President’s Corner


 Carol Simon, International President of Women’s League installs
Joanne Shulman, President of Women’s League of B’nai Torah Congregation


President’s Message

I am proud and honored to become the next President of the Women’s League of B’nai Torah Congregation.

Something funny happened in synagogue this past Shabbat. The Rabbi was making his announcements and mentioned WL Installation. When he said my name, he misspoke and called me “Joan.”   When I went to greet him on the bimah, he apologized profusely and said, “I know your name!”  Later, in the kiddush, several people came over to me – each with a big smile and said,  “Hi Joan.”  On my way out, I saw the Rabbi in the hallway.  I told him that I had learned two things that morning:

1.. People really do listen to his announcements….and

2.  People actually know who I am.!!!!!

Shelly and Penina said that I should let you know a little bit about me.  So here goes…. I was born in Troy, New York,  and I have lived in New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia and most recently, Massachusetts.  I managed to live in all those states because I worked for the federal government, Social Security to be exact. While living in the Boston area. I eventually became a snowflake and finally a full time resident of Florida.

I belonged to Temple Israel of Natick, MA and was active in their Sisterhood. I loved it there and was sure it was the best congregation that one could ever find!  When I was widowed in June of 2011, I made my move to Delray Beach in November of that year and began my search for a new Jewish home.

I looked for that special place for some time without success. Since my arrival in Florida, I had heard about the Melton program from several sources. I was having such a hard time finding a synagogue, I decided to take Melton classes hoping that through Melton I might find the community I was looking for. I guess it was “beshert” (meant to be). I arrived at class and sat next to a beatiful grey curly haired lady. Her name is Jewel Prince and it was friendship at first meeting. I was also lucky enough to have Eda Viner, Dale and Dick Sonenklare and Felisa Baner in our small wonderful Core One class.  Having Rabbi Steinhart and Marion Hirschman as teachers was the topping on the cake. I knew I wanted to join B’nai Torah.  Eventually, I had a conversation with the Rabbi.  He said that while he wanted me to become a member, he suggested that before I join I should become an active member in Women’s League. He told me that if I did that, I would find like minded women and friends. Boy was he right!  Since joining. I have been involved in so many of the activities of Women’s League, such as:  Hamentashen, Comfort dolls, the Judaica shop, Mazelgrams, and supporting the Milagro school. I found everyone to be welcoming and friendly.  I found my new and MOST wonderful extraordinary Jewish home, and I found friends!! Thank you, Rabbi.
Enough about me, let’s talk a little about next year.  We are planning lots of exciting events, including a new “paid up” membership brunch in December. We will again join with the Men’s Club for an exciting Latka and Vodka event, which will include karaoke (fair warning, start practicing your favorite songs now!).  WL shabbat planning is in the works, and while I can’t yet say who our guest speaker will be, she will be fabulous. We are planning to do Rosh Chodesh in a new more exciting format–different venues and activities for each of 8 months. Torah Fund will remain one of  Women’s our main fund raising focuses. There is a new Torah Fund project that will be undertaken, and a new school to support–the Conservative Seminary in Berlin, Germany.   We are still developing our opening event for September.  I can tell you it will take place on Thursday September 15th, and it will be a lot of fun.  There will be a big and exciting fund raiser in March that will include the entire congregation. We will, of course, continue with book club, comfort dolls, making hamentashen and  a fantastic great Game day. It will be an exciting year.  I want to thank all of the women on my new board. We have a great group of extraordinary women. We plan to work hard to continue to make our Women’s League at B’nai Torah the very best.


Finally, I ask that you come and say hello to me.  I look forward to meeting you all and listening to your thoughts and ideas.  But, please know that I am totally name challenged and I may need to ask your name on more than one occasion. Thank you for your support and confidence in me, and here’s  to a wonderful new year!

Joanne Shulman

President, Women’s League B’nai Torah Congregation