WRJ Central District
In This Issue
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WRJ Central District  
Executive Committee 

Sandy Adland

Immediate Past President
Chair of Nominating and Finance Committees
Marilyn Goldfein

Past President
Vice Chair of Nominating
Hilda Glazer

1st Vice President
Sheilah Abramson-Miles

VP Development & Special Projects
Beth Lande

VP Marketing & Communication
Rachel Lambermont

Recording Secretary
Marci Delson

Corresponding Secretary
Jan Goldstein

Membership Secretary
Royalyn Vert

Susan Singer

Bulletin Editor
Alida Forshaw
Laurie Blinder
Beth Goldstein

Area Directors
E. Michigan - Michelle Simpson
W. Michigan - Lucy Gersten
Southwest - Alison Auerbach
South - Sandy Heymann
Central Ohio - Lisa Kalson
West - Charlene Pfenninger
N. Ohio - Trina Miller
N.E. Ohio - Ellen Half

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
Lizabeth McOsker
Jerri Passo
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!


Contact Lea Coleman,


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





Spring is in the Air!
Chag Pesach Sameach!
From the President
As you read this, we are in the middle of two Jewish holidays, Purim and Passover. As a Jewish woman, looking back, I can't help but be inspired by the lessons in leadership that I've learned from the women in these two narratives; the dignity and integrity that Vashti displayed by refusing the king's exploitative wishes; Esther's courage, divulging her Jewish identity and revealing Haman's devious plans against the Jews; Miriam, who displayed strength and courage throughout the story of the Exodus. Reflecting on today, I am inspired by the leadership that is happening right here in Central District. Since our last Isha L'Isha publication in January, our district has been "all abuzz" with leadership and activity.
Each month 1st Vice President Sheilah Abramson-Miles and I attend a WRJ District Presidents' conference call where we, along with the WRJ leadership, discuss best practices for all of our districts as we seek ways to grow, strengthen and connect the local affiliates throughout our district. I've recently spoken with approximately two thirds of our local sisterhood presidents via a personal 20-minute chat, arranged through Sign-up Genius. I've learned so much through these conversations, and am happy to know that our district sisterhoods are thriving and doing great things. If you're a sisterhood president and missed the opportunity to sign up, it's not too late! (sandyadland@gmail.com)
In January, our Executive Committee and Chairs held a conference call as a means of touching base and offering an update on our district business. In February, Central Ohio Area held an Area Day, hosted by the Women of Temple Israel in Columbus Ohio. The event, titled "Women, T'fillah, and Inspiration", featured WRJ Secretary Liz McOsker (also a member of Central District) as the Guest Speaker. Next up is Northeast Area Day on April 2nd, hosted by Temple Beth Shalom Sisterhood in Hudson, Ohio. "Tequila and Technology" will feature the Central District dynamic duo of Website Manager Hillary Handwerger and Patty Rehfus, past Central District Bulletin Editor. East and West Michigan Areas have scheduled an Area Day on May 15th entitled "Mimosas and Membership".
March has been a big planning month on many fronts. Sheilah Abramson-Miles, along with our Convention Facilitator Susan Glazer and the Planning Committee are finalizing plans for the Spring Kallah at GUCI, April 15-17, 2016 as well as continuing to develop plans for the District Convention, November 3-6th, 2016 in Louisville, KY. I continue to work with GUCI Alumni Chair Katy Shapiro to finalize plans for the Inaugural Sisterhood Service Retreat, April 29th-May 1st at GUCI. Publicity for all of these events is posted on our district Facebook page and on our Central District website.
Speaking of our WRJ Central District website, we are now LIVE! Please visit our beautifully remodeled website at www.wrjcentral.org. For more information on the Central District website, see Hillary Handwerger's article below.
April and May generally hold an array of sisterhood/women's group activities such as Sisterhood Shabbat, Installation, the planning of annual budgets, summer Board Retreats, etc. Please see the article below for a series of helpful reminders.
As Women of Reform Judaism, may we all have the courage and "holy chutzpah" displayed by Vashti, Esther, and Miriam. May the fruits of our labors inspire others to take on the mantle of leadership, and may we strive to be good mentors to those who will follow in our footsteps. Stronger together, may we continue to lead with vision, passion, and above all, joy. Chag Pesach Sameach!
In Sisterhood,

WRJ Central District has a new website

New site, same address-wrjcentral.org.  Come visit us.
The old website, in spite of some good planning, grew organically to meet our needs.  Here we are in 2016 and we have a new website that will hopefully grow with us.

So, what is here?

The site continues to contain pages about Central District-its history, organization, contacts.  Interesting in being a part of the WRJ Central District Executive Committee?  You can check out the job descriptions to see what positions you might be interested in. 

And then there is the Events page-providing information on upcoming District events (including area days) -- registration, agendas, etc.  And all those past events- by year are listed with wonderful pictures to pique your memories. We have past events back to 2009.  Lots to look at.

Be sure to check out the information and sign up for the 2016 Kallah and District Convention.

The site then takes you to the Resources tab, where you can "meet" your vice presidents and learn about the services they provide, or can provide, to your local Sisterhoods.  Beth Lande is the VP for Development and Special Projects, which includes YES Fund/ World Union for Progressive Judaism, Advocacy/Jewish Concerns, and Affiliate Development.

Rachel Lambermont is VP Marketing and Communications, under which is Awards and Speakers Bureau, both areas you should be looking at now!

Sheilah Abramson-Miles is 1st Vice President, supervises your area directors and is a wonderful person to know.  She is responsible for the District Kallah coming up in April and working on our District Conference, taking place in Louisville in November.

Speaking of District Convention-Awards will be given out there, so be sure to sign up for awards you think your sisterhood could win. Individual sisterhoods may apply for both the Innovative Programming Award and the President's Award and may submit an application for more than one program in either category. Award entries in each of those two categories are separated by size of sisterhoods: small (1-99 members), medium (100-299 members), and large (300+ members).  Information and applications are on the website.

In addition, every sisterhood may select one of its members to receive a Deborah Honor in recognition of service to her sisterhood. Finally, one woman from within the Central District will be chosen for the District Emerging Leader Award: nominations for the District Emerging Leader Award can be received from any Sisterhood for any woman in the district.

We should mention there is a whole set of pages dedicated to awards and award winners, both District and North American.

Our new site then goes on to describe some of the resources available from and through WRJ.

And we have a blog, see Sharing tab, developed for sharing stories about your sisterhood, upcoming events, etc.  Send information you want to share to hhandwerger@yahoo.com and don't forget to send them to Alida Forshaw to be included in Isha L'Isha if the timing is right.

WRJ Central District is big into Social Media-not only our new website.  We also have a facebook page for you to follow and visit regularly athttps://www.facebook.com/WRJCentral/.  On the facebook page, we have listed posts from WRJ, Religious Action Center, Central District, our sisterhoods, IRAC, and news of Jewish import from around the world. 
Locally we have both the Central District upcoming events listed as well as your local sisterhood events- when I am given them.  So if you want to have other members of our district attend, or want to "boast" about the success of, one of your events-send the information to hhandwerger@yahoo.com and it will get posted.  Of course you have the ability to comment on or share posts that are listed-on your own Sisterhood facebook page.

Like and share the site and the individual posts on WRJ Central's facebook page.

 Spring and Summer Reminders

Central District Awards Program:
Many of our sisterhoods have created outstanding, noteworthy programming from November 2014 - November 2016. Please remember to fill out an application for one or more programs and submit them to our Awards Chair, Jan Muhlbaum at (cdawards@gmail.com) by the deadline, August 1, 2016. You can read more about the Awards categories at: http://wrjcentral.org/awards/. The Awards ceremony will take place at our Central District Convention in Louisville, KY in November. The Awards applications are now posted on our Central District website.
Speakers Bureau:
Spring and summer months are often used as program planning time for the coming Jewish calendar year. With that in mind, every sisterhood in Central District is encouraged to set aside a weekend during the year to invite a WRJ guest speaker (information and request form can be found here: http://www.wrj.org/wrj-speakers-bureau) or a Central District speaker (information and request form can be found here: http://wrjcentral.org/resources/speakers/).
Annual Budget/Leadership Development Line:
As you create your budget for the coming year, please be mindful of making sure there is a Leadership Development line in place (and growing) which will help subsidize registration/travel fees to our district gatherings (Spring Kallah, District Convention) as well as WRJ leadership conferences (Fried Leadership Conference). Costs can sometimes be challenging, and the ability of our sisterhoods to support attendance at these events creates powerful returns for the local affiliates.
Central District Convention, November 3-6, 2016, Louisville, KY
Be excited. Be VERY excited! Please take a moment to mark your calendars NOW for our upcoming District Convention, which you won't want to miss! Setting aside the time now, and creating a plan for registration costs (see paragraph above) will ensure your presence at what will be an inspirational weekend!

Summer Board Retreat
Consider holding a Summer Board Retreat to prepare your new board for the coming year. A Summer Board Retreat can serve many purposes; setting goals for the year ahead, bonding with one another, ensuring everyone understands their role on the board, leadership training, communication skill building, etc. The event can be one day long or extended over the course of a weekend, combining work and play. This is also a great time to utilize someone from Speakers Bureau.
Stronger Together
Our WRJ tagline is a powerful one, if we truly live it. Our connections to one another, from sisterhood to sisterhood, and throughout all of Central District are at the heart of our strength and our success. Don't wait for an invitation to attend another sisterhood's Installation ceremony, or Sisterhood Shabbat, or some other programming during the year. When the event is publicized, plan to attend. You'll be glad you did.

2016 District Convention Tribute Book 

No, it's not too early to start thinking about this project.  The 2016 District Convention, which takes place in Louisville, KY in November 2016 is just around the corner.  This is a great way to honor sisterhood leaders, and especially those women who have led the Central District for the last two years and those who are ready to take over for the next two.  

The 2016 Tribute Book is our opportunity to thank Sandy Adland our current District President, for a wonderful two years and welcome Sheilah Abramson-Miles as our new president, as well as thanking her for all the work she has done this past year as 1st Vice President.  Not to mention our other officers and Area Directors- both past and new.
The book is also a way to honor your own sisterhood leaders.  Brag about your sisterhoods; thank you's to local sisterhood boards and officers are very welcome. 
We encourage ads from sisterhoods, congregations, temple boards, rabbis, husbands, families, friends, businesses, or others in the community.  We hope you will be generous in your support of this project.  To get ideas for what you can do, view our last convention's (our first) Tribute Book and Program at http://wrjcentral.org/wp-content/documents/2014tribute_book.pdf.  Last year, we had a member say she didn't know her husband could take out an ad supporting her-so don't be in that position-YES they can.
Anticipated Sizes and Rates for your "tribute" are:
Back cover
4.75 x 7.75
Inside Front/Back Covers
4.75 x 7.75
Center pages
4.75 x 7.75
Full page
4.75 x 7.75
Half page
4.75 x 3.75
Quarter page
2.25 x 4.75 or 4.75 x 1.75
Chai Mazel Tov
2 Lines - max 180 characters
Think creatively and be sure to budget for this in next year's planning.  We will be sending out more information to the new boards early summer.  We will be relying on the local sisterhoods to help promote this within your temples, congregations, and communities.  

Please Consider Your Outstanding Women as Nominees!

Sisterhoods as well as individual sisterhood members will be honored with the awards listed below at our WRJ Central District Convention in Louisville, KY November 3-6, 2016. As leaders in your sisterhood, please take a few minutes to read through the award categories and begin considering nominees for your sisterhood or individuals. Award applications are due by August 1st, 2016.

Individual sisterhoods may apply for both the Innovative Programming Award and the President's Award and may submit an application for more than one program in either category. Award entries in each of those two categories are separated by size of sisterhoods: small (199
members); medium (100299 members); and large (300+ members).

In addition, every sisterhood may select one of its members to receive a Deborah Honor in recognition of service to her sisterhood. Finally, one woman from within the Central District will be chosen for the District Emerging Leader Award: nominations for the District Emerging Leader Award can be received from any Sisterhood for any woman in the district.

Award Categories - the following is a summary of each award

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 in the recent time frame. This should be someone new to a leadership role.

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.

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 an outstanding program or event on the theme "Limdu Heiteiv WRJ's Anthem". This anthem is based on the words of Isaiah 1:17 " Learn to do good, seek justice; relieve the oppressed. Uphold the orphan's rights; take up the widow's cause." Examples of programs illustrating the above biblical verse could include but are not limited to aiding under served populations, social justice issues (i.e. pay equity, immigration reform, paid family leave), women's and children's issues, etc.

Deborah Honor:
This award recognizes one woman from each sisterhood who has demonstrated extraordinary service and commitment to both sisterhood and Judaism based upon criteria established by the sisterhood. Each woman nominated by her sisterhood to receive the Deborah Honor will be given a Deborah certificate.

Chai Reward:
This reward is given to the sisterhood winning awards in all categories: the District Emerging Leader Award, the Innovative Programming Award and the President's Award.

The three (small, medium, and large) sisterhoods winning the Innovative Programming Award, the three (small, medium, and large) sisterhoods winning the President's Award, and the one woman winning the District Emerging Leader Award will each receive a Chai Five or a $90 credit toward a district event to be used on or before the next District Convention.

Programs must occur between November 2014 and November 2016. The deadline to submit an application is August 1, 2016.

Applications are now available on our Central District website, www.wrjcentral.org, under the Awards heading.

Please contact Jan Muhlbaum, WRJ Central District Awards Chair at (513) 252-3545 or email cdawards@gmail.com .


Upcoming Events

Area Day
Northeast Ohio
Tequila and Technology

April 2, 2016 at Temple Beth Shalom, Hudson, OH

Please join the Temple Beth Shalom Sisterhood for a fun and informative Area Day.
We will have two wonderful speakers from the WRJ Central District Speakers Bureau, Hillary Handwerger and Patty Rehfus, to help us understand and utilize the newest technology including Facebook, dropbox, enewsletters, and more.
Lunch and refreshments will be included.
Bring your laptops, tablets, notebooks and smartphones.
Temple Beth Shalom
50 Division St. Hudson, OH
April 2, 2016-1-5 PM
Cost: $10
RSVP by Mar 23rd to Robin Rosen-Sharp,rrsdvm2@aol.com, 216-509-6639

Temple Kol Ami Sisterhood's Annual Women's Seder
Inviting Women of All Ages to Join Us
Monday April 11. 2016
Sisterhood Members Free        Non-Members $10 Per Person
Guests are Welcome

Please bring a Kosher for Passover food item for donation to Jewish Family Services

Kindly RSVP by April 6 to tkasisterhood@hotmail.com or
Pamela Pepper (248)626-1255.
Mail checks made out to 
TKA Sisterhood: to Temple Kol Ami, 5085 Walnut Lake Road, 
West Bloomfield MI 48323
ATTN: Connie
Transportation Available

Click here to download the Kallah Application

Click Here to sign up: https://kegshap713.wufoo.com/forms/z7qam4b0aekgla/    
Area Day
East and West Michigan
East West Michican Area Day
Come for a free breakfast and learn together:
 Generational joining
 How and why we join
 Sharing what works
 Building Relationships Special
Guest Speaker 
Liz McOsker, WRJ Secretary and member of our Central District Executive Board
 May 15, 2016 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Temple Beth El 7400 Telegraph Rd Bloomfield Hills, MI


lgersten@gmail.com Mssdw810@flash.net 
248-668-1244 or 248-373-4833

Please bring canned goods for food bank donation

Please submit articles for the July issue of Isha L'Isha 
on or before June 15, 2016.

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

It is very exciting to learn about all the great things going on in our district. 
 Keep the good things coming!

Alida Forshaw, 

Bulletin Editor 

WRJ Central District

WRJ Central, 3535 Sturbridge Ct, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
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