The Candle- February 2024

*President Message

*Event: Mental Health & Wellness Workshop,

*Event: Biblical Women Speak

*Event: Jewish Music - Past, Present, and Future

*Event: Demystifying Disability - How to be an Ally

*News from the District and Beyond

Hello Holly,

President Message

March is International Women’s Month. Your Mid-Atlantic District is featuring three programs to uplift women and their important contributions. Details and registration links can be found below.

Biblical Women Speak: Aptly stated by Cassandra Gill, “In a book mostly written by men and about men, what is the role of women? Over 90% of the people named in the Hebrew Bible are men. Finding out about women’s experiences is not an easy task, but scholars have been able to figure out a lot by carefully combing through the text. While women were largely confined to the household, they also were a critical part of a society’s social, political, and economic well-being, since the sustainment of the household was so vitally important to ancient life.”

One such scholar is Rabbi Marla Feldman, Women of Reform Judaism Executive Director Emerita in her recently released book, Biblical Women Speak. Rabbi Feldman employs midrash (interpretative techniques) to discover ten biblical women’s stories from a female point of view and provide insights beyond how ancient male scholars viewed them.

We are fortunate to have Rabbi Marla Feldman as the featured speaker at a program at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, Virginia, located in the Washington DC metro area. All Mid-Atlantic district members and their guests (spouses, children, parents, and friends) are invited and encouraged to attend.

For me personally, the absence of all but a few women in our text, has always bothered me. And it seems that when they are mentioned, a large number are portrayed in a negative way. I am excited about learning more about the women of the time, seeing them as human beings and learning about the problems they faced and how we all can relate their stories to contemporary times.

Mental Health and Wellness: Women are always caring for others but often neglect themselves. In her two-part series, Dr. Holly Plotnick will lead workshops that will improve our interactions with others and allow us to s happy and healthy lives.

Jewish Music: Past, Present and Future: Join Cantor Sydney Micaela in an extraordinary Jewish musical journey featuring women songwriters.

I hope you join me at these extraordinary programs.


Mental Health & Wellness Workshop Series - Part 1 (Zoom)

Sunday, February 25th at 7:00

Hosted by WRJ Mid-Atlantic District and the Women of Temple B'nai Shalom

Do you often feel overwhelmed with everyday tasks? Are you stuck in your routine, or do you want to find a new path? Do you struggle with saying “no” to others, or finding time to do the things you enjoy and that can “refill your bucket”? 

Emotional intelligence, mental health, and mental wellness are all big words for understanding and managing your emotions, taking care of your mental state, and supporting and helping those around you. All three are essential in our interactions with family and friends and living a happy and healthy life.

Sneak Peek into the Workshop

  • What is Wellness?
  • How to Recognize Signs & Symptoms of Distress / Crisis
  • Complete a Personal Wellness Assessment (Will be sent out upon Registration)
  • Start a Wellness Plan

Join the WRJ District VP of Marketing & Communications, Dr. Holly Plotnick, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and founder of Tattooed Daisies, as she facilitates these workshops! For questions, contact 


Biblical Women Speak: Hearing Their Voices through New and Ancient Midrash (In-person)

Special Opportunity for Women* (and Men*) to Learn from Rabbi Marla J Feldman, WRJ Executive Director Emerita.

Sunday, March 3 from 10:00 – 2:00 (Includes Lunch)

Temple Rodef Shalom, Falls Church, Virginia

Learn how our ancient tradition can provide meaning to our modern lives through midrash and the inspiring tales of biblical women during this unique program. In the first part of the day, Rabbi Feldman will provide an overview of her new book about feminist midrash and the biblical women whose stories continue to be relevant today. After a break for brunch, she will provide a deeper dive into the “sacred sisterhood” of the midwives Puah and Shiphrah and their heroic defiance of Pharaoh’s evil plan to kill the Israelite babies in the Exodus story. You will come away empowered to engage deeply with the biblical text and learn to read our sacred scriptures with “midrashic eyes”. 

Rabbi Marla Feldman is both a Reform rabbi (HUC-JIR) and a lawyer (JD, Univ. of Florida). Professionally, Rabbi Feldman has a long history serving the Reform Movement as the Executive Director Emerita of Women of Reform Judaism, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism and Director of Development of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Previously she worked in the Jewish Community Relations field, serving communities in Detroit and Delaware and taught as adjunct faculty at the University of Detroit-Mercy and the Widener University College of Law in Wilmington, DE. She served congregations in Sarasota and Orlando, FL.

  • Registration Deadline is February 26th. Register HERE ($32 fee includes brunch).
  • There is a 40% discount for those who pre-order the book HERE (There will be time for book signings).
  • * These gender definitions have been expanded to those who identify female, male, nonbinary or gender fluid.

Jewish Music: Past, Present, and Future

Thursday, March 14th at 7:30 pm

From the temple times to now, music has always been an important part of Jewish history, culture, and worship. Cantor Sydney Michaeli will take us on a journey through hundreds of years of Jewish music, exploring the ways Jewish music has changed and evolved, and how the past has influenced the music we hear in our Jewish world today.

Registration HERE.

Demystifying Disability: How to be an Ally

Register HERE!

News from the District and Beyond ...

Fried Women’s Conference – New Orleans, LA

May 30 – June 2

Register Today

Join WRJ this spring to “unmask your potential” at what is sure to be an unforgettable, in-person (re)union at the Fried Women’s Conference (FWC)! WRJ’s flagship event, FWC 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.

We have transitioned from Yammer/Viva Engage to Mighty Networks

If you have not already done so, please follow this link to request an account on our new platform. Click here to sign up for Mighty Networks

This new site allows for us to more freely communicate with each other with some privacy. You can ask other members questions, share event or fundraising ideas, or see what events are coming up in the district. We look forward to seeing you there.

The Women of TRS Passover Cookbook:

More Than Just a Cookbook!

Passover begins on April 22nd. It’s not too early to start thinking about what to cook for your Seder meal during the week of the holiday. Spice up your Passover food experience with Women of TRS (WoTRS)…

Celebrating and Creating Traditions: Passover Recipes & Ideas.  It is a user-friendly digital cookbook that contains 120+ delicious recipes (also appropriate to make year-round). Explore some of the adventurous recipes such as blueberry soup, matza lasagna, shepherd’s pie, blintz soufflé, and so many more. There are several kid-friendly, easy-to-make recipes as well. This cookbook is a top-notch guide to the holiday. You’ll find soup-to-nuts sample Seder menus and a ‘how-to’ primer on setting the Seder table. Our easy-to-use digital cookbook also makes a perfect shower gift for a bride-to-be. 

A PDF download costs $10; proceeds go to the charities WoTRS supports. CONTACT: for questions.

To place an order, Click HERE.

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WRJ Mid-Atlantic District

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