Sisterhood of

Fostering connections between Jewish women in metro Denver

Our sisterhood includes women of all ages, from all walks of life, and who celebrate Judaism from all backgrounds. 

Membership at Temple Emanuel or any other congregation is not required.

As sisters, we:

Check out this website to learn about our upcoming events, philanthropy, and more. 

We invite you to join us!

Sisterhood members enjoy spending time together in our beautiful state!

The History of Our Sisterhood

As Temple Emanuel celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, it is fitting to share a little bit of the history of our Sisterhood organization. After all, we have been a part of the Temple community since the very beginning!

Initially known as the Ladies Sewing Society, Temple's first auxiliary was founded in 1874 along with the Temple Emanuel congregation. The group donated the carpet and furniture for the first temple at 19th & Curtis. During the early years, the group sponsored a fair each December to raise money for additional items for the new building.

In 1913, members of our Ladies Auxiliary, as it was known at the time, traveled to Cincinnati to help organize the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (NFTS). Our group affiliated as a founding member and became Sisterhood of Temple Emanuel. Emma Sigmund was the first  Sisterhood president.  Another Sisterhood leader, Rachel Schwartz, led Saturday afternoon Bible classes that were inspirational to many members; since that time, Sisterhood honors her memory by recognizing Temple's outstanding female confirmand each year with the Rachel Schwartz Award. 

In the following decades, Sisterhood held "dormitory teas" or card parties to raise funds for the erection of a dormitory at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati (still known today as the Sisterhood Dorm). Our organization was also a primary supporter of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), the National Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), and the Jewish Braille Institute (JBI, now JBI International). Through its connection with NFTS, our Sisterhood advanced the role of women in Jewish life, as many of our members took a place in the leadership of the Reform Movement.

During both WWI and WWII, our group worked with the Red Cross to make bandages, sweaters, socks, and other essential items for soldiers. In 1942, Temple hosted a Passover seder for the Jewish soldiers stationed in camps throughout Colorado. Throughout the rest of the war, the Sisterhood Canteen was a popular weekly event at Temple that included a religious service, catered lunch, and dancing that offered a few hours of normalcy, companionship, good food, and live entertainment for the troops. 

When Temple began construction of its current facility at 1st & Grape in 1954, Sisterhood helped raise funds through its annual Harvest Ball, which "burst upon the social scene in a blaze of fun and glamorous excitement" and staged elaborate events held at the Brown Palace Hotel. After the new Temple opened in 1960, Sisterhood expanded its activities to include recording books and transcribing them into braille for Denver Public Schools and opening a Judaica Gift Shop, which is still in operation to this day, as one of the only Judaica shops remaining in Denver. 

Temple Emanuel

51 Grape Street

Denver, CO 80220


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