JWRP Sister Spotlight: Michelle Millman
One year ago, Michelle Millman had just begun her MOMentum journey in Israel, and we decided to check in to see where her journey has taken her since then. A wife, mother to three sons, and family nurse practitioner living in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Michelle spoke with us about her relationship with her Israeli family and how she instills Jewish values into her daily work.
What inspired you to travel to Israel with the JWRP?
I had heard that the MOMentum Trip was very empowering. I wanted to see Israel from a new perspective and learn more about myself as a Jewish mother, wife, and person. I also wanted to find the missing link in my life — the knowledge and spirituality that I knew could make my life even more fulfilling.
How did MOMentum impact you?
During the trip, everyone around me was crying, and even though I felt awe, I kept waiting for the moment when I would break down and cry, too. One afternoon, we were listening to Lori Palatnik speak in Jerusalem, and I thought we’d tour the Old City after that. But suddenly, the doors of the building opened and right in front of me stood the Kotel. It was such a spiritually uplifting experience. Every Passover during our seders, we say, “Next year in Jerusalem,” and there I was, in Jerusalem, facing the Kotel. I felt like a lock who had found her key.
The trip was such an eye-opener for me. It helped me discover my spiritual side and showed me the richness of our history and culture. It also showed me that we’re not supposed to be perfect, and that we were each put on this earth for a unique reason.
How is your Israeli family similar to your family in the US? How are you different?
My grandfather is a Holocaust survivor and was the only survivor in his entire family. He escaped by crossing a river from Poland to Russia. My grandmother and her sister hid in Russia. After the war, her sister moved to Israel, and my grandparents moved to the US. Though we live thousands of miles apart, our families are very close. We are both very family conscious and love spending time together. My Israeli family is carefree and casual. While we worry about our children’s safety outside our home, our Israeli cousins are a lot more laidback. Many of my Israeli cousins have served in high positions in the Israeli army. We share the same roots and honor our family’s history.
How do you instill Jewish values in your work?
I truly believe that when you save one life, you save the world, and I feel humbled that my profession allows me to do this. I show a lot of compassion and empathy to my patients, and I encourage them to believe in themselves and to have faith that, with the right steps, they can improve their health and their lives. Each day, I wear my JWRP necklace to work, which shows women holding up the world. I hope that it inspires women to recognize the impact that they can have on others and to support one another.