This summer, I was nominated for the trip of a lifetime. To visit Israel with the group Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, hereby called the JWRP. The JWRP was doing a special media tour and they wanted me! I was nominated for the trip by a longtime blogging friend, Ciaran Blumenfeld, of Momfluential. This was right before my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and while I went through the application process, I did wonder if I really should go. Was it selfish of me to take off to Israel for 10 days when my son was chronically ill? While things weren’t really stable with Ben and we’re up most nights, my husband still encouraged me to go. It became something to look forward to and I felt like I was supported at home. The Israel Diaries: Arrival and 1st Full Day with JWRP Media Magne
We left my in-law’s house upstate the Saturday of Thanksgiving so I could go home and finish packing. It felt like minutes later I was at JFK, ready to go on the trip of a lifetime. For the first time in my life, I got to hang out an airport lounge and the experience was so wonderful, I don’t know how I will ever fly without it. I immediately bonded with Chef Chaya when she handed me a Kale Salad, cookies, and kale chips to take on the flight.
On the flight, I met a bunch of women who were traveling also with the JWRP from Washington DC. We bonded over our kids and I really enjoyed chatting with them. We landed in Israel hours later, tired from our journey, but excited for what was to come. It was already late Monday afternoon and I learned that the sun goes down very early in Israel (I think at 4:30 or so).
And when I landed and entered Israel, it felt right. It felt like I was supposed to be there. We were greeted warmly by the members of the JWRP. I was hugged by friends that I hadn’t met yet and didn’t know their wisdom.
I was on the JWRP Media Magnets trip – 30 top women in media, many of which I knew and many that I hadn’t met yet. We were gathered together quickly and boarded the bus to our hotel. We were staying at the Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv, which was right on the beach and offering stunning and humbling views.
By the time I decompressed a little in my room (which means a nap), the sun had set and was even more beautiful.
Dinner was the first chance that I had to see some of the West Coasters that I adore. We had a quick welcome from Adrienne Gold Davis – who was our leader and now I know her to be one of the wisest women I’ve ever met. Adrienne gave us talks just about every morning and while she’s very humble, I can say with the utmost respect that I was blown away by her. A former host for 20 years in Canadian Television, she was riveting and I really, really enjoyed her talks.
She spoke that we would have a paradigm shift on this trip. And we were supposed to be on this trip. Over the next 8 days I came to really respect Adrienne – but more on that in other posts.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner next. It was a kosher meat meal and I couldn’t believe the amazing dishes we got to enjoy.
Amy Kritzer of What Jew Wanna Eat taught me all about Crembo — kind of like a mallomar (the gold covered dessert below).
The next morning (well, I didn’t sleep much due to jet lag) the sun made its entrance around 6 am, so I woke up to this view!
I was amazed at my first real Israeli Breakfast. So many choices! I’ll be posting a video, so definitely check out everything that was to offer — it was amazing.
Right after breakfast, we had our first real session with Adrienne. Adrienne talked about self-image and how simple senseless comments can shape your life.
We packed up and the set off for a Grafitti tour. We kept passing this Russian mega sailboat that frankly had me fascinated.
Graffiti really isn’t just drawings on a wall – there is meaning, our guide Niro Taub of Nirotrip.com explained to us.
This graffiti below shows the murder of Yitzak Rabin twenty years ago.
See more about the Graffiti Tour in my video, which will be up this week.
Next, we went to Alembika Fashion House. Founded in 2005 by Fashion Designer Hagar Alembik, a graduate of the Shenker School of Design and Judith Fadlong PHD, an anthropologist. Alembika offers a collection of a collection for women of all ages. Alembika designs and manufactures exclusive high fashion clothing as well as leather bags and accessories.
Next,Talia Zoref spoke to us. She’s a fashion illustrator and was simply amazing.
Next, we went to the nearby town of Jaffa, which was gorgeous and steeped in history.
As you walk through Jaffa, you see feral cats everywhere. It was sad, but we were told to treat them like rats and not touch them.
I absolutely want to come back to Jaffa.
Next we went to Nalaga’at Center, which is a unique nonprofit cultural center in Tel Aviv. It offers performances by deaf and blind performers. We got to speak with an deaf and blind actor (who communicated with us through his sign language interpreter). He was amazing!
Then we boarded the bus and headed up north. We stopped at Roberg Restaurant, where we had an amazing (meat) meal.
They brought a lot of small tasting plates. By the time that dessert came, I was too full to enjoy it.
Then we stopped at Ruth Rimon Hotel and stopped for the night. Our first full day in Israel was a super busy one, but I went to sleep with a smile on my face. Stay tuned for more of my trip.
Thank you to the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project for making this all happen and sponsoring me for this trip. As always, all opinions are my own and this trip will be shown through my own lens.
Main Trip Sponsors
These are the organizations that made Media Magnets happen.
Partners and Contributors
**These are the companies and people who made sponsorships and contributions.**
**These are the people who inspired you with their words.**
Ilanit Melchior, Director of Tourism for the city of Jerusalem- https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015419238511 or https://www.itraveljerusalem.com/
David Saranga- https://twitter.com/DavidSaranga?lang=en
Miriam Peretz –
**These are the companies and people that gave us fantastic freebies.**
LoveKess Clothing– black racerback tank
Shlomit Ofir Designs– necklace
TALIA– kapara notebook
Ofek Wertman– magnet set
Rebekah Price Designs– bracelet
Gali Maor- framed art