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In This Issue
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Sheilah Abramsom-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
Alison Auerbach
Judy Berzof
Jan Goldstein

Area Directors
E. Michigan - Hillary Handwerger
W. Michigan - Cindy Bolokofsky
Southwest - Ellen Half
South - Jerri Kaye Mobley
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
Jerri Mobley
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



Spring is here! 
From the President

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful and meaningful Passover. 
I have lots to tell you about our Central District. 
Rachel Lambermont has taken a medical leave from being WRJ Central District First Vice President. We all wish her well.
 The nominating committee has selected Alison Auerbach as our new 1st Vice-President. We are so excited to have Alison assume this role. 

Beth Lande is busy organizing our Interim meeting, September 15th-17th, in Troy Michigan. It is a retreat called ReJEWvenation.  It will be great fun with lots of R and R planned.

I too have been busy representing Central District.  Here is a glimpse of my activities: January 4th, February 1st, and April 5th, I participated with all eight District Presidents and First Vice-Presidents in our monthly phone call. During our February and April calls, I was fortunate to have Beth join me. I joined twenty-three WRJ Central District Sisters at The Fried Leadership Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina. We all learned so much and the Ruach was awesome! After this fantastic meeting, I attended the WRJ Board meeting on Central District's behalf. On March 10th, I brought greetings from Central District to the Women of Reform Judaism of the The Temple Sisterhood in Louisville, KY. Karen Waldman and Sandy Braunstein were very gracious to ask me to this event. On March 25th,I attended an Area Day in Louisville at Temple Shalom on Wellness and Health. Jerri Mobley did a great job with it.
On April 23rd, we conducted an executive committee meeting via Zoom. This saved people from the expense of traveling and rearranging their lives. 
Looking ahead, on May 5th, I will be attending Sisterhood Shabbat  at Temple Adath Israel in Lexington, KY. It was so nice of Elissa Weinstein to include me. On May 13th, I will travel to Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, Ohio. This will be Northern Ohio Area Day.  Marilyn Goldfein has done a wonderful job of planning this. It is about "The Artistry of Amedeo Modigliani". I plan to meet with the Presidents and the First Vice-Presidents of the sisterhoods of Northern Ohio and Northeast Ohio during my visit.
My goal during my Presidency is to visit all sisterhoods in Central District. Please contact me to schedule a visit. 
Together in Sisterhood,



WRJ Central District is well represented on the WRJ Board of Directors. 

 Sisterhood Service Retreat
 May 19-21, 2017 at GUCI  

Have you signed up yet for the
2nd Annual Sisterhood Service Retreat?
We'll celebrate Shabbat in "GUCI style" &
enjoy fun activities when we're not hard at work.
Space is limited, so sign up today!

ReJEWvenation Retreat Sept. 15-17 

Did I get your attention??? I hope so. Please save the date and share with your sisterhood members a weekend they will not want to miss!!! A committee has been hard at work to create a WRJ Central District wonderful weekend unlike anything else you have attended.

It will be held at the Somerset Inn in Troy, MI (just outside Detroit). The weekend will kick off Friday at Shabbat ending Sunday late morning. It will be a weekend of rest, relaxation, spiritual warmth, healthy cooking demos, time with your old and new friends and total ReJEWvenation of your mind, body and soul through hands-on experiences. We will also focus on Tikkun Olam as we hear about and delve into the issues surrounding Human Trafficking.

We are very excited about the R & R workshops such as massages, facials and always a bit of WRJ wisdom throughout the weekend. YES Fund will also be a focal point as well with a creative approach.

I hope I have spiked your interest. Please watch for more updates on this wonderful weekend and be sure and share our "Save the Date" reminder included in this issue. We will also send it separately to each Sisterhood.

Now if you are asking how can I help and be a bigger part of this amazing weekend?
We need your help with planning and participating in our worship portion of the weekend. Below is a request from our ReJEWvenation worship chairs for the weekend - Sandy Adland and Susan Glazer:
We need you!

Calling all Sisterhood presidents, Sisterhood leaders, and Sisterhood members! We're assembling three teams of four women from across our 6 state area to create our Erev Shabbat, Shabbat morning, and Selichot services for our ReJEWvenation Retreat
WHAT: Create worship experiences for Erev Shabbat, Shabbat morning and Selichot for our ReJEWvenation Retreat.
WHY: You all have a creative opportunity to shine, to do something different, and perhaps learn a new skill.
WHY 2: It will be liberating and rewarding! And fun!
HOW: We will walk you through every step of the process, and will stay with your teams until the job is done. We will be your consultants, and will offer you a wealth of resources to use, give you space to create and we will guide you along the course to completion!
HOW 2: Planning will be via conference calls or ZOOM meetings.
You can do this! Do not wait!
Email us at (Sandy Adland) or (Susan Glazer) by May 15! Add your personal touch to the ReJEWvenation Retreat's spiritual experience! Not sure you can do this? Of course you can! WE will do this together!!!
Submitted by
Beth Lande - Chair of ReJEWvenation
(Questions? Contact Beth Lande:

WRJ Or Ami "Light of My People"
Awards for Programming 
Submissions Deadline July 10

Established in 1973, the WRJ Or Ami "Light of My People" Award for Special Achievement in Programming recognizes exemplary social justice, community service, and educational programming that serves as a model for other WRJ Districts and sisterhoods.

Applications are open for the 2018 Or Ami Programming Awards and are due by July 10, 2017. (That's just around the corner!)

You can find the guidelines here.
You can find the application here

Winning programs will be recognized at WRJ's Fried Leadership Conference 2018, which will be held from March 1-4, 2018 in Nashville, TN.  

Spring means Area Days are here!

Central District women are welcome to attend any Area Day
that interests them! Check out some upcoming ones below.

I Went to Fried Leadership,
You Should Too!
by Jerri Mobley

Women of Central District gather at Fried Leadership Conference 2017

I have been blessed and privileged to attend two Fried Leadership Conferences. Despite being fairly new in the Jewish Community, I was asked by two of my sisters to consider going to the Fried Leadership Conference. I imagine that my internal conversation may be similar to those experienced by others. For example: "I do not have time to go to this event; what will I have to do once I get there; and what if I don't know the right words, or maybe I do not know enough to go." Despite not really knowing what to expect, I said YES!
Saying Yes to the Fried Leadership Conference opened my eyes to opportunities and challenges facing Women of Reform Judaism. The workshops from Leadership 101, Speaker's Bureau training, Conflict Management, Advocacy and many others provide a vast array of beginning to advanced leadership training and tools for immediate implementation at home. What does your sisterhood need? Ideas for marketing, mission, fundraising, membership? Each participant brings a wealth of experiences to the conference and through interactive sessions everyone benefits through sharing ideas to meet those challenges. The days are packed full of options for your choosing. There truly is something for everyone.

The evenings, breaks, and social events provide ample time to get to know one another. From ice breakers, to themed table assignments, and open sessions, I met others with similar and diverse experiences from whom I learned and also shared. Games, activities, and exploration of the local sites provided many opportunities for development of new friendships and reconnecting with old friends. The YES fundraiser dinner always provides fabulous music and entertainment. The end of the evening social hour and wind down often finds small groups laughing and enjoying one another.

For me the most important and best part of the Fried Leadership Conference is the worship. The music soothes my soul and the services bring tears to my eyes. To be among women who have a common cause and desire to repair our world through whatever large or small manner gives me courage and strength to continue the journey and to push ahead. My eyes are opened to diversity of thought and interventions. My world expands through seeing the bigger picture and having the opportunity to bring gems home to my community. The D'var Torah presenters fill me with awe and encourage me to emerge to a fuller understanding of Judaism and the world. This experience of worshiping, singing, and dancing together fills me to overflowing.

Training, socialization and worship are key components of why I attend the Fried Leadership Conference. I am so grateful that I said Yes. I invite you to give yourself the gift of attending the next Fried Leadership Conference on March 1 to 4, 2018, in Nashville, Tennessee. Mark your calendars, plan to bring a friend, and treat yourself to the gift of education, socialization, worship, and fun. Say Yes to Fried Leadership Conference today! You are worth it! See Y'all there!

Share your Events, Fundraisers and Sisterhood Shabbats!
by Hillary Handwerger

As Area Director, this last month, I attended 3 Sisterhood Shabbats. They were wonderful-each service and temple were different and interesting. What a fantastic way to spend Shabbat and get to know better our "sistas" and share the simcha with others.

What a nice way to experience different temples and see other members of WRJ and Central District. I enjoyed our Sisterhood Shabbats so much, I'd like to suggest a way for everyone to share their open events: Let me know about your future Sisterhood Shabbat services & I will get them on WRJ Central District's Facebook page, which I hope you have all "liked" and visit regularly.

I already have some there. If you look at WRJ Central District's Facebook page under Events we are listing local Sisterhood programs. Putting your Events, Fund Raisers and Sisterhood Shabbats on Facebook allows us an opportunity to share those events we want to share and invite Sisterhoods nearby, and it also gives us a chance to kvell.

So send your program information to me at and I will get them listed.

Central District Speaker's Bureau
By Michelle Simpson

Need a District speaker? This service is free to you, we just need enough lead time (at least 2-3 months) to make sure we can accommodate your request and help you make your program the best it can be.

First, think about what is your need? Is it a program, a workshop, installations, board development, a service... we've covered many things!

Here are just some topics that the current WRJ Central District Executive Committee women can speak to:

  • Agendas
  • Reports
  • Membership
  • Running a meeting
  • Conducting services
  • Navigating WRJ
  • How to plan a day-long Shabbaton
  • Leadership
  • YES         
  • Writing Midrash
  • Creative solutions to board structure
  • D'var torah
  • Boards in transition
  • Websites, Facebook and social media
  • Starting and running a book discussion
  • Heart Health
  • Art of positive thinking
  • Board development
Remember, please give us a few months to work through the arrangements and details. (We are all volunteers just like you!) If you need someone for fall 2017 or winter 2018, now is the time to reach out. (Remember every sisterhood is eligible for a district speaker every other year and someone from WRJ Speaker's Bureau every other year - alternate the two and you've got someone every year!)

You'll find the form on the WRJ Central District Website.

Please reach out to me, (Michelle Simpson) if you have any questions. I'm here for you!

If you're interested in WRJ's Speaker's Bureau, information is here - but that's beyond my scope so be sure to be in touch with WRJ Manager of Programming & Affiliate Services Heather Lorgeree at or 212.650.4063. with your questions/requests! 

Central District Book Club 
by Hillary Handwerger 

WRJ Central Book Group

WRJ Central is still trying to start a book group, meeting online through Zoom (more on Zoom below!). We are looking for feedback from you to determine exactly how we are going to do this. I heard back from only 3 women who are anxious to get this started, but I need to hear from more of you.

Contact Hillary Handwerger at, if you want to be part of the group. Once I have a group of names, I will send a doodle poll out to figure out best times
and days. (Do we want to meet quarterly or semi-annually? What day and time is best?)

We can have up to 50 women on the discussion at a time, and conceivably hold the group twice on the same book if we need to and have a second moderator.

This is exciting. The group decided we should read books either of Jewish content or by a Jewish Author. The exception is the first book we are recommending: A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure. Why you ask?

For those of you who did not attend the Central District Convention, 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.

Again-if you are interested be being part of this book group, contact by May 15, 2017.

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 September issue of Isha L'Isha 
on or before August 23, 2017.

Articles and photos should be emailed to

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