For our last night in Israel, we had a special dinner (just the Fabulous Fifteen) at a delicious Italian restaurant called Picolini. It was a feast, but also a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the trip and plan for the future. Not a few tears were shed, lots of laughs were shared.
We asked each woman to write a sentence or two as a reflection. Here is what they wanted to share with all of you:
Tzipi Altman-Shafer: I was blown away by the strong, caring, intelligent Milwaukee women on this trip. Seeing Israel and Judaism through their eyes inspired me in ways I could not have imagined before the trip.
Robin Arenzon: From this amazing experience, I learned more about who I am and how I process the world. Most importantly I learned that my husband has his own set of amazing skills, and I should appreciate and respect those parts of him.
Laurie Biskowitz: I am grateful to JWRP, the Torah Foundation, and Milwaukee Jewish Federation for helping me to become part of a new community of Jewish women.
Diane Boland: The 15 sisters of Milwaukee have become a beautiful quilt. We've woven our friendship through Zionism, Shabbat, learning, growing, and changing our views. Todah Rabah (Thanks).
Flo Carneol: This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience Israel with women and create lifelong bonds and sisterhood.
Wendy Cohen: I have been empowered to grow, learn, and share more freely and Jewishly. The ideas that were shared and taught were beyond eye opening.
Rebecca Guralnick: I've been a community member for many years. JWRP via the Torah Foundation of Milwaukee reached out to me during a bit of a pause and afforded me the opportunity to reconnect and helping in a new way. I highly recommend the JWRP experience to anyone and everyone who is looking to reconnect in family, life, and their community.
Joan Kazan: Connections . . . through the JWRP inaugural Milwaukee trip. I made strong connections to 14 Milwaukee women that I now consider part of my extended family. I also strengthened my connection to Israel, a place that I now consider my second home.
Donna Kleiner: This JWRP trip to Israel rejuvenated me and reignited my passion for Israel and Judaism.
Jen Kolsky: This trip inspired me to reconnect with myself to try to find a direction in a new chapter of my life. I felt less lost leaving Israel that when I arrived.
Dana Margolis: By being in Israel we have learned that we can all live, love, and laugh together in unity without uniformity!
Lori Salinsky: I'm coming back rejuvenated and ready to be a better spouse and parent.
Julie Schnoll While on JWRP I realized that Israel is my home. I truly felt so welcome, that I belong, and am part of a greater family.
Yael Stein: The experience of going to Israel with my JWRP sisters has allowed me to shift my perspective regarding what's important. I loved how I can connect more with others and Israel. It inspired me to give more of myself. I'm so grateful for this trip and the women on it with me.
Lisa Vondra: It starts with Milwaukee women. JWRP brought together 15 incredible moms for a journey of a lifetime in Israel that touched our souls and created friendships unlike any other.
Thank you Torah Foundation of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Foundation, anonymous donors of Milwaukee, and JWRP for making this experience possible for all of us. Todah Rabah (Thanks so much!)