Russell F. Robinson

Purim’s Promise: Our Road to Victory

Residents begin to return to Israel's south
Residents begin to return to Israel's south

“Mommy, can we still celebrate Purim?” asks a child living in a small Israeli community nestled between the borders of Gaza and Egypt. “We must!” exclaims their mother.

Just months after the historic tragedy that befell our people and homeland, and with hostages still in captivity, Jewish people everywhere are asking the same question: How can we feel joy? How can we celebrate?

Yes, we have pain. We feel it every day. Every soldier killed and injured, every death of a hostage, every rocket fired at innocent Israeli evacuees separated from their homes. The pain runs deep, yet we must remember our victories, and Purim symbolizes one of our greatest victories of all.

I was in Israel on October 7 during that insidiously dark moment in our People’s history. Since then, my team and I have spent every waking hour meeting in person and virtually with those affected.

Parents grieving the loss of their children. Children grieving the loss of their parents. Friends, families, and people from every background whose sunrises will never be the same. We have met with them to understand and fulfill their needs as we work towards tomorrow.

Forget the noise made by uninformed anti-Israel and anti-Jewish commentators and the biased newscasters. For Israelis living in southern Israel, victory doesn’t just come through the barrel of a tank. Victory is the sound of rebuilding and children playing.

JNF-USA CEO, Russell F. Robinson at a new playground in Israel’s south

When we repaired and restored our fortified Jewish National Fund-USA playground in Sderot, the victory wasn’t that we reopened it. No! The victory was the sound of children screaming and yelling excitedly as they felt like kids again after so many months of living in temporary accommodation.

Children returned in March to Jewish National Fund-USA’s fortified playground in Sderot

Victory is the sound of construction of our new Community Center in the Eshkol Region and Israel Envelope. Working hand in hand with these communities, we will continue to build resilience and drive population growth so they may build back bigger and better than ever. Mark my words: Our Build Together strategy will make the Israel Envelope (formerly known as the Gaza Envelope) the most desirable place to live anywhere in the country.

At our Jewish National Fund-USA children’s music program in Sderot, every melody played, every piano key hit, every guitar chord strung echoes the sound of victory a thousand armies could never achieve.

The clink of each coin dropping into a Jewish National Fund-USA Blue Box, every contribution made to our Israel Resilience Campaign, and the sound of thousands of volunteers who have come to Israel with us to help farmers and rebuild communities is one of the most frightening sounds our enemies will ever hear. We are winning!

Jewish National Fund-USA volunteers in southern Israel

Amidst the darkness, we must remember who we are as a people. Purim, the festival we celebrate with joy and enthusiasm, encapsulates the indomitable spirit of our Jewish nation. It symbolizes a historic victory over our enemies and a reminder of the countless triumphs we achieve every day.

For over a century, Jewish National Fund-USA has helped our Jewish people realize a 2,000-year-old dream of returning home to Israel. We understand that victory is not just about overcoming adversity; it is also about building a brighter future for generations to come.

Residents begin to return to Israel’s south

This Purim, let us pray for our hostages, our soldiers, and our Homeland as we draw strength from the victories of our past as we rebuild a stronger, more resilient future for the land and people of Israel and Jewish People everywhere.

Russell F. Robinson is CEO of Jewish National Fund-USA.

About the Author
Russell F. Robinson is JNF’s chief executive officer. Under his leadership, JNF has developed successful far-reaching programs that play a significant role in the quality of life for all Israelis, such as community development, environmental work, sustainable development of the Negev, and solutions for Israel’s water crisis.
Related Topics
Related Posts