January Sisterhood Program Showcase

Women of Temple Israel Create a Recipe for Success
Noshing, Cooking & Kibbitzing Under the Sukkah

We celebrate Sukkot within the temporary and fragile sukkah to remind us that joy is not found from material possessions but, rather, from the relationships we form with others and with God. So, it seemed just right to kick off the Women of Temple Israel Nosh, Cook, & Kibbitz Holiday Cooking Series in 2019 under the sukkah. Fifty-three women gathered for a spirited evening of fellowship, food, and Jewish tradition. Ingredients for the event included cocktails, Havdalah, a personal holiday story told by Cantor Shira Lissek, and a delicious dinner, followed by a group cooking lesson led by Rochelle Wilensky. The event not only marked Sukkot, but also the renewal of a strong women’s organization at Temple Israel.

Last year, TI Sisterhood leaders determined that the existing model was stale. Membership was declining, and member engagement was limited. They wanted the organization to become more relevant and appeal to all ages of women in all stages of life. So, they took the bold step of updating the model and rebranding as the Women of Temple Israel (WoTI). The objectives of the WoTI are to reinvigorate the organization, foster greater engagement of younger women, create deeper community relations, and reinforce the mission and values of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism.

To achieve these objectives, WoTI leadership started fresh. They formed a Programming Committee that reflects the organization they strive to be – the committee consists of nine members who span a wide range of ages and stages of life. Nosh, Cook & Kibbitz is a concept created by several young mothers on the committee with this goal in mind: Bring inter-generational women together for gatherings that are spirited and inclusive, and that reinforce Judaic traditions. Together, the committee planned the details and executed the event. Shellie, Barer, President of WoTI noted, “I couldn’t be more pleased! The younger women bring creativity and new energy to the planning process, and the more seasoned members add structure, and provide leadership and mentoring for the younger members.”

The feedback from this inaugural event was overwhelmingly positive! Amy Udoff, event organizer, put it best, “It was so exciting to be with women of all ages and to hear mothers and daughters singing Havdalah together.” Another commented, “The event made me proud to be a WoTI!” For some, it was their first WoTI event, and the evening’s success inspired others to become members of WoTI. The success of Nosh, Cook & Kibbitz confirmed that women across generations want to come together and create community. As of this writing, we look forward to our Nosh, Cook & Kibbitz: Hanukkah Edition.

For more information, contact Karen Knoble from Temple Israel, Charlotte, North Carolina at karen.knoble@gmail.com.

We encourage you to share your unique programs with us so that we can Showcase your Sisterhood Program. Please send your program outlines, flyers and photos to Marsha Strongin at marsha@strongin.net. Together we will engage, enrich and empower our Sisterhood members.