JWRP Sister Spotlight: Ilene Rubowitz Moore



As the medical director of a community center in Minneapolis, Ilene Rubowitz Moore loves that her work is steeped in Jewish values. In her role, she works with an underserved population, teaching people how to parent with limited resources and how to successfully raise children among chaos. After a dinner out with her JWRP sisters, Ilene, a wife and mother of twins, spoke with us about how Judaism inspires her work as a doctor, as well as the values that she believes, are intrinsic to Jewish parenting. 

Why did you decide to travel to Israel with the JWRP?

When MOMentum was first offered in 2009, a few of my friends applied and I decided to apply, too. I wanted to experience the country with a group of Jewish women. I thought that I might not be accepted. But I was, and I was excited to see where the experience would take me. 

How did MOMentum impact you?

It was life-changing. I finally realized that Judaism was not all or nothing. I started studying Jewish topics and began lighting Shabbat candles and baking challah. I also stopped driving on Shabbat, which was easy for me because I really enjoy spending time with my kids at home. I also decided to send my children to a Jewish day school. Fortunately, my husband was very supportive because he saw that Judaism could enrich our lives and that Jewish parenting was mindful parenting. I believe that my MOMentum experience helped me become a better wife, mother, pediatrician, and friend. 

How do Jewish values affect the way how you practice medicine?

Our relationship with G-d can be analogous to a child’s relationship with her parents. G-d is our creator, and we approach him with respect, love, awe, and gratitude. Children should relate to their parents similarly. As a doctor, I employ this idea in helping to strengthen families. I support my patients’ parents in setting boundaries — which kids want — and gaining the authority to raise grateful, respectful, and kind children. At a time when so much of parenting is crowdsourced, and there is so much conflicting information out there, Judaism’s timeless teachings about parenting are invaluable. 

What are some values that you try to impart to your children?

We teach them gratitude, kindness, and respect. They play well with other children, and they say thank you — unasked — for everything. They are also friendly to everyone they meet, asking museum attendants how they are, and warmly greeting the woman who gives out samples at Costco. It helps that Jewish values are a part of their Jewish day school’s curriculum. It’s incredible when your children’s school supports the life you live — or the life you want to live.

To the Top