Colorado Philanthropists Unite on Women’s Mission to Israel

A group of philanthropic “wonder women,” including several from Denver and other parts of Colorado, recently participated in Jewish National Fund-USA’s Queen of Sheba Mission to Israel, where they witnessed firsthand the incredible work the organization is doing for the land and people of Israel while making memories that will last a lifetime.

One particularly memorable moment for the participants was planting trees in front of the Dr. Toby Mower community center in Zuqim. Donated by Mower, a prominent Denver philanthropist, the community center is a popular communal spot for residents living in this artists’ colony in Israel’s Arava region that now boasts over 400 families — a powerful success story in the middle of the desert.

Colorado Residents Eileen Lash, Barbara Burry, and Julia Rymer Brucker in front of the Dr. Toby Mower community center in Zuqim

“I was blown away seeing the projects that Jewish National Fund-USA is supporting in Israel,” said Julia Rymer Brucker of Littleton, CO, whose mission to Israel with the organization was her first time in the country.

“This was an experience that showed me an Israel teeming with life, vitality, and pride for a strong country, and I really felt, for the first time, a sense of being part of a Jewish nation. I hope to take my family to Israel in the near future so that my children can see the connection they have to the land and people early in their lives.”

Another emotional moment came when Aurora resident Eileen Lash visited the painted bomb shelter that she and her late husband sponsored. Although her husband passed away before he was able to view it, she finally saw with her own eyes the finished product — a beautiful shelter that gives children a ray of sunshine during their scariest moments. Lash says she now plans to sponsor the painting of another bomb shelter in honor of her husband.

Queen of Sheba Mission visiting the Nefesh B’Nefesh building in Jerusalem

Additional trip highlights included:

  • Exploring Ammunition Hill, the site of the famed 1967 battle that enabled Israel to reunify Jerusalem,
  • A visit to Jewish National Fund-USA’s GrooveTech, a safe and welcoming space in the Gaza Envelope where children can thrive during the day and after school hours through innovative programs and amenities that include rock climbing walls, virtual reality rooms, a planetarium, science and robotics spaces, art workshops, and more,
  • Sitting in on an Arava International Center for Agriculture Training (AICAT) class, which imparts professional agricultural knowledge and skills to students from developing countries,
  • And hearing a moving performance from the Special in Uniform Band on an army base, while seeing how soldiers with disabilities are successfully being integrated into the IDF.

Visit to view all opportunities to travel to Israel with Jewish National Fund-USA or register for the first-ever Global Conference for Israel taking place November 30-December 3, 2023, in Denver to learn more about the organization’s work in Israel. Learn more at  

About Jewish National Fund-USA

Jewish National Fund-USA builds a strong, vibrant future for the land and people of Israel through bold initiatives and Zionist education. As a leading philanthropic movement, the organization supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south as it develops new communities in the Negev and Galilee, connects the next generation to Israel, and creates infrastructure and programs that support ecology, people with disabilities, and heritage site preservation, all while running a fully accredited study abroad experience through its Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Learn more at

About Stefan Oberman

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