Sisterhood Timeline

1912 — Union of American Hebrew Congregations calls for “ladies” organizations to appoint a delegate for a meeting in January 1913.
1913 — National Federation of Temple Sisterhood is formed in Cincinnati. 156 delegates from 52 groups attend.
1913 — Work creating two traditions begins: Art calendar and Uniongram.
1915 — First assembly held in Chicago.
1915 — First NFTS resolution urges president to veto restrictive immigration bill.
1923 — First President Carrie O. Simon gets Union to encourage congregations to allow women on their boards.
1925 — NFTS builds the Sisterhood Dormitory on the Hebrew Union College Campus in Cincinnati.
1925 — As NFTS president, Stella Freiberg becomes first woman to serve on Union board.
1926 — World Union for Progressive Judaism begins, with support from NFTS.
1927 — NFTS establishes Committee on Jewish Literature for the Sightless.
1929 — NFTS creates director of Young Folk’s Activities, the seeds of NFTY.
1930 — Cradle Roll program for babies through toddlers established.
1931 — Jewish Braille Institute founded with NFTS support.
1933 — Jane Evans joins NFTS.
1935 — NFTS brings five German scholars to U.S. including W. Gunther Plaut, future author of “The Torah: A Modern Commentary.”
1936 — Saturday morning Shabbat radio shows broadcast by NFTS.
1938 — First pin introduced, a past president’s pin.
1938 — Silver Jubilee celebration in Chicago broadcast around the world.
1938 — NFTS Gertrude W. Watters becomes first woman elected to HUC board.
1939 — NFTY established. First 20 years NFTS is sole supporter.
1940 — First Uniongram day.
1941 — Book of Living Judaism fundraiser begins. It would later become House of Living Judaism capital campaign.
1945 — Jane Evans takes a leave of absence to create United Nations.
1948 — NFTS holds first council meeting for State Federations (predecessors of districts.)
1950 — NFTS votes to create youth camps.
1951 — NFTS project House of Living Judaism opens, moving Union headquarters from Cincinnati to New York.
1952 — First youth camp opens: URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute.
1955 — Y.E.S. Fund created.
1961 — First NFTS president Carrie O.Simon dies.
1961 — 800 NFTS delegates visit White House.
1963 — Golden Jubilee celebrated in Cleveland.
1963 — Founder of WUPJ Lilly Montagu dies.
1968 — Jane Evans Wood of 3,500 trees planted in the Bar Kochba Forest in the Judean Hills.
1970 — NFTS builds synagogue for Ben Shemen Children’s Village in Lod.
1972 — Sally Preisand becomes first female rabbi, after decades-long campaign by NFTS.
1973 — NFTS builds library and Jane Evans Garden of Peace and Understanding at the Leo Baeck High School in Haifa.
1973 — NFTS past president Norma U. Levitt becomes first female elected to Union board of officers.
1973 — Or Ami Awards created for 60th anniversary.
1973 — NFTS helps found Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights.
1976 — Eleanor Schwartz becomes executive director.
1976 —Kibbuts Yahel near Eilat established. NFTS builds a seminarium there.
1983 — NFTS Reading Room at HUC-JIR in New York opens.
1983 — NFTS opens preschool at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati.
1986 — World Union Education Center, partially funded by NFTS, opens in Jerusalem.
1987 — NFTS participates in “Women’s Plea for Soviet Jewry” events.
1987 — At assembly, 75th anniversary celebrated.
1988 — NFTS leaders among women at Women’s Prayer Service at Western Wall.
1988 — NFTS-supported Beit Daniel preschool network in Israel opens.
1992 — Ellen Rosenberg becomes executive director.
1992 — NFTS part of Women’s March for Women’s Lives.
1993 — NFTS becomes Women of Reform Judaism.
1993 — Cantor Sarah Sanger challenges WRJ to write a women’s Torah commentary.
1993 — Covenant series of women written prayers begins.
1999 — WRJ moves to 633 Third Ave.
2000 — WRJ part of Million Mom March.
2001 — Torat Nashim, the WRJ Torah, is completed.
2004 — Jane Evans dies.
2004 — Shelley Lindauer becomes executive director.
2007 — “The Torah: A Women’s Commentary” published.
2012 — Rabbi Marla Feldman becomes executive director.
2013 — WRJ celebrates its centennial with a yearlong fête.

Union for Reform Judaism.