Circle of Friends is Beth Israel – The West Temple’s women’s group, which meets bimonthly in members’ homes for Rosh Chodesh (the new-month holiday) and healing services followed by a wide variety of programs and service projects. Circle of Friends began as a support group for two women of the congregation who were going through struggles with cancer, and has evolved into a warm, caring group of women who share and celebrate their life experiences. Recent gatherings have involved activities ranging from painting table ware at a do-it-yourself pottery studio, to a program on holistic health, to a discussion of the history of mah jongg in America, with instruction for beginners, to our annual Chanukah candle-lighting and no-sew blanket making for the homeless.
Circle of Friends also creates and leads an annual Women’s Seder, where the journey from slavery to freedom is retold from a woman’s perspective. Over the past years, each seder has also focused on a local, national, or international organization that supports women in some way, and donations are collected to be shared with the organization.
All women of the congregation, their daughters, mothers, and friends, are invited to attend any of the events. There are no membership dues.