The JWRP Has Changed My Life Forever by Eve Levy
Thousands of women have had the once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a JWRP Momentum Trip. Countless lives have been touched and changed forever. As a City Leader, I have seen first hand the incredible ramifications of the profound experience. I have watched women as they touched the wall for the first time, I have embraced them and cried with them as they worked through so many beautiful raw emotions.
I have had the tremendous pleasure and privilege of taking close to 150 women on this trip so far and it has been worth it for each and every one!
But what about us City Leaders? How does this trip impact us? Why do we keep doing this trip year after year at the expense of our young families?
This trip has changed my life for the better! Where do I even begin?
I had the privilege of living in Israel for 12 incredible years. I came to Israel when I was 18 years old to study. I met my husband there, married there, got my bachelor's degree and had 4 wonderful children all there in Israel. I had travelled the country from top to bottom…snorkeled in the depths of the ocean in Eilat, prayed at the tombs of our matriarchs and patriarchs in Chevron, repelled down the desert mountains, and snow tubed down the slopes of the Chermon…you name it. I was always up for a ‘chavaya’ as we say in Israel, a true ‘Israeli experience.' Over the years, my husband and I were leaders on many trips for college students, seminary and Yeshiva students, Birthright trips and Jewish Medical Ethics programs for students from abroad. Yet, I had never felt that incredibly powerful feeling that you feel on this unique JWRP trip.
When I first heard about JWRP, I couldn’t possibly begin to fathom just how amazing this could be.
So what is it that makes the JWRP trips so magical?
Every woman might have a different answer and every answer is correct.
For me these things made this experience completely life changing:
It’s all about the women. The power of Jewish women and the power of unity on this trip is outstanding.
When you are on the trip and you are swept up in the moment…dancing, singing, praying, hiking, and celebrating with hundreds of other Jewish women and moms just like you there is this incredible feeling of oneness. You may not know whose hand you are holding. You may not speak the same language. But it doesn’t matter. We are one. Religious differences melt away within 24 hours. All judgement is left at the airport. The power of this connection cannot be replicated or forced, it comes out naturally with the trip.
How? Through the power of the leaders. JWRP was created by special women with one main goal- to empower other Jewish women to make the world a better place through love, acceptance, and Jewish values. Every JWRP Trip Leader, Trip Director, Hostess, Logistics Manager, Travel Agent, City Leader, Bus Leader, Madrich/a, and Tour Guide that I have ever met is simply fabulous! Each team player is hand picked for their strong and unique love for the Jewish people. Each of the leaders radiate confidence and clarity. Each one’s beauty shines from within. It is so apparent. So magnificent. So contagious!
I am embarrassed to admit this but while living in Israel all those years I fit right into my neat little world and I didn’t see much outside of that bubble. We had lots of Shabbat guests each week but they were mainly people like us. It was like a safe haven of like minded people living peacefully together in a community. It was out of the norm to mingle with other sects of Jews that had different opinions, dressed differently, and had different views on life and Judaism. JWRP has helped me become more open minded. My love of my fellow Jew has really started to flourish since experiencing the JWRP. JWRP has shown me how the people of Israel are a diverse and magnificent people. Each one is part of the most spectacular orchestra. Each one is important and necessary. Each one needs to be respected and upheld. The soldiers, the Talmudic scholars, the bus drivers (bravest people in the country by far!), the artists in Tzfat, the simple people of Jerusalem…each one is precious to me just like a brother or sister.
Our Sages have told us that in the merit of the righteous women we were redeemed from Egypt…and the ultimate redemption (that we are still waiting for) will once again come about through the Jewish women.
This is what our sages were talking about. This is it! Jewish women making a huge commotion and shaking the heavens, becoming more inspired and committed mothers, wives, and community builders.
Thank you JWRP. I feel so connected to you and to your mission. You have changed my life forever.
With a heart overflowing with gratitude,
City Leader, Portland Kollel