In Their Own Words: Media Magnets on Israel and Jewish Values

The Media Magnets touched down in Israel eight days ago and immediately immersed themselves in the Jewish homeland, laughing, crying, and sharing their gorgeous photos and incredible insights with their millions of followers around the world. For some, it was their first time in Israel and for others, they were revisiting a place from their past. Yet, surrounded by Jewish women, mothers, media professionals, and entrepreneurs, each woman connected to Israel and Jewish values in new and profound ways. We’re thrilled to share some of their most inspiring snippets below. Want more? We’ve included their websites, blogs, and social media channels so knock yourself out!

Amber Katz

“If you’ve danced up a storm with strangers while donning an IDF t-shirt, downed hummus by the gallon, eschewed privacy utterly, and cried at Ben Gurion, you’re doing Israel right.”

Amy Kritzer

“So rugelachy to be in Israel with JWRP Momentum and 30 of the most amazing women!”

Anabelle Blum

“El KOTEL, el lugar donde el cielo y la tierra se “besan.” La energía que se siente al llegar es indescriptible… Uno llega y siente que se conecta en línea directa con D-os! Lo que entregamos al Universo, es lo que regresa a nosotros. Se acostumbra meter “papelitos” donde le expresamos nuestras peticiones a D-os! Yo me traje no sólo el mío sino también el que escribió cada miembro de mi familia. Por eso es importante pedir siempre por un mundo mejor.”

“The Kotel, the place where heaven and earth “kiss.” The energy that you feel when you arrive is indescribable… One arrives and feels that one connects directly with G-d!… It is customary to put “pieces of paper” where we express our requests to G-d. I brought not only mine but also one from each member of my family. What we give to the universe is what comes back to us. That’s why it’s important to always ask for a better world.”

Chaya Lichtenstein

#MasadaMusings. When everything feels like an uphill struggle. Just think of the view from the top. It’s really not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. Set a goal and KILL it.”

Ciaran Blumenfeld

“Israel is not about one group of people, one religion. There’s something here for everyone… I want [my followers] to see that this is a safe place and no matter what you believe, if you love people and you love humanity, you are welcome here.”

Deborah Gilboa

“Tzfat is a place where people have suffered and struggled and stayed and shown real tenacity so that they could show who they are. And that has kept our people alive.”

Denise Albert & Melissa Musen-Gerstein

“A.L.I.V.E in the DEAD SEA! We have been away for 8 Days. We miss our families but there is nothing about this trip we want to speed up or miss. For Melissa… it’s her first time to Israel and she is high on life. She giggled her way putting on the mud and in disbelief that she could float. For Denise, she truly is just happy to be here… to be healthy… and to be alive. Friends… this is what life is about. It’s about living. It’s about doing things out of your comfort zone. It’s about D.O.I.N.G!”

Emma Waverman

“Israel is a land of dichotomies, with people figuring out how to live together, how to merge so many different cultures, and enjoy their life, freedom and the bounty of what this part of the world offers.”

Erica Ehm

“Heartbreaking and hopeful. Standing by their graves, Miriam Peretz spoke to the Media Magnets about what life is like for her after two of her sons were killed in combat while being deployed in the Israeli Army. Lots of tears from us thinking of mothers everywhere who mourn their children killed in war. She reminded us that it’s not the years you live that matter, it’s what you do with each moment.”

Erin Schrode

“I believe in the power of service to bring people together and discover common ground. Seeing Israel’s work and knowing that Israel is doing what needs to be done whether or not they get credit for it makes me proud to be here and to be a Jew.”

Holly Rosen-Fink

“As a writer, it’s particularly meaningful that I come back to a place where I feel very at home and share it with my readers… and inform them what life is like there.”

Ilana Wiles

“Normally you are not allowed to take photos inside the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem but today, we were given permission to share with our followers, because nothing is more important than reminding people where hate can lead us.”

Jeanette Kaplun

“Thanksgiving might be over but gratitude fills my heart:

* For being where I am. Israel is so special for me and I get emotional every single time I come.

* For my family’s support. They cheer me on even if it means spending time away from them.

* For being able to do what I love. I never take it for granted.

* For having access to unique opportunities and being able to share them.

* For being surrounded by inspiring people. In this case, women who are forces of nature.”

Joyce Shulman

“This trip is about more than incredible, historic, spiritual places. It is about spending a week in the company of accomplished positive women, under the tutelage of an incredible leader with an organization that echoes one of Macaroni Kid’s core values: focus on the things that unite us, rather than the things that divide us.”

Liora Rez

“There are no words to describe the feeling of being [at Masada]. The ultimate do or die decision of the Jewish people thousands of years ago can still be felt here.”

Lyss Stern

“Planting my roots in Israel. When the roots are deep there is NO reason to fear the wind.”

Melissa Chapman
“Us Jewish women are so much better when we are united in love and friendship together and also dancing down Ben Yehuda Street!”

Michaela Watkins

“[Meeting Syrian refugees being treated by Israeli doctors] just validated and confirmed so much of the Jewish values – that we take care of everybody in the world, no matter who you are. If somebody is hurt, I hurt, if somebody is in pain, I am in pain.”

Nancy Johnson Horn

“It feels right to be here. it doesn’t feel like I’m on a trip. It feels like home.”

Natalie Klein

“I can’t believe I am in Israel on a trip of a lifetime with the JWRP along with the top 40 Jewish women in media this moment is my life coming full circle when I really least expected it.

The last time I was in Israel was 1998, exactly 19 years ago with other 20 something-year-olds! This time I get to experience Israel with some of the most amazing women I have had the pleasure to work with and call my friends and get to know others I have only known digitally.”

Natalie Zfat

“[I was] honored to speak today at Yad Vashem, where the archivists surprised me with research, photos and records of my grandfather’s family, who was senselessly murdered in the Holocaust in Riga, Latvia in 1941. So thankful to Yad Vashem and JWRP Momentum for this experience, difficult as it was. May we never forget what happened – and continue to stand up to injustices – big and small – everyday.”

Rebecca Levey

“I planted a tree. It’s pretty cute. Glad I’m not the one taking care of it because that would not end well.”

Sam and Cailli Beckerman

“It’s extremely important for us to honor the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust and to remember our past and where we came from. The responsibility lies within all of us to tell their story, be their voice, and to tell the truth about the horrific genocide that occurred.”

Sara Gottfried

“It’s our job as Jews to define our model of wholeness and to share it with the world.”

Sarah Maizes

“The takeaway for me [from Yad Vashem] is that right now we are all living in a very fragile world and we always have to be vigilant to remind people that this can happen. Hatred happens. Intolerance happens. The Holocaust was such a tragedy. The only that it could be worse is if we let it happen again.”

Wendy Diamond

“Figure out what you are willing to die for and then ensure you are LIVING for it!”

Wendy Sachs

“[Israel is] a complex country loaded with contradictions. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.”

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