by Saphira Tessler and Tali Aziza
No matter where you are from, what language you speak, or the color of your skin, every culture has strong women to whom young girls look up and aspire to be. Our Strong Women, Strong Girls journey in Israel began in 2010. We first heard about the program when we were young freshmen, trying to make difference on our university campus and in the country as a whole.
We both have grown up surrounded by strong women, admiring their courage, perseverance, strength, and independence. The two of us have been following in the footsteps of strong women by moving to Israel on our own and striving to make a worthwhile contribution to the state of Israel. We were both inspired by the SWSG program in the US and decided to establish the first Strong Women, Strong Girls international branch in Israel. Adapting a national program internationally required translation and dedication to finding the perfect population to benefit from Strong Women, Strong Girls.
To date, we have had:
- 10 fabulous mentors who have gone through a SWSG virtual training.
- Mentors who have taken the initiative in helping us build this exciting project at new sites.
As an international branch established in a country that is culturally different from the United States, we chose to change the biographies of the strong women to biographies of strong women in Israel. It has been so beautiful to see how easy it is to find Israeli Strong Women that match the weekly lesson themes. This serves as a testament that all cultures have strong women who teach important lessons. Currently, our mentors are leading program at Beit Elezraki, a home for children who have been removed from their parents by the government. We have found that the girls in this home have been unbelievably inspired, and SWSG has become an empowering part of their daily lives. We are in the process of securing additional sites to expand SWSG in Israel by our second semester this year.
Bringing SWSG to Israel has been a magical and rewarding experience for us. According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” We can personally attest to the power of a strong vision, and how small dreams can have a positive impact on a community. We hope that SWSG will continue to flourish internationally and will enhance the lives of young girls around the world.