Networking to engage, enrich and empower
Conservative Jewish Women.

Parsha - Bo
January 12, 2019   
6th of Shevat
MAR logo

Chinese Food - Who Knew?

What do you know? Our renowned Jewish tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas Day gave me the perfect fortune cookie! What luck, as one of my favorite parts of this ritual is reading the fortune. It said, " Accept compliments and give praise ."

Two of my favorite discussion topics in one fortune!

Women have trouble accepting compliments. We earn them, we deserve them - so let's accept them!

Praise - give it frequently and generously. Noticing even the smallest effort makes people feel appreciated and noticed. Sometimes in our volunteer world, praise and appreciation are all we can offer in return for people’s endeavors. So give a hug and a “job well done"! Try “thank you,” or “I appreciate your time and effort.” “Great job!" “Good idea!” “So glad you took care of that.” Use these phrases often and well.

So to all of you - I appreciate you, and the time and effort you give to make your Sisterhoods, synagogues and our Region a warm friendly place for all of us.

As I was reminded recently by many people at a crowded shiva call, these are the women who come to be with you when your heart is sad and your world has forever changed. Let these caring women know how much this relationship means to you.

Now is also the time to show appreciation of our Region at the Open Board Meeting scheduled for 10:00 AM Sunday, February 24 at Har Zion Temple in Penn Valley. All Sisterhood members are welcome. But if you hold a Region Chair position, serve in an Area job role, or are a Sisterhood president, you are a member of the Region Board and should come be part of our meeting . So, be sure to join us for a lite brunch, an update on your Region, and some great discussion and education. Look for the flyer in the next block.

Save the date! More information coming soon!

Faith   ☀  Friendship  ☀  Food  ☀   Fun

Shabbat Shalom,
Lori Snow
President, Mid-Atlantic Region

Per Capita - Time to insure your Sisterhood has sent in your per capita to WLCJ by January 15! If your Sisterhood hasn’t yet sent in its per capita, please take a few minutes to update your membership roster on the WLCJ website and mail your check this week. Thank you to all the Mid-Atlantic Sisterhoods that have mailed 2018-2019 per capita to the Women’s League office.

WLCJ Leadership Institute - Start the new year off right by resolving to attend the next Leadership Institute Feb. 17 and 18 in beautiful, warm Tamarac, FL. For more information, scroll down a handful of blocks.

Distance Workshop - “Nominating: Choosing Well for the Future” will discuss WLCJ recommended practices for identifying candidates and recruiting leaders via teleconference, on January 23. Participation is by advance registration so scroll down a handful of blocks, or go the WLCJ website for more information:
Torah Fund News
by Marsha Wasserman
Mid-Atlantic Region Torah Fund VP

Exciting News …. The New Torah Fund baby cards are in ! All Torah Fund chairs/contact persons in our MAR Sisterhoods should have received a flyer announcing the new card, and instructions for ordering Torah Fund cards. The Torah Fund Office will be sending out a revised Greeting Cards order form, so this is a good time to take note of your supply of greeting cards, tzedakah boxes, written materials, post cards, shells, etc.

Thank you to all the Torah Fund chairs who continue to send me copies of the filled-out transmittal forms (some send copies of the checks). This helps ensure that all checks sent to the Torah Fund office are accounted for.

Interested in being a part of next year's (2019’s) Torah Fund - Founders Day event? Please contact me by email:

Torah Fund Event : No matter what kind of Torah Fund program your Sisterhood is planning - whether it will honor congregants, or feature a graduate student, teacher or clergy from JTS, or even involve a community service project - please be sure to allow plenty of time! You will need time to order the Torah Fund shells, to print invitations and programs, and to request speakers from the Jewish Theological Seminary or Zeigler. This should be done 3 months prior to your event.

  • To book a JTS student, contact Rabbi Kaufman at
  • To book a Zeigler student, contact Rabbi Artson at

Please remember to invite Lori Snow (Region President) and me to your event!

Please feel free to contact me with concerns or questions you may have about your campaign:
Shabbat Message
"Moving Forward"
by Sandy Blumenthal
WLCJ Financial Secretary

While I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, I do believe in setting goals. A few years ago, as I was about to retire, I was concerned about how I was going to fill my days. First, I joined the gym, something long overdue. I told my Sisterhood and Region that soon I would have more time available for volunteering. My husband and I began to make arrangements for a “bucket list” cruise and, most significantly, I knew that I would be able to make more frequent flights and lengthier stays with our grand-
children. Still, I wanted to mark this transitional time of life with a personal accomplishment.
A few weeks before my retirement, I was at Shabbat morning services. One of the men was celebrating a special anniversary of his Bar Mitzvah by chanting “his” Haftorah. It occurred to me that a number of our congregants have done this over the years, but never a woman.
I reflected on my Bat Mitzvah experience nearly 49 years earlier. Like many of my contemporaries, I had celebrated on a Friday night and read Haftorah. When my Cantor began by teaching me trope, he was quickly stopped by the Rabbi and others. There was no reason to give me the keys to this ancient code. After all, this was a one-shot deal and I would never use it again! And so, he taught me my part, line by line. It was like learning a song from the radio, rather than from the musical score.
As I sat in my usual seat that Shabbat morning, I realized what my first new goal of retirement would be. I would take the next year to learn both Torah and Haftorah trope and celebrate the 50th anniversary of my Bat Mitzvah with a repeat chanting of my Haftorah and the Maftir Torah portion. Each week, I set aside a special time and, with the aid of a few apps, taught myself how to decode those ancient markings and read the music of Torah. I invited family and friends to celebrate this milestone with me at a special luncheon following the service. It was a joyous day!
Since then, I have learned and read new Torah portions, but I had only ever learned one Haftorah, read twice, fifty years apart. It was time for a new goal. And so, this Shabbat, I shall be chanting
Haftorah Bo!

What is the World Wide Wrap?

The World Wide Wrap is an initiative begun by the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC) to encourage everyone to put on tefillin for at least one day – usually Super Bowl Sunday.

FJMC, at their World Wide Wraps, have always encouraged men and women to put on  tefillin , but, this year, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism (WLCJ) and FJMC collaborated to create educational materials to truly educate and encourage women to don  tefillin , and embrace the mitzvah

Under the leadership of WLCJ’s Executive Director, Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, Tefillin 101 , a 4-week crash course, is being prepared. Tefillin is the rabbi's passion, and a mitzvah that all should embrace, to bring each person into their own sacred, personal relationship with God, Torah, and Israel.

Please click on each link below for two Tefillin 101 lessons - (the first two weeks). Each lesson includes 7 items about  tefillin  – because 7 is an important number when donning  tefillin . Two additional lessons are forthcoming.

Sign Up Now for Distance Workshops!
Women’s League provides customized training on a variety of topics covering every area of Sisterhood business and leadership development. But Women’s League knows that the great training it offers isn’t always convenient for its members. And that is why we created   Distance Workshops

These innovative Distance Workshops use the technology of conference calls and online services to bring advice and first-hand experience directly into your home. In addition to saving time and money, all participants will be able to apply their new knowledge in their Sisterhoods immediately!

There is no charge but pre-registration is necessary. We recommend that you register before the day of the workshop, preferably 2-3 weeks prior.
Upcoming Distance Workshops

"Nominating: Choosing Well for the Future" on Wednesday, Jan. 23 ,
"Torah Fund: Investing in the Future" on Wednesday, Jan. 30.  

Distance Workshops are held on weekday evenings at 8:30 pm , Eastern time.

Participation is limited to members of Women’s League only
Call-in information is sent upon registration. 

Full list of 2019 Course Offerings
January 23  – Nominating: Choosing Well for the Future
January 30  – Torah Fund: Investing in the Future
February 12  – Programming and Membership: Close Relations for the Future
March 27  – Identifying and Cultivating Leadership
April 3  – Volunteerism: Alive and Well
May 22  – Meeting your Sisterhood’s Financial Needs (also of interest to Region Financial Teams)  
For more information, e-mail co-chairs Harriet Merkowitz at  or Toby Maser at or call 212.870.1260 .
Members can read scripts from past Distance Workshops by logging onto the website and clicking on  Download WLCJ Member Materials.

Join the next League Leadership Institute
Sunday-Monday, February 17 and 18, 2019
Tamarac, FL

Temple Beth Torah Sha'aray Tzedek
5700 NW 94th Avenue
Tamarac, FL 33321
Hampton Inn & Suites Ft. Lauderdale West-Sawgrass Tamarac
5701 Madison Avenue
Tamarac, FL 33321
$199 per person
Cost of room, double occupancy per night is $105.
Contact Mimi Pollack, Chair
215-355-5069 (h)
215-837-6502 (c)

Announcing the next
Women's League Reads book!

Join  Women's League Reads  for an exclusive discussion with  Odessa, Odessa  author Barbara Artson on Thursday, January 17 at 8:30 pm, Eastern time.
Membership in Women's League Reads is open  only  to members in good
standing of Women’s League-affiliated Sisterhoods, or to individual members who have paid dues directly to Women’s League. 

You may subscribe by contacting Lois Silverman, Internet Services Chair,, with your e-mail address, Sisterhood name/town/state, or individual member information, and thereby join the online group for book news and discussions.

2019 Women's League Shabbat Service
January 19/13 Shevat Parashat Beshalach
We are pleased to provide materials for Women’s League Shabbat 2019, a new D’var Torah focusing on this year’s Women’s League
and Torah Fund theme,  Atid  – Future, and readings for Shabbat (January 19) and for  Tu B’Shevat  (January 21).
You are invited to tailor the materials to meet the needs and goals
of your Women’s League Shabbat committee. 


Enhance Your Jewish Knowledge!
From our Friends at Rabbinical Assembly
To assist in enhancing your Jewish knowledge and observance in 5779, the Rabbinical Assembly is making outstanding publications available to Women's League members, with many at a steep discount. You can order publications directly at  
or via email at
Over 30 publications are available -  download the full flyer here!
Register for 2019 Days of Study in February!

Sign up now to join the  2019 Masorti Women’s Days of Study in Israel! Sponsored by Women’s League and the Schechter Institutes, Masorti Women’s Study Day offers classes in Hebrew, Russian, English, and Spanish, and covers subjects including Torah, meditation, Jewish music, and social justice in Israel.

Women’s League members are all cordially invited to attend each year. This year’s theme is Women’s Voices Changing the Discourse , and speakers will include Professor Alice Shalvi.  REGISTER HERE

Videos are now available from the  2018 Masorti Days of Study , sponsored by Women's League. Learn how you can be a part of Masorti Women's Days of Study ,  and  watch the videos here !
Divrei Nashim : Words of Our Women

Divrei Hokhmah are units of study and discussion that can be directed by anyone - no training or previous knowledge necessary.
The modules can introduce each Sisterhood meeting or program,
with one theme running through the course of a year.

WWOT - Weekly Words of Torah:
Parashat Bo
To inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower
Conservative Jewish Women

by Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, Executive Director,
Women’s League For Conservative Judaism
Over the past two weeks, we have read in our Torah portions, Parashat Va'era last week and  Parashat Bo  this week, a sum total of ten plagues, which fell on the Egyptians by the hand of God. We learn these stories from a very young age, and recount these stories every year at the Passover Seder.

It is the custom of many to drop a bit of wine or grape juice, using either one’s finger or a utensil each time we recite the name of a plague at the Passover Seder. This indicates that, even when the blood of our enemy is shed, we too shed blood and ‘cry’ for our enemies’ losses. We learn that we cannot rejoice if our enemies suffer, and so we remember that today, by pouring a little bit of
wine or grape juice each time we say a plague at the Seder.

What are our modern-day plagues? Should we do something similar when we reach this section in our weekly Torah reading?
Let us think about what plagues us today, and how we react when those plagues impact those we love, and those with whom we do not have as close a relationship. How can we see God in those relationships? And will we try to make a difference to decrease these plagues?

WWOT, Weekly Words of Torah will be a brief paragraph prepared weekly by our new Executive Director, Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, presented in our “ This Week @ Women’s League .” WWOT will provide meaningful thoughts related to the Weekly Torah Portion, an event on the Calendar, a Prayer, or something of Jewish interest, to inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower Conservative Jewish Women. If you have any particular interest in future topics, or want to send Rabbi Wolintz-Fields an email, you can contact her at . Read previous Weekly Words of Torah   here .
Thank You for Your Support!
The 1918 Society  honors the Women's League Centennial
and its founding in 1918 by Mathilde Schechter. Help us ensure a successful future! 

Minimum gift: $1,918.
The  $100 for 100 Years  campaign accepts a minimum gift of $100.


Or you can call Razel Kessler at 212.870.1260 ext. 1263, and provide your credit card information over the phone.

Donations can also be sent to:
Women's League
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 820
New York, NY 10115

The following have contributed to Women's League and its many initiatives. ALL contributions are welcome.
Masorti WL Days of Study in Israel:
Beth Judea Sisterhood, Long Grove IL

Current Calendar Diary SALE

The 2019-2020 Calendar Diary is about
to print soon, and the
2018-2019/5779 (current) edition is now marked down to only $6!
Featuring artwork from our own members, the 5779 pocket calendar includes Jewish holidays,
candle-lighting times, Birkat HaMazon , and useful tips for all occasions.
Comes with plastic cover.
Stay Connected...Join our online chat groups!

PREZNET - A discussion group for Sisterhood Presidents

WLCJNet - A discussion group for members

American Mothers of Israeli Olim - A discussion group for those with friends and family living in Israel

Judaica Shop - A discussion group for Women's League Judaica shop managers

To join any of these discussion groups, contact Lois Silverman at .

Women's League has joined Amazon Prime! Initiate your shopping session through our website, and Amazon will rebate a percentage of the sale back to Women's League. 

Click on the Amazon logo on the top left corner of our  webpage  (near the Facebook icon), and click on the Amazon shopping cart on the next page - then repeat the process for each individual purchase.
Stay in Touch:
Like Women's League on Facebook!
Women’s League is only as strong as its individual communities, and we invite
you and your friends, family, and Sisterhood
to "Like" our  Facebook page !

We regularly post updates to programs, member and region news, and current events. LIKE WOMEN'S LEAGUE HERE!
We are saddened to inform the community of the passing of Mildred (Millie) Blaine Gershen , a frequent MAR delegate to International Convention. The funeral was held December 30 in Princeton, NJ.
Condolences are also extended to Shelley Szwalbenest on the loss of her beloved father, Sol Leidel . The funeral was held January 3 in Manalapan, NJ.
May these souls be bound in the bonds of eternal life, and may their loved ones be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. 

Do you have a Simcha - Lifecycle Event - Memorial
to share with your Region Sisters? 
  Would your Sisterhood like to share an event with the Region?  

Email us at:  
and we'll include it.