Message from Our President and Executive Director

To all the friends of NCJW/Essex,

As we reflect on the past year, we are both grateful, and frankly, in awe of what NCJW/Essex accomplished! Hardly a week passed without an event, a Committee meeting or another opportunity to participate in something good happening at NCJW/Essex.

Our advocacy work took center stage as the assault on individual rights and freedoms, exemplified by the roll back of abortion rights, accelerated. We took on this and other issues with the same sense of purpose and commitment that has fueled this organization for more than 100 years.

We cautiously returned to in-person, indoor events and it was so wonderful to reconnect with friends old and new. The distance of the past few years slipped away and NCJW/Essex members picked up right where they left off at Opening Event, Card Party and meaningful Mitzvah-in-a-Minute, Advocacy in an Hour and other programs. The lessons of the pandemic stayed with us as well, and many of our activities were offered in hybrid form.

The Back 2 School Store did what it does best – embracing the most vulnerable children in our community as their guides and providing some of the tools they need to feel empowered as they return to school. More than 1,000 children took part in our program last year, bringing the total to more than 10,000 since our Back 2 School Store began.

NCJW/Essex Executive Director Caitlin Higgins Joy, NCJW CEO Sheila Katz, NCJW/Essex President Jennie Goldsmith Rothman (l-r)

The Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women sprung to life, serving a record number of clients with care, career counseling, practical skills training and emotional support as these women navigated a return to work. Empowerment was the operative word for the CFW, too, delivering the holistic support that makes a difference.

Of course, none of this is possible without our generous donors, our wonderful and dedicated leadership, the scores of volunteers who give of their time and treasure, and the staff who helps us tie everything together. NCJW/Essex’s mission puts us in the heart of our community and compels us to engage with the issues and with each other as members and as volunteers.

Each part of our organization uplifts the other, and together we strive to make the world a better place – and have some fun along the way.
We are hopeful that as you look through the NCJW/Essex Year in Review, it stirs a fond memory, brings a smile to your face and best yet, urges you to be more involved in the year ahead. There is so much work to do, and there is a place for everyone at NCJW/Essex.

In partnership and appreciation,