Order Your Custom NCJW/Essex Face Mask Now – All Orders Due by July 6

We have special limited edition NCJW/Essex face masks available only until July 6! For every mask you purchase, part of the proceeds go directly to NCJW/Essex to help support our programs and services on behalf of women, children and families in Essex County. 

These are difficult times for many, help us make a difference. 
Stay healthy, and thank you for supporting NCJW/Essex! 

To purchase face masks, click here now. 

Direct link to purchase: https://pateamstores.com/collections/ncjw

All About the NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store

For the past 11 years, the annual NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store (B2SS) has enabled Essex County children in financial need to “shop” for free clothing, sneakers, school supplies and personal care items in a one-day-only “store” set up just for them in the Livingston, NJ area. With the assistance of NCJW/Essex volunteer personal shoppers, each child was escorted through the department store-like space to select pants, shirts, sneakers, hats, gloves, socks, undergarments, a winter coat and a backpack in their favorite colors and styles. Each child also received school supplies and books as well as personal care items. All of the merchandise was brand new and purchased by NCJW/Essex through philanthropic and sponsorship dollars. This helped enable the children to have positive self-esteem and enthusiasm to have a successful school year. 

In addition, while the children shopped, the Gaelen Family Resource Center gave parents and caregivers the opportunity to learn about healthcare, career and educational opportunities, to participate in free health screenings and to gather information about other community resources. Click here for photos from the 2019 B2SS.   

Due to current public health concerns, unfortunately we cannot have a traditional B2SS this year. Yet, the 800+ children we serve need clothing and school supplies more than ever! We at NCJW/Essex are transforming the Back 2 School Store and introducing the first-ever NCJW/Essex Mobile Back to School Store! This will enable us to continue to serve the children and families in our community who have been among the hardest hit during these difficult times.   

We need your help in order to make sure local children get to start the school year right!  Please consider increasing your gift this year, given the extraordinary need in our community. Click here to donate.  

Jill Johnson’s Invocation from Installation on June 4, 2020

We’re sitting this far back. Wow. I used to be placed at one of the good tables.

Wait – you’re not sitting at my table – but we put each other’s names on our response cards – how come they separated us.

Look how long that omelet line is. I’ll wait till later. On no – I’ve waited too long – now the program is starting.

I hope they come around with more coffee – do you think it’s decaf – it tastes too good to be decaf I think. I’ll be up all night if it’s not decaf.The servers need to stop clanging the dishes – I can’t hear the speakers.

Look at that valet parking line. I knew I should have self-parked.

Over the years, how many of us have heard or even said those statements at past installations? And I’m sure I speak for most, if not all of us, when I say, how many of us wish we were together to voice those complaints at installation today?

So many things about this installation have changed; but the most important parts haven’t. Of course, we’re disappointed that we can’t be together to thank and honor this past year’s leadership team, and especially to pay tribute to my friend, outgoing president, Lesley Greenstein.

And of course, we’re disappointed that we can’t be together to welcome in next year’s leadership team, that will be led ably by my friend, incoming president, Penina Barr. But I believe that this year’s installation is, perhaps, more poignant and profound. This remote event displays who we are as NCJW leaders and supporters and shows us that nothing will stop us from achieving our mission: being a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

Think about it – Have those words ever been more meaningful than they are today?

Whether we say the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

Or the recent words of Congressman John Lewis “our work to achieve justice and equality won’t be easy…nothing worth having ever is – but while the arc of the moral universe is long, it bends towards justice.”

Or the words from Rabbi Tarfon in Pirkei Avot, “It is not our responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but we are not free to desist from it either.”

Can I ask you to lift your coffee cup, or water glass, or whatever you’re drinking – May we all rise up to the challenges before us and as NCJW/Essex has done for nearly 110 years, whether we’re together or on Zoom or on the phone, let us continue to perform acts of Tikkun Olam and make the world a better place. Amen. 

Welcome to the 2020-2021 NCJW/Essex Officers and Board

2020-2021 Officers

President: Penina Barr​

VP Administration: Marjorie Zucker​

 VP Advocacy: Jennie Goldsmith Rothman​

 VP Center for Women: Andrea Mintz​

 VP Communications: Debra Goldsmith​

 VP Fund Development: Anita S. Cohen​

 VP Membership: Susie Botwinick​

 VP Programming: Elisa Madorsky​

 VP Volunteer Outreach: Laurie Schuftan​

 Treasurer: Rita Isaacs​

 Assistant Treasurer: Paula Green​

 Financial Secretary: Cindy Charney​

 Corresponding Secretary: Debra Caplan​

 Recording Secretary: Laurie Kahn​

 Nominations Chair: Jill Sorkin Johnson​

 Nominations Vice Chair: Jaimee Baumgarten

2020-2021 Section Board

Heather Adelman ​

Ellen Barocas ​

Penina Barr ​

Jaimee Baumgarten ​

Janet Berger ​

Linda Berman ​

Lila Bernstein ​

Jordyn Blackburn ​

Michelle Bobrow ​

Susie Botwinick ​

Beth Randall Branigan ​

Debra Caplan ​

Cindy Charney ​

Anita S. Cohen​

Carol Cohen ​

Teddi Dolph ​

Hélène Dreskin​

Nancy Eskow​

Lauren Tabak Fass​

Ruthann Fish ​

Lori Gelman ​

Sara Goetz ​

Debra Goldsmith ​

Ellen Gottlieb ​

Paula Green ​

Lesley Greenstein ​

Shari Harrison ​

Barbara Hauser ​

Rita Isaacs ​

Linda Jacobs ​

Jill Sorkin Johnson ​

Laurie Kahn ​

 Ellen M. Klein ​

 Robin Kollin ​

 Stacey Laken ​

 Leslie Lavinthal ​

 Dale Lazarovitch ​

Elisa Madorsky​

 Isabel Margolin ​

 Susan Miller ​

 Andrea Mintz ​

 Patti Nathan ​

 Phoebe Pollinger ​

 Jennie Goldsmith Rothman​

 Lisa Santola ​

 Deborah Legow Schatz​

Lauren Scher ​

 Laurie Schuftan ​

 Deborah Schultz ​

 Robin Singer ​

 Sharon Spindel ​

Joy Stone ​

 Judy Wais Tabak ​

 Sheri Trugman ​

 Beverly Trust ​

 Myrna Wertheimer ​

 Marjorie Zucker ​

New Officers and Section Board for 2020-2021 were installed on June 4, 2020.

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

NCJW Suggested Donation


Give a monthly donation

Donor Information

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Billing Details

Donation Total: $54 One Time