fredi Bleeker Franks

Photo of woman with blond hair and wearing a white shirt and an orange sweater
Women of Reform Judaism

fredi Bleeker Franks serves as the Chair of RAC-TX. She belongs to Congregation Emanu El in Houston, TX where she volunteers on the congregation’s Social Justice Core Team and is the congregation’s Education VP. She is the e-news coordinator for WRJ Today, and was a long-time board member of the Women of Reform Judaism. She is currently a member of the Committee on Social Action and the URJ North American Board. In addition to those volunteer activities, fredi is a volunteer/docent at the Holocaust Museum Houston. She lives in Houston with her husband Paul and their pandemic puppy Tillman.

Protecting Our Children: A Fight for Religious Freedom in Texas Schools

fredi Bleeker Franks

Once, finding me crying outside of the cafeteria, a friendly counselor asked what was wrong. When I tried to explain, she said to me, “You don’t have to be anybody other than who you are. You’re pretty special, and those other kids are sure missing out.” 


Parashat Korach

fredi Bleeker Franks
How many times have we reacted angrily to someone’s comments when taking a moment to reflect would have resulted in a calmer discussion and potentially a better outcome? As leaders in our Sisterhoods and women’s groups, we are often faced with women who challenge our ideas, disrupt our meetings, or fail to follow through on promised activities. When faced with a challenging conversation, sometimes taking a moment just to breathe is the most helpful thing we can do.

Parashat Vayeishev

fredi Bleeker Franks
Over the years, I have heard so many stories of women who had big dreams for themselves, their families, and yes, even their women’s groups, but had let them go because they were told to be realistic and get their heads out of the clouds. They were told that their dreams would never come true. During those conversations, I encouraged those women to revisit their dreams. I told them that, as with our friend Joseph, dreams could be connections with God and our most authentic selves, and we owe it to ourselves to try to make them come true.

Parashat Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot

fredi Bleeker Franks
I love the rituals and prayers of Shabbat – the Shabbat candles, the smell of challah baking that permeates my house, closing my eyes and imagining the words of the Shema swirling around me like a giant tallit. Why does the Hashkiveinu appeal to me so much? On Sunday night, after Erev Rosh Hashana services, I took my glass of wine outside and looked up at the stars, determined to find an answer to my question. As I gazed at that beautiful blanket of stars, I understood why that prayer is so meaningful to me.