B'haalot'cha, when you go up, which is this week's Torah parashah, has special significance for my family. My father-in-law, Daniel (z'l) and my beloved husband, David (z'l) both read this portion for their b’nei mitzvah. This was not a coincidence. However, several decades later, my daughter, Ilana, read the same parashah for her bat mitzvah. Why is this special? First, because we did not know that Daniel and David had read the same parashah. Second, because Ilana chose this parashah out of six others choices for her bat mitzvah date. And lastly, because David...Read More
As we are approaching the conclusion of our 2017 Women's Journey to Israel, we are all asking one another 'what was your 'wow' moment of the trip? That's always a risk, as each day brought new 'wow' moments to add to the list and some of us still have several days to go. For some it was the first day, as we sat in Independence Hall in the very place where Israel was declared a state. For many it was the inspirational Rosh Chodesh worship with Women of the Wall (WOW), and the beauty of being together in prayer, despite the distraction of those heckling and attempting to disrupt our prayers...Read More
As supporters of the YES Fund, it was wonderful to get to see first-hand just how WRJ changes lives through its philanthropic efforts. The WRJ Women’s Journey to Israel gave each of us a great opportunity to see our work in action. We began by meeting with several female Rabbis who have benefited from YES Fund Grants while attending Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem. With our help, these amazing women are having an impact on Progressive Judaism through their work with conversion programs, bar/bat mitzvah programs and interfaith dialogues.
We were...Read More
Imagine a desert oasis so lush that it kicked my allergies into high season! That's what we discovered when we headed down a dry road deep in the Arava, tight up against the Jordanian border, and were warmly greeted at Kibbutz Lotan. Our friend, Alex Cicelsky, along with other Reform youth movement grads, established Lotan in the early 1980s as an eco-Jewish collective based on a creative approach to egalitarian Judaism and a deep commitment to environmental protection.
Where once was a solitary acacia tree, there is now a thriving community of a couple hundred people, partnered...Read More
Forty-six women began a travel journey on May 21st in Tel Aviv. We had WRJ in common although many of us were meeting for the first time. Our connection began over food and a getting to know you ice-breaker that would unfold over several days... exchanging our favorite books, movies, foods (chocolate was a clear winner), favorite TV shows and more. We have walked and ridden miles together, always talking, sharing and learning. We wept together at Independence Hall watching the signing of Israel's Independence and singing Hatikvah. We connected with mothers and daughters experiencing the...Read More