Passion in Progress: The Women of Israel Forever

There are various sayings about how the world would be different if women were in power, if a woman was president, or if women set the rules.  We’ve all heard the one that proclaims that behind every successful man is a woman making sure everything is in place.  Or rather… rolling her eyes. 

What is it about successful women? What motivates us, encourages innovative thinking, and helps us achieve?

All my life, I was driven by my dreams, my heart, my passion. Not too long ago, I completed over a decade of academic study, an arena well-known to be male-dominated and difficult for female advancement, especially in my area of expertise. Rather than climbing my way through academic competition, publication requirements, coursework, correcting papers, and a life of  book-lined walls (wait, I still have those…), I opted to utilize my passion to create something new, something innovative, something that I felt could make a positive change in the lives of real people for the sake of something I believed in with all my heart – the importance of a personal connection to Israel as a part of Jewish identity and life.

Little did I know I would be swapping the gender pool as well as my arena of intellectual banter.

Now immersed in the wonderful world of promoting the Israel connection, I thrive on the challenge of finding a fresh approach to helping people learn about and experience Israel from afar. In a way, you might say that Israel Forever is an experiment. What started out as a small family initiative to highlight the contributions of Israel to the world has since transformed into a dynamic resource for virtual engagement with living Israel. Through innovative programs and initiatives, meaningful collaborations and partnerships, we are reaching out to the wide world of potential Virtual Citizens of Israel™In essence, we are creating a global community – a place where all lovers of Israel can feel a sense of belonging and acceptance.

We are but a small team making all this happen.  

And nearly our entire team is made up of women.

I find the experience of working with women to be extraordinary. Every one of us is determined, open-minded, and welcoming to criticism. We encourage one another to think outside the box, helping each other discover what can be improved  – not just patting ourselves on the back for our achievements. We collaborate on every single project, and we get excited for each others’ successes, big or small. We solve problems by discussing them rather than trying to jump right in to the quick fix. Every idea, every opinion is respected and considered. 

We all share a love for Israel, for the Jewish People, and for the potential unity that we believe in and seek to build. We are excited by our hopes of what Israel Forever can become. Apparently we are an enigma in the world of Jewish and Israel advocacy organizations which, for the most part, seem to be headed and run by men. This is not unique to women, of course, but it is fascinating to see how our common vision is actualized with the unique flavor of a woman’s style, motivation, and the passions essential to any creative drive. It is clear that, in Israel Forever, we have found something incredible with our team of women who are changing the face of the Israel connection.

We were proud to peruse through our blogroll and find so many incredible voices of women around the world who we could honor for International Women’s Day. And its even more wonderful to be able to honor the women of Israel Forever who are making this dream into a reality!


About the Author
Elana Yael Heideman, PhD is is the Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, an Israel Engagement organization dedicated to celebrating and strengthening the personal connection to Israel for people across the globe.