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. As each event is of great significance entailing planning and effort, we recommend that your organisation chooses between 3 and 6 RCWC events per year.

All programs contain a deeply meaningful and woman-oriented ‘Message for the Month’ written by women in the Melbourne Jewish community. An overall theme and complete program including menu and décor, a choice of activities and suggested scheduling are then provided.

Each affiliate is welcome to add their own unique flavour to the program adjusting it to suit their story presenter and guests.

In addition to the gift of a book for the story presenter some programs offer extra gifts. We also offer encouragement to share a video of the event.

Please note:

  1. Summary of Programs updated upon registration.
  2. Alternate programs available for those who have previously done the program/message mentioned below.
  3. All programs remain the property of the RCWC and are confidential as per our agreement.

Rosh Chodesh Tishrei is, of course, Rosh Hashana. Therefore there is no regular program prepared. However, under exceptional circumstances, the affiliate can request a pre-High Holidays Program two 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 Mrs. 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.

The theme and program for Kislev is inspired by the Dvar Torah written by Mrs. Mussie Kaminetzky.
Yehudit of the Chanukah story is at the forefront of empowered women who share their secrets of the subtle powers of women who lead the way in changing the world. A perfect match for the very values of the Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle: Nurturing – Connecting – Empowering.

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.

The program for the month of Shvat is based on the Dvar Torah written by Mrs. 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.
In the month of Shvat, we celebrate Tu B’Shvat, the birthday of the trees. As we celebrate their birthday with them, we remember that trees nourish us and produce their essence – fruit for us. These natural products sustain us and have spirituality within them as they appeared on earth through Hashem’s command.
The seven fruits that are mentioned in the Torah have special significance. Each one teaches us many spiritual lessons. “Tzaddik katamar yifrach”: the righteous shall bloom like the date palm. The pomegranate is a symbol of a huge number of seeds, of rich fertility. The grape is used for the Kiddush blessings. These fruits help us to understand our spiritual lives and to enact 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.

Purim is a holiday in which we dress up as other people and characters and joyfully recognise Hashem’s hand cleverly and discreetly guiding our paths. Following the legacy of Esther, we aspire to reach spiritual growth through carefully considering our options in the face of challenges.
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 Mrs. 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.

The Message of the Month for Nissan takes us on a year-long journey beginning with the Rosh Chodesh Nissan while still in exile in Egypt. Seen through the lens of the women then and now, there is no shortage of excitement and challenges.
Our program focuses on this journey with all its components – the exile, the singing and dancing at the redemption and so much more. The choice will be yours from the many choices on what to focus on for the menu, décor and activity.

Bonus Gift: To help us re-enact and absorb the powerful lessons of Pesach, we eat Matza Shmura which we are offering in limited amounts to the ladies in your group who might not otherwise have this hand-baked round Matzah at their Seder. To be discussed individually with each group

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.

Are you that important ‘Connecting Link’? The message of the month for Sivan was written by Ms. 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 in the menu and décor choices and has an interesting connection with the number three. 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.

Delving Deeper into the Meaning of the Moon. Written by Mrs. Miriam Cowen, the Dvar Torah for the month of Tammuz provides us with interesting information about the moon and Rosh Chodesh in general. It shares the importance of Rosh Chodesh for women and discusses some interesting thoughts on the relationship between the sun, the moon, and the stars and their importance in our world. When compared to the sun, the moon seems weaker and more vulnerable, but as we know, our Jewish calendar bases itself around the moon. To reinforce this message, interesting suggestions such as moon-shaped cookies and glow in the dark decorations will help set the theme and the mood for this event.

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 Mrs. 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.

Bonus Gift: Wooden board

“Lefum Tzara Agra”- According to the effort is the reward. The message of the month of Elul was written by Mrs. 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.

Bonus gifts: Small pots of honey and crunchy red apples for the guests.