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Empowering Jewish women to change their communities

Members of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project trip to Israel this summer took this photo on top of the Aish building in the Old City. The group included Dini Freed (first row, from left), Deb Brown, Susan Ullman, Stacey Gotskind and Anneliese Brock. Second row: Andrea Baran, Amy Franklin, Myra Karasik, Andrea Levitan, Melinda Janofsky and Karen Loggia.

I just experienced the most spiritual, beautiful love affair that one person could ask for in a land that is so much a part of my soul that I long to be there for eternity. Of course I am speaking of Eretz Yisrael.

Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, where when you walk down the street every eight out of 10 people are Jewish. Israel is no longer a third world country, but a land that is thriving in every area of life, in every industry. Many say that to truly understand Israel, you have visit it, and I believe that’s true.

On July 24, I left Kansas City with 10 other women, all moms with children under the age of 18, to participate in the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. The mission of JWRP, like the Kansas City Kollel, JWRP’s partner organization in Kansas City, is to “empower women to change the world through Jewish values that transform ourselves, our families and our communities.”

The eight-day adventure takes women from all over the world to Tiberius, Tzfat/Safed, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Masada and the Dead Sea. Every day is packed with educational seminars, sightseeing adventures with Israeli tour guides, culinary delights and opportunities to connect with Israeli women. The culminating effect of submerging oneself into such a rich and powerful experience is to learn that there is always more to learn, more room to love in your heart and more room to grow as an individual.  

The majority of our group had never been to Israel and to watch their hearts get pulled into our homeland is an indescribable blessing. These women were changed to their very core through such things as educational classes in Jewish values, experiencing a mikvah in Tzfat, touching the Kotel, Shabbat in Jerusalem and meeting 200 other Jewish moms from all over the world.

The JWRP and KC Kollel are a blessing to the Kansas City community because these two organizations help bring Jewish women together from all belief systems to form a more cohesive unit in our community, our country and the world at large. Coming back to K.C. we are empowered to continue our Jewish education through the K.C. Kollel, be an advocate for Israel and try and make a difference in the overall Jewish community.

There is no other opportunity like the JWRP in existence that can create the diversity of experiences that are just for women. Women who are forever changed, through tears, laughter, sweat, and mentally challenging education.

After two trips on JWRP and talking to more than 100 other women who have been part of JWRP, I feel comfortable saying that every mom in Kansas City who wants to should have the opportunity to connect with JWRP and the Kansas City Kollel. Because when you have the opportunity to give this gift to a mom, you are ensuring the longevity of the Jewish people.

If you are interested in going on a JWRP trip or would like to help the KC Kollel send more women on this trip, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can be the difference in the continuity of the Jewish people.