CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Busy with the work of their respective congregations, the women of B'Nai Jacob Synagogue's Ladies Auxiliary and the women of the Temple Israel Sisterhood haven't typically had time for joint ventures.
In March 2012, volunteers from both found themselves sharing the synagogue kitchen to prepare kosher food in celebration of a cookbook project honoring longtime synagogue member Lillian Cooper.
Women from both congregations teamed up to prepare 50 recipes from "One-Hundred and Still Counting."
"It was the first time we had worked together," said Linda Taborowsky, president of the ladies auxiliary. "We got to know each other in the kitchen."
So when discussion began about a rummage sale-type fundraiser, wise minds remembered that many hands had made light work during the cookbook celebration. And the two organizations proposed a joint sale.
The last two months have included lots of bonding and new friendships made over hard work. The ladies auxiliary made sisterhood co-presidents Lois Coleman and Caroline Ostrand honorary members of the auxiliary, and the sisterhood did the same for Taborowsky.
Then they established a working committee to take in donations and organize them.
"It boomeranged from there," said Roberta Levine, who shares membership at both the temple and the synagogue. Levine said besides putting out the word informally and letting the congregations know through their usual communications channels, volunteers also made personal requests for donations.
"I think I called 75 people," she said.