Women United: A 2017 YWLC Reflection

The 2017 Young Women’s Leadership Conference brought together over 200 Jewish women from across the United States to network with and learn from JWI’s inspiring Women to Watch honorees. Hali Simons attended the event and wrote about her experience for JW magazine. 

by Hali Simons

As a Los Angeles Board member of JWI, I was so fortunate to travel to Washington D.C for the 2017 Young Women’s Leadership Conference with two of my fellow board members.  I was a bit hesitant to travel so far for such a quick trip, and for a conference I didn’t know too much about. I heard a few stories surrounding the previous year’s conference, but really did not have much to go off of and went into the weekend with very few expectations.

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Let me tell you, attending this conference was one of my highlights of 2017! Landing in our nation’s capital sparked immediate excitement and confidence. We arrived just in time for the first snowfall of the season and didn’t let the cold weather get in the way of anything! All of the JWI board members in DC for the conference met for dinner on Saturday night and the energy was contagious! It was amazing to meet counterparts from all over the United States. From shmoozing on all things JWI, to learning what industry everyone worked in, to what we were looking to get out of this weekend, sparks were flying. This night kicked off the beginning to a #GirlBOSS weekend.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling like I truly was where I was supposed to be. Surrounded by almost 200 young women, all different, but united by several key factors; our Jewish heritage and passion to thrive and succeed as females in our society. We heard from the most prominent, inspiring, well-rounded, AND Jewish women. They spoke about balancing their careers and families, the importance of having a mentor, and ways to perpetuate the empowerment of women.

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Logistically, contextually, and creatively, the conference was flawless. We were so lucky to hear from the panel of Women to Watch, break out into mini sessions with 1-3 speakers at a time, and network in between the different sessions. To be immersed in a pool of nearly 200 passionate, intelligent, and Jewish women, in Washington D.C, was an incredible experience.  I will be encouraging others to attend the conference for years to come. I am already excited for the 2018 National Conference, so that I can extend my trip and attend the famous Women to Watch Luncheon.

I have never felt more at home and surrounded by women with aligned goals, values, and morals.

Thank you JWI for empowering our generation of female Jewish leaders.