"Inspire a woman, you inspire a family. Inspire enough families, you inspire a community. Inspire enough communities, you can change the world”. This is the strength of the JWRP – Jewish Women's Renaissance Project. Our MOMentum programme began on Monday 8th May 2017 at Ben Gurion airport with 18 women from Sydney East accompanied by our Trip Leader Arianne Schneider and Madricha Rowlene Kramer. Each of us with different reasons for wanting to be on the trip, but each open and eager to learn. This was to be an experience for every one of us to inspire one another and to connect with each other, to bond together with likeminded women from all over the globe. We started our journey in Tiberias, with a dinner at the Decks Restaurant, an amazing restaurant that seems to float over the sea of Galilee. This night set the tone for the trip with the laughter, the dancing and the fireworks. I knew this was something special. Then we travelled to the mystical city of Tsfat, the synagogues and the Mikva. And you could feel the magic in the air. The following day was spent in Tel Aviv listening to Sivan Yaari, the founder and CEO of Innovation Africa. Birthright Innovation centre followed, showing us why Israel is known as the Start Up Nation. Before heading for Jerusalem, we visited Beit Haatzmaut, the very same room the members of the Provisional State Council met in May 1948 to declare the State of Israel. Hearing Hatikvah from that very same ceremony brought tears to my eyes. Travelling onto Jerusalem, we arrived singing songs of Jerusalem. Seven “Israeli First-timers” had finally arrived home. I cannot describe the feeling as we walked through the Jaffa Gate into the Old City. Before our journey to the Kotel, we were each gifted a siddur engraved with our names, for some of us, this was our first. And finally, the Kotel. The power of prayer, of being together, the sisterhood and the amazing bond we now shared was an incredible experience. We went on to tour Masada, went Camel Riding in the desert and lunch at Kfar Nokdim. It was here we attended a Naming Ceremony for the women who didn’t have a Jewish Name. Two of our girls received theirs. Nathalie Scipioni grew up in a Catholic Family and always felt connected to the religion, Nathalie found out her Maternal grandparents were Jewish but only at her University in Florence did she find out the religion is carried through your mother and Nathalie was in fact Jewish. On Friday, we got to experience the real Magic of the Holy Land and this did not disappoint. We lit Shabbat candles and just before we entered the Kotel, we were met with a circle of IDF soldiers singing Yerushalayim Shel Zahav. We welcomed the Shabbat Queen with joy, with singing and dancing. With the birds flying alongside the wall, the echoes of the songs and the Israeli Soldiers, the memory is forever etched in my mind as one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. We visited Yad Vashem, Har Hertzl as well as Susan’s House. This day was very emotional for so many reasons but for the obvious, that we had family members listed there. We were fortunate to meet, listen to and learn from some amazing Jewish women like Adrienne Gold, Miriam Peretz and Rachel Fraenkel. This journey is one I will never forget; I feel so connected to the Land of Israel and to the mothers on my trip. We ate and we danced, we laughed, and we cried with emotion. We cried from laughter, we shared and we learned, we sang and we spoke. We inspired each other, we connected and we bonded as Jewish Sisters and Mothers to change the world. I feel so honoured to have been a part of this trip with a group of amazing women.
Post Trip Meetings
Reunion post trip
Discussing Sukkot in the Sukkah
The Final Shiur Orah 2017 has now reached the end of their Year of Learning. Here are some pictures from the last meeting which provided a recap of learning topics as well as a special musical treat from Elana Shatari.