2017 JWRP MOMentum Trip to Israel for Jewish Moms … Memories

Inspiring and amazing! Can’t put into words what the last 9 days did for my heart and soul! Thank you JWRP/CTN for making this trip available for so many amazing women.
— Debbie Schwartz Silver

This year once again, CTN took part in the life changing, eight day JWRP MOMentum Mission to Israel for Jewish moms, connecting us to the land, to our Jewish values, and to each other.

You are welcome to browse the pictures below, as well as to scroll down and read a day by day review of the highlights of this amazing experience, written by CTN 2017 trip participant and blogger, Julia Estrin. To watch the final JWRP 2017 MOMentum Trip video, click HERE

Day 1 – Arrive in Israel … Welcome Home!

Not that long ago we met for the first time as a group of excited, cautious, eager strangers for our first “get to know you session” back home. After sharing our stories of what brought us all into that room as future “Israel sisters”, we parted with a sense of community in the making and a newfound realization of how much we actually have in common and how similar our quests and challenges are, previously held so unique and, for some, lonely.Read more

Day 2 started with a lecture by Adrienne Gold titled “The Kabbalah of love”.

It was a treasure trove of insight into the challenges and rewards of making a marriage work: equally informed by her personal life experience and the wisdom of Jewish thought and Torah teachings.

Some of the ideas Adrienne shared with us that really resonated with me:
1. Love is a verb, not an emotion. The herbrew root of “ahava” is “to give”. When we invest a real effort into our marriage and give to our spouses we fall in love with them.Read more

Day 3 started, for a handful of us willing to get up at 6:00am, with a session of yoga on the beach in Tel Aviv.

With the warmth of the rising sun on our backs and the sea lapping at the shoreline, the sound of waves both soothing and energizing, it was an incredible way to start the day.

We enjoyed an abundant Israeli breakfast and headed over to the Tel Aviv stock exchange to be treated to another inspiring lecture by Adrienne Gold on “Your contribution to Jewish Destiny”.Read more

Day 4. This trip should be called: “a boot camp for a Jewish woman’s body and soul”.

With an intense itinerary and too little time left to sleep for our jet lagged brain, we are driven solely by adrenaline and, at times, Divine intervention. Baruch Hashem.

Today we set off early to beat the 104F heat for a tour of Masada: an ancient complex, built on a massive plateau overlooking the Dead Sea as a magnificent fortified palace by king Herod in 30BCE. Read more

Day 5: Erev Shabbat.

Friday morning started with a couple of presentations by our trip leaders.

The first, by Adrienne Gold was titled “Reclaiming our dignity: Women, self-esteem and beauty in the glare of the media”. Adrienne shared powerful, poignant, painfully sincere reminiscences about her own struggles with the demons of self doubt and distorted body image which informed her fashion, behavior, lifestyle, even career choices. Read more

Day 6: Shabbat

Our phones have been turned off and our wallets put away for 25 gloriously ‘disconnected’ hours. Moms are Shomer Shabbos in Jerusalem.

While any form of ‘creative’ activity is off-limits, learning and sharing is the order of the day.

Our first lecture by Adrienne Gold was “Teaching our children values: The gift of generosity”. Read more

Day 7. The day that tugged at our heart strings. Hard.

First stop of the day was our volunteer experience at Aleh, one of 4 residential facilities in Israel for severely physically and mentally disabled children and adults. The Jerusalem campus services 80 inpatient residents and 150 ‘commuters’. The state of the art facility services children of all ages, from infants to young adults. Our role, as volunteers, was to help bring a little diversion and a ray of sunshine into the daily routine of children who may not be able to communicate by any conventional means. Read more

Day 8: The last day in Israel

How quickly the time flew by! The whirlwind that swept us just about a week ago is coming to rest but our journey is not over.

Today’s activities are all about how to take home what we experienced in Israel and make it an essential part of our lives going forward.

The morning is spent on activities, in groups and individually, designed to help us process and internalize what we’ve learned over the last several days and to start planning ahead for concrete steps to bring the message home. Read more

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