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New Outlook

Starting Dialogue: A World on “Self-Care”

Posted on May 7, 2019

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism prides itself on being the meeting place for women in the Conservative/Masorti movement. In keeping with tradition, our sisterhoods and communities have provided safe, supportive spaces for Jewish women to meet, gather, study, and grow among like-minded peers with diverse experiences and worldviews. For many Jewish women, the idea of Continue Reading »

Tikkun Olam Spotlight: Spring 2019

Posted on May 7, 2019

Our Temple, Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim of Cranford, New Jersey, has been collecting money for the Crop Walk for many years. Crop Hunger Walks are sponsored by Church World Services. Our Crop Walk helps people by raising money to end hunger in our community and around the world. In Cranford, all the churches and our Continue Reading »

Gaining Momentum: Searching for Spiritual Care

Posted on May 7, 2019

By Dr. Einat Ramon New Outlook is pleased to present a new ongoing guest article from leaders and innovators within the Conservative/Masorti movement on what they do to ensure a bright Jewish future, and how it impacts the community and the world at large. Dr. Ramon is a Senior Lecturer in Jewish Thought at the Continue Reading »

Rabbinic Reflections: “It’s a Beautiful Day to Converse with God!”

Posted on May 7, 2019

By Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields Executive Director, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism My daughter, the future Dr. Fields, once told me that one reason she enjoys watching “Grey’s Anatomy” is because of the show’s slogan, “It’s a beautiful day to save lives.” On the first sunny Shabbat this spring, on the way to Services, my Continue Reading »

Cover Story: Start a Fire

Posted on May 7, 2019

By Erica Slutsky What if therapy and recovery also encompassed exploring the wilderness, plus a deep connection to Jewish spirituality? BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy is doing just that, cultivating a safe, inclusive, and diverse environment for young people within the wider Jewish community. Though a year-round program, BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy, located at Camp Ramah in the Continue Reading »

President’s Note: Welcome to Our Spring Issue!

Posted on May 7, 2019

By Margie Miller Care is the theme of our Spring 2019 New Outlook. Within these pages, we explore various elements of spiritual care, self-care, and the altruistic caring of ourselves and others. Our in-depth cover story exemplifies the best of both worlds, covering a pressing and innovative new program at Ramah in the Rockies, Bamidbar Continue Reading »

On Beginning a New Year with the Future in Mind

Posted on November 20, 2018

By Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro During the month of Elul, just prior to the High Holy Days, we spend extra time thinking about our goals, hopes and dreams. Around that same time in 2018, my day began with a devastating phone call. One of my dear colleagues had suffered a heart attack and died. He was not Continue Reading »

In Their Own Words: Social Action

Posted on November 20, 2018

We’ve decided to do something a bit different for our last issue of 2018. To honor one hundred years of Women’s League – and one hundred years more – New Outlook will spotlight exceptional sisterhoods, communities, and individuals who have made a difference in their world. Whether running a clothing drive or serving meals to Continue Reading »

Footprints on the Sands of Time

Posted on November 20, 2018

By Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields Among the sweeping changes we’ve implemented in our centennial year, we are honored to welcome Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields as our new Executive Director. Here, Rabbi Wolintz-Fields offers her own reflections on this momentous transition. People have often asked me, “When and why did you know you wanted to be Continue Reading »

From Saskatoon to Lagos and Onward

Posted on November 20, 2018

By Ardis Wexler In October 2016, on a visit to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, I was informed that the Shir Chadash Synagogue had a problem: Sixty-six chumashim were being replaced, and a solution was needed to prevent them from being buried, according to Jewish tradition. Board member Mary Melnychuk explained that, without finding a new home Continue Reading »

A Note from the President

Posted on November 20, 2018

By Margie Miller We learn at a very early age that we need both elements of “words” and “action” to complete blessings and mitzvot. Neither on its own is enough. In this issue of New Outlook, Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro, the President of the Cantor’s Assembly, challenges us to consider what our personal growth and transformation Continue Reading »

A Call to Action

Posted on October 24, 2018

By Women’s League Since its inception 100 years ago, Women’s League remains firm in its commitment to social justice. From the early Civil Rights movement to the ongoing refugee crisis, Women’s League has used its annual conventions and sisterhood chapters to spark essential dialogue about what its members can do for those in need. We Continue Reading »

Taking a Stand

Posted on January 25, 2018

by Women’s League In light of current events regarding sexual harassment, assault, and rape, Women’s League feels the need to bring this concern to the fore – and perhaps encourage discussion among members who feel particularly affected or triggered by the public disclosure of these issues. While Women’s League has received comments from members who Continue Reading »

Fighting for Israel’s Soul

Posted on January 25, 2018

by Bonnie Riva Ras Like most Jews who make aliyah, I have been a fervent Zionist from a very early age. But, as an American Jew, I came to Israel seeing the world through a liberal egalitarian lens, and with the purpose to end the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) control over Jewish life in Israel. I was Continue Reading »

Making a Jewish Home in China

Posted on January 25, 2018

by Shannon Rubin WLCJ International Board Member Sukkot has always been one of my family’s favorite holidays. My husband, an engineer and former U.S. Marine, enjoys designing and constructing the sukkah and camping outside with the kids. Our kids love designing a tabletop sukkah with graham crackers and Nutella and creating fun decorations to hang Continue Reading »

Profile: A Lifelong Calling

Posted on January 25, 2018

What led Fernanda Tomchinsky-Galanternik, the first Brazilian woman ordained as a Rabbi at the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano, to study there? “I decided to be a rabbi to be able to inspire others to study and live Jewishly.” Now 31 years old, she is “Latin America’s first female Rabbi,” according to the Times of Israel, leading Continue Reading »

Transgender Jews and Jewish Law: Redefining the Landscape

Posted on January 25, 2018

by Jane Calem Rosen Joy Ladin always knew she was a girl. In pre-school, Joy, then Jay, only wanted to play with the girls. When they ran away, she was disappointed and confused. They assumed—wrongly—that their classmate only wanted to chase and kiss them. By first grade, Jay was consciously concealing his gender identity—even from Continue Reading »

President’s Note: Women of Today

Posted on January 25, 2018

by Margie Miller This issue of New Outlook features various Jewish women who are truly agents of change throughout the world. We begin with an in-depth feature on the Jewish transgender community. Author Jane Calem Rosen examines differing interpretations of how transgender Jews find a place in the Conservative Movement, and what the Movement is doing Continue Reading »

All Good Things Must Come to An End

Posted on May 4, 2017

by Carol S. Simon It is hard to believe that this administration is coming to a close. We started with a desire to make a real difference for our sisterhoods and for our members by reaching out to connect and engage. We have been passionate about enriching each member’s life through Jewish values and experiences. I Continue Reading »

Jewish-Muslim Relations: A Work in Progress

Posted on May 4, 2017

by Jane Calem Rosen February 2017, alone, reflected a powerful new reality as Jews and Muslims reacted publicly in support of one another. The take-away: We need each other. In St. Louis, Muslim activists raised tens of thousands of dollars to repair desecrated graves in a Jewish cemetery. In New York City, about 20 rabbis were arrested Continue Reading »

Bringing Respect at the End of Life

Posted on May 4, 2017

You wouldn’t be surprised if your cardiologist did an EKG to examine your heart. But what if the doctor asked how you anticipated your death, or what you might want to share with others before you died? Those are the kinds of questions that Dr. Elizabeth Glazier asks of her elderly patients on a regular basis. Continue Reading »

Oh My Mama: The Script as Teaching Tool

Posted on May 4, 2017

by Lisa Kogen, Women’s League Director of Education and Programming Dear Abby: Since I was a child, I’ve wanted to be a performer. My mother says that since I am not beautiful, I will never make it. To be blunt, with my nose, I’d have to make a career of playing Cyrano …on principle, I want to Continue Reading »

New Partnership with Sharsheret

Posted on May 4, 2017

by Melissa Rosen, Director of National Outreach Sharsheret began 2017 with an exciting and important collaboration with Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. Sharsheret, Hebrew for “chain”, is a national not-for-profit organization, that supports women and families, of all Jewish backgrounds, facing breast cancer, at every stage – before, during and after diagnosis. Sharsheret’s objective to raise Continue Reading »

Our Network Needs You to Become a Community

Posted on January 3, 2017

For the past several years, my personal mission has been to connect Women’s League members to one another as well as to our organization. So what are we doing to really connect with you? As an organization, Women’s League has been expanding its communications, finding new and interesting ways to link us together as a community of Continue Reading »

Diversity and Inclusion: More than Mere Buzzwords

Posted on January 3, 2017

by Jane Calem Rosen On Shabbat, Chaim Respes, a 38-year-old human resources manager active in his New Jersey synagogue, dons a kippah and drapes a tallit over his shoulders. He enjoys attending services with his wife, a Jew-by-choice, and their three young boys. As one of the instructors in the congregation’s religious school and the recently Continue Reading »

In Praise of First Ladies

Posted on January 3, 2017

Myra Gutin had hoped the 2016 election would turn out differently than it did, but not for the reasons you might think. The author of The President’s Partner: The First Lady in the Twentieth Century and Barbara Bush: First Lady of Literacy was looking forward to observing the first First Gentleman in American history. As a Continue Reading »

Right Makes Rite

Posted on January 3, 2017

by Lisa Kogen, Women’s League Director of Education and Programming In a popular midrash, Moshe Rabbenu appears one day in the back of Rabbi Akiva’s classroom. Moshe asks a nearby student, “Who is that teacher, and what is he talking about?” The student responds: “It is Rabbi Akiva, teaching us the law of Moses.” Perplexed, Moses asks: Continue Reading »

The Art of Caring

Posted on January 3, 2017

by Debbi Kaner Goldich, Torah Fund Chair Rabbi Lilly Kaufman, Torah Fund Director How do clergy-in-training learn to  interact with people who are hospitalized, living in nursing homes, progressing through addiction recovery, seeking support groups, or finding themselves in hospice? How do rabbis and cantors learn the art of providing comfort and acquire the skill of offering Continue Reading »


Women Shaping Jerusalem: Education, Art , Music and Social Change

Posted on September 29, 2016

Schechter Institute hosts the annual Masorti Women’s Study Day in Jerusalem Picture this. Three hundred women, aged 13 to 90, singing Debbie Friedman’s Lechi Lach. With this song reverberating in our ears, we embarked on a journey of new discoveries. In the tradition of past study days, we sang in several languages, bringing us together Continue Reading »

A New Year, A New Future

Posted on August 19, 2016

Welcome to our second issue of New Outlook for Women’s League. We hope you enjoyed the first issue, and that you’ve checked out the comments online. As I sit in the Florida heat and humidity, my thoughts are already geared to the fall holidays that will bring cool breezes and the opportunity to start anew. This year, Continue Reading »

Rabbi Ima: The Kids Are Alright

Posted on August 19, 2016

When your mother is a rabbi… by Jane Calem Rosen Mom’s a Conservative rabbi. So what’s that like? “Sometimes, I forget she’s a rabbi, because she’s just my mom and not in the pulpit,” Yael Marans, 18, of Teaneck, NJ, said of her mother, Rabbi Amy Roth. Aware of the irony, she added, “But then, one Continue Reading »

Discovering the Incredible

Posted on August 19, 2016

Paula Apsell is particularly happy when her love of science and her love of Judaism come together. So one of her latest projects as Senior Executive Producer of PBS’s NOVA is making her very happy indeed. NOVA, the most popular science series on American television and online, has done many programs on archaeology, including archaeology Continue Reading »

The Jewish Home Beautiful – You Want Me to Do What?

Posted on August 19, 2016

by Lisa Kogen, Women’s League Director of Education and Programming If you were a guest at a Jewish bridal shower in 1960, there is a good chance you would have dined on finger sandwiches, Jello molds and fruit punch. The gifts for the bride might have included a pressure cooker, peignoir set, egg beater, and without Continue Reading »

What Your Kids Teach You About Joy

Posted on August 19, 2016

Some personal reflections as we prepare for the High Holidays by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg Yonatan, my 7-year-old, has been climbing trees lately. There’s this one tree in the parking lot of his school, near where I usually park when I pick him up – it’s his special tree. He always wants to climb it and spend Continue Reading »

Shaping the Future of European Jewry

Posted on August 19, 2016

New York, Los Angeles, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires … and now Potsdam, Germany. No, this is not a Jewish-themed vacation route, although it could be. These are the locales of the five Conservative and Masorti seminaries sup-ported by the Torah Fund Campaign of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism: JTS, Ziegler, Schechter, Seminario, and now the Zacharias Frankel Continue Reading »

Where to Look Online

Posted on May 5, 2016

These days, online resources are endless, but here are some websites we think you’ll find helpful. First, and foremost, check out the Women’s League website at Conservative/Masorti World The Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel Mercaz: The Zionist Organizations of the Conservative Movement Jewish Theological Seminary Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies The Schechter Continue Reading »

Welcome to the New Outlook

Posted on April 9, 2016

by Carol S. Simon I am a glass half full kind of person. When something happens that might not be what I wanted, I usually assume something better is coming along. My mother always said that things happen for a reason and it may take some time, but in the end, it will be better. With that Continue Reading »

Why Not For Girls?

Posted on April 9, 2016

The knotty road to getting girls to assume rituals  once reserved for men by Rachel Pomerance Berl Whenever I drape my tallit over my shoulders, I feel like God is over me,” says Talia Shapiro, 13, of Bethesda, Maryland. But wearing the ritual garment to synagogue is a tricky matter for Talia. It’s not so much Continue Reading »

What Makes Donna Run… and Jump, Shoot and Putt?

Posted on April 9, 2016

It’s not many of us who can say they know a president of a national sports organization. But for the members of the sisterhood of the Jacksonville Jewish Center, Donna Orender is just that. Donna has spent a lifetime navigating uncharted waters in the field of sports. But be-fore serving as president of the Women’s Continue Reading »

Brick by Brick

Posted on April 9, 2016

by Lisa Kogen, Women’s League Director of Education and Programming We all know the story. On January 18, 1918, the diminutive, but commanding, Mathilde Schechter stood before a gathering of 100-plus women and called for the establishment of a national women’s organization of the United Synagogue of America. Every year on the Shabbat nearest to that date Continue Reading »

Passing on the Passover

Posted on April 9, 2016

by Rhonda Jacobs Kahn Passover in my house really began the day after Purim when my mother would kasher the small kitchen in the basement and begin to cook kugels, soups, pot roast… whatever could be made ahead and frozen. Things really heated up a few weeks later when she began cleaning the rest of the Continue Reading »

She Plants a Seed for the Future

Posted on April 9, 2016

Women’s League’s members’ abiding love for Israel and their passion for prayer are the inspirations for She Plants a Seed for the Future, Torah Fund’s newest special project. Rabbi Bradley Shavit-Artson has called the year of study in Israel for third year rabbinical students “the heart of the heart of our program.” Rabbi Artson, dean of Continue Reading »

Women’s League Reads

Like to read? Want to be part of a world-wide conversation about books?

Join Women’s League Reads, a moderated on-line discussion group about books of interest to today’s Jewish women. Read the selected book, post comments and questions and then enjoy a special bonus conversation with the author or a scholar who can enhance our understanding of the book. Click here to read or listen to past conversations with authors.