize and thank the people that have helped to make JNF Canada what it is today.


The day started with a tour of parliament, followed by a gathering for lunch in a room which once served as the war room during WWII. During lunch, the attendees heard from MP Pat Martin of the New Democratic Party, MP Irwin Cotler of the Liberal Party and the Honourable Tim Uppal of the Conservative Party. Each representative spoke warmly about Israel and addressed the attendees’ concerns about the BDS movement and anti-semitism on Canadian university campuses. After lunch, the group was joined by other MPs and the Israeli Ambassador. The group then had the opportunity to sit in on Question Period in the House of Commons.

After a short rest came the main event. Everyone was very excited to walk through the gates of 24 Sussex and meet the charming Mrs. Laureen Harper who was gracious enough to host our group in her home. This was an incredible opportunity to meet and talk with Mrs. Harper in an informal atmosphere. This was an experience which will long be remembered. The evening ended at the home of Israel’s Ambassador, Rafi Barak. He and his wife, Miriam, served a lovely array of desserts and entertained us with their stories. Ambassador Barak told the group of his Friday evenings at his grandfather’s house in Uruguay where he used to put a coin in the KKL-JNF blue box. A good time was had by all as was evidenced by the comments that JNF Canada received from some of the Honourees following the event. See you next year!!!


“Mr. Speaker, we are joined in the House today by some 60 leaders of the Jewish National Fund who have come from across the country to join us today. Since its inception in 1901, the Jewish National Fund has been the most significant environmental organization in the Middle East, responsible for land and water and forest management the length and width of Israel. The Jewish National Fund of Canada has been a leading contributor to a wide range of programs from tertiary waste water treatment and reservoir building to greening the deserts and reforestation of the fire-ravaged Haifa forest. And, of course, last year, the JNF honoured the Prime Minister of Canada with the naming of the Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary Visitor and Education Centre in recognition of his steadfast support of Israel and the Jewish people. We thank the Jewish National Fund for a century of service to the land of Israel and its citizens, Jewish people everywhere.”