10/8, 3 – 5 pm – Opening Event

Please join the Women of Rodef Sholom at our

Opening Tea

“Rabbi Stacy in conversation with Sylvia Boorstein”

Sunday, October 8, 2017  3-5 pm
Rodef Sholom Social Hall

$18 for Members*
$36 for Prospective Members and Guests

*If you have not renewed your WRS Membership, you may do so at the door

RSVP and questions:  Cynthia Boyd, VP Programming caboyd@sbcglobal.net

Would you like to help with this one time event?  We could use some support.  Contact Cynthia Boyd (above) to get involved.

Women’s Mikva 9/17

Congregational Event 6:30 pm, Meet in sanctuary

We look forward to sharing the powerful ritual of mikvah immersion with you as we prepare for the High Holy Days. We will meet in the Rodef Sholom sanctuary at 6:30 pm for pre-mikvah reflection and ritual, after which we will walk together to the JCC, where we will enjoy a meaningful group mikvah immersion. You are welcome to bring a swimsuit if you choose. Additionally, we invite you to come dressed for immersion (bathrobe) so as to minimize changing time. We will have access to dressing rooms but our hope is to facilitate an easy flow from synagogue ritual to water. We recommend bringing a towel and/or robe to wear after the immersion and some warm clothes to change into for our post-immersion ritual and New Year’s toast. Please bring a small vegetarian food item to share for our post-mikvah celebration.

Honey Time!

High Holidays in July?


No, but Rosh Hashana is quite early this year, beginning at sundown on September 20. Say l’shana tova 5778 by sending honey to your loved ones, beautifully packaged and with your new year’s greeting.

  • Free shipping on all honey orders placed prior to July 24
  • Cost is $11 per jar, same as last year
  • all profits support WRS tikkun olam: campership, Mazon, Canal Community Alliance, Planned Parenthood, ACLU and more.

2017 Northern California WRJ Area Day 7/15-16

Women of Reform Judaism Pacific District Area Day is being hosted by the Women of B’nai Israel in Sacramento. For complete WRJ details, see the Info below.

WRS members are carpooling from Marin for the Sunday, 7/16, program: On Sunday our program begins with a social action project to assemble Kindness Kits for the homeless in each of our communities. The rest of the day’s program will give you the opportunity to make new friends, learn leadership skills, gain greater insight about WRJ, and do a little singing. See the Agenda below.

WRS will pay for you to attend this Leadership building, educational and fun event. If you are interested, please click the link to RSVP below.




2017 Mother’s Day Gift Fair

Mother’s Day Gift Fair at Venetia Valley Family Center

The Women of Rodef Sholom organized their fourth annual Mother’s Day Gift Fair at the Venetia Valley Family Center (at Venetia Valley School). Jewelry and scarves were donated by CRS members and the best items were displayed at a ’boutique’ set up by WRS members and mothers from Venetia Valley School. First grade teachers brought their students to the sale to make gift selections for their mothers which were then wrapped to take home.

This program earned WRS the Gold Or Ami award from the Women of Reform Judaism in November of 2015.


May 2017, from the clergy

Dear Friends

This past Sunday, I was honored to give the introductory remarks at our community Yom HaShoah ceremony. The day is one that is filled with remembrance, with sadness, and with love and compassion, both for the survivors and for those whose lives were lost in the Holocaust. And I felt much darkness as I entered the synagogue that morning knowing what the rest of the day held and the emotions that went along with it all.

But when I walked in the religious school office that morning, I felt the same energy I always do: joy and excitement for all that would take place that morning. Our 5th graders were taking a field trip to Urban Adamah to learn about taking care of our world. Our Kindergarteners were going on a scavenger hunt for ritual objects in the sanctuary. Our 4th graders were learning about the Dead Sea in Israel.

And as I listened to the various conversations amongst the teachers and madrichim, one caught my attention. On of our 3rd grade teachers was telling another that they were making sun catchers that morning as they learned about the value of tikkun olam and repairing our world. “Sun catchers,” I thought to myself, “are the exact opposite of what I am feeling today.”

This day that filled me with such darkness was suddenly filled with rays of light, and I could only hope that I too might be able to catch some light to bring into this dark day. Light is hopeful, cheerful, uplifting, and perhaps we need that light to carry us through the darker days.

As we count the days of the Omer and the weeks leading up to Shavuot on May 30th, may we each find some rays of light to catch and bring into our lives. May that light shine brightly within us, and may we extend that light to those people we touch and the world in which we live day in and day out.

Rabbi Lara

May 2017, from our president

Rabbi Michael Lezak has been a good friend to the Women of Rodef Sholom. He has been present for our sisterhood Shabbaton, bringing his special touch of holiness. He has been present in our personal lives guiding us during life’s most challenging and joyful moments. He has watched our organization grow and change and he has always been supportive. He has said the word “beautiful” a million times. We have been so fortunate to  have had the opportunity to share this time with him.

We have also experienced him develop over the years. His voice has always led us towards social justice and it has become stronger and stronger. We have seen his wonderful daughters grow up and his powerful wife create her own congregation.

With respect, appreciation, gratitude and love we wish Rabbi Michael all the best in his next adventure in life. Glide Memorial is on the other side of the bridge but you remain right next to our hearts.

~Susan Goldwasser

President, Women of Rodef Sholom

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

Women’s Retreat, 2017

2017 Weekend Retreat

The Women of Rodef Sholom invite you to join us for our 2017 weekend Retreat. Enjoy gourmet meals, Shabbat services, workshops, outdoor activities, music, and create new friendships in the beautiful setting of Westerbeke Ranch.

Participation in this event is for WRS members only. This year we are limited to a total of 21 guests staying overnight. Therefore, if you must cancel your reservation, your fee will be refunded only if we can fill your space from our waiting list (less $50 non-refundable deposit).

The overnight retreat is full, but you can still come for the day!

May 5th $75
4:00 pm through 10:00 pm
Opening Program
Shabbt Service with Rabbi Elana Rosen Brown
Shabbat Unplugged
May 6th $225
8:00 am through 10:00 pm
Shabbat Service
Workshop or activity/hike
Workshop with Rabbi Stacy Friedman
Fire Circle
WRS Membership (if not already paid) $50
Use the form below to RSVP or to ask questions


You may pay by credit card using the link below. If you wish to pay by check, mail your check (payable to Women of Rodef Sholom) to 170 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael 94903. Please note on the check and on the envelope ‘retreat 2017’.

Choose Option(s)

Use the button below to make an additional donation to help another attend

March 2017, from our president

Like so many of you I am looking forward to Passover. It always helps me reflect about what really matters to me as a Jewish woman. I come back to “welcome the stranger”. We left Egypt and became a roving refugee community. Homeless people in a hostile land. But we were free. No longer enslaved. This is our history. It isn’t politics. Not about republicans or democrats. We must empathize with individuals needing refuge because that is who we are, it is where we have been.

Please join us on Sunday, March 26 at 4:00pm for our own beautiful WRS Women’s Seder. We will enjoy delicious food, listen to gorgeous music, sing, dance and participate in the retelling of our history and celebrate our precious freedom. If you are feeling shy about coming on your own send me an email. We will make sure everyone feels welcome and enveloped by our own loving community.

~Susan Goldwasser
President, Women of Rodef Sholom

March 2017, from the clergy

Dear Sisters,

As many of you know, Purim is one of my favorite Jewish holidays (aren’t they all)?!?

The costumes, the laughter, the hamentachen, the fun, the poking fun at ourselves and the world, and the songs. And although Purim is one of Judaism’s fun and silly holidays, it is also quite serious, particularly this year.

The story of Esther, as you may remember, is that of a young lady who rises to a position of influence, yet is instructed to hide her Jewishness while she is there. Essentially, she is told to cover up who she is to protect herself and her people. But ultimately, when her people, the Jews, are threatened, her uncle/cousin Mordecai instructs her to step forward and use her proximity to the king to save her people.

When Esther expresses fear to Mordecai over confronting the king, he admonishes her and reminds her that her life is in peril as well. But then ultimately, he challenges her with some of the most powerful words in the entire Bible; he says, “Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created.”

These words have been ringing in my ears and reverberating in my soul in recent weeks. Looking out in our world and in our nation, I do believe that THIS is the moment for which we each were created. And with that statement comes the question …. what does this moment call us to do? To be? To say?

The Book of Esther is truly about Esther’s exploration and discovery of the answer to this question, it is about her path to meaning and purpose, as much as it is a story of the Jewish people of Persia.

As we too face rising anti-Semitism and other forms of hate speech and intolerant acts, this too is our moment to consider and discern what our unique contribution will be to bring about love, cooperation, and acceptance, unity, and respect to our world.

Happy Passover!!

Look forward to celebrating with you ALL Saturday night, March 11th!!

~Rabbi Stacy

February 2017, from our president

Trivia is not trivial

This is a tumultuous time during the transition from one administration to the next: protests, storms, flooding, work, school…life. It is easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged. We worry about our children, our nation’s political direction and the safety and well being of Israel.

I wanted to let you know the Women of Rodef Sholom are doing a few things to make our community and world a happier place.

Come join us at Trivia Night on Saturday, February 4th at 7 in the Social Hall. We will eat and drink, kibbetz, laugh, learn, get a little competitive about important facts, purchase amazing bargains at the silent auction, and enjoy being with each other.

Community is something that we have to celebrate. No weather or political administration can stop us from knowing we have always been, and always will be, stronger together.

~Susan Goldwasser
President, Women of Rodef Sholom

February 2017, from the clergy

Greetings to the women of Rodef Sholom.

Recently “Rilla”, the female guide-dog breeder I have been taking care of, reversed roles with me. I have been suffering from a case of shingles. Rilla has become a companion dog, always by my side, always ready to give love and comfort. She can sense the pain and discomfort I’m going through, and she has a calming influence, helping me to feel better.

Sometimes experiencing pain and suffering can be a pathway to gratitude for when our mind and body is functioning well. This week we started to chant and study from the book of Exodus. As we meet Moses, we learn that despite his self-doubt he takes on the mantel of leadership and steps into a new role. What fierce courage it must have taken to approach the Pharaoh and demand he let the Hebrew slaves go.

Moses willingness to lead stands as an inspiration to so many women from our congregation who have answered the call, joining sisterhood and offering their skills to make our community a better and holier place.

As we move from slavery to freedom to revelation may we find ourselves ever grateful for good health and eternal love.

~Cantor David