WRJ Central District
is your liaison between the Women of Reform Judaism and the local sisterhoods we serve.
Currently we are 36 sisterhoods in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
The president, five vice presidents, area directors and committee chairs are available to help you.
We can be consultants and we have an active speaker's bureau. If you want a speaker for a Sisterhood Shabbat or any sisterhood program just contact the chair for Speaker's Bureau and she will work with you to make this happen.
For more on WRJ Central, visit our website at www.wrjcentral.org and contribute to our blog, Sharing
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WRJ Central Board 2010-2011
Hilda R. Glazer
Chair of Nominating
Royalyn R. Vert
Vice Chair of Nominating
Bette Jo Stempel
1st Vice President
VP Service to Sisterhoods
VP Dev & Special Projects
VP Marketing & Comm
VP Prog & Advocacy
Lisa Elyn Semen
WRJ Board Members
Hilda R. Glazer
Bette Jo Stempel
Royalyn R. Vert
This issue marks a turning point in the leadership of Central District. We are in the last six months of the current board and we are in the nominations process for the next one.
We have made a lot of progress working with our finances. We have established a Finance Committee that will be responsible for the preparation of the budget and will made recommendations about the investment of any and all monies of the District. We believe that this was an important step to ensure the future of Central District.
We are also in the planning stages for our 2012 Convention. The women in Detroit and Marilyn Goldfein have been hard at work planning the convention and I am sure that it will be a wonderful event. Our WRJ representative will be Susan Bass and we are delighted that she is spending the weekend with us.
With the installation of the new board we will move to a modified board structure following the changes within WRJ that came out of the Strategic Plan. We will reduce the number of chair positions and modify the responsibilities of the vice presidents. We will talk about this at Convention in November in great detail. It is a pleasure to serve you as your president.
Yours in Sisterhood
Hilda R. Glazer, EdD
President, WRJ Central District
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|Notes from the WRJ Board Meeting
Starting at Kutz for the District President's Council where the theme was transitions, Marilyn and I spent an intense 6 days with WRJ.
Returning from Kutz, we joined the other Board members for Speakers Training, led aptly by Laurie Blinder and I was one of the facilitators. In total, twenty seven women spend three hours working together; nine representing Central District.
Saturday began with an hour with Rabbi Rick Jacobs who focused on the future both for WRJ and URJ. Then we had services with one of the WRJ Rabbinic Scholars which is always a special experience. Beginning our work after lunch, we heard from our President, Lynn Magid Lazar, and Executive Director, Rabbi Marla J. Feldman. The rest of the afternoon was spent in small groups.
After dinner we heard from Dr. Gary Zola of the HUC Archives. His thesis was that we, WRJ, have been left an inheritance; we hope to be worthy to receive it. He talked about early pioneers for WRJ including our own Carrie O. Simon. We learned that she was the first to assert that women should and could be Rabbis and should have a set at the Table including the one in the board room. Dr. Zola told us that we must make a resolve to enrich the present so that it can be said of us that we embraced our past and kindled the light of the future - a resolve to do that all that we can.
We heard from Resa Davids who is the founder of WRJ-Israel which now represents 25 groups in the 35 reform congregations in Israel. WRJ-Israel's focus is on women's perspectives and issues. Resa talked about the current situation in Israel right now and the push for segregation of women - Resa told us that Liberal Jewish Women are making a difference. Following her presentation, a statement was presented on the Rights of Women in Israel. The statement is on the WRJ webpage and includes some potential actions that we may take.
The next Leadership Conference will be in Cincinnati in January and it sounds like a great experience. There will be some overlap with our Interim meeting, but so different that we should all plan to attend. It will be a wonderful event.
The plans for the Centennial Celebration are exciting. In addition, there are wonderful programs planned for the Sisterhoods including a Sisterhood Shabbat in March, Sisterhood teas and more. Work with your Centennial Ambassador for details. Watch the Centennial Website for selected recipes picked by the cookbook reviewers in Columbus and Cincinnati. There is an upcoming trip to Israel which sounds fabulous and we will hear more about. It will be a year full of exciting events.
Monday began with the department reports. We were encouraged to send e-cards; there are now 19 cards available. WRJ is on the social media sites as is Central District - go ahead and friend us and WRJ!
WRJ is doing exciting things in each of the departments and the Centennial Year will be memorable.
WRJ CENTRAL DISTRICT VISITS HUC/JIR CINCINNATI CAMPUS
Over 60 women from the Women of Reform Judaism, Central District, representing 20 Reform Congregation affiliates from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee, gathered in Cincinnati April 27-29 to conduct business and participate in a program called "Your Heritage - Your Community."
The weekend began Friday night at Rockdale Temple with an amazing Rock Shabbat led by Rabbi Sissy Coran and a group of outstanding musicians, followed by a beautiful Shabbat dinner in the Social Hall.
Saturday morning, the Women of Reform Judaism Central District were led in Torah Study by Dr. Jonathan Cohen, Dean of HUC/JIR Cincinnati campus. Rabbi Richard Sarason then conducted Shabbat Service, which included participation by many of the women. Both stressed the magnitude of the contributions that the Women of Reform Judaism have made to HUC and its mission over the years; including the on-campus "Sisterhood Dormitory" and funds raised by the WRJ ongoing Y.E.S Fund campaign that in part, provides financial assistant to rabbinical interns.
After a Mediterranean lunch on Campus, the women toured the Skirball Museum, the Klau Library and the American Jewish Archives. Local chair Beth Goldstein, of Rockdale Temple and a member of the WRJ District Executive Board, said the weekend was a huge success due to the graciousness of Dr. Cohen; Jen Lader, Director of HUC Outreach; Dr. David Gilden, Director of HUC Libraries and Senior Archivist Kevin Proffitt.
In addition to "HUC Saturday," the weekend included the Interim Executive Board Meeting on Friday afternoon and concluded with an open District Board meeting and deli brunch on Sunday morning. New business during both meetings introduced the women to some of the WRJ 2013 Centennial Celebration agenda. Attendees had the opportunity to purchase Centennial pins at $100 each and the Executive Committee voted to make a substantial financial pledge as our contribution to the National Centennial fundraising goal.
Also during the weekend, the District Nominating Committee, chaired by Immediate Past President Royalyn Vert, met and began putting together a list of potential candidates for the 2012-2014 District Executive Committee and Board. The final nominees will be voted on and inducted during the upcoming Central District Biennial, to be held In Detroit, Michigan November 1-4, 2012.
Mark your calendars - see you at our Central District Biennial!
Beth Goldstein, Historian
Rockdale Temple, Cincinnati, OH
|Executive Board Meeting
August 25-26, 2012
Columbus, OH SAVE the DATE
WRJ Central Biennial Convention
November 2-4, 2012
Join us as we look back at the past 100 years and forward to the future of WRJ
Visit with old friends and meet new as we worship, study, exchange and share sisterhood ideas
Registration information will be arriving soon
Questions? Contact Cindy Bolokofsky, 248-431-8536 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven't already, check out our website; there is lots of information and guidance to find on the site.
- WRJ Central -- who we are, our history, mission statement and more
- The Central District Board
- The Central District Sisterhoods
- Member Sisterhoods and their presidents
- Isha l'Isha archives
- Events-- both upcoming and those in the recent past-- with lots of pictures
- Registration forms for conferences
- Resources-- both national and local that can be of use to you and your Sisterhood
- Awards information and applications
- WRJ, its history, projections and district information
- Our blog-- Sharing the Best
Check it out at www.wrjcentral.org
|38 Years of World Union Luncheons!
38 years ago The Women of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple held their first World Union Luncheon. It was a birthday tribute to our late Rebbitzen Rebecca Aaronson Brickner, wife of the late Rabbi Barnett Brickner. Mrs. Brickner was extremely passionate about the World Union for Progressive Judaism as well as our sisterhood and encouraged us to hold this luncheon. This luncheon is usually held around her birthday and it was our birthday party for her and therefore always had a member of our sisterhood tell something about her.
Since her death we have made it the World Union/Rebecca Brickner Remembrance Luncheon with the proceeds benefitting World Union. This year we invited Lynn Magid Lazar, International President of WRJ to be our guest speaker. For our sisterhood this was a first in having the president of WRJ be our guest and we were extremely excited. We opened the luncheon up to the other sisterhoods in Northern Ohio and invited their presidents to the luncheon. We also invited our Central District president, Dr. Hilda Glazer as our guest.
Lynn spoke to us about the upcoming centennial celebration which begins in January 2013 and showed the powerpoint presentation on the history of WRJ. Since our sisterhood is over 100 years old, the women enjoyed the presentation. For the first time 90% of those attending pledged double chai ($36) of which $18 went to World Union.
How does WRJ raise a million dollars?
We do it one person at a time.
In essence, "100 for 100."
Ten decades of success have given us a unique perspective into the idea of strength in numbers. Collectively, we know we can reach our million dollar goal.
And for your generosity, you'll receive a unique limited edition pin to commemorate your participation. So if you see someone wearing the pin, you'll know why.
Area Director, Laurie Blinder nominated to WRJ Board
Growing up in Niagara Falls, New York, I was a member of a very small, close-knit Jewish community. My family was thrilled when I took a job with the
Travelers Insurance Company and moved to Southfield, Michigan in 1977. It was almost as good as moving to Miami Beach! So many opportunities to
interact with other Jewish young people and I didn't have to leave my community.
My husband, Mark, grew up in Detroit and after we married in1982, we joined his congregation, Temple Israel in West Bloomfield (today the largest reform congregation in North America). As you can imagine this was quite a change for me.
I felt that the only way to get comfortable was to get involved. So I joined the Sisterhood and started in the kitchen, working on the committee that cooked the lunches for various programs. The rest, as they say, is history. I went on to work on the Passover Candy sale, the annual Art Fair, the Donor Luncheon, the annual House Tour, College Packages, Service to the Aged, the Gift Shop, the Nominating committee and most
recently, the committee to collect recipes and create a new Sisterhood cookbook(the fifth edition). Sometimes I was Chairman of the committee, sometimes a member of the committee. I joined the Executive Board as Corresponding Secretary and quickly moved up to Vice President of Ways and Means and then Sisterhood President. I had been involved in
Temple Israel's Sisterhood for over 20 years and was trulyhonored.
I have attended 2 WRJ National Conventions and several District conventions and enjoyed every minute. Together we can help each other to ensure the future of Judaism in our communities and around the world.
As are Liz McOsker
Liz McOsker has been volunteering in the Cincinnati Jewish community for 15 years. Most recently Liz has served as president of Isaac M. Wise Temple Sisterhood and president of Kulanu: the Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School. Both presidencies focused on issues of governance, project creation and strategic planning. In December 2012, Liz was elected to the WRJ Board of Directors.
In addition to her volunteer activites, Liz is co-owner and CFO of North Cliff Consultants, a consumer product testing company. Liz is married to Paul McOsker and is the mother of two adult children.
Hi I am Rachel Lambermont Area Director and new WRJ Board member. I have taken a
curvy road to my present service on the District and National Board. You see, I wasn't raised in a "practicing" household. My parents were more academic about their Judaism. We celebrated Hanukah and Passover and that's about it. When I got to college I had my first experience with Jewish friends and celebrating High Holy Days. It was a very special experience for me. For the first time I felt part of something as a Jew and not an outsider. After college I was still not active but I always was curious about my Judaism.
When I turned thirty I went to my first Friday night service. I sat down in the back and tried to be inconspicuous. This nice woman and her son sat right next to me and greeted me warmly. As you might have guessed she was the Sisterhood President. She invited me to my first sisterhood meeting and I was hooked. I think I was elected to a position at that first meeting or one shortly there after. I have been an active sisterhood member ever since, serving as vice president and president of my local sisterhood.
A couple of years ago I got a call from the District Nominating Committee asking if I would be interested in serving as an Area Director for Central Ohio. I was flattered and honored. After some conversation with my husband I decided to accept. It has been a great experience. As Area Director I get the opportunity to meet with sisterhood presidents and serve as a liaison between local, district and national WRJ interests. I have learned so much and really enjoy the work.
Last year I was asked to serve on the National Board of WRJ. My background and experience is exactly why I was asked. As a WRJ board member I bring a perspective that is similar to a lot of yours-- I am a mom, a wife and a volunteer. I try to do what I can to establish Reform Jewish values in my son by staying active in my community and modeling for him. My WRJ board experience has been fantastic! I have met amazing women from all over North America and Israel. I have learned so much about the nuts and bolts of running WRJ and I have learned a great deal about the amazing history we as Women of Reform Judaism share.
On a more personal note, I am a happily married wife, to Dave, and mom to Owen age 3. I went to college and graduate school for music but am not pursuing that career path now. For fun I like to make bead jewelry and cook for family and friends.
and Marcie Delson
Marci Delson and her husband Larry have been members of Temple Israel since 1989. After meeting at The Ohio State University, Marci coming from Cincinnati, Ohio and Larry from Highland Hts., Ohio, they married and moved to the Dublin area. Marci has had a varied career as a Registered Nurse in the Columbus area, mostly in the Mount Carmel Health System. She is currently on the Implementation Team (Clinical
Informatics) that is launching a new Electronic Health Record for the system. Larry was self-employed for many years until recently when he joined the Mount Carmel Health System as a Physician Trainer for the same EHR team.
Marci has served Temple Israel since joining Temple Israel in
Sisterhood, (Cc-President in 1998-2000) and since that time as a
member of the Board of Trustees. She currently serves as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee.
They are very proud of their 2 children, Rabbi Lisa Delson (and
son-in-law Brent Pliskow) and Adam Delson.
|Connect with WRJ on:
In Case you haven't heard-- We won!
The attorney general [of Israel] has just released his consent to recognize Rabbi Miri Gold as the first Rabbi of a non-Orthodox congregation in the history of the Israel. Drink L'Chayim. Congratulate every Rabbi in our movement. Sound the shofar. Say She'hecheyanu. We won recognition for the first Reform Rabbi in Israel.
Over seven years you have played an invaluable part in this struggle. You stood with Miri every step of the way and we would not have reached this joyous day without your pressure from all corners of the Jewish world. The Israeli Attorney General accepted the request of the court and committed to equal pay for Rabbi Miri Gold for her work at Congregation Birkat Shalom. The State will give her the title "Rabbi".
The decision today paves the way for dozens of other Reform and Conservative Rabbis in Israel to receive a salary from the government for their holy work, in the same way that 4000 Orthodox rabbis do.
This historic victory is another step in leveling the playing field. This allows the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism to build on the success achieved so far by our congregational Rabbis, and deepen our work for the Israeli public.
Rabbi Gold said, "What joy! Finally there's more than one way to be a Rabbi in Israel!"
A few weeks ago, you sent over 5000 emails to Minister Margi telling him that stalling on this issue would fail. Your voice was heard. It is just as important to thank the government for doing the right thing as it is to pressure them when they are not. In that spirit, let's write to Prime Minister Netanyahu and tell him that we are grateful that our Rabbi, Miri Gold, is finally able to perform her important work as an equal.
Israel Religious Action Center
|Task Force Report on District Reorganization; Nominating Committee working to fill positions
The members of the Task Force on District Organization are Karen Smith, Betty Jo Stempel, and Royalyn Vert, Chair.
We've held two conference calls to discussed the changes mandated by WRJ and how and when these changes would be implemented.
I want to thank Karen and Bette Jo for all of their ideas and assistance in preparing the new organization of the district.
Recommendations of the Central District Task Force
▪ Positions which were on the Executive Board will remain on the
▪ Due to size of the district, there is no need for a Senior Area
Director/VP Areas. However, an area director for special
projects may be appointed as needed by the President.
▪ The following committee chairs should be eliminated:
Leadership, Membership, Programming, Fundraising
▪ The following committee chairs should be combined:
YES Fund/Circle of Service and World Union/JBI to become
Yes Fund/World Union, Advocacy and Jewish Family
Concerns to become Advocacy/Jewish Concerns
The following committee chairs will continue:
Affiliate Development Chair
Web Site Manager
Speakers Bureau Chair
▪ The position of Affiliate Development will be moved from the
Department of Service to Sisterhoods to the Department of
Development and Special Projects
The nominating committee is now hard at work looking for candidates to fill these new positions. The slate will be voted on at the District Biennial in November.
The new Isha L'Isha
Isha L'Isha is our attempt to communicate with you and your membership. Take the opportunity to talk to us and your area director; tell us your success stories and words of wisdom about communicating with your membership, temple and community.
Our website is at www.WRJCentral.org.
Our Facebook page is
Also, please take the time to visit our Blog, named "Sharing the Best"
and let us know what you and your sisterhood have been doing. Register and then write your brief story. The blog is mediated, which means whatever you enter, the items have to be approved before they show up on the blog, but this is a wonderful opportunity to share and boast and get great ideas.
Deadline for the next issue, which is
August 15, 2012.
Send articles and images to email@example.com