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An Artist's Legacy of Love for the Land & People of Israel

An Artist's Legacy of Love for the Land & People of Israel

Judy Guth is synonymous with passion. She lived a life that centered on her loves-Israel, art, animals, and the environment. Judy wrote books and short stories about her artwork, which was an expression of her truth, life, and beliefs, and at the end of her life she chose to be buried with some of her most important pieces.

Born in Hungary on November 26, 1930, Judy and her parents survived the Holocaust by hiding from "Hitler's gang," as Judy referred to the Nazis. Following WWII, her father left for Palestine with the hope that he would soon be reunited with Judy and her mother in the Jewish homeland. "My father was there when Palestine became Israel, the country that I love and am so proud of," Judy would recount when speaking of her memories of her father and Israel. However, due to discriminatory laws enacted by the new communist regime in Budapest restricting the movement of Jews, the Guth women never made it to Israel and Judy's father subsequently reunited with the family in Hungary. After the Hungarian revolution in 1956, the Guth family came to America and lived their life "in peace without fear."

Judy was married three times and had no children. Her number one love was always Israel, and upon her passing in 2016, she left a generous bequest to Jewish National Fund (JNF) for its work in preserving and protecting the land and people of Israel. Always a strong advocate of Jewish National Fund, Judy was intimately aware and proud of how the organization provides a unique voice in building a prosperous and secure future for the land and people of Israel.

"Judy looked at the Diaspora as people who needed to be educated when it came to Israel and Judaism," said Rabbi Yossi Spritzer of the Chabad of Chatsworth, CA, who was Judy's rabbi and friend. "She looked at my children as the future because they are brought up with love of Israel and Torah, and saw those two key components as the links to the survival of the Jewish people." These beliefs were evident in the motto Judy lived by: The Jewish people must survive.

As an environmentalist, it was important to Judy to ensure that Israel was beautifully sustained; she took part in that by planting trees, as exemplified by the 30 trees she planted in honor of Rabbi Spritzer's 30th birthday. It was important to Judy to be involved in an organization that aligned with her passions, and Jewish National Fund was the right fit. For over 118 years, JNF has been "greening" the desert with millions of trees and is today building thousands of parks across Israel, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel's water supply, helping develop innovative arid agriculture techniques, ensuring that no citizen is left behind by making parks and public spaces inclusive for people with disabilities and special needs, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

A woman of many talents, Judy was a gifted, award-winning artist and used clay as one of her favorite mediums. One of her celebrated works, with which she is buried, is a two-and-a-half-foot vase depicting the story of her life.

In addition to Israel and the environment, Judy loved all animals. An owner of an apartment building in North Hollywood, CA, her one prerequisite for all tenants was that they must own a pet in order to rent from her. If a tenant's pet passed away, Judy would take them to a shelter to adopt a new family member.

A woman of many passions and accomplishments, what held deep meaning for Judy was Israel. Throughout her life she traveled to Israel many times, each time reaffirming her love and commitment to the country and the Jewish people. She was proud of everything Jewish National Fund does each day to take care of her number one love, and her legacy lives on in the land she cared so deeply for.

To leave your legacy and read other stories of people who have left their estates to Jewish National Fund, visit jnflegacy.org or call 800.562.7526.


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