Raquel Bibas is a wife, mother, educational coach, and a JWRP sister who lives in Madrid, Spain. After returning from her MOMentum Trip to Israel, Raquel created “Israel Jazz and Soul,” an event that attracted almost 200 community members, including Israel’s ambassador to Spain. In our conversation, Raquel shared the ingredients of her fantastic event and why it was a great fit for her community.
What inspired you to travel to Israel with the JWRP?
In the midst of changing my career, starting a job, and trying to carve a new path for myself, two friends encouraged me to apply for MOMentum. They said that it would be a transformative experience and that it would help me see my life from a new perspective. With all of the transitions happening in my life, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to go. But I knew it would be a wonderful opportunity to connect with Israel and myself, so I made it happen.
How did Momentum impact you?
Experiencing Israel alongside women from all over the world was incredible. I especially loved lighting the Shabbat candles while overlooking the Kotel and listening to lectures about Jewish values. I was also so thankful to welcome 12 Spanish women into my life — whom I didn’t know beforehand — and to share my journey with them.
MOMentum allowed me to gain clarity in my life. It also gave me the opportunity to fall in love with Israel in a new way. Learning more about Israel and exploring the country’s spiritual sites connected me more deeply to the Jewish homeland. I returned home feeling revitalized and excited to share my love of Israel with my community.
Tell us about Israel Jazz and Soul.
During MOMentum, we met representatives from different Israeli organizations, like StandWithUs and IsraAID. While each organization has a different focus, they are all committed to shedding a positive light on Israel and to making the world a better place. When we returned home, we created the event, “Israel Jazz and Soul” to present Israel’s soul through these incredible organizations, while attendees also enjoyed a jazz performance. The event was a success! People enjoyed a wonderful night with friends while learning about the great work that Israel is doing all over the world. In addition to covering our costs, we even raised money for another group of local women to experience MOMentum.
How did you decide that this was the perfect event for your community?
In Europe, anti-Semitism and the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement are rampant. It’s very important that we educate ourselves about Israel so that we can defend our Jewish homeland. When we’re informed, we can spread positive messages about Israel and the Jewish community. The jazz performance was also a big draw! If other JWRP sisters are interested in creating similar events in their communities, I’d be happy to help.
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