The use of brightly painted bomb shelters in Israel has been found to have a positive impact on children, making the structures more inviting and less intimidating. This has inspired a synagogue in Colorado Springs to raise money to paint a bomb shelter in Israel, using images of local landmarks to create a sense of happiness and calm. The congregation was able to raise over $10,000 in just under a month, demonstrating their commitment to supporting those in need and contributing to emergency efforts for safety in Israel.
In recent years, the Jewish Nation Fund-USA (JNF) has discovered that painting murals on bomb shelters in Israel can significantly improve children’s perceptions of these structures. The murals make the shelters more inviting and less intimidating, beautifying the area and creating a sense of happiness and calm. Barbara Burry, a Mountain States Regional Board Member with JNF, sponsored two murals in Israel, one featuring images of her grandchildren’s dogs and the other depicting a mountain scene.
Inspired by this initiative, Rabbi Jay Sherwood of Temple Shalom in Colorado Springs decided to take on a similar project. Recognizing the fear and stress that children in Israel may experience when seeking shelter in the plain, foreboding structures, Rabbi Sherwood saw an opportunity for his congregation to make a meaningful contribution. After raising over $10,000, the synagogue plans to purchase a bomb shelter and paint it with images of the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, iconic landmarks in Colorado. This gift from Colorado to Israel aims to bring a sense of familiarity and comfort to those seeking shelter.
Rabbi Sherwood expressed his pride in the synagogue’s ability to come together and make this project possible. Despite being a small congregation, they were able to raise not only the funds for the bomb shelter but also a couple of thousand extra dollars that will go towards emergency efforts for safety in Israel. This demonstrates their commitment to supporting those in need and their willingness to take concrete action in times of crisis.
By beautifying bomb shelters in Israel, the synagogue in Colorado Springs is providing a unique contribution to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The painted shelters not only create a more inviting and less intimidating environment for children but also serve as a symbol of solidarity and support from the international community. This project highlights the importance of finding creative and meaningful ways to support those affected by conflict and emphasizes the role that art and beauty can play in promoting a sense of calm and hope in challenging circumstances.