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Amendments to the Sisterhood bylaws have been proposed and will be voted on in an upcoming Sisterhood meeting. Click here to view proposed amendments.

 

EVENTS | NEWS | JOIN

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Annual Sisterhood Open House and Breast Cancer Awareness Event

October 30, 6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Miller Room

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sisterhood will hold an educational event on October 30th, from 6:30-8:30 PM in the Miller Room. This event kicks off the Sisterhood year and we hope you will join us to learn more about all Sisterhood has to offer.

Ellen Lairson, a Nurse Practitioner with the Ruth J. Spear Breast Center, will talk about the definition of high risk, the new Oregon law that mandates reporting on breast density, the new study on Ashkenazi Jews, and testing for the BRCA gene.

This breast cancer awareness event will be an opportunity for Sisterhood to support the Ruth J. Spear Breast Center, which offers access to state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging techniques to ensure accurate and timely diagnoses. Located at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, the Spear Center has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

Light refreshments and beverages will be served. Come enjoy a special pink cocktail prepared by our Brotherhood friends. An RSVP is not necessary, but will help us to plan. RSVP to Stephanie Siegel This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Sisterhood-Sponsored Tot Shabbat

November 1, 9:30 AM
Pollin Chapel

Please join us for a service aimed at our youngest members. Following the service, Sisterhood will have an age-appropriate craft project for little ones and parents and/or grandparents, as well as snacks for everyone.

 

Gift Shop Happenings

Fall hours:
2nd & 4th Fridays, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
Sundays, 9:15 AM-12:15 PM

Volunteer: We always need volunteers in the Gift Shop. Please contact Debbie Braymer, Gift Shop Volunteer Coordinator, at (503) 649-8043 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Share College Contact Info for Your Students and We’ll Share the Love

The Sisterhood College Communications Committee wants to send your US-based military or college student a care package this Chanukah! Member children in college, graduate school, professional educational programs, and military service are included. We let them know we’re thinking of them and wishing them well while they’re away. The students love getting our Chanukah and Purim packages filled with the Jewish Mother’s version of the care package - packets of soup and cocoa and dreidels and gelt or hamentashen and groggers. We include a student directory, a note from Rabbi Cahana, and anything else we think might interest or benefit them. We also slip in a Starbucks gift card when possible.

We’re updating our mailing list for Chanukah and need your help. Parents, please contact Kathleen Doctor by November 14 at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (650) 464-5946 with the following:

  • Name of student or military member
  • Student email address
  • College attending or branch of service
  • Address
  • Year in school
  • Permission to include name and email in student directory
  • Any dietary restrictions

Contact Kathleen if you have a few hours to help with the boxing and shipping of the packages. We’ll be shipping the first week in December, or you can pick up your child’s care package at CBI.

This is a free service made possible by Beth Israel Sisterhood budgeted funds and member donations. The next time you plan to give a tribute, please consider the Urman Family College Communication Fund.

 

Next Generation (NG) Sisterhood

NG-sisterhood

Are you in your 20's or 30's or do you know a woman in her 20's or 30's who wants to learn more about Beth Israel Sisterhood, but isn't sure if it is right for her?

Join us at Next Generation Sisterhood as we find our place in sisterhood together! The goal of NG Sisterhood is to give women a place to feel comfortable and build a strong network within the Portland Jewish community. We will be hosting some fun events that are open to all! Join our Facebook page "NG Sisterhood" or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

New Board Elected to Serve Two-Year Terms

The Board of Directors of the WRJ/Beth Israel Sisterhood is pleased to announce the election of Executive Officers and the appointment of Committee Chairs and Members-at-Large to the Board of Directors of the Sisterhood for the two-year term, July 2014 - June 2016.

Executive Officers
Co-President: Linda Harrison
Co-President: Stephanie Siegel
Recording Secretary: Michael Richman
Corresponding Secretary: Diane Lowensohn
Treasurer: Bianca Urdes
Parliamentarian: Leah Letts
Immediate Past President: Kate Royston

Congratulations and thanks to all of the women who serve our sisterhood, our synagogue, and our community. Click here to view the entire WRJ/BIS Board of Officers, Chairs and Members-at-Large.

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NEWS

Rosh Hashanah Sweets Table & Break-the-Fast 5775

Every year it is Sisterhood's pleasure to present a display of sweets for our congregants to enjoy following Rosh Hashanah services and to serve noshes for congregants to break the fast. This year, as CBI executive director Sydney Baer said, "The sweets were extraordinary; both beautiful and delicious and lovingly trayed! Everyone really outdid themselves." Toda raba to Leslie Geller for organizing the sweets project. She had plenty of help with baking and preparing the trays.

Kate Royston was in charge of the Break-the-Fast, and did a wonderful job. It is so nice to have a nosh following the conclusion of Yom Kippur services. Toda raba to you, Kate with help from Lynne Bartenstein and Debbie and David Braymer. We want to thank Leslie and Kate, and all who helped, baking, tray preparation, and those who donated funds for these projects. You are all a blessing!

Sisterhood-RH-sweets

Many thanks to our cookie trayers shown above and bakers and contributors listed below:

Lynn Tobias, Stephanie Siegel, Terri Warren, Daphna Stadig, Ellen Bick, Eve Rosenfeld, Sally Rosenfeld, Jaime Kean, Cristina Draghicescu, Geri Cullers, Sarah Krakauer, Eleanore Rubinstein, Gerry & Morrie Jackson, Kathleen Doctor, Linda Harrison, Diane Lowensohn, Leah Letts, Sally Swire, Daureen Morris, Debbie Braymer, Susan Milstein, Dorota Sinclair, Ned Duhnkrack, Lynda Robbins, Bonnie Davis, Keren Hoover, Janice Slonecker, Rebecca Cambreleng, Connie Cambreleng, Michael Richman, Cantor Judith Schiff, Joanne Treuhaft, Tiffany Rosenfeld, Julia Waldinger, Deborah Kaplan, Debbie Caldwell, Sarah Epstein, Lois Urman, Lynn Lertzmann, Joanie Rosenbaum, Sydney Baer, Gayle Wolff, and Leslie Geller.

 

Sisterhood Members Enjoy Summer Hike

Nine outdoorsy sisters ascended the Mirror Lake Trail on Mt Hood for a 4+ miles round trip hike. After the hike, the group returned to Cristina's house for lunch on the deck, beside a bubbling creek.

 Sisterhood-hike

 

The Many Faces of Dementia

Listen to the program. Click on the audio recording featured at top right of the page.

Thanks to all who attended our April 6th forum discussing “The Many Faces of Dementia.”Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Symptoms can also include changes in personality, mood, and behavior. Dementia develops when the parts of the brain that are involved with learning, memory, decision-making, and language are affected by one or more of a variety of infections or diseases. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, but there are as many as 50 other known causes.

Our guest speakers were David Douglas, MD, an expert on dementia with board certifications in psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry, who has worked in the field for the last 20 years; and Shelly Edwards, Outreach and Program Director, Oregon Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association®. We were also joined by Cantor Ida Rae Cahana.

Click here to listen to a beautiful blessing for caregivers, sung by Cantor Cahana.

 

Advocacy Update

On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Sibelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Conestoga Wood Specialties, Corp. v. Sebelius, two cases that grapple with important questions of religious liberty and reproductive rights and women's health.

Later that day, Women of Reform Judaism Executive Director Rabbi Marla J. Feldman joined President of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, CEO of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Rabbi Steve Fox and Director and Counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbi David Saperstein in a statement regarding oral argument. Read the Statement here.  

LEARN MORE

 

Gift Shop Committee

If you are interested in joining with others to figure out the future direction of our Sisterhood Judaica Gift Shop, please let us know. We are in the process of rethinking the shop and want your input. Just This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , with the heading "Gift Shop." Your participation is important.

 

New Way to Give: Pay Online for Dues and Donations

Now you can pay your sisterhood dues or make a donation to any of the sisterhood funds online on the CBI website! It's easy. Click here. After you fill in your name and contact information, look down to "Choose a fund. " This has a drop down menu with lots of choices. Look at the lower portion of the drop down list for the sisterhood funds. Right below the funds list is "WRJ Beth Israel Sisterhood Annual Dues Contribution." It is as easy as choosing the fund or dues and indicating how much you wish to contribute.

 Our dues are:

  • $18 child/student (Ruth)
  • $36 (Sarah)
  • $54 (Rachel)
  • $72 (Deborah)
  • $108 (Miriam)

Our funds are:

  • Bikkur Holim - Hope in Life
  • Prayer Book ($36 each)
  • Service to the Blind
  • Sisterhood Furnishings
  • Sisterhood Programming, Leadership, & Enrichment

Thanks for supporting your sisterhood.

 

BIS Honored with Gold Or Ami Award

Sisterhood-Or-Ami-award-BiennialWRJ/Beth Israel Sisterhood has been honored with the distinguished Gold WRJ Or Ami "Light of My People" Award for social justice programmatic achievement during 2011-13 for our program on child trafficking in the Portland area. US Representative Suzanne Bonamici and Deputy Keith Bickford of OATH (Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans) were featured speakers at the March 2, 2013 program, which also included a moving performance by the Agnieszka Laska Dancers. The awardees were recognized during WRJ's 49th Assembly & Centennial Celebration, Dec. 11-15, 2013 in San Diego, CA. This is the third Or Ami Award our sisterhood has won over the past three assemblies.

Portland has been identified as an area where child sex trafficking is particularly rampant. Members of the BIS Advocacy and Social Action Committee wanted to learn about the scope of the problem, identify who was at risk, who was working to eradicate the problem, and what could be done to help. The result was a well-structured forum in which to share findings and spur the community to action. Attendees had an opportunity to speak with the experts one-on-one following the formal presentation. Daphna Stadig, chair of the committee, was instrumental in planning and organizing the program, which was free and open to the entire Portland community.

Listen to the entire program from the audio track on the right side of this page.

"I am proud and grateful that our sisterhood was able to bring awareness and inspire action in our community," said Linda Harrison-Fintzy, Beth Israel Sisterhood President. "Receiving this award is a considerable honor and will hopefully inspire others to take action in their own communities to aid the vulnerable victims of child trafficking."

Established in 1973, the WRJ Or Ami "Light of My People" Award recognizes social justice, community service, and educational programming that is exemplary and serves as a model for other WRJ Districts and women's groups. The awards are given biennially and coincide with WRJ's Assembly. For the period of 2011-13, there were 66 applications from WRJ affiliates in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. Based on selection criteria including quality, program content, replication potential, and impact, there were six programs in each of the following categories: Gold, Silver, and Bronze (with Gold being the highest category, followed by Silver, and then Bronze).

"As we celebrate WRJ's Centennial year, we are pleased to recognize exceptional WRJ District and women's group programming with this renowned award," said Lynn Magid Lazar, WRJ President. "These programs represent WRJ's continued commitment to tikkun olam (repairing the world) for the past 100 years and they will ensure that commitment will continue for the next 100 years and beyond."

 

volunteerVolunteer Opportunities: We need your help!

We always need volunteers for our gift shop. We'll train you. It's not a full-time commitment. Try a shift a month. If you are willing to volunteer or want more information, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Are You the Parent of a College Student or a US-Based Member of the Military?

The Sisterhood College Communications Committee is updating our mailing list of CBI members who are current college students or US-based members of the military. We send two packages a year, usually at Chanukah and Purim, to keep in touch with our kids, let them know we're thinking of them, and to wish them well while they're away at school or the military. We send the Jewish Mother's version of a care package, with packets of soup and cocoa, dreidels and gelt, or hamentashen and groggers. We include a student directory, a note from Rabbi Cahana, and anything else we think might interest/benefit them. We also slip in a Starbucks or iTunes gift card when possible.

This is a free service made possible by funds directly budgeted by our sisterhood, member donors, and the Urman Family College Communication Fund. The next time you plan to give a tribute, please consider the Urman Family College Communication Fund.

 

Bikur Cholim

Food for the Body and Spirit

bikur-cholimDo you know about Sisterhood's Bikur Cholim project? Daphna Stadig leads a group of cooks in preparing food for families in our congregation in need of assistance: perhaps a family member is ill or injured or in the hospital; maybe there is a new baby; or there has been a death in the family.

Whatever the reason, if you need help, please contact a member of our clergy in the CBI office (503-222-1069) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We will be ready with food to feed the body and spirit.

 

 

Attention All Past Beth Israel Sisterhood Leaders: WHO HAS ALL THAT STUFF?

early sisterhood

The year 2017 is the 100th anniversary of our sisterhood and for that occasion's celebrations archival material will play an important role. For that reason, as well as for the need to keep all of our sisterhood's story safe, we urge you to bring whatever materials you have - documents, artifacts, photographs, whatever - to the Oregon Jewish Museum (OJM) so they can be cataloged for preservation and easy accessibility.

Rose Rustin reports, "Michael Wood Richman and I are at OJM most Monday mornings and have come close to completing our work on the material given to OJM, but we know there are huge gaps in the sisterhood story. For example, we have found practically nothing on the Braille Project, yet we know it was at one time a significant part of Sisterhood's program."

"WHO HAS ALL THAT STUFF? Look in your closets. Bring any Sisterhood material to OJM, any week day. We'll welcome and thank you for anything you bring to us."

If you are unable to get to the OJM, please bring your materials to the CBI office and ask that it be put aside for Rose.

 

WRJ Centennial Moments

Social justice and advocacy are among the hallmarks of National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods/Women of Reform Judaism. Our sisterhoods annually support soup kitchens, public schools, nursing homes, community gardens, and other institutions in their local communities. They also contribute to disaster relief efforts in times of crisis and support global initiatives around the world.

Altogether, sisterhoods and women's groups contribute an average of $2500 annually to such causes or $1,250,000 collectively. That's about $85,000,000 over the course of our hundred year history for non-Reform social justice causes.

 

 

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Join Sisterhood!

Your membership makes the difference. We are stronger together. Your dues support our religious & pre-schools and special projects here at CBI, as well as our work with those in need in our community, and provide significant support to our parent organization, Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ). Sisterhood is one of the most vital organizations at Congregation Beth Israel.

We invite you to join us by becoming a member or renewing your membership.

You can download a membership form here.

Dues

Did you know that unless you indicate payment be applied specifically to your Sisterhood dues, all payments will go to your CBI dues and other fees first? Please support Sisterhood by paying your dues today. Dues levels are:

  • $18 child/student (Ruth)
  • $36 (Sarah)
  • $54 (Rachel)
  • $72 (Deborah)
  • $108 (Miriam)

You can check the "Sisterhood Dues" box on your CBI billing or send a check, payable to Congregation Beth Israel, marked "WRJ/BIS Dues."  

You can also now pay your dues online! Click here to do so. After you fill in your name and contact information, look down to "Choose a fund. " This has a drop down menu with lots of choices. Look at the lower portion of the drop down list for the sisterhood funds. Right below the funds list is "WRJ Beth Israel Sisterhood Annual Dues Contribution."

If you have any questions about dues, please contact Sisterhood Treasurer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call 503-520-0759.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch Sisterhood in Action

Listen to our program on Many Faces of Dementia

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Listen to our program on Child Trafficking

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Sisterhood Membership

All Ages, All Stages - All That's Missing is YOU!

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Women of Reform Judaism/Beth Israel Sisterhood is a group of dynamic women at all ages and stages of life that come together for fun and friendship, spiritual growth and learning, and service and support of our synagogue and community. All that's missing is you!

Your membership makes the difference. We are stronger together. Your dues support our religious & pre-schools and special projects here at CBI, as well as our work with those in need in our community, and provide significant support to our parent organization, Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ). Sisterhood is one of the most vital organizations at Congregation Beth Israel.

We invite you to join us by becoming a member or renewing your membership.

You can download a membership form here.

Connect with WRJ/BIS

Sisterhood Mission

Mission: To bring women together to support and benefit Congregation Beth Israel and the community by providing opportunities for friendship, service, spiritual growth and learning.

Winner of 2009 & 2011
Or Ami "Light of My People" Awards
from WRJ for excellence in programming

Sisterhood Contacts

Co-Presidents 
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Recording Secretary
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Corresponding Secretary
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Treasurer
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Parliamentarian
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Immediate Past President
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Advocacy & Social Action
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College Outreach
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Fundraising
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Marketing & Communications
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Membership 
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Programming
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Religious Programming
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Goose Hollow Shelter Liaison
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Education and Youth Committee Liaison
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Shabbat Candle Lighting Coordinator
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All other inquiries 
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