Improving in the New Year

September 2, 2022Blair C. Marks

The Days of Awe bring us the opportunity and obligation to reflect on the past year and recommit ourselves to improvement for the coming year. We recognize those things we wish we had handled differently in a more positive or appropriate manner and celebrate the opportunity to start again. This can be true not only for individuals but also for organizations. School is back in session, and our routines change to accommodate this—even those without children are affected by different traffic and shopping rhythms.

Our sisterhood and individual members typically start attending significant programming around and immediately following the holidays. We’re all starting over in a sense, and we have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and our organizations for the coming year.

In 5783, will you be doing the same things you did in 5782? Or have you added something new and different? “Keeping it fresh” leads to vitality, increased membership, a deeper volunteer pool, and well-attended programming. Even when we have a program every year, like a YES Fund event, we should find ways to introduce new dimensions. This could be a different venue, different theme, different program, or a different way to recognize an honoree. Take a road trip. Have a picnic. Host a traditional tea. Go to a football or hockey game. When I was in Girl Scouts, I learned the simple song sung in a round: “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver, and the other is gold.” I think the same principle can apply to everything we do: add new and innovative ideas while at the same time keeping the core of what has made us successful so far.

As we begin a new year, you have the chance for reinvention within your sisterhood: how can you build on your core identity and enhance it to invite more of your congregation’s women into your tent? As we enter the season of introspection and recommitment, embrace that opportunity! Wishing you and your families a sweet, healthy, and peaceful 5783. L'shana tovah tikatevu!


As you prepare to celebrate the High Holy Days, check out WRJ’s newly-updated holiday guides for Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah. Discuss your goals for your sisterhood this year or High Holy Day programming ideas with other WRJ leaders on Yammer.

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