Sisterhood Speaks – May 2017

A Word from Sisterhood

Carole Lebental, Sisterhood President

Our perspective on time varies so much throughout our lives. The clock seems to move faster or slower, as in the famous scenes in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” where the clock hands virtually spin around at times, and then creep at others. The calendar also speeds up and drags throughout our lives. We have “discretionary time”, “time on our hands” or, at some times in our lives, no time at all.

In planning our Sisterhood calendar of meetings, programs and events, we needed to ask ourselves how we can provide maximum value to our members’ lives. At what stage in women’s lives do they have the discretionary time to actively participate? To what extent can we expect them to attend functions, work on committees, serve as Board members, and chair committees? This has changed over the years. In speaking to one of our chairpersons, she recalls being Sisterhood president when she was in her early 40’s. That was more common when women did not pursue careers or postpone childbearing. They had ample discretionary time. Giving priority to children’s activities and career responsibilities now means that women have less discretionary time until later in their lives. That is the reason that so many sisterhoods and other volunteer activities are hard pressed to recruit active younger women. It also means that when we plan programs, they must be of value to busy women.

We have just completed work on our calendar for 2017-18. We have planned programs that we believe will meet this goal. We will also add additional activities to appeal to women who want personally enriching programs. We will continue to fulfill our mission to serve our Sisterhood and help fund Temple Beth El, the Women of Reform Judaism, and scholarships and camperships for our young people. We will continue to provide the food for the Onegei Shabbat and special events, sponsor the Hanukkah Party, Pesah seder, and hamentaschen. Our gift shop will continue its service to the Temple. Our book clubs will continue to provide intellectual stimulation to Sisterhood members. We invite all the women of Temple Beth El to participate in our activities and utilize whatever discretionary time they have to “give back” by joining us.