Many sisterhoods in the Northeast District have staged events that can be duplicated by your group. Here's a selection of programs that have proved successful.

Community Health and Wellness Fair | Chocolate Seder | Sisterhood Archival Project

Holiday Marketplace | Purim Baskets | Panic-Free PassoverHere Come the Brides | Rummage Sale | Trash to Treasures | Mah Jongg Tournament | Member Appreciation Tea


Community Health and Wellness Fair – Temple Isaiah, Lexington, Massachusetts

Physicians, health care workers, wellness providers and social service professionals from the community were invited to present their specialties. There were tables all around the room, with a center stage for presentations. Vendors were there, presenting organic foods, massage, acupuncture, nutrition, yoga, fitness and chiropractic medicine. Free massages and cooking classes were a big hit. This was a great community-building event and can involve many in your temple community. There was also information on CPR, hospital resources, mental health and elder care resources. For more information, contact Paulette Black at Paulette.Black@hmhco.com


Chocolate Seder – North Country Reform Temple, Glen Cove, N.Y.

This is different from a women's seder. This was adapted from existing chocolate seders found online. It was a family event and different attendees were called upon to read or sing. There was tons of chocolate, along with a dinner of salad and pastas to keep from going into sugar-shock. Songs were semi-traditional and very tongue-in-cheek. For further information, contact Alissa Woska at  NCRTSisterhood@yahoo.com.


Sisterhood Archival Project – Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto, Ontario

Holy Blossom Temple Sisterhood's illustrious history spans over 90 years and our special connection to the WRJ is deeply rooted. When selecting our archival project we decided that although there were many possible entries, only one would truly work and represent us in our special way. We decided on a historical video spanning the generations past and present. A labour of love that would tell the story of who we are and where we came from.

When working on the project we had many opportunities to hear from longstanding sisterhood members about the photos and the women who came to life in this pictorial video. We spoke to our Temple Archivist Sheila Smolkin, who helped direct us and gave us wonderful insight to our past. It was truly a pleasure working with her.

There were so many hours invested in this project, time that was well spent and enjoyed by all. Take a few minutes to enjoy our history and know that we are stronger together working towards painting our new future for the Women of Reform Judaism. WATCH THE HOLY BLOSSOM VIDEO


Holiday Marketplace – Temple Isaiah, Lexington, MA

This is held around Chanukah. In the past, over 40 vendors have signed up and paid $85 per table. There is a great amount of publicity and many people from communities surrounding Lexington attend. The quality of the artists draws many people. It also serves as a showcase for the temple Judaica shop.


Purim Baskets – Temple Isaiah, Lexington, MA

This is a wonderful fundraiser to honor religious school teachers, clergy and the community. The sisterhood makes about 500 baskets. Each basket includes approximately $12 worth of treats. In the past, we have put in a Megillah scroll (we print and roll these), hamentaschen, a small bag of popcorn, two pieces of Ghiradelli chocolate squares, fruit leathers from Trader Joe's, chocolate covered granola thins, Israeli taffy (three pieces) and sisterhood notepads (or WRJ sticky pads). This fundraiser is successful because 12 people may pay for a basket and donate, but only one basket is delivered. The profit is approximately $38 for the basket. For further information, please contact Gini Shevrin at gshevrin@gmail.com.


Panic Free Passover – Holy Blossom Temple Sisterhood, Toronto, ON

The sisterhood combined having a guest chef and cooking demo with a vendor table event. This fundraising event worked very well. Tables were set up around the event for vendors to sell products ranging from kitchen gadgets and cookbooks to jewelry. It was lots of fun and very successful. SEE THE FLYER


Here Come the Brides – Temple Beth-El, Providence, RI

Many people in the Jewish community (not just the temple), young, old, women, men and children, were involved. There was a fashion show consisting of young women modeling congregants' wedding gowns, bridesmaids' gowns, flower girls' and ring bearers'. The event was set up like a real wedding, with the ceremony in the sanctuary with flute music, flowers, bouquets and ushers. There were two emcees, who read a script during the fashion show, which not only described the gown, but recounted interesting facets of the wedding or the era or the couple. Then a light meal was served in the social hall, with a DJ and a wedding cake for dessert. Over $3000 was raised at this event. For further information, please contact Cheryl Greenfield at grnfld@massmed.org.


Rummage Sale – Temple Isaiah, Lexington, MA

Temple Isaiah raises over $25,000 from its annual Rummage Sale. They have a seasoned professional in charge and a crew of dedicated volunteers. They have jewelry experts and boutique experts. The boutique and high-end jewelry brings in a great deal of cash. They sell wedding gowns on eBay. They also make significant donations of clothing to non-profits in the community. For further information on these two fundraisers, please contact Marsha Byrnes at marsha.byrnes2@gmail.com.


Trash to Treasures Sale – Temple Am Echad, Lynbrook, NY

Our sisterhood holds these three times a year: in the fall, around February, and in the spring. People from the temple bring in new or gently-used items. The sales are held on Sunday afternoon from 12-4 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Women from sisterhood help set everything up on Sunday morning. We have different tables for women's tops, pants, accessories, men's tops, etc. We have long tables with housewares and toys. Large items (such as furniture) are not accepted. We have a price list for many items. On Sunday, you pay by the item. Monday is "bag day" and the cost is $3 per bag – for whatever you can stuff into a supermarket-size bag. This is a major fundraiser for our sisterhood. Since we have been doing this for many years, we send out postcards to people who have signed up for notification of the sales. We also put free announcements in the local papers. Whatever is left over after the end of the sale on Monday is donated to a non-profit in the community. For further information on this fundraiser, please contact Vivian Blumstein at vivianblumstein@gmail.com.


Mah Jongg Tournament – Congregation Beth Emeth, Albany, NY

What could be more fun than a day spent playing Mah Jongg and successful fundraising at the same time? The links below have the information you need to get started, including a sample flyer, Mah Jongg rules, and sample scoresheets:

Mah Jongg FlyerMah Jongg RulesMah Jongg Tournament Individual ScoresheetMah Jongg Tournament Table Scoresheet

For more details or questions, contact Jan Rubenstein at janr@nycap.rr.com.


Membership Appreciation Tea – Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto, Ontario

Every year, Holy Blossom Temple has an Annual Membership Appreciation Tea that is a very well-attended and successful event. They combine the tea with a prize draw from a fundraising raffle. This draw is one of the main fundraisers they do every year. The tea always includes entertainment and gives them a chance to touch base with members and friends they have not seen for a while. Here's one of the flyers for this annual event.


Have you had a program that you think will appeal to other sisterhoods or women's groups? Share your ideas by emailing them to us at wrjneblast@gmail.com.