Momentum on the Road Brings Israel to Baltimore

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Momentum, formerly known as the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, recently held a solidarity event in Baltimore for Jewish women interested in learning about current affairs in Israel. The Jewish women’s organization has been traveling all over the world as part of its Momentum on the Road series, which was created after the Oct. 7 attacks.

Participants in the Baltimore edition of Momentum on the Road attend a presentation. (Courtesy of Momentum)

In collaboration with the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism, Momentum on the Road aims to bring Israel to cities across North and South America and to foster connections between Jewish women through support for Israel. The series visited Baltimore on Monday, Jan. 15, following an initial presentation in Ottawa, Canada, the day before.

“The idea was, if we can’t bring them to Israel, let’s bring Israel to them,” said Debbie Hochberg, Momentum’s board president, in a press release. Part of why Momentum on the Road was first created was because Momentum’s scheduled October and November trips to Israel were postponed. “We worked with 100 partner organizations in 23 countries for our fall 2023 trips. While we still hosted unity missions to Israel, this was an opportunity to help mobilize the rest of our community — both new participants and alumni — and inspire them to take action to support Israel at home.”

Currently, Momentum operates in 36 countries, with over 22,000 women taking part in its regular trips to Israel since it was first founded as JWRP in 2009. It was rebranded in 2019 to reflect its mission of reaching Jewish mothers and Jewish men.

The core theme of the Momentum on the Road series is “Hineni,” or “here I am” in Hebrew. The organization simply wants people to show up and make an effort for Israel, as well as an effort to engage with their local community and the wider global Momentum movement.

Momentum representatives introduced participants to initiatives like its Mother 2 Mother project, which connects mothers in Israel to others around the world. It also served as an introduction to the Momentum Mobilizes Campaign, Momentum’s efforts to fund educational initiatives in Israel and encourage grassroots pro-Israel action.

“This is important for all communities. The Jewish community of Baltimore is a staunch supporter of Israel and Momentum initiatives,” said Linda Hurwitz, past board chair of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore and a long-time Momentum leader, in the press release. “Momentum motivates and educates our moms to love Israel and to look forward to being there. If we aren’t in Israel now, this is the next best thing.”

Momentum followed this event with a similar version in Chicago on Tuesday, Jan. 16. The Momentum on the Road series will continue onto Los Angeles, New York, Mexico and Argentina, as well as holding four virtual events in the series via Zoom.

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