WRJ’s Ner Tamid Committee is Listening & Honoring Hillary Handwerger, z"l

by Gail Spivack and Andrea Cannon
September 17, 2021

WRJ’s Ner Tamid Society is building on the legacy of Hillary Handwerger and is delighted to share our upcoming listening campaign.


Remembering Hillary Handwerger

Shari Schulner, WRJ Manager of Philanthropy.

The Ner Tamid Society is focused on two things - creating a legacy and securing the future of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ). As chair of the Ner Tamid Society, Hillary Handwerger, z”l was dedicated to furthering the understanding of legacy giving and recognized how invaluable a planned gift could be to WRJ. Hillary was a devoted member of WRJ and WRJ’s Central District. She served as president of Women of Temple Beth Emeth (Ann Arbor, MI). She served on WRJ’s Board of Directors for many years, acted as a mentor to hundreds of WRJ women, and was an advocate for women’s rights. Hillary brought vigor and passion to ensuring the future of WRJ, despite facing many medical challenges. I had the honor of working alongside her.

Hillary bestowed a generous bequest to WRJ, which was a celebration of her legacy. Ner Tamid Society members, like Hillary, are an integral part of advancing WRJ’s mission. Hillary knew leaving a bequest to WRJ would help secure our future. She chose to contribute to specific efforts that were meaningful to her, which will continue WRJ’s philanthropy and support generations of Jewish women. Though we miss Hillary’s guidance, laughter, and leadership, we continue to see the impact of her gift every day.

We hope you will think of Hillary and join the Ner Tamid Society listening campaign so that you, too, can play a vital role in the future of WRJ.


Shari Schulner is the Manager of Philanthropy at WRJ. She grew up in New City, NY, and now lives in Astoria, NY, with her husband, Ethan. 


The Ner Tamid Committee is launching a Listening Campaign, and we hope to hear your voice!

Gail Spivack & Andrea Cannon, Ner Tamid Committee Co-Chairs

The objective of the listening campaign is to build on WRJ’s Ner Tamid Society communications and outreach to current and potential members. Our work and outcomes will be “you-centric” and guided by what WRJ members tell us is important to them with respect to a personal legacy.

What is the Ner Tamid Society?

The Ner Tamid Society gives WRJ members the opportunity to create their own personal legacy, both within WRJ and with family and friends.

I already support WRJ; how is Ner Tamid different?

Ner Tamid planned gifts are not about now; they are about the future, about legacy, symbolically planting a tree for future generations.

What are Ner Tamid legacy gifts used for?

Unlike other philanthropic opportunities to donate to WRJ, which are put to immediate use, Ner Tamid legacy gifts help WRJ plan for the future and ensure WRJ is here for the next generation of women.

Do I need to commit now to the amount of my Ner Tamid legacy gift?

Letting WRJ know of your intention to give a future gift, such as a bequest or trust, is all that is needed to become a Ner Tamid member. You do not need to designate the amount of your legacy gift in advance, and there are no set levels of giving.

If I agree to be interviewed, and I’m not already a member, will I be solicited to join Ner Tamid during the listening campaign?

No! Our objective is to get to know you better and learn from you so we can improve our communication and interface with current and future Ner Tamid members. Our listening work will be conducted in two phases:

  1. One-on-one chats to learn members’ interests, beliefs, emotions, knowledge of, and potential concerns around legacies in general and for WRJ specifically.
  2. Focus Groups to get input and feedback on draft communication materials and strategies developed from what we learned from the one-on-ones.

The Ner Tamid Committee is pleased to partner with the Chai Society (WRJ’s board alumni group) on conducting this foundational work. Chai Society members and the Ner Tamid committee will work together to conduct one-on-one conversations with members from across WRJ.

If you receive an invitation to join us in this important work, we hope you will say yes! 

Gail Spivack is a WRJ Board member, Co-Chair of the Ner Tamid Committee, and lives in Irvine, California. She can be reached at gspivack@cox.net.

Andrea Cannon is the Co-Chair of the Ner Tamid Committee and resides in Boca Raton, FL. She can be reached at redsisboca1@gmail.com.


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