OSRUI (Olin-Sang-Ruby-Union-Institute) was the setting for our recent WRJ (Women of Reform Judaism) Board meeting, which we both had the privilege of attending from May 16th-19th. This was the first time that a WRJ Board meeting was held at one of our URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) camps, and what an amazing experience it was! We spent four fabulous, informative, inspiring and fun-filled days with our fellow WRJ Board members, learning, worshipping, singing, voting, envisioning, collaborating, sharing laughter and tears, and bonding! We could go on and on for days about the camp setting, the beautiful Shabbat services, the delicious meals, the presentations, the campfire and s’mores, and the creative ways we raised money for the YES Fund, but maybe it’s best to summarize our time together by quoting our WRJ President Blair Marks:
“We were able to build relationships in a unique way, sharing thoughts on our vision for the future, enjoying worship together, passing a budget, adopting statements on the kidnapped Nigerian girls and on the balance between religious freedom & individual rights, hearing and developing plans for new initiatives, brainstorming, seeing the initial design for the new WRJ website, raising thousands for the YES Fund (who knew you could sell a cup of coffee for $36 and a milkshake for $18?!) and kicking back and relaxing.
We renewed our support of Women of the Wall and we launched the Ner Tamid Society for planned gifts – already more than 25 board members have committed to make an estate gift! The proxy voting task force had an initial discussion, as did several other committees and task forces. Our guests, URJ Senior Vice President Rabbi Jonah Pesner and NFTY President Andrew Keene, brought perspectives on where the movement is going and helped us think in new ways about WRJ’s evolution. Reports from Monica Solomon about our South African sisters’ activities and from Janet Stovin about efforts at the United Nations were informative and well received. We are moving forward on so many fronts!”
It is an honor to serve on the WRJ Board and we look forward to bringing you the latest and greatest news from WRJ as it continues to unfold!
Yours in Sisterhood,
Temple Beth Shalom Board Member-at-Large
WRJ Central District 1st Vice President
WRJ Board Member
Temple Beth Shalom Immediate Past President
WRJ Central District Treasurer
WRJ Board Member