In 2017, WRJ spent an unforgettable weekend in “The Holy City” of Charleston, South Carolina for the WRJ Fried Leadership Conference (FLC)! The conference welcomed over 250 women including current and rising sisterhood leadership, WRJ Board members, and WRJ Board alumnae. Attendees gathered at the Charleston Marriott for a busy weekend full of learning and worshiping together.
Before the conference began, optional pre-Conference programming was available to learn new skills in public speaking and marketing/social media. On Friday, workshops began, and taught practical leadership skills to rising and current sisterhood leaders in areas such as: membership growth & retention, programming best-practices, conflict management, and social action. After District Gatherings, WRJ President, Blair Marks, along with the FLC 2017 Committee Co-Chairs Sharon Sobel and Ellen Wagner, kicked-off the Opening Session. After dinner, attendees heard from Keynote Speaker, Karla Goldman, Sol Dracher Professor of Social Work and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan before attending Kabbalat Shabbat Services led by Rabbi in Residence, Rabbi Esther Lederman featuring music by Musician in Residence, Deb Winter.
The next morning, early risers were able to get energized with a yoga session while others attended Torah Study sessions and choir rehearsal. Afterwards, all attended spiritually moving Shabbat services led by the Rabbi in Residence, Rabbi Esther Lederman and featuring music by Deb Winter and the WRJ Choir. WRJ Executive Director Rabbi Marla Feldman provided the day's Dvar Torah on pay equity. Following two more workshop blocks, all joined a bus tour of the City of Charleston followed by Havdalah held at the fifth oldest Jewish congregation, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim. Services were led by the WRJ District Presidents with music by Deb Winter and remarks from Blair Marks.
On Saturday evening, attendees danced the night away to the sounds of Nefesh Mountain while raising money for the YES Fund at a Dinner-Dance!
Sunday morning featured an opportunity to chat with WRJ leadership at breakfast, followed by two final workshop times before the Closing Session. Keynote speaker, Karla Goldman provided a final presentation before the FLC 2018 Committe Co-Chairs, Sandy Adland, Resa Davids and Deborah Radin, revealed the location of the 2018 Fried Leadership Conference: Nashville, Tennessee. Closing remarks were provided by Blair Marks, before all hugged their friends goodbye.
For first-time and return attendees to FLC alike, the weekend in Charleston was informative, spiritually uplifting, and incredibly impactful. These women are looking forward to seeing one another again in Nashville for FLC 2018!