NA’AMAT International Solidarity Conference 2015
More than 30 members of NA’AMAT USA, representing chapters across the country, traveled to Israel last month to take part in the first ever NA’AMAT International Solidarity Conference. During the busy and inspirational week-long event, delegates made new friends among their sisters from Israel, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay, and visited NA’AMAT facilities in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Karmiel, Beersheva, Lod and other sites.
Highlights included groundbreaking ceremonies for a new day care center in Beersheba (held in memory of former NA’AMAT USA national president Alice Howard), dedication ceremonies for another day care center in Karmiel, visits to the Glickman Center for domestic violence in Tel Aviv and the Ayanot Youth Village in central Israel, and a day in Jerusalem. Delegates were treated to a performance by students from the Kanot high school and toured the Center for Women’s Health and Education in Karmiel.
The conference’s opening session included a welcoming address from President of Israel Reuven Rivlin as well as remarks from NA’AMAT USA National President Elizabeth Raider. The event was widely covered in Israel. You can read about it in the Jerusalem Post.
Delegates reacted enthusiastically to their experiences:
“We were warmly welcomed as sisters by NA’AMAT staff and volunteers wherever we went. We truly felt, and it was emphasized over and over, that we are One Big Family!”
—Judith Sokoloff, (Eastern Area, New York)
“Thank you, thank you for the most inspiring NA’AMAT conference. It was absolutely perfect in every way. My heart and soul are with NA’AMAT. I will never forget the beautiful faces of the children in the day care centers!”
—Lois Joseph (Western Area, Las Vegas)
You can be so very proud to be part of NA’AMAT. The work that they do in Israel, with our support, is phenomenal. The opportunity to meet with representatives from eight countries and to begin to work together was mind opening. I will always cherish the gratitude and esteem that NA’AMAT ISRAEL has in Israel. We need to continue to do our part so that this organization can continue to function for future generations.
—Gail Simpson (Western Area, San Fernando Valley)
The trip was amazing, and for me cathartic. I felt my mother’s presence at the groundbreaking. Her big smile, just beaming! It was the first time I spoke about my mom without crying.
—Jane Blitz (Western Area, Los Angeles)
It was exhilarating to be with other NA’AMAT sisters from around the world. Their enthusiasm and dedication fueled our own. How thrilling to dance with these women at the Kotel. How lucky to view the daycare centers, visit the Glickman Center and share meals at the many NA’AMAT facilities. Ben Gurion’s grave and his vision as shared by Masha Lubelsky informed and inspired. Female soldiers’ stories filled one with awe at these remarkable women. It was an incredible journey.
—Debra Cohn (Western Area, Colorado)
A wonderful and inspirational conference. I look forward to sharing the exciting events with my Las Vegas chapter.
—Nadine Carter (Western Area, Las Vegas)
It was great to meet so many fantastic women!
—Esther Pullan (Western Area, Los Angeles)
It was an awe-inspiring experience! I’ve made it my mission to tell everyone about each school and women’s center.
—Linda Kavalsky (Western Area, San Fernando Valley)