Following the October 7th massacre in Israel by Hamas terrorists, Jewish National Fund-USA launched an Israel Resilience Campaign to meet the emergency needs of the residents of the communities most affected by the ongoing crisis. Determined to make a difference, Denver philanthropist , Bob Lembke, made a landmark $360,000 contribution to the campaign and called for others in the community to join him in supporting this critical work. “We are talking about housing, feeding, and caring for 15,000 evacuated individuals—whether they be Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Druse or other. Jewish National Fund has chosen to assist all members of the community affected by these attacks,” explained Lembke, “These folks have suffered tremendous trauma, and most of them have had to flee with nothing but the clothes on their backs. All of Israel has stepped up to support them, and now we need to step up too.” In answer to the call, Toby Mower and the Shana Glassman Foundation, both from Denver too, have joined in to bring the total opening gift to $1 million. They ask that this gift be matched by others, in whatever capacity they can provide.
In addition to seeing to the needs of evacuees, including offering high-quality psychological and therapeutic treatments, the Jewish National Fund-USA’s Israel Resilience Campaign is providing firefighting and protective equipment for civil defense as rocket fire continues from Gaza, respite activities for children traumatized by terror and their parents, childcare for parents who work on the southern Ovda Airforce Base as schools are currently not in session, support for families evacuated from 28 communities in Northern Israel as fears of a second front persist, and much more.
Most of the communities now absorbing the evacuated residents do so with open arms and love in their hearts. However, for some of these areas the evacuees account for a sudden 25% population growth, or more, straining local resources and supplies. Jewish National Fund-USA is ensuring that every family who needs it is fed, housed, clothed, and cared for without breaking the host communities that have already given so much.
Describing the need, Lembke shared, “The network, the skills, and the focus that have been Jewish National Fund-USA’s winning formula for decades has been a lifesaving force these last few weeks. I’m Christian, but I love Israel and the work of Jewish National Fund-USA to build a strong country for all her citizens-be they Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Druse. That is why I just made a gift of $360,000 to the Israel Resilience Emergency Campaign. I am asking you to join me. I know in Jewish tradition chai (18) means life, and my gift of double chai + is my prayer for the Israeli people during this dark time in her history, and a hope that life in the affected communities is redoubled. Please join me. Give double chai, and you can add your zeros based on your ability to give. If you have the financial capacity to give $360,000, do it. If you can give $36,000, $3,600, $360 or $36, do it today. Join me.” Echoing his sentiment, Toby Mower shared the deep love that her late husband, Dr. Mort Mower, and she share for the land and people of Israel, and said, “I have supported Israel for as long as I can remember, and I continue to do so in honor of Mort’s memory and his commitment to Jewish National Fund-USA. This is a time when all of us are called to offer what we can to help.”
Rachael Solomon, Jewish National Fund-USA’s Executive Director, Mountain States and Pacific Northwest, said, “Bob embodies our philosophy that leadership leads. His generosity will inspire Israelis and Americans alike and show that we are one large family, and we stand by each other in times of need.” Jewish National Fund-USA continues to raise funds for the emergency campaign, and has pledged that 100% of the emergency funds raised will go towards the immediate needs in Israel—without any administrative costs.
To support Jewish National Fund-USA’s Israel Resilience Campaign, visit jnf.org/supportisrael and any gifts made before Thursday, November 2nd, will be matched by this pledge