(JTA) — The Israeli government is partnering with a group that brings Jewish women on trips to Israel, dubbed “Birthright for Jewish Moms,” to bring more women from Jewish communities facing increased threats of anti-Semitism and economic hardship.
The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, or JWRP, and Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs announced the $12.5 million expansion of the program on Sunday at the AIPAC policy conference in Washington. The Israeli government will provide $5.1 million and the JWRP will fundraise the rest.
The initiative is expected to bring an additional 5,600 women from 26 countries on the highly subsidized nine-day trips to Israel. Among the countries singled out for increased anti-Semitic threats and economic hardship are Argentina, Cuba, the former Soviet Union, France, the United States and Canada.
“This historic agreement allows us to continue to build a global movement united in the mission of empowering women to change the world through Jewish values,” Lori Palatnik, founding director of the JWRP, said in a statement.
“Our philosophy from the beginning has always been inspire a woman, you inspire a family. Inspire enough families, you can change a community. Inspire enough communities, you can change the world. This partnership is key to making this a reality,” she added.
Bennett said the project “demonstrates the commitment of the Israeli government to the Diaspora.”
Since 2009, more than 7,300 women from 150 partner organizations in 26 countries have participated in “Momentum Israel” trips, according to the JWRP. The women also commit to becoming involved in programs when they return from Israel, including community activities, Israel engagement programs, Jewish education, global learning, leadership development and Momentum missions for their husbands.