On the Road Again

A Speaker Series Recap
February 23, 2024Susan Singer

Last month, I had the honor of traveling to Boston as a WRJ guest to attend both sisterhood and WRJ District events. This came about several months earlier in response to a request submitted to the WRJ Speakers Bureau. As a member of WRJ's Speakers Bureau, I’ve had the privilege of representing WRJ virtually, but this was the first time I was able to attend in person, and it was a real treat. 

The initial request for a speaker came from Temple Beth Shalom Sisterhood, in Needham, MA in which members had just begun planning for their all-day Sisterhood Spiritual Retreat. The goal was to help their members feel a deeper connection to WRJ and provide information on how their affiliation not only benefits them, but the greater Reform Movement as well. 

You’ve heard that getting there is half the fun. This was definitely the case as the planning progressed and the vision for our time together took shape. Working with the sisterhood leaders, along with WRJ Northeast District Area Directors, we were able to carve out a weekend that allowed us to highlight Women of Reform Judaism on the local, district, and North American levels. 

During my entire visit, I was met with audacious hospitality. I was so grateful to and enjoyed spending time with the kind women who picked me up and brought me to the various functions, including Friday night services at Temple Beth Shalom. There is something incredibly special about traveling to a brand-new congregation, yet immediately feeling at home and welcomed.

This particular Shabbat was a celebration of what the sisterhood has brought to their Temple. It was a joyous service and my pleasure to speak from the bima and add a heartfelt “Mazal Tov” from WRJ.

After services, I was invited to attend the congregation’s community dinner. It was a great evening. I had the opportunity to meet and speak with many terrific new friends - and, of course, play a few rounds of “Jewish Geography,” which always makes me feel like we’re just one big family. 

Saturday was quite a day! It was a thrill to watch the WRJ pillars of Sisterhood, Spirituality, and Social Justice in action. It began with a moving Shabbat service led by sisterhood women. The group participated in a hands-on social action project, creating beautiful terrarium centerpieces for a local women’s shelter.  And a true celebration of sisterhood where 92-year-old Ina Glasberg was honored as a beloved sisterhood past president and the first female president of the congregation. The outpouring of love for this woman was extraordinary. Ina exuded leadership, and I felt both privileged and honored to be there.  The entire day was a great reminder of why I love sisterhood.

I also was able to provide an update on the latest and greatest WRJ news, initiatives, and events.  More importantly, I shared how my involvement with sisterhood and WRJ has been a real gift and has impacted my life in so many wonderful ways. I reminded everyone that this gift is waiting for them, too.  One of my favorite moments was later that evening when a recent “empty nester” approached me asking how she could get her hands on one of those gifts! Of course, I pointed her directly to FWC registration!

My weekend wrapped up with a terrific WRJ Northeast District Boston Area Day at the Mayyim Hayyim Mikvah. Although it was a cold and snowy day in Boston, I could feel the warmth brought on by these WRJ members. We learned, shared, and experienced the real joy of being together in that sacred space. 

Zoom provided us with those much-needed opportunities to connect during the recent pandemic, something to be very grateful for. But there is something special about being together and the meaningful connections we can make face to face.

WRJ is all about those connections and wants to celebrate with you and be part of your womens' groups significant moments.  Sisterhoods in good standing with WRJ are qualified to have a WRJ North American Representative visit at no cost to you at least once every two years.

Consider utilizing this excellent resource for:

  • Board Installations 
  • Special Celebrations
  • Leadership or New Board Training
  • Sisterhood Shabbat                                                                        
  • Kallah or Spiritual Retreats
  • Sisterhood/Women’s Group Programming
  • Fundraising Events & Fiscal Education
  • Social Justice & Advocacy Programs
  • Sharing the WRJ Story

If you are planning or thinking about including any of the above in your calendar, I encourage you to take advantage of this valuable benefit. WRJ speakers can share the WRJ story, provide leadership training, energize advocacy work, and increase awareness of what we accomplish together at any of these gatherings.

My visit to Boston was a wonderful experience. I loved connecting with individuals new to WRJ, as well as reconnecting with WRJ veteran leaders. Click here for more information and to submit your speaker request

WRJ Districts also have their own Speakers Bureau where sisterhoods are eligible to have a local representative during alternate years to the WRJ North American speaker. Please contact your WRJ District directly for more information. 

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