NCJW/Essex Lunch and Learn Featuring Experts in the Field of Journalism

Never 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 journalist.

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.

The 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.
The fee is $20 for members; $25 for non-members and includes a buffet lunch. To register, please call (973) 740-0588 or visit

Start Your Engines … Join NCJW/Essex for the Launch of “Carpool Conversations”

– Have you ever been caught unprepared for the questions your children ask or wondered what they talk about when they think you’re not listening? The newest NCJW/Essex project, Carpool Conversations, aims to provide parents with the tools necessary to engage in conversations with their children about difficult and sensitive topics – before they face issues – allowing them to grow up strong, kind and safe. The project’s launch event will take place on Thursday April 4, 2019 from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Short Hills, NJ.

Carpool Conversations arose out of an NCJW/Essex production of SLUT: The Play in 2017, a provocative drama that sparked a conversation about consent, sexism and sexual violence as well as how to parent children in a particularly challenging environment influenced by social media. Acknowledging that conversations often start when parents are taking their children to and from activities, when they are not expecting or prepared for them to happen, NCJW/Essex created Carpool Conversations as an opportunity to help educate parents on how to navigate through these sensitive conversations with their children.

The launch of Carpool Conversations will include a panel of local experts: Donna Ellenbogen, M.S. Ed., LCSW, Jacqueline Mesnik, PhD, Andrea Sherman, LCSW, and Abby Silverman, MD. With their unique perspectives, they will provide parents with the tools to engage in important conversations with their children as well as educate attendees on sensitive topics so they have a better understanding on how to address them in a discussion.

The goal of Carpool Conversations is to breakdown walls between parents and children and open up opportunities for dialogue and understanding. Following the launch event, NCJW/Essex will continue Carpool Conversations with small group discussions facilitated by professionals in private homes or at the NCJW/Essex office about such topics as consent, sexuality explicit material, social media, body image and gender expectations.

The fee to attend the Carpool Conversations launch is $10 for NCJW/Essex members and $15 for nonmembers. For more information or to register, please call (973) 740-0588 or visit

Commemorating the Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Decision Breaks Down the Stigma of Abortion

Fighting for reproductive rights is usually no laughing matter, especially when it requires examining the growing number of infringements on access to healthcare, the ways sexuality education is limited, and the dangers involved in being an abortion provider.

But this year at the NCJW/Essex special Lunch and Learn, “Ending the Stigma of Abortion,” more than 200 attendees learned how the Lady Parts Justice League, a team of comedians, writers, and producers, use humor to break down barriers in their efforts to protect reproductive rights. The group, founded by Lizz Winstead, co-creator and head writer of The Daily Show, examined the stigma attached to abortion as too often people are uncomfortable talking about the subject (even saying the word!) and the challenges of obtaining care. This has made it tough to expose myths, raise awareness and turn the tide on the attacks on access to care.

“We talk about abortion in silence and secrecy and we are trying to change that,” said Winstead. “Abortion is safe and necessary and we shouldn’t feel shamed by it.” Winstead was joined for a panel discussion by Jen Moore Conrow, MFS, who serves as the Director of PEACE at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where she oversees the Fellowship in Family Planning and the residency education program, training the next generation of abortion providers; and Solange Azor, a New York City-based comedian, writer and activist for reproductive justice.

This special event commemorated the 46th anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that ensures a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion. Attendees participated in a “call to action,” sending letters to New Jersey legislators in support of Bill A1861: Address Confidentiality Program for Reproductive Health Services Employees and Clients. This legislation would offer both staff and patients the option of confidentiality of their address, thus granting them safety and security for themselves and their families.   The following organizations were co-sponsors:  ACLU-NJ, Catholics for Choice, Center for Reproductive Rights, Hadassah of Northern New Jersey, Jewish Women’s Foundation, Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey, League of Women Voters of New Jersey, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, National Institute for Reproductive Health, NCJW Bergen, NCJW West Morris, NCJW Union, Network for Responsible Public Policy, New Jersey Abortion Access Fund, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Policy Perspective, NJ Drug Policy Alliance, NJ Sierra Club, NOW NJ, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan NJ, Rachel Coalition, S.O.F.I.A.-Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates, Stanton Strong, The Reproductive Justice Committee of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, The Women’s Centers, Unitarian Universalist Faith Action New Jersey