Birthright for Moms: the Israel Tour You Never Knew About
It’s a thing, and it’s huge. Read More
Birthright for moms: it’s a thing! Less vodka/hook-ups on the beach, more wine/conversations about Shabbat observance.
It’s called the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, and, according to a fascinating write-up over at JTA, the program has sent 5,000 women from 19 countries to Israel since 2009. (Who knew?!) The eight-day trip is pretty much free (participants need only cover the airfare), and sounds a lot like a typical Birthright program, with visits to the Dead Sea, Masada, and Shabbat in Jerusalem.
But the trip isn’t simply about having fun, (re)discovering your Jewish identity, or solidifying your connection with the State of Israel. And since the participants are already parents, it’s not about pairing off with a nice Jewish gal/guy to eventually make more Jewish babies. Instead, it’s a religious outreach program with strong connections to Orthodox organization Aish Hatorah. The organizers hope to encourage the participants, who don’t keep Shabbat, to take on more traditional Jewish observance upon their return home—and thus influence the religious lives of their family members.
Says the organization’s founding director, Lori Palatink: “If you impact a 22-year-old boy, you impact a 22-year-old boy. If you impact the mother, you can impact the whole family. If we want to have Jewish communities rise, a community lives and dies by where the women are.”
If you’re interested in becoming more observant (or if you’re a staunch secularist who can stomach the religious emphasis for a week), it sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
Read the full story here.