Are You Ready To Go Back To Work?

Job readyThe Job Market is Hot!

Have you been thinking about entering or returning to the workforce? If the answer is yes, then now is one of the best times to find your next job. Some of our clients at the Center for Women have been out of the work force for over 10 years and have recently found success in this candidate-driven job market.

Are You Job-Ready?

Many women make the assumption that returning to work means doing the same thing that they did before. Some repositioning is inevitable if you’ve been out of the workforce for a year or more, but it is also a perfect time to reposition yourself for something new.

The first step to job-readiness is to figure out which of your skills are transferable and which ones you need to develop. Then, take some practical steps to be ready when a job opportunity comes along:

  • Break out your old resume to review some of the key responsibilities you have held and see how those skills have held up in the current marketplace
  • Add your volunteer experience to your resume
  • Spread the word that you want to enter or reenter the workforce — networking will help you find the hidden job openings
  • Practice interviewing so you are prepared. Rehearse the questions you know you will get – i.e. “I see you haven’t worked in a while” or “Why is this the best time for you to be looking for a job?” Determine your strengths and weaknesses so employers see you as job-ready.
  • Be ready to act – Do you have the right interview clothes? Do you have a plan for someone to watch your children, or pick up your kids at school?

We Are Here to Help

The dedicated group of professional staff members and trained volunteers at the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women assists women who wish to return to the workforce with resume writing, job coaching, interview skills training, LinkedIn and computer classes. Our services are confidential and our programs are non-sectarian and open to all women, regardless of religion. Contact us. We can help.

Visit our website:
Call: (973) 994-4994

Education is Empowerment

E2EEducation is an essential means of empowering women with knowledge, skills and self-confidence to help them take the first steps toward success. At the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women (CFW), we see the benefits of education time and time again. We see women who have been out of the workforce for years who are trying to enhance their lives and seek support to make ends meet. One pathway towards this success is to enroll in a certificate program.

Five years ago, with funding from the NJ Department of Children and Families, Division on Women, we created “Education 2 Empowerment,” a program we call E2E. This grant-funded program pays for all or part of the cost of a career training certificate. Recently, the state increased this grant to allow us to continue E2E and work specifically with women residing in Essex County and the surrounding communities who are separated, divorced or widowed. This is a great opportunity for women who have been unemployed or underemployed to obtain training for a new skill to succeed in today’s market. For clients who have already been through E2E, they have had great success at finding employment soon after completing their coursework.

There are many examples of certifications available, including but not limited to: Microsoft Office specialist, office and dental assistant, medical billing, computerized financial accounting, web page graphic design, culinary arts and bookkeeping. Participants are encouraged to participate in the job placement services offered by the CFW and are required to attend monthly update meetings with either a CFW staff member or an NCJW/Essex volunteer liaison.

One client who recently completed E2E said, “Thank you for providing me with the financial support to help me finish my certification to find a job in the medical field. Without the help of the CFW staff, the meetings and the connections, I would not be where I am now – back to work in the field that I love.”

The Center for Women is designed to be a resource for all women. E2E is just one of many programs offered to help women on the road to self-empowerment. Interested in learning more? Visit – or call (973) 994-4994 for more information.

Jenna Bush Hager at the NCJW/Essex Opening Event

Jenna Bush Hager Brings the Audience to Laughter and Tears at the NCJW/Essex Opening Event

An enthusiastic crowd of 600 people attended the NCJW/Essex Opening Event on October 25, 2017 at Brooklake Country Club featuring Jenna Bush Hager, teacher, author and journalist. Hager discussed her work as a teacher in Baltimore and working in Latin America where she learned about the power of education “to change lives and to save lives.” She encouraged the audience to tell the stories of people making seemingly small, ordinary changes that can ultimately impact people’s lives in a big, extraordinary way.

Hager, this year’s keynote speaker for the NCJW/Essex yearly kick-off event, is a contributing correspondent for NBC’s Today, an editor for Southern Living magazine and chair of UNICEF’s Next Generation which works towards reducing the number of preventable childhood deaths around the world.  She is the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

“There is no definition of a successful life without service,” said Hager to the audience of NCJW/Essex volunteers, relaying the message she learned early on from her grandfather, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush. With poise, charm and wit, Hager spoke of her own experiences as a teacher, author, journalist, daughter, sister and mother. She read a few excerpts from her just released book of short stories, Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life, co-authored with her twin sister, Barbara Pierce Bush. The mix of funny stories and more serious anecdotes brought the audience to tears in one moment and laughter the next.

Also addressing the audience was Deacon Francis Dixon of the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ, who shared his experiences with the NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store and the partnership that has been created between NCJW/Essex and the Church. Deacon Dixon reflected on the kindness of NCJW/Essex volunteers who believe in the work they do stating, “Long after the shoes and clothing provided by the Back 2 School Store no longer fit, the young people whose lives you touched will remember you for your kindness.”


“The messages from our Opening Event were positive and uplifting,” said Shari Harrison, president NCJW/Essex. “They give us renewed inspiration to continue our work of providing compassion and community support to change lives for the better.”

NCJW/Essex Annual Wonder of Women Film Festival

NCJW/Essex Announces the Annual Wonder of Women Film Festival

Progressive Independent Films Portray the Universal Spirit and Courage of Women

A Palestinian child’s only hope of survival is to cross the border into Israel for a liver transplant…  a Muslim spiritual leader takes an egalitarian view of Islam… and a girl refuses to let her gender define her…

These captivating stories and several others will be presented at this year’s Wonder of Women Film Festival, sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at the Maurice Levin Theater on the Ross Family Campus of the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, 760 Northfield Avenue in West Orange.  The 15th Annual Wonder of Women Film Festival showcases the universal spirit and courage of women of all ages, manifested through short films and documentaries created by independent filmmakers.  This one-day event will be held from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm.

Featured at the festival this year will be director Elizabeth Rose, whose film, Law of Averages, explores the relationship of a young woman with her mother after the death of her grandmother. Ms. Rose will be available for a Q&A after the viewing of her film.


Following are summaries of some of the planned films.  The final program is subject to change.

  • Grandma Learns to Drive: A determined 86-year-old grandma finally gets a license with help from her granddaughter.


  • Saving Nur: Afflicted with a rare genetic disease, nine-year-old Nur has only one chance of survival: crossing the border from Gaza into Israel, where doctors are capable of performing a liver transplant.


  • Everybody Else is Taken: Meet Mika, a girl who refuses to let her gender define her place in one of the harshest environments on Earth – the playground.


  • Law of Averages: Following the death of her grandmother, a young woman and her mother must deal with their own relationship.


  • al imam: Despite controversy and threats, a Muslim spiritual leader takes a stand for justice through activism and the progressive practices of Islam.

“Each year the film festival brings to the screen thought-provoking, relevant and entertaining films by women that shed light on many aspects of women’s lives,” says NCJW/Essex President Shari Harrison.  “We are extremely proud of our line-up this year.”

The fee for all day admission is $45 per person for NCJW/Essex members and $60 per person for nonmembers.  Nonmembers wishing to join NCJW/Essex can apply $15 toward a new yearly membership of $50.  Included with the cost of admission is a Kosher box lunch.  Reservations are required.  Seats will be available on a first-come basis on the day of the festival. For tickets and directions, please call NCJW/Essex at (973) 740-0588. Registration is available online at, or you may mail a check to NCJW/Essex, 70 South Orange Ave, Suite 120, Livingston, NJ 07039.

Reinvigorate This Fall With a Trip to the Polls!

New Jersey Election Day is almost upon us.

Nj VotesDuring this past year, you may have made your first nervous call to a legislator, shown up at a rally and promised to not keep silent about issues important to you. At NCJW/Essex, we have continued to raise our voices about some of the issues we care about: women’s access to reproductive health care, gun safety, voting rights, and economic equality for the most vulnerable — to name just a few. However, it’s easy to let our advocacy slip away as we go about our busy lives. How do we keep up the pressure?

The answer is to VOTE. Election Day is a chance to reinvigorate yourself with a trip to the polls and to exercise your most fundamental right as an American citizen — the right to vote. This November 7th, all statewide NJ elected offices, including Governor and Lt. Governor, are up for election. Unfortunately, turnout for NJ non-presidential elections is dismally low — only 20.8% of eligible voters showed up to vote in 2015.

Do you have friends and family members who aren’t registered to vote? Keep voter registration forms handy to encourage them to register — you can even offer to help fill it out and drop it in the mail! Remember — the deadline to register to vote is October 17th. Use social media in a respectful way to remind your contacts to get out on Election Day. And when you head out the door to cast your vote, call some friends and make a carpool!

Remember, November 7th is your chance to speak up with your strongest voice — your VOTE.

Visit to obtain voter registration and vote by mail applications.