WHAT IS KAWRJ (Kol Ami Women of Reform Judaism)?
On a personal level, KAWRJ is a group of women who have formed lifelong bonds by not only being members of Congregation Kol Ami but also by empowering themselves to run an organization.
On a local level, KAWRJ is an organization of women dedicated to education and enhancement of Congregation Kol Ami. KAWRJ runs many of its own programs as a way to bring people together to form a community and to provide a way for adults and youth to connect more with Judaism and its tenets.
On a larger scale. KAWRJ is a branch of the Women of Reform Judaism. Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) strengthens the voice of women worldwide and empowers them to create caring communities, nurture congregations, cultivate personal and spiritual growth, and advocate for and promote progressive Jewish values. We aren’t just another committee for CKA. We are a separate entity and part of a bigger organization-WRJ- which impacts women worldwide.
WHY SHOULD I JOIN KAWRJ?
The most important reason is because of the special relationships you will make with a group of dedicated, hard-working women. Other important reasons include that your membership helps support the WRJ and helps support our temple.
ISN’T A SISTERHOOD JUST FOR LONG-TERM TEMPLE MEMBERS?
Absolutely not. Sisterhood is for everyone. The board has sponsored programs designed to appeal to everyone. Further, the mix of women enables long-term members to provide their invaluable knowledge and experience to the newer members, so that KAWRJ will thrive. Conversely, the newer members will bring fresh ideas and their own experiences to the organization.
WHAT PROGRAMS HAS KAWRJ RUN?
KAWRJ has been very busy this year. We’ve hosted outings such as concerts in the park, walks in nature and to the Vancouver Farmer’s Market, meals out together and a fun pub trivia night. We’ve done social action together such as harvesting food for the Clark County Food Bank, cooking for WHO, making bracelets with Good Deeds With Beads, even gathering to walk in various marches, as well as educating our congregation about the plights of the food insecure and homeless and actions we can take. Several members opened up their homes to raise funds for our Jewish Camp Fund with a progressive dinner, Tai-Chi class and tea, a games night, and a farm-to-table meal. We had a fun time tasting tacos and tequila to raise funds for camp scholarships as well. We like to come together so have put on events held at the temple such as the Summer BBQ (complete with fake campfire!), Membership Tea, Sweet and Savory in the Sukkah, Sip ‘n’ Paint, book discussions, and even a 70’s-themed family fun event. Let’s not forget that a few of the ladies regularly come to play Mah-Jongg or who bake hamentaschen for the congregation. We also reached out and helped NFTY (the youth group WRJ helped start) when they hosted a conference here by offering to teach seminars and opening our homes to the kids.
In addition to our events. KAWRJ operates a gift shop, which stocks an eclectic and charming array of wares ranging from beautiful Judaica to children’s toys. We also have an incredible selection of cards, wrap and holiday items. So if you are looking for the perfect gift, New Year or Bar/Bat Mitzvah cards, look no further than your own Judaica shop.
WHAT IS KAWRJ PLANNING FOR THIS YEAR?
So far, in addition to our annual end-of-the-summer get-together and membership meetings, we are planning more Ladies’ Night Out events, both at restaurants and potlucks in homes, craft and social action opportunities. We hope to involve more of you in figuring out what you’d like to see to make us stronger together.
HOW MUCH ARE MEMBERSHIP DUES
We have several levels of dues ranging from $40-$120 per year, where you can give as much as you’d like. Renewal and new membership forms will be sent out soon. You do not need to be a member of CKA to join- though it is wonderful if you can support both groups.
WHERE DOES MY MONEY GO?
This year, approximately $18 of your dues will be sent to the Women of Reform Judaism to support programs such as the YES Fund. $2 goes to the Pacific District to support leadership and camp programs. The rest of your dues will be used to sponsor events that help to bring us together as well as make a difference in our community.
SPECIFICALLY, HOW DOES MY SUPPORT HELP CKA?
Building a sense of community is vitally important to a growing congregation. Your attendance at our events is what makes those connections happen. In addition, we use some of the funds we collect to enhance the temple. This year we were able to purchase items such as a mixer and can openers for the kitchen as well as buy a new computer for Sam, CKA’s administrator, to use.
SO NOW, OUR QUESTION TO YOU IS … ARE YOU READY TO BE A PART OF SISTERHOOD???