World WIZO's 2017 MOR (Meeting of Representatives), held at the World WIZO headquarters in Tel Aviv, brought together around 100 WIZO leaders and representatives from 20 countries for a week of review, brain-storming, decision-making, giving thanks and celebrating.
The WIZO MOR convenes every year (except every 4th year, when there is a larger conference) in Israel, in order for WIZO Executive members, administrators and federation leaders to review the past year's accomplishments and challenges, debate policy and procedure, plot a course for the coming year, and of course, to meet, interact and strengthen the personal bonds of the international organization.
The 2017 MOR began on Sunday January 22nd with WIZO federation members from abroad visiting their respective projects in Israel. That night, the MOR's opening events, a festive gathering at the WIZO Gan VeNof Youth Village, featured entertainment from student bands and choirs as well as words of thanks from the Mayor of the city of Petah Tikvah, where the youth village is located. The mother of one of the event's participating students spoke eloquently and with emotion about how the school has helped her daughter, not only academically, but by giving her values and principles for future life.
The next day, the morning started with greetings by veteran WIZO Honorary Life President, Raya Jaglom and WIZO Honorary President Tova Ben Dov. Current WIZO President Esther Mor addressed the participants and World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky gave the 2016 World WIZO report to the assembled federation presidents, after which Chairperson of WIZO Israel Gila Oshrat gave her parallel report.
The next day, the Fundraising Division's presentation focused on federations' needs and activities. The Organization & Tourism Division presented its project for WIZO AVIV: "Caring for Our Future," and the Publicity & Communications Division gave a presentation about WIZO's current re-branding process.
Later in the afternoon, talks were given by public diplomacy representatives, and the chaverot were enthralled by WIZO’s representatives in the UN in Geneva, Vienna and New York.
On Wednesday, the WIZO federation presidents and members got to travel across Israel to visit their respective projects, see the results of their hard work, meet WIZO employees and the people whose lives are touched by the organization.
The last morning was devoted to presentations by the Early Age and Education Divisions, in which new progams were revealed. A special ceremony was held to honor the staff of WIZO’s Ahuzat Yeladim Boarding School, who virtually saved the school from being burnt down during the extensive forest fires in the country at the end of November.
The week's grand finale was a visit to the Western Wall and various sites in Jerusalem, followed by a festive dinner.
Throughout the MOR, participants enjoyed the talents of various choirs and musical groups from WIZO schools.
Professor Rivka Lazovsky, Chairperson of the World WIZO Executive, summed up the week's events, "Every year, I am honored and humbled by the display of international Jewish female leadership that the WIZO MOR represents. WIZO, with the backing of the strongest Jewish communities in the world, will continue to be a 'tree of life' for women, children and the weakest people in Israeli society. On the international level, the fact that hundreds of women from around the world come to Israel reflects our ability to cope with disturbing phenomena of the de-legitimization of Israel around the world."