Jewish National Fund-USA Philanthropic Giant, Inventor of the Implantable Defibrillator Remembered

Denver, CO: April 27, 2022 – Jewish National Fund-USA mourns the passing of Dr. Morton “Mort” Mower, a legendary member of the organization’s King Solomon Society and World Chairman’s Council, who was also the inventor of the Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) for congestive heart failure.


“Dr. Mower loved Israel with a passion beyond words,” said Jewish National Fund-USA President, Dr. Sol Lizerbram. “He even made it his mission last month to travel back to Israel with Jewish National Fund-USA to see the land and its people that he cherished so dearly. Because of Dr. Mower and his dear wife, Dr. Toby Mower, their philanthropic footprint is felt and seen throughout our Jewish homeland.”


Dr. Lizerbram continued: “When Israel was on the brink of a water catastrophe 25 years ago, as the National Chair of our Parson’s Water Fund, Dr. Mower worked with Ronald Lauder and Jewish National Fund-USA to do what the world’s greatest civilizations had failed to achieve. Through his vision and support of our philanthropic investments in water infrastructure, Israel became the first civilization to overcome its water challenges and today recycles more water than any other country on earth.”


Drs. Toby and Mort Mower


“As a medical inventor, his innovations restarted the hearts of millions, yet he also gave a heartbeat to an entire nation – the land and people of Israel,” said Jewish National Fund-USA Chief Executive Officer, Russell F. Robinson. “The world has lost a philanthropic luminary and I have lost a friend. While small in stature, Dr. Mower leaves behind a giant legacy.”


One of the Mower’s major commitments was in support of Jewish National Fund-USA’s affiliate, Nefesh B’Nefesh, through the creation of the Toby & Mort Mower Pavilion at the organization’s new Jerusalem campus, which has already seen thousands of Ukrainian refugees pass through its doors.


“Dr. Mower was one half of a philanthropic powerhouse couple,” explained Robinson. “Together with Toby, they made numerous commitments that touched the lives of so many. I will never forget how Dr. Mower would look out over the hills of the Galilee from the Mower Observatory all the way towards the Negev Desert and watch his vision for Israel come alive.”


The Mowers were also recipients of Jewish National Fund-USA’s highest honors, including the Tree of Life™ and Heritage awards.


Drs. Mort and Toby Mower receive JNF-USA's Heritage Award


Robinson continued: “From gifting kindergartens and community centers to building water infrastructure and driving environmental initiatives in Israel, the life of every single Israeli has been made richer because of them. When I think of our people’s great Zionist leaders, in the same breath as I say Herzl, Ben Gurion, and Meir, I also say Dr. Mort Mower. He accomplished more than most will achieve in a million lifetimes and his legacy will be perpetuated through our work for the land and people of Israel for generations to come.”


Dr. Mower is survived by his wife, Toby, children Robin and Mark, Daughter-in-law Kathleen, and grandsons Mason, Luca and Zeke Mower.




Media Contact:

Stefan Oberman

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About Jewish National Fund-USA

JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, JNF-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation.