Photo Credit: courtesy, JWRP
American Jewish women joyfully mark the MOMentous occasion of receiving the new Hebrew names.

More than 15 Jewish mothers from the United States traveled to Israel for the first time last week to celebrate the beauty of receiving a Hebrew name. The trip was a life-changing “MOMentum” journey to Israel.

Their ‘MOMent’ arrived as part of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) and Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.


JWRP recently started organizing naming ceremonies especially for MOMentum participants who never received one as a child. According to the organization, the American Jewish mothers are becoming more aware of the importance of having a Hebrew name, and the trend is growing.

The ceremony took place last Thursday (July 20) at Eretz Bereshit (Genesis Land) in the Judean Desert between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

Among the women receiving a Hebrew name was Wendy Katcher, from Long Island. She chose the name “Yehudit” in honor of her aunt Judy, who died a year ago. “My aunt was a staple in my childhood. When she passed away, I realized that since her children were done having children, no one would be named for her,” said Katcher.

The eight-day journey to Israel is intended to inspire women to connect deeply with their Jewish heritage and transform themselves, their families and ultimately their communities and the wider world.

The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project ( was founded in 2008, with the mission of empowering women to change the world through Jewish values. Its major project during the full year experience is “MOMentum,” an eight-day, highly subsidized life-changing journey to Israel, experienced by over 11,000 participants from 190 partner organizations in 26 countries worldwide. Since 2014, the JWRP has partnered with Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.