MOMentumAviram Waldman

More than 400 Jewish women from around the world visited Israel during the past week as a part of the MOMentum project of the JWRP (Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project) and the Israeli Diaspora Ministry. Included among the women participating in the current campaign are groups from the United States and Canada and, surprisingly, a group of women from Turkey.

The project, which aims to strengthen the connection between Israel and Diaspora Jewry, has brought to Israel over the past decade more than 15,000 Jewish women from 26 different countries. The project participants are mothers with little knowledge of Israel and Judaism, most of whom have never visited Israel before. During their 8-day trip to Israel, the women toured Safed, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, Masada and Jerusalem, where they visited Yad Vashem, Mount Herzl and the Western Wall.

Anna Eskinzi, currently residing in Istanbul, said: “From now on I acknowledge that I will never be the same person, but better, brighter, wiser. I’ve gone to places that I wouldn’t have been able to if I was not part of this beautiful organization. [MOMentum is] not just about discovering Israel, but discovering myself. I will always cherish and remember my precious time in Israel.”

Lori Palatnik, founder of JWRP, said: “We are pleased that we have also received a group of women from Turkey to participate in the project this year, and their last day in Israel is actually the first day they begin the real journey with the values and experiences they have accumulated here.”

Lori added: “Throughout the stay in Israel, the participants are accompanied by Israeli women, who make the experience even more empowering. I have no doubt that the ties that have been forged between them will follow them for many years to come.”