Sister Spotlights

Creating More Spaces for Diverse Jewish Women

Before joining the MOMentum Yearlong Journey, with The Thread HaChut,  one of Dr. Tameika Minor’s biggest concerns about the trip was whether or not there would be other participants from diverse backgrounds. In southern New Jersey, Tameika is a leading activist for Jews of Color and one of the co-founders of Achim Sheli, an organization to educate and empower Jews of Color and their allies.

“I hesitated because sometimes we Jews of color face a lot of discrimination and adversity, not just from outside groups, but also within the Jewish community as well,” said Tameika. “I was worried I would be the only one, and how that might affect my experience.”

But when she arrived in Israel, she was surprised to see many different types of Jewish women, from all different countries, different levels of observance, and different backgrounds. “I developed a close relationship with another Black and Jewish woman who was on our trip, and I met Persian Jews for the first time ever,” she said. “We were all able to share our experiences and learn from each other.”

“Taking part in the MOMentum Yearlong Journey inspired me to be a more active leader in the groups that I’m already a part of and the boards that I sit on”

Taking an active role

The moment that stands out for Tameika during her MOMentum Trip to Israel was on her way back from a tour of the Western Wall tunnels with a few other participants. She stopped at the Kotel for a few moments to pray and remembers being swept away by the prayers surrounding her.

“Just watching all of these women around me, so deep in their prayers, so disciplined, I started wondering about what each woman is praying for, and then I just started crying,” she recalled. “It was such a strong, defining moment of the trip for me.” Another highlight of her trip was Tzfat, as she has always felt connected to mysticism and spirituality.

The trip has had ripples beyond what she expected. “Taking part in the MOMentum Yearlong Journey inspired me to be a more active leader in the groups that I’m already a part of and the boards that I sit on,” she said. Tameika is on the board of JCRC of Southern New Jersey, JFCS of Southern New Jersey, and her local synagogue.

Following her trip to Israel, Tameika was asked by Rising Tide Open Waters Mikveh Network to train with a special cohort of mikvah guides focused on making the mikvah a more inclusive place, and she jumped at the opportunity.

Tameika has long felt a spiritual connection to water, and as a convert to Judaism, the mikvah was a part of her religious journey. She also knows the importance of having diverse mikvah guides who can be role models for all women. “For example, a Woman of Color who has natural hair, such as locks, might have a lot of anxiety about immersing, wondering if that’s allowed or what will happen,” she said. “It’s such a transformative practice, and I really want every woman to feel comfortable there. Water is like a superpower, it’s so healing, and it just makes everything softer.”

Healing the world

Tikkun olam, or repairing the world, is a theme that’s core to each MOMentum Yearlong Journey. And it’s a theme that has been part of Tameika’s life since she was a child. Outside of her work in the Jewish community, Tameika teaches clinical mental health counseling at Rutgers University. Her work and research deals primarily with helping young people with disabilities gain independence and people who have both mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Her students are counselors, nurses, and social workers.

She’s also co-developed a curriculum helping teachers develop well-being and good mental health practices for the post-pandemic period, worried that teachers were getting left behind in the discussions about mental health and resilience.

“I always knew that I wanted to help others, and I’ve always wanted to repair the world,” she said. In the future, she aims to open a spiritual and wellness center that would incorporate a mikvah into her counseling work.

“If the book isn’t out there, I guess we have to write it”

Tameika draws power from her identity as a Black and Jewish mom and is dedicated to making those communities even more welcoming for her 10-year-old son, so he can be accepted for who he is, wherever he is. She’s working on a graphic novel for middle schoolers, with support from the Jews of Color Initiative, about a young Black Jewish boy who moves from New York to North Carolina and finds a magical object that helps him find his confidence as he navigates his new home.

“My co-author and I both have kids who have been getting PJ Library books since they were little, but they’ve never seen anyone in the books who look like them,” said Tameika. “So we thought, okay, if the book isn’t out there, I guess we just have to write it.” Now Tameika is working with an illustrator on the book, “Jew Fro,” and is in talks with publishers.

Writing “Jew Fro,” becoming an inclusive mikvah guide, and planning Jewish events that celebrate Black identity are all ways that Tameika is working to make the Jewish community inclusive and accepting, the same way she found community among the different types of women on her MOMentum Trip.

“Being at the intersectionality of being Black and Jewish, and a person who was raised in poverty in the South, I just want to let people know that they can also overcome barriers,” she said. It’s also why Tameika is dedicated to helping other Women of Color learn about MOMentum Trips, to ensure they know their unique experiences and stories will be celebrated and honored, along with the diverse life histories of other participants. “I would love to get the word out to as many Jewish Women of Color as possible,” she said. “I’ve made it part of my mission to let these women know: we need you on these trips.”


Tameika Minor participated in the MOMentum Yearlong Journey with Partner Organization The Thread HaChut.


Choose your Journey

Mother to Mother Israel Unity Mission
May 13-19, 2024 | July 2-7, 2024

Join our leadership, alumnae, and our partner organizations in supporting our sisters and their families with love, strength, and taking action.


Unity Mission for Men
May 13-19, 2024

Momentum leadership, alumni and fathers of lone soldiers are embarking on this critical mission to support our fellow Israeli fathers, brothers, and their families, as we take action and bring them spiritual strength.


Apply to 2024 Fall Trips
For Jewish mothers with children age 18 and under

Participants only pay their acceptance fee and airfare

To participate in the Momentum Yearlong Journey, women must live in close proximity to a Partner Organization. See our partners list here. Please notify your Community Leader with any updates to your application


Apply to 2024 Fall Trips
Mainly for the husbands of Momentum sisters

$900 for Momentum husbands

Each man get a scholarship of $2,100-$2,400

Partner Organization contributes $700 per man

The Israeli Government does not contribute to the Men’s Trips

To participate, men must live in close proximity to a Partner Organization. See our partners list here. Please notify your Community Leader with any updates to your application


November 4-11, 2024

An exclusive, transformational, spiritual, and uplifting journey for women looking to invest in themselves and help us continue to build the Momentum movement.

Please note: This trip is not subsidized.