Sisterhood continued its impressive roster of activities in the 1970s, including special events such as the Tour of Living Judaism and ongoing support such as providing flowers for Friday night services, hosting a model Seder for the religious school, and presenting copies of the Tanakh to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. “Whatever needed doing, we took care of it,” said Marilyn Newman, Sisterhood president from 1970-1971.

Although Sisterhood’s monthly luncheon meetings were always crowded, Mrs. Newman noted that one of the best-attended meetings was the one where Peggy Feldheym was made an honorary Sisterhood member.

For Sunny Rabenstock, Sisterhood president from 1972-1973, the event that stands out is the 1972 Hanukkah dinner. “That was the year we burned 100 pounds of brisket,” she said. “There was a rumor going around that I burned the brisket, but what really happened is some of the kids turned the temperature up on the oven, so when we came back at the end it was all burned. After that, Rabbi Cohn banned me from the kitchen!”

To raise the funds to buy 100 pounds of replacement brisket, Sisterhood quickly organized what they called the “BBB” raffle for which members donated various small items. At the end, attendees were told what “BBB” stood for: the Burnt Brisket Benefit.

1970s A

The second edition of the “Balabusta’s Best” cookbook was published in 1974.


Sisterhood also raised the funds to remodel the kitchen during this timeframe, and published the second edition of its “Balabusta’s Best” cookbook.

The temple’s youth continued to be a major focus, Mrs. Rabenstock said, with Sisterhood helping support two new youth groups. Many Sisterhood members also served as Sunday School teachers (as did other members of the temple and the community).

For Cherrie Lubey, Sisterhood president from 1978 to 1980, a highlight of Sisterhood was the strong sense of camaraderie. “In those days, it was a given that if you were a member of the temple and you had children, you joined Sisterhood,” she explained. “Women weren’t working – we were more stay-at-home moms. You looked forward to being in the kitchen with your friends, plattering the food and gossiping and talking. It was definitely a bonding experience!”