In the 1950s, the Sisterhood of Congregation Beth Israel (CBI) Judaica Shop was an active enterprise in the corner of the Temple lobby selling items to raise funds for the religious education for children. Filled with Kiddush Cups, Menorahs, Seder Plates, prayer books — and more — the Shop quickly became a hub for families to mingle, celebrate their Jewish heritage, and purchase Judaica, and remained so for almost 70 years.
Sisterhood members lovingly volunteered for “Shop Duty” Sunday mornings (and Fridays before services in the early years). For a long while, Bev and Lionel Jackowitz ran the Shop. “Bev was the quiet, astute doer, always warm and welcoming — often times with a silly joke to cheer any Shop visitor,” reminisces CBI Sisterhood member, Paula Schenck. “Lionel was our honorary Sisterhood member who, with Devida Botwick and Fayette Gordon, kept the Shop going through the 1990s and early 2000s.” Affectionately known as the Shop Girls, Sandra Berinstein, Barbara Honor, Gail Mangs, Paula Schenck, and Ruth VanWinkle maintained the Sunday morning social corner, conducted fundraisers, and bought and sold Judaica . . . all in support of youth education at CBI. Working with Sisterhood President Gayle Wintjen, the Shop Girls recommended a change!
CBI Sisterhood opened a new fund at the Foundation to continue supporting the original spirit and mission and replace the beloved Judaica Shop that recently closed. “The disbursal of money and gifts underline what the Shop contributed to CBI and the larger Jewish community,” explains Paula. “Gift disbursements such as Torah Commentaries for Confirmands, House Mezzuzahs for new families, even carpeting for the CBI library.” Proceeds of the Fund will continue supporting these kinds of needs. “As the online world changes how we buy things, this Fund is an opportunity to continue the original vision of CBI Sisterhood’s strong legacy of supporting Jewish youth,” says Paula.