On Tuesday, June 5, the Young Israel of New Rochelle’s Women’s League held its annual dinner, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the YINR Women’s League and honoring its past president Sarra Lorbert.
In her remarks, YINR Rebbitzen Abby Fink wished mazal tov to Women’s League on its 30th anniversary. “We are very proud of Women’s League and their accomplishments. It’s not something to be taken for granted; very few communities are comparable to ours!”
Women’s League Co-Presidents Sasha Fox and Anya Weibke then reminisced on the history of the shul’s Women’s League. “The community was much smaller. About 30 women got together and made a commitment to be there for one another.” The Women’s League dinners were originally pool parties at a member’s home and people actually went swimming. Volunteers signed up by passing around a clipboard.
Fox and Weibke went on to describe the evolution of Women’s League, from improving the aesthetics of the shul, to the establishment of many committees that address life-cycle and communal needs: including chesed, new mothers, shiva and hospitality for potential new members. Over time, learning opportunities were added, and Women’s League even became involved with holiday programs.
The women also acknowledged all the gifts Women’s League has given to the shul over the years, including a donation toward the construction of the new shul building, a small Torah for use in shiva homes, and a new shul sound system.
Fox expounded, “What started off as a need for a communal Sisterhood had turned into an institution. One goal that Darina Silverman started has withstood the test of time—friendship. Women who might not otherwise know each other got to work together and appreciate each other. Many close lifelong friendships were built. And it’s apparent to me that that still holds true today.”
In an email to the community, Darina Silverman, the founding president, stated, “I’m in awe of all of you! Throughout the last 30 years you have shared so much of your time and energy to our Women’s League, while still managing a home, raising children, carpooling, entertaining while most of you had a career.
The evening continued with a presentation to Sarra Lorbert, the YINR past president. Lorbert was described as the very definition of a volunteer. She isn’t in it for the fanfare. Instead, she commits her time and energy to getting things done, and getting them done well. Immediately after stepping down as president, Sarra continued to be an active member of Women’s League, co-chairing the hospitality committee and the mishloach manot project.
In Lorbert’s remarks, she too acknowledged the momentous occasion: “While time has gone by and people have come and gone, the mission of the Women’s League has never changed...be there for the moments that matter most to people. During my tenure as president of this wonderful Women’s League, I experienced working with every one of these committees. The amazing level of chesed of these special women who head these groups is truly indescribable.”
Lorbert also attributed her involvement in women’s league as “the best way to meet new people and make some friends. I loved my time as president and therefore decided to keep involved. I enjoy doing chesed and working with everyone involved.”
By Judy Berger