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JWRP Sister Spotlight: Tali Rief
Tali Rief is a wife, mother to three daughters, an Israeli television director, and a JWRP sister. Growing up with four sisters and raising all girls, she says that she has truly seen the power of women. We spoke with Tali about how MOMentum led to a shift in her professional goals and what she thinks can unite Israeli Jews.
What inspired you to join MOMentum?
Five days before MOMentum, my friend told me that there was an opening on the trip. I was in the middle of a big television project. But when I learned that the trip brought together women from all backgrounds and focused on Jewish values, I knew that I needed to experience it.
After years of working on television programs that focused on cooking or music, I reached a turning point both in my personal life and in my professional life. I was concerned about the television content that my daughters were exposed to, and I began to feel less connected to the topics that I worked on. I felt like I had the tools and the ability, but that I lacked passion for the content. I needed to find new meaning. But, where could I find meaning? I realized that I could find meaning in the values that I grew up with — Jewish values. I believe that Jewish values are universal, and the one most important to me is: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I decided that if I wanted to continue working in television, I needed to focus on bringing people together. Not only did my husband encourage me to experience MOMentum, but my co-workers worked overtime so that I could go. I was so thankful.
How did MOMentum impact you?
Adrienne’s first lecture about gratitude set the groundwork for my growth during the trip. No longer judging others — nor feeling afraid of being judged, I began to feel so much love and connection. I let go and allowed myself to feel content. Half a year after the trip, Israel’s public television shut down and I lost my job. I found myself fielding interviews, but none of the opportunities spoke to me. Today, I know that I want to help bring people together in Israel. MOMentum gave me new focus and meaning in my life. I know that as I search for my next step, I am on the best path for myself and for my family.
What are some ways that we can bring Jews of all backgrounds together in Israel?
In Israel, Judaism is what connects us in the first place and that’s why we’re all here. We need to help everyone feel this by bringing them together with love. As a TV director, I feel a moral and educational responsibility to act and influence television content, first and foremost for my daughters, as well as for everyone else who watches TV. I already have the tools and knowledge to produce television content. Now, I must pour them into creating content that feels important to me.
How has being emotionally open changed your life?
Being open is a skill I did not know I had until recently. During MOMentum, Adrienne suggested that we not judge others nor speak badly of anyone during the trip. She encouraged us to look at everything in a positive light. My JWRP sisters and I took her suggestion with full hearts, and from that moment on, I was able to turn off my "internal camera" and stop being judgmental towards myself and others. I accepted that pain is a part of life, and I also realized that I need to forgive myself more often. We may try to do our best, but we don’t always succeed. We all have good moments and bad moments. As I learned during MOMentum, we need to judge each other favorably. We also need to always look ahead and move forward with hope in our hearts.