Collaborating with Sisterhoods for Successful Programs

by Liza Robbins Theuman Area Director for WRJ Northeast Temple B’rith Kodesh Sisterhood in Rochester NY
August 25, 2021

After hearing former White House speechwriter, Sarah Hurwitz speak at the last Fried Women’s Conference, I knew I had to share her information with more than just the women who had the opportunity to listen to her that day. Being the crazy energetic sort that I am, I reached out to see how to get in touch with Sarah and bring her to my sisterhood. I was given the contact information and then got the awful news that bringing Sarah in would be expensive. 

I knew that we could not afford her; however, I am not good at the word NO. 

“Put on your thinking cap, Liza. What other options are there?” I thought to myself. Hmm… go to your region, or better yet, you are an Area Director. You work with other sisterhoods and know how they always say that they want to do things together. I have heard this mentioned at district board meetings, but it has never truly been something that has been investigated or developed. So why not try to see what can be done. 

I reached out again to her publicist and learned that Sarah would be delighted to do a Zoom program in the fall of 2021. To get the show in motion, I emailed a letter to all 67 sisterhoods in the Northeast District explaining what is being considered, the cost of sponsorship, and the date of the event. Before I knew it, we had 5, then 10, and ultimately 27 sisterhoods committed to sponsoring the speaker. Now, I realized that the one-woman show must end, and I must form a committee since this is beyond what I can do alone. I need a tech person to do registration and help with everything Zoom-related, a publicity person, and someone to do the interview. The one thing I know is to surround yourself with those that allow you to excel at what you can do best. I am an organizer and was the one interacting with the sisterhoods as the checks came in. I also sent out the publicity so they could share it with their sisterhoods. But then, I realized we have sisters who are not members of sisterhoods who have chosen not to be sponsors and individual members. We must be inclusive. So many things go into planning a collaborative program. This is different than a convention. 

As a result, the women are so excited to collaborate, and I have had the opportunity to work with sisterhoods who we rarely hear from to those that are very active. 

Ladies, think outside of the box. WRJ gives you the tools, do not be afraid to use them! Here are a few suggestions:  

  • Get all of the information that you need and then contact the correct resources
  • Determine how you are going to finance the program and determine the best way to share the costs
  • Surround yourself with a committee who all have different talents and can work together, making sure that one person is the main contact person 
  • When working in collaboration, make sure that all sisterhoods are aware that the same publicity is provided to all and that it is not to be altered or changed in any way. 

Remember, YOU CAN DO THIS, do not let someone burst your bubble and tell you that it cannot be done.


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