Celebrate Women’s History With the Moon
What is Rosh Chodesh? The first of each Jewish month—the celebration of the new moon, its slender crescent barely visible in the night sky—is historically associated with women. According to tradition, because women didn’t participate in the sin of the golden calf, they were given the holiday of Rosh Chodesh. In recent decades, Rosh Chodesh has become a monthly occasion for Jewish women to gather for learning, ritual and spiritual exploration, and to mark life passages.
What are our meetings like? Our Rosh Chodesh group, founded by Ruth Reidbord, has been meeting in members’ homes for more than 16 years. We open with a reading, introductions, candle-lighting and wine blessings, a summary of the month’s holidays and historic events and a bio honoring an interesting or eminent woman who died during the
month; this year it’s Temple Sinai or Pittsburgh women. The heart of the meeting is a lively and provocative discussion of a short story, essay, memoir or midrash (creative interpretation of a Biblical or Talmudic story) written by a Jewish woman. We close with a song and refreshments. All Sinai women are welcome!
From a member when asked about her reflections on Rosh Chodesh: “I walked into my first Rosh Chodesh group with the idea that I would try it once…. Now, I’ve attended almost every one since that first night and even facilitated a couple of discussions....So what makes the Rosh Chodesh group so special?
- Learning: the discussions of the stories are amazing as we share our different perspectives.
- Community: what a wonderful group of welcoming, engaging, incredibly smart women.
- Inspiration: comments on the stories range from ‘when my grandmother came to this country...’ to “this author uses symbolism in this way...” which inspires me to read with both a personal and analytical approach; it also inspires me to engage more in the discussions, and to connect more to my new friends. Clearly, this is an experience I cherish.” -- Laurie Mulvey
For more information about schedule and meeting locations, PDFs of the story and program booklet, and how to RSVP, please contact Lynn Magid Lazar, [email protected].
And check out the calendar page for our next meeting!