FOLLOWING A WEEK of experiencing Israel and meeting with fellow media and public personalities, a group of 30 “Media Magnets” is returning to their homes with a renewed understanding of the country, and its significance to their Jewish identity. The Media Magnets’ mission, a project of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) and sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, brought together women who reach over 10 million followers through a variety of online platforms.
From NY Times bestselling authors, to television personalities and popular parenting, beauty and fashion bloggers, the group shared their journey of eight days in the Holy Land with their loyal social media followers from around the world.
“The Media Magnets did not only see and experience Israel for themselves. They shared their journey with their followers using their own authentic voice and through their own unfiltered lens,” said Adrienne Gold, Trip Leader for JWRP.
The trip was specifically focused on introducing the participants to aspects of Israeli society that are often glossed over in traditional media coverage. Included was a visit to Ziv Medical Center in Safed in the country’s north where victims of the Syrian civil war are being treated by Israeli doctors and nurses. The group also participated in a ceremony at Yad Vashem where some discovered their family history for the first time, followed by an emotional meeting with Miriam Peretz, an Israeli mother who lost two of her sons as combat soldiers, hearing her story as she stood by her sons’ grave sites at Har Herzel Military Cemetery.
The women were exposed to some of the biggest names in Israeli fashion, food and music throughout the journey, as well as those working to make the world a better place through various aid programs and initiatives.
“What this has done is create a scenario where we are connecting with other Jewish women who are like us and together our voices can amplify,” said Sarah Maizes, an award winning author, comedian, blogger and parenting expert during the trip.
“I feel so honored to share with my virtual family what Israel is really about and what Judaism is about,” continued Anabelle Blum, a Venezuelan television personality and parenting and fashion blogger.
Ciaran Blumenfeld of the parenting blog Momfluential shared, “I really hope that my followers, when they watch my livestreams and they read what I write about Israel, will check all their preconceived notions at the door. Israel is not about one group of people or one religion. There is something here for everyone and there is something accessible. No matter what you believe, if you love people and love humanity, you are welcome here.”
“It feels right to be here,” said Nancy Johnson Horn of The Mama Maven. “It doesn’t feel like I’m on a trip. It feels like I’m home.”