Monday, November 29, 2010
The other day the Boston Globe had an article titled, "Age, changing society imperil the mission of women's clubs."

The article was about the Cabot Club of Middleborough Ma. that was founded in 1897 and over the years raised hundred's of thousands of dollars for scholarships for local students and many other causes.

After decades of shrinking membership the club is the state's largest women's group to shut down. They are just not getting enough younger members to join.
Now, like a growing number of women’s groups nationwide, the ladies in Middleborough have decided to disband.

“It’s a real shame,’’ said Margaret Atkins, 84, who joined the club in 1950 and is its longest-serving member. “We just are not getting enough younger members to join and learn the ropes. It’s sad because we have put thousands of hours into volunteer service into this community and the state. Who’s going to fill that niche?’’
Today's young women have careers and families, they just don't have the time to devote to a women's club.

How times have changed - there I go again - I've said it before and I keep saying it - nothing stays the same, everything changes and "CLUBS" are no exception.


I remember when I was a newlywed, moved into a new community.

I didn't drive and did not know a soul.

How lonely I was until I met a neighbor who told me about "Hadassah."
HADASSAH, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, was founded in 1912 by Henrietta Szold. Since its inception, Hadassah has remained unwavering in its devotion to Judaism, Zionism, and American ideals.

As the largest volunteer organization and the largest women's organization in America, Hadassah is committed to strengthening the unity of the Jewish people. In Israel, we accomplish this through progressive healthcare, education, youth institutions, volunteerism, and land reclamation. In the U.S. we reach our goals through Jewish and Zionist education programs, Zionist Youth programs, and health awareness programs, as well as by advocating for issues of importance to women and to the American Jewish community.
I joined that group, became very active, made friends, and learned a lot about raising funds by running various events.

Photo: Hadassah Friends

I learned on the job - for example, when I first started out I would appoint a committee of eight women to help plan the event, come the night of the event my phone wouldn't stop ringing - she couldn't make it because the baby was sick, she couldn't make it because she couldn't get a babysitter and so on and on.

I learned you have to have a committee of twelve!

I learned when you put out the cream cheese for a crowd, don't let them help themselves - you will run out!

I learned how to arrange for good "no charge" entertainment!

I learned if you do not want to chair an event, "do not make a suggestion about what to serve." They just might like it and say, "You should chair the event!

I learned that even though I can't carry a tune, I could still be in the show!
All in all, being the member of an organization that does good work, not only benefits the group, but the individual gets a feeling of accomplishment, makes friends,and has fun along the way.

Too bad the young people today are on a different track, many are working hard and have to do what they have to do.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to have had enriching life experiences and contributed to a worthy cause.

How about you, what's your "club experience?"

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I think it's because someone decided that a career was needed for women to be "fulfilled". I was a "stay-at-home" mom most of my life but like you, I had other things to keep me busy and fulfilled. I also did a lot of volunteer work in the community -- at the hospital, in my kids' school and various charities. Yeah, we played bridge and did other fun things but but we also helped our community a lot. And it was fulfilling -- we did a lot of good and made a lot of friends. We also set an example to our kids for contributing time to our community.

We also had a very active Hadassah chapter and all the Jewish women I knew belonged and really made excellent contributions to our community.

And yeah, I learned a lot, too. I think it's a shame that so many of the clubs like Hadassah et al are disappearing. We women made a LOT of progress in our communities and it's too bad that the economy and the women's movement killed it.

I'm glad but not surprised to learn that you were active and involved.
My mom was in Hadassah, too. I think it's a shame that groups like this are dying out. You learned soooo much!
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