JWRP Sister Spotlight: Ayelet Levy
Ayelet Levy is a wife, mother of four children — two of whom are Israeli soldiers, and a JWRP sister who lives in Gedera, Israel. While she used to work in pharmaceuticals, she now runs a trip planning business. “When I no longer wanted to work with sickness, I decided to work with pleasure,” she says. We spoke to Ayelet about what it was like to experience her country alongside 400 women from around the world and why the Israel/Diaspora relationship is so important.
What inspired you to apply for MOMentum?
My friend told me about her own MOMentum experience and it sounded amazing. I wanted to travel throughout Israel and see the land from a different perspective. I wanted to meet other mothers different countries and be an ambassador for Israel. When I learned the trip dates, I was concerned because they really didn’t work with my schedule. My business was very busy and my kids were on summer break. But, I knew that MOMentum was a not-to-be-missed opportunity, so I decided to go.
How did MOMentum impact you?
The trip’s highlight was visiting Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. As an Israeli, I’m used to traveling around Israel, hearing about Ben Gurion’s speech, and singing Hatikvah. But, experiencing all of this alongside 400 Jewish women from around the world was so emotional. It brought a new depth to the experiences and showed me why Israel is so important to the Jewish people.
MOMentum really strengthened my connection to Israel and to Jewish values. It forced me to take a step back and find new meaning in all of the things that I used to take for granted and that are part of my daily life, like Jewish holidays and lifecycle events. I feel newly inspired to pass on Jewish values to my children so that they can grow up to be wonderful people. I’m also more open to the people around me, regardless of their backgrounds. Instead of just seeing people, I actually look at them.
In what ways did the Israeli sisters on your MOMentum experience impact their Diaspora sisters?
First of all, we explained what daily life is like in Israel. Our sisters learned that even though we send our children to the army, we don’t deal with wars and politics every day. A few days before we visited Jerusalem during our MOMentum experience, there had been issues on the Temple Mount, which had been widely covered in the media. But the atmosphere around the Kotel, which is right near the Temple Mount, was calm.
Our lives and our sisters’ lives are very similar. We are mothers, wives, and professionals who deal with the same issues. Our sisters from outside of Israel were amazed to see how modern Israeli society is and that so many of the things they use every day, like Waze and USBs, were invented in Israel.
Why do you think the Israel/Diaspora relationship is so important?
Throughout the world, Israel is shown negatively in the media. That’s why it’s so important to us that Jews in the Diaspora visit Israel, hear our voices, and represent us in their countries around the world. Having the opportunity to meet in person, share our lives with one another, and then stay in touch on social media is vital to the Israel/Diaspora relationship. Israel is always open to our Diaspora sisters and we look forward to seeing them again soon.