By Madi Hoesten, 6/28/2018
Finally! My first trip to Israel! I can say with no uncertainty that my first experience in Eretz Yisrael was anything but typical. Dead Sea? Nope. Massada? Nope. Tunnels? Well, you get the idea…
Yet, I feel that I came away from this adventure greatly enriched with a strong understanding and love for the land and the people. My travels immersed me in the lives of Israeli Progressive Jews along with their trials and successes.
My first impressions upon arriving were, “the airport is beautiful, clean, and so quiet.” Then it hit me. I really was in Israel! We had landed on a... Read More
By Rabbi Rinat Safania, Shani Rotem. Yael Rotem, 9/18/2017
Reflections on the “You and I” mother and daughter seminar, a process whereby girls and their mothers learn about the Jewish meaning of a Bat Mitzvah ceremony and prepare for their Aliyah l’Torah with their rabbi.
Reflections from the Rabbi:
“The “Mothers and Daughters” seminar is a very special program. Only two percent of girls in Israel celebrate becoming a Bat Mitzvah in a meaningful way, beyond just having a party. Many mothers, most who have never celebrated becoming a bat mitzvah themselves, hope that their daughters’ ceremonies will be meaningful but don’t know how to make that... Read More
By Denise Levine & Liz McOsker, Israel Trip Committee Co-Chairs, 5/24/2017
When we first got involved with WRJ, we learned the basics of the YES Fund. We learned about money given to HUC-JIR, scholarships for Rabbinic and Cantorial Students, money for NFTY and the RAC. Sometime later, buried in the “Special Project” section, was money given to the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) for the Bat Mitzvah program. We had no real idea what that program was.
WRJ partners with the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism to sponsor the Mother-Daughter Bat Mitzvah Program. Most girls in Israel do not become Bat Mitzvah. They often have big parties (... Read More
By fredi Bleeker Franks, 5/23/2017
There were so many details to work out - work budgets, social plans for my husband, flights and hotel for graduations, two weddings to plan for - that I really did not have time to think about my upcoming trip. Even at the airport waiting to board I did not have time to focus on my itinerary.
Finally, I boarded the plane, stepped over the gentleman who chose not to move out of the way for me as I claimed the seat next to him, and buckled my seat belt. Then, the flight attendant gave the usual pre-flight instructions. Oh wait! He was speaking Hebrew! And then it became real. I started to... Read More
By Rabbi Marla Feldman, 1/30/2017
Dear Senators and Representatives,
I’m sure that you are aware that the recent Women’s March, held around the world, was among the largest unified gatherings in human history. Sadly, it is unlikely the Administration was paying attention – our new president seemed much more focused on measuring the size of his crowd than noticing the millions of women and their supporters speaking out for their rights and their values.
So now I turn to you – our elected representatives, to let you know that I am holding you accountable. Whether or not I vote for you, or actively seek your defeat, when... Read More