In This Issue
Save the Dates
Speakers Bureau
Fried Leadership Conference
Centennial Updates
Time to Think About Awards
Meet Our Area Directors and Committee Chairs
Submit an Article



March 21-24, 2014 


For our WRJ Central District Kallah, our Interim meeting, at Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI) in Zionsville, IN.

On-and off-Camp accommodations will be available.

Look for more details in upcoming issues of Isha L'Isha.




Central District Speakers are available to speak on many topics at your sisterhood events!


Do Installations! Do inservice training! And much, much more!


Call or e-mail Bernice Goldman, Speakers Bureau Chair at 216-378-9478 or



Follow-up Links




We Want to Know What YOUR
Sisterhood is Up To!

Have you done an innovative program that you'd like others to know about?

What are your plans for the WRJ Centennial?

How have you increased your membership?

Is there a problem or issue that you would like to share?

Please let us know! 
Email articles or ideas to
Want a Central District Pin? Of Course You Do!



Order yours today for only $10.00 from our own artist, Beth Goldstein at 


WRJ Central  
Executive Board 2012-2014

Marilyn Goldfein

Immediate Past President
Chair of Nominating and Finance Committees
Hilda Glazer

Past President
Vice Chair of Nominating
Royalyn R. Vert

1st Vice President
Sandy Adland

VP Development & Special Projects
Sheilah Abramson-Miles

VP Marketing & Communication
Michelle Simpson

Recording Secretary
Pamela Feldman-Hill

Corresponding Secretary
Jan Goldstein

Membership Secretary
Karen Smith

Lisa Singer

Bulletin Editor
Patty Rehfus
Elaine Frayman
Lisa Elyn Semen

Area Directors
Carol Anderson
Laurie Blinder
Lucy Gersten
Mimi Kaufman
Rachel Lambermont
Lizabeth McOsker
Trina Miller

WRJ Board Members
Sandy Adland
Nancy Apfel
Laurie Blinder
Marci Delson
Hilda Glazer
Marilyn Goldfein
Rachel Lambermont
Lizabeth McOsker
Karen Sim

Check out our Facebook Page 

Visit the WRJ Central District Facebook page at

Check it out and LIKE it! 
If you have information to add- things going on with your sisterhood, please do.


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Connections and Reflections
Spring 2013  

   Fried Leadership Conference,  

Centennial Highlights,  
Meet Your Central District Area Directors
and Committee Chairs
and More!   

Fried Leadership Conference Highlights 
The Cincinnati Central District sisterhoods and Central District hosted the inaugural Fried Leadership Conference (FLC). The Women of Reform Judaism kicked off our Centennial year, a year of celebrations. 240 North American women came together and 56 were Central District women.


The Impressive Central District Contingent at the 2013
Fried Leadersip Conference


The weekend began on Friday afternoon, January 25 when many delegates arrived early to tour the fascinating National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. District presidents wore local sport teams' baseball jerseys and/or caps to identify the districts! After changing clothes, the district presidents led us in Kabbalat Shabbat worship. Dinner followed and FLC speaker, Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson gave the keynote speech and we felt the electricity in the room. Singer/songwriters Beth Schafer and John Marsden wrote the New WRJ Centennial Anthem and we sang and recorded the anthem. It was so energizing to have 240 women in the ballroom joyfully singing. I woke up the next day humming the tune, not realizing what it was until I thought about it. I can't wait to hear the recording.


We celebrated Shabbat with students from HUC-JIR and were inspired by words from Barbara Saidel (COO of the URJ).and learned and laughed with Dr. Gary Zola, Executive Director of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives(AJA) and Professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, as he introduced us to WRJ history. Dr. Zola reiterated the importance and inspiration that we could draw from convening our Centennial celebration in the exact place where the founders of NFTS (National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods) convened in January 1913!


After lunch, we boarded buses and toured the historic Plum Street Temple, where one of our Area Directors, Liz McOsker hosted us. We heard the history of Plum Street Temple from Rabbi Kamrass, who proudly explained the significance of the temple and Rabbi Isaac M, Wise in the creation of the American Reform Movement.


After that we spent many hours on the the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and the American Jewish Archives. There were tours of the archives and many enlightening sessions with rabbis from HUC-JIR. The visit culminated with Havdallah services and a moment of re-dedication. Lynn Magid Lazar, WRJ President presented Dean Jonathan Cohen with a new mezuzah for the Sisterhood Dorm. Dean Cohen was so hospitable as was everyone on the campus. He is the wonderful rabbi, who led Central District in Torah Study when we had our Central District Interim meeting there in the Spring of 2012. How very lucky we are to have HUC-JIR right here in Central District.


That night, we had dinner at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center then back to our hotel for another presentation by Dr. Gary Zola, Centennial Fun and a special debut of the brand new
Covenant of the Generations and a book-signing by many authors of that terrific new book including our own past president, Hilda Glazer.

Sunday, again, was filled with learning, sharing and inspiration. Our YES Fund Brunch was a huge success and we had an outstanding speaker, Barbara Weinstein, Associate Director of the RAC and Director of the Commission on Social Action.


The best part of the weekend for me was spending time with all of my Central District sisters. As usual, there just wasn't enough time for me to be with all of you. I plan on visiting your areas and/or your sisterhoods during the next year and a half. Please let me and your Area Director know when you're having special sisterhood events. Don't forget our WRJ and Central District Speakers Bureaus. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your Area Directors or me. If you need emails or addresses, please contact me at


Yours in Sisterhood,


Marilyn Goldfein 

President, WRJ Central District 


Centennial Updates  


Many of our Sisterhoods have shared their thoughts, ideas, memories, plans and reflections related to WRJ's centennial year. Here are is a taste of what they have been thinking and doing:  


Continuing the Celebration 

We had such a great time during our District Biennial, visiting and sharing Shabbat services, we thought we could continue the experience as a WRJ Centennial Year activity.  


 Our idea: Once a month or every other month or so, we would designate a temple to visit and take part in their Shabbat services. It could be Friday evening or Saturday morning services.  Alternating morning and evening services might allow a broader cross section of our members to attend.

Our first visit is coming up soon at Temple Beth El on May 3rd. 
Temple Beth El will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of  Rabbi Syme's Ordination the weekend of May 3 and 4, 2013. We would be delighted for WRJ members to join us for our Friday evening service on May 3, at 7:30 pm, in the main sanctuary.  As you would guess, this will be a very special worship service.  Choirs of three churches in the area will be joining the Temple Beth El Choir, and Pastor Kenneth Flowers of the Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, a dear friend of Rabbi Syme's and an amazing speaker, will deliver the sermon.  The theme of the service is strengthening our Jewish community and building bridges to the interfaith community.  A special Oneg will be held that night.

Temple Beth El is located at 7400 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48301

-Hillary Handwerger,
 Temple Beth Emeth

 Ann Arbor, MI


A Night to Learn, Remember and Celebrate 

Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood in Oak Park, Michigan celebrated with a dinner and Sisterhood Shabbat Service  on April 12.   


Co-Presidents Rae Mandel and Robin Gold
Area Director, Laurie Blinder, attended with her husband. The service was based on the WRJ Centennial Service, with a couple of additional readings from the wonderful new Covenant Book. It was a beautiful evening and really celebrated our sisterhood!! In addition there was a historical display including the Centennial posters published by WRJ so everyone could read about sisterhood! The ladies of Temple Emanu-El are looking forward to our next event: Our widely acclaimed Mahj Tournament June 19, 2013.


-Robin Gold, Temple Emanu-El,

Oak Park, MI 


Our beginning: Equality of Women and Other Social Justice Issues

When the organization was founded in 1913 as the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (NFTS), women could not even vote in national elections, much less become rabbis, cantors, or congregational presidents.  


Still, as early as the 1880s and 90s, local women's groups had been formed in many individual synagogues (which explains why some of our sisterhoods are over 125 yrs old). NFTS was the first national body to bring these groups together. Largely at the instigation of Mrs. Abram (Carrie) Simon of Washington D.C. and Rabbi

Carrie Simon
George Zepin, the director of Synagogue and School Extension of the UAHC (now URJ), the sisterhoods of the Reform congregations of America were federated in 1913. The first meeting of the NFTS brought together 156 delegates from 49 sisterhoods, representing 9000 women. Mrs. Simon was elected temporary chair and later served as the NFTS's first president.


At that initial meeting in Cincinnati, Carrie Simon showed herself to be a forward-thinking woman and a great leader, and the organization began to carry out of her vision - that of carrying the banner of religious spirit, which included a look at the nation and the world and seeing what could be done to make it better, as well as strengthening the individual congregations through the work of its women.   


Beginning in 1913, NFTS worked for the equality of women in Jewish life. This included speaking out for women who wanted to join a temple in their own right- as neither wife nor widow. Carrie O. Simon was an outspoken advocate for the ordination of women. As she traveled around the country speaking in congregations and establishing sisterhoods, she not only raised funds for the Hebrew Union College but also spoke out to change the policy of the College. She insisted that women were perfectly fit to assist the synagogue and the rabbi in ministering "to minds that are unhappy and to people that are seeking the comfort of God."  


She addressed the 24th Biennial of the UAHC calling for an active "program to welcome non-Jews married to Jews into Reform congregations". Sixty-five years later, URJ President Rabbi Alexander Schindler introduced the Outreach program to do just that.


Under her leadership, NFTS voiced concerns for the welfare of "Palestinian Jews" who were cut off from European assistance. At its first Assembly in 1915 in Chicago, the delegates adopted a resolution calling for "Woman's Palestinian Day to relieve the prevailing distress and to prevent the destruction of the pioneer work already done."  


In 1915, NFTS opposed the U.S. Immigration Bill that called for a literacy test for all immigrants. The women considered the test and any other restrictions unjust and opposed to American standards of righteousness and democracy. NFTS urged President Woodrow Wilson to veto the bill.  


NFTS Leaders pushed for women to be able to sit on synagogue boards and, in the 1920s, instituted Sisterhood Sabbaths, during which, in many congregations, women both led services and delivered sermons.


As for songs, she said, "It is likely that if a song or two were sung at each Sisterhood meeting, a large choral society would be the most natural development. The step from Sisterhood singing to Congregational singing is logical, and would be inevitable."  


When her tenure as president ended in 1919, Simon continued as an active leader in the federation. She served as honorary president and spoke around the country on the organization's behalf. In the early 1920s, she chaired a committee to raise funds for a student dormitory at HUC and devoted herself to the Jewish Braille Institute of America, founded in 1931, where sisterhood volunteers gave countless hours transcribing English, Yiddish, and Hebrew books for the blind. During her lifetime, Simon watched as the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods grew from five thousand women in forty-nine American chapters to a hundred thousand women in 585 chapters throughout nine countries.

Carrie Obendorfer Simon died on March 3, 1961, in Washington, D.C.   

 -Hillary Handwerger,

Temple Beth Emeth
Ann Arbor, MI 



A Founding NFTS Sisterhood Celebrates!

The Sisterhood of Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan had their Sisterhood Shabbat on March 1, along with sisterhoods around the world, to celebrate the Centennial of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ). The service was written by sisterhood members with inspirational messages they found to be important in their lives. Members of the sisterhood also conducted the service and danced around the sanctuary to Mi Chamocha. Co-president Cindy Bolokofsky gave the sermon.


Cindy talked about Temple Beth El being a founding Sisterhood of WRJ and how funds raised for WRJ came from Uniongrams and selling cookbooks. After the service, participants received complimentary cookbooks from Temple Beth El Sisterhood with a sticker on the inside cover. The Sticker had the 100 year logo and an inscription that said, "May you enjoy good times, good memories and good food."


Our Centennial Ambassador, Janelle McCammon, is hosting a special Tea in her home to inspire our Sisterhood board to become excited and educated about the upcoming events at our temple. The invitation for the tea will be printed on a Uniongram to help enable WRJ to continue for the next 100 years. Posters from WRJ will be placed throughout the rooms for guests to learn more about WRJ. An introduction game will be presented for guests to use the first letter in their name to describe what WRJ has done to benefit the Jewish community.

- Cindy Bolokofsky, Temple Beth El,

Bloomfield Hills, MI




Keeping Everyone in the Loop

Temple Israel in Columbus, Ohio created this poster to keep the congregation informed about their Centennial activities as well as all the other cool things going on with sisterhood.  



- Marci Delson, Temple Israel,

Columbus, OH 



A Nod to Tradition

The Women of Temple Shalom in Louisville, KY celebrated the WRJ Centennial with two wonderful events. Pictured here are Susan Glazer and Sheilah Abramson-Miles, WOTS Centennial Ambassadors, at our March Sisterhood Shabbat where we used the special Centennial Service.





The picture below was taken at the Chai Tea at Sheilah Abramson-Miles' home, where we took a page from Sisterhood events of the past and dressed in hats and gloves, had tea from china cups, and took an etiquette quiz, all in commemoration of the Centennial.

Janet Naamani, Judy Berzof and Carol Savkovich

 -Judy Berzof, Temple Shalom,
 Louisville, KY

Please share your Centennial thoughts, news, and photos. We'd love to know what you're up to!

Show Your Appreciation for that

"Special Lady" in your Sisterhood


Will there be a new president in your sisterhood this year? Are you an outgoing sisterhood president?


The first few months for a new president can be overwhelming. As an outgoing president, writing down the names of women in your sisterhood that need to be recognized for their participation, wisdom and continued support can be one less thing for the new president to worry about. The Central District Convention in November 2014 in Columbus seems so far away but if you start thinking, watching and noticing the special women who contribute to your success, nominating those wonderful women when the time comes will be a breeze. Taking notice of the contributions made by the women in your sisterhood allows current leaders to recognize future leaders in your sisterhood.


So, as you go through your next year take time to see what your sisterhood is doing behind the scenes, how other sisterhoods can benefit from your programming and most of all, how your future leaders can be properly recognized at the next Central District Convention.


Go to the Central District Website and click on AWARDS to learn more about each award and how you can recognize the special women from your temple. If you have any questions about the awards or would like to send in an early award for safekeeping, please contact Awards Chair, Cindy Bolokofsky, at


It is never too early to recognize the efforts of others.




WRJ Unsung Heroines Program


Created to celebrate WRJ's Centennial year, the Unsung Heroines Program recognizes WRJ members who have never been officially honored but who have helped advance the organization's goals of promoting women's issues and leadership in the Reform Jewish movement.

WRJ is more than 65,000 women strong, many of whom have never been recognized for the incredible ways in which they have improved our organization. We all know women like this. Now is the time to share their stories.   


Selection Process

WRJ Centennial Ambassadors should work with their Sisterhood officers to determine how best to select a deserving honoree (see below for eligibility requirements). Ideas for selection include: discussing at a board meeting, sending an e-mail to Sisterhood members, or convening a special meeting with Presidents/Past Presidents.

Each Sisterhood may submit only one name to WRJ using the
WRJ Unsung Heroines Submission Form, which requires a digital photograph of the honoree and a brief description of how she made a difference in her Sisterhood. However, we encourage Sisterhoods to honor all of their Unsung Heroines during the Centennial year.


Eligibility Requirements

To be nominated for this distinguished honor, an individual must have:

  • Made substantial volunteer and/or financial contributions to a WRJ Sisterhood;
  • Been a member of a WRJ Sisterhood;
  • Not been previously recognized by WRJ or your Sisterhood;
  • Not been a WRJ or District board member at any time.

Special Recognition

There are numerous ways that your Sisterhood can recognize these Unsung Heroines:

  • An award certificate template may be presented to the individual and/or her family.
  • An press release template may be used to promote honorees to local media/the synagogue.
  • Other suggestions: Writing an article for the temple bulletin, having your rabbi say a blessing for them during a Sisterhood program or Centennial Shabbat, purchasing a Centennial Journal ad in honor of your nominee, and/or purchasing the Centennial Covenant Book or other Centennial items as a gift for the honoree.

There are numerous ways that WRJ will recognize these Unsung Heroines:

  • The honoree will be featured on the WRJ website.
  • A ribbon will be attached to the honoree's name badge at the 2013 WRJ Centennial Assembly.

For questions regarding the WRJ Unsung Heroines Program or the honoree submission process, please contact Arielle Jacobs, WRJ Manager of Centennial Events, at or 212.650.4060.


This WRJ Centennial project was graciously sponsored by Carol and Alan LeBovidge and Temple Israel Sisterhood (West Bloomfield, MI).



-Cindy Bolokofsky,  

Central District Awards Chair 


Meet Your Central District Area Directors and Committee Chairs

Here are the creative and talented women who will be serving our district as Area Directors and Committee Chairs for the 2012-2014 term:

Laurie Blinder, Eastern Michigan Area Director  

Growing up in Niagara Falls, New York, Laurie was a member if a very small, close-knit Jewish community. She was thrilled to take a job with the Travelers Insurance Company and move to Southfield, Michigan in 1977. It was almost as good as moving to Miami Beach! So many opportunities to interact with other Jewish young people within the community.  


Laurie's husband, Mark, grew up in Detroit and after they married in 1982, they joined his congregation, Temple Israel in West Bloomfield. As you can imagine, this was quite a change for her. She felt that the only way to get comfortable was to get involved. So she joined the sisterhood and started in the kitchen. The rest, as they say, is history. Blinder went on to work on the Passover Candy sale, the annual art fair, the donor committee, the committee to collect recipes and create a new sisterhood cookbook, and, most recently, the committee to revise the constitution and bylaws. She joined the Executive Board as corresponding secretary and moved up to the ladder to become president.


At the same time, she and Mark had two children, Rebecca and Ben, now in their twenties. After working for The Travelers and then being a stay-at-home mom, Laurie worked in the Temple Nursery school for ten years and then became a Weight Watchers leader.


As you can tell, Laurie likes to be busy and enjoys being with people. She has attended three WRJ Biennial Assemblies and was elected to the WRJ Board of Directors in May, 2012. She is looking forward to her second term as Area Director. This position has given her an opportunity to connect with other sisterhoods on a more personal level and share with them all that WRJ has to offer.

Lucy Gersten, Western Michigan Area Director
Lucy is a past president of her sisterhood at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Before taking on her current position, she was Membership Secretary for Central District.  For many years, Lucy has been active in her temple and her sisterhood, serving as a temple board member as well as an officer. She works on many projects that her sisterhood is involved in, including purchasing the merchandise for and running the sisterhood gift shop.  When she is not busy with all of this, Lucy works as a dental hygienist.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, especially to visit their two sons, who reside in California.
Lizabeth McOsker, South Area Director

Liz McOsker has been volunteering in the Cincinnati Jewish community for 16 years. Most recently, Liz has served as president of Isaac M. Wise Temple Sisterhood and president of Kulanu: the Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School. Both presidencies focused on issues of governance, project creation and strategic planning. In December 2012, Liz was elected to the WRJ Board of Directors. Her current assignment is leadership development. In addition, Liz currently serves Wise Temple Sisterhood as Nominating Chair, Investment Chair and Treasurer. In October, Liz became the treasurer of the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati.


In addition to her volunteer activities, Liz is co-owner and CFO of North Cliff Consultants, a consumer product testing company. Liz is married to Paul McOsker and is the mother of two adult children.

Carol Anderson, West Area Director   
Carol joined the district board in November after a many years as an active member of Temple B'nai Israel Sisterhood in Kokomo, Indiana, where she has been on the board since the 1980's, serving in several capacities, including as president. B'nai Israel has a very small sisterhood, with about 10 members.

Carol has her BA in Sociology and Psychology from Indiana University.  She has worked as a woman's advocate, volunteer coordinator and assistant to the director of a domestic violence shelter; a "stay-at-home" mom to her son; a case manager at Big Brothers/Big Sisters of North Central Indiana; and a substitute teacher. She is currently a circuit coach at Curves and leads Zumba classes for area schools. Carol has been active in Kokomo Civic Theatre for the past 28 years and currently serves as vice president on their board of directors. She played the part of Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady last summer. For the past eight years, Carol has served as a dedicated caregiver to her mother, who suffers from dementia. If she didn't have the support of her husband, son and her wonderful sisterhood friends, she doesn't know how she would have gotten through the past several years dealing with her mom's illness


Rachel Lambermont, Central Area Director
Hi I am Rachel Lambermont, Area Director and new WRJ Board member. I have taken a curvy road to my present service on the Central District and WRJ National Boards. You see, I wasn't raised in a "practicing" household. My parents were more academic about their Judaism. We celebrated Hanukkah and Passover and that's about it. When I got to college I had my first experience with Jewish friends and celebrating High Holy Days. It was a very special experience for me. For the first time I felt part of something as a Jew and not an outsider. After college I was still not active but I always was curious about my Judaism.


When I turned thirty, I went to my first Friday night service. I sat down in the back and tried to be inconspicuous. This nice woman and her son sat right next to me and greeted me warmly. As you might have guessed, she was the sisterhood president. She invited me to my first sisterhood meeting and I was hooked. I think I was elected to a position at that first meeting or one shortly thereafter. I have been an active sisterhood member ever since, serving as vice president and president of my local sisterhood.


A couple of years ago I got a call from the District Nominating Committee asking if I would be interested in serving as an Area Director for Central Ohio. I was flattered and honored. After some conversation with my husband, I decided to accept. It has been a great experience. As Area Director I get the opportunity to meet with sisterhood presidents and serve as a liaison between local, district and national WRJ interests. I have learned so much and really enjoy the work.


Last year I was asked to serve on the National Board of WRJ. Again I was really flattered and frankly a little unsure why they wanted me. After all I am from small suburb in Ohio and didn't feel I had a lot to offer. The truth is my background and experience is exactly why I was asked. As a WRJ board member I bring a perspective that is similar to a lot of yours. I am a mom, a wife and a volunteer. I try to do what I can to establish Reform Jewish values in my son by staying active in my community and modeling for him. My WRJ board experience has been fantastic! I have met amazing women from all over North America and Israel. I have learned so much about the nuts and bolts of running WRJ and I have learned a great deal about the amazing history we, as Women of Reform Judaism, share.


On a more personal note, I am a happily married wife to Dave, and mom to Owen age 3. I went to college and graduate school for music but am not pursuing that career path now. For fun I like to make bead jewelry and cook for family and friends.  

Trina Miller, Northern Ohio Area Director 

Trina Miller is originally from Peoria, Illinois, where she graduated from Bradley University with a degree in music performance and a minor in music education. After moving to Cleveland in 1961 she taught public school vocal music. She also taught religious school music in grades kindergarten through 8th grade. Trina was the music director of "That's Entertainment", a song and dance group for Jewish Women International. Currently she is the music coordinator for all religious services at The Montefiore Home and has accompanied Cantor Sarah Sager of Fairmount Temple. Trina is a past president of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple P&TA and is currently the past President and co-membership vice president of Women of Fairmount Temple with Marilyn Goldfein. She is also a member of Fairmount Temple's Chorale, its Music Committee. Trina and her husband Herb have been married for 50 years and are the parents of Annice Benamy (David), Wendy Lubell (Paul), and Debra Cohen (Bryan) and are the proud grandparents Ilana Schear and Sarah Benamy, Josh, Zach, and Jessi Lubell and Kyle and Cameryn Cohen. Trina also is extremely proud of the fact that her daughter, Annice Benamy, is vice- president of her district.


Cindy Bolokofsky, Awards Chair
Cindy Bolokofsky, is currently in her third year as Co-president of Sisterhood of Temple Beth El. She is married to Eric, and has 2 daughters, Melissa (Tim) Popour and Carrie (Shane) McClure. Cindy is a very busy Bubbie with her 4 grandsons.

In her life at Temple Beth El, Cindy has chaired many programs and committees. Currently, she is co-chairing the weekend celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Rabbi Daniel Syme's ordination. Last year she chaired the celebration in honor of Keren Packman Alpert, TBE Religious School Director, becoming ordained and joining the Temple Beth El staff as their newest rabbi.


Cindy has been on the TBE Temple Board of Directors for 8 years, has been in charge of the Annual Senior Concert, open to the public, for 6 years, and continues to be involved in Sisterhood. She sits on the Music Committee, has been in charge of the Yom HaShoah Service for the past 6 years, and has been in charge of Sisterhood's major fund raiser, Party Planning Showcase, for the past 2 years. Cindy conducts monthly Shabbat services, recruiting upcoming Cantors in religious school as well as adults. Cindy has been conducting Shabbat Services as well as Rosh Hashana, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur Services at a senior living facility for the past 6 years. Before becoming Sisterhood Co-president, Cindy was a docent at the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus, giving tours to school children. She also created a summer day camp for foster and adoptive children. Working with children and senior adults is her passion.


Cindy often says, "Being involved in Sisterhood and Women of Reform Judaism allows me to be part of a strong, caring, active community that is making a difference close to home and around the world."


Marci Delson, World Union/YES Fund Chair

Marci Delson and her husband Larry have been members of Temple Israel in Columbus, OH since 1989. After meeting at The Ohio State University, Marci coming from Cincinnati, Ohio and Larry from Highland Hts., Ohio, they married and moved to the Dublin area.  Marci has had a varied career as a registered nurse in the Columbus area, mostly in the Mount Carmel Health System. She is currently the Quality Manager for a Medicare Advantage Plan in Columbus, Ohio. Marci has served Temple Israel Sisterhood in many roles, including co-president in 1998-2000, and since that time as a member of the board of trustees. She currently serves as the secretary of the board of trustees and the executive committee. She has had many positions on the District 10, and now the WRJ Central District Board, most recently serving as the YES Fund/World Union for Progressive Judaism Chair. In 2011, Marci was nominated for the WRJ Board of Trustees. Marci and Larry are very proud of their 2 children, Rabbi Lisa Delson (and son-in-law Brent Pliskow) and Adam Delson. 

Bernice Goldman, Speakers Bureau Chair  

Born in Anderson, SC, a lover of grits and southern accents, Bernice graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS in Elementary Education. She is now retired after having taught  first grade for 27 years. They say people are busier after they retire, and that is so true for Bernice. After moving to Beachwood, OH, a suburb of Cleveland, she became active in NCJW, joined a book club, and began her association with her sisterhood, Women of Fairmount Temple. She served as Vice President, President, and now as co-VP of fundraising. Her sisterhood's major fundraising project is the making and selling of chocolate Seder plates. Bernice is now the chair of the Speakers Bureau for Central District and looks forward to helping all of you obtain quality speakers. She is married to Lloyd, a retired rabbi.  They have four sons and three grandchildren.

Beth Goldstein, Affiliate Development Chair 
Beth Goldstein is a third-generation member of Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati. Her participation in this District began almost 15 years ago, when she attended a Leadership Conference in her home town. She has served on the Central District Board as Corresponding Secretary, Judaica Shop Chair, Historian, and Chair of the New Affiliates Committee. Beth, a talented artist, also designed the Central District pin and is responsible for creating several beautiful scrapbooks of Central District photographs.  She maintains an art studio, teaches art, and produces custom and personalized Judaica. You can see her work at the Beth Goldstein Designs website,
Hillary Handwerger, Web Site Manager

Hillary has been a member of Temple Beth Emeth Sisterhood in Ann Arbor since 1976, when she was recruited both as a new member and the treasurer at the same time. Since then she has held a number of positions - treasurer, gift shop buyer, VPs and president or co-president four times. She has done the TBE Sisterhood eNewsletter for more than six years and is her sisterhood's Centennial Ambassador. Recently, she gave a talk at her temple on he history of WRJ, focusing on the organization's forward-thinking approach to social issues and its contributions. (See the text of her presentation in The Centennial Update section above.)  Hillary is also past editor of the Central District Newsletter and is currently the District's Webmaster.


Hillary is married to Ken Handwerger. They recently celebrated their 44th anniversary. They have two children, both of whom live in Minneapolis and three grandkids, whom they like to visit on a regular basis.


Hillary has been many things in the past besides working for NFTS/WRJ on all levels. She has been a school teacher (She did her student teaching in Gahanna, OH- undergrad work at OSU), a special librarian, a project manager (website projects for Ford Motor Co among others), was an adjunct lecturer at UM in the Library Science program, and is now a website developer and consultant. She has had her business, TLCI Website Solutions, since 1996-one of the real early adopters. She started working on the internet when it was all black and white-really!


Hillary loves the theater, traveling and visiting her kids and grandkids. This summer she and Ken took their family on a visit to Alaska. Their latest trip is to China.


Hillary says, "Sisterhood has been a wonderful way for me to connect with other women who care about their Jewish community and social issues on a world wide scale and to contribute to these efforts."


Hillary can be reached at


WRJ Central District Executive Board Meeting, March 20-21 in Columbus  


How does WRJ raise a million dollars?

We do it one person at a time.

For our Centennial Celebration, WRJ is inviting 10,000 supporters to contribute $100 each.

In essence, "100 for 100."

Ten decades of success have given us a unique perspective into the idea of strength in numbers. Collectively, we know we can reach our million dollar goal.

And for your generosity, you'll receive a unique limited edition pin to commemorate your participation. So if you see someone wearing the pin, you'll know why.

If you haven't already, check out our website;  there is lots of information and guidance to find on the site. 
  • WRJ Central -- who we are, our history, mission statement and more 
  • The Central District Board
  • The Central District sisterhoods
  • Member sisterhoods and their presidents 
  • Isha l'Isha archives
  • Events-- both upcoming and those in the recent past-- with lots of pictures
  • Registration forms for conferences
  • Resources-- both national and local that can be of use to you and your Sisterhood
  • Awards information and applications 
  • WRJ, its history, projections and district information
  • Our blog-- Sharing the Best 

Check it out at  

Connect with WRJ on:  



the WRJ Website,

the WRJ Blog, at

and YouTube,

Download this flyer and you'll have it all



About Isha L'Isha

Isha L'Isha is our attempt to communicate with you and your membership.  Take the opportunity to talk to us and your area director; tell us your success stories and words of wisdom about communicating with your membership, temple and community. 


Our website is at   

Our Facebook page is  


Also, please take the time to visit our Blog, named "Sharing the Best"

and let us know what you and your sisterhood have been doing.  Register and then write your brief story.  The blog is mediated, which means whatever you enter, the items have to be approved before they show up on the blog, but this is a wonderful opportunity to share and boast and get great ideas.


Deadline for the next issue, which will feature 


WRJ Assembly Info and Registration 

New Central District Structure  

More Centennial Highlights

News You Can Use - What Great Things are Going on in Your Sisterhood?? 



August 15, 2013   


Send articles and images to or


Looking forward to hearing from you!

Patty Rehfus
WRJ Central District Bulletin Editor