Laughter and Tears: Queen of Sheba Mission.
(photo credit: KKL)
Laughter and Tears: Queen of Sheba Mission
"I've seen pictures of the projects we support back home, but seeing them in reality and meeting the people they benefit makes it all much more meaningful," said Toni Dusik, a member of the Queen of Sheba women's mission to Israel. The Queen of Sheba mission, run by JNF USA, spent a week touring KKL-JNF projects over in southern and central Israel.
The JNF USA Queen of Sheba women's mission which was expertly orchestrated by KKL-JNF's Tali Tzur, included 32 women from all parts of the USA, some of whom had never been to Israel or been involved with KKL-JNF previously. The theme of the visit was "Laughter and Tears – Seeing Israel through Women's Eyes," and it included visits to KKL-JNF sites in the Negev Desert and Central Israel along with meetings with women from all wakes of life, from Flora Shushan, the mayor of the southern city of Mitzpe Ramon, to Anet Haskia, a Moslem Arab woman from Acco who is a staunch Zionist, and many more.
One such encounter took place on October 20, at the KKL-JNF site in Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem. There, the group met Karnit Goldwasser, the widow of Udi Goldwasser, who was kidnapped and killed by the Hezbollah terrorists during the Second Lebanese War along with Eldad Regev.
After the meeting with Karnit, the group went to the Wall of Honor at Ammunition Hill, a project of JNF USA, commemorates Jews who served in their country's armed forces.
Following a short ceremony, the group learned about the terrible battle that was fought during the Six Day War on Ammunition Hill. Izzy, their guide, made history come alive as he led the women through the trenches where face-to-face combat between the Israelis and Jordanians had taken place.
The last stop of the day was the 9/11 Living Memorial. After she and the other women had laid a rose on the memorial, Helene Blumenfeld, co-chair of the mission, noted that the mission had been one and a half years in the making: "Some of the women have never been to Israel before. When they go back home, they're going to spread the message that KKL-JNF gets it done. They saw many projects and understood that they need continual donations to maintain them. Personally, I've been involved with KKL-JNF for over forty years, and there's nothing like it."