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Shabbat Message

 


April 2, 2022 | 1st of Nisan, 5782

By Edna Schrank, Convention Chair

Sisters Celebrating Together!

That is the theme of our WLCJ International Convention 2023, beautifully communicated in the Convention logo below. Personally, I cannot wait to get together with my WLCJ sisters in person! Though you likely don’t have a paper calendar for 2023 yet, mark your digital calendars for Sunday, July 16 through Wednesday, July 19, 2023; destination, Schaumburg, IL!!!! A very short cab ride from O’Hare International Airport.

We feel our Convention logo (designed by our very own Karen Ballena) perfectly sets the mood for our festivities. During Shacharit on Monday morning of Convention, we will be celebrating the B’not Mitzvah of 40 WL sisters. This very special occasion, truly the first of its kind, will be the culmination of their three years of study and we plan to make it a very joyous event.

Our programs throughout Convention will provide you the opportunity to embrace our programming theme, Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Ba’Zeh: We Are All Connected. We look forward to connecting with our sisters in global communities around the world.

Convention will be the perfect opportunity to literally embrace (as in hug in-person) the women you have become so connected to over Zoom during the pandemic. Personally, I can’t wait to actually be in the same room with my Makom B’Yachad friends, with whom I kibbitz and learn several times a week. I know others feel similarly about the women they see weekly in their Bat Mitzvah and/or Hebrew class.

We have many things to celebrate during Convention: the conclusion of the 80th Anniversary of Torah Fund our 2018-2021 Region Presidents, International Board, and International Past President, Margie Miller our 2020-2023 Region Presidents, International Board, and current International President, Debbi Kaner Goldich and Installation of our 2023-2026 International Board and President
This Convention will also be our first multi-access Convention, welcoming delegates in-person and virtually. To do this successfully, we need your help. Shortly after Pesach you will be receiving a brief survey asking about how you anticipate participating in Convention. Please take a few minutes to complete it. We want to make this Convention the best ever!

Shabbat Shalom,

Edna Schrank, Convention Chair, and on behalf my wonderful team, Anise Parnes, Vice Chair of Logistics and Rachel Ferber and Dana Sirkin, Vice Chairs of Programs

Edna Schrank

Convention Chair

eschrank@wlcj.org


March 19, 2022 | 17th of Adar II, 5782

By Debbi Kaner Goldich, International President

My Trip to Israel

Four weeks ago today I left for the trip of a lifetime to Israel. Waiting for me in Israel was our Executive Director Rabbi Ellen Wolintz-Fields. I stayed eleven days and although I have been home almost two weeks, I still feel so excited and as though I just left. I arrived Tuesday afternoon and was met at the airport by my friends Debi and Jon Bruce. Debi is the International Recording Secretary and I stayed with them for two nights before the conference. My negative Covid test results came in the middle of the night. Over the next three days Rabbi Ellen and I met with our WLCJ database manager Joyce Levitas, our wiz events manager Rich Levitas, visited Neve Hanna where we both sit on the Board, had lunch with Naomi Graetz who teaches at the Masorti Women’s Day of Study, visited with Avner Moriah, the artist whose paintings hang in the WLCJ Educational Pavilion at JTS at his studio, prayed at Nava Tehilla, had lunch on Shabbat at the home of Rabbi Paul Freedman and his lovely wife Nina and on Wednesday met with Tehila Ruben, the Deputy Director of Masorti.

Before Shabbat Rabbi and I moved to the Inbal hotel which was the site of the conference. The conference began Sunday morning. As a participant in the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations 47th Leadership Mission, I was thrilled to return to Israel. This was my fourth trip and very different from all the rest. The purpose of this Conference of Presidents is to hold an assembly for all American Jewish leaders of 53 major organizations to have one place when a group or official want to contact those leaders. It is a place for professionals and lay leaders to hear from and interact with Israel’s political and military leaders while networking with each other. The conference was canceled last year and extra safety measures were in place to ensure our safety.

Over the five days, the COP met with President Isaac Herzog, at his beautiful residence, Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, Minister of Regional Cooperation Issawi Frej, Member of Knesset Mansour Abbas, Justice minister Gidon Saar, Ambassador of Morocco Abderrahim Beyyoudh, Minister of Diaspora Affairs Nachman Shai, Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan, Pnina Tamano-Shata the Minister of Aliya and Integration and other Members of Knesset (MK) at the Knesset building. Other celebrated speakers included Natan Sharansky, journalists, business leaders and military leaders.

We visited Jerusalem City Hall and met with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. We visited the Gaza Border and the new IDF Home Front Command Headquarters. The opportunity to network with leaders of other organizations was integral to the conference. Rabbi Ellen and I were a presence at the conference. We shared as well as learned from the leaders who have the same challenges and successes. We both chaired a session and Rabbi lead the delegation in Havdalah on Saturday night.

What a trip! The highlight of a challenging year and a half of my presidency during this Pandemic. It was truly an honor to represent Women’s League for Conservative Judaism at the conference. The trip lasted eleven days and the jetlag lasted almost a week but the memories will last a lifetime.

Shabbat shalom,

Debbi

Debbi Kaner Goldich

WLCJ International President

dgoldich@wlcj.org


March 12, 2022 | 9th of Adar II, 5782

By Margie Miller, Immediate Past International President

I truly am my brother’s keeper

Having taught Hebrew school for many years, I obviously retold the story of Cain and Abel, introducing the children to the literal meaning of that question. ”Where is your brother?” asked God and Cain replied “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

As adults we know that simple question is not just about the literal meaning, but it’s greater interpretation can transform mankind. Are we responsible for each other? Where does that obligation begin and end? During the current crisis in Ukraine, I assume many of us are asking that same question daily.

This past week I’ve been dealing with the death of my brother, Andrew, who had no other family members other than me. I truly am my brother’s keeper. I guess quite frankly I always have been. For close to 20 years there was nobody else to do well check ins. For close to 20 years questions and answers were avoided, as if one day there would be magical solutions to all life ending plans and concerns.

We all know people who have family members with dementia. They often question why they need to visit when their loved one doesn’t know who they are. The answer to me has always been clear… you know who they are!

My brother was healthy and well but mostly a recluse. He chose to live for over 50 years in the home we grew up in. By not answering my phone calls, by not responding to my outreach, he would tease me every month or so when I would go knock on the door and he would come out to the street and talk with me for five minutes perhaps. He didn’t seem to want me to visit but I guess he always knew I would keep coming back. Because no matter what he wanted, I knew I had an obligation to make sure he was safe. I knew there was nobody else. I knew that indeed I am and was my brother’s keeper.

My brother was bright and had so much potential, he was witty and inquisitive. He had so many talents and possibilities. I mourn his lost opportunities. I’m mourn a man who could’ve had such a different quality of life.

This week, not only have I reaffirmed my sisterly duties, but all of you have reaffirmed your commitment to sharing the burden of caring for each other with every call, every card, attending the zoom shiva, and the hundreds of virtual hugs. We/you are as much as “our sister’s keepers” as I have literally been my brother’s.

Shabbat Shalom,

Margie

Margie Miller

WLCJ Immediate Past International President

mmiller@wlcj.org


March 5, 2022 | 2nd of Adar II, 5782

By Debbi Kaner Goldich, International President

A Small Jewish World

Last week I had the honor of attending the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations’ (COP) 47th leadership mission in Israel. Rabbi Ellen Wolintz-Fields, WLCJ Executive Director and I were part of a delegation that represented 53 organizations with a single purpose of engaging with Israel. During the five days we met President Herzog, the Prime Minister, foreign ministers, members of the Cabinet, Ambassadors from other countries, the new US ambassador to Israel and other members of this government’s diverse coalition.

On the fourth day we visited the Gaza border and the new IDF’s Homefront Command headquarters. While waiting in line to use the ladies’ room the young woman soldier behind me noticed my tag. Sophia proudly told me that she was also Conservative and had about a year left on her tour of duty. We talked further and she told me she was from New Rochelle, New York and her family belonged to Beth EL Synagogue. Of course I asked if her mother belonged to the Sisterhood and she told me her mother had belonged for a long time. I quickly used my phone to look up her mom in the database and Jayne’s name was there as a longtime member of Sisterhood and Women’s League. At the end of the visit, Rabbi Ellen and I took a picture with Sophia to send to her mom so Jayne could see Sophia was well and safe. I also wanted to tell Jayne how impressive this young lone soldier was and that it was my privilege to meet her.

When I returned to the database, Jayne’s email was not in her page and neither was her cellphone number. I could not email or text the picture so I wrote to a friend who belongs to that synagogue sisterhood. My friend, Judi wrote to the sisterhood president who wrote back to me with Jayne’s email. Finally, I could send the beautiful picture of Sophia to Jayne. Jayne wrote to me to thank me and I subscribed Jayne to all the Women’s League emails with her email address so she could receive this message and all the rest that come out.

If you receive this message you are subscribed but if you know someone who does not receive our messages, please reply with that woman’s name and email and we will subscribe her. Our information connects our members with valuable programming on the International level and the Conservative Jewish world. The world may be large but our Women’s League for Conservative Judaism world is small enough that Jewish mothers can share our children’s pictures from thousands of miles away.

Thank you to Sophia and Jayne Peister for giving me permission to share the story and the picture.

Shabbat shalom,

Debbi

 

Debbi Kaner Goldich

WLCJ International President

dgoldich@wlcj.org


February 19, 2022 | 18th of Adar I, 5782

By Randy Schwartz, WLCJ Torah Fund Canadian Liaison and International Consultant

Change is Good

They say change is good. As we think back at our lives, we think of the various changes that we have had to undergo – some changes were because we thought they had to be made and, of course, some changes were out of our control. For the most part, they work out for the best.

In order for an international organization such as Women’s League for Conservative Judaism to grow, to flourish and to survive, change is a must and is inevitable. Over the 100 years of our existence, many changes have taken place affecting our regions and our affiliates. Women’s League changed from 28 Branches to 13 Regions, restructuring the geographic make-up in most. Three of our Regions have merged American / Canadian memberships. We have altered Region bylaws, allowing each Region to determine the leadership positions necessary for them to operate.

One of the most important global changes has been in technology and how we use it to effectively communicate within our large Women’s League organization. A number of years ago we launched online giving options to our membership. We were only able to offer online options to our American membership; there was no vehicle available to our Canadian membership. In January 2021, a Torah Fund ecard portal was launched for our American membership. We have been working diligently since then to set up a designated Torah Fund ecard platform for our Canadian supporters. We are delighted to advise that this was done, and launched in January. This is a most welcome addition as we continue to increase, improve and strengthen our services equally to all our affiliates throughout North America.

We thank you for your continued support of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism and the Torah Fund Campaign.

Shabbat Shalom,

Randy

Randy Schwartz

WLCJ International Torah Fund Canadian Liaison

WLCJ International Consultant

rschwartz@wlcj.org


February 12, 2022 | 11th of Adar I, 5782 
By Debbi Kaner Goldich, International President

An Honor and a Privilege to Serve

2022 has brought many new adventures and opportunities for me personally as 

WLCJ President. As President I have sat on the Boards of the Seminaries we support, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Neve Hanna and Mercaz. I have had the honor of working collaboratively with leaders of our Conservative movement and I have attended Zoom meetings with Israel’s Prime Minister and Foreign Ministers and the Chanukah program with President Biden.

Next week, on February 15, I will travel to Israel with WLCJ Executive Director, Rabbi Ellen Wolintz-Fields on a National Leadership Mission as delegates to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Rabbi and I will represent Women’s League with fifty other delegates from around the country and meet with Israel government officials and as well as military leaders, policy makers, and diplomats to discuss concerns facing Israel. This conference will be the time for me to learn about the changing dynamics of World Jewry so that I can return home and be a better and more effective advocate on behalf of Israel. There is no better time to be in Israel meeting with important government officials to discuss the Kotel agreement and to support our Sisters at Women of the Wall.

After two years of not traveling on behalf of WLCJ, I am excited to not only return to Israel but to strengthen relationships with other colleagues and Presidents of other organizations. Rabbi Ellen and I hope to do WLCJ business while we are there and meet with our contacts.

I thank all of you for the opportunity and privilege to represent you as President of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. Stay tuned for an update on my fabulous adventure!

Shabbat shalom,

Debbi

Debbi Kaner Goldich

WLCJ International President

dgoldich@wlcj.org


 

February 5, 2022 | 4th of Adar I, 5782

By Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, WLCJ Executive Director

Judaism Is Not a One Size Fits All

Two of my favorite Debbi-isms, a term I just coined for terms that our Women’s League for Conservative Judaism International President, Debbi Kaner Goldich, likes to say are: ‘We are alive and well at Women’s League’ and ‘There is chocolate, vanilla, and swirl.’ (Of course referring to ice cream flavors.) This past Sunday, January 30, 2022 was a great example of both those Debbi-ims. The program “Who Owns the Wall?” was extraordinary, with at one point 376 zoom screens – and more than 376 people, because some screens had multiple people! The program organizers, Illene Rubin and Lori Snow, outdid themselves in planning, promoting and implementing a very educational and moving program. The response truly showed that we are indeed, alive and well at Women’s League, and truly thriving. Our Women’s League program was done in collaboration with two other great women’s organizations, Women of the Wall and Women of Reform Judaism. We truly showed how we are all stronger together, B’yachad, when we work together for a common cause and goal – to raise women’s voices.

Our speakers truly showed that women’s voices come in all flavors – chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and swirl. Our women are part of the Conservative Movement, although not all of us grew up in the Conservative Movement. Some of our sisters will wear a tallit, and don tefillin – a few grew up doing so; some just took on these mitzvot later in life; and some will never think of performing these mitzvot – which is totally fine. Conservative Judaism is a pluralistic movement and as an organization WLCJ is tolerant. We are chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and swirl! Additionally, we were able to partner with Women of Reform Judaism, because we are stronger together, and although we may worship differently, and may have different interpretations of various aspects of Judaism, we should learn from each other. Halachah, Jewish Law, also means a path. And there are many paths that can be taken. Furthermore, our speaker on the Women of the Wall (WOW) program, Yochi Rappeport, Executive Director of WOW, shared with us that she is from an Orthodox background, grew up in Safed, and lives an Orthodox life, and additionally, she davens with Tallit and Tefillin. Judaism is not one size fits all. Nor are the women who are part of Women of the Wall. Supporters of Women of the Wall are from all denominations of Judaism. We should be tolerant of all denominations in Judaism, and learn from each other. If we look within our own sisterhood affiliates, I am sure there are many sisters who follow and observe differently than they did in their former years, and also in unique ways from their family members. Many of us have chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and swirl in our own families. When a comment is made about other Jews – being Orthodox, Reform, Reconstructing, Humanist, or make comments about people of other faiths – let us always keep in mind, that the comment is not about other – but may actually be a comment about the sister you are speaking to, or the sister’s relatives – could be her spouse or partner, or her child, or another family member.

Let us be cognizant of what we say, and remember we are pluralistic. Let us be tolerant, and careful of what we say. Judaism is not one size fits all. Nor is Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. We are here for all of our sisters – no matter what flavor you like.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields

WLCJ Executive Director

ewolintz-fields@wlcj.org


January 22, 2022 | 20th of Shevat, 5782

By Terri Hartman, WLCJ Personnel Chair and WLCJ International Board of Directors Member

Why are we the Chosen People?

This week’s parashah, Parashat Yitro, is one of the busiest and most dramatic of the Torah. It has a little something for everyone – lessons in leadership from Moses’ father-in-law, receiving the Ten Commandments at the foot of Mt. Sinai, and, for Philadelphia football fans, Adonai declaring to the people that he, “bore you on Eagles’ wings.” But I really want to focus on a few specific aspects.

In Exodus 19:5, Adonai says, “Now then, if you obey faithfully and keep my commandments, you shall be my treasured possession among all the peoples.” In Hebrew, the word for treasured possession is “סְגֻלָּה segulah.” “Am segulah” is sometimes translated as the chosen people. But what does that mean? What are we chosen for?

Being chosen is something I think about a lot in my family. All of us are strongly connected to Conservative Judaism. My children work in the Conservative Jewish world – one is a rabbi, one is a cantor, and one is a youth director. One daughter–in-law is also a cantor/rabbi, and one son-in-law works for Ramah. My husband is also on the board of USCJ. People have asked me: how did that happen?

The truth is that I am not sure. Like many of you, I sent my children to synagogue preschool. They felt comfortable there, and even made lifelong friendships. The shul became my “Cheers”, where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. In different ways, we all felt a calling and responsibility to serve.

So, what does that say about being among the chosen? Many scholars agree that it is not arrogance or innate characteristics that make us better than other peoples. The same parashah that introduces “segulah” also introduces the world to the Ten Commandments. Perhaps chosen means that it is our responsibility to lead and show the rest of the world the example of striving for a life of morality and service.

It is in this way that we, the devoted volunteers of Women’s League, serve as our movement’s Chosen People. It is through our dedication and service that we shine a light on what service to the community and a passion to grow and learn means to Conservative Judaism. May we all continue our sacred mission and go from strength to strength.

Shabbat Shalom,

Terri

Terri Hartman

WLCJ Personnel Chair and

WLCJ International Board of Directors Member

tshartman@comcast.net


January 15, 2022 | 13th of Shevat, 5782

By Debbie Zimmerman, WLCJ Mid Atlantic Region Education Vice President and WLCJ International Board of Directors Member

Expressing our Gratitude

On this Sisterhood (Women’s League) Shabbat, as on every day, we give thanks for our blessings. As Jews, this begins when we wake up in the morning. We are commanded to recite prayers of gratitude even before we get out of bed. The first words that often roll off our tongues are “modeh ani lefanecha”. I gratefully thank You for returning my soul”. Our Siddur here is telling us something very interesting…to be a wakeful human being is to greet each day by appreciating our surroundings— including the air we breathe and the people that are part of our lives. We give thanks for the morning that brings us life and health, and for Shabbat that teaches us to be grateful for all that life brings us on a daily basis. But what happens when we can’t see the blessings? When all we see are the obstacles and the challenges.

For the past two years, the theme for Women’s League for Conservative Judaism has been “B’Yachad”. The word “B’Yachad” in Hebrew means “together”. This year, we once again have endured the challenge of the Covid pandemic. We have endured sickness. We have been lonely. We have been cautious. So where are the blessings in this? How can we be “together” when we are told to stay far away from one another? How can we be “wakeful”? How can we be grateful?

As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of blessed memory, once said, “So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.” In the face of the pandemic, our Sisterhoods pivoted….. B’Yachad, together, we made necessary changes.

Together our committees organized events and meetings on zoom. Together we studied Torah and held virtual services. We baked challot together virtually. We attended virtual Hebrew classes, distance learning events, training sessions and programming in our regions and across North America.

We are grateful for the creativity that emerged. Grateful for the camaraderie that continued to build. Grateful for planting the seeds for success instead of allowing the challenge to stop us. Grateful to be “together, B’Yachad, spiritually. By working together, we have had the strength to change the course of our thoughts and actions.

And in our personal lives, we can be grateful for things large and small. Grateful for the first responders, doctors and nurses who risked their lives day in and day out in the hospitals full of patients being treated for Covid. Grateful for the workers who kept the shelves stocked with essentials. Grateful for the phone calls from friends who checked to see if we were well. Grateful for the chicken soup that they brought if we were not. Grateful for the friends who appreciated our calls to them. Grateful for our health and the well-being of our closest friends and relatives. Grateful for the extra time spent with our children who were home for virtual learning. Grateful for our clergy who continued to inspire us in times of crisis. And, grateful for being “wakeful” and noticing what needed to be done and for having the ability to do it.

Together, B’yachad, we made a difference. Together, B’yachad, we will continue to do so.

And so, I offer you a prayer of gratitude. Birkat Hagomel, is a prayer that is often said after recovering from a serious illness or surviving a dangerous journey. We all have survived the journey through the pandemic and have emerged more “wakeful” and “grateful” on the other side.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the world, who rewards the undeserving with goodness, and who has rewarded me with goodness. May he who rewarded you with all goodness, reward you with all goodness for ever.

Shabbat Shalom,

Debbie

Debbie Zimmerman

WLCJ MidAtlantic Region Education Vice President,

and WLCJ International Board of Directors

debrazimmerman1@gmail.com


January 8, 2022 | 6th of Shevat, 5782

By Marsha Strongin, WLCJ Treasure

Family Togetherness

We have been reading about the plagues and this week, Parashat Bo tells of the last plagues and the first Passover. I am always reminded during this time of year of the Passovers that I spent with my family. Although my three sisters and all of our children and (in some cases) grandchildren are spread over 7 states, we try to get as many of us together as we can for Seder. Before COVID began, we were all planning on coming to Texas to my house to celebrate. Unfortunately, because of this modern-day plague, we have had to hold our Seders on Zoom. Having the Seder on Zoom was a small pleasure compared to being able to celebrate them in person. There is something about a crowded room, all singing together, that just does not measure up to what we can do on Zoom.

Geoffrey, my husband, and I did manage to visit my parents in Charleston, South Carolina, for both of my parent’s birthdays last year. We went there in our RV – a three-day trip from Texas and stayed for about a month. That was the first time that my parents saw any of the family in person for over a year!

I recently returned from a visit to Charleston and was joined by my three sisters to celebrate our mother’s (significant) birthday which was on December 21. It was so nice to finally be able to get together in person, even though our children and grandchildren were not able to join us.

I enjoy seeing all of my Women’s League friends over Zoom for all of our programs. When COVID first began, going online to Makom B’Yachad (it was called Psalms, then) was the only real contact that I had on a daily basis with anyone. I made new friends and saw old ones every day and that kept me sane when I couldn’t go anywhere or have anyone come to my house. Now, I still can see those friends three days a week as well as on other WLCJ programs, like the “How to Live Forever series” or the “Jewish Women in Film” series that I enjoy. Those programs bring me together with friends but it warms my heart even more to be able to actually be able to hug my parents, sisters, and brothers-in-law. I keep hoping that next Passover will again see the whole family united. I pray that this plague of COVID won’t last too much longer! I hope that you were also able to see your families over the recent holidays and had as much joy as I did with mine.

Wishing all of you a very happy secular New Year.

Shabbat Shalom to you all,

Marsha

Marsha Strongin

WLCJ Treasurer

mstrongin@wlcj.org


December 25, 2021 | 21st of Tevet, 5782

By Debbi Kaner Goldich, International President

We Need Tomorrow and Tomorrow Needs Us

“If you are not a better person tomorrow than you are today, what need have you for a tomorrow?”

-Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, 18th Century Rabbi.

As I read these words this morning in the daily issue of E-Jewish Philanthropy I immediately related them to myself. As Jews, we are taught we can become better tomorrow through our actions today. A few moments later after some self-reflection, I thought about these words in relation to Women’s League and the Pandemic situation. After the past year and all that has happened, I wonder how we enter this new secular new year and be better than we were last year.

We have accomplished a great deal this past year. Our successes have been enormous and include offering sophisticated educational opportunities for learning and engagement, rewriting of Region and Sisterhood affiliate bylaws, creating an International central calendar of activities, preparing and training two classes of consultants, translating our website into eight languages, brought back the WLCJ APP to our cellphones, joining with other organizations such as ADL, JCPA, USCJ and FJMC for programming, connecting with world communities of Jewish women like Uganda and preparing Region leadership through regular monthly trainings to name a few.

How is it that we even have a need for tomorrow after accomplishing all this? Our need for tomorrow stems from the fact that we are a Jewish women’s organization in the 21st century. It is our role to keep our ancient religion sacred and alive. As women we are responsible to maintain the family’s connection to Judaism. As an organization we are responsible to provide educational initiatives that make our movement stronger and provide women the opportunity to do that also.

Make a New Year’s resolution to join us. Many of your Synagogues and Sisterhood affiliates are still not doing full programming due to Covid. Take the time to join Women’s League. Read the weekly newsletter (WL Week) and look for programming that interests you. Register and attend with hundreds of women just like you from all over North America. Volunteer on the Sisterhood affiliate, Region or International level. We have many opportunities and never refuse an offer to help. Feel free to share programming ideas with me and your Region leadership.

Tomorrow, we are a better organization with you. We welcome you and need you to help make us better. We are also here to make a difference in your life. Your tomorrows will be better with us. All you have to do is show up. It is as easy as clicking the Zoom button!

Wishing you all a healthy and happy secular New Year. Stay safe.

Shabbat shalom,

Debbi

Debbi Kaner Goldich

WLCJ International President

dgoldich@wlcj.org


December 18, 2021 | 14th of Tevet, 5782

By Barbara Ezring – International Torah Fund Chair

Gifts to Ensure the Future

I’ve been thinking lately about the legacy I want to leave my children and grandchildren. This week I am particularly moved by one blessing in the Torah parashah, Va-Yehi. At the end of his life, Jacob finally met Joseph’s sons in Egypt. He blessed his grandsons as his own sons saying, “By you shall Israel invoke blessings saying, יְשִֽׂמְךָ֣ אֱלֹהִ֔ים כְּאֶפְרַ֖יִם וְכִמְנַשֶּׁ֑ה

God make you like Ephraim and Menashe.” (Genesis 48:20) Today, we bless our sons and our grandsons using those same words.

How will I leave my legacy to my children and grandchildren? I will tell them my stories and I will share precious family objects, each having its own story. I will let my children know what is important to me through my actions now. They will hear the story of my first Benefactor level donation to Torah Fund, the year that my husband was ordained a rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary. I wanted to be sure that future rabbis and cantors would be able to begin their new careers debt-free, as we had. I will share my stories about some special jewelry that I own. I will sit with my children and grandchildren and let them select for themselves the Torah Fund pins from my collection that they will treasure.

What will you do with your pins? Share them with those you love. Let them know that each pin represents your dedication to the future of Conservative/Masorti Jewish education. Gift them to Jewish women in nursing homes who love a beautiful piece of Jewish jewelry. Many members have used their old pins to create beautiful tallit clips. Let your family know why you have these pins, why you donate to Torah Fund.

I donate to Torah Fund so that my grandchildren and their grandchildren will have qualified, dedicated, wise leaders in their synagogues, religious schools, summer camps, universities, and communities. I generously give to the Torah Fund General Campaign each year so that the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles, Schechter Institutes in Jerusalem, Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, and Zacharias Frankel College in Potsdam, Germany will have the funds they need to continue to provide quality programming and scholarships. I give to the Creating New Spaces campaign because I want our students at JTS and at Ziegler to have safe spaces to work and study. I am a member of the Torah Fund Legacy Society to ensure the future of Conservative/Masorti Jewish education. I send Torah Fund ecards and paper greeting cards to celebrate joyous occasions and console a grieving friend.

Join me in creating a legacy that will ensure the future of Conservative Judaism. Donate to Torah Fund, celebrate Judaism with your family, share your stories.

Each Shabbat, we can bless our daughters with the words, “May you be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah”. We can bless our sons and grandsons with “God make you like Ephraim and Menashe” using our Patriarch Jacob’s enduring words, part of his legacy to us.

Shabbat Shalom,

Barbara Ezring

International Torah Fund Chair

bezring@wlcj.org