WRJ Districts were established in 1925 in order to serve as liaisons between the local sisterhoods and the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (NFTS, now WRJ). Initially called “State Federations,” these groups represented sisterhoods located in geographic regions of one to four states, each with a designated number. By 1926, there were 25 Districts that covered sisterhoods in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and Eastern Canada. Sisterhoods were not yet located in Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, or Vermont, and Alaska and Hawaii were not yet states. In 1948, NFTS held its first meeting for these regional groups.
Over time, State Federations expanded, divided, and consolidated to accommodate the growth of WRJ. The new millennium brought an initiative to consolidate and rename the State Federations, replacing the numbered system with geographic designations. Today, eight WRJ Districts group WRJ's affiliated sisterhoods throughout North America, each named for the region they represent: Atlantic, Central, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Pacific, Southeast, and Southwest.
WRJ Districts provide assistance to local sisterhoods, helping them organize, cultivate new leadership, and connect with WRJ programs and projects. These Districts also hold a variety of events throughout the year that give sisterhoods a chance to socialize, learn, worship, and collaborate in a broader community, including biennial conventions in the fall of even-numbered years.
The millennial restructuring also introduced a common leadership structure among all WRJ Districts, which included leadership positions such as President, First Vice President, Vice Presidents, and Area Directors. WRJ Area Directors are assigned to a smaller cohort of sisterhoods in order to build close, personal relationships with the members and leaders of anywhere from two to five sisterhoods and become their connection to the WRJ District leadership. WRJ Districts also have their own nominating committees, constitution, bylaws, and budget.
Through the WRJ District Speaker’s Bureau (which is similar to the WRJ Speaker’s Bureau), sisterhoods can invite District leaders and experts to assist in special situations, conduct a board orientation, lead a worship service, or participate in an installation.
All sisterhoods affiliated with WRJ belong and pay dues to their WRJ District.