Here’s What You Can Do Right Now to Protect Reproductive Rights

Now’t the time to make a commitment to protect reproductive rights. Below please find the Calls to Action, as well as a list of notable resources. You’ve lit your candle, set a fire – now let’s protect abortion access. Share with friends and family!

Calls to Action

1.Thank Governor Murphy For Protecting Access

Call, email and tweet Governor Murphy609-292-6000, @GovMuphy, contact here
Call Script: I am a member of the National Council of Jewish Women (or your organization or omit if calling as an individual). I am calling today to thank Governor Murphy and his administration for Executive Order No 109, which ensures that individuals can still access family planning and abortion care services.  
Abortion care is essential and time-sensitive and must remain so during this public health crisis. I want to thank Governor Murphy for protecting and expanding health care access during these challenging times. Thank you. 

2. Thank Abortion Providers, Thank the Women’s Center here. Thank Planned Parenthood here.

3. Join the Effort to Make the Birth Control Pill Available Without a Prescription. “Like” here.

4. Sign Petitions to Lift FDA Restrictions on Medication Abortion. Click herehere and here!


Anti-Human Trafficking: Calls to Action to Do Today!

Now’s the time to commit to making real change from home. Below please find Calls to Action, as well as a list of notable resources. You’ve lit your candle, set a fire – now continue the fight to abolish human trafficking. Forward to friends and family!


1. Ask Your State Senator to Sponsor Two High Priority Bills and Press For a Hearing
Find your State Senator here.
In our area:Senator Richard Cody (Caldwell, Florham Park, Hanover, Livingston, Millburn,Maplewood, Roseland, S&W Orange): Email here or call (973) 535-5017 Senator Nia Gill (Clifton, E& Orange, Montclair): Email here or call (973) 509-0388

Public Awareness of Trafficking (S280) develops notices for victims of human trafficking, that contain the National Human Trafficking Number, to be posted in critical places such as transit spots, bars and massage parlors — giving victims a way to reach out for help.

A New Start for Survivors (S1750) expands clean slate/vacatur laws for trafficking survivors. This bill provides a process to vacate and expunge arrests and charges committed by a person while they were a victim of human trafficking, thus allowing them a new start in life.

2. Put the National Human Trafficking Hotline Phone Number and Text in Your Phone
Call 888-3737-888 OR Text BEFREE (2337333)

3. Vote for the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking
Your daily vote could help the Coalition win a rebranding, which would help spread awareness of modern day slavery across the state. Vote here.

In solidarity, we stand together

After the series of troubling events that highlight the continuing racial divide across our country, we at NCJW/Essex cannot be silent.   Our hearts go out to the family of George Floyd, his friends and his community. We share in their frustration and anger as we witness inequality and racism. And we grieve for the loss of this life and other lives, for the communities in pain, and for our country that is hurting in so many ways. 
Our Jewish values dictate that we strive to create the world in which we want to live. That is our job today more than ever – to learn, to educate, to repair.  
We know that this violence comes while the pandemic is already disproportionately affecting communities of color. On Wednesday, June 3, during our B.L.A.Z.E. , we will learn how we can help the Newark Community Street Team as they work to uplift our neighbors.  
Today we grieve. Today we get back to work.  


Here’s What You Can Do Today to Get Out the Vote and Secure the Election Process

Get out the vote and help secure our election process! Follow the call to action below and share the list of important resources with family and friends. Now is the time to work together to protect our democracy. 


Call, email and tweet Governor Murphy, Secretary of State Way and your local representatives  

Governor Murphy: 609-292-6000, @GovMuphy, contact here

Secretary of State Way: 609-777-2581, @SecretaryWay 

Local representatives [your State Senator (1) and Assembly Members (2)]. Find them here

Call Script:
Thank you for your leadership during this difficult time. Voting must be categorized as an “essential service” and voters must have multiple options for accessing the ballot during this crisis. Please ensure a fair and safe election process by implementing these five recommendations:

1. Dedicate resources to online voter registration. 
2. Expand in-person early voting and drop-off boxes for VBM – ensuring people vote and do it safely.

3. Adequately sanitize polling places and provide PPE to keep poll workers safe while maintaining social distancing. 

4. Relax voter registration deadlines and permit Election Day voter registration.


Am I registered to vote? Check here.
Voter Registration: Find it here.
Vote By Mail Application: Find it here.
Need stamps?: Find them here or here.

Swing Into Spring with the 2020 NCJW/Essex Raffle!

It’s time to buy tickets to the 2020 NCJW/Essex Raffle!

The 2020 NCJW/Essex Raffle offers you a chance to win some fabulous prizes while supporting important programs that improve the quality of life for women, children and families here in Essex County and engage in critical advocacy efforts that are more important now than ever.

This year we have five incredible prizes, all perfect as we swing into spring, even while at home.

$1,000 Gift Certificate to Nancy and David Fine Jewels
$550 Gift Certificate to Joanie Schwartz Portraiture
$500 Gift Card to the Apple Store
$500 Gift Card to Amazon
$250 Gift Card to ShopRite.

Entering the raffle is easy – by mail or by text!

Purchase tickets by mail – Send payment with check made out to NCJW/Essex to NCJW/Essex, Suite 120, 70 South Orange Ave., Livingston, NJ 07039

Purchase tickets by text – Send a text to 243725 and insert the message “ncjwessex” and follow the prompts to purchase tickets. Please note the text must be exactly: ncjwessex – all lowercase, no spaces.

Tickets are $25 each or 6 for $100.
All texts and checks must be received by June 1, 2020.
The winning tickets will be chosen on June 4 and winners will be notified.
You do not need to be present to win.

We wish you luck and offer our thanks for your support of NCJW/Essex!

Challenge Accepted?

We want to share some exciting news! A generous anonymous donor has challenged NCJW/Essex members and friends to raise $50,000 before May 15 — which our amazing donor will then match, dollar for dollar! All told, NCJW/Essex could realize $100,000!

Not surprisingly, some wonderful NCJW/Essex donors are already lighting the way to meet this challenge, and, together, have given $40,000 toward the match. Now we need your help to close the final gap and reach our goal.

Please click here to make your challenge gift! 

The kind of world we step back into when this is all over will depend on the actions we take today. Through the Center for Women, NCJW/Essex continues to provide food, resources, and support to women and families in crisis, and our advocacy work around issues like voter registration and women’s reproductive rights is going strong. 

With Golf, Card Party, and other NCJW/Essex special events canceled, won’t you consider redirecting your support for these events toward the challenge and double your impact!

MAKE YOUR CHALLENGE GIFT TODAY and make a difference right now in the lives of women, children and families in Essex County. 

Thank you so much for your support,

Lesley Greenstein, President
Caitlin Higgins Joy, Executive Director

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Important Message from NCJW/Essex

NCJW/Essex Postpones All Events Until May 15

NCJW/Essex is continuing to closely monitor the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 

In accordance with these guidelines, we have decided that the best thing we can do to help stop the spread of this disease is to close the office and postpone all of our events and in-person meetings through May 15.

Unfortunately, the Card Party on May 4 will not take place as scheduled, and we will share details about a new date as soon as we have more information.

Details concerning other events that were scheduled during this time period will be posted on the website, and we will send another email update in April as more information becomes available. In the meantime, please email if you have any questions or concerns.

We would like to again invite you to continue NCJW/Essex’s important work by using conference services like Free Conference Call (good for multiple callers), or video chat using SkypeZoom or other video services.

Please note, staff will be working remotely and will be available by email. For general questions, please email

Thank you again for all of your support and understanding as together we adjust to what is hopefully a temporary “new normal.” 

We are grateful now, as always, for the commitment, strength, and compassion of our NCJW/Essex community.

Lesley Greenstein, President
Caitlin Higgins Joy, Executive Director

Important Update about Coronavirus from NCJW/Essex

Office Closed Monday, March 16, to Friday, March 27

The health and well-being of NCJW/Essex members is always our biggest priority. To ensure we are doing our part to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), especially as we consider the risks to those of us in our community who may be more susceptible to this disease, we have made the difficult decision to close the NCJW/Essex offices.

The office will be closed for two weeks, effective Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. During that time, we will be closely monitoring the situation to determine if extending this timeline is necessary. 

While the physical NCJW/Essex office is closed, the important work of NCJW/Essex will continue. You can participate in NCJW/Essex business by using conference services like Free Conference Call (good for multiple callers), or video chat using SkypeZoom or other video services. 

Staff will be working remotely and will be available by email. For general questions, please email

We appreciate all of your support and understanding as we face this challenge together, even while apart. 

We are grateful now, as always, for the commitment, strength, and compassion of our NCJW/Essex community.

Lesley Greenstein, President

Caitlin Higgins Joy, Executive Director

In Loving Memory of Cathy Silverman

Cathy Silverman

NCJW/Essex Executive Director

It is with heavy hearts that we share with you that our beloved Executive Director Emerita, Cathy Silverman, passed away on February 4, 2020.

Cathy was the epitome of an NCJW woman – compassionate, courageous, and caring. She was a lifetime member and volunteer for more than 20 years, serving as Division President and as Essex Section Vice President, followed by 18 years as Executive Director of NCJW/Essex. Her impact on NCJW/Essex was immense, increasing the section to over 3,200 members and transforming NCJW/Essex from a well-kept secret to a powerful force in the community.

At the Crown Jewels Gala held in her honor, Cathy shared how much NCJW/Essex meant to her: “There is no other organization more special than this one. I get to work every day with incredibly bright, articulate and passionate women. Whether it is the volunteers or my staff, it has truly been a dream come true. Every day I look forward to my job and the work we do. The depth of the support I receive from everyone goes beyond what is imaginable. This support and our work enable me to experience the pure joy of the women, children and families whose lives we improve with our services.”

During her time as Executive Director, Cathy sparked the growth of NCJW/Essex with many new and innovative programs and initiatives, including the Back 2 School Store, Chai Circle, Mitzvah-in-a-Minute, the Period.Project, the Kids Emergency Closet, the Women’s Seder, and the A-List for Advocacy. She doubled the organization’s professional staff, tripled the budget, and quadrupled assets. Due to Cathy’s leadership, NCJW/Essex has enhanced the lives of innumerable women, children and families throughout Essex County, New Jersey, and beyond.

Cathy inspired all of us to strive for excellence and innovation, and will be greatly missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to know her. 

It is impossible to think of NCJW/Essex without thinking of Cathy, who made the organization what it is today. She will be forever in our hearts.

Our NCJW/Essex community grieves with Cathy’s beloved family: her mother, Doris, her husband Lenny Dinnerstein, her children, and her grandchildren.

Lesley Greenstein, President, NCJW/Essex

Caitlin Higgins Joy, Executive Director, NCJW/Essex