Meet Our Extraordinary Leadership Award Winners
Our JWRP community is made up of thousands of individuals who infuse their passion and positivity into our movement and into the world. This December at our North American Momentum Conference, we’re excited to honor three of these incredible women for their enormous vision, wisdom, and can-do spirit. In our conversations with the award winners, they share what empowers their leadership, as well as their advice for JWRP sisters who want to step up and take action, too. To hear from each amazing woman in real time, reserve your spot at our Momentum Conference now.
Janice Weinman, Pamela Claman Award Winner
Hadassah CEO Janice Weinman is an international role model who has significantly impacted the Jewish world with her leadership. For over 100 years, Hadassah has empowered women to make a difference for Israel and the global Jewish community. Last year, Janice showed tremendous vision by launching a partnership between Hadassah and the JWRP, which has expanded both organizations’ reach and impact.
What inspired Hadassah’s partnership with the JWRP?
Both Hadassah and the JWRP share a common goal of ensuring that Jewish women carry on the traditions of our people and our homeland. When we learned that MOMentum exposes Jewish women to spirituality, Jewish life, and Israel, we thought the partnership was a perfect match. We’ve seen an amazing impact, with women returning from their MOMentum Trip feeling enlightened and energized, and committed to maintaining a Jewish home and fulfilling the goals of Jewish continuity. We’ve seen them gel as a group and assume leadership positions in their communities. Together, Hadassah and the JWRP can create a generation of women who are committed to Israel and Jewish values, knowledgeable, and bonded to one another, and that is extremely valuable.
How can we inspire the next generation of Jewish women leaders?
It’s very important that women who undertake acts of kindness share what they do, how their activities impact others, and why the activities bring them satisfaction. This will show other women how they, too, can positively create change on a daily basis, and that acts of kindness need not detract from our responsibilities as professional women and mothers.
Debra Magerman, JWRP Lay Leadership Award Winner
After experiencing MOMentum in 2012, Debra Magerman and her husband dedicated themselves to growing the JWRP presence in Philadelphia. Through their work with the JWRP’s Partner Organizations, they have inspired hundreds more local women to join MOMentum. Debra has also served as a MOMentum Madricha, impacting women and their families throughout Philadelphia.
What inspired your lay leadership in the JWRP?
A friend told me about MOMentum several years ago and I decided to apply for the trip to Israel. I thought it sounded like a great way to reinforce the Jewish values that are important to me and to make them a greater part of my life. Once I returned home, I began encouraging other women from my community to get involved. Since then, I’ve been a Madricha three times. When there were attacks in Jerusalem last fall, my husband and I helped sponsor buses that ensured the safety of JWRP sisters while they were in Israel. This year, I chaired a JWRP Unity Event in Philadelphia.
I love doing my part to create MOMentum cohorts. When we received 50 applications for 18 spots, we had a lot of decisions to make. I always ask myself, “Who are the right people at the right time in their lives to experience MOMentum?” The JWRP offers powerful messages that can benefit everyone.
What advice would you give to other JWRP sisters who’d like to get more involved in the JWRP?
Take baby steps in your involvement. Even though mothers make many of the decisions that matter most, make sure your partner is on board, too. Commit to ongoing learning. Get involved in activities that are most meaningful to you.
Karen Nightingale, JWRP City Leader Award Winner
In her role as a JWRP City Leader from Aish South Florida, Karen Nightingale has gone above and beyond her duties by becoming a teacher, mentor, and friend to the hundreds of JWRP sisters in her area. By infusing her work with love, energy, and thought, she has inspired other Florida-based organizations to become Partner Organizations and has guided them in welcoming many more women to the MOMentum Year-Long Journey. Karen will soon lead her sixth MOMentum Trip, while her husband will lead his second MoMENtum Trip for Men.
What inspired you to partner with the JWRP?
I’ve been a Jewish professional for over 30 years. When Lori said, “Judaism isn’t in the hands of the Jewish professionals — it’s in the hands of Jewish mothers,” it spoke to me. Mothers imbue their homes with spirituality, traditions, and a love of Israel. Mothers are hungry for Jewish values that they can pass onto their children.
I love that the JWRP empowers women to take action and to become leaders in their communities. I’ve seen multiple JWRP sisters who traveled to Israel with me in the past go on to lead their own MOMentum Trips.
How has MOMentum impacted JWRP sisters in your community?
Many of our events, like the Back-to-School Food Bank and the Sukkah Party, are family-oriented, and JWRP sisters arrive from cities throughout South Florida. I’m based in Hollywood, Florida, and a few of my JWRP sisters have relocated here in order to live in a Jewish community. I connect with all of my JWRP sisters by sending them a fun weekly email about Jewish values and Jewish life. In addition to attending events at Aish South Florida, my JWRP sisters get together on their own and my recent MOMentum group meets up once a week. The JWRP was an especially important tool and support system for our JWRP sisters from Parkland after the tragic Parkland school shooting. Each year, I love seeing my JWRP sisters connect to Jewish values, have positive experiences in Israel, and become leaders in their lives!
We feel so inspired by each of our award winners and can’t wait to introduce you to them in person at our Momentum Leadership Conference. Register now to reserve your spot. We’re excited to see you there!