I have been to Israel many times – mostly to visit family. In March 2018, I had the privilege to join a trip to Israel, sponsored by NCJW, The Jewish Women’s Funding Network, and the Dafna Fund of Israel. The trip, “Force for Change: Israel Through a Gender Lens,” was designed to introduce American women to the smartest, savviest feminists not only in Israel but anywhere in the world. This was an incredible opportunity to meet women from all walks of life, doing extraordinary work. Their courage was mind-boggling – their ability to keep their faith and maintain hope in the work they were doing (in what is essentially a patriarchal society) was astonishing. These passionate, smart, and committed women had very real goals that aligned perfectly with the goals of NCJW.
When I went to the Women Wage Peace symposium I was so moved by the video they played and the peace quilt they created that I started to think of ways we could engage in similar work back in the states. NCJW Sacramento section regularly holds “Mitzvah in A Minute(MIM)” events. These events provide opportunities for volunteers to engage in very short-term service projects that make a true impact. Upon my return from Israel, we organized a MIM during which participants created their own quilt squares. It was an event geared toward families so volunteers could bring their children and grandchildren – everyone could get involved. Additionally, we added a budget item into our yearly budget to raise money for NCJW National’s work in Israel. We successfully raised $1,000 and have included the budget item in our 2019 budget.