Rosanne Selfon, May 2016 quoting Rabbi Eric Yoffie about WRJ

In 2008, the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) honored WRJ, naming it as the first organization ever to receive the International Humanitarian Award.

Former URJ President Rabbi Eric Yoffie presented the award that evening in NY saying, “I have faced many difficult challenges in my years at the Union, but I have never had a more impossible task than the one that I have been given today: to pay a comprehensive tribute to the Women of Reform Judaism, doing full justice to their achievements while staying within a time framework that absolutely, positively is not to exceed five minutes. It cannot be done. And so I apologize in advance for the many things that will not be said…”

Rabbi Yoffie began by saying, “…two things about the Women of Reform Judaism. The first is that without our sisterhoods, there would be no Reform Movement, and there probably would be no Reform synagogues—at least not as we know them today”.
He went on to say, “In the last half century, there have been tumultuous changes in our society, and women’s groups have been impacted in a variety of ways. NFTS was not immune to all this, but its leaders have been remarkably adept at keeping up with the needs of modern women. Along the way they changed their name, continued to speak out for social justice, and just completed what may be their most significant accomplishment of all: the creation of the Women’s Commentary on the Torah, a pioneering work of scholarship that showcases our Movement’s best teachers and affirms, by its very being, the equality of women in Reform Jewish life.” He continued, noting, “You know, I didn’t think that they were really going to produce this Torah commentary, and boy was I wrong! But to underestimate these women is always to be wrong.”

Rabbi Yoffie concluded his remarks saying,“There are too many people in our Movement who do not know the story of WRJ. The major reason, it seems to me, is that WRJ is not engaged in a continual campaign of self-promotion—which tends to be the norm in the Jewish world. They are simply too busy encouraging the grassroots efforts of their members, and in doing the everyday, nitty-gritty work that sustains our synagogues and strengthens the Jewish people.

But: “M’oded anaveem adonai” “God upholds the humble,” we read in Tehilim (Ps. 147:6)
God upholds, and we honor, praise, and thank these women for their untiring efforts to advance the cause of Liberal Judaism.

Rabbi Yoffie commented about communities within your district, “It’s interesting. Much of WRJ’s strength is in the Midwest and in smaller communities, and there are those who think of the Midwest and small town America as an America First kind of place, exclusively concerned about American institutions and American values, in religion as well as in politics. But from its earliest days, WRJ has had a very different vision.“

2016 Kallah

WRJ Central District Retreat (Kallah)
April 15-19, 2016
Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI)
Zionsville, IN

Rights, Rituals and Ruach

Kallah 2016 Savethedate Postcard

Application for 2016 Kallah is now available.
Download now at
Looking forward to seeing you all at this year’s Kallah!!

If you are interested in staying at the Hampton Inn rather than the camp, make your reservations-

WRJ Central District Kallah, March 21-23, 2014

kallah, GUCI

Gather round the campfire, March 21-23, 2014 for an exciting and fun-filled weekend at GUCI!.

• Authentic Camp Shabbat Experience including worship, dinner, song session, Israeli dancing and campfire!

    • Info sessions on our URJ Camps, GUCI, and WRJ!
    • Informative workshops to strengthen your sisterhood!
    • Social Action project!
    • YES Fund “Next to New” Shopping Event!
    • Sharing together, laughing together, and meeting new sisters!


GUCI can accommodate up to 50 overnight guests in their faculty housing.
Reservations will be first come, first served. Rooms are double occupancy with a bathroom en suite or between two rooms. Linens are provided. Additionally, a block of rooms has also been reserved for WRJ Central District at the Holiday Inn Express, 9797 N. Michigan Rd., Carmel, IN. The phone number is: (317) 661-3540.

Download your registration and schedule information.

Register SOON!!

Music at GUCI

The weekend of March 21-23 we will be in Indianapolis enjoying Camp Guci.
With a Song Leader no less!

Our songleader for the weekend, the talented and lovely Leslie Gubitz, has created for all of us a file of Jewish music for our listening pleasure. She will teach several of the songs to us throughout our Shabbat at GUCI.

Here are some of her songs.


WRJ Central District takes great pleasure in announcing the 2010-2012 Award winners. These Awards recognize Sisterhoods for their talent, ingenuity and commitment to the Women of Reform Judaism. Winning programs and/or projects are stimulating, resourceful and successful whether within their Sisterhoods, Temples or greater communities. We hope you will take these
booklets back to our individual Sisterhoods to use already proven and successful ideas for future programming.

Awards entries in Innovative Programming are separated by size of Sisterhoods: small (1-99 members), medium (100-299 members) and large (300+ members). A Sisterhood that is a winner in all areas and submits a Deborah Honoree will receive a Chai Award. The Chai Award is a $90 credit toward a District event to be used on or before the next District Convention.

This year’s nominations presented thoughtful and innovative projects and inspiring people. The awards committee congratulates all the winners and the Deborah Honorees.

Many thanks to the 2010-2012 Awards Committee for all their work and dedication.
The 2010-2012 Awards Committee: Elaine Frayman, Beth Lande, Karen Smith, Marci Delson, Rachel Lambermont


Innovative Programming Award

This award recognizes a Sisterhood in each of the categories of small, medium and large for an innovative, energizing and original program.

Small Sisterhood, Temple Beth Shalom – Hudson, OH

Medium Sisterhood, Temple Beth El – Bloomfield Hills, MI

Large Sisterhood, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation – Indianapolis, IN


Temple Beth El – Knoxville, TN
Temple Beth El – New Albany, OH
Temple Kol Ami – West Bloomfield, MI
Temple Tifereth Israel – Beachwood, OH
Temple Shalom – Louisville, KY


The President’s Award

The Central District President determines the theme of this award. This biennial, the President’s award recognizes a Sisterhood in each of the categories of small, medium and large for a program or event on women’s healthcare or women’s

Small Sisterhood, Temple Beth El – Knoxville, TN

Large Sisterhood, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation – Indianapolis, IN

District Emerging Leader Award

One Sisterhood woman from within the Central District will receive this award. A Sisterhood may nominate a woman who exemplifies the strengths and has shown the skills, abilities and willingness to accept a leadership role in her Sisterhood, Central District or WRJ.

SARAH FREEMAN, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation – Indianapolis, IN


This honor recognizes one woman from each Sisterhood who has demonstrated extraordinary service and commitment to both Sisterhood and Judaism based on criteria established by the local Sisterhood.

ROBIN ROSEN-SHARP, Temple Beth Shalom – Hudson, OH

LYNN APPEL, Temple Israel – West Bloomfield, MI

LEONA STERN, Temple Adath Israel – Lexington, KY

SONJA KANTOR, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation – Indianapolis, IN

HEDDY TEITEL, Temple Shalom – Louisville KY

ANN ROSEN, Congregation Temple Shomer Emunim – Sylvania, OH

REVA KLAR, Congregation Shir Tikvah -Troy, MI

ILEEN KELNER, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple – Beachwood, OH

MARCIA PERSIN, Temple Kol Ami – West Bloomfield, MI

CHRIS ZIMMER, Temple Israel – Columbus, OH

BETTE ANDERSON, Temple B’Nai Israel – Kokomo IN


SHAWN OLDS, Congregation Shaarey Zedek – East Lansing, MI

SHARON PRESSMAN, B’nai Shalom – Huntington, WV

PHYLLIS HIRSH, Temple Beth El – Knoxville, TN

DOLLY LAX, Temple Beth El – Bloomfield Hills, MI


Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, Indianapolis, IN,



WRJ Central District Convention

The Art of Sisterhood

Coming November 2-4, 2012

Troy, Michigan will be humming with the WRJ Central Area Convention planned for the first weekend in November. Guests will stay and attend events at the Somerset Inn. Please check out their website at

Susan Bass, WRJ Vice President will be with us for the weekend training, educating, encouraging, and energizing the delegates. Susan will also give the Centennial Kickoff allowing the delegates to take back exciting information to their sisterhoods.

Temple Beth El, Shir Tikvah, Temple Israel, Temple Kol Ami, and Temple Emanu-El are thrilled to welcome the central delegates to the Detroit area.

On Saturday evening, during dinner an auction has been planned with every central district sisterhood having the chance to participate. Because the theme of our weekend is “The Art of Sisterhood” we would like each sisterhood to think of what their Sisterhood does to stand out in the community. When you have decided on the art of your sisterhood we ask that you put together a package with a minimum cost of $25.00 to donate for the auction. During dinner the items will be SOLD to the highest bidder.

To copy a flyer for your sisterhood members, please download here.

Talk to your sisterhood members and encourage them to attend the convention in November. It is the perfect weekend to share your ideas and learn new ideas to keep your sisterhood vibrant, enthusiastic, philanthropic and renewed for the challenges of the coming year.

Some events included in the convention are:

  • Susan Bass WRJ Vice President will join us for the entire weekend
  • Mikvah and Temple Israel Tour (you must sign up at registration)
  • Services at Shir Tikvah and Temple Beth El
  • Musical Concert from local Cantors
  • Sharing and schmoozing with other sisterhood delegates
  • Installation of new Central District delegates

Please contact Cindy Bolokofsky at for more information. Please put WRJ convention in the subject line.

Download your registration form here.