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 Angelica Vohland, 1/29/2018
I had the opportunity to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem on my first trip to Israel through the Reform Movement’s Sci-Tech Israel program. Jerusalem was one of the most anticipated stops on our tour of numerous factories and tech-startups located throughout the nation. My soul was swelling with excitement; I knew I was footsteps away from a place I had merely visited in childhood daydreams. As I walked through the women’s courtyard for the very first time, I noticed that a stark barrier stood distinctly to my left, separating me from the male friends I had met on my science- and... 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 Rabbi Marla J. Feldman, 6/08/2017
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. I'... Read More
By Vivian Blumstein and Susan Singer, 6/07/2017
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