Day of Learning speakers
urge women to play active
Special to the Jewish News
day to let "our souls catch up with our bod-
ies" was how keynote speaker Rivy Poupko
Kletenik described the community's second
annual Women's Day of Learning.
More than 200 women gathered at the Laker Center
in West Bloomfield on Sunday, Dec. 8, for an after-
noon of study, lively discussion and camaraderie under
the theme, "Here & Now: Listening to the Past —
Planning the Future."
In her keynote talk, Kletenik focused on three signif-
icant holidays — Purim, Chanukah and Passover —
where the survival of the Jewish people depended upon
the role of women.
She cited Judith as a principal character
in the story of Chanukah, although, as she
told the audience, "Judith has not received
a lot of press."
According to Kletenik, Judith was a
beautiful Jewess who tricked one of the
Syrian generals by feeding him a cheese
dish that made him thirsty, causing him to
drink too much wine and fall asleep. She
then killed him in his sleep and brought
his head to the members of his army, who
fled in defeat.
Kletenik explained that this is the reason
a dairy meal is traditionally eaten during
Chanukah, and why women are supposed
Keynoter Rivy Poupko Kletenik, a
Jewish educator, urges women to
use everyday occasions to show
commitment to Judaism.
to light the candles and then refrain from work-while
the candles are burning.
"Next year, I want you all to buy candles that burn
longer than 30 minutes," she joked.
Kletenik urged women to use everyday occasions to
show their commitment to Judaism.
"Every time I order a kosher meal on a plane, I am
`outing' myself," she said. "Someone asks me a ques-
tion, and it gives me an opportunity for conversation
about my beliefs. We-have to be unafraid to lay bare
who we are and what we're committed to.
'As women, we have to lead everyday lives of hero-
ism through sensitivity, sacrifice and risk-taking," she
Kletenik is director of Jewish Education Services for
the Jewish Federation of Seattle. She has written,
taught and lectured extensively throughout the country
and in Israel.
Following the keynote presentation, participants
were able to attend workshops led by local rabbis
and Jewish educators representing a variety of organ-
izations and religiou-s perspectives.
Workshops ranged from "Women and Prayer"
with Rena Spolter to "Women and Sexual Ethics"
with Rabbi Lauren Berkun to "The Value of Jewish
Memory" with Rabbi Marla Hornsten.
Other workshops were led by Aviva Silverman,
Tali Soble, Harlene Appelman, Ruth Bergman,
Rabbi Amy Bolton, Fran Pearlman and keynote
Zelda Robinson of West Bloomfield, right, and program chair Ellen Labes take notes at the Women's
Day of Learning.