History Book




Congratulations to Sisterhood on its 50th Anniversary:

 WRJ Letter                                                                    WRJ Pacific District Letter


50 Years of Contributions and Donations to Temple Sholom & the Congregation

From the time that the Sisterhood of Temple Sholom was founded and chartered in 1966, it has been a major contributor of physical plant items for the Temple and its operations and has donated funds and volunteer time for the benefit of the growth of the congregation.

Temple-Sholom-logoBeginning with the first building that Temple owned on West 10th Avenue and then with the acquisition and cost of building the present Temple on Oak Street, Sisterhood has been there providing funds and assistance for the building physical plant for such items as:

  • New building on Oak Street
  • Religious school – cost of one classroom, plus religious school equipment and supplies
  • Library acquisitions
  • Judaica Shop
  • Kitchen facilityIMG_0884
  • Prayer books
  • Sanctuary redecoration
  • Donation to Youth Director’s salary
  • Garden maintenance
  • Administrative office equipment
  • Bima Ramp in the Sanctuary
  • Camp Kalsman Campership Fund
  • Torah Project, including the new Torah cover
  • Open Door Access Project – renovation of handicap washroom

Sisterhood has also taken a special interest in the development and retention of Temple membership and initiated many programs for the congregation as a whole, such as:

  • New Temple Member Gift Packs
  • Sponsorship of many programs for the congregation at large, including many Scholars in Residence (including our Rabbinical students), religious programming, women’s Passover Seders, Women and Wellness seminars,
  • Hannukah gift packs for post-secondary students away from home
  • Donation to Temple Endowment Fund on occasion of Rabbi Bregman’s retirement
  • Chai Tea in Honour of Cathy Bregman922099_157108824466504_1309923343_o
  • Funding events for Beit Halochem trips
  • Funds to NIFTY group
  • Strawberry Tea welcoming Sharon Mishler
  • B’nai Mitzvah gifts to each Bar & Bat Mitzvah student (donating Plaut Commentary)
  • Donation of 125 copies of the Women’s Commentary to Temple
  • Prayers for House of Mourning books for Shiva
  • Sponsored and organized Break the Fasts as well as Simchat Shabbat Appetizers for Shabbat in Song services
  • Participation on the Temple Board and many Temple committees including fundraising, membership, social, strategic planning, rabbinical search, education, programming.

On June 21, 2016 at our Closing Dinner & Board Installation, we will celebrate the end of Sisterhood’s first 50 years of volunteer work and fundraising for Temple Sholom. During this time, Sisterhood has made many contributions to our Temple and the congregation. But more than anything else, we have had 50 years of building connections and friendships with our clergy, lay and office staff and the congregates and we have created a community of women who care for our Temple and each other.

We extend our deep gratitude to the Temple clergy, office staff and leadership over these 50 years for their support of our Sisterhood, including our projects and programs. We look forward to the next 50 years!

“Honour the Past, Embrace the Future”

“Leadership over the Decades” by Glenda Guttman

SisterhoodGroups start early in life – there are play dates for children – usually same sex – but as socialization in groups begins, boys form gangs and war on each other – and the girls form clubs with many rules and very strict requirements for membership. As the girls grew up they joined Guides, sororities, book groups, sisterhoods, and various auxiliaries. Women helped each other – leaders emerged. They welcomed new members who shared their hopes and wanted to work together on something that was greater than the lemonade stand started by a group of 8 year old girls. In these sisterhoods we learned many basic leadership skills and worked with others for causes. It was a long step from the lemonade stand with all profits to the SPCA!

Our sisterhood leaders are not just the 28 presidents who have and do serve Temple Sholom. Our founder, Jan Pollack, and our third president – Natalie Kohn Weinstein – both are gone from us. Each was an example of leadership. They taught us pride in being Reform women in a community that was not always ready to accept Temple Sholom. Jan brought in Reform women leaders from Seattle to encourage us and teach us the role of Sisterhoods some 50 years ago. Natalie was instrumental in leading us in perfecting our catering skills. Her open, friendly and cheerful personality drew us together.

Two presidents – Sara Ciacci and Marie Henry, each led us for two terms. There was the mysterious president called “floating” in 97-99. One past president, Linda Colman returned to Toronto. For two past presidents we have no address. There are 24 other past presidents – most are still Sisterhood members. Joyce Cherry and Jan Pollack also served as Temple presidents.

Temple Sisterhood started with typical female projects – first there was food as we nurtured and supported each other. Each Bar or Bat Mitzvah became an event to work on. Leaders like Natalie emerged to teach reluctant learners how to drape a table, make a proper radish rose and prepare an event that would please that family. It was a fund raiser – but also a Mitzvah to ensure that each family would have their “special event”.

Our Presidents and leaders brought us to work on social justice. The Boat People, Russian families, Sarajevo refugees – these projects brought out new leaders in Sisterhood as projects interested and involved them. We reach out to the Vancouver community through Dress for Success, bedtime kits, Wish, and to the international community through the Stephen Lewis project and the wonderful gogo bags. Our projects raised funds for many Temple projects.

President or member – leadership in Sisterhood comes in all forms and is constantly evolving. Sisterhood members serve on National and International boards. They wear with pride special Tallit honoring them for their leadership in these larger communities. There is leadership at many levels – someone organizes the “soup sisters”, Break the Fast food appears as if by magic, volunteers are supplied for all manner of temple events.

Sisterhood means we are a group, a community, a friendship a family. Leadership says we look to the future and will initiate new programs. What was enough 50 years ago will continue to grow and change; to bring in and involve new members and leaders.

“Sisterhood and Food” by Bonnie Gertsman

BagelPreparing food has traditionally been the responsibility of women, to both nourish and nurture those they care about. And so it was at the beginning of Sisterhood 50 years ago. Although the group was small, the enthusiasm was keen. Refreshments for Oneg Shabbats were looked after by Sisterhood members, as was food for all special events.

Over the years the women’s skills increased, and when Bunny Rubens (rebbetzin of Rabbi Harold Rubens) became involved, sisterhood took up catering. Regarded as a way to provide a service to members and at the same time raise money for the Temple, catering bar /bat mitzvahs and other events became a key component of Sisterhood life. Who, among those of us who were there, will ever forget how to drape tables, nest cups and saucers, and otherwise set a beautiful table? Sisterhood purchased many beautiful items for this purpose, and some of them may still be hiding in cupboards in the Temple today!

Sisterhood CookbookThe first Northwest Regional Sisterhood Convention held in Vancouver included over 50 representatives, plus numerous dignitaries. The small Sisterhood took on the huge task of catering all of the meals for the event, including the Saturday night gala. It was reported that they received many congratulatory notes commenting on the delicious food and the warmth of the members.

For many years Oneg Shabbats were organized under a circle system, where each week different women were responsible of providing food and beverages. At some point paid help in the kitchen made the work easier.
Pot luck dinners, where everyone contributed, were great for Temple spirit. These were enjoyed for years at Temple. There was a rumour that at one dinner they ran short of chicken and that Sisterhood members creatively solved the problem! As always!

Sisterhood started the Temple’s first “2nd Seder”. Again the women cooked: briskets, kugels, carrots…everything traditional for the very well attended seders.
A “Break the Fast”, following Yom Kippur, became another Temple tradition, which continues to this day. Bunny Rubens started by doing it herself, and it morphed into a Sisterhood project, with members supplying the food. Sara Ciacci took it on many years ago, and continues to oversee it.

blintzesSisterhood members certainly knew how to cook, and in 1987 it was decided to share their recipes. “Favorites From our Kitchen” became a well used cookbook of favorite dishes in many homes.
As the years passed, Sisterhood’s involvement with cooking for Temple has changed as the Temple grew and paid staff and caterers were hired for the kitchen and catering. Now Sisterhood has “Soup in the Kitchen” and “Soup Schvesters”. These “soup sisters” prepare soup to have on hand in the freezer, ready to be delivered to people in need of a helping hand.

What has not changed is the truth that pleasurable eating together still bonds people, nourishing and nurturing them.

50 Years of “FUN”raising

Sisterhood is celebrating the 50th anniversary of obtaining its charter from the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (now Women of Reform Judaism). The November 21, 2015 Autumn Fling is just one example of the many fundraisers and social events which Sisterhood has undertaken for Temple Sholom over our 50 years of service. Here are some of the highlights of past fundraisers:003

(a) Fundraising projects in the 1960’s and 1970’s included catering Shabbat dinners and Passover Seders for Temple congregants and Oneg Shabbats and Kiddush luncheons for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and for other special events. Catering services included rentals of Sisterhood’s silverware collection (tea service, platters, etc.) china and tablecloths all taken care of by Sisterhood volunteers. This was all before the Temple had its own serving pieces and dishes.

(b) Book sales, flea markets and rummage sales raised funds and rumour has it that someone left their shoes under a table at a rummage sale and those shoes got sold too!

(c) Sales of many varied items over the years, such as children’s travel diaries, smoked salmon, boxes of chocolates for Passover and Chanukah baking.006

(d) Annual flower sale of annual plants starting in 1993. This was a big success as we had many Temple members who gardened. As big box stores opened up, we could no longer compete and discontinued the flower sales in 2007.

(e) Israeli photo exhibit contest coinciding with Israel’s 35th birthday. The fundraiser included a big raffle with the first prize being airfare for 2 to Honolulu.

(f) A mobile Judaica Gift Shop started about 1969 with all the items being carried from a Sisterhood member’s home (often the home of the President at that time) to services and events at Temple. Then about 1980 Sisterhood opened a fixed Sisterhood Gift Shop using glass cases in the Temple foyer staffed by Sisterhood volunteers. The gift shop progressed to its present location and size ultimately becoming “Sholom Judaica”, run by the Temple.

(g) Lots of Fashion Shows over the years including Ian Sayers historical fashions, The Fashion Gallery of South Granville, and On the Go Fashions of Kerrisdale using both professional and Sisterhood models.

(h) Cookbook created and published by Sisterhood.

(i) Many Ladies “Gold Plate” dinners at downtown hotels including one which occurred during the biggest blizzard Vancouver had seen up to that time.

(j) Lots of dances including the Queen Esther Ball, Western Night, many Fall Socials which became the annual Autumn Fling.

The very best part of fundraising is having the opportunity to get to know so many Temple women as we volunteered and worked together for the benefit of our Temple. Sisterhood expects to continue with its successful fundraising initiatives to support our ongoing projects and our Temple.

Religious and Educational Programming
by Sarah Richman

The Sisterhood of Temple Sholom has served the congregation in many diverse roles throughout our 50 year history, not the least of which is providing a forum for religious participation and continuing adult Jewish education. As a member of the Women of Reform Judaism, we are committed to egalitarian participation, leadership and education.

photo (4)The annual Sisterhood Service was one of the first and most enduring examples of this commitment. The first Sisterhood Service was conducted in the 1970s and was a Friday evening, Erev Shabbat service that recognized the contributions of women to the congregation. The Sisterhood Service evolved over the years, affirming the right of women to participate and lead worship services. Over time, the service began including the Torah service, having women for the Aliyot and Ba’al K’ri’ah (Torah reader), and also having a sisterhood member deliver the drash (sermon), demonstrating that women not only have the right to full participation in religious services, but also the knowledge and ability to do so.Jean and Lauren Torah Readers

20130405004The Sisterhood Choir has been an integral part of the Sisterhood Service. In addition to the beautiful music that inspires the service, it also serves as a vehicle for introducing and engaging women in our congregation to the liturgy and kavanah of our worship experience. Many women have begun their involvement with Sisterhood through the friendships and learning environment created during choir rehearsals and service participation.

In 2007, motivated by the Shabbat Initiative of Rabbi Yoffie, then President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), Sisterhood began hosting a series of educational seminars on Shabbat afternoon following services and a kiddush lunch. Entitled Live, Learn and Celebrate Shabbat, these seminars were well received by the congregation. Sisterhood invited guest speakers to present on their areas of experNoam Katztise and a partial list of topics covered includes “The Changing Face of Reform Judaism”, “Jewish Women in Leadership”, “History of the Liturgy and Prayer Books of the Reform Movement”, “The Rabbinic Perspective on Social Justice”, “The Torah, A Women’s Commentary” and “Reading Gender in Talmudic Tales”. Sisterhood has also been a key player in bringing Scholars in Residence to the Temple, sometimes on our own, and other times in partnership with the synagogue. These scholars have included Cantor Roslyn Barak and Rabbis Noam Katz, Tali Hyman and Janice Elster.

Sisterhood SederWorking together with community partners, Sisterhood has sponsored the Passover Women’s Seder, which provides an opportunity for women to lead the Seder, as well as experience the ancient traditions from a woman’s perspective. It is also a forum for exploring Pesach traditions from different Jewish communities around the world and learning about and implementing new traditions, such as the Miriam’s Cup.

Sisterhood’s religious programming takes place as both individual and group experiences. “The Blessings Wall” project is an example of a program that blended each individual woman’s Shabbat candle lighting process (the spent matches), together with fabric, paper, photos and/or artwork that represent her personality or character. Each woman’s matches, paper/fabric, and photos/artwork became an individual panel. All of the panels grouped together, became the Blessings Wall.Rosh Chodesh Renewal

The Rosh Chodesh Renewal program encourages women to explore and study our ancient texts together. Using the WRJ The Torah, A Women’s Commentary, the group meets monthly for an in-depth look at our people’s history through a female lens. Studying the text in English, line by line, we encourage women who may never have undertaken Torah study to come, learn and discuss in a supportive environment. Women's CommentarySisterhood is proud to have purchased and presented 126 copies of The Torah, A Women’s Commentary to the congregation for Torah study alongside the URJ’s The Torah, A Modern Commentary (Revised) by Rabbi Plaut.

Over the past 50 years, the Sisterhood of Temple Sholom, Women of Reform Judaism, has provided many programs to enrich the religious and educational lives of both our members and the congregation as a whole. We look forward to carrying on this tradition in the future and welcome new ideas and members as we continue to learn and worship together.

Social & Community Action – Justice, justice shall you pursue…
by Marie Henry & Joyce Cherry

For more than 100 years, inspired by Jewish traditions and values, the Women of Reform Judaism (“WRJ”) has pioneered social action in the Reform Movement and the Jewish community. From advancing women’s leadership and equality in Jewish life and in society at large to championing numerous critical social justice issues, WRJ has been at the forefront of major efforts in the work of tikkun olam, repairing the world. The Sisterhood of Temple Sholom has lived up to those standards and values.

In the early years of Temple Sholom, Sisterhood’s social action adhered to charity begins at home as it raised funds for items a new shul needs such as libraries, kitchens, furnishings and office equipment. As it became more established, Sisterhood helped those in the community around them and the world at large. In the late 1980’s Sisterhood contributed to the Armenian Earthquake Appeal and sponsored a Jewish camp for a youth group member. They participated in various community projects such as the Jewish Food bank and the Committee for Soviet Jewry.

In the 1990’s Sisterhood sponsored a Russian family to come to Canada. A very special program saw a workshop on Understanding the Impact of Aids in the Jewish Community that won them an award from WRJ. The program saw the famous AIDS quilt come to Temple Sholom and then led to the beginning of the Temple Sholom HIV Aids Committee. Funding also went to Emily Murphy Transition House, a vital resource for women fleeing violence in relationships. This involvement led to co-sponsoring Peace in the Home – Shalom Bayit, along with Jewish Women International, to address problem of domestic violence in the Jewish community. Our Sisterhood also donated to the UAHC Disaster Relief Fund and gave funds for a vandalized church. When the Jewish Family Services Agency struggled with a lack of funding along with an increase in demands for services our Sisterhood made a donation of $2,500 that was acknowledged in the Jewish press in the hopes that it would spark other organizations to do the same.

Dress me for success logoAs the new millennium approached Sisterhood was still involved in helping women fleeing violence into transition shelters. Who can forget the whimsical Homes for Hope Pins that were sold with the proceeds donated to shelters. Made in the shapes of houses everyone owned several in different styles and colours. Sisterhood has participated for some time in Dress for Success in order to help provide women with appropriate clothing to re-enter the workforce after an absence. In addition to collecting business clothing and accessories our Runfor theCureSisterhood members also volunteer at the DFS shop. Sisterhood sponsored teams in the annual Run for the Cure for Breast Cancer for a number of years raising thousands of dollars in pledges. Sisterhood also collects clothing & toiletries for WISH. Adults in need were not forgotten and several Sweater Drives were launched to collect warm winter wear to be given to charities in need of such items. For a while there was a monthly donation project to collect items with themes such as Jam in January and Prescription Glasses for Third World Countries. The lobby of Temple Sholom was awash in collection boxes!

Ovarian Cancer Walk of HopeA new lifesaving program called Think Ovarian Cancer – Listen to the Whisper, saw many of our congregation learning about this disease affecting so many. Another very important presentation program in 2009 brought Addressing Human Trafficking in BC to everyone’s attention with the persistence of its originator, Marnie Besser. This program led to the spearheading of a successful lobby to the Canadian Senate for the passing of Bill C268 regarding the minimum sentencing for the trafficking of minors. Another award winning program to be proud of.pajama%20clipart


As the next decade came about and Sisterhood was still involved in helping the transition houses and shelters for women and children fleeing violence, an important new program was started called Bedtime Kits for Kids, filling backpacks with donated pyjamas, toiletries, underwear and some comfort items for children who arrive at a shelter with nothing but what they are wearing. Not forgetting our world at large Sisterhood sponsored a sub-group called Tikun Olam Gogos whose function is to raise awareness and funds for the grandmothers of sub-Saharan Africa who raise the more than 18 million orphans left behind from the AIDS pandemic. This group sponsored 2 fun African dinners at Temple Sholom and has raised over $100,000 in donations!

Lone_Tree_1600In 2014 Sisterhood sponsored another very important award-winning program, A Community Conversation about Death and Dying. This community wide successful forum saw 350 people attend to hear a presentation from expert panelists around this important but often unspoken subject. It was hosted by Stephen Quinn and included panelists from health, ethical, legal and spiritual fields.
Still remembering the vulnerable households in Vancouver, Sisterhood made contributions to Tikva Housing Society.

WHEW – that was a lot of activity over the decades and it did not reflect on half of the programs, donations and involvements of our wonderful Sisterhood to assist in the social action and social justice that is commanded of us! May the next 50 years be as productive.

50 Years of Connection to the Women of Reform Judaism and its Pacific District

The Sisterhood of Temple Sholom is a proud member of the Women of Reform Judaism and its WRJ Pacific District. From the receipt of our charter fifty years ago from the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, renamed Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) in 1993, to the present day, our Sisterhood members have benefited from and participated in the national and regional activities of Sisterhoods across North America. Our Sisterhood is a member of the Pacific District, which represents 57 Sisterhoods in the Western United States and Canada. Our Sisterhood members, Bonnie Gertsman, Carol Walker, Gayda Coblin, Donna Ornstein, Toni Kennedy and Alexis Rothschild, have had the honour and responsibility of serving on the District Board in various capacities and Alexis Rothschild has also served on the WRJ Board. We are proud that the Sisterhood has been, and continues to be, represented at these levels of governance and decision making.

Susan Bass

Susan Bass

All WRJ sisterhoods have the benefit of obtaining a guest speaker from the WRJ or Pacific District Speakers Bureau in alternate years with all the travel costs covered. We have taken advantage of this many times, bringing in most of the recent Pacific District Presidents (Ellen Bick, Phyllis Bigelson) and also several WRJ Board members (Sara Charney, Susan Bass) where they participate in our Sisterhood Shabbats and join us in leadership training.

Dolores Wilkenfeld

Dolores Wilkenfeld

However, the highlight of all the recent visits was when, in recognition of our 40th anniversary in 2006, Sisterhood celebrated with a “Shabbaton Weekend” featuring guest of honour Dolores Wilkenfeld from Houston, Texas. Dolores is a past president the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods. Our request to have Dolores as our guest speaker was well received, and very appropriate. During her presidency, Dolores had signed our replacement Sisterhood Charter, the original having been destroyed when our temple on 10th Avenue was fire bombed.

Additionally, some of our members had had the pleasure of meeting Dolores at District Biennials and knew her for her talent as a speaker as well as for her sparkling personality (and her resemblance to Queen Elizabeth!) She was, and still is, widely known and highly respected in WRJ circles. It was a warm and wonderful celebration for all those involved.

In addition to the many local activities of our Sisterhood, there are Pacific District Area Days and Conventions and a biennial National WRJ Assembly that bring together members from across North America. These events provide an important venue for networking with other Jewish women, revitalizing and energizing members, and sharing ideas for innovative programming. Our members have been active participants in these events from our earliest days. Here are just a few memories from Sisterhood members who have served on the Pacific District and WRJ Boards over the years.

  • Bonnie Gertsman remembers attending a convention in San Diego in the early 1970s and being the only Canadian. They wanted to play the Canadian national anthem, but didn’t have the music, so Bonnie was called upon to lead it. She’s thankful that this was before everyone had a video recorder on their phone!
  • Carol Walker served on the District Board as Recording Secretary and Vice-President for a number of years following her Presidency of the Sisterhood. She loved the women-led services at Pacific District conventions, which included guest Women Rabbis before there Women Rabbis in Canada. She also remembers how involved and passionate the members were in lobbying government on a variety of important issues, always working toward making the world a better place. During this time, our Sisterhood, the only Canadian Reform Jewish Sisterhood member of our Pacific District, began winning recognition for our Tikun Olam and Tzedakah projects. By then, the Canadian and American National Anthems were always included at the Opening of each Biennial and our Sisterhood, being unique, always received a very warm welcome and much appreciation.
  • Gayda Coblin served on the Pacific Board for nearly 10 years and recalls that as Recording Secretary for the District, someone suggested that she had misspelled ‘cheque’ in the minutes (those Americans and their checks)! One of her fondest memories comes from the first Pacific District Board meeting following the Vancouver Olympics when the entire group cheered and clapped as she entered the room – in honour of the wonderful face Vancouver had showed the world with the Olympics.

    Sara Charney & Donna Ornstein

    Sara Charney & Donna Ornstein

  • Donna Ornstein served on the Pacific District Board first as Corresponding Secretary and then as VP Marketing, including creating their first weekly email newsletters and keeping their website up to date. She recalls the excitement of attending over six Pacific District conventions and seeing our Sisterhood win so many Kavod awards for our projects year after year that we started using the moniker “award winning” with our name. We came home from conventions filled with excitement and ideas for our Sisterhood which we have introduced over the years.
  • Toni Kennedy joined Sisterhood when she moved to Vancouver in July 2007. She found a welcoming and engaging community through her involvement in Sisterhood and was soon serving on the local Board and attending Pacific District Area Days and Conventions. Now serving on the District Board for her second term, in addition to her position on the local Board, she is the liaison between the Pacific District and five other Sisterhoods in Washington State. Joining Sisterhood at Temple Sholom was the beginning of a little ripple in a pond that just keeps getting bigger and bigger and has allowed her to connect with so many wonderful women that she can now call friends.

    Alexis Rothschild

    Alexis Rothschild

  • Alexis Rothschild served on the WRJ Board and the District Board including being on a number of committees with women from across North America. She had the opportunity to get to know many women and the issues facing Reform congregations during these changing and challenging times. In 2013, the WRJ centennial year, Alexis traveled to Israel with WRJ and attended Rosh Chodesh with the Women of the Wall. She also attended the Fried Leadership Conference in the birthplace of American Reform Judaism in Cincinnati, Ohio. Alexis reflected that she always returns renewed and energized, ready to share her enthusiasm with Sisterhood following these experiences. She now has friends across North America that she made during her years of serving Sisterhood.

One of the highlights of the various conventions and assemblies is the presentation of Pacific District Kavod Awards and National WRJ Or Ami Awards for outstanding programming and projects. Our Sisterhood has been the recipient of many of these awards. Among the programs to receive awards and recognition at both the District and National levels are:

  • Dedication of 126 Copies of “The Torah: A Women’s Commentary” to Temple Sholom and the Establishment of the “Rosh Chodesh Renewal” Program
  • “Think Ovarian” … Listen to the Whispers Presentation
  • Camp Kalsman Campership Fund/Fashion Show Projecttorahcommentaryflyer
  • Combating Human Trafficking
  • Tikkun Olam Gogos
  • Live, Learn and Celebrate Shabbat Seminars
  • The Sisterhood Choir and Original Compositions
  • The Blessings Wall Project
  • A Community Conversation about Death and Dying
  • Annual Autumn Fling Fundraiser
  • Leadership Initiatives and Training programs

Fundraising to support the many projects of Sisterhood is one component in our mandate. An ongoing initiative of WRJ is the Youth, Education, and Special Projects (YES) Fund. The YES Fund represents the collective financial efforts of individual donors and WRJ-affiliated Sisterhoods to strengthen the Reform Movement and ensure the future of Reform Judaism. YES Fund grants provide Reform Jewish institutions and individuals worldwide with the tools necessary for religious, social, and educational growth and enhance Jewish life by supporting clergy, cultivating women’s leadership, advocating for social justice, providing programming, and offering support. The YES Fund was named in 1955, but the tzedakah roots of WRJ that initially were centered around rabbinic scholarships date to 1913, the same year the organization was founded.

Sisterhood Dormitory in Cincinnati

Sisterhood Dormitory in Cincinnati

Among the projects that have been supported by the YES Fund are building the dormitory at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, establishing the Jewish Braille Institute (JBI International), founding the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), and helping to create the first URJ summer camp. One of the fundraising projects of the YES Fund are packs of note cards, particularly High Holy Day cards, as well as general cards.

YES Fund Pomegranate Card

YES Fund Pomegranate Card

While the main focus of the Temple Sholom Sisterhood, Women of Reform Judaism, is our local members, Temple Sholom and the Vancouver community, we always remember that we are part of a larger whole – a community of Jewish women that stretches across North America and beyond with our relationship with the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). We have much to learn and much to give by joining our efforts together by participating in WRJ initiatives and events. For more information about WRJ, the Pacific District and WUPJ, please check out the following websites:



Jan Pollack Volunteer Recognition Award Recipient: Alexis Rothschild

Jan Pollack Volunteer Recognition Award Recipient: Reesa Devlin

Jan Pollack Volunteer Recognition Award Recipient: Bonnie Gertsman

March 18-19: Shabbaton Weekend
May 29: Tour of the Landscape of the Museum of Anthropology
June 18: Jan Pollack Volunteer Recognition Award Recipient: Joyce Cherry

June 19: Jan Pollack Volunteer Recognition Award Recipient: Donna Ornstein

Jan Pollack Volunteer Recognition Award Recipient: Gayda Coblin

Jan Pollack Volunteer Recognition Award Recipients: Marie Henry, Sara Ciacci, Jean Angus


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