New JNF president inspired by nature

JNF Australia’s new president Marcus Rose. Photo: Shane Desiatnik

NEW JNF Australia president Marcus Rose has revealed his deep passion for nature conservation will shape his leadership, and take JNF’s comprehensive breadth of environmental protection projects in Israel “to the next level”.

The Melbourne-based businessman, who officially took over the reins from Sydney’s Peter Smaller on May 1, told The AJN that he and his wife, Eva – a board member of JNF Victoria – have been willing and eager supporters of JNF for decades.

“So when I was approached late last year about this role, I thought why not? I feel delighted, and frankly really honoured,” he said.

For Rose, JNF’s most accomplished achievements to date include planting 240 million trees in Israel, building more than 230 water reservoirs, and creating 400,000 acres of forest.

“In the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, Israel ranked 19th out of 180 – two places ahead of Australia – but we want to play our part to make Israel reach number one,” Rose said.

“I want to expand the scope of JNF Australia’s environmental activities, to take on water management, air pollution, climate change and dealing with population growth and density, with more vigour.”

Rose, who regularly travels to Israel, said he is most moved by projects “where we are enhancing a community, particularly in new areas close to the borders with Egypt and Gaza”.

“These people take risks just to live there, so the least we can do is help them.

“The big difference about JNF Australia, as I see it, is there is a physical dimension to everything we undertake, so a donor knows exactly what’s spent on a project and, best of all, they can visit it in Israel.

“We can all be proud that only 18 cents per dollar donated goes towards administrative costs, and in the last three years alone, JNF Australia has remitted $24.9 million directly to projects in Israel.”

SHANE DESIATNIK