This Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a mom, and about the ways that my experience on Birthright Israel changed how I parent.

My son Jake was 18-months old when my husband, David, and I went on a journey with Birthright Israel. We were the only parents on the trip, but this was something we knew we needed to do — both for ourselves, and for our family.

Standing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, surrounded by fellow participants, I watched Israeli mothers with their children. I felt a kinship with these harried Israeli moms, who had gone out of their way to bring their kids to the Kotel, despite their busy lives.

Photos of Sarah Myer with her family

They were simultaneously putting themselves first as individuals by making sure they have that connection with G-d, while also making sure that their kids were seeing it. This helped me more fully understand that the way I live my life is the best example I can provide for my son — especially when it comes to our shared Jewish heritage, culture and history.

One of the really important factors for us was to bring all the lessons of Birthright Israel home to Jake. That’s why we’ve filled our home with reminders of Israel: books, photos, music, food, personal stories of our journey … I want Israel to be a tangible and real place for our son. 

I never thought going on Birthright Israel would make me a better mom, but it has! And I can’t wait for Jake to take this journey someday. I want to give him every opportunity to have a connection with Israel and his heritage … and Birthright Israel will give him just that, just like it has for me.

Happy Mother’s Day, from me and all your friends at Birthright Israel Foundation!

Interested in learning more? Watch a video of Sarah and her husband’s Birthright Israel journey »