Denver Philanthropists to Celebrate Israel at 75 at Annual Community Breakfast

For lovers of Israel in the Colorado region, it’s time once again to celebrate the Jewish State with the leading philanthropic organization for Israel. On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at 8:00 am, Jewish National Fund-USA’s Breakfast for Israel will be held at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. The annual community event will celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary and highlight several of the organization’s programs making Israel’s desert bloom, supporting individuals with disabilities, and educating Zionist leaders of tomorrow.

Co-chaired by Barbara Burry, Ryan Cohn, and Michael Marcus, the event will also feature keynote speaker Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed. Dr. Abu Hamed is the Executive Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a Jewish National Fund-USA affiliate whose diverse student body tackles the world’s most pressing environmental issues while fostering cooperation in the Middle East.

In a recent episode of Jewish National Fund-USA’s IsraelCast podcast, Dr. Abu Hamed discussed the importance of Israelis and their neighbors working together on environmental issues, even when they agree on little else. “We cannot use the political conflict as an excuse for not protecting the shared environment of the region that we live in,” he said. “We want to use environmental cooperation and the success we’ve had here in the region as a model for other regions around the world.”

Dr Tareq Abu Hamed

The Arava Institute is part of Jewish National Fund-USA’s strategic investment in the Arava region, from its support of the Central Arava Emergency Response Center to the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT), which provides professional agricultural training to more than 1,200 students annually from 16 countries in Asia and Africa, and an array of water and community development initiatives designed to improve quality of life there.

“We’re thrilled that our Breakfast for Israel in Denver will highlight the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies,” said Event Co-chair and former JNF-USA Mountain States Board President, Barbara Burry. “It brings Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, and other students from around the world together to study the environment, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and energy conservation. This program furthers relationship building among students who would otherwise have no contact with each other and creates mutual awareness and understanding.”

The Breakfast will also acknowledge three Arava Institute alumni who are Colorado locals, Alexis Woodrow, Jaclyn Best, and Michael Keglovits.

“The work the Arava Institute is doing with Jewish National Fund-USA is helping solve some of the world’s toughest problems like world hunger and the global water crisis,” added JNF-USA Mountain States Vice President of Fundraising, Yaron Marcus. “These challenges transcend boundaries, politics, and religion. The fruits of our collaborative efforts are literally saving the world. Our Breakfast for Israel will shine a light on these meaningful endeavors and offer opportunity for our local community to get involved and further our cause.”

For more information and to register, visit or contact Rachael Solomon, JNF-USA Executive Director, Mountain States & Pacific NW at or 303.573.7095 x978.

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