WRJ Fried Women's Conference 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

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FWC Basics
Hotel & Travel
Registration & Pricing
Program & Schedule
Miscellaneous

FWC Basics

WRJ Fried Women’s Conference (FWC) 2020 will take place in Phoenix, Arizona at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass Hotel, which will host both programming and nightly accommodations. FWC begins on Thursday, April 30 at 5:30 pm and runs through Sunday, May 3 at 12:00 pm. Please note that some special programs begin earlier or later. Check the Schedule and Registration & Fees pages for more information.

 

Who should attend FWC?
This conference is for all women interested in attending: current and rising sisterhood leaders, individual WRJ members, WRJ Board members, WRJ Chai Society members and Board alumnae, and any woman age 18 and older who is interested in sharing this incredible experience (whether a member of WRJ or not)!

Why should I (and/or someone else from my sisterhood or another woman I know) attend FWC?
As our testimonials confirm, there is something extraordinarily valuable to be gained from meeting face to face with many other like-minded Reform Jewish women and from learning first-hand the tools needed to improve your leadership and personal skills and benefit your sisterhood/community and yourself. Running the gamut from the “nuts and bolts” tools that new or incoming leaders need, all the way up to advanced skills for experienced and seasoned leaders, the conference has something to offer a wide variety of WRJ women. And for those who are interested in personal or professional growth and advanced Jewish topics (rather than sisterhood skills training), FWC features many such sessions as well. The large numbers of returning attendees attest to the power of this experience. It is not to be missed!

Hotel & Travel

When should I arrive for FWC? When does it end?
The conference runs from Thursday, April 30 through Sunday, May 3, 2020. Please complete your online registration before booking your hotel and flight/travel, so that you will know exactly when to arrive and depart, based on the programs for which you register. For general FWC attendance, you should plan to arrive at the hotel no later than 4:30 p.m. on Thursday to check-in and pick up registration materials; this means you should book a flight that lands at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport earlier than 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, and stay through the conference’s end on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. by booking a flight that departs after 3:00 p.m. However, there are pre-conference options, including the WRJ Board of Directors Meeting (Tuesday night – Thursday morning) and the WRJ Fundraising Event (Thursday midday; bus departs hotel at 11:45 a.m.) that require an earlier arrival, so please book your travel accordingly for your attendance needs so as not to miss this special opportunity!

 

Where is the 2020 FWC? Where do I stay? How do I get there?
The entire conference program, along with the WRJ hotel room block, will be at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass Hotel. Once you complete your online registration, you will receive the link to make a reservation at the Sheraton in your confirmation email. All attendees are responsible for making their own reservations by April 5, 2020 to get WRJ’s discounted rate.

Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass Hotel
5594 W Wild Pass Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85226
(p) 602-225-0100

The hotel is about a 25-30 minute drive from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), which is the closest airport. No shuttle service is offered by the hotel. You may tax a taxi (~$40 each way) or a rideshare (Uber/Lyft, ~$25-30 each way). Visit the hotel website for more information.

For those driving, complimentary on-site self-parking is available at the hotel. Valet parking is $22/night.

Cancellations must be made at least 7 days before arrival in order to avoid paying a one-night fee.

Can I share a hotel room? How do I find a roommate?
Rooms at the Sheraton contain 1 king or 2 double beds, and can certainly be shared between two or more women. Attendees are responsible for making their own hotel reservations, including finding their own roommate. If you would like to share a room but do not have a roommate, use the WRJ FWC 2020 Attendees’ Yammer group (to which you’ll be added once you complete your registration) and post that you’re looking for a roommate and for which night(s) – use the Topic Tags “RoommateSearch” and “Hotel.” Women have good success rates in matching up this way!

Registration & Pricing

How much does it cost to attend FWC? What does my registration include?
The “Early Bird” registration fee is $595 on or before February 26, 2020. From February 27 – April 20, 2020, the fee for regular registration is $650.

Until April 20, 2020, the registration fee for any woman ages 18-36 is $250 (please email the WRJ Registrar to find out about this discount and get the necessary coupon code, before completing your registration).

All registration fees are in USD and non-U.S. attendees must pay in USD or the equivalent amount in their local currency.

Your registration fee includes:

  • All meals during the conference, including Thursday dinner; Friday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and Sunday breakfast
  • All programming, including workshops, speakers, networking, worship, and music
  • Workshop handouts and conference materials
  • Pre- and post-FWC access to WRJ’s private FWC 2020 online communication & resource group on Yammer, which also grants access to other “open” WRJ Yammer groups

The WRJ Fundraising Event on Thursday, April 30 (before FWC begins) requires pre-registration and has an additional cost.

The WRJ Choir requires pre-registration but does not have an additional cost.

Not included in your FWC registration are the following expenses:

  • Hotel reservation
  • Flight and other travel arrangements (including ground transportation)
  • Meals not listed above (such as Thursday and Sunday lunches)
  • Optional pre-conference Fundraising Event
  • Purchase of WRJ products
  • Donations to WRJ
  • Any other expenses unless otherwise noted

Does WRJ offer any financial assistance to attend FWC?
WRJ offers a limited number of grants to eligible sisterhoods to cover the cost of registration to attend FWC. Visit the Grants page to find out if your sisterhood is eligible and to learn more. 

How can I register for FWC? How do I pay the fee?
FWC 2020 registration is only available online. Registration will open in November 2019 and close in mid-April 2020. All registrations must be completed on an individual basis (no group registrations) on our secure online website and paid for in full by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express) when submitting your registration. Once registration is complete, you will receive a confirmation email, which contains the link to make a reservation at the hotel at the group rate.

If your sisterhood is covering your registration fee, please make the appropriate arrangements to enable you to pay at the time you register.

If you need to pay by check, you must still complete the online registration, select the “Pay Later” option on the payment page, and then complete your registration. As soon as you complete the online form, you will need to then mail a check to WRJ for the full amount you owe. Once WRJ receives and processes your check, you will receive a confirmation email. All check payments must be postmarked no later than April 10, 2020. Please contact wrjregistrar@wrj.org for further instructions on mailing a check payment.

If you are a recipient of a North American Sisterhood Grant, you must still pay the registration fee at the time you register. WRJ will reimburse your sisterhood by check after FWC concludes.

All registration fees must be paid, in full, before FWC; partial payments cannot be accepted.

What happens if I need to change or cancel my registration and get a refund?
If you register for the WRJ FWC 2020 and are not able to attend, you must email the WRJ Registrar with your cancellation request and include the reason for the cancellation to receive a partial or full refund. Refunds will be applied as follows:

  • On or before April 1, 2020: A full refund less a $50 administrative fee
  • On or after April 2, 2020:  No refund except in the event of a documented illness, death in the family, or inclement weather that makes travel to the conference impossible, for which WRJ will offer to refund, where possible, 50% of the registration fee less a $50 administrative fee

Please allow up to six weeks after the conclusion of the event for your refund to be processed. We are not able to offer a credit balance toward future WRJ events.

Cancellations for your hotel room must be made directly with the hotel. Any cancellation made fewer than 7 nights before arrival will incur the first night’s fee.

Can I attend part of FWC and pay a lower fee?
WRJ does not offer partial attendance packages or prorated registration rates for FWC, except in the case of local attendees for Saturday. This “Taste of WRJ” registration option is available only to local Phoenix-area women (residing within 50 miles of the hotel), regardless of affiliation with WRJ. You may register to attend just the Saturday daytime portion of FWC. This is not intended to be a "partial attendance" package for WRJ members but, instead, for local women who are interested in WRJ to join us for Shabbat daytime programming in Phoenix. This package costs $180 and includes Saturday morning Torah study and breakfast, worship services, lunch, and afternoon workshops. Local attendees may also add Saturday night’s dinner/dance to their registration for an additional $120. Please email wrjregistrar@wrj.org to receive the separate “Taste of WRJ” registration link and instructions.

Can I bring a guest with me to some or all of FWC?
FWC attendees will be fully occupied with conference-related programming from Thursday afternoon through Sunday midday. Therefore, guest packages are not offered.

Program & Schedule

What is the schedule for the weekend? What types of workshops are being offered?
The conference schedule (subject to change) can be viewed here

Do I have to pre-register for individual workshops? 
All workshops during FWC do not require advance registration. An attendee may choose to attend any workshop on-site as long as space remains in the room (on a first-come, first-served basis). Note that the WRJ Choir does require advance registration and will have several mandatory onsite rehearsals (see more details below).

Are there any special add-on programs available?
FWC 2020 features a pre-conference Fundraising Event at the renowned Heard Museum. More details are available here. This special event will give you an enjoyable and educational experience, learning about the Native Americans of the Southwest, while supporting WRJ's important work. You can add this event within your FWC registration.

What is the WRJ Choir?
The WRJ Choir provides an opportunity for women to share their love of music and singing with FWC attendees by rehearsing before and performing during, FWC worship services. Coordinated by WRJ’s Vivian Blumstein and working with musician Chava Mirel, the choir will have three mandatory rehearsals during FWC. Materials will be sent in advance for preparation, and the on-site rehearsals are required. No prior musical experience is necessary. Choir sign-up closes on March 20th. The choir rehearsals will take place at the following times:

  • Thursday, April 30th at 9:00 p.m. (during Late Night Program time)
  • Friday, May 1st at 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. (during Workshop Block A)
  • Saturday, May 2nd at 8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. (during Torah Study)

How much time will I spend in religious services? 
Worship is a very significant part of FWC. We are together for all of Shabbat and WRJ holds joyous Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday evening Havdalah services. All services and their music are arranged especially for WRJ FWC 2020 – you won’t want to miss the meaningful magic of hundreds of women lending their voices to pray as one!

Miscellaneous

I have dietary restrictions. Will I be able to eat the food at FWC?
All food served at FWC is kosher-style, but not certified kosher (i.e., no pork or shellfish is served, and no meat and dairy products will be mixed in the same dish). There is always a vegetarian option available which includes protein, and special accommodations can be made for lactose intolerant and nut-free diets. For those with other food allergies, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. 
*Please enter all dietary special needs into your online registration so that we can make note of your restrictions and work with you and the hotel to accommodate you. If you have any questions or want to discuss your restrictions, please contact Amanda Feldman, WRJ Manager of Meetings & Conventions.

Is the FWC 2020 venue handicapped accessible?
The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass hotel interior is entirely wheelchair-accessible. Elevators bring guests to the meeting level and to their room floors, where there are a number of mobility-accessible rooms. Please note that special accommodations regarding your hotel stay must be made directly with the hotel. Please email the hotel’s group rooms coordinator for WRJ, Elsie Spallone, if you need to make an accessible reservation.

We strive to make FWC accessible and meaningful to all those who wish to participate. If you require special accommodations, please enter them into your online registration and also contact Amanda Feldman at afeldman@wrj.org or 212-650-4054 by March 20, 2020 so that we can work with you to support your attendance throughout the conference.

Is there WiFi at the hotel?
Attendees should sign up for the free Marriott Rewards program to receive complimentary WiFi in their hotel room. WRJ will provide WiFi access in the meeting space during FWC.

What is the dress code? What should I bring with me?
Dress is generally “business casual.” On Shabbat, attendees typically wear nicer dresses, skirts, slacks, and tops (there will be a brief break on Friday afternoon to change). A comfortable pair of shoes for walking and a light sweater, scarf or jacket for layering (as room temperatures can vary) are also important. Finally, don’t forget to bring with you any WRJ/District pins and tallitot/kippot, as is your custom. Be sure to leave a little free space in your luggage for anything you may purchase at the WRJ Shop.

For any unanswered questions about WRJ FWC 2020, please contact WRJ Registrar or call 212-650-4050.