This week a mission of 8 women from Rosh Ha’ayin returned from a successful trip to New Orleans. The Fitness 2Gether program started a few months ago, in Rosh Ha’ayin and New Orleans simultaneously, as part of the Partnership 2Gether Rosh Ha’ayin-New Orleans project of the Jewish Agency.
The group of women from Rosh Ha’ayin met weekly for a slimming and fitness workshop, and similar sessions took place for a group of women from the Jewish community in New Orleans. In the last few months the women from either side of the ocean have been in touch via Skype, Facebook and telephone. They have gotten to know each other and share their experiences.
Last week a mission of women from Rosh Ha’ayin left for a visit and to stay with the women in New Orleans, to meet them face to face. The joint fitness sessions, workshops, encounters with the community, and home hospitality, generated close bonds between the women. Leah Azeri from the mission says that “the efforts the women of the community made to make us welcome, and to constantly ensure we were comfortable, moved us very much.” Shuli Gal adds that: “the ice was broken from the very first encounter, and the warmth and love for Israel exuded by everyone helped, us in an unbelievable way, to talk freely about ourselves, our lives and our families, and about the individual and community work we do.”
The aim of the program is generate direct links between the women of the different communities, and to create genuine closeness between the populations. Indeed, warm bonds were struck between the women, particularly due to the hospitality at the hostesses’ homes, and the time the women spent together. For a few days the women from Rosh Ha’ayin had an opportunity to experience and feel the daily lives of the women from New Orleans from close quarters, and to appreciate what it means to be a Jew in the United States.
Shuli Gal sums up the trip thus: “It was an experience which left us all with a powerful impression of enjoyment, new friends, and strengthening of the partnership between Rosh Ha’ayin and New Orleans.”