As promised, I am bringing you a personal perspective from the Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey. Princess Natalie Susman tells us what motivated her to join the Odyssey, what most excites her, and what she hopes to gain.
Stay tuned– We will also hear from Natalie upon her return from the trip to learn her impressions of Israel and her desert experience.
About the Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey
Program participants raise money to improve the lives of Israeli children in need ($10,000 USD each). The Princesses are also responsible for their own travel costs from their home countries (England, in Natalie’s case) and physical equipment for their desert experience.
During their two-week desert stay, the Princesses engage in low impact desert living, team challenges, and leadership development activities.
Learn more about the Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey in my post: “Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey: Raising Money for Children in Need Across Israel.”
A Personal Perspective from the Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey by Natalie Susman
I’m Natalie Susman, 37 years young, one husband, two kids and three businesses… so that makes me a busy lady.
I am very excited about the forthcoming odyssey which is looming for in a few days time. Why, I have no idea. Maybe it’s the thought of being away from home, no work, no chores, no cooking and no kids or husband. I know this sounds harsh, but as much as I will miss them, I hope that they will miss me too!
So why am I doing this? Well, its two fold, see above, and from a personal perspective, this is a challenge that I would not normally get the chance/time/opportunity to do and most importantly it is for such a great cause.
My kids are just so lucky. They never want for anything, have regular nutritious meals (not always??!) and have access to a fab education and social/family/Jewish life. They travel, they are wined and dined, and though I know they appreciate it, the chance to help other children that don’t have this was just too good an opportunity to miss.
I had a religious education – I went to a convent school, so not quite the same flavour, but I went to many Jewish clubs and camps and as life moved on for me, I have become a lot more observant and very involved in the local shul, in fact, starting it up five years ago from scratch.
Israel for me so far if I am honest, apart from tour at 16 has been very much about the beaches, being able to eat kosher meals anywhere and just relaxing. I am soooo excited about seeing a bit of real Israel as well as many grains of sand!
Being a businesswoman – all in the area that I live and where the shul has been has afforded me many contacts to approach re sponsorship, and I am planning an event for early next year (hopefully) just to top up the needed funds. Please feel free to sponsor me by going to www.jewishprincess.org.uk and clicking on my profile!
My target changed somewhat a couple of weeks back, when I lost a close friend to cancer. He was the Rabbi of Shenley, Rabbi Kass, who was 30 years old and one of the wisest individuals that I have ever, and may ever meet and know. I feel honored with his families blessing now to be doing this in his memory, and we are looking to raise money for a classroom in his name for some of these children. So again….please feel free to sponsor me…
What am I looking forward to: Not sure, as much has been kept quiet – probably better that way! Being with other intrepid (mad??) women, and taking the challenges that are thrown at me and coming out of my comfort zone.
What am I not looking forward to? No make up or hair straighteners. Funnily enough, this bothers me more than digging my own toilet, or no running water!
Strange for a Jewish Princess………
Title photo sourced from an article on the program (Hebrew). With thanks.
To read more about women and philanthropy, read on:
- “Lion of Judah: Women’s Philanthropy in the Federation System”
- “3 Highlights of Jewish Giving: Adelson, Brandeis, and Women’s Philanthropy”
- “Feel Good Activism: Shahar Peer’s Tennis Clinic, Fun Day for Sick Children, Kind Citizens of Jenin”
- “Madonna in Tsfat: Material Girl in the Land of the Immaterial” — I admit, this one is debatable!
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I welcome your thoughts and feedback via comments or e-mail: mnorton [at] TheNewJew.org.