If the dinnertime discussion in your household is what you should have for dinner or where you should order it from, it might
be hard to imagine that in New Jersey, 1 in 10 persons and 1 in 7 children live
in households where there is no regular access to enough food to live healthy
and active lives. Often people are forced to choose between paying rent and
buying food, leaving little or no money to buy nutritious food to feed their
To combat what has become known as “food insecurity,” NCJW/Essex
is trying to do its part to help. Career Services Manager Patty Kremen started an
informal “food bank” known as Patty’s Pantry where she discreetly offers clients
at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women food and gift cards to help them feed their families
for several weeks at a time. Any food that is collected that Patty’s Pantry
cannot use due to space restrictions is donated
to Christine’s Kitchen, a food pantry in West Orange.
A dedicated team of amazing volunteers has been active as
well! In March a kick-off Pack the Pantry
committee meeting was well-attended. Participants were asked to be responsible
for a two-week collection period during which they would solicit direct food
donations as well as supermarket gift cards in $5 and $10 denominations. Many
of the women chose to honor their birthday weeks to do the collection. During
the meeting we brainstormed and came up with some terrific ideas as to how to
get the word out about the needs of our Center for Women clients. This year we
hope to hold a “mitzvah” event as well as to develop a process where we can
solicit stores (other than supermarkets) that sell food.
The Pack the Pantry committee needs your help! In addition to direct donations that can be brought to the office during regular meetings or NCJW/Essex office hours, we are looking for ambassadors to help us at outside NCJW/Essex sponsored events. If you would like to learn more about how you can help or if you would like to join our committee, please email Dina Stambler, Director of Membership and Volunteer Outreach. We greatly appreciate your support—no matter how big or small.
We at NCJW/Essex are outraged and heartbroken that we marked the six-month anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in which 11 people lost their lives, with yet another shooting — this time at Chabad of Poway, California.
While it should be that horrific acts of hatred like these are unimaginable, unfortunately we can imagine them all too well. Hate crimes have surged at an alarming rate. Anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. alone rose 60% in 2017. Those who lost their lives were simply worshipping, celebrating mitzvahs, standing with family.
As we have seen in Pittsburgh, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, hatred and access to guns leads to tragedy.
We cannot stand idly by and merely mourn. Our anger leads us to act now.
Please urge Congress to support the immediate passage of the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (S. 2148/H.R.4918) to address the growing threat of white supremacist groups and other violent domestic extremists.
And ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule a vote on the Enhanced Background Checks Act (S.42), already passed by the House.
Let us make the unimaginable truly unimaginable once again.
The Period.Project’s Time of the Month initiative is up and running! Each month one volunteer or group of volunteers serves as an ambassador for the Period.Project by identifying an agency of their choice, collecting feminine hygiene products and delivering them to women in need. Thank you to the many NCJW/Essex volunteers who have stepped up and taken the lead.
To date, more than 10,000 feminine hygiene products have
been collected and distributed. Period.Project members are proud not just of
the many boxes of product, but what they represent: the ability to help women
go to school or work; the knowledge women can provide for their families; and
the dignity of each woman we help.
committee members have also been advocating for A3868/S3645, a state bill that
requires school districts to provide feminine hygiene products in public
schools where a certain percentage of students fall below the poverty line.
Thanks to the committee’s efforts, the bill is now in committee in both the
Assembly and Senate, and legislators are signing on as co-sponsors! Look for a
future “Call to Action” once the bills are out of committee.
It is a
thrilling time to be part of the Menstrual Equity movement. Queens, NY
Congresswoman Grace Meng recently introduced
the Menstrual Equity for All Act, the
first comprehensive bill to address the different challenges that women and
girls face in affording and accessing menstrual hygiene products.
Together we are working to correct inequity and allow all women to maintain
their dignity and self-respect.
To help with
advocacy efforts, email Stephanie Abrahams, Director of Advocacy and Community
Engagement, at email@example.com.
before has a discussion about navigating today’s media been more critical. The
press has been under attack and news sources are polarized. The news cycle is
unrelenting and unpredictable. As traditional newsrooms shrink and stories are
liked, shared and tweeted a million times a day, anyone with a phone can be a
What is real and what is truly important in the daily news cycle? NCJW/Essex is sponsoring a Lunch and Learn program – Breaking News: Navigating Today’s Media – which
will examine these issues with a panel of leading experts in the field of
journalism and news. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, from
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, NJ.
expert panel examining the current state of news reporting will include
Stephanie Clifford, Investigative Reporter and NY Times Contributor; Kevin
Lerner, Professor of Journalism at Marist College; Rob Nelson, WABC-TV Anchor
and Reporter; and CNN Reporter and Producer, Marshall Cohen. The panel will provide media literacy
guidelines for today’s changing world – a must-attend for anyone who cares
about the future of free press. Breaking News: Navigating
Today’s Media will be held at
Temple B’nai Abraham, 300 E. Northfield Road, Livingston, NJ. Pre-registration
is required by May 1, 2019.
fee is $20 for members; $25 for non-members and includes a buffet lunch. To register, please call (973) 740-0588 or visit www.ncjwessex.org.