In the Community — March 2019

Over the past few months, 130 women have been meeting in 12 groups to learn together through one book.

It’s all because of WORDS: Women Organizing, Reading, Discussing, and Socializing — a pilot program between CJP’s Jewish Learning and Engagement Team and Women’s Philanthropy, led by Co-chairs Arlene Bryer, Mindy Frankel Peckler, and Stacey Suckerman.

The concept is simple yet powerful: small groups gather together at volunteers' homes for discussions facilitated by volunteer leaders, trained by CJP. The program is centered around Dara Horn’s breathtaking novel, Eternal Life — the book chosen for CJP’s annual Read On event.

Discussions focus on themes found in the book, such as identity, parenting, mortality, fate, and medical ethics, both through a Jewish lens and the eyes of the participants.

“It’s a twist on a book club,” said Rabbi Jillian Cameron, CJP’s Director of Adult Learning. “The goal is to have women come together to learn, build community, and take a deeper dive into Jewish learning. It’s comfortable learning that fits into people’s lives.”

Here's what one participant had to say about WORDS:
"My hosts were a phenomenal team and I really enjoyed the first session. Great group of women close to home and really excited to be involved in this. Lots of good conversation — the night flew by!" — Gayle Lutchen