The Sisterhood is an auxiliary group interested in sharing their talents and energy, while connecting with other women in the Temple Emanu-El community through intellectual, spiritual and social activities.

Upcoming Sisterhood Events

Dear Sisterhood friends,

Almost “Happy Spring!” How wonderful it will be when we can see our friends outside as the weather starts to get warmer.  It’s funny how our perspective has changed and we have re-aligned our values and re-prioritized those things that are and are not important. Sisterhood has worked hard to keep a sense of community during these months when we could not be together in person.  We have learned what does and does not work virtually and always feel happy when we get to see our friends on our screens. 

By the time you read this, we will have had two very successful Trivia nights.  A special thank you goes out to Barbara Senges for selecting great questions and organizing the event. Stay tuned for future Trivia dates. As always, if you have suggestions for future programs, please let us know. We miss you all and look forward to seeing you soon.

Merrill & Gail


Sisterhood Scavenger Hunt – On Thursday, March 18, at 7 PM we will be having a scavenger hunt on Zoom. From the comfort of your home, you’ll be challenged to find items and bring them back to your computer for all to see. Prizes will be awarded. It will be different and definitely a lot of fun!


Book Club – We will be meeting to discuss our next book, “The Last King of Shanghai” by Jonathan Kaufmanon Wednesday, April 7th at 7:00 p.m.

Looking ahead, the book we will be reading after that is “The Weight of Ink,” by Rachel Kadish.  We’ll meet on Zoom on  Tuesday, May 11th at 7:00 p.m. for the book discussion.


Hadassah Invitation:  On Sunday, April 11, at 2 PM Hadassah will present Professor Laurence Tribe of Harvard University, a survivor of a Jewish family in Shanghai, to speak about refugees who fled to Shanghai during the period of WWII and the Holocaust.  All are welcome to join this virtual Hadassah program.  (While Professor Tribe will not be discussing the book directly, his talk will tie in nicely with our Book Club selection “The Last King of Shanghai.”)


WRJ’s Fried Virtual Women’s Conference: The Fried Women’s Conference is WRJ’s flagship event.  The FWC has invited all members of the Sisterhood to attend this virtual conference.  Friday-Sunday, March 12-14, 2021.  It is a multi-day experience to hone leadership skills, further Jewish learning, partake in women-led worship and music, and deepen connections with other sisterhoods, women, and WRJ at large.  .  This year, of course, it is virtual which is actually good for us as we won’t have to fly anywhere, yet can still participate!  This is the perfect opportunity to hear fascinating women speak (including a speechwriter of President Obama’s) and participate in inspiring services. Cost is $54.00.  Click here for more information and to sign up.


Sisterhood Shabbat Service  – It has become a tradition for Sisterhood to lead the Friday night service of Mother’s Day weekend.  We will continue the tradition this year.  Mark your calendars for Friday May 7 at 7:30PM.  More info to follow.


WRJ Programs – Merrill and Gail just went on a 4 day virtual bus tour with this tour guide, Shari Robins. It was “Israel Through the 5 Senses”. Shari did an amazing presentation incorporating songs, dances, tours inside museums and marketplaces. So we wanted you to know about this program since we are all looking for interesting things to do. Consider signing up for the WRJ emails. They have put together some wonderful programs.


Mahjong Cards – Another successful fundraiser, the annual sale of mahjong cards run by Iris Freeman, netted the Sisterhood $635! Thank you to Iris for her dedication to the Sisterhood and our love of all things mahjong! 

Mah Jongg Tournament – Check back for future dates when we can resume these great tournaments.


Temple Emanu-El Gift Shop Online! – During the month of March, the website will be featuring Passover items. There is a nice selection of Seder plates, Matzah covers, Haggadahs and many other items. 

Our gift shop contains over 300 items including jewelry, candlesticks, mezuzahs, tallit, gifts and kids’ items. Our online site will be updated frequently to include all new merchandise so you can shop at your convenience. Parking lot pickup has been highly successful, and it has been great seeing many of you in person. All you need to do is email and include the items number, item and small description, and we will arrange a curbside pickup time at the temple. If this is an issue, other arrangements can be made. Please remember that the gift shop only takes checks or cash. (Thank you to Susan Hausmann for running the Gift Shop through a website she created which makes it easy to shop from home.)

The Sisterhood would like to congratulate our fellow Sisterhood board member, Cecile Feldman, on being awarded the temple honor of the Howard Ilson Award for being an outstanding member of the congregation, and giving years of service to the temple.  Mazel Tov, Cécile!!!


Fun Recent Activies
Challah Class –
Thanks to thank Merrill Mazzella for organizing and demonstrating how to bake a beautiful round challah (actually she showed us how to bake 4 different styles!).  If you missed it, you can watch it on the TE “YouTube” channel. The link is under Recent Programs on the Temple Emanu-El Homepage. 

Trivia Nights – We have had two trivia nights so far! Aside from exercising our brains, the format of breakout rooms lends itself to fun social interaction. These evenings are a lot of fun, so keep an eye out for future Trivia Nights!

Our Kick-off event, the Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Tasting, was popular with 65 participants enjoying delicious craft chocolates together via Zoom. Thank you to Merrill for organizing our fabulous event, hosted by Estelle Tracy, a chocolate sommelier!! It was a wonderful, delicious, fun evening!!

On Tuesday, September 22, 2020 we met for a “Sisterhood Virtual Happy Hour & Membership Drive” on Zoom. It was great to have a chance to say hi to old friends and meet some new ones.

Safe Futures – Thank you to all who participated in, and donated to, the Safe Futures Annual 4K Safe Walk which this year was done virtually by participants.  A small group of Sisterhood friends got together to walk the Niantic Boardwalk and even more walked on other days in different places.  All totaled, on our Sisterhood sign up page, we raised $366 for Safe Futures!  


Sisterhood Activities

  • Operating the Judaica Shop
  • Membership Kick-off and Year End Dinners
  • Apples and Honey for Rosh Hashanah after the Children’s Service
  • Sending Chanukiot to all college students whose families are members of the Temple
  • Providing Oneg for Rosh Hashanah
  • Sponsoring dessert for one night of the Jewish Film festival
  • A dedicated Friday night Sisterhood Service
  • Mah Jongg Tournaments
  • Movie Nights
  • Sisterhood Dinner Club

Other Past Activities

  • Family hikes
  • Yoga classes
  • Zumba classes
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Trivia night
  • Book Club

Contact the Sisterhood

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