Women of Light



Mission: A group of supportive women sharing our successes, struggles, and the sparks of beauty we see/read/experience — so we can grow and spread light within our families, communities and the world, with G-d’s help.

To be added to our online support group or to submit an article or artwork, please conact us here.


WhatsApp Image 2020-03-26 at 10.41.07 AMAlitza (Joy) Adler, born in Ohio, lives with her family in Jacksonville, FL. She works for a clinic serving patients with eating disorders. Her passions include healthy eating, gardening, essential oils, and plant-based whole nutrition with Arbonne. Her favorite dessert is dairy-free salted caramel ice cream and peach pie. She has two children and loves spending as much time as possible being active outdoors.

devorah aronwoitzDevorah Aronowitz, born in South Africa, lives in Richmond, VA. She works as an elementary teacher at a Jewish Day School. Hobbies, favorite dessert… She has five children. 

Dari Ben-Naim was born in New York City and lives in Jacksonville, FL. She is very passionate about cooking, so much so that she makes her own pasta, and is now learning how to make cannolis…any food that is a challenge. She is hoping to become a professional Chefette one day and get her degree from The Kosher Culinary Institute located in The Big Apple. Her favorite desserts are chocolate mousse and creme brulee (why pick only one!) She is the mother to two amazing teenage boys Noam, age 16 and Yosef age 14, who are attending high school in Duval County.

PHOTO-2020-03-26-14-35-37Suzie Becker was born in NYC and lives in Jacksonville, FL. She has worked in business administration, education, and for nonprofit organizations. She includes nostalgia, Daf Yomi for women, reading about diets, and humor among her hobbies, as well as coping mechanisms. She has two young children who both amuse and frustrate her… just like her mother wished upon her.

Gitty Cohen was born in Manchester (UK), raised in Eretz Yisrael, went to college in Gateshead, and lives in Jacksonville, FL. She is currently studying for her master’s in education through the Open University of Israel, has been teaching for six years, and is the youth/camp director at Etz Chaim Synagogue. She is passionate about finding the hidden spark in each individual and believes that if someone struggles in a certain area, she is meant to excel in another way. Her favorite dessert is anything that contains chocolate. She is the mother of two young children who keep her very busy. 

nancyheadshot32018Nancy Cohen was born in Teaneck, NJ, and lives in St Augustine, FL. She is a licensed dietician and nutritionist. Her favorite dessert is apple cobbler, or anything with apples. She has fond memories of baking with her Grandma Jennie from the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-29 at 12.32.34 PMLeah Finkelstein, born in Missouri, lives in Jacksonville, FL. She is an avid gardener and musician — the viola is her instrument of choice. She is passionate about gardening and taking care of her children. She’s not into sweets, but says roast beef? Now THAT’S a dessert!!! She is the mom of four. 

judithJudith Fox-Goldstein was born in New York, spent 30 years on the big island of Hawaii, and now lives in St. Johns, Florida. A professional writer and artist, she is passionate about sharing the stories of the strong women she creates through her paintings. Her work can be found in galleries and other locations throughout Northeast Florida. 

malkaMalka Gross, born in Chicago, lives in Jacksonville, FL. She works as a physical therapist in a hospital.  She is passionate about helping others, her family, and yiddishkeit. Her favorite dessert: anything chocolate. She is a mom of a grown daughter who works as the vice president of marketing for Harper Collins. 

Sarah Bayla Gross lives in Atlanta, GA and teaches at Torah Day School of Atlanta. She has previously lived in Eretz Yisrael and hopes to return soon IY”H. She is passionate about caring for her children and learning Torah. 

Shari Goranson, born in Chicago, lives in Jacksonville, FL. She works as a case manager in a rehab hospital with pediatrics and brain injury patients. She is passionate about her family, including her four children and multiple grandchildren. Her favorite dessert is coconut cream pie or anything with chocolate and peanut butter.

Sarah Herman, born in Texas, lives in Jacksonville, FL. Currently a stay-at-home mom who loves to cook, swim, bike leisurely, read, and dabbles in interior design. She is passionate about helping others in and out of the community. She prefers savory foods over dessert, but won’t turn down a proper Southern pecan pie (gluten free, of course). BH, she is the mama to two beautiful, strong, and bright young ladies, and says they are the best gifts Hashem ever brought to her. “Everything I do is to make their world a more positive and healthy place where they can live out their dreams without boundaries.”

Blimy Konig, born in New York, lives in Jacksonville, FL. Work, hobbies,  passions, favorite dessert? She has four children. 

Bonnie Melamed, born in New York, lives in Jacksonville, FL. She works for a financial services firm. Her passions include… her favorite dessert is… 

Shaindy Perl lives in Monsey, New York. A published author of nearly a dozen books, she is also a certified coach and workshop leader. She is passionate about personal growth and loves to visit places of natural beauty. Her favorite dessert is one that requires minimal prep. She is a mom of six K”H.

Rebbetzin Ita Rabinowitz, born in New York, lives in Jacksonville, FL. An accomplished musician and computer programmer, she serves as principal of Jacksonville Torah High School. She is the devoted mother to 11 children K”H.

Rebbetzin Miriam Reichman, born in Flatbush, New York, lives in Lakewood, New Jersey… more coming soon.

Mindy Rubenstein, born in the Tampa Bay area, lives in Jacksonville, FL. A professional writer and amateur artist, she is passionate about helping other women express themselves creatively and spiritually. She serves as editor of Nishei magazine (nishei.org) and was homeschooling three of her four children before it was mandatory. She has recently taken up bike riding. Her favorite dessert is tiramisu. 

Rebbetzin Dini Sharfstein, born and raised in Denver, Colorado, lives in St. Johns, FL. She serves as co-director of Chabad of St. Johns County and founded the GROW program, a Jewish after-school enrichment program in the public schools. She’s passionate about sharing the joy and love of Jewish life. She loves to sing and dance. Her favorite dessert is anything with peanut butter. She’s the mom to five amazing girls K”H.

Rebbetzin Rena Schochet, born in Baltimore, lives in Jacksonville, FL. A professional speaker, writer, and coach, she is also leader of the local CORE group, which empowers women to connect and grow. She is passionate about learning Torah and teaching what she learns to others, helping and listening and connecting with others. She is very proud of her three sons and her grandchildren. Almost half of her grandchildren have finished high school plus, and she is now waiting for them to find their basherts.

Carin M. Smilk is a Jewish journalist living outside Philadelphia with her husband and four sons. Currently the managing editor of JNS.org, she worked five years as a full-time in the news department of Chabad.org.