Recharge your soul and travel with the J to Israel for a once-in-a-lifetime journey with fellow Jewish women, July 3 – 10, 2023. A MOMentum Year-Long Journey trip is free for participants, excluding airfare. Read on to learn more about a St. Louisan’s experience on a previous MOMentum trip. Are you a Jewish mom with kids at home 18 and under? You are invited!
For more information, contact Vickie Shuchart, 314-442-3111.
Although she’d taken three previous trips to Israel, Ann Mayer Eisen joined a MOMentum trip to Israel in 2019 to get a fresh perspective through the lens of a woman and a mother. MOMentum, formerly the Jewish’ Women’s Renaissance Project was founded in 2008 to empower women to change the world through Jewish values that transform women, families, and communities.
“The goal of MOMentum is to teach moms about Israel and deepen their connection to Judaism so they can impart those values to their children,” Ann explains. While Ann is very connected to the St. Louis Jewish community, it surprised her that she didn’t know half the women on the trip. “It was not my first trip to Israel, but it was my first with a group of women from St. Louis and it was nice to make new friendships.”
Ann traveled and spent most of the time with her cohort from St. Louis, however, there were more than 500 women from across the US on the MOMentum trip. Participants can expect some of the normal Israel tourist stops to see the major sights, and there were plenty of opportunities to have fun and learn. “Traveling with women created a special camaraderie and was an interesting dynamic. There were seminars on topics that ranged from parenting, relationships, finding your passion, and innovation, all viewed through a Jewish lens – sort of like a Jewish Ted Talk,” Ann recalls.
The cost of MOMentum trips is subsidized, making it more affordable, but that doesn’t mean the accommodations are average. “We had excellent food, sometimes in restaurants, banquet halls and even on a party boat on the Sea of Galilee, and there was always plenty of wine,” says Ann. “It made for a very celebratory atmosphere, where we could have fun and unwind.” Celebrating Shabbat at the Kotel with women, singing and dancing was a special memory. The group was able to meet with their sister city in Israel, and two of the Israeli women joined the St. Louis group on the tour.
Reflecting on the impact of the trip, Ann shares that many women feel a deeper commitment to participating in Jewish cultural and religious activities. Many moms report they celebrate Shabbat more regularly, bake challah, and light candles to deepen Jewish connections by sharing these traditions with family and setting an example.
For Ann, who already felt connected to her Jewish roots, her involvement deepened as she stayed involved in her temple and more involved in the J’s Nishmah programming, where she is a past president and now serves as committee chair.
While MOMentum was founded by Orthodox Jewish women, Ann stresses the trip is not about becoming more observant or becoming Orthodox. “I want people to know that MOMentum is for any Jewish woman, wherever they are, and however they feel engaged in the Jewish Community.”