Left to right – Elie Klein, Rachael Solomon, Lauren Hayutin, Cindy Altberger, Ester Steinberg, Nancy Bernstein, Melanie Foster StevePeterson.photo

400 Unite at Jewish National Fund-USA’s Women for Israel Annual Event

400 philanthropic “wonder women” attended Jewish National Fund-USA’s Women for Israel Annual Event in Denver on February 13, 2024, to recognize their impact on the land and people of Israel. The event addressed the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists on October 7 and highlighted Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAAIM).

One of the evening’s featured speakers was Elie Klein, Jewish National Fund-USA’s Liaison for ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran, a world-class rehabilitation facility for people with disabilities located just 12 miles from the border with Gaza. Klein discussed how the village shifted into overdrive to heal even more of Israel’s wounded and keep its most vulnerable citizens safe and secure in the wake of the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history, which left over 2,000 individuals with life-long disabilities, and how ADI Negev is now helping solve Israel’s rehabilitation crisis.

“As this horrific war rages on, it is essential that we consistently remind ourselves what we are fighting for and never allow our interest or passionate support of Israel to wane,” said Klein. “This war is about more than securing Israel’s safety and maintaining its sovereignty — we are fighting for our very humanity. That’s why I feel a responsibility to share the story of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran far and wide, to highlight this bastion of compassionate care and acceptance as a shining example of the light we must harness to make it through these dark times.”

Actress and comedian Ester Steinberg, whose credits include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Up Early Tonight on Hulu, and Adam Ruins Everything, also took to the stage. Steinberg has been featured in The New York Times, Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Hey Alma, Tablet Magazine, and Kveller. She’s also the host of the Stand-Up Mom podcast and spoke about her experience growing up in a traditional Jewish household with an Israeli mother and oddball father.

Co-Chairs Cindy Altberger and Lauren Hayutin updated guests about Jewish National Fund-USA’s Israel Resilience Campaign (jnf.org/supportisrael), which has raised almost $60 million since the “Black Shabbat.” The campaign also includes the Livnot B’Yachad – Build Together plan, a bold, strategic initiative to restore the ravaged communities in the Israel Envelope.

“In the face of such adversity, we all have risen to the challenge, providing crucial support to hundreds of thousands of evacuees and tens of thousands of volunteers while also funding their fire departments, offering aid to lone soldiers, families of hostages, and so much more,” said Altberger and Hayutin. “We continue to work tirelessly to address immediate needs such as displaced family housing, mental health crises, and childcare, as well as preparing for long-term infrastructure support. Now, more than ever, it is important to unite as a community, to stand together in our grief, maintain our pride, and steadfastly support the people of Israel.”

For more information or to learn about future events, contact Melanie Foster, Associate Director, Mountain States, at mfoster@jnf.org or 303.573.7095 x937.

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