by Amy Lefcoe
The water was low, but our determination was high as we kayaked our way down the Jordan River, pushing at times instead of rowing. We had already been in the North for a day but it felt like much longer. We were 200 Jewish women from across the country, together in the Holy Land to learn, to experience, to grow and unexpectedly, to be part of and support a grieving nation. No doubt, our first 24 hours were an emotional roller coaster.
The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project is a movement focused on making the world a better place. The trip to Israel, known as the Transform and Grow Tour (TAG) is just the beginning of the journey. Souls soared as they were exposed to holy sites, life changing Torah concepts and a beautiful new sisterhood. A highlight of the trip was the naming ceremony atop Masada where women who didn’t have a Hebrew name, took the opportunity to get one. We danced in celebration for our very own Melissa who now has the Hebrew name Shifra.
The women bonded over dinner at beautiful wineries, danced at the Kotel on Friday night and enjoyed a mud covered swim in the Dead Sea. The power of all these Jewish women was unstoppable. We laughed, cried, sang and prayed. We made new friends from many different places, each on different points in their journey, but with familiar desires and goals.
The Mitzvah Mamas, as the Tidewater women affectionately dubbed themselves were a strong and engaged presence, making the most of each new experience. They were leaders, friends and role models each bringing their own special qualities to the whole group.
A calendar of learning, Shabbos dinners and special events are planned for the upcoming year. If interested in participating in any of these programs or for information on next year’s trip to Israel, contact Amy Lefcoe at 757-343-3638 or firstname.lastname@example.org.