Development & Special Projects

The Department of Development & Special Projects encompasses the areas of Fundraising including

  • YES Fund/ World Union for Progressive Judaism
  • Advocacy / Jewish Concerns
  • Affiliate Development

The District Vice President of the department is Marcia Persin.

YES Fund/ World Union Co-Chairs, Lisa Singer and Carol Friedman are knowledgeable about the YES Fund and World Union for Progressive Judaism enabling them to make sisterhoods aware of how we support the Progressive Jewish Movement throughout the world and in Israel. They can provide ideas for sisterhoods to support and educate their members about the important work being done by these organizations that are under the umbrella of URJ. Through contributions to the fund from sisterhoods, we ensure the future of the Reform Movement for our children and grandchildren. Information on what the money raised by the YES Fund supports and how individual sisterhoods can raise money for the YES Fund, including holding a YES Fund event, is available through this department.

Advocacy / Jewish Concerns chair is Hillary Handwerger. Her role is to act as a resource in our district and keep us informed of any focus or causes identified by WRJ. Hillary can provide ideas and direction for education and social justice ideas for your local sisterhood throughout the year. She is also available for program ideas using WRJ resolutions as a source. Hillary has served on the WRJ Resolutions Committee.

Affiliate Development Chair is Karen Sim. Karen’s role is to work with our district to engage and obtain new sisterhoods as WRJ affiliates, coordinate their introduction to WRJ, and keep them engaged.

To request information from any of the chairs, send an email under Contact Us.


  • Philanthropy covers YES Fund (Youth, Education, & Special Projects), Lifeline, Ner Tamid Society, board giving, special projects for fundraising (i.e. The Torah: A Women’s Commentary), Jewish Braille Institute International, World Union for Progressive Judaism, annual campaign, and grants.
      Manager – Shari Schulner, Ext. 4072,
      Mallory Kahn-Johnston, ext 4058,
  • Programming & Affiliates deals with Critical issues and resolutions, advocacy (including Commission on Social Action, RAC, UN), Israel initiatives, Union for Reform Judaism commission/committees including NFTY, Hebrew Union College, Women’s Rabbinic Network, special programming (aging, nursery schools, domestic abuse, interreligious affairs, women’s health, Jewish family education, etc), and worship.The area of Programming fosters women’s Jewish growth, bringing new program ideas to our women’s groups and providing the resources to pull these programs together in our own sisterhoods. WRJ also creates resources to introduce women’s rituals and enhance Jewish Celebrations, provides opportunities for “twinning” with a sisterhood outside of North America, and works with PJ Library, Lilith Magazine, and Chai Mitzvah to bring Jewish readings home.As Affiliates, WRJ provides our sisterhoods with information and resource materials covering all aspects of leadership, membership, and programming, including strategies, skills, social justice, spirituality, and worship.
      Manager – Heather Lorgeree, ext.4063,
      Associate- Micaela Sheinhait, ext 4060,

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