ALL ARE WELCOME – ALL ARE INCLUDED
Every woman of Beth Chaim automatically becomes a part of our Sisterhood, regardless of personal faith traditions or financial considerations.
"Sisterhood is the essence of all the wisdom of the ages, distilled into a single word. You cannot see Sisterhood, neither can you hear it nor taste it. But you can feel it a hundred times a day. It is a pat on the back, a smile of encouragement. It's someone to share with, to celebrate your achievements." — Anonymous
We are all connected. We are connected as young mothers shepherding our tots to and from the Tree of Life preschool. We are connected as "in-the-trenches" parents chauffeuring our tweens and teens to and from Chugim and Beit Midrash, overseeing B'nei Mitzvah preparations, or guiding our children to college and into adulthood. We are connected as providers as we work to support ourselves, or our families. We are connected as caregivers as we balance tending to our parents, our children, or our friends. We are connected as spouses, as partners, as mothers, as daughters, as aunties, as nieces, or as siblings. But, no matter how we are connected by our shared experiences, we are foremost connected as women. We are part of that unique collective of feminine energy and intuitive understanding that we can't see, taste, or hear, but that we can feel.
Our lives are busy. Each of us has a long list of to-dos. We can get overwhelmed as we multi-task our days away. We can get tired, and our heads can become full of worry — Are we doing it right? Are we doing enough? Did we forget anything? As a result, the last item on our list is sometimes ”us.”
Sisterhood offers a chance to move ”us“ up the list, to do something for ourselves. Sisterhood offers a break from the to-dos and the demands. Sisterhood offers friendship, support, and understanding. It offers a place to be among that unique collective of feminine energy and intuitive understanding.
The Sisterhood of Beth Chaim was established with two primary goals: to strengthen the personal bonds of friendship among the women of our congregation, and to provide support for our synagogue when and where needed. Some of the Sisterhood programs currently offered help all of us connect to ourselves, to each other, to our temple, and to our community.
B'nei Mitzvah Program We take an active role in the B'nei Mitzvah program, sharing the richness of these simchas and honoring our young adults with a gift from the Sisterhood.
Chesed We act as a support group for our community during life-cycle events and provide care, meals, visits, and comfort at times of sorrow.
L'Dor Vador For over 10 years, our youth have been leading the Sisterhood-sponsored Bingo night at The Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living. This ongoing mitzvah provides a wonderful opportunity for cross-generational connection.
Shabbat Each year the Sisterhood holds a women-only Shabbat service where our members lead and participate fully in the service with prayer, music, and personal experiences.
Rosh Chodesh Group Rosh Chodesh means the beginning (or head) of the month, and has long been recognized as a woman's holiday celebrated exclusively by women. Why do women merit a special holiday once a month? The special connection between women and Rosh Chodesh harkens back to the episode of the Golden Calf, when the women refused to surrender their jewelry for use in making the idol. As a reward, they were given Rosh Chodesh as a day that they observe more than the men. According to kabbalistic teachings, women share a special relationship with the moon, and as such, they have special reason to celebrate Rosh Chodesh.
Our group celebrates the beginning of each new Hebrew month, and honors the sacred cycle of time. Rosh Chodesh offers our sisters the opportunity to explore what Judaism means to them, and how it impacts their lives. This monthly gathering takes place at different members’ homes and is led either by the hostess, a volunteer leader, or by the Rosh Chodesh coordinator (hostess's choice). Socializing, light refreshments, and meaningful discussion abound.
Book Group Our book group meets monthly, and alternates its book selections between Judaic and secular authors and themes. The book selections will challenge your thinking and broaden your mind. In addition, we periodically host authors, attend literary events, and hold special theme nights. Socializing, light refreshments and lively discussion are part of the evening.
Ladies-Who-Lunch Group Our lunch group meets regularly to nosh at many of the local Danville/San Ramon restaurants. This gathering offers an easy, relaxed way to get to know your fellow sisters. For stay-at-home moms, this is a nice break before you have to pick up the kids after school; if you work in Danville, this is an easy way to grab a quick lunch with friends.
Hammantaschen Bake-A-Thon In the Spring, we bring our Hammantaschen dough from our favorite recipes and come together to bake up delicious treats — 20 dozen, in fact — for our temple-wide Purim event.
Annual Sisterhood Kick-Off Dinner Each year, after the high holidays, Sisterhood holds its annual dinner and donation request to start off the new year. Dues are not required in Sisterhood. However, we do rely on the volunteerism of our members and annual donations to support our events and fund our inter-community programs. This is a wonderful time to meet new people or reconnect with old friends as we begin the new year.
Sisterhood Chanukah Potluck and Gift Swap This favorite holiday party is held at a member's home, and everyone signs up to bring a dish of choice. In addition, the Not-So-White Elephant Gift Exchange, where people vie to walk away with the best present, allows us to relax and get to know each other — and enjoy some good-natured laughter, too.
Adopt-A-Family Every holiday season, Beth Chaim sponsors multiple families through the Adopt-A-Family program. Sisterhood provides holiday support to one of the families in need.
VAV What is VAV? VAV is both a letter and word. The Hebrew letter portrays a bridge in structure, signifying connection and physical space, while the word means ’hook,’ and is said to be the link/bridge between the physical and spiritual. This program offers a bridge for each of us to find connection between our physical and spiritual selves. The events are an opportunity for learning, where the meaning of rituals will be explained and demonstrated. The evenings begin with socializing, followed by learning and ritual observance.
#Thursday #Thursday offers our sisters a chance to relax and connect on a monthly basis at a variety of venues.
In addition to these programs, we also schedule special events such as painting parties, dinners, movie nights, or lectures. These special events are always changing.
We're always looking to build on this foundation of recurring programs, and expanding the opportunities for each of us to nurture our minds, bodies, and spirits within this unique collective. Come and find out what we are all about. We welcome your ideas and, more importantly, your friendship. Let us be your new BFFs.