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We are Sisterhood. Fresh and seasoned. Partnered and flying solo. A link in the chain. Networking, nurturing, learning, sustaining.

Please join us in our mission to perpetuate and transmit the ethics and values of Conservative / Masorti Judaism through education, social action, ritual and spirituality. We strive to foster a sense of communal responsibility and sisterhood, and to reinforce the bonds of our members with our synagogue, Israel, and Jews worldwide.

Welcome to Sisterhood!

We look forward to your participation, friendship and ideas.

Sisterhood President,
Miriam Rosenthal


Volunteer Opportunities

Help with Sisterhood Shabbat, March 10
Volunteer to read Torah or otherwise help with services for Sisterhood Shabbat. To read Torah contact or  To lead services, be a gabbai, or usher, contact Barbara Gelman,

Ongoing Activities

Sisterhood Cares
Marking simchas and milestones; comforting those suffering illness or loss.,,

Thursday Night Minyan, 6 pm, in the Biran Beit Midrash
Help Sisterhood to make a minyan so mourners can say Kaddish at Adas.

Torah Fund
Preserving, promoting, and perpetuating Conservative / Masorti Judaism.

Upcoming Programs and Events 
[events held at Adas Israel unless otherwise noted]

“The Two Worlds of America’s Jewish Women", at Sisterhood Shabbat: Featuring Professor Pamela S. Nadell
March 9-10, 2018
 Click Here to Register for the Community Shabbat Dinner

As Sisterhoods throughout the country celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism by Mathilde Schechter, Professor Pamela S. Nadell, a scholar of Jewish American and women’s history, will speak about the two distinct groups of intrepid Jewish women who peopled America in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries.

The first group came to the U.S. in mid-19th century from Germany and other countries and called themselves “American Jewesses.” They founded organizations like Hadassah and Women’s League for Conservative Judaism.

The second group, Russian and other Eastern European Jewish immigrants fleeing poverty and violent pogroms, began coming to America en masse at the end of the 19th century. Speaking Yiddish, they lived in tenement flats in crowded ghettoes, sewed in firetrap factories until their aching fingers bled, and determined that their children would have better lives. Once America slammed shut the gates to Jewish immigration in the 1920s, the two groups, the American Jewesses and the East European Jewish immigrant women and their daughters, saw their worlds converge.

Professor Nadell is director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University. She has won numerous awards and worked as a consultant for the Library of Congress and the National Museum of American Jewish History on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. She is the immediate past president of the Association for Jewish Studies.

Kavanah opportunity:  Volunteer to read Torah or lead services for Sisterhood Shabbat, March 10.  To read Torah, contact or To lead services, be a gabbai, or usher, contact Barbara Gelman,

Sisterhood Knits, Sews, Crafts Register Here
Wednesdays, March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20, 7:30-9pm, Youth Lounge.

The project to make two new Torah mantles for the Havurah is well under way. We meet on the third Wednesday evening of the month at Adas, at 7:30 pm in the Youth Lounge, and everyone is welcome to join us or contact Lesley Frost for more information.

Sisterhood Works from Home Register Here
Contact June Kress at, off-site, RSVP required.

Work from home?  “Sisterhood Works from Home” is here to support, advise and make you feel more connected.  Jan. 16, Feb. 14. No need to be a Sisterhood or Adas Israel member… all are welcome. Contact June Kress at, off-site, RSVP required.

Weekday Torah with Sisterhood
Text-based discussions led by a rotation of rabbis and scholars, starting Sept. 12, 2017, at 10:00 am, and continuing once a month on Tuesdays through June 12, 2018, in the Funger Hall.

Next dates: Feb. 20, March 20, April 17, May 8, June 12

Sisterhood in your Neighborhood Brunches
Back by popular demand! Volunteer to host and plan to attend.

Mah Jongg Register Here
Thursdays at 1:00 pm.

Adas Israel Book Club
Save the dates: Sundays, March 11, April 29. Book selections to be announced.

Book Chat on Judas by Amos Oz
Sunday Jan 28, at 10 am
Join the discussion of this short but powerful novel of ideas – patriotism, loyalty, and treason – by a celebrated Israeli author. 

In partnership with the Library Committee.

Take a Walk! Register Here
Monday, January 8 at 6:00pm, Foggy Bottom Metro 
Bring your friends (men welcome!), stories, and sense of adventure and explore the Foggy Bottom neighborhood on foot. Meet at the Foggy Bottom Metro at the base of the outdoor escalators. Contact Merrill Goldsmith,, 301-493-5654, if you have questions. Cancelled if inclement weather. Take a Walk! meets on the second Monday of the month and explores various neighborhoods on foot followed by dinner. Another site is scheduled for Feb. 12; check Calendar.

Sisterhood Shabbat
Community and Sisterhood Shabbat Dinner, March 9 Register Here

Mark your calendar for March 9 – 10, 2018. Sponsored by the Mozelle Saltz Fund for Sisterhood Speakers.

Shabbat Services and Community Dinner Information-
We hope you will join us for our Community and Sisterhood Shabbat Dinner following two wonderful Kabbalat Shabbat services. The Return Again service will begin at 6:00pm and the Traditional Lay-Led service will begin at 6:30pm, with a community Shabbat dinner to follow featuring the Adas Sisterhood's special Sisterhood Shabbat weekend speaker, Dr. Pamela S. Nadell.

Sisterhood Shabbat Weekend Details
Shedding Light on Sarah and Her Successors, at Sisterhood Shabbat, March 9-10, 2018. Our Mozelle Saltz Guest Scholar will be Dr. Pamela Nadell.

Professor Nadell is director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University. She has won numerous awards and worked as a consultant for the Library of Congress and the National Museum of American Jewish History on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. She is the immediate past president of the Association for Jewish Studies.

Sisterhood 2.0 Register Here
Alternate Thursdays, check Google Calendar above for dates, 6:45pm, Bindaas in Cleveland Park

Re-Focus. Re-Assess. Re-Engage: Negotiate your salary, start your own business, re-start your career, change directions mid-career.  Join us every other Thursday for drinks, discussion and brainstorming. Contact Jodi Ochstein with questions. Note: If you can come to Adas at 6 pm and help make a minyan, it would be appreciated.

Adas Israel supports the Women's League for Conservative Judaism Torah Fund Campaign

Click here for information on the Torah Fund campaign
or to make your pledge today.
Click here to view or purchase beautiful Torah Fund life cycle
and greeting cards all year round.




Adas Israel Sisterhood Board and Officers 2017-2018

Executive Committee/Officers

President: Miriam Rosenthal 
Corresponding Secretary: Jill Jacob
Recording Secretary: Joyce Stern
Treasurer: Dava Berkman
VP for Communications: Nechama Masliansky 
Co-VPs for Education/Programming: Susan Winberg and Jodi Ochstein
VP for Membership: June Kress
Parliamentarian: Helen Kramer
Gift Shop Co-Managers: Jean Bernard, Diane Keller, and Susan Winberg
Immediate Past President: Marcia (Marcy) Feuerstein 

General Board

Carol Ansell, Dena Bauman, Sarah Brooks, Carmel Chiswick, Marian Fox, Barbara Friedell, Leah Hadad, Judith Heumann, Susan Klein, Arlette Jassell, Deborah Joseph, Myra Promisel, Rhoda Ritzenberg, April Rubin, Pamela Sislen, Elinor Tattar, and Nancy Weiss

Ex-Officio Members of the General Board:

Rabbi Penina Alexander, Cantor Arianne Brown, Hazzan Rachel Goldsmith, Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt, Naomi Malka, Rabbi Emerita Avis Miller, Heather Polonsky, Rabbi Kerrith Rosenbaum, and Rabbi Eliana Yolkut

Join or Renew Your Membership Today!

There are two easy ways to join or to renew your Adas Sisterhood membership:

Pay using a major credit card (a small processing fee will be charged). You will receive an immediate acknowledgement indicating that the transaction has gone through. Please note that we can no longer accept payment of Sisterhood dues through your Adas account.

Or send a check, made payable to Adas Israel Sisterhood, to the Sisterhood Treasurer, Dava Berkman, 2475 Virginia Avenue, NW, #803, Washington, DC 20037.

Membership levels include: Chavera  (Friend) – $80, Sister-$40, Other-$___. Note that new  Adas members will receive a one-year complimentary membership to Sisterhood and will also receive a 10% discount on their initial purchase at the Sisterhood Gift Shop.

Miriam Rosenthal

Adas Israel Sisterhood embraces women of all ages and stages of life. It provides opportunities to learn, deepen spirituality and personal Jewish growth, do mitzvot and network. From one-on-one experiences, to small group activities, to large-scale events, there is something of interest for everyone.

The Sisterhood Source 
Sisterhood's e-newsletter 

Click Here to View an Archive of all the Sisterhood E-Newsletters!

Recent Activities

January 23, 2018, panel discussion, “Sexual Harassment: How did we get to this #MeToo moment?”

On January 23, Sisterhood presented a panel discussion, “Sexual Harassment: How did we get to this #MeToo moment?” Lynne Revo-Cohen (New Point Strategies, LLC), Sarah Fleish Fink (National Partnership for Women & Families), Francine Weiss (Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C.) and Rachel Geffen (Onlife) were our expert panelists, moderated by Marilyn Cooper (Moment Magazine). Click Here to see the event.

by Helen Kramer and April Rubin

Fifty men and women showed up in the Beit Midrash on a cold Sunday morning in January to hear two experts talk about “A Woman and her Genome.” Dr. April Rubin first introduced Dr. Dee Dee Shiller, an obstetrician-gynecologist who is working to reduce the genetic risks of the Baltimore Ashkenazi Jewish community. Dr. Shiller discussed the role of inherited mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in causing breast and ovarian cancers. BRCA1 provides instructions for making a protein that acts as a tumor suppressor. BRCA2 is involved in repairing damaged DNA.

Dr. Shiller stated that 80 percent of women who inherit defective BRCA1 genes will develop breast cancer, and 40 percent who inherit defective BRCA2 will get ovarian cancer. Early genetic screening is key to decreasing a person’s chances of developing cancer. Genetic testing is getting cheaper and easier, and rapidly becoming the standard of care. Tests for cancer should be conducted before screening for BRCA defects. Dr. Shiller cited the roles of public figures in improving the climate for discussions of genetic risks: Angelina Jolie revealed that she had a preventive mastectomy and Joe Biden discussed his son's death from brain cancer and advocated for free genetic screening. Israel has declared this to be a public health issue, not a fear factor. Current Israeli criteria for testing are having Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and a close relative that had cancer. However, Israel tested Ashkenazi Jewish men who had no family history of cancers for BRCA defects and confirmed that 1 in 40 had defective BRCA genes.

Dr. Rubin then introduced our second speaker, Dr. Evelyn Karson, a consultant to JScreen, a genetic screening service, who is a biochemist, as well as an obstetrician-gynecologist and geneticist. Dr. Karson discussed the importance of screening for recessive defective genes before becoming pregnant. If an embryo inherits recessive genes, one from each parent, that child has a 25 percent risk of having the disease associated with that gene, e.g., Tay Sachs disease. In this case, if in vitro fertilization is being performed, the embryo can sometimes be tested for the disease prior to being implanted in the uterus. Dr. Karson explained that in the Middle Ages there was a population bottleneck and the Ashkenazi Jewish population declined sharply. Consequently, Jews whose ancestors came from the same region may unknowingly be distant cousins. Tay Sachs disease, which is fatal to children, was the first genetic disease among Ashkenazi Jews diagnosed. In the 1960s 50-70 infants were born annually with the disease. Approximately one in thirty Ashkenazi Jews are carriers of Tay Sachs disease, depending on where the family originated. Biochemical geneticists worked on techniques for analyzing and copying DNA. Now that DNA can be copied, testing is done via DNA. For conditions such as PKU, an amino acid disorder, DNA testing is the only way to screen newborns. We can now do DNA testing from a saliva sample, rather than blood and thus screen for approximately 300 disorders.

After the two talks, those who had registered beforehand underwent genetic testing via a saliva sample. Twenty-six men and women were screened. While many did not have any family history of genetic mutations, some did. They will receive follow-up counseling from Dr. Karson.

Sisterhood operates the beautiful

Ruth & Simon Albert
Sisterhood Gift & Judaica Shop

Every purchase benefits
Adas Israel Congregation!

10% discount for initial purchase by new Sisterhood members

Sisterhood Archive
We’re proud of what we have done in the past!

Sun, February 25 2018 10 Adar 5778