Passover, JWRP and AIPAC By Lynn Oves


What do Passover, JWRP and AIPAC all have in common?

As I reflect on the holiday of Passover and the story of G`D bringing us out of Egypt, I feel blessed to have the freedom and opportunities of choices and ways of expressing my beliefs from my home here in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. While the Jews were living in Egypt, the Jewish families had limited power, and thus, limited choices. They were slaves and oftentimes followed a non-traditional lifestyle due to their environment.  Presently, we repeat the story of being lead out of Egypt; many of these lessons link the past to our present day. 

Throughout our history, we as Jews have been in many very narrow places and situations that were dark enough to bring us to the edge of our existence.  Still today, these fractured situations of the past have required us to stay on the path of connecting and moving towards a future of light and freedom.  I believe Judaism to be an action-driven religion that promotes growth, digging deep with humility, and asking questions that might be uncomfortable. 

I have learned from many leaders and guides who have shared their wisdom and light and presented a broad yet embracing path.  Over twenty years ago I was introduced to a bipartisan pro-Israel lobby, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), that was established in 1950 after the modern state of Israel was formed, that had a singular focus of keeping Israel safe and secure. Historically, AIPAC ensured that the Prime Minister of Israel was invited into the White House through the front door, not just Camp David. They ensured Israel received foreign aid, not loans that needed to be paid back.  This foreign aid package guarantees that eighty percent be spent in the United States, which further creates joint efforts of cooperation. Currently, AIPAC educates all of us, including elected officials, about the importance of a strong American-Israeli relationship. This strong relationship leads to shared technology, innovation, collaborative efforts on environmental and energy developments, not to mention shared values on terrorism and security issues. 

In 2010, I was selected to join many women from all over the world to travel through Israel with Jewish Women Renaissance Project (JWRP). As you know, JWRP’s program is designed to empower, inspire, and educate women to feel a deeper connection to Jewish values and the land of Israel.  This year I received an invitation from JWRP to join them in Washington, D.C. for the annual AIPAC policy conference this March.  This was a very happy moment for me on many levels, and it confirmed what I always believed, which is that when one leads a spiritual life, there is synchronicity.  With all of this experience and a stronger connection, we take this empowerment back to our families and communities, and continue the personal growth while bringing others along this journey.

Presently, there are many new challenges for us as a Jewish people and state of Israel. Freedom is again being threatened, as is our very existence. Similar to the Jews living in Egypt, the handwriting is on the wall in regards to heightened anti-Semitism as a global movement. The boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israeli products and businesses continue to grow, as does the battle of young college students, who often sit on the front lines of this anti-Semitism. Almost every direction one turns, there are people, universities, media outlets, and organizations, including the U.N., who try to delegitimize Israel and the Jewish people. Furthermore, this past year, the largest funder of international terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, was basically given the green light to continue their work of gaining nuclear capabilities. Additionally, they were given a windfall of one hundred and fifty billions dollars towards their proxies of terror, giving Iran a new level of respectability with international partners.

As Passover approaches, we must ask ourselves important questions as Jewish women in our homes and communities.

Are we doing enough individually to help transcend our strengths into action? (It would have been enough).

 Are we doing enough as individuals to use our tools of active listening to create an environment of tolerance and recognizing otherness?  (It would have been enough).

 Are we invested as individuals to do the hard work necessary to gather facts from many reliable sources and not create a narrative and loud opinion based on misinformation and biases? (It would have been enough).

Are we equipped as grounded leaders to not jump to conclusions based on a limited scope of information to feed our confirmation bias, which we then spill out all over the Internet? (It would have been enough).

Are we willing to plant seeds of growth and not make it political? (It would have been enough).

Are we connected to our source in ways that bring light and love, connection and hope?

Can we make choices that bond us together to paint a positive picture as a united voice?


Lynn Oves is a JWRP Momentum Trip Participant.

To the Top