Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey

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New Jersey Federation Travels to Israel to Dedicate Million Dollar Memorial

May 2, 2005

Lay leaders and executives of Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey are traveling to Israel, to dedicate a memorial to the largest donor ever to Federation’s Endowment Foundation.

Watchung farmer Mack Ness, who passed away in January 2004, named Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey as the sole beneficiary of his massive estate – provided the money be used to help Israel and a memorial be created to honor his mother, his brother and himself.  To that end, The Ness Business Loan Program will be dedicated in the southern Israeli city of Arad on May 10th, during Federation’s one-week Role of Philanthropy Mission.

The business loan initiative is aimed at attracting start-up companies to Israel’s financially strapped and scarcely populated southern Negev region, which is where Federation’s sister communities of Arad and Tamar are located.  The loans are expected to range from $10,000 to $70,000, with the average loan being about $40,000.  Steering Committee chair Gerry Flanzbaum, says the Ness Business Loan Program will bring to the area opportunities that “until now have only been a dream.”

Federation Executive Vice President Stanley Stone notes that “it is especially significant that this dedication is taking place just two days before Yom Ha’Atzmaut, when Israel will celebrate her 57th birthday.  We hope our loan program will go a long way toward helping struggling Israelis that have potential to become productive members of Israel’s economy, and we thank Mr. Ness for entrusting us with the responsibility and privilege of seeing that his philanthropic goals are met and that those in need will benefit from his largesse.”

While in Israel, mission participants will also be visiting social service programs already supported by Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey and will be looking for other potential uses of the proceeds of Mr. Ness’ estate.

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