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2020-21 Executive Committee

President: Jill Jacob
President-Elect: Margie Corwin
Co-VP for Communications: Debby Joseph
Co-VP for Communications: Ronnie Kweller
Treasurer: Ellen Snyder
VP for Education/Programming: Rona Walters
VP for Membership: June Kress
Parliamentarian: Marian Fox
Corresponding Secretary: Robin Berman
Recording Secretary: Helen Kramer
Gift Shop Co-Managers: Jean Bernard, Marian Fox, Susan Winberg
Torah Fund Chair: Rona Walters

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A Community of Sisterhood, the Bonds of Friendship:

The Adas Israel Congregation is a 2020 recipient of the Women's League for Conservative Judaism's Jewels in the Crown Award, presented to sisterhoods that have demonstrated excellence in education, cultural programming, and social action and exhibit a strong Women’s League identity.

Sisterhood operates the Ruth & Simon Albert Sisterhood Gift Shop.  As part of the Women's League for Conservative Judaism, Sisterhood raises dollars for Torah Fund, which supports five Conservative/Masorti seminaries across the globe. Sisterhood gifts each Adas b'nai mitzvah celebrant with a kiddush cup to use in their Shabbat observance. Your Sisterhood is here to help when you are in need, comfort you in a time of loss, celebrate simchas, or just be a listening ear.


Sisterhood is continuing to offer quality events and programming focused on arts and culture, Jewish traditions and rituals, and social action.  Ongoing programs include Weekday Torah with Sisterhood, "Get Happy" Hours, Coffee Klatches, Sewing, Knitting and Craft group, and Book Discussions. In addition, special events during the past year have focused on the historical role of Jewish women, the diverse and inspiring careers of Sisterhood members, domestic violence and mental health issues during the pandemic, and women’s pathways to the pulpit. 

We are a Community of Sisterhood, joined by the bonds of friendship. Please join us!

For more information email VP of Membership, June Kress.


Ongoing Programs

Weekday Torah with Sisterhood

Monthly, Tuesdays at 10 am, on Zoom
Classes will resume September 2021

Weekday Torah with Sisterhood is an engaging approach to traditional text study that offers participants the opportunity to study and discuss challenging texts and ideas. Students of all levels and backgrounds are welcome. Please contact Marilyn Cooper ( with questions, or if you would like a link to the Zoom Torah study class.


Members-only Sunday Salons: future salons to be announced!

*Sisterhood Salons are members-only events.



Knit, Sew and Craft Group

Monthly, 1st Wednesday at 7:30 pm, on Zoom
Classes will resume September 2021

Please email Lesley Frost at if you would like to receive meeting notices and the Zoom link.

In addition to the monthly Zoom meetings, members are continuing to work at home on Comfort Shawls and caps for members of the Adas Israel family who are dealing with cancer and other health issues. Members also provide baby hats to welcome the newest members of the Adas community.

Knitting co-chair Rita Segerman packed up 118 beautiful, handmade hats and scarves for distribution by the Edlavitch DCJCC to those in need. Rita also manages a large supply of donated wool. Please contact Rita (; 301-654-2304) regarding wool or suggested yarns, patterns, and needle sizes for your group projects. 

For any other information, please contact Lesley (; 201-787-7941).

In photo: Anat Bar-Cohen, Arlette Jassel, and Lesley Frost working on the new High Holiday Torah mantles.


Sisterhood Cares

To mark simchas and milestones and for condolences, contact Leah Hadad (


Adas Israel Book Club

Rose Ruth Freudberg Memorial Sisterhood Library

Led by Adas Israel Librarian Robin Jacobson, the Adas Israel Book Club meets periodically to discuss a book of Jewish interest. For further information, please contact Robin Jacobson (

If you would like to mark your calendar with this year’s full schedule of online book programs, please check the Rose Ruth Freudberg Memorial Sisterhood Library page.


Book Chat: The Lost Shtetl by Max Gross

Sunday, July 25, 11 am | Register here

Click here for Robin's review of "The Lost Shtetl"

Join us to discuss "The Lost Shtetl" by Max Gross, a fun work of speculative fiction that won a 2020 National Jewish Book Award. Surrounded by a deep Polish forest, the Yiddish-speaking village of Kreskol has had no contact with the modern world for generations. Following a crazy series of events, Kreskol is rediscovered. 


Torah Fund


TORAH FUND 2020-21 Campaign Well on Its Way!

As part of the Women's League for Conservative Judaism, we raise dollars for Torah Fund which supports five Conservative seminaries across the globe, educating clergy and lay leaders. Your donation helps provide housing, tuition scholarships, and university infrastructure for the next generation of Jewish leaders.

Torah Fund strengthens Jewish education by supporting scholarships and programming at five Conservative/Masorti institutes of higher Jewish learning:

  • Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
  • Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies (Los Angeles)
  • Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem)
  • Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano (Buenos Aires)
  • Zacharias Frankel College (Potsdam, Germany)

Women’s League and Torah Fund are proud to support the education of the future rabbis, cantors, educators, and scholars who will serve as the gifted leaders and innovators of the Conservative Movement. Torah Fund has raised more than $105 million since its inception as a grassroots fund-raising campaign.

Individual donors to Torah Fund at the Benefactor level or higher receive the distinctive Torah Fund pin in recognition of their gift. The new pin for the 2020-21 program year says “B’Yachad,” the Hebrew word for “together.”

You may make donations online at the button below, or send a check payable to:

"Torah Fund"
c/o Rona Walters, Torah Fund Chair
5117 Linnean Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008

Donations may not be charged to your Adas Israel account.


Past Special Events and Recordings

Sisterhood Shabbat, February 27, 2021

Sisterhood Shabbat 2021 was a great success, thanks to the creativity and dedication of the planning committee, led by June Kress, and the more than two dozen Sisterhood members who participated in the Shabbat morning service.

Our gratitude to Donald Saltz for his generous sponsorship of this year’s Mozele Saltz Sisterhood Scholar, Dr. Lila Corwin Berman. A professor of history at Temple University, Dr. Berman delivered an inspiring d’var Torah on our theme, Tetzaveh, A Vision of Responsible Leadership, and an edifying post-service lecture, No Politics Allowed: The Myth of American Jewish Life.

Continuing what is now a three-year tradition, Sisterhood members participated in a weekday morning minyan prior to Sisterhood Shabbat, where Sabrina Sojourner gave a d’var Torah. And we had our first virtual Challah Bake & Share, with members encouraged to give a challah to a friend or, via the Adas Israel Hesed Committee’s Adas Cooks @ Home, to an organization that feeds the hungry.

Special thanks to the Sisterhood Shabbat Committee (Chair June Kress, Marilyn Cooper, Marcia Feuerstein, Jill Jacob (President), Ronnie Kweller, Hoonjoo Lee, Ozana Papados, and Joyce Stern; our speaker, Dr. Lila Corwin Berman; the Adas clergy; Team Adas; Sisterhood “minyan-makers” in the Smith Sanctuary, and members who helped lead the Zoom service from home.

The printed program for the Sisterhood Shabbat morning service can be downloaded here.


“America’s Jewish Women” With AU Professor Pamela Nadell

By Wendy Kates

On Sunday, December 6, we were treated to a very interesting presentation by Pamela Nadell, Professor and Director of Jewish Studies at American University. Dr. Nadell, whose most recent book is America's Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today, introduced us to several Jewish women throughout American history who used the freedoms inherent in America to become activists and, ultimately, to shape beliefs about what it meant to be Jewish.

Dr. Nadell described the remarkable diversity of American Jewish women, including 18th-century Abigail Levy Franks (who, in letters to her son, foresaw the growth of the Reform movement in Judaism), 19th-century Rose Sonneschein (who started the first English-language magazine focused on Jewish women and organized the first Jewish book group in America), and 20th-century activists and scholars Betty Friedan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Dr. Nadell shared her insights into the social and economic forces that enabled such vibrant Jewish women to emerge, including the shift toward smaller families, the increase in life expectancy, and the ever-present anti-Semitism they faced. Sisterhood thanks Dr. Nadell for her stimulating talk.


Sisterhood – and the World – Give Thanks to Judy Heumann!

“Presentation and Chat with Judy Heumann” Program Recording: Click here to watch.

By June Kress

On November 22, just days before Thanksgiving, Sisterhood members were treated to a superb hour with Judith Heumann, internationally recognized disability rights activist, policy advisor, and author, for an intimate and inspiring look at her personal and professional trajectory. Joining Judy was John Wodatch, a disability rights attorney with more than 50 years specializing in and recognized for the Americans with Disability Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

Judy began by talking about the importance of telling all of our stories, exemplified in the 2020 film “Crip Camp” that chronicles the disability rights movement here and around the world starting at Camp Jened in the early 1970’s. “Crip Camp” won the 2020 Sundance Audience Award and was nominated for a 2021 Academy Award for best Documentary, Feature. Mazel tov to Judy and to directors/producers Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht, and Sara Bolder!

The documentary, can be found on Netflix; here’s the trailer: The comments in the virtual “chat” said it all: from “Thank you, Judy, for always encouraging us to do more” and “Thank you for your inspiring leadership” to “I learn something new each time I hear Judy talk about her life and her work.” Sisterhood adds our thanks to Judy Heumann and John Wodatch for another exhilarating Sisterhood Sunday Salon program.


October 18 Virtual Sisterhood Opening Event

Click Here to Watch

Women's Paths to the Pulpit

Sisterhood’s Opening Event for the 2020-21 program year was a great success, drawing more than 80 viewers to the October 18 webinar. Titled” Women’s Paths to the Pulpit,” it featured three of Adas Israel’s accomplished and gifted women clergy, who engaged in a stimulating conversation moderated by Adas Israel member Rabbi Gilah Langner, who is rabbi at congregations Shirat HeNefesh and Kol Ami.

Cantor Arianne Brown, Hazzan and Ritual Director Rachel Goldsmith, and Rabbi Sarah Krinsky – all of whom were ordained at the Conservative Movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary in New York – shared the formative experiences that shaped their career choices against the background of the changing status of women in the Conservative Movement and shared what it’s like to be part of the Adas Israel’s robust clergy team.


Sisterhood Calendar


The Ruth & Simon Albert Sisterhood Gift Shop

Despite the pandemic, the Ruth & Simon Albert Adas Israel Gift Shop is ready to meet your Judaica and gift needs.  Just email us at, and we will be happy to set up an appointment for you.  Please do not call, because there may be no one there to answer our phone.  We are looking forward to seeing you.

Please note that we’ve also added a new collection of Sea Ranch Jewelry by Karen Anderson, including these examples:

Additional jewelry can be found on the Gift Shop webpage: Treat yourself to USA-handcrafted jewelry, celebrate a special day, or gift a piece of jewelry for a holiday. 

Jean Bernard, Susan Winberg, and Marian Fox

Fri, July 23 2021 14 Av 5781