WRJ Central District
In This Issue
WRJ Biennial Registration
Central District Kallah
Speakers Bureau
WRJ Central District Board
Happy New Year
Message to Sisterhood Presidents
New District Board Structure
WRJ Board Meeting
Or Ami Winners
District Awards
Submit an Article

It's time to register for the 49th WRJ Assembly and Centennial Celebration, taking place December 11-15, in San Diego, California. Reform Jewish women will gather to learn, pray, share ideas, sing and dance, hear from inspiring guest speakers, reunite with old friends, make new connections, and decide policies that affect WRJ women's groups and their members. Join us as we gather alongside the thousands of URJ members in attendance for an unforgettable celebration of WRJ's Centennial! Click here for more information and registration.



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



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
Susan Glazer
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



Our website


Our blog - Sharing the Best


Our Facebook Page




September 2013 
The Big Picture


  WRJ Assembly Information and Registration

New Central District Structure

Awards, Past and Future 

and More!   

A Note from Our District President

I know we say it every year, but it's hard to believe that the High Holidays are already upon us. I hope that each of you had a relaxing and enriching summer and that you are prepared to greet 5774 with renewed energy and hope.  There is lots of news to report from Central District and much to look forward to, so I hope you will be able to take a few minutes from your busy schedule to catch up with this issue of Isha L'Isha.


Read on for details about our new district board structure, highlights of the WRJ Board's June meeting in New York, and great news about our district's wonderful Or Ami Award winners.  In addition, there are programming notes from some of our sisterhoods, information about district award opportunities, notices of upcoming events including our interim meeting which is now a Kallah,

the WRJ Biennial, and much more!   


It is my sincere wish that the new year brings each of you good health, happiness, and fulfillment. May the warmth and comfort of sisterhood make all of these things even sweeter. May we go from strength to strength and remember that we are truly stronger together. 


L'Shanah Tovah!

Marilyn Goldfein 

President, WRJ Central District 


Welcome Sisterhood Presidents

Central District welcomes all new sisterhood presidents. You are now on the Central District Board of Directors. Your Area Director will be contacting you shortly. She will be your link to Central District and WRJ. Please talk with her quarterly or more, so that we at Central District will be able to advise, encourage and pass on important information to you. At the same time, we want to hear about the good things going on in your sisterhood.


Meeting with our sisters has been one of the highlights of our sisterhood life. We encourage you attend our interim meeting, which will be a Kallah at GUCI Camp March 21-23, 2014 and our convention in Columbus, Nov. 6-9, 2014. There will be more information about these two wonderful events in the future.


Central District hopes your tenure as sisterhood president will be a heartwarming experience.


- Marilyn Goldfein  


New Central District Board Structure

Our new district board structure was adopted in 2012 for the board that is in place from 2012-2014. The Women of Reform Judaism suggested the structure changes to align our structure with the WRJ structure. Our WRJ Central District board structure has fewer positions than before. Each of the positions has a job description that is suggested by WRJ, but modified for each district's needs. All of the board is elected to their positions, except for the parliamentarian and historian, who are appointed by the president.


The president oversees all the positions on the Executive Committee and board. The Executive Committee is made up of all the positions, except for the chairs. In our district, the president and three vice presidents have bi-monthly conference calls to keep abreast of all district concerns.


The immediate past president chairs the nominating committee and the finance committee. The First Vice President works with the Area Directors and the convention facilitator.


The present vice presidents work with the chairs, as in the past. The chairs in place at this time are all "working" and active positions. Their positions are more relevant than they were in the past.


- Marilyn Goldfein   

Report from the WRJ Board of Directors Meeting

The Women of Reform Judaism held our Centennial Board of Directors Meeting, June 1-3, 2013 at the Women of Reform Judaism office in New York City. The overlying theme of the meeting was "Futuring."


We brainstormed ways to 1) connect with women who are not members of WRJ yet; 2) create synergies and and partnerships with various cohorts of women; 3) address the needs and interests of non-members; 4) benefit from the talents and expertise and abilities of these non-members.


The Board of Directors conducted regular business financial

Rachel Lambermont, Sandy Adland, Katie Roeper and Karen Sim

items, constitutional changes and

We heard reports from President, Lynn Magid Lazar, First Vice President Blair Marks, and Executive Director Rabbi Marla Feldman covering the overview of WRJ at this point. We, also, heard reports from the four department vice presidents, Susan Bass, Sharon Benoff, Edith Caplan, and Sara Charney.


Our special guest, Rabbi Bradley Solmsen, Director, Campaign for Youth Engagement, spoke about our camps and hopes for the future of the Union for Reform Judaism NFTY program.


Laurie Blinder, Liz McOsker, Marci Delson and Hilda Glazer

Besides working on "Futuring," we looked back at our first hundred years with the WRJ Centennial Symposium held at New York's Temple Israel. There were many learned speakers at this event. They studied the past to bring us to "Futuring." The opening lecture was titled "The Synagog shall hear the Call of the Sister: Looking Back at the Founding of the NFTS." I attended a breakout session titled, "Constructing Reform Gender Roles and Foreshadowing Change" presented by Prof. Sylvia Barack Fishman, Brandeis University. Dr. Jonathan Sarna was the keynote speaker and spoke of "WRJ History: In History, Making History." The luncheon presentation was given by a humorous Dr. Gary P. Zola speaking on "WRJ's Historical Legacy: Flowers Hid in the Future." Lastly we had a panel discussion "Past is Prologue: WRJ and the Century Ahead."


This was the last Board of Directors Meeting for President Lynn Magid Lazar. She is looking forward to the next step in her life as Immediate Past President. Blair Marks will be installed as the next WRJ President at our WRJ Biennial December 11-15, 2013 in San Diego, California.


If you would like to join me at the WRJ Biennial, the most outstanding weekend for the Women of Reform Judaism, please contact me. We will have new Central District women installed on the 2013-2015 Board of Directors.


  Marilyn Goldfein 


Central District Or Ami Winners

Congratulations to our WRJ Or Ami Award Winners!


Two of our Central District sisterhoods have won Or Ami Bronze Awards for two outstanding programs. Three of our sisterhoods have won Honorable Awards for their programs.


Temple Beth El Sisterhood, Knoxville, Tennessee had a Matan Chaim/ Gift of Life Day. Matan Chaim (Gift of Life) was created as a program to interact with donor organizations in the greater Knoxville area, to educate the Jewish community about donor services and the Jewish perspective on organ donations, to promote tikkun olam, and to perform mitzvot. If you are interested in more information please contact Karen Smith at briankarens@comcast.net..


Temple Beth Emeth Sisterhood, Ann Arbor, Michigan participated in Feeding the Hungry.  Inspired by her experience volunteering inGhana in 2011, a sisterhood leader returned to Ann Arbor with a strong desire to help educate the young people of their congregation, and instill a sense of responsibility to help those living with hunger in their own community and around the world. Nancy Szabo at may be contacted at nszabo@att.net.

There were five programs submitted by Temple Sisterhood of Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation and their programs were given an Honorable Mention. These are their programs: A Women's Seder, Busted: Are you one of the 85% Wearing the Wrong Size Bra, Chili Throwdown & Supper, Havdalah Hoedown and Mad Hatter's Tea. Sonja Kantor can be reached at smkantor@comcast.net.


Isaac M. Wise, Cincinnati, Ohio received an Honorable Mention for their Cincinnati Chocolate Festival. Susan Melowsky and Renee Becker were founders of this event. For more information, please contact Lisa Cooper at lisacooper214@gmail.com 


- Marilyn Goldfein 

Send us Your Nominations for District Awards! 


Sisterhoods, individuals, and the district will be honored with the awards listed below at our Central District Biennial Convention in Columbus, November 6-9, 2014. As leaders in your sisterhood, please take a few minutes to read through the award categories and nominate your sisterhood or individual. Award applications are due by August 1st, 2014.


For award application forms, click here or find them at www.wrjcentral.org. 


Individual sisterhoods may apply for awards in both the President's Award and the Innovative Programming Award categories and may submit an application for more than one program in either category. Award entries in these two categories are separated by size of sisterhoods: small (1-99 members); medium, (100-299 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, a woman from within the Central District will be chosen for the Emerging Leader Award. Nominations can be received from a sisterhood or the District for this one honor.


Award Categories


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 biennium, the President's Award recognizes a sisterhood in each of the categories of small, medium and large for a program or event which focused on and celebrated the WRJ Centennial.


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.


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 Award

This award is given to the woman awards in all categories of Programming, President's Award, Emerging Leader and Deborah Honoree.


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 2012 and November 2014. The deadline to submit an application is August 1, 2014.


Simply download the application to your computer, fill it out, and send it as an attachment to WRJ Central District Awards Chair, Cindy Bolokofsky (bolokofskyc@yahoo.com).


Applications may also be filled out and mailed to

Cindy Bolokofsky

4800 Cider Hill Dr.

Rochester Hills, MI 48306

Any questions, call Cindy at 248-431-8536.



-Cindy Bolokofsky

Central District Awards Chair

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.


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 www.WRJCentral.org.   

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.


  Send articles and images to ishawrjcentral@gmail.com or patty@rehfwitz.com


Looking forward to hearing from you!

Patty Rehfus
WRJ Central District Bulletin Editor