A Return to Bond Street: Sisterhood and the Women of Holy Blossom
I often view my theatre-directing days as an era of my past, with their many memorable rehearsal periods, productions and individual performances. But in the past, all the same. Imagine then my excitement and instantaneous ‘Yes!’ when invited by the Women of Holy Blossom to direct a dramatic re-creation of a defining moment in the history of our Temple.
On an October evening in 1921, at the Holy Blossom synagogue on Bond Street in Toronto, Rebecca Brickner – spouse of new spiritual leader Rabbi Barnet Brickner – arranged the first meeting of the congregation’s Sisterhood. A new page in the history of our Temple was about to be written. Since that initial gathering, the Holy Blossom Sisterhood has assumed a place of enormous pride and esteem. Few areas of congregational life – over a period of more than one hundred years – have not been affected – and in the most positive of ways – by Sisterhood.
On Thursday, June 2 at 7:30 pm, our Holy Blossom sanctuary will become the time and place of that fabled October meeting on Bond Street for a few precious moments. Rebecca Brickner and those who joined her in establishing our Temple Sisterhood will return to life. Our dramatic rendering is part of a larger program celebrating Sisterhood’s one-hundredth anniversary.
In re-imagining our first Sisterhood gathering, I am privileged to be collaborating with an excellent company of actors drawn from our Temple community, the outstanding talent of the Temple ukulele players, the gifted skills of our Temple staff, and the generous support of the Women of Holy Blossom leadership.
In 1956, as part of Holy Blossom’s centennial celebration, Sisterhood President Rae Newman wrote:
Sisterhood plays an important role in Temple family life participating fully with the congregation in its religious, educational and cultural programs. It has accepted the responsibility for weaving closely the bonds between home and synagogue, so that our religion becomes a vibrant, living force for us and our children – a dynamic Judaism.
[Holy Blossom Temple: 1856-1956, p. 57].
May the vibrant, living force of Rebecca Brickner and her founding partners of the Holy Blossom Sisterhood – and their enduring passion for Jewish living – continue to make a difference in the life of our congregation, and for persons beyond the walls of our Temple building, everywhere.