Temple Beth Sholom | 1809 Whitney Ave, Hamden | (203) 288-7748 | tbshamden.com
By Sharon Rosenblatt Co-president of Temple Beth Sholom in Hamden.
When it comes to a synagogue’s Sisterhood or Hadassah or any women’s group, I think many women assume it will be the meetings our moms and grandmothers would whisk off to one weeknight a month. If you asked me to close my eyes and think about Sisterhood when I was a six-year-old girl, I’d smell my mom’s Crest toothpaste as she freshened up to help plan a fashion show or fundraiser at Temple Beth Sholom in Hamden.
Today, I’m a 36-year-old ‘girl’ and I am Temple Beth Sholom’s Sisterhood president, alongside Melissa Hammer. The age of our members ranges from their 20s to their 90s. I love this spread. Where else besides a synagogue would you talk mah jongg and Instagram simultaneously?
If your organization is lucky enough to have a dedicated women’s group, I urge you to join. In my fourth year of presidency, I’d like to share some of the joys and values I receive from this group:
COMMUNITY: I truly treasure the friendships I’ve made with women both younger and older than me. I was initially worried I’d be barking up the wrong tree and just making friends with my mom’s friends, which was moronically ageist of me. My mom has awesome friends who like me for me, and we have much more in common than I ever expected.
EDUCATION AND LEARNING: My other social circles don’t value learning and continual growth the way Sisterhood does. I have expanded my network with book clubs and lectures about immigration, the Torah, the Holocaust, and feminism, which I assure you I wouldn’t have done on my own.
CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH: My faith and connection with Judaism has grown in dynamic ways. I used to see aspects of religion as regimented and unchangeable, but Sisterhood has helped me find a new connection with unchanging prayers and to question long held beliefs.
SOCIAL CONNECTIONS AND FUN: It’s not all learning and fundraisers. I’ve had a blast planning just pure fun events with our members, including Zumba, paint nights, yoga, trivia, and even “Never Have I Ever” over Zoom.
LEADERSHIP AND TIKKUN OLAM: As Jewish women, we have an obligation to make the world better for generations to come. Sisterhood has taught me that leadership means growing outside yourself to benefit the greater good.
Of course, there are many more reasons to join Sisterhood. So, take a page from would-be Sisterhood member Beyoncé: “Okay, ladies, now let's get in formation.” Find your group and find your soul!
Sharon Rosenblatt can be reached at TBSsisterhood@gmail.com