What a great turnout for last Thursday's meeting on Marijuana, and the speaker did not disappoint - she was excellent! Photos are up on the Sisterhood website (tassisterhood.org - click on "Photos" on the menu). Check out all the smiling faces! Note that if you are unhappy with any picture on our website, just let us know and we will remove it.
One of the reasons we brought in a speaker on Marijuana is that politicians have changed the legal status of Marijuana recently. This made us think of Jewish women in politics. In 2018, women in high political leadership positions is thankfully nothing new. But in 1947, they were a rarity.
In 1947, Ana Pauker became the first ever female foreign minister when she was appointed to the job in Romania. Pauker was born in 1893 into a poor Orthodox family in Bucharest. She became a teacher in a Jewish school and active in the country’s socialist movement. She and her husband were repeatedly arrested for their activities and spent years in exile in the 1920s.
In 1934, she was arrested in Romania and imprisoned for seven years, until she was sent to the Soviet Union in a prisoner swap deal in 1941. There she became an unofficial leader in the Communist Party and volunteered with the Red Army. In 1944, she returned to Romania and in 1947 she was appointed foreign minister, a position she held for five years. But Pauker was then criticized – and some say scapegoated – for the party’s harsh activities and subservience to Moscow.
But later discoveries revealed that she tried to be a moderating force within the government, not always successfully. Pauker also worked to facilitate Romanian Jewish immigration to Israel. In 1952, she was forced out of the party, and in 1953, was arrested on charges of “international Zionism.” She was later released and died of cancer in 1960. To this day, she is considered a controversial figure in Romanian history.
Mark your calendars - here are the upcoming Sisterhood events through the end of June:
Thursday, March 21, 7pm - Holistic Health: Medical and Recreational Marijuana
Wednesday, April 3, 6pm - Sisterhood Seder
Sunday, April 28 - Pala Casino Trip (SOLD OUT!)
Friday, May 10, 7:30 pm - Sisterhood Shabbat
Thursday, May 16, 7pm - Israel Celebration
Sunday, June 9, - LOVE Luncheon honoring our volunteers
Sunday, June 23, 8:30am - MahJongg Tournament
Because the guest speaker at Thursday’s “Holistic Health: Medical and Recreational Marijuana” event is the Director of Addiction and Prevention Services at the Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Los Angeles, we bring you a brief history of JFS, Los Angeles’ oldest and most active charitable organization.
In 1854, when the entire population of Los Angeles was a whopping 1,610, the tiny Jewish community here established the Hebrew Benevolent Society which would become what it is today, the Jewish Family Service, the largest social service agency in Los Angeles.
In its inception, the volunteer group’s purpose was to collect funds from “those who have” and distribute them to “those who have not”. It’s first project was to purchase land for a cemetery to fulfill the commandment of burying the dead.
As the population of Los Angeles grew and the needs of the residents changed, the agency responded to the challenges by expanding the geographical area served and the range of services offered. Each different era brought with it its own needs and the agency responded to meet those needs. During the 1900s the agency experienced a great expansion of its services from the basic needs of food and shelter to specialized services such as immigration and resettlement, support services to survivors of the Holocaust and medical and child care. In 1946 the Hebrew Benevolent Society changed its name to Jewish Family Service to reflect its broadened array of programs.
Today, JFS has a reputation that stretches far beyond the Los Angeles area. It is known nationally and internationally for its excellence in services for children, families, individuals with disablities, survivors of violence, and older adults.
Two great programs are coming our way within the next three weeks.
Fenia co-founded the Socialist Women's Center in 1920, and the Trade Union of Women, with her sisters and Gabriela Laperriere and Rachel Messina. She participated in the first strikes of the workers and the trade union organization of workers in different industries, such as telephone, textiles, trade, and factories, contributing to enact laws for making Sunday a day of rest. She also denounced labor exploitation of minors, poor sanitary conditions in factories, and long working hours.
Just one of many examples of Jewish Latin women making a difference!
And now a message from
Your Temple Judaica Shop
Please pass the matzah!
Stop by the TAS Judaica shop and view our latest treasures for Passover!
A nice selection of toys and games, seder plates, matzah holders
and hostess gifts.
All proceeds benefit the projects and services provided by Sisterhood to TAS
and Women of Reform Judaism.
We are open during Friday Onegs and Sundays from 9 am to 11:30
(when school is in session)
Special appointments? Please call Laraine
Miller at 818-993-0796 or Linda Sculler at 818-701-7117.
Credit cards, checks and cash accepted!
First a word from our sponsor: Our next meeting is Thursday, March, 21, 7pm. The topic is Holistic Health: Medical and Recreational Marijuana. Details about the speaker can be found on our website, tassisterhood.org.
Sisterhood raises money through raffles at our monthly meetings and other fundraisers to offer camperships which help families afford to send their kids to Jewish camps. In this endeavor, we team up with MoTAS. We ask the kids to give back to Sisterhood and MoTAS in two ways: by volunteering a little bit of time and by writing a Thank You note.
The campership program gives kids the opportunity to actively contribute to the cost of attending camp. Having worked to earn a campership makes them value their time at camp more. And we have observed that the kids learn concrete skills when they volunteer. Once, when they were helping us with apples and honey, we had them gift wrap the honey jars for the clergy. We learned that none of them knew how to wrap a present, so we taught them how. Another time, a youth was helping make punch, which requires opening a can of pineapple juice with a church key. We instructed him on how to use a church key to open a can.
Camperships are just one of the ways that Sisterhood supports our youth. You can read about some of the other things we do on our website, tassisterhood.org, under "Mitzvot". We hope you will help us support our youth by participating in our fundraisers, or by donating directly to Sisterhood.
Speaking of attending camp, we tell of Elsie Reich. In the winter of 1945, Elsie Reich and her husband Harry bought seven acres of land in Salisbury, Connecticut. Harry was listed as the owner, but Elsie managed the property. She employed homeless people recommended to her by a New York City clergyman. In the summer of 1946, she opened Berkshire Hills Camp. It provided Jewish children with “amusement, recreation, entertainment and instruction.” Elsie Reich was only one of the many Jewish women who became involved with summer camping in the first half of the twentieth century.
Summer camps fostered the development of ethnic pride that helped children cope with the antisemitism that defined their young American lives. Summer camps also strengthened the Jewish child’s sense of self by providing an ethnic interpretation of American life. Jewishness was woven into the fabric of daily life. Hebrew place names, symbols, stories and plays textured the camp’s physical and cultural landscapes.
When Elsie Reich opened Berkshire Hills Camp in 1946, she was perpetuating a female tradition that had existed for thirty years. What was true then is still true today. Every summer, thousands of Jewish children have their Jewish identities forged and deepened through summer camp experiences. Sisterhood is proud to do their part in sustaining the Jewish camp experience for our kids.
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