The mission of the Ness Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation is to support economic development in the Negev region of Israel with an emphasis on younger populations.
The Negev comprises over 60 percent of Israel’s land but houses under 10 percent of its residents. The Israeli Government has made settlement and building up of the Negev a top priority, identifying the Negev as the most important Zionist goal of the 21st Century.
The government recently solidified this commitment by moving the operations of the several high-level army bases into the Negev. With this move comes enormous economic opportunities for the region that can only be realized through the cooperation of government, for-profit, and not-for-profit entities.
The Ness Business Loan Fund (Keren Ness), which is run in partnership with The Jewish Agency (JAFI), is providing small business loans to entrepreneurs seeking to start businesses and to existing businesses looking to expand. With additional support from the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Keren Ness has made over $17 million in loans to more than 334 businesses over the past eight years to help establish and grow businesses in the Negev.
“Your generous support helps us growers to remain with exactly the competitive edge that Israel is famous for. Most of all it provides for a sustainable income basis for the families in the Arava Desert. Without your donation we would not be able to compete with other grower countries. Israel must be technologically advanced also in agriculture in order to survive. You have our heartfelt thanks.”
– Barbara and Marc Wolf