Interview with Eden Center Founder
Project: The Eden Center is a community hub for women's physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being by transforming women's most ancient space, the mikvah, into a center that educates, empowers, and engages women and their needs.
In one sentence, tell us who you are.
A committed Jew who believes that women's place in the public face of Orthodoxy still needs to come a long way.
What inspired you to embark on the path of an innovator?
In doctoral research I learned about the enormous gap between today's great needs and the interpretation of ancient tradition.
What challenges do you foresee in your field?
The challenge of raising money and convincing people with set views on this tradition to grasp an innovative, new way of thinking about it.
Who can you relate to in Jewish history (or in your field of interest)?
Moshe was a leader who had to take a people who didn't always understand the vision and move them from a place of slavery to both physical and spiritual freedom... and even Moshe had his challenges.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned from the PresenTense community?
There are a lot of ways to approach the same questions. Use the skills you've gained to connect to what fits you.
Who have you met at PresenTense that has made the most impact on your project?
Aharon and my coach, Ben Weiner, who have really helped me to hash out how to think about my project beyond the models given and concretize it beyond the sessions.
What big question are you struggling with right now?
How to engage people who want to be involved in a meaningful way.
If all goes as planned, where will your project be one year from now?
Having accomplished some of the sub-goals that move the ultimate mission forward such as a lecture series and identifying the location for a flagship center.
What do you hope to see change / to help change in your field in the next ten years?
The Mikvah will become a real resource for enriching women's lives and empowering women over their bodies.
What is your vision for the future of PresenTense?
PresenTense will create a network of entrepreneurs who help to enrich one another.
Naomi is just one of 16 fellows from the PresenTense Global Fellowship's Class of 2010. Read and learn about the others here.