LIVINGSTON, NJ, June 18, 2014 – The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) has received a grant of $2000 from The Montclair Foundation in support of the 6th Annual Back 2 School Store.
The NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store provides an opportunity for economically disadvantaged children in Essex County to “shop” for free for back-to-school essentials in a one-day-only “store” set up just for them in a 4,000 square foot space. With the assistance of NCJW/Essex volunteer personal shoppers, each child is escorted through the department store-like space to select pants, shirts, sneakers, undergarments, a winter jacket, and a backpack in their favorite colors and styles. Each child also receives school supplies – including binders, notebooks, pencils, a calculator, and a dictionary – as well as a small supply of personal care items. All of the merchandise is brand new, purchased or donated by NCJW/Essex and its sponsoring partners.
Since its inception five years ago, the Back 2 School Store has served more than 2300 children and has utilized the services of over 2000 volunteers who planned, organized and worked at the one-day event. This year’s Back 2 School Store is scheduled for Sunday, August 3, 2014, where once again NCJW/Essex plans on fulfilling the wishes of more than 600 Essex County economically disadvantaged children, giving them the needed self-esteem to insure a successful beginning to a new school year.
“We are so grateful to The Montclair Foundation for their key role in supporting our work and helping our 6th Annual Back 2 School Store come to fruition,” said Deborah Legow Schatz, President of NCJW/Essex. “Their generosity goes a long way toward ensuring that hundreds of children have the clothes and supplies they need to start the school year off right.
LIVINGSTON, NJ, June 24, 2014 – The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) was honored with a coveted four out of four stars by Charity Navigator, the leading charity evaluator in the United States. Because of NCJW’s sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency, NCJW/Essex has received the highest rating possible by the esteemed charity evaluator.
According to Charity Navigator, NCJW/Essex has successfully adhered to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and constantly execute its mission in a fiscally responsible manner. Only about 25 percent of charities evaluated by Charity Navigator receive the perfect score, thus making NCJW/Essex a member of an elite group, outperforming most charity organizations nationally. “It is important that our donors trust that we’re using our funding wisely to champion programs that benefit women, children and families,” said NCJW/Essex Executive Director Cathy Silverman. “Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating demonstrates to our supporters that we take our fiduciary and governance responsibilities very seriously.”
Rating information for NCJW/Essex is available free of charge on www.charitynavigator.org
LIVINGSTON, NJ, June 30, 2014 – The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) condemns today’s Supreme Court’s decision to allow employers to deny access to family planning services through employer-provided health insurance based on a claim of personal religious objection to contraception. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that private health insurance coverage include such access in any standard package of benefits. In separate cases, the owners of Hobby Lobby, a for-profit craft store chain, and Conestoga Woods Specialties Corporation, a for-profit furniture manufacturer, sought to assert a religious objection to withhold this preventive benefit. NCJW signed an amicus brief in each case in support of contraceptive coverage.
“We are extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court struck down the law’s provision intended to ensure that millions of women workers – as well as women dependents of working men – would have access to birth control services at no added cost,” said Deborah Legow Schatz, president of NCJW/Essex. “Our members worked hard to help enact the Affordable Care Act and to ensure that such coverage would be part of the package of key preventive benefits offered to all covered workers, and that company leadership would not be able to interfere in women’s ability to make their own personal medical decisions.”
Ms. Schatz continued, “Under this ruling, private employers may be emboldened to cite religious objections to discriminate, potentially picking and choosing what services to cover in accordance with their own religious beliefs – eroding a worker’s religious liberty. This might even jeopardize the basic protections of the new health care law, as well as those of many longstanding civil rights and labor laws affecting private employers. Workers should never be forced to abide by personal religious views imposed by their boss.”
The Supreme Court cases in question, Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Woods v. Sebelius, both contain claims that employers ought to be able to disregard requirements of federal law that are contrary to their personal religious beliefs. More than 40 employers are involved in such lawsuits regarding the Affordable Care Act. Contraceptive access for women and families is a critical health and economic security issue. Nearly all women of child-bearing age report using contraceptives at some point in their lives, and many use them for medical conditions unrelated to family planning. Seven in ten Americans agree that health insurance companies should cover the full cost of contraceptive services, just as they do other medical conditions.