On June 13 2018, the MetroNorth Region held its Spring Conference/Installation at the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR). We began the evening with Margaret Danishefsky, Sisterhood President offering welcome remarks. I introduced Rabbi Barry Katz, spiritual leader of CSAIR and he presented hisD’var Torah focusing on the contributions of women, past, present and future. After HaMotzi, we were treated to a delicious dinner, followed by
Lucy Becker, Region Education VP, introduced Heddy Belman, our guest speaker. Heddy is a member of the Women’s League and Neve Hanna boards. Her speech expanded on the mission statement, “to provide a loving home for children from highly dysfunctional families in the south of Israel” ; and she included a video presentation for support. What a beautiful connection to Israel as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of their Statehood.
Our Nominations chair, Mindy Steinholz, presented the 2018-2021 Board of Directors and the Region members voted to accept the slate. Mindy introduced Margie Miller, International Women’s League President, who proceeded to discharge the outgoing Board and install the new Board. Margie followed with her Keynote address. Since we celebrated several events this past year, Margie focused on our connection to Israel and the importance of our members’ ongoing support. In addition, she acknowledged the 100thanniversary of the founding of Women’s League guided by Mathilde Schechter’s vision. Kol HaKavod to the committee for all your efforts to make this evening so special.
My final speech focused on the importance of communication and committee work as well as the Region’s accomplishments this past year. We hosted two successful Torah Fund dinners at Nanuet Hebrew Center and Sutton Place Synagogue. Each event had an established committee with Board participation and capable and energetic Sisterhood members. There was a well- attended Presidents’ workshop and Debi Bruce, our consultant, provided information relevant to each Sisterhood. Bimonthly articles, through Constant Contact, offered our Sisterhoods a platform to share programs and information with each other. Sisterhoods also learned about Women’s League and the services provided on any portfolio, as well as opportunities to connect with staff and Board members. Zoom meetings, Emails and telephone outreach connected the Region Board members as well as Sisterhood Presidents. This communication allowed for distribution of information; answers to questions and opportunities to address concerns. Personally, the telephone and I remain good friends and numerous calls were made around holidays and festivals as well as outreach to our Presidents for feedback regarding their Sisterhoods: their accomplishments as well as their struggles.
This past year has given me many opportunities to engage with so many women dedicated to the ideals and values of Conservative Masorti Judaism. I thank you, the membership, the Region Board and Women’s League your support, encouragement and the opportunity to learn and grow.
Thank you to Heddy Belman for her beautiful Neve Hanna presentation, further connecting us to Israel. How appropriate as we celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary!
Thank you to Margie Miller, for your guidance, patience, encouragement and, for the second time, saying “YES.”
To Linda and the incoming board, best wishes for a fulfilling, exciting, productive and successful three years. Linda, you are dynamic, energetic, smart and organized! There is a supportive team waiting to help with the transition and we all look forward to working together going forward.
To our membership:
As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Women’s League, we remember Mathilde Schechter, the founder of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. She stated “the purpose was to serve the cause of Judaism by strengthening the bond of unity among the Jewish people; to form a sister organization to the United Synagogue, founded by her husband, Professor Solomon Schechter. Her plan provided for service to be undertaken by women in their homes, their synagogues and their communities. Mathilde Schechter fostered the Jewish tradition of volunteerism.”
Our Sisterhoods are strong participants in all aspects of Jewish living. We initiate and provide programs focusing on education, ritual, community service and social action, fundraising and support for Israel. Our Sisterhoods exemplify the ideals set forth 100 years ago. You volunteer your time, talent and commitment to Conservative Judaism.
Kol HaKavod on your achievements, celebrating another step in fulfilling Mathilde Schechter’s vision of the role of the Jewish woman in the home, synagogue and community; here, in Israel and around the world.
Shabbat Shalom and L’hitraot,