Remembrance to rebirth
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Remembrance to rebirth

JFNNJ's Women's Philanthropy goes to Israel

For the first time since 2008, members of Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey will travel to Israel together.

The mission will also include a short stay in Poland, timed to coincided with Yom Hashoah.

The Israel portion will coincide with Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Memorial Day and Independence Day. It will be in Israel at the same time as another mission of the Jewish Federation, one for men only.

The women’s mission offers a unique chance “for women to travel together and bond together,” said Lauri Bader, one of the co-chairs of the mission and the past co-president of Women’s Philanthropy.

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Lauri Bader in Israel

The “Remembrance to Rebirth Mission,” as it was dubbed, is an opportunity to share a trip “with other women also interested in their Jewish identity and perpetuating their Jewish identity,” she said.

It also has been scheduled with women’s interests in mind.

“We’re getting to pick the things that are most interesting for us as a group,” Ms. Bader said. “We’ll be meeting with women in business and women in fashion. A woman who was the IDF spokesperson will brief us. We’ll be having a winery experience and a cooking demonstration. We’ll do Shabbat on the beach and yoga on the beach.”

And like all trips to Israel under the auspices of the federation, the mission will visit some of the social service agencies the philanthropy funds, including a program that aids at-risk teens.

Already, 20 women have signed up for the mission. (In addition to the cost of the trip, participants must make a donation of at least $1,000 to the federation’s annual campaign.) The organizers hope to recruit ten more.

Ms. Bader said that people shouldn’t be shy about signing up just because they don’t know people already on the trip.

“We have women coming on this trip who are from all over Bergen County. Not all are friends. Some don’t know each other at all. Everyone will be extremely friendly.

Women’s Philanthropy is very inclusive,” she said. “Just the fact that you’re interested means we want you. Hopefully you will bond and create connections that will last a lifetime.”

She first connected to the federation through a mission ten years ago, she said. It was not a women’s mission, “but it was mostly women.” She’s particularly excited that the trip revolves around remembering the Holocaust in Poland and then celebrating Israel.

“Being there that week is special,” she said.

In Poland, mission participants will take part in the March of the Living, in which thousands of people, mostly Jewish high school students, walk from Auschwitz to Birkenau.

“I’ve been hearing what a meaningful and emotional experience it is,” Ms. Bader said.

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