Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle Summary of Programs for Affiliates

We invite all our affiliates and would-be affiliates to peruse these summaries of our upcoming programs to help make your choice.  Previous programs are also available.

All the complete, themed programs contain a deeply meaningful and woman-oriented ‘Message for the Month’ written or co-ordinated by women in the Melbourne Jewish community together with the theme based menu and décor ideas, a choice of activities and suggested scheduling.

In addition to the gifts offered during the year, some months have extra gifts noted at the end of each summary.

Rosh Chodesh Tishrei is, of course, Rosh Hashana. Therefore there is no regular program prepared.  However, under exceptional circumstances, the affiliate can request pre-High Holidays Program 2 months in advance of the proposed event.

As the Havdalah service eases the transition from Shabbat to weekday so does the month of Cheshvan transition us from a holy inspiration-filled month to the rest of the year.    The wine, spices and candle used in the Havdalah ceremony gently transfers the afterglow of the holiness of Shabbat into the weekdays.  Based on a message written by Brocho Lebenholc, we note that the month of Cheshvan takes its cue from the three ingredients of Havdalah, wine, spices and candle on how to transition from holiness to the mundane.  In this month’s program, we place special emphasis on the power of fragrance which rejuvenates, energises as well as calms the mind and heart.

Your Kislev options consist of:

  1. Yehudit of the Chanukah story is in the forefront of empowered women who share their secrets of the subtle powers of women who lead the way in changing the world. The program based on a message for Kislev written by Mussia Kaminetzky inspires the very values of the Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle: Nurturing – Connecting – Empowering. This program lends itself to musical entertainment and dancing, craft, discussion, speaker, or a food-based activity.
  2. Based on the message for Kislev written by Pauline Scheiner, this program offers a splash of rainbow colours to the tune of Ma’oz Tsur. A vibrant and musical program would bring the joy of the month to our community. This Dvar Torah includes the story of Pauline’s grandmother’s Holocaust experience and can serve as the story of the program as a catalyst for further discussion if there is no other story presenter.
  3. The soul of every Jew retains the infinite potential of overcoming impossible things and achieving lofty spiritual goals. Every candle gives a nightly message, reminding us that the path to infinity is through small steps of improvement. The lights of Chanukah as well as the lights of Yud Tes Kislev combine to convey the message of infinite achievement. This program based on a Dvar Torah by Miriam Abenaim lends itself to musical entertainment and dancing, craft, speaker, group discussions, donut making.
  4. The main miracle of Chanukah is finding pure oil, explains Miriam Abenaim in her Dvar Torah for Kislev.  Drawing pure light into the world, whether it is through the Chanukah lights or the Shabbat lights, is the spreading of undiluted Judaism. The uniqueness of light is that it does not diminish itself when shared, which is highlighted by Chanukah and 19th of Kislev. This program lends itself to music, comedy, discussion, craft, sensory/blindfolded activity.
  5. Michelle Feiglin identifies that chinuch, education, and Chanoch, who lived before the flood, and Chanukah are all connected through their root words and all convey the importance of pure Jewish education.  This was as crucial a challenge in the times of the Chanukah story as it is today. This program lends itself to songs and games.

As Rosh Chodesh Tevet takes place during Chanukah, we do not present a specific Tevet Program separate to Chanukah.  Nevertheless, we are happy to help you incorporate Rosh Chodesh into your Chanukah Event.


  1. This program for the month of Shvat is based on the Dvar Torah written by Shulamit Greenbaum. “We can learn something from every person we meet” – Pirkei Avot, and “We can learn something from everything we see or hear” – Baal Shem Tov. As we celebrate the birthday of the trees, we absorb their spiritual messages, helping us understand our own spirituality and our enactment of our rituals of devotion. There is much mystery in our relationship to nature around us. Let us explore further at the Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle Shvat event, accompanied by an art activity, musical entertainment, or group discussion.
  2. “For man is like a tree of the field” is a famous verse in the Torah with endless meaning to unpack, and very relevant to us on Tu Bishvat. It teaches us the value of each individual in creating a harmonious whole, and the importance of remaining firmly attached to our roots and collective identity as the Jewish people, part of the sacred mission begun by our holy forefathers, even as we branch off with our own unique roles and abilities. This great program, based on a Dvar Torah by Aliza Brown, lends itself to activities like fruit art, gardening, and family roots projects.
  3. A program is being created now, with a theme of Basi Legani.

Special Shvat Bonus:  $50 towards Tu B’Shvat fruit

The program takes this a step further by bringing an awareness to the way we, as modern women, reconcile the constant bombardment of media images using physical beauty to draw attention.  We are fighting a constant battle for women to be recognised for their wisdom and knowledge.  This month’s program, based on the Message of the Month written by Yael Levin, shows how Esther used her wisdom, power, and royal position to set into motion a series of events that saved the Jewish people from destruction and how this could apply to us.

Special Purim Treats:  2 dozen individually wrapped hamantaschen or 2 dozen oversize dress-up sunglasses and/or crowns for the guests to take home.

In the month of Nissan, we learn again, each year, that G-d redeems us from our narrow places, from our mitzrayim. Everyone, throughout a lifetime, gets into narrow places from which there seems to be no logical escape. The Jews of Egypt faced an impossible challenge as they faced the vast expanse of the Red Sea in front and from the back they could hear Pharaoh and his armies charging towards them. Our Program for the month of Nissan focusses on the message for all generations – focus on the ultimate goal and stay confident. Music, drama or discussion all fit to the theme as does the menu and the timely Message of the Month written by Mina Gordon.

Shmura Matza: To help us re-enact and absorb the powerful lessons of Pesach, we eat Matza Shmura which will be distributed to each lady attending a Nissan Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle event.

Light! Camera! Action! The message of the month for Iyar was written by Shulamit Nutovics. This message weaved its way through this history and the modern customs of Lag Ba’Omer in a beautiful and concise matter. The theme of light is clear throughout the narrative which became our major theme for the month.  While on Lag Ba’Omer we often celebrate with physical light such as bonfires and BBQs, we focus our RCWC program on the themes of spiritual light, Ahavat Israel, and Torah U’Mitzvot. We also focus on Rabbi Akiva who embodied the values of Ahavat Israel and look to him as a role model in this regard, especially after such tragic circumstances of his students.

Gift for hostess:  For the month of Iyar we are happy to provide a gift for the hostess based on the theme.

Are you that important ‘Connecting Link’? The message of the month for Sivan was written by Elise Loterman. This inspiring message used the number 3 to connect us to both the Torah, the holiday of Shavuot, as well to Jewish history. The theme of links is evident throughout the food suggestions and decor choices and connects with the number three. This is because when examining a link bracelet, the third link in the chain is the first one in that is not directly connected to the first one. As Jewish women, this program teaches us that we have both an opportunity and responsibility to be that link that is able to connect the power of our past, represented by Torah, to future generations.

Written by Miriam Cowen, the Dvar Torah for the month of Tammuz delves deeper into the meaning of the moon and the importance of Rosh Chodesh for women and its connection to the month of Tammuz.  When compared to the sun, the moon seems weaker and more vulnerable, but as we know, our Jewish calendar, bases itself around the moon.  Moon shaped cookies, glow in the dark decorations and other ideas will help set the theme and the mood for this event and reinforce the message from the moon and Tammuz.

Early Bird Special:  Sign up for the year 5780 and register on time for the months of Tammuz or Av and get the rest of 5779 included in the Agreement.

Who would have thought?! What does wood fired pizza and antique furniture have to do with the month of Av.  Activities, Menu and Décor are all based around wood, with dried flowers, food and herbs thrown in for good measure.  The Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle Av program highlights privilege versus burden and is based on a most creative Dvar Torah by Aliza Brown.  Watch it all come together, as old perspectives fade, and new ones take over, providing a beautiful difference in our sense of fulfilment.

This is time to make enquiries about subscribing for the new Hebrew calendar year. Ask about our ‘early bird specials’.

“Lefum Tzara Agra”- According to the effort is the reward. The message of the month of Elul was written by Fegyl Cylich. This message shares the importance of preparing in order to receive the optimal benefit from any experience. This theme is evident throughout different aspects of Jewish life, but especially during the month of Elul as it is the month in which we prepare for the upcoming holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. We also focus on the theme of transformation with our program this month with an understanding that through preparation, self- transformation is possible.

Gift for each guest at event:  Small jar of honey