On Motzei Shabbos, January 7th over 220 women gathered for the Rebbetzin Frieda K. Hirmes Women’s Institute of Torah’s (WIT) annual Melave Malka. The event, chaired by Suri Reiner and Donna Wach, featured a lavish buffet by Catering by Yaffa and paid tribute to Andrea Schulman, WIT’s Executive Director who was the recipient of the Avodas HaLev Award, recognizing her close to two decades of service to WIT. The evening’s program included remarks from renowned educator Mrs. Shira Smiles who opened by stating “what a tremendous z’chus it is for me to join you tonight in honoring somebody who is so special, so unique that when I was asked to come, and I hate leaving Eretz Yisroel, I couldn’t say no.” Mrs. Smiles’ presentation kicked off 4 and a half days of classes given as part of WIT’s Scholar in Residence program sponsored by The Charles Crane Family Foundation.
Under Andrea Schulman’s leadership WIT has become the premier destination for women in the Baltimore community to strengthen themselves both intellectually and spiritually. She works in tandem with WIT’s Board of Directors led by President Leah Berry, to manage all aspects of the organization. During her remarks, Andrea said “Every woman who attends a WIT program owes a debt of gratitude to the women on our board. Their dedication to learning Torah and their commitment to ensure that each and every WIT experience is authentic is unparalleled in the Jewish communal world.” She continued by thanking the women who attend WIT programs, “when one takes time out of their busy day, or week or month to learn they are strengthening not only themselves but those around them. My WIT ladies as I like to call you, don’t come to class to get credits or a degree, they come to be inspired, to grow and to connect.” Andrea encouraged all of the evening’s participants to take time for themselves and explore all that WIT has to offer whether it be in-person or via Zoom.