Women of Progressive Judaism
The Sisterhood of the Cape Town Jewish Reform Congregation was launched at a meeting held in the Delmonico Restaurant in April 1944. We currently have 3 Sisterhoods in Cape Town namely: Green Point, Wynberg, and Hadassah. Members of Hadassah Sisterhood are mostly working women and it is regarded as an ‘Umbrella Sisterhood’ as its members are drawn from Wynberg, Green Point as well as from the West Coast Temple which as yet does not have a sisterhood of its own. All Sisterhoods in Southern Africa are members of the South African Union of Temple Sisterhoods (SAUTS)and are nationally and internationally represented by this organization. SAUTS has full representation on the SAUPJ administrative bodies, and is an affiliated member of the Union of Jewish Women of South Africa. SAUTS also has a seat on the governing body of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and is represented on the Board of Directors of the Women for Reform Judaism, our parent body, based in the United States. Sisterhood was renamed Women of Progressive Judaism at their conference in May 2012
“SISTERHOOD IS JUDAISM IN ACTION”
We appeal to all congregants who are not yet actively involved, to come forward and join the Sisterhoods. The more helpers, the lighter the load and the more can be achieved. We need your new ideas and enthusiasm to help Sisterhood and the Congregation to grow and flourish.
GREEN POINT WOMEN OF PROGRESSIVE JUDAISM
Sisterhood support the Congregation as much as possible including contributing generously towards the expenses of our Hebrew Schools. Community Involvement and Outreach: We send representatives to major gatherings of other Jewish organizations and have been privileged to be invited to various special community functions. Sisterhood participate at communal events such as the Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebrations organized by the Western Province Zionist Council. We are represented on the Jewish Women’s Co-ordinating Committee of the Western Cape. This committee consists of members of all the Jewish Women’s Organizations and Synagogue Guilds who work together to organize various communal functions. For more than 40 years, the Sisterhood used to entertain about 1000 elderly and disadvantaged people from various homes in the city, during or soon after the Succoth week. The event was known as “The Simchat Torah Party for Senior Citizens”. As the main hall in our new G P Temple complex is about a quarter of the size of the one we had in the previous premises, this annual event has had to be drastically curtailed. In recent years we have invited seniors of our congregation and from the Cape Jewish Seniors Association (CJSA) to join us for a Succoth Tea Party and have also tried to provide some entertainment for our guests. Our Annual Interfaith mornings were initiated more than 30 years ago. Invitations are extended to members of Christian, Moslem and other faith groups. These events have proved to be very popular and have been an opportunity for the different religions to learn and rejoice in the differences and similarities of our faiths. With assistance from Mazon (an American based organization providing food for needy or hungry people all over the world), we have for many years continued to support Ikamva La Bantu feeding schemes for disabled and underprivileged children attending day care centres in the local townships. We also on occasion assist local Jewish organizations and throughout the year support other worthy causes. Parcels of clothing are regularly donated for distribution to disaster victims via the Jewish Board of Deputies and to the Somerset Hospital for needy patients. Catering: Our hardworking catering team organise and provide refreshments for various temple functions including the many unsponsored brochas that are hosted and donated by Sisterhood. Surplus and left over food is donated to the needy. Fundraising:. Catering for various simchas such as Bnei Mitzvah, etc. forms the main source of our income. As part of our endeavours to raise funds for the various projects that we support, Judaica & Handmade Gifts are sold. We also organise an annual fete and have ongoing rummage sales. We greatly appreciate the support and donations received from our congregants without which this would not be possible.
WYNBERG WOMEN OF PROGRESSIVE JUDAISM
We at the Wynberg Sisterhood have had a very eventful year and are engaged in many charity and social events. Our dedicated ladies are at the forefront of every occasion and challenge. We give many donations to various charities e.g. Red Cross, City Mission, Night Haven and to the refugees affected by floods or fire. Our Sisterhood is thriving in Wynberg and is always open for new ladies young and not so young to join us. We are also a family and look to events so we can be together. I am always available to anyone who would like more information about how we operate and we welcome any new members with pleasure.