By Marissa Brooks

When Adrienne Gold Davis’ children were little, they loved to go the wrong way on the “down” escalators. If her children walked up, they hardly moved. If they stood still, they were carried to the bottom. “They had to run against the downward trajectory in order to get to the top,” wrote Gold Davis in an email.

Using those observations as a metaphor for growth, Gold Davis wrote, “If we are not actively choosing growth, meaning, and purpose, we lose even the level we are at.”

The dynamic, energetic, inspirational and international speaker Adrienne Gold Davis will be in Charlotte on October 27 to share her extraordinary words of wisdom in a lecture entitled “Up the Down Escalator: Maximizing

Greatness.”

Before becoming an international speaker and trip leader for the highly subsidized women’s trips to Israel run by the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP), now Momentum, Gold Davis was a well-known fashion and beauty personality on Canadian television for over 15 years. Several things happened to change the trajectory of her life’s work – first a trip to Israel, then September 11.

Gold Davis wrote, “After a life changing trip to Israel, I came back to Toronto and began learning about the wisdom of Judaism. It is not oxymoronic to love both aesthetics and spirituality. After September 11, I felt a desire to use my platform to discuss matters of more substance than style. My producers were not amused with the fashionista weighing in on politics. Essentially I committed career suicide.”

After her T.V. contract wasn’t renewed, Gold Davis began teaching the wisdom of Judaism to women at her village shul in Toronto. She became the Toronto city leader for the JWRP trips and eventually became one of the trip leaders, guiding and inspiring large international groups of women.

As a lifelong learner, Gold Davis wrote that she is inspired to find “fresh new examples of the concepts” she teaches in order to keep the classes “relevant and engaging” for her audiences and for herself. She is motivated by “everyday miracles and by the enormous capacity of the human heart” and enjoys being a part of the process of helping others to “discover and uncover their souls.”

It was in Israel that Gold Davis crossed paths with local Jewish women who were traveling with Women of Wisdom (W.O.W.) on the JWRP trip. W.O.W. is a Charlotte-based inter-denominational Jewish women’s non-profit organization affiliated with the Charlotte Torah Center. Since 2012, W.O.W. members have joined the JWRP Israel trips to connect, learn, and grow.

To further W.O.W.’s mission of empowering, connecting, and inspiring Jewish women from all denominations through engaging social and educational activities, the W.O.W. board decided to start an annual event that would address their mission while being of universal interest to all genders. Thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte’s impact and innovation grant, W.O.W. was able to invite an internationally-known speaker to Charlotte.

Gold Davis was an obvious inaugural choice made by the W.O.W. leadership.

“When choosing a speaker to bring to this community, we wanted to bring someone that was impactful, successful and was familiar to at least part of the members of the core W.O.W. group, who had met her and had the opportunity to enjoy her wisdom,” said Sara Oppenheim, founder of W.O.W.

Bonnie Bornstein, W.O.W. president and the W.O.W. board feel that Up the

Down Escalator: Maximizing Greatness will be meaningful for all adults regardless of gender, age, or religion because it touches on themes of growth and resiliency.

“I can’t wait to hear her speak again in our hometown,” said Jodi Valenstein, a former JWRP trip participant who found Gold Davis “mesmerizing, engaging and so knowledgeable about everything she discussed.”

“Adrienne is one of the most dynamic and inspiring speakers I have ever heard. She is so relatable. There isn’t a topic that she won’t make relevant,” said Suzy Catenazzo, immediate past W.O.W. president. “I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to be inspired by Adrienne.”

Want to go? Women of Wisdom presents Up the Down Escalator: Maximizing

Greatness with Adrienne Gold Davis, Sunday, October 27, 7 PM, Queens

University of Charlotte, Ketner Auditorium, 1928 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28274. Tickets and information: www.charlottetorahcenter.com. $36 at the door.

VIP tickets: 1/$100, 2/$180. Sponsorships: $360. VIP tickets and sponsorships include a VIP cocktail reception with Adrienne at 6 PM.

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