Women of Emanu-El

Founded in 1922 as the Women’s Auxiliary, Women of Emanu-El is both a social and civic organization open to all women of the congregation. The Women of Emanu-El Program Committee plans numerous lectures and outings throughout the year, in addition to sponsoring a variety of activities that benefit the greater New York City community.


Women of Emanu-El organizes several flagship events throughout the year, from tours of historic New York City landmarks to community Sabbath dinners with our clergy.

Canasta Tuesdays
Starting in February 2023, Women of Emanu-El will host Canasta Tuesdays. We are pleased to have Sharon Steinberg, Certified Instructor of the Canasta League of America (CLA) as our instructor.

We welcome all skill levels. Open to all temple members and their guests. Registration is closed.

Mah Jongg Mondays

Mah Jongg Mondays will return in the spring. Keep checking this page for dates and registration. For more information, please email .

sanctuary, neth el, ark

Tribute Fund

The Women of Emanu-El Tribute Fund supports critical services and programs such as: our Veterans’ Event, English in Action, monthly breakfast and dinner at Ronald McDonald House, Book Club, Project Backpack, and the Art Center for Seniors.

Contributions in honor of a special occasion (birth, bar/bat mitzvah, marriage or milestone anniversary/birthday), or in memory of someone who touched your life, support these worthwhile causes. Your thoughtful gift will be acknowledged and the recipient will receive notice of your contribution.

The names of all donors and honorees are listed in “Window on Emanu-El”, the quarterly publication prepared by the Congregation’s Development department.

Spring Book Series

Upcoming sessions on Zoom include:

Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 11:00 AM

The Hidden Order of Intimacy: Reflections on the Book of Leviticus by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
with Peter and Mary Kalikow Senior Rabbinic Chair Joshua Davidson

The after-effects of the Golden Calf of Leviticus are explored imaginatively in author Avivah Zornberg’s magnificent textual analysis The Hidden Order of Intimacy: Reflections on the Book of Leviticus. This book club discussion is open to temple members only. Register Here

Friday, April 21, 2023 at 11:00 AM

Dinners with Ruth by Nina Totenberg with Cantor Sara Anderson

Register Here

Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 11:00 AM

The Jewish World of Elvis Presley by Roselle Kline Chartock with Cantor Mo Glazman

Register Here

Volunteering Opportunities

Women of Emanu-El organizes many community service programs throughout the year, including:

Art Center for Seniors

Art Center for Seniors

Through the Art Center for Seniors at Emanu-El, 50 or more senior citizens meet at Temple Emanu-El each Monday from October through May to participate in art projects and exercise classes, as well as to socialize. Professional art instructors oversee the activities and are assisted by Women of Emanu-El volunteers. Each year’s program ends with an annual art show.

Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House

Volunteers from Temple Emanu-El prepare and serve breakfast and dinner for families that are staying at Ronald McDonald House of New York, a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children undergoing treatment. Breakfasts and dinners generally are organized on a monthly basis. Temple members who are interested in participating must contact Women of Emanu-El, which organizes and funds the dinners. This activity is suitable only for adults over 18 who are in good health. All volunteers will receive a call back from Women of Emanu-El to confirm their volunteer dates. (Please, no walk-ins!)

Click here to read about our outreach to Ronald McDonald House in 2021.

English in Action

English in Action

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, Women of Emanu-El volunteers serve as tutors for foreign-born adults who meet weekly to practice their English conversation. The goal of the program is to help newcomers to the U.S. gain fluency and confidence in conversational English through weekly sessions. In addition to practicing the language without the fear of making mistakes, students learn about life in this country and teach their American partners about their own lands and customs. Every year, approximately 800 students and volunteers in New York City are paired in this one-to-one program.

Project Backpack

Project Backpack

Since 2006, Women of Emanu-El has partnered with Public School 112 in East Harlem for this wonderful mitzvah. Through Project Backpack, 100 incoming kindergarten students are given a backpack filled with various school supplies. Volunteers are needed to help assemble the backpacks during the summer.

To learn more about these programs, click on each title above.