Participants pictured with Doron Almog, the founder of Israel’s leading rehabilitation hospital.

Jewish Philanthropists Catch the Spirit in Uplifting Mission to Israel

DENVER, April 11, 2022 — After seven magical days in Israel, 12 Jewish National Fund-USA partners (donors), mostly from the Colorado area, returned home from the organization’s Catch the Spirit Mission — one of the first missions to return to Israel since the start of the pandemic.

Reinvigorated by the majesty of the Holy Land and amazed by the impactful work the organization is doing for the land and people of Israel, participants visited Alexander Muss High School in Israel’s (Muss) campus in Hod Hasharon, where they learned how Jewish National Fund-USA’s flagship study abroad in Israel program has been changing teens’ lives for the last 50 years with immersive experiential programs that cement lifelong connections with Israel. They also visited the future site of Jewish National Fund-USA’s World Zionist Village, a massive 20-acre project to be built in the heart of Be’er Sheva that will forever change Jewish learning and the future of Zionism. The Village will house a second Muss campus, an Innovation Center for post-graduates interning in various hi-tech companies, and a Zionist Adult Education Center.

Participants braved a strong desert breeze to look out over the Ramon Crater

“Jewish National Fund-USA’s work in Israel educating Jewish teens and providing meaningful and personal connections to the land and people of Israel is unparalleled,” said Mission Chair and Muss President, Ron Werner. “The Catch the Spirit trip was a monumental success in being able to show our partners how we are creating the next generation of Jewish leaders, and how our World Zionist Village will be a game-changer for global Zionist and Jewish educational engagement.”

Other highlights of the mission included a visit to the GrooveTech Center Dedicated to Betsy Fischer in Eshkol, a water treatment center in Eilot that showcased Israel’s incredible water innovations, Jewish National Fund-USA’s Ammunition Hill heritage site, and multiple donor dedication ceremonies to thank partners for their incredible generosity, including:
• The Alan Cohen Tzofar Water Reclamation site
• The Toby & Mort Mower Pavilion at the new Nefesh B’Nefesh building
• The Toby Mower Zuqim Community Center
• And the Toby & Mort Mower Wastewater Plant at the Eilot Region

Toby and Mort Mower pictured at their dedication of an environmentally friendly wastewater treatment plant in Eilot.

“When you see with your own eyes how Jewish National Fund-USA’s Therapeutic Center in Sderot is helping children, when you can experience with all five senses the nature sites that we helped preserve, it makes the work we do in support of the land and people of Israel come to life for our partners and they really feel a sense of pride knowing where their philanthropic dollars are being spent,” said Jewish National Fund-USA Executive Director, Mountain States and Pacific Northwest, Boaz Meir. “We’re thrilled that Israel has opened its borders to tourists once again and that our Travel & Tours Department is back in full swing, with incredible trips already scheduled well into 2023! It’s time to come home for a visit.”

For more information on future opportunities to travel to Israel with Jewish National Fund-USA, visit jnf.org/travel.

About Stefan Oberman

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