An Invitation to Women’s League
The following is by Anne Nicolson, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism Vice President.
I remember so clearly a meeting that took place years ago with a young woman serving in the Air Force. When I learned that she was alone and far away from home, I invited her to join my family for Chanukah. Unfortunately, she was getting ready to go overseas and wouldn’t be around for the holiday. This woman didn’t return to my area again, and we soon lost track of each other.
When I think about this young women, I wonder how she and other military members can maintain a connection with the larger Jewish community when they have such little time to put down roots. This is one of the reasons I am excited about a recent change in an organization I am proud to volunteer for, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism (WLCJ). Previously, WLCJ was only an umbrella organization for synagogue Sisterhoods, and required some connection to a local synagogue.
Recently, however, WLCJ created Individual Membership which allows us to welcome women not connected to a synagogue– something that is perfect for the traveling service member! Individual Membership is portable. You can take it with you anywhere, and maintain a strong connection to a supportive Jewish community. We welcome any woman who supports the concept of enhancing Jewish knowledge, engaging in Jewish life, expanding communal involvement, and supporting Israel. And to show our commitment to military members and their spouses, we offer reduced annual dues.
Women’s League & Sisterhood members are not just the Kiddush Lunch Ladies anymore. Our members are active in world affairs, receiving action updates on topics from Iran to reproductive rights to religious diversity in Israel. We are engaged and involved. We are young mothers, career women, empty nesters, retirees, but all committed to the ideals of Conservative/Masorti Judaism. Our international connections include Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Mercaz, Masorti Olami, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. One that I find most important is our NGO presence at the UN.
While Individual Members receive invitations to events in their current region, our online presence is probably the best way for Individual Members to connect with our community of Jewish women. WLCJ.net discussions cover a range of topics, and any member is free to add a new thread, whether it is a request for a prayer for healing or a recipe for kugel, just like the one you forgot to ask your bubbe for. And believe me, there is no shortage of answers to such requests.
This past year, WLCJ also added an online book discussion group, which has participants from Israel to Santa Monica. I look forward to checking in to see the new comments from readers around the world. I don’t know whether my young Air Force friend was interested in cooking, but I remember that she was an avid reader. It would have been such a great way for her to connect with other Jewish women.
The WLCJ.org site, now accessible through a new mobile app, provides a wealth of information about everything from enriching holiday celebrations to Jewish women’s health. These are just a few of the benefits that come with Women’s League membership.
What I love the most about Women’s League is that it offers a continuous connection to other engaged and committed Jewish women around the world. Civilians and military members alike can take a true Sisterhood with you wherever you go.
If you are a Jewish woman interested in connecting with a great community of women, we want you to join us! Please contact me, Anne Nicolson, Women’s League Vice President, Chair of Individual Membership team to learn more! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (925) 457-9983. Or join us by going to WLCJ.org, click join, and become a member anytime.