Atlanta Moms Find Spirit and Momentum in Israel
By Lani Preis
Like most modern mothers, I’m a juggler with very little free time to focus on myself. Between a career, kids’ school and/or summer camp, and my family’s year-round activities, I am the task master of the house, making sure their bodies are fed and their souls are nourished. But how often do I nourish my own?
So, when a friend approached me and said that I needed to apply for the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) Momentum Trip, I didn’t hesitate. I really didn’t know what JWRP meant, nor what would unfold on the trip, but I knew that I had to get back to Israel. Little did I know that this trip would be more than I could have ever imagined and would provide nourishment for my soul beyond what I thought possible.
We love acronyms in the Jewish community, so before I tell you about my trip, let me define a few terms for you:
For me, this was a trip that brought it all together — motherhood, Judaism, spirituality, and Israel. It was a way to connect all those pieces, celebrate their power, and think deeply about how to pass them to our children. Regardless of whether you have ever been to Israel, what rituals you practice in your home, or how you affiliate within the Atlanta community, the trip forges a deeper connection to Judaism and it puts the Jewish mother first!
One of the most beautiful things about the trip is that it is a group experience. In fact, there’s no way for an individual to participate on a Momentum trip — a community group must decide to go together. In Atlanta, we are lucky that both JWC and Federation see the immense value in sending a mini-community of women to Israel. The Jewish community thrives because of community, so why should it be any different for women and mothers?
I know I have not gone into the day-by-day details of MOMentum, but at the end of the day, the itinerary is not what it’s all about. It’s about personal impact. The trip has already made me a stronger Jewish mother and reconnected me to my community. My own personal momentum for a Jewish future has only just begun. I cannot wait to see where I am a year from now!