Award-Winning Author To Speak at NCJW/Essex Books and Bites Event
Award-winning author Sande Boritz Berger will lead the discussion about her newest book, The Sweetness, on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, at the Books and Bites discussion group hosted by the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County (NCJW/Essex). The Sweetness is set in 1941 – World War II. The story revolves around the lives of two young girls from separate branches of a Jewish family from Lithuania. One girl lives in Brooklyn with her immigrant parents while her cousin still lives in Europe and struggles to survive against the invading Nazis.
Author Sande Boritz Berger attended Stony Brook Southampton College, where she received an MFA in Writing and Literature and where she was awarded The Deborah Hecht Memorial prize for fiction. After nearly two decades working for Fortune 500 companies as a scriptwriter and video producer, Berger is thrilled to re-explore her love for fiction and non-fiction literature and writing. A semi-finalist in Amazon’s yearly Breakthrough Novel Awards and nominated for the Sophie Brody Award.
Books and Bites, an ongoing book discussion group exploring novels and nonfiction writing, is held multiple times each year and brings community members together to discuss thought-provoking literature. The Sweetness, the first book selected for the upcoming season, will be sure to incite intuitive and thoughtful conversation at the event.
Registration for Books and Bites is available online at www.ncjwessex.org. The registration fee for NCJW/Essex members is $6.00 and for non-members is $10.00. The event will begin promptly at 10:00 am and will be held in the NCJW/Essex Conference Room located at 70 South Orange Avenue Suite 120 in Livingston, NJ 07039.
NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store Lets Disadvantaged Children Shop for Free, Benefitting Nearly 3,000 Disadvantaged Children Since 2009
The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) will offer over 700 economically disadvantaged students from Newark and surrounding areas the opportunity to shop for free at the Back 2 School Store (B2SS) on Sunday, August 2, 2015. Since its inception in 2009, the B2SS has benefitted nearly 3,000 children and utilized over 2,000 volunteers. This year, we anticipate serving 700 children with the aid of over 400 volunteers, including one-on-one personal shoppers. Each year, hundreds of children from kindergarten through fifth grade who have been identified by partner agencies are able to “shop” cost-free for an abundance of brand new school supplies, clothes, and personal care items in a department-store-type setting set up just for them.
This one-day event, from 9:30 am until 4:00 pm, is set up in a 4,000 square-foot space donated by B’Nai Shalom in West Orange, NJ. Local individuals, families, and businesses donate all of the brand new clothes and supplies; in addition, NCJW volunteers shop for brand-new clothes and supplies in major retail stores. With the assistance of NCJW volunteer “personal shoppers,” each child is escorted through the store to select and try on clothing to create an entire new outfit including a shirt, pants, sneakers, socks, underwear, winter jacket, hat and gloves. Volunteers also act as shoe fitters, staff private fitting rooms and restock inventory. In addition to the clothes, children are given a new backpack which they fill with school supplies and personal care items. The children are recognized by over 30 local social service agencies as needing additional financial support.
The onsite Gaelen Family Resource Center offers parents, caregivers, and children free health screenings, blood pressure screenings, glucose tolerance testing, eye exams and proper dental care for children. Information about health, community and career services, as well as educational opportunities, are also accessible through the Center.
Montclair High School Students Provide Health Packets for Women in Need
Montclair High School seniors Maya Newman (left) and Stephanie Hayes (right) embarked on a project to provide health packets to help women in need as part of a senior project. Through their fundraising efforts outside of CVS in Montclair, they were able to collect money to purchase items to donate. On Monday, June 15, they delivered 90 health packets to Patty Kremen (center), Career Services Manager at the Linda and Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women, to be distributed to clients in need. The packets include basic necessities such as shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush kits and feminine hygiene products.
The NCJW/Essex Center for Women is a resource for women focusing on growth and self-improvement. The Center offers workshops on a variety of topics, computer classes, financial and legal guidance, career services and peer support. Clients of the Center are learning skills to enter or re-enter the workforce, finding encouragement to cope with new or unexpected life situations, gaining the confidence to develop their own career path and improving personal relationships.
The Center for Women is located at 70 South Orange Avenue, Livingston, NJ. For more information, please visit www.centerforwomenNJ.org or call 973-994-4994.
Three Women Honored at the NCJW/Essex Annual Installation and Awards Evening
Three women were presented with awards for their leadership, service and contributions at the NCJW/Essex Annual Installation and Awards Evening, which took place Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at Cedar Hill Country Club in Livingston, NJ.
“These are extraordinary women,” said Deborah Legow Schatz, President of NCJW/Essex, about the three award winners. “Working with them on a daily basis is really at the core of why being President of NCJW/Essex is such a special experience.”
Phoebe Pollinger of Montclair, NJ, was the recipient of The Hannah G. Solomon Award, presented by NCJW/Essex to an individual who has changed the lives of others through leadership efforts and service on a community level. Pollinger is an avid lover of the arts and an outspoken voice for reproductive justice. At NCJW/Essex she has channeled her passions and made a difference on a community level, earning her the distinction of the Hannah G. Solomon Award.
Pollinger first joined NCJW/Essex in 1996 to work on the Focus on Art Show, and then extended her work in community arts by serving as President of Studio Montclair and a founding chair of the Montclair Arts Council. Since then she has taken a leading role in grant writing for NCJW/Essex and the Back 2 School Store, served on the Advocacy, Personnel Practices and Project Evaluation Committees, and was vice chair of the Nominating Committee. Advocating for reproductive justice, Pollinger served on the board of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ and has chaired two important community events for NCJW/Essex: Roe at Risk in 2014 and Roe & Religion in 2015.
Diane Beni of Maplewood, NJ, was the recipient of the Service to Section Award, recognized for her passion and dedication as a volunteer since 1999. Beni has contributed countless hours and talents to NCJW/Essex, most notably for the Teen Dating Abuse Project (TDA). Passionate about working to prevent domestic violence and seeing young audiences as the place to start, Beni serves as a presenter and trainer for TDA and has also served as chair of the committee. She was recently instrumental in developing a video for TDA entitled, “Crossing the Line.”
In addition to TDA, Beni has been on the House Tour and Nominating Committees, served as chair of Volunteer Recognition during the Centennial Celebration, co-chaired Installation in 2014, co-chaired the 2015 Golf Invitational and a day at the 9/11 Memorial . It is Beni’s broad spectrum of activities as a volunteer that has earned her the Service to Section Award.
Paula Green of South Orange, NJ was the recipient of the Henrietta Weiser Emerging Leader Award, presented to a promising NCJW/Essex member who has demonstrated leadership potential. Green is proof positive that you can work full time and integrate meaningful volunteer activities into your life. It wasn’t long ago that a friend introduced her to the Back 2 School Store and after several years of involvement, including co-chairing the Child Recruitment Committee, she has emerged as a leader for the event, serving as co-chair in 2014 and again this year.
Green’s leadership doesn’t stop there. In addition to working on such projects as Moving Forward, Mitzvah-in-a-Minute and the Investment Sub-Committee, she has served as Recording Secretary for the NCJW/Essex Executive Committee and Section Board. Green accomplishes all of this while working full time managing her husband’s busy pulmonary medicine practice in West Orange.
The three winners are as a different as “night and day” explained Schatz, “but, when all’s said and done, they share an intense desire to better the circumstances of women, children and families and exude a strong sense of social justice that permeates everything they do.” That, she explains, is the core of NCJW: different women, with different strengths, coming together to educate and advocate for others.
Four Essex County Students Win the Annual Nancy and Robert Eskow NCJW Volunteer Awards
The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County (NCJW/Essex) honored four extraordinary Essex county high school students with the Nancy and Robert Eskow NCJW Volunteer Awards. Selected out of an outstanding field of 52 applicants, the recipients of the awards were recognized for their contributions to many different causes ranging from donating and repurposing sports equipment, working with children with disabilities, and helping mothers with premature babies. This is the 12th year the award has been bestowed to deserving high school students.
The 2015 award winners include Isaak Lindenbaum of Nutley High School, Emily Shapiro of James Caldwell High School, Hayley Nagelberg of Golda Och Academy and Katherine Corwin of Mount Saint Dominic Academy. These high school seniors have shown a commitment and dedication to improving lives for others locally and globally.
Because of his passion for sports, Isaak Lindenbaum, a senior at Nutley High School, started SEEK (Sports Equipment Encourage Kids), a program that collects gently used sports equipment and donates the equipment to those children whose families cannot afford it. In addition, he participates in the CHAMP mentoring program at the John H. Walker Middle School and has played a huge role in his mentee’s life by giving him support through difficult life events. “Helping people requires initiative,” says Lindenbaum. “It requires someone who has the drive and willingness to put others before him, but it is not hard. Over the course of my experience helping others I have found this to be true.”
Emily Shapiro, a senior at James Caldwell High School, has dedicated her time to help children in her community. She is the founder of the Northern New Jersey Chapter of Kids Serving Kids, a program that collects used tennis racquets and donates them to children interested in playing the game but whose families do not have the funds. Not only did Shapiro collect the racquets, but she also helped raise funds to fix the donated racquets, using them to teach children at the Boys and Girls Club of Clifton the game of tennis. Shapiro discovered how much she truly enjoyed working with children and says, “I want to dedicate my life to bettering communities around the nation by helping children succeed in the classroom and beyond.”
As someone especially interested in children and animals, Hayley Nagelberg, a senior at Golda Och Academy in West Orange, volunteered at the organization Special Strides, helping to transform the lives of children with disabilities, ranging from spinal cord defects and cancer to autism and ADD, using animal assisted therapy. Her passion for animal therapy allowed her to travel to northern Thailand to become certified in Animal Welfare and Basic Pet First Aid through the Humane Society. Hayley states, “It has given me tremendous joy to help children speak words that might not otherwise have been spoken or take steps that might not otherwise have been taken. I sincerely hope that my future actions will make a difference in our world.”
Katherine Corwin, a senior at Mount Saint Dominic Academy in Caldwell, has been inspired to help mothers of premature babies from the hospital and has created the “Adopt-a-Baby Program” to give mothers the necessary items for basic baby care. The program holds a “baby shower” that she organized in her high school cafeteria and students bring baby items which are then hand-delivered by Corwin to Harlem Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in NY. “Adopt-a-Baby Program” has gone global, with an orphanage in West Africa requesting some of the “baby shower” items. Corwin states, “A leader is someone who, with a quiet confidence, can say that they have changed the world for the greater good. I may only be just one, but I have helped more than a few.”
Winners of the Nancy and Robert Eskow Volunteer Award reflect the mission and values of NCJW/Essex through their commitment and dedication to community service projects and advocacy experienced during their high school careers. In recognition of their exemplary contributions, each received a $500 scholarship and an award certificate from NCJW/Essex.
Anthony Garubo Salon in Maplewood Partners with NCJW/Essex Center for Women to Host an Event Honoring Mothers
Ten clients from the NCJW/Essex Center for Women (CFW) were pampered at the award-winning Anthony Garubo Salon in Maplewood, NJ on Monday, May 4th. Usually closed on Mondays, the salon opened its doors to honor these women as Mother’s Day approaches. In addition, the salon and staff donated their time and talents to help empower the CFW clients with a new look. Anything was possible, from a blowout to cut, color and even highlights, as the stylists consulted with each individual client.
The atmosphere at the Anthony Garubo Salon was truly inspiring. The stylists were honored to participate and help make mothers the priority. Moses, a stylist at the salon said, “I love what I do and it means so much to me to touch the lives of other mothers just like my own who means so much to me.” Mary Vega of Bloomfield , a client of the NCJW/Essex Center for Women commented, “ I have six children, and as a mom I am doing so much for my children and family, so to have someone give back to me is a privilege. I am being honored as a mom today and it is a wonderful feeling.”
Pat Kremen, Career Services Manager at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women explains that how you look and how you feel goes a long way toward building self-confidence. “It is our goal to help make Mother’s Day special for our clients at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women who have been struggling economically due to unemployment. These women received a well-deserved pampering and the Anthony Garubo Salon went above and beyond anyone’s expectations, bringing joy to the lives of our clients.”
The Center for Women is a resource for women focusing on growth and self-improvement. The Center offers workshops on a variety of topics, computer classes, financial and legal guidance, career services and peer support. Clients of the Center are learning skills to enter or re-enter the workforce, finding encouragement to cope with new or unexpected life situations, gaining the confidence to develop their own career path and improving personal relationships.
The Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women is located at 70 South Orange Avenue, Livingston, NJ. For more information, please visit www.centerforwomenNJ.org or call 973-994-4994.