From the time I was a little girl, I knew the importance of sisterhood groups. My mother was always an active member of her sisterhood until she was well into her 80’s. When we moved to Maryland from New York in 1984, we joined Temple Solel in Bowie, and I immediately joined Women of Temple Solel. I am also the proud mother of two women who learned the importance of Jewish values as they grew up and continue to pass those values on to their five daughters.
My older daughter, Rachel, and I have served both our sisterhood and congregation in some of the same...Read More
When I was 14, I won a $50 scholarship from my temple sisterhood (Temple Beth Israel in San Diego, CA) to go to Camp Saratoga. We were told it was the camp for loving Judaism. It was at camp where I developed a passion for Judaism. Camp was magical for me. I met young men and women from all over the western states and developed lifelong friendships. I attended camp for the next two summers, always sponsored by a sisterhood scholarship. Because of camp, I became active in SCFTY, our regional youth group. During the year, we held conclaves at Camp Hess Kramer. We lived for those weekends:...Read More
My mother of blessed memory, Ruth Novak, grew up in a secular household. When my grandparents attended shul, they went to the local Orthodox congregation. Being female, Mom was not offered a formal religious education or encouraged to attend services.
After my parents were married, they affiliated with a Conservative congregation. Mom attended services occasionally, but most of her religious practice was in the home, lighting Shabbat candles and celebrating holidays. Eventually, my father affiliated with a Reform congregation, but Mom continued to be more of a home practitioner. I...Read More
As we approach Mother's Day, and perhaps reconnect in person for the first time in a year, we are reminded of the importance of generations coming together. And while we recognize it can be a day of reflection, memories, and joy, we know it can bring complex feelings, too. This spring, we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate ALL of the women who make WRJ special. We asked some of our WRJ "sisters" to share how being a part of this community has shaped their formative years, continues to be an integral part of their lives, and how WRJ inspires them to think about the future...Read More
Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23) is of special significance to me this year since it was my twin daughters’ b’not mitzvah parashah 20 years ago this week. I also realized that as I approached my 65th birthday in June, this is the fifth anniversary (times thirteen, that is!) of my own bat mitzvah. Though I actually chanted from haftarah rather than Torah, which was what we did back then.
This parashah lays out a broad range of laws, including the “eye for an eye” exactions. Many of these now seem archaic, and we have modified them for our modern...Read More