At the end of March, in a yet to be disclosed location, up to 50 Jewish women will come together for a few days to “explore their unique Jewish journeys and connect deeply across differing spiritual backgrounds and levels of observance” at “Reflect and Recharge,” the first annual community-wide Jewish women’s retreat, sponsored by the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI).

Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel shocked the Jewish world, “but the world was hard even before that,” WLI Executive Director Rabbi Elana Kanter told Jewish News. “We need to take time away so we can recharge. After what the whole Jewish people have just gone through, it becomes even more important.”

The idea for the community-wide retreat was first proposed by a mentee in a WLI cohort a couple of years ago. However, due to the time-consuming nature of planning such an event the idea was shelved and only rekindled once Kanter met Louise Zirretta. A mutual friend introduced them after discovering Zirretta’s passion for leadership development.

Zirretta came to Greater Phoenix in 2010 from Baltimore, where she has deep roots in the leadership of that city’s Jewish community. During her tenure as president of Arai, a leadership development organization for incoming presidents of Baltimore organizations, The Associated, the Jewish Federation of Baltimore, told her it was so impressed with Arai’s work it planned to establish Na’aleh, a hub for leadership learning; Zirretta became, and still is, a member of its board.

To read the entire article in Jewish News, click here.

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