The Women of Solel

by Robbin Botnick, March 27, 2019

March 8th was International Women’s Day, “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” In recognition of International Women’s Day, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the Women of Solel and the contribution that they have made and continue to make to our congregation.

Solel has been an egalitarian Synagogue from our very beginning. Our values have always been based on all people being treated equally and fairly and the understanding that everyone has the opportunity to participate in all aspects of congregational life from chanting Torah and teaching at Bet Sefer Solel to chairing committees and holding Board and Executive Leadership positions. In recent years we have worked hard to ensure that we have created an environment of equality and inclusivity for everyone in our community. At Solel we are very fortunate to have some incredible female role models and leaders. We can attribute much of our early female leadership to some our founding families. The women in Solel’s early days took an active role in our community. They ensured that the Oneg’s were sponsored, they cooked for the B’nai Mitzvahs of each other’s children, they worked at the Solel sponsored Bingo, they self-learned Hebrew so that they could be strong teachers in our school and they even helped push cars out of the snow when they got stuck in the winter at the Glen Erin Inn. They created a true community at Solel and as I grow older I truly appreciate all that they did to not only help Solel grow but also thrive. I look back now and I so truly grateful for the role models that I had at Solel, I have tried to name as many as I can, I apologize, as I am know that I must have left a few of out: Cheryl Englander, Ella Stoch, Linda Palter, Diane Adler, Josie Emond, Sheila Aldoroty, Ann Bobker, Shirley Evans, Gail Feldman, Jeanette Feuer, Sonia Fineman, Judy Burns, Emily Goldberg, Linda Hannon, Shirley Herman, Eleanor Stoch, Judy Miller, Leah Haller, Janice May, Rhoda Peer, Cheryl Shine, Beverley Rothschild, Ruthie Snell, Aviva Tamari, Judith Tamari, Linda Tarek, Laila Wierzba, Lyse Brothman and so many others. Each of you taught me about faith, and compassion, and community and each of you has inspired me to give back to our community in the way that each of you has. As our membership has transformed over the years we have seen the women of our congregation take on increasingly larger roles. Today our female leaders include many of our teachers and student assistants, our board members and committee chairs, ushers and volunteers. Without the contributions of these incredible women, we would not have the Solel that we have.

We are also truly fortunate to have two of the best female role models I could possibly imagine, our Director of Education, Arliene Botnick and our Rabbi, Audrey Pollack. Both of these women truly embody what it means to be Jewish and what it means to be a Solelnik. Our female leaders are only half of the equation though, it is all of our leaders, female and male, that make our congregation strong. Solel has always had the school philosophy of we teach our own, but I believe that this extends beyond teaching our own but also supporting our own within our Solel community. It is incredibly important for all of us to continue to stand up and lead, to show our new generations of Solelniks how rewarding it is and how necessary it is to grow and lead the congregation forward.

To all of the Solel women, past and present, thank you for your time and energy. Thank you for building the Solel that we have today and thank you for being the wonderful supporters and role models that you are.

To all of the women and men and supporters of Solel, thank you!


Filed under: President's Message

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