Lori Palatnik

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Lori Palatnik (born 1960) is the founding director of Momentum.[1][2] Formerly called The JWRP,[3] Momentum works to strengthen Jewish identity and connection to Israel through young mothers in their communities.[2] She is an educator, public speaker, and community activist.[4]


Born in 1960, Palatnik grew up in a Conservative Jewish family[5] in Toronto, Canada. She majored in communications at the University of Windsor and earned a special degree in advertising. She began her career in radio copywriting.[6]

In 1985 she was a participant on the first Jerusalem Fellowships trip to Israel, and her experience was so positive that she decided to take time off to learn more about Judaism.[7] She studied for a year[5] at the EYAHT and Neve Yerushalayim colleges for advanced Jewish learning in Jerusalem. She returned briefly to Toronto for a writing job for Aish HaTorah, and afterward returned to Israel, where she met her husband, Yaakov Palatnik, a native of Chicago.[5][6] and became an Orthodox Jewish outreach educator, public speaker, and author. They have five children.[8]

They were the founding rabbi and rebbetzin of Toronto's Village Shul, a family synagogue in Forest Hill, Toronto, which they led for 11 years.[5][6] During that time, Lori also hosted The Jewish Journal, a Toronto television show.[9]

The Palatniks next moved to Denver, Colorado, where for the next four years[5] he worked with Aish Denver[10] and she was educational and program director for the Aish-Ahavas Yisrael project.[11] The couple also co-hosted a weekly Denver radio show called The Palatniks on 630-KHOW.[12]

In 2005, the Palatniks relocated to Washington, D.C., where Rabbi Palatnik became executive director of Aish Washington, D.C.[6] In 2008 Lori was one of eight founders of the Jewish Women's Renaissance Project, now called Momentum,[13][14] an outreach effort dubbed "Birthright for Women".[15][16] As of 2020, Momentum has brought more than 20,000 women to Israel[2] on a free, eight-day tour and learn program; participants only pay for their airfare.[13] A 2010 poll of tour participants revealed that "76 per cent increased their attendance at Jewish services, 90.3 per cent increased their Jewish learning, and 75.4 per cent increased their observance of Shabbat" after participating in the tour.[17]

She is a popular speaker for women's groups and Jewish conferences in North America, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Central America, South America and Israel.[18][19][20][21][22][23]

Kidney donor[edit]

In 2008, Palatnik revealed that she had donated one of her kidneys to a stranger. She explained her rationale in an article on Aish.com,[24] in a live video performance,[25] and in speeches covered by local press.[26][27]


On International's Women's Day, March 2023, Lori was named one of Masa's Inspiring Twelve, Jewish Women Working to Make a Difference [28]

In 2022, Lori was named as one of the "50 of Our Favorite Jewish Women Right Now" by JOOL.[29]

In 2020, the Israeli government chose her to light "The Diaspora Torch", one of 12 torches at Israel's 72nd Independence Day ceremony. "Momentum works tirelessly to strengthen Jewish identity and connection to Israel through young mothers in their communities," wrote Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev. "Rebbetzin Lori is a leading, unique and exciting version of the 'Queen of the Desert', a Zionist who loves Israel, two values for which Momentum never stops striving."[30]

In 2020, Izzy named her one of the "Global Jewish 100", recognizing people who are moving Jewish culture forward in the world. Individuals were selected according to their accomplishments, influence and impact.[31]

In 2020, the Times of Israel featured her blog post about the coronavirus.[32]

In 2015 Hadassah added her to the list of "Most Outstanding Jewish American Women of Our Time".[33]

In 2013 she was recognized as one of the nation's "Ten Women to Watch" by Jewish Women International.[34]

In 2010, she was a semi-finalist for the Jewish Community Heroes award presented by the Jewish Federations of North America. She received 25,208 online votes[35] out of 311,265 votes cast.[36]

Her 2002 book, Gossip: Ten Pathways to Eliminate It from Your Life and Transform Your Soul (co-authored with Bob Burg), was featured on the Dr. Laura show as a recommended book.[37]



  • Friday Night and Beyond: The Shabbat experience step-by-step, 1994[38]
  • Gossip: Ten Pathways to Eliminate It from Your Life and Transform Your Soul (with Bob Burg), 2002[39]
  • Remember My Soul: What to do in memory of a loved one — A path of reflection and inspiration for shiva, the stages of Jewish mourning, and beyond (with Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik), K'hal Publishing, 2008[40]
  • Turn Your Husband Into Your Soul Mate, 2015[41]


In addition to her books, she has contributed to the anthology, Heaven on Earth[42] and Jewish Women Speak about Jewish Matters.[43]

She is also a blogger for The Times of Israel.[44]

Audio cassettes[edit]

  • Holy Diner: Shabbat, 20-cassette series, 1999[45]


  1. ^ "Welcome". momentumunlimited.org.
  2. ^ a b c "Founder of 'Birthright for Moms' to light torch for Diaspora on Independence Day". The Times of Israel.
  3. ^ "JWRP and Hadassah, Zionist Women Working Together". 23 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Women to know : How Rebbetzin Lori Palatnik is bringing thousands of Jews back to Judaism". Hidabroot.com. 2019-11-15. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  5. ^ a b c d e Bochner, Rea. "This Week with Lori Palatnik". Ami Living, 9 April 2014, pp. 28-29.
  6. ^ a b c d "Lori Palatnik". Aish DC/MD/VA. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  7. ^ Perkal, Esther. "Israel Trips: Transformative experiences". Hamodia Features, 26 May 2011, pp. C4–5.
  8. ^ "Lori Palatnik". aishcom. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  9. ^ Woldoff, Leisah (13 December 2007). "It's About the Marriage, Not the Wedding". jewishjournal.com. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  10. ^ "About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik". Aish.com. 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  11. ^ "Lori Palatnik – A short biography" (PDF). Clayhill United Synagogue Newsheet. 13 November 2004. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  12. ^ "The Red Tent Club for the Women's Division". jewishhowardcounty.org. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  13. ^ a b Horowitz, Simi. "Jewish Women in Cuba". Ami, December 7, 2016, pp. 59–66.
  14. ^ "The Utah-8 Mission: To create a movement that would bring values back to the world". Jewish Women's Renaissance Project. 2010. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  15. ^ Ohayon, Esther (10 February 2011). "Jewish Women's Renaissance Project A Birthright Like Trip for Women". The Five Towns Jewish Community Service. Archived from the original on 2016-02-01. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  16. ^ "Two local finalists for Jewish heroes contest". Washington Jewish Week. 25 October 2010. Archived from the original on January 10, 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  17. ^ Lungen, Paul (26 March 2012). "Women's group aims at renaissance in values". Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  18. ^ "About the Presenter". Project Sinai. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  19. ^ Fine, Arlene (29 December 2000). "Bringing Jewish values home...and beyond: Noted author and lecturer Lori Palatnik will speak here on the soul and the afterlife". Cleveland Jewish News. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  20. ^ "First Annual Houston Conference for Jewish Women will be a Hard Act to Follow". Jewish Herald-Voice. 1 October 2003. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  21. ^ "Women Need a Place of Their Own to Talk About Life Issues". The New Standard. 25 January 2006. Retrieved 1 December 2010.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Lori Palatnik Returns to Houston for the ASCENT Mini-Conference". Jewish Herald-Voice. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  23. ^ "YL Eastern Regional Conference: Confirmed Speakers". Jewish Federations of North America. 2010. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  24. ^ Palatnik, Lori (2 February 2008). "A Kidney To Give: Why I donated my kidney to someone I didn't know". aish.com. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  25. ^ "Why I Donated a Kidney to a Total Stranger", live video by Lori Palatnik in 4 parts: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.
  26. ^ Benari, Elad (15 December 2009). "Save a Life, Make a Life". Shalom Life. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  27. ^ Blackman, Carolyn (23 December 2009). "Kidney donor calls it greatest experience of her life". Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  28. ^ https://www.masaisrael.org/inspiring-women-23/
  29. ^ "50 of Our Favorite Jewish Women Right Now". June 2022.
  30. ^ "Momentum's Lori Palatnik to light 'Diaspora' torch on Independence Day".
  31. ^ "The Global Jewish 100 – Celebrating the People Moving Jewish Culture Forward".
  32. ^ "The Coronavirus test we will all take".
  33. ^ Hadassah. http://archive.hadassah.org/site/c.keJNIWOvElH/b.6606301/k.4698/March_Is_Womens_History_Month.htm. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ Josephs, Susan (Fall 2013). "Lori Palatnik: Educator Helps Jewish Mothers Connect to Their Faith". Jewish Women International. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  35. ^ "Lori Palatnik - Rockville, District of Columbia". jewishcommunityheroes.org. 2010. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  36. ^ "Welcome to Jewish Community Heroes". jewishcommunityheroes.org. 2010. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  37. ^ "Recommended Books: Gossip: Ten Pathways to Eliminate It from Your Life and Transform Your Soul". drlaura.com. Retrieved 1 December 2010.[dead link]
  38. ^ Palatnik, Lori (1999). Friday Night and Beyond: The Shabbat Experience Step-By-Step. Jason Aronson. ISBN 9780765760678. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  39. ^ Palatnik, Lori; Burg, Bob (2002). Gossip: Ten Pathways to Eliminate It from Your Life and Transform Your Soul. Simcha Press. ISBN 0-7573-0055-3. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  40. ^ Palatnik, Lori; Palatnik, Yaakov (2008). Remember My Soul: What to Do in Memory of a Loved One: A Path of Reflection and Inspiration for Shiva, the Stages of Jewish Mourning, and Beyond. K'hal Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60204-014-4. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  41. ^ "A Definite Treasure!". Amazon.
  42. ^ Coopersmith, Nechemia; Simmons, Shraga (2002). Heaven on Earth: Down-to-earth Jewish spirituality. Targum Press. ISBN 1-56871-206-5.
  43. ^ Palatnik, Lori (1 January 2000), "Leah and the Lesson of Gratitude", Jewish Women Speak About Jewish Matters, Targum/Feldheim, pp. 97–99, ISBN 978-1-56871-151-5, retrieved 1 December 2010
  44. ^ "Lori Palatnik's Blog".
  45. ^ "Holy Diner:Shabbat". goodreads.com. Retrieved 1 December 2010.

External links[edit]