April 2017, from our president

I had the good fortune to attend the fried leadership conference in Charleston, South Carolina in March. This marvelous conference is held once a year and is open to all members of sisterhoods who want to develop leadership skills. I met women from all over the US and Canada. The services were gorgeous and the sounds of 300 women singing has stayed with me.

I attended workshops on bringing Jewish values to running effective and efficient meetings. We were challenged to be respectful, good listeners, as well as kind and focused.

Rabbi Zamore led a workshop on creating a Jewish food ethic by reclaiming kashrut. We explored our Jewish approach to food by being ethical, respecting animals, the land, farm workers, farmers. We discussed food issues including health, economics, food insecurity. She helped us understand how we can define kashrut and make it meaningful and relevant beyond the traditional definitions.

We visited the magnificent congregation of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, founded in 1749, whose cemetery includes revolutionary war heroes. We learned the Jewish community began in Charleston in 1690 and has the second oldest continuous reform congregation in North America.

Charleston is a big food city, I had my first grits(organic, local, stone ground no less!) and real southern biscuits with butter and jam. I visited the Slave Mart Museum which is the original site of the indoor slave market established when the city leaders thought it unseemly to sell slaves on the street. It was the most devastating and important place in Charleston, a city whose very riches and lovely homes were built on the torture of millions of people.

We were entertained Saturday evening by Nefesh Mountain, a Jewish bluegrass band. Dancing to Jewish mountain music was a joy!

Please join us next year in Nashville, March 1-4, 2018. You will make new friends, learn interesting, useful information, challenge yourself by learning new leadership skills, learn to be a stronger advocate for social justice, sing, dance, explore a new city and so much more.

~Susan Goldwasser
President, Women of Rodef Sholom

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