Programming Ideas

Toby Maser and Jill Tomar, Programming Co-Chairs of WLCJ




June 4, 2024 | Plan Ahead

1.    Pink Shabbat – Pick a Shabbat service or maybe even Kabalat Shabbat service to honor Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. Invite a guest to speak from Sharsheret, maybe a breast cancer survivor in your own sisterhood and/or GYN doctor who speaks about Breast cancer. 

2. Dinner or Lunch in the Sukkah – Because of the time of the year it a great time to have a Paid-Up Membership. Offer this event for free or very little, enticing women to pay there dues early. Have a guest speaker or just make it a social event allowing women who have not made the blessing for sitting in the succah, and over the lulav and etrog to do so.

3. Holidays package for college students at your synagogue – Packages to college students are always appreciated. It makes them feel they’re not forgotten by their shul. Chanukah, Purim and Pesach are the holidays easiest to do during the year.

April 15, 2024

Promising Programs: How will these ideas fit into your sisterhood/affiliate schedule?

1. “Blast From The Past”, a good idea for Jewish Heritage Month in May. Could be done in any size Sisterhood. Encourage attendees to bring in a piece of Judaica and share its history. Attendees share their family history, where their ancestors came from.
2. Kitchen Shower – designed to restock and rejuvenate your synagogue’s kitchen. Make a registry on Amazon, Target, etc and pick out small appliances, serving pieces, pots and pans, utensils and anything else that needs to be replaced. Plan a cooking/ baking project or a breakfast program for the shower. This program is good for smaller synagogues that do their own cooking for Shabbat, etc.
3. Opening Program Brunch with Support Your Local Schools – This event is usually done at the end of the summer or beginning of September. Find one or two local schools in your area that parents have problems providing the essentials for their child/children to start the year back at school. Started collecting items at drop points in your synagogue prior to the event. Collected school supplies prior to the event can be made into centerpieces for the tables.
Watch this space for more programs to plan your calendar!
Shabbat Shalom,
Jill and Toby

January 30, 2024

The programming committee presents the following program to give you ideas for your own sisterhood affiliate programs.

Purim Art Program – Celebrate…It’s Adar! Join in the Megillah reading and shake your Vashti’s bracelet every time her name is read. Make your own Vashti’s bracelet at home or as part of a Sisterhood meeting. You can get the instructions on how to make it from Jody Glass, International Creative Arts Chair and then order your own supplies from Or for $15 plus $4 shipping, Jody will mail you the complete kit including supplies and instructions. Or, if incorporating this activity into a Sisterhood meeting, for $15 per kit plus $10 shipping, Jody will mail the package to one address. Jody is also willing to facilitate the session via Zoom if she is available. For more information, contact Jody at

October 17, 2023

Now that we are past the Tishrei holiday period, we plan to provide programming articles for WL Week twice monthly from now on.

We would like to introduce two art programs presented by a Sisterhood member from Germantown Jewish Centre in Philadelphia.  Her name is Mindy Shapiro and the programs are The Art of Jewish Papercutting and Mussar and Zentangle®.

Mindy Shapiro, MA, is a Jewish papercutting, Zentangle®, and book artist whose groundbreaking creativity, intricate designs, and use of color distinguish her as an artist.   She is also a longtime Jewish communal professional with more than 35 years of experience. Mindy was the founding director of Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!, a program of Moving Traditions.  She has also worked for other Jewish organizations including Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, International Hillel, and the Gershman Y.  Mindy was a founding member of the Center for Contemporary Mussar.  You can see Mindy’s artwork at

The Jewish Art of Papercutting

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to a short history and samples of papercuts from around the world. They will then learn how to use the necessary tools and will be given a template to create a hamsa papercut suitable for framing.  All materials are supplied in person. If on Zoom, I can ship materials or provide a supply list. This workshop can also be tailored to other themes to celebrate a holiday or season.


Mussar and Zentangle®

Mussar is a Jewish spiritual practice that includes text study, meditation, cultivation of middot (characteristic traits), and journaling. In this workshop, we will explore one component – the cultivation of mindfulness through tangling.  No prior meditation or drawing experience is needed.  You will learn several basic Zentangle designs.  This art form is relaxing, creative, meditative, and quite fun.  Each structured pattern is broken down into small steps and what results are beautiful, creative and unique images.  Tangles are created on small paper tiles using a special black drawing pen.  You will leave class with one or two completed tiles and new skills to continue tangling on your own, sending you on your way to a meditative practice.  All materials are supplied in person. If on Zoom, I can ship materials or provide a supply list.

Each workshop is about two hours.

These programs are just two examples of what I have to offer.  Both art forms can be offered in more depth over multiple sessions.  I also offer simple book-making classes.  I am available to come to your congregation as an artist-in-residence, to enhance your Torah Fund programs, and for intergenerational art programs.

We would like to thank Mindy for bringing her wonderful programs to our attention.  If you or someone you know can share excellent program examples for our Sisterhoods/Affiliates, please feel free to send to Jill or Toby.

September 6, 2023

As we are beginning 5784 and sisterhoods/affiliates are beginning their busy year, we would like to introduce ourselves as your new Programming Chairs of WLCJ. My name is Jill Tomar, and I am past president and past Torah Fund vice president of Florida Region. Toby Mazer is past president of INR and has been a consultant for WLCJ for more than 15 years. We both come with many experiences in programming but are always learning new things. 

We are planning to put an article in WL Week every other week. We have a small committee working with us, consisting of Debbie Green (CGLR) and Terry Jonas (Florida). We plan to present easily-implemented programs for all size Sisterhood Affiliates, from those with fewer than 50 members to those with more than 300 members. There are many resources available on the WLCJ website, as well as many programs from the Jewels of the Crown Awards. Jewels of the Crown Awards recognize programming from Sisterhood Affiliates in a range of categories, and we plan to highlight some of these exemplary programs in our biweekly articles.

We are both available to help your Sisterhood Affiliate as needed. If you have great programs that you would like to share or need some programming advice, please contact one of us.  

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and sweet New Year!

Jill and Toby