Congregations & Organizations
Shir Ami women form new Sisterhood
Wednesday, 01 September 2010

“Eating; then, meeting!” was the chorus as the women shared food and friendship, during lunch, before getting down to business: electing Shir Ami Sisterhood’s first board of directors.

After lunch at the home of Beth Rogalski, a palatable air of excitement and anticipation about Shir Ami’s first real Sisterhood was evident.

Lara Golden, who later was elected as the first Sisterhood president, gave the woman’s D’var Torah and then Cantor Marie Betcher — clergy/spiritual leader of Shir Ami — offered her encouragement and support of the new organization.

Cantor Marie Betcher (from left), Lara Golden, Carole Wood, Mollie Hejl, Bonnie Newman, Laurel Weiss, Maxine Kaplan, keynote speaker Molly Kristall, Shir Ami President Jodie Billings and Sandra Levin. Congregation President Jodie Billings spoke about the importance of the relationships formed by women, as well as the need for Shir Ami Sisterhood, and thanked those involved in the early formation of Sisterhood — Golden, Norma Freimark, Fran Benoff, Maxine Kaplan and Carole Wood. Betcher was acknowledged as the Sisterhood’s greatest cheerleader.

Molly Kristall, past district president of Women of Reform Judaism, then encouraged the group to become all they could be for their congregation, the community and, ultimately, Women of Reform Judaism. As the meeting progressed, Kristall gave advice on various organizational issues.

After the election of Golden as president, the new board was quickly filled in: executive vice president, Bonnie Newman; secretary, Wood; treasurer, Kaplan; VP/programming, Laurel Weiss; VP/membership, Sandra Levin; and VP/fundraising, Mollie Hejl.

In her first act as VP, Hejl led the group to a decision on dues, and Kaplan, as the new treasurer, immediately started collecting checks.

Topping the list for the Sisterhood was High Holy Day donations.

The new board will continue organizing over the new few months, and a board installation will be planned soon. Meantime, the first official Shir Ami Sisterhood meeting ended with a Shehecheyanu and group photos for the archives.

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