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My Journey To Israel

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How do we change in the world?

The question itself makes my head spin. I mean, it’s overwhelming, seemingly impossible to change the world. Right? I can hardly make my kids change their own bedsheets.

And yet I know we have to create change. The greatest threat to the Jewish people is not racism or discrimination or wars against Israel. Our biggest enemy is apathy and ignorance.

Something has to change. In the words of Rabbi Hillel:

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?

And if I am only for myself, then what am I?

And if not now, when?”

So, how do I change the world?

One community at a time.

How do I change the community?

One home at a time.

How do I change the home?

One mom at a time.

Sounds like a simple enough answer to a complicated question, changing the world. And yet this is precisely the game plan of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP), which was established in 2008 with the purpose to empower Jewish women to change the world.

How do they do this?

Through their flagship program, T.A.G. (Transform and Grow) Missions to Israel, JWRP offers thousands of women from around the world a special gift: a highly subsidized nine-day action-packed trip to Israel. To date JWRP has brought close to 2,000 women from 40 cities and seven different countries to their homeland.  In 2012, they brought 1,000 more from around the world. This year, they will change the lives of many more women. And, I’m thrilled to say, I’m one of them.

This summer, I’ll embark on a journey with about a dozen St. Louis moms who share the same vision, and that is to experience self-growth and personal development so that we can reach our potential as Jewish women, wives and mothers. As we walk the crowded streets of Jerusalem, pray at the Western Wall, hike the Masada, float in the Dead Sea, eat the best falafel, bargain for souvenirs in Tel Aviv, learn how to make challah, ride a camel, and watch the sun melt into the Mediterranean, we will transform ourselves and reawaken our passion and commitment that has been the legacy of the Jewish people for the last 4,000 years. The goal is that when we return home, our “other” home, we’ll share our stories and enthusiasm to inspire our communities, our families, and our children to love being Jewish, too.

This is how we change the world. One mom at a time.

I plan to document my experiences here in my blog as I prepare myself emotionally and physically for this adventure, and that includes investing in a good pair of walking shoes and figuring out how to endure the longest plane ride in my life—at least 13 hours—without going bonkers.

Please feel free to share any advice you have on making the most of my first trip to Israel.

For now, I better practice my Hebrew. Shalom!