Jewish moms visit Israel for first time, receive Hebrew names

40 Jewish moms from around the world receive Hebrew names in Israeli desert ceremony.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

צילום: אבירם וולדמן

Over 40 Jewish mothers from around the world will celebrate the beauty of receiving a Hebrew name as part of a life-changing “MOMentum” trip to Israel.

The ceremony will take place during the women's first visit to Israel, organized by the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) and Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.

JWRP will offer its participants the chance to have bestowed upon them a Hebrew name if they never received one as a child. Four ceremonies will take place May 11, 14, 18 and 21 at Eretz Bereshit, also known as Genesis Land, in the Judean Desert between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

Among the women receiving a name is Nathalie Scipioni, an interior designer from Melbourne, Australia.

“The Hebrew name I have chosen is Shirel. I selected this one for the qualities I hope to have; expressing my connection to G-d and singing his praise to the world,” said Scipioni.

She never received a Hebrew name because her mother, a French Jew, was baptized by her parents after they lost family in Holocaust and wanted to protect her.

"I was unaware of my origins until I was learning about the Holocaust at age 11, and then my mother finally told me. Getting a Hebrew name in Israel will take me one step closer to feeling complete in my Jewish identity.”

The JWRP MOMentum trip, an exclusive eight-day journey to Israel, is aimed to inspire women to connect deeply with their Jewish heritage and transform themselves, their families and ultimately their communities and the wider world. JWRP believes that MOMentum will help inspire a new generation of women leaders in the Jewish community and beyond.

“We learn that when a Jewish parent names their newborn they receive 1/60th of prophesy; that the essence of the soul of their child is reflected in the name they chose. For those who never received a Jewish name, there is the perception that they were denied a part of their birthright," said Trip Leader Adrienne Gold.

“Judging by the free-flowing tears as these women declare themselves by their Hebrew names, the last pieces of their identities fall into place. Shakespeare asked ‘What's in a name?’ Clearly he never attended a JWRP naming ceremony. What's in a name is a piece of a woman's soul.”

MOMentum takes the women across Israel, from the mystical Galilee city of Tzfat to the ancient desert mountaintop fortress Masada. The trip features extensive itineraries and curated curricula encompassing everything from Jewish values to contemporary Israeli society.

More than 10,000 Jewish mothers from 26 countries have participated in the Momentum journeys. The trips have proved so popular that JWRP branched into men’s trips, dubbed “MoMENtum,” upon hearing from countless husbands that they needed to share their wives’ life-changing experiences.