WRJ/CBI Sisterhood

WRJ/CBI Sisterhood

Sisterhood Mission

Mission: To bring women together to support and benefit Congregation Beth Israel and the community by providing opportunities for friendship, service, spiritual growth, and learning.

Winner of 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 Or Ami “Light of My People” Awards from WRJ for excellence in programming

Sisterhood During Social Distancing

Sisterhood will continue to support our members and the CBI community during these challenging times. To that end, we will be looking for ways to assure that we continue to serve the needs of our members and reach out to serve others while maintaining a robust membership. If you are a current member of Sisterhood, thank you, and if you are new to CBI or haven’t gotten around to joining, please do. We can connect you to social action projects, to other women in the community, and we are a wonderful resource for all things Jewish in Portland. Whether we meet you masked face to masked face or whether we see you in a tiny box on a zoom call, know that we see you and that we are here for you. Sisterhood is a place for all women and anyone who identifies as female. We are stronger together when you are part of Beth Israel Sisterhood. 

Sisterhood College Care Packages!

Every year, your WRJ/Beth Israel Sisterhood sends Chanukah (and Purim!) care packages to congregants’ children enrolled in college, graduate school, professional educational programs, and military service. Our students love getting our packages filled with seasonal treats, dreidels and gelt, a student directory, a note from Rabbi Cahana, and more.
Want to make sure your child is included in the next round of care packages? Please contact Shoshanna Lansberg with your student’s name, email address, college or branch of service, mailing address, year in school, permission for inclusion in student email directory, and dietary restrictions. We want to make sure everyone is included!

This is a free service made possible by the Urman Family College Communication Fund. Donations are always welcome.



3rd Wednesday of the month, 10:30 AM

Not meeting during COVID-19 Social Distancing

Attention CBI knitters, crocheters, and those eager to learn.  Your WRJ/Beth Israel Sisterhood is interested in expanding our Knit-A-Mitzvah crew as we knit (and purl!) year-round to make hats and scarves as gifts for our neighbors at NW Towers and for attendees of our annual Lift Urban Portland Christmas Dinner.

No yarn? No Needles? No problem. CBI will provide supplies, as well as coffee, tea, and great company!

Executive Committee

  • President: Shoshanna Lansberg
  • Immediate Past President: Kathleen Doctor
  • Vice President: Susan Berniker
  • Recording Secretary: Michael Richman
  • Corresponding Secretary: Vivian Wasserteil
  • Treasurer: Leslie Robinson

Standing Committees

  • Volunteer Coordinator: Debbie Braymer
  • Social Action/Advocacy: Susan Berniker and Robin McAlpine
  • Programming: Arlene Koenigsberg and Virginia Gitter
  • Membership: Ellen Zellinger and Rachel Segal
  • Fundraising: Beth Eisenberg-Shapera
  • Community Seder: Melissa Himmelman
  • Religious Programming – Annette (Nettie) MacDougall
  • Communications (News and FB: Rosi Marshall
  • Rosh Hashanah Reception: Karen Stavis
  • College Outreach: Amanda Werner
  • Gift Shop: Bonnie Barg
  • Gift Shop Treasurer: Judy Stones

Clergy Liaison & Emerita

  • Clergy Liaison: Cantor Ida Rae Cahana
  • Emerita: Ellen Bick and Stephanie Siegel

Contact us: wrj.bis@gmail.com

Please be a mensch, both beneath and outside of our dome! How can you be a mensch for Sisterhood? This list gives you the links for everything menschy. Greet, sell, lead, or bake. These are among the paths to mensch-hood. You can be a mensch once a year, weekly, or when you have time. Please look at these options; sign up, send an email, and be engaged in our community. We need your help; be a mensch! Mensch Menu

  • MONITOR the doors and be a welcoming helper at our religious school, ensuring the safe arrival and departure of our students. Learn more. Contact McKenna Means, Education Administrator.
  • SELL Judaica in the Sisterhood Gift Shop. Contact Bonnie Barg.
  • GREET members for Shabbat and High Holiday Services.
  • LEAD services at the Robison Home. Sisterhood is responsible for providing a service leader(s) every month. We can teach you everything you need to know.
  • BAKE sweets for Rosh Hashanah.
  • STUFF care packages for college students and military personnel.

Sisterhood Shabbat  
Friday, February 21 | 6:00 PM | Pollin Chapel
Join us for Shabbat Evening Service led by the WRJ/Beth Israel Sisterhood. We are looking for readers and singers!

Social Hour at Stone Soup PDX
Thursday, February 13 | 5:00 PM-8:00 PM | 306 NW Broadway
Join us at Stone Soup PDX (stonesouppdx. com), a non-profit providing food service training and life skills to persons at risk of homelessness. Founded by CBI members Ronit and Craig Gerard, Stone Soup operates a restaurant and catering service. Co- sponsored by Social Action, Brotherhood, Sisterhood, CBI Adults 50+, and JND.

Sisterhood Havdalah
Eastside Sisterhood Havdalah with Rabbi Rachel Joseph
Saturday, January 12 | 5:00 PM | Northeast Home of Michael Richman
All CBI women are invited to enjoy delicious appetizers, be enveloped by the warmth of Rabbi Joseph and the WRJ/Beth Israel Sisterhood community, and participate in a lovely service to mark the end of Shabbat. This is a wonderful opportunity for women on the eastside of Portland to come together and without having to cross a bridge!  Please RSVP and let us know if you are interested in carpooling.

Sisterhood Social Action Committee Meeting
Sunday, January 6 | 12:30 PM | Pollin Chapel
Join us at our introductory Sisterhood Social Action Committee meeting to discuss issues that are important to the women of CBI, create an advocacy plan, and to learn more about the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) high-priority areas. Bagels, shmears, and beverages will be served.

To RSVP (encouraged) or for questions, contact Susan Berniker, Sisterhood Women’s Advocacy/Social Action Chair.

Sisterhood’s Second Annual Chanukah White Elephant Party!
December 19 | 7:00 to 9:00 PM | SE Portland Home of Robyn Urbach (RSVP for address)
Bring a funny, fantastic, or festive WRAPPED item for the gift exchange. It must be something you already have or no longer want. The first person opens a gift. On subsequent turns, each person has the choice to either unwrap a new present or “steal” another’s. The game is over when everyone has a present. Please also bring menstruation products to donate for those in need (no plastic applicators, please). Light appetizers, desserts and libations of all kinds will be served. There is plenty of street parking in the neighborhood.

Sisterhood Craft Night
Tuesday, November 12 | 6:00 PM  | SW Portland Home of Sheryl Martel (RSVP for address)
Make a beautiful bracelet with your friends from the WRJ/Beth Israel Sisterhood. Sisterhood’s own Shoshanna Lansberg provides her expert guidance at the SW home of Sheryl Martel (RSVP for address). $15; bring cash or check to the event. Please RSVP by November 8

Sisterhood Membership Brunch
Sunday, September 15 | 10:00 AM | Goodman Hall
Join us for the annual Sisterhood Membership Brunch at which Oregon Attorney General (and CBI congregant) Ellen Rosenblum will speak on “The Challenges of Protecting Oregon’s Kids, Students, Immigrants, and Seniors in Today’s World.” $25; RSVP to the CBI Main Office at (503) 222-1069 or order online. Questions? Email Ellen Bick.

Laila Lavan
Saturday, August 17 | 6:00 PM | Temple Lawn

Join us on Saturday, August 17 at 6:00 PM for dinner under the stars!
Wear white attire and be ready to enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired dinner including local wines, no-host bar, Havdalah led by Cantor Ida Rae Cahana, dancing, and entertainment by The Little Big Band!

Tickets are $54 per person including dinner, wine, legendary Sisterhood desserts, and entertainment. Call the CBI Office at (503) 222-1069 with your credit card, mail in your check to the office, or purchase tickets online.