JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli government recognized an English teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, as the 10,000th Jewish mother to visit Israel on the trip known as “Birthright for Moms.”
Lauren Buchwald was in Israel for a Momentum trip to Israel through the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. She was recognized Wednesday at an event near Jerusalem held in conjunction with Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.
The 450 Jewish mothers attending the event Wednesday in Israel were from Canada, England, Greece and Russia along with the United States.
“The Momentum trip emphasizes the Israeli government’s commitment towards the Jewish Diaspora and provides an unprecedented opportunity for Jewish women from different backgrounds to strengthen their Jewish identities and connections to Israel,” said Dvir Kahana, Ministry of Diaspora Affairs’ director general.
In March, the Israeli government announced it would provide $5.1 million toward a $12.5 million expansion of the program to bring more women from Jewish communities facing increased threats of anti-Semitism and economic hardship, including Argentina, Cuba, Greece, Turkey, France and the former Soviet Union.
Since 2009, women from 150 partner organizations in 26 countries have participated in the Momentum trips, according to the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. 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.