More than 5,600 Jewish mothers from 26 countries will have an opportunity to visit Israel this year as a result of a new initiative between Washington-based Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project and Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.
The two on March 20 announced a $12.5 million expansion of JWRP’s Momentum program, which sends Jewish mothers with a child younger than 18 to Israel for eight days. Participants pay only for airfare. Since 2014, JWRP has split the cost of the program with Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.
“We both agree that the best way to strengthen the Jewish community is to inspire the Jewish mother,” said Lori Palatnik, director of JWRP. “If you inspire a 22-year old boy, you inspire a 22-year old boy who has a sister and brother and parents. But if you inspire the Jewish mother, you inspire the whole family.”
Dvir Kahana, director general of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, said, “The ministry considers Momentum to be a game-changing project. Not only do we provide equal funding, but we also work together as full partners — both in the strategic planning and program execution.”
It was with the goal of putting Jewish women in touch with their heritage that JWRP was founded in 2008. More than 7,000 women have gone to Israel on the Momentum program in eight years.
Meanwhile, Cindy Zitelman was named JWRP’s board chairman.