WRJ Central District
Follow WRJ Central District on FACEBOOK for the latest news and updates
Check out our WEBSITE for links to events, social action webinars & district information
In This Issue
Want a Central District Pin?
Of Course You Do!



Order yours today for only $10.00 from 

Sheilah Abramson-Miles  


WRJ Central District  
Executive Committee 

Sheilah Abramson-Miles

Immediate Past President
Chair of Nominating and Finance Committees
Sandy Adland

Past President
Vice Chair of Nominating
Marilyn Goldfein

1st Vice President
Alison Auerbach

VP Marketing & Communication
Beth Lande

VP Development & Special Projects
Susan Glazer

Recording Secretary
Marci Delson

Corresponding Secretary
Alida Forshaw

Membership Secretary
Sue Voos

Susan Singer

Bulletin Editor
Marcia Persin
Judy Berzof
Jan Goldstein

Area Directors
E. Michigan - Hillary Handwerger
W. Michigan - Cindy Bolokofsky
Southwest - Ellen Half
South - Elizabeth Woosley
Central Ohio - Lisa Kalson
West - Carol Bloom
N. Ohio - Marilyn Goldfein
N.E. Ohio - Robin Rosen-Sharp

WRJ Board Members
Sheilah Abramson-Miles
Sandy Adland
Alison Auerbach
Sally Blau
Laurie Blinder
Pamela Feldman-Hill
Hilda Glazer
Hillary Handwerger
Rachel Lambermont
Beth Lande
Lesley Levin
Lizabeth McOsker
Charlene Pfenninger
Lisa Singer

The Central District Speakers Bureau is here to serve YOUR sisterhood!
Shabbat Services
Leadership Development
Torah Study
Area Days
A district speaker can take your event to the next level!
Michelle Simpson
to find out more!



You will find helpful resources, toolkits, up- to-date information, and more!


Our website 



Our blog - Sharing the Best


Our Facebook Page




 Greetings from Our President  
I thank everyone who came to ReJEWvenation, September 15th-17th, in Troy Michigan. It was an unbelievable experience. Special thanks go to Beth Lande, Cindy Bolokofsky and their entire committee for such a great weekend. The experience included meditation, yoga, essential oils demonstration, knitting, facials, making tzedakah boxes, stress putty, chair massages, and games. We all contributed many pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls. We experienced a wonderful interpretative dance that helped promote Soles4Souls.  
We all learned about Mussar, ethical inventorying, which was very interesting. We heard the sad story about human trafficking, and how it is occurring throughout our country.
We had a beautiful and extremely meaningful Erev Shabbat. We enjoyed a great Shabbat morning service outside and we all read Torah. We also had super Havdalah and Selichot services Saturday evening. We all wore white to place us in the mood for the upcoming High Holidays.Thank you to Sandy Adland and Susan Glazer for creating these memorable services for all of us to enjoy.
I hope to see you all at the Fried Leadership Conference on March 1st-4th, in Nashville, TN. It will be another great WRJ experience for all of us to share. May 5778 be a year of good health and much happiness.
In Sisterhood Always,
Sheilah Abramson-Miles
WRJ Central District President


 ReJEWvenation Retreat Retrospective 

ReJEWvenation - A Weekend to Remember!

September 15-17, WRJ Central District held their ReJEWvenation convention at the Somerset Inn in Troy Michigan. The weekend was focused on taking time for ourselves to rejuvenate our bodies and minds to begin the new year. Sessions included yoga, meditation, back massages, crafts, healthy eating, an introduction to Mussar and lots of catching up with friends.
Saturday Shabbat Service was held outside enjoying the wonderful weather. As it is the tradition of Central District, Marilyn Goldfein gave words of the Torah portion to each guest to allow everyone to participate in the reading.   
 Several women celebrated their first time reading Torah as they stood under a chupah, made from a tallit, and sung the schehechyanu.
A beautiful Havdalah and Selichot service was enjoyed by the guests as well.
Sessions were geared around relaxing, bonding with old and new friends and focusing on a healthier us in the upcoming year.
As a service project, the guests were asked to bring gently used shoes to be donated to Soles4Souls. Soles4Souls is a non-profit organization that collects shoes for underdeveloped countries.
Local Michigan temples held shoe drives before the convention began. As a result, we were able to collect 1,023 pairs of shoes for children and adults. These shoes will prevent diseases caused by not having shoes, enable someone to walk to school, to change their future for the better, or to sell the shoes in their community to help improve their lives.
Another program to focus on the community was about Human Trafficking. Edee Franklin, founder of Sanctum House in the Detroit area spoke of her personal journey from being a 30+ year old heroin addict to recovery to becoming the founder of Sanctum House. Sanctum House provides programs to help adult surviving women live in a safe environment, receive help and compassion until they are able to become independent. Between 100,000 and 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation in the U.S. with an average age of 11 to 14 years old. Many of the woman have been victims for many years making it difficult to leave the abusive environment.  Edee spoke on the need for homes to be open for survivors in neighboring states as well as more in Michigan.
Anyone interested in more information can contact Edee at info@sanctumhouse.org.
We were thrilled to have over 40 women join us for the weekend. They came from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and of course Michigan. Everyone left with a feeling of sisterhood, relaxation and spirituality as we all spent time doing what we love most!!!  
Beth Lande and Cindy Bolokofsky 

To see all the pictures from this great weekend, visit our website

Register Now!


FLC 2018 is YOUR opportunity to experience the power of Reform Jewish women from all over the world coming together, giving, learning, advocating, praying, and celebrating! As an attendee at the 2018 Fried Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, March 1-4, 2018, you will partake in a quality and memorable experience that includes something for everyone; a space where we can celebrate our strengths, honor our diversity, experience inclusion, and explore what it means to be a Woman of Reform Judaism for ourselves and for our communities.
Here are some highlights of what to expect:
  • six workshop blocks on a wide variety of topics covering advocacy, sisterhood operations, personal enrichment, marketing, engagement, programming and so much more, plus the offering of two "Intensives"; Advocacy and Marketing & Communications
  • opportunities to "connect" throughout the conference via schmooze tables, late-night activities where you can gather to play, sing, learn, discuss, or just chill out.
  • opportunities to pause and reflect via "refresh breaks"
  • sharing time with your district sisters during our "District Gatherings"
  • opportunities for you to add YOUR voice to WRJ through informal small group schmoozing, sharing in workshop discussions, participating in governance, harmonizing at sing-alongs or in the WRJ Choir, and celebrating Purim together at Purimpalooza! (Pack your masks, your groggers and costumes and put on your party attitude 'cause we've got a "really really big SHEW" in the works. In fact, you might just be part of it, because we know that "WRJ's GOT TALENT!" Stay tuned for details as the rumpus unfolds.)
  • enjoy "A Taste of Nashville", at the pre-conference Donor Event at the world famous Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, that includes lunch and an intimate musical performance
  • nourishing spirituality experiences that include unique worship services, great music, and a special Installation service on Saturday morning, when Susan Bass will take over the gavel
  • YES Fund lunch featuring (URJ) camp style food and fun
  • Or Ami - Light of our People Award winners
  • experience and participate in the music of two sought-after Jewish musicians throughout the weekend; Michelle Citrin and Stacey Beyer
  • special guests that include URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs, URJ Vice President of Audacious Hospitality April Baskin, Rabbi Mary Zamore, seven of our URJ female Camp Directors, and Nashville social justice advocates, all who will be complemented by workshop speakers, panelists and facilitators closer to home
  • presentation of the Jane Evans Award
Join your WRJ sisters in what will be an exciting, inspirational and worthwhile weekend of connections, learning, spirituality, personal enrichment, and fun! To register and find out more about FLC 2018, click here: https://wrj.org/flc2018 
Grants are available for eligible sisterhoods! To learn more, click here:
Nashville here we come!
Sandy Adland, Chair, 2018 Fried Leadership Conference

Why join us at FLC 2018?
Why join us at FLC 2018?

Read more about what to expect in Nashville, including major speakers from the Reform Movement: President Rabbi Rick Jacobs, and Vice President of Audacious Hospitality April Baskin, as well as musician-in-residence Michelle Citrin.
 Learn how to make the case about the importance of attending FLC!

Questions? Visit the FLC 2018 FAQs page. If you do not see the answer to your question, email wrjregistrar@wrj.org or call 212-650-4050.

Central District 2017 YES Fund Update
Our Central District YES Fund brunch, held in September during our ReJEWvenation Interim gathering in Troy, Michigan, raised over $2000!! We were also delighted to honor Jan Goldstein, of Valley Temple in Cincinnati, who completed her Lifeline pin. A sincere thank you to all those who gave so generously during this very special weekend.

Congratulations to our Central District sisterhoods who achieved YES Fund Honor Roll levels in fiscal year 2017:
Chai Honor - $18 per member:

Temple Adath Israel Sisterhood, Lexington, KY
Women of Temple Israel, Columbus, OH
Temple Beth Shalom Sisterhood, Hudson, OH

Special Merit - $10 per member:

Congregation Beth Shalom Sisterhood, Carmel, IN
Temple Israel Sisterhood, West Lafayette, IN
Beth El Temple Sisterhood, Muncie, IN
Women of Temple Shalom Sisterhood, Louisville, KY
Temple Israel Sisterhood, West Bloomfield, MI
B'nai Sholom Congregation Sisterhood, Huntington WV

Roll of Honor - $5 per member

Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood, Indianapolis, IN
Women of Temple Beth Emeth, Ann Arbor, MI
Temple Kol Ami Sisterhood, West Bloomfield, MI
Congregation Shaarey Zedek Sisterhood, East Lansing, MI
Temple Israel Sisterhood, Akron, OH
Temple Israel Sisterhood, Marion, OH
Temple Beth El Sisterhood, Knoxville, TN
Mazal Tov to all of these sisterhoods for their continued support of the WRJ YES Fund!
The YES Fund (supporting Youth, Education & Special Projects) represents the collective philanthropic efforts of individual donors and WRJ sisterhoods and districts. Central District acknowledges with great pride the individuals and sisterhoods within our district who have supported the YES Fund this year!
         Pamela Feldman-Hill
         Central District YES Fund Chair

Established in 1973, the WRJ Or Ami "Light of My People" Award recognizes exemplary social justice, community service, and educational programming that serves as a model for other WRJ Districts and sisterhoods. The awards, listed below, are given biennially and will be presented at WRJ's Fried Leadership Conference 2018. 

WRJ Or Ami Award
Winners 2018 from Central District


Human Trafficking/Sanctum House
Women of Temple Beth El
Temple Beth El
Bloomfield Hills, MI
The sisterhood showed a film about human trafficking. At the end of the film they had a panel consisting of a survivor, law enforcement, and the founder of Sanctum House, a home for recovering survivors. A donation area was set up for monetary and items for the house.

Tzedakah Collective
Temple Israel, Columbus, OH
This tzedakah collective pooled smaller contributions together in order to create a larger financial impact as one. The projected increased awareness in and comfort with women's philanthropy, disbursed funds to organizations worthy of support, placed an emphasis on education of the organization/cause. The group incorporated text study as the basis for selecting the supported institutions.

Buy a Bowl... Save a Soul
Temple Kol Ami Sisterhood
Temple Kol Ami
West Bloomfield, MI
The sisterhood collaborated with the religious school in "Buy a Bowl...Save a Soul." Sisterhood supplied bowls; the students hand painted bowls for donation back to their families. Sisterhood provided hot soup for the event. The students were taught tzedakah. It was fun working together and giving back to the community.
Honorable Mentions

Women's Seder
Women of Rockdale
Rockdale Temple
Cincinnati, OH

Women's Freedom Seder
Temple Israel Sisterhood
Temple Israel
West Bloomfield, MI

Congratulations to all the winners.  We are proud of your accomplishments!

To read about all the winners throughout WRJ, go to https://wrj.org/or-ami-light-my-people-programming-awards

Central District Book Club 
by Hillary Handwerger 

WRJ Central Book Group will be meeting online through Zoom (more on Zoom below!).  on January 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm. Our first book is A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure.

For those of you who did not attend the Central District Convention in 2016, this might be a mystery. For those who did attend, Ms. McClure was our Saturday speaker and the story she told was exciting and inspiring. A Pearl in the Storm is the true story of the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. McClure's memoir, subtitled, How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean, is more than a woman-against- the-elements adventure tale; it is, in the words of actress Candice Bergen, a story of courage, adventure, and personal discovery that will appeal to women and men of all ages.

So far we have a small group, so if you are interested we have plenty of room for more participants.

Contact Hillary Handwerger at hillaryh@ix.netcom.com, if you want to be part of the group.

Maggie Anton, Award Winning Author, visits SE Michigan  
by Hillary Handwerger 

Between Oct 27 and Oct 31, Maggie Anton spoke at three temples in Southeast Michigan: Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, Temple Emanuel in Oak Park, and Temple Israel in West Bloomfield. Ms. Anton is an award winning author. Her historic series, Rashi's Daughters and Rav Hisda's Daughter teach us about women who lived in Babylonian times and in 11th century France.
She is also the most knowledgeable researcher into Sex in the Talmud. Her latest work, also an award winner is non-fiction: 50 Shades of Talmud: What the First Rabbis Had to Say about You-Know-What. A very enjoyable speaker, she educated us while keeping us laughing. She is back working on her next novel, but wouldn't share with us the name of the new heroine.
  Temple Emanuel presentation
Maggie Anton with her newest book


REMINDER: WRJ Central District now has Zoom
Zoom is a high quality video web conferencing and webinar software. The program can be used in different scenarios: virtual collaboration, online training sessions, online discussions --like book groups (We'll be using Zoom for our Book Group!).
Zoom allows you to chat, share files, and invite contacts to a meeting - all on your Zoom client for PC, Mac, Android and BlackBerry.
Zoom meetings are easy to join and participate in.  WRJ Central now has the capability to have as many as 50 participants at a time in the "meeting". We selected Zoom because it gives us the ability to see each other while we talk, making for a more personal experience and assuring that we know and recognize each other when we get to visit at WRJ Central events.
The designated host for the meeting will send all participants an email that contains information that will let you join the "meeting". The participants will need to download and install the Zoom application. Once you've done that, you are ready to go-for this and future meetings.
What You Will Need:
  • Each meeting has a unique 9, 10, or 11-digit number called a Meeting ID that will be required to join a Zoom meeting
  • If you are joining via telephone, you will need the teleconferencing number provided in the invite. 
To learn how easy it is to join a meeting, check out this video:
See how to use Zoom 
See how to use Zoom
Please submit articles for the next issue of Isha L'Isha 
on or before March 9, 2018.

Articles and photos should be emailed to ishawrjcentral@gmail.com

WRJ Central, 3535 Sturbridge Ct, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Sent by ishawrjcentral@gmail.com in collaboration with
Constant Contact