A Conversation with Robyn Teplitzky About a Women’s Mission to Israel

Jewish Federations of North America’s National Women’s Philanthropy is proud to present Heart to Heart 9: Empowering. Exhilarating. Extraordinary. Through this special trip, curated particularly for women, you can embark on a life-changing odyssey; joining like-minded, smart, motivated women from across North America on a uniquely inspiring journey. Spend five amazing days traveling Israel. Explore the country’s rich culture, embrace your spirituality and witness how Federation helps those most at risk.
Robyn Teplitzky, Senior Director, Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence at The Jewish Federations of North America has traveled on Heart to Heart more than once. She shares reflections from her unforgettable trip in an interview with Jennifer Bayer, Assistant Director, Development, at the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.
Robyn, you’ve traveled on Heart to Heart, which is a special mission to Israel for women through the Jewish Federations of North America. Can you explain what makes this trip so special and distinguished from other trips one might take to Israel? The JFNA Heart to Heart Mission is a wonderful opportunity for women to travel together to get a taste of Israel. What makes this mission so special and unique is the itinerary. The site visits are specifically designed with women’s interest in mind. A highlight is visiting the Israeli women’s homes who are involved in the overseas federations. 
Can you share some of your favorite highlights or moments from last year’s trip? There are so many, but the two aspects that stand out for me include the Photography With Joy, a JDC program [The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee] that provides the opportunity for Holocaust survivors to share their personal stories through photography. Another highlight was the joint Bat Mitzvah of mission participants with eight young Ethiopian girls.
As someone who has traveled on many JFNA missions, can you describe what some of the lasting impact has been for you and others you’ve traveled with on this mission? Mostly, the friendships made in a very short period of time. There is something special traveling with a group of like-minded women.  
Why might you suggest this mission for a woman who is traveling to Israel for the first time, or 
Heart to Heart is a great first-time mission because the itinerary is inclusive of unique visits. This is not a typical first-timer’s mission and does not include many of the traditional visits, such as Masada or Yad Vashem. The beauty of the Heart to Heart Mission is that one does not need to be traveling with a group. All of the participants from across the country are friendly and inclusive. Everyone feels the love.
Which emotions best describe your feelings about the Heart to Heart mission? The mission title tells it all. Everything we see, touch, hear, and taste touches our heart. One minute you are laughing and singing and the next crying tears of joy. It is simply the best! You’ll come home energized and raring to put it all into action in your community. Every journey begins with a single step. Take the first one right now. 
Please join us on August 2 at a private home in Woodbridge to learn more about this year’s trip, 
February 4 -8, 2018. Please email or call Jen Bayer at jbayer@jewishnewhaven.org or (203) 387-2424 x320 to RSVP and find out more.


Add Comment
Subscribe to posts