Program Spotlight: Get Ready for Summer!
Whether your summer plans involve the mountains or cities of Colorado or travel to Israel, JEWISHcolorado has exciting programming in store for you!
Celebrate Israel Walk + Festival
We are kicking off summer early with a big birthday party in Israel’s honor! Join us Sunday, May 6 for the Celebrate Israel Walk + Festival at Denver’s South High School to honor Israel’s 70th birthday. There is no cost to attend, but attendees must register in advance. As in year’s past, the day will start with a 2-mile walk. The party will continue with live music, Israeli dancing, a Let’s Talk Israel tent with short Israel-themed lectures, kids activities, community tables, Israeli (shuk) market, photo booth, train rides, bounce house, balloon artist, face painting, food trucks, and much, much more.
Special commemorative Israel@70 T-shirts available now! You can order yours today before we sell out. Kosher boxed lunches also available for advanced purchase. Click here to order yours.
One Happy Camper Sends Campers to Jewish Summer Camp!
JEWISHcolorado is committed to helping children enjoy the gift of Jewish summer camp. Our program One Happy Camper provides funds to help families afford camp costs. A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated to One Happy Camper this year. We are thrilled to be sending over 135 campers off to camp this summer.
Studies show that children with meaningful Jewish camp experiences are more likely to become adults who value their Jewish heritage, support Jewish causes, and take on leadership roles in their communities. Since 2012, JEWISHcolorado has helped send over 600 Colorado kids to camp with an average scholarship of $700-$1,000. Thank you for helping us carry on this tradition!
Travel to Israel with JEWISHcolorado!
From teens to young adults to families, we want to help you experience the incredible country of Israel this summer.
JEWISHcolorado’s Joyce Zeff Israel Study Tour (IST) takes high school students the summer before their senior year on a 5-week trip of a lifetime to Poland and Israel. This year’s IST is one of our largest groups ever! We are thrilled to have 89 students traveling with us! From sunrise at Masada to Shabbat at the Western Wall, adventure, exceptional leaders and Jewish content guide students to learn, explore and soak up every moment.
IST began taking teens to Israel in 1971 and currently has over 2,600 alumni. Do you know a student interested in joining a future trip or would you like to support this fabulous experience for the next generation of Jewish leaders? Contact Josh Samet for more information.
Birthright Israel – From June 24-July 3, a Birthright Bus with over 20 young adults aged 22-26 from Colorado is headed to Israel! Our bus will have one staff member from JEWISHcolorado, and we have our first orientation on May 1 for participants and parents. JEWISHcolorado is proud to have filled over half of this bus. We look forward to connecting the experience these Coloradans will have on Birthright to the incredible work of JEWISHcolorado back home.
Ramat HaNegev – If your travel plans include a trip to Israel with your family or friends, consider adding a visit to Ramat HaNegev to experience life in Colorado’s partnership region! Contact Josh Samet for a travel brochure outlining all that our partnership region’s beautiful oasis in the Negev has to offer.
Bring Israel Home to You!
Host an Israeli Teen Emissary! JEWISHcolorado is committed to building an engaged and committed Colorado Jewish community with Israel at its core. Israeli Teen Emissaries offer valuable personal connections and education to community members of all ages. In fact, community demand is so high for these connections that this fall JEWISHcolorado is hosting 4 Israeli Teen Emissaries, up from 2 hosted in previous years.
Our 4 new Teen Emissaries will be arriving in Colorado this August and JEWISHcolorado is currently seeking host families. Each Teen Emissary will live with 3 different families over the course of their stay, so 12 host families are sought in total. Interested in learning more about this great opportunity? Contact Elyssa Hammerman.
Donate a Car to an Israeli Teen Emissary! JEWISHcolorado is looking for 2 good cars for our Israeli Teen Emissaries to drive during their time in Colorado. Planning to buy a new car but don’t want to sell your old one? Donate it to us! Contact Elyssa Hammerman for more information or to donate your car today!
What will your legacy be? Making a bequest to JEWISHcolorado is simple, whether you are writing your first will or want to designate JEWISHcolorado as a beneficiary of your IRA. There are many different vehicles for creating a legacy that is right for you and your family to secure the programs you care most about for generations to come. And we can help you. JEWISHcolorado is thrilled to introduce Karen Silverman as the new Endowment and Planned Gifts Manager. Karen has been a nonprofit professional for over 20 years and is excited to help us grow our Endowment and Planned Giving Program. You can work with Karen on current giving through Donor Advised Funds and legacy gifts through wills, trusts, retirement plans or life insurance policies. Investing with JEWISHcolorado ensures a strong rate of return on your dollar while having a long-lasting impact for community good. Contact Karen Silverman for more information.
Donor Spotlight: Alan Brandt
JEWISHcolorado’s philanthropic donors are the key to community service delivery in Colorado, Israel, and around the world.
This month we are pleased to introduce you to Alan Brandt, JEWISHcolorado’s Treasurer and past Chair of the Planning and Grant Making Committee.
Alan’s relationship with JEWISHcolorado began during his first visit to Israel in 2001 on a Federation Solidarity Mission. His cohort included Lee Kay, Herzl Melmed, Michael Merson, Marti Grazi and Marsha Gardenswartz, of blessed memory. They visited an IDF air base, Jerusalem, and Ramat HaNegev, where Alan first met Mayor Shmulik Rifman, of blessed memory.
Lucky for JEWISHcolorado, Alan’s involvement has grown over the years from donor to active volunteer to Board member.
“In this time, I have found JEWISHcolorado to be an organization that does good locally, in Israel, and around the world. I find it to be very deliberate in its policy as it strives to make a positive difference in whatever project it is undertaking.”
From a lay leader’s eyes, Alan said he witnesses a strong dedication of volunteers and leaders who work endless hours to aid in JEWISHcolorado’s mission.
“And don’t get me started on the commitment I see on a regular basis by the professional staff. I have had the privilege of seeing them work tirelessly on behalf of JEWISHcolorado. When you see commitment like that, you know there are great things going on and efforts well worth investing in.”
Alan focuses his efforts on Israel, Ramat HaNegev, and caring for the vulnerable, especially seniors.
“I am involved in JEWISHcolorado’s work to care for our vulnerable seniors, assisting individuals with special needs as well as providing a social setting and atmosphere where seniors can meet and enjoy the company of their peers. We have an obligation to help.”
On Israel, Alan shares that the Zionist spirit of 70 years ago is incredibly alive and inspiring. David Ben-Gurion believed that the future of Israel was in the Negev. Alan shares that vision and is thrilled to see that the investment and work JEWISHcolorado puts into the Negev helps fulfill that vision as well as its other endeavors in Israel.
“Most impressive is when Israelis tell me that it is not just the funding, but the personal relationships we have created between our communities. The connections we have worked hard to develop really make me feel as if I have a second home there.”
Giving back is a key tenant of being Jewish for Alan. He points to the prayer recited at the High Holidays that repentance, prayer and charity can alleviate the decree. Yet, to Alan, tzedakah is more than charity. It is about righteousness, justice and fairness. Tzedakah was something clearly instilled in him as a child. He would accompany his grandmother, of blessed memory, to the Post Office to send packages to her sister, a Holocaust survivor living in Israel.
“I am proud tzedakah continues to be a core value in my family. From my grandmother to me, to my children and on to my grandchildren, tzedakah is a key part of our lives.”