Building Connections and Community: The Kevuda Society

May 31, 2024Vivian Blumstein

Since 2020, I have had the honor of being chair of the Kevuda Society, the alumnae group for former members of the WRJ boards of District 1, District 3, and the Northeast District. 

WRJ alumnae groups have always faced challenges as to how to engage, given the large distances in the districts. In 2020, we had to deal with the added hurdle of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well. With the help of my wonderful committee, we decided to start “Kevuda Schmoozes.” These are get-togethers on Zoom. We hold these several times a year, usually around a holiday, so that we can use the holiday as a theme.

For example, our latest schmooze, which was this past mid-March, had a Purim theme.  We usually begin by catching up (since many of our members know each other), and then launching into the program. For Purim, we played “Mad Libs for Purim,” and then talked about our favorite Purim costume as a child (usually Esther, of course) and who/what we would dress up as an adult. It made for some interesting answers!

Most of our schmoozes, have the same structure, but last fall, we had a guest speaker.  Rabbi Beth Kramer Mazer spoke about “Women in the Rabbinate.” When Sharon Sobel was District president, she was a guest speaker as well and helped everyone catch up with what was going on in the Northeast District. Keeping our alumnae engaged with the district is important, as they encourage women in their home congregations to become involved with both the district and WRJ.

Some of the members of our group were so excited to get together in person at the WRJ District Convention last March. We all sat at a table at one of the dinners and it was lovely.

Many of our alumnae are also past area directors. I know that in some districts, alumnae have been called back to serve in this position again. District Presidents – don’t forget the alumnae! These groups are a goldmine for experienced workers!

We are a small, but mighty group; usually around 20-25 members. We love our Kevuda schmoozes and the opportunity to stay connected to the Northeast District, WRJ, and to each other.

 

 

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