Susan C. Bass WRJ Immediate Past President

Susan Bass

Susan C. Bass is the immediate past President of WRJ. An Atlanta native, she currently lives in Houston. Through every phase of her life, Susan has been affiliated with institutions of the Reform Jewish Movement. Beginning with her Temple Youth Group, involvement with The Temple in Atlanta in many capacities, Board service with the Union for Reform Judaism and Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), she has demonstrated a commitment to the values of progressive Judaism in every arena. Susan served as an officer in almost every organization, including the President of WRJ, encouraging others to recruit and mentor rising leaders, many of whom are in leadership positions today. Passing the torch of leadership to those who will follow has always been her passion. In Houston, Susan is a member of Congregation Beth Israel, where she is active in the congregation, the sisterhood, and sings in the volunteer choir.

Parashat Vayigash

Susan C. Bass WRJ Immediate Past President
December 30, 2022
The meaning of Vayigash is "to draw near" and we are reminded that Joseph and his brothers reunite and thus are drawn near. The reunion is not without drama on all sides. As we come to this time of year, many of us draw near to familiar people or places. From Thanksgiving through the end of the calendar year, our time is filled with planning – whether for travel, food, gifts, or all of the above – our focus is squarely on connecting with others who are important to us.  Clearly, there is an opportunity for some type of drama. As we draw near to one another in this season or any time at all, it is important to consider why we are drawing near – what is the message we wish to communicate, either through words or simply our physical presence.

Find For Yourself A Teacher: The Power of Learning

Susan C. Bass WRJ Immediate Past President
August 26, 2022
Jews are known as the “people of the book.” Our teachings direct us to be lifelong learners. Each time we reach the end of Deuteronomy, we immediately begin again with Parashat Bereshit. Each time we study a verse, we bring our current selves into the conversation. The words of the Torah remain the same --- it is our own life experiences that may change how we understand or interpret those same words.

Yom Rishon shel Pesach

Susan C. Bass WRJ Immediate Past President
April 15, 2022

This week’s Torah portion revisits the pivotal moment in the exodus from Egypt, when Miriam and Moses led the Israelites through the Sea of Reeds, to safety on the far side before the waters closed in, trapping and drowning the pursuing soldiers of the Pharoah

Parashah Ki Tisa

Susan C. Bass WRJ Immediate Past President
February 18, 2022
What is G-d telling Moses? “Yes you want to know, but you cannot. If I allow you to know all that you seek to understand, you would no longer be human. Thus, the potential for the glory that you may realize because you are b’tzelem Elohim would be destroyed.” Perhaps the challenge of being human is to learn to see the sacred in our not knowing and to find ways to uncover our potential greatness. Not knowing is not failure, rather it is at the root of our humanity.

Voices – Parashah Vayikra

Susan C. Bass WRJ Immediate Past President
March 18, 2021
I love baseball. I am an unabashed baseball fan and have been since attending my first Atlanta Braves baseball game at the age of nine. I am willing to watch baseball at any level – from the Little League World Series to the College World Series to, well, THE World Series. It took a little while for my 10-year-old brain to understand why a batter would intentionally lay down a bunt (a sacrifice) to advance a runner, or why a fly ball was called a sacrifice, just because a runner went to the next base (or scored a run). After all, a sacrifice is something important or precious that is given up for the sake of gaining something or allowing something to happen that is considered more important.