NCJW/Essex Volunteers Take Annual Back 2 School Store Mobile to Meet the Needs of 1,000 Essex County Kids

LIVINGSTON, NJ – This summer, NCJW/Essex held their 12th Annual Back 2 School Store, and first-ever Mobile Back 2 School Store (B2SS). 

In previous years, the B2SS provided Essex County children in financial need a chance 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.   

However, due to the pandemic, social distancing requirements, and public health concerns, the traditional B2SS had to be completely re-imagined for 2020. Volunteers worked together to adapt the format and to make sure the children served would still be able to receive the many important items supplied by the B2SS to help ensure a great start to the upcoming school year. 

In order to make this happen, volunteers set-up tents, created packing stations, and every morning for close to two weeks worked in small group shifts to ensure safety at a private home in Short Hills. Working outdoors in the extreme heat, volunteers packed individual backpacks and packages, then loaded them into vehicles for delivery to social service agencies located throughout Essex County, including Newark, East Orange, Livingston, Bloomfield and Montclair.  

“It was a true logistical challenge packing and delivering hundreds of backpacks and supplies, but we did it thanks to everyone’s commitment and can-do attitude,” shared Penina Barr, NCJW/Essex President. “This effort is so important; we knew we couldn’t let the pandemic stop us.” 

NCJW/Essex worked in collaboration with hundreds of donors who provided financial support and product donations. Due to the efforts of Livingston Town Councilman Michael Vieira, transportation provided by Essex County allowed NCJW/Essex to get hundreds of boxes with backpacks and packages to 40 partner agencies which then safely directly distributed these items to Essex County children in financial need.  

According to the B2SS Committee Chairs, Laurie Schuftan, Stacey Laken, and Lauren Tabak Fass, the B2SS provided 1,000 children in Essex County with backpacks, school supplies, personal care items, face masks, games, and a handwritten note, each one created by one of the hundreds of NCJW/Essex volunteers of all ages participating in this initiative. 

“The children and families in the Essex County community who are served by the Back 2 School Store have been among the hardest hit during these extraordinary times, and we knew we had to find a way to bring the store to them, safely and securely,” said Caitlin Higgins Joy, Executive Director of NCJW/Essex, adding, “we are so grateful to our volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this happen.” 

Welcome David Pasternack, Director of Resource Development!

David Pasternack recently joined NCJW/Essex as the Director of Resource Development. David brings over 20 years of nonprofit experience with organizations such as Hadassah and American Heart Association.

While at Hadassah, David served as Chief Development Officer and helped complete a $325 million dollar capital campaign to build 13 underground operating rooms at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

At American Heart Association, David was on the team that launched the award-winning GO RED FOR WOMEN heart program, which is credited with saving thousands of women’s lives. He also was Executive Director for the New York office of Israel Bonds for 5 years where they sold over $200 million annually to benefit the State of Israel.

David is a graduate of the University of Georgia where he majored in Business. His passion for theater and travel is shared by his one daughter, Hillary. Contact David at dpasternack@ncjwessex.org.

Call to Action: Ask Your State Legislators to Support the Reproductive Freedom Act

As we mourn the passing of Justice Ginsburg, we know that the future of abortion access in the hands of the Supreme Court is deeply uncertain. With our rights at stake at the federal level, now is the time for New Jersey to commit to ensuring that everyone can get the care they need, when they need it.  

Call to Action: Ask Your State Legislators to Support  
the Reproductive Freedom Act 

Find your state legislators (1 State Senator and 2 General Assembly Membershere:  

https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/SelectMun.asp

CALL SCRIPT:  

Dear [Legislator], 

I am a member of the National Council of Jewish Women. Passing the Reproductive Freedom Act will help protect and expand the ability for all New Jerseyans to receive reproductive health care, such as birth control and pregnancy-related care, including abortion. The Reproductive Freedom Act explicitly ensures New Jerseyans have the right to make their own personal decisions when it comes to reproductive health care. We believe that in New Jersey everyone should be able to receive the care they need and to plan their families without barriers, fear or interference from others.  

We urge that you support the Reproductive Freedom Act, and protect and expand access to birth control and pregnancy-care, including abortion, in New Jersey. Thank you for your consideration.  

NCJW Essex/Back 2 School Store needs your help creating personal notes for Phase 2 of our Mobile B2SS!

This summer, NCJW/Essex delivered backpacks filled with school supplies, personal care items and more, to 1,000 children in need during Phase 1 of our Mobile Back 2 School Store. Each backpack included a handwritten note which added a personal touch.

Plans are already underway for the final phase of our Mobile B2SS, when we will distribute much needed warm weather clothes to these same children. We will again include a personal note in each package, to encourage each child to make the most of their school year.

Here is where we need you! We want to offer you, your children or grandchildren the opportunity to create uplifting “Warm Wishes for Cool Weather” notes that will bring a smile to a child’s face. The notes can be simple or elaborate, and feel free to make several since we need 1,000 of these notes!

Instructions for “Warm Wishes” notes:

  • Print the image that can be found by clicking here. The message you write should be unisex and appropriate for any child in Kindergarten through 5th grade
    • Wondering what to say in the note? Here are a few suggestions:
      • I bet you can’t wait until it snows and you can go outside to build a snowman! Here is some stuff to keep you warm while you are having fun!
      • We’ve got you covered from head to toe! Stay warm and study hard! 
      • Enjoy this cool stuff for the cold weather!
  • Decorate with your own markers/crayons and you can even add stickers if you want.
  • Mail the completed “Warm Wishes” notes to the NCJW office or drop off during business hours by Friday, October 16 at noon to NCJW/Essex B2SS, 70 South Orange Avenue, Suite 120, Livingston, NJ 07039

Don’t forget to send us photos!!! Send us pictures of you and your loved ones creating these notes and we’ll share them online!!! Email images to ncjwb2ss@gmail.com.

By sending your photo, you grant permission to the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section the irrevocable right to use your name (and the names of any others that appear in the photo that you disclose) and the photograph for reproduction in any print or electronic medium, including social media, for advertising, display, exhibition or editorial use.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask Ellen Staple, Manager of Membership and Resource Development at estaple@ncjwessex.org.

Susie Botwinick and Sherri Fendelman, NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store Volunteer Co-chairs

Lauren Fass, Lori Gelman and Rachel Khedouri, NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store Co-Chairs

Join Ruth’s Revolution

Join Ruth’s Revolution. May Her Memory Be a Revolution #Ruthless

My heritage as a Jew and my occupation as a judge fit together symmetrically. The demand for justice runs through the entirety of Jewish history and tradition.

 – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

We were devastated by the loss of Justice Ginsburg, and we mourn with America. Few people have so irrevocably altered the lives of so many. Ideas that once seemed so radical, today are common sense because of her efforts – chief among them equal protection of the law and what that means for the most vulnerable among us, including women, children and families.  

But we cannot simply mourn. Our heritage demands that we take action to honor her legacy.  

Let’s do this. 

1. Justice Ginsburg always chose her words carefully from her early years as a lawyer arguing landmark cases to her powerful dissenting opinions from the bench of the US Supreme Court, and finally, her dying wish to her granddaughter that her seat not be filled until the next president is sworn in.  Together let’s ensure her seat is filled only after every vote is counted.  Sign the petition here and text RBG to 50409 to have Resistbot automatically send signed letters to your Senators urging them to keep her seat vacant.

2. There is a custom in many Jewish communities that, at the end of a shiva period, mourners take a walk around the block to symbolically mark the end of an intensely inward time and return to the world. As such, NCJW/Essex will join with other NCJW sections and Jewish communities across the country as we take a symbolic walk around our blocks or local courthouses on Friday, October 2, at noon. We will circle our office at 70 South Orange Avenue to remind people that this work in the world matters, critically. Please bring a mask. We will be observing socially distancing. Email Stephanie Abrahams, Director of Advocacy, at sabrahams@ncjwessex.org to RSVP. 

3. Honor Justice Ginsburg by celebrating her life. Join us for a virtual group tour of The Illinois Holocaust Museum Exhibit: “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” Curator Arielle Weininger will discuss the history of RBG and the exhibition, complete with embedded audio, video and photographs of artifacts as seen in the exhibition. A live Q&A with a docent will follow. There are two sessions, Tuesday, October 6, at 1 p.m. and Thursday, October 8, at 5 p.m. Register here

Phase 1 of the Mobile Back 2 School Store is complete!

Phase 1 of the Mobile Back 2 School Store is complete! We are proud to have equipped 1,000 children with backpacks, school supplies, toothbrushes, toothpaste, games, face masks, and socks all thanks to our incredible sponsors, our amazing volunteers, staff members and agency partners. A special thank you to everyone whose donations made this possible. WE DID IT! Please consider a donation to the B2SS to keep the effort going, and stay tuned for Phase 2!

Eastman Building Management building re-opening requirements letter

June 15th, 2020

Good Day Everyone,

As we begin to prepare for a new normal in the workplace, we wanted to update you on the steps we have taken to safely prepare the building for your return.  Just to be clear, this is a long letter but please take the time to read through it as its filled with important information to keep everyone updated & safe.

Eastman Management has been working diligently on virus spread prevention measures to ensurethe wellbeing of our tenants. We recognize our tenants’ concerns and fears about returning to the workplace and we want to share the steps we are taking to provide a safe operating environment for the return of your staff and customers.

Many of the actions we are taking  require the partnership, support, participation and cooperation of our tenant communities and property management team to ensure that the re-entry procedures and requirements outlined below are communicated to your teams and visitors.

Some key points:

·         Wearing facial coverings or masks in common areas is required.

·         Wearing facial coverings masks within tenant spaces is recommended but the decision to wear masks is up to the tenant in each situation.

·         Social distancing requirements will be strongly enforced in all common areas.

·         Where feasible, we are making as many areas touchless as we can.

·         We are cleaning and sanitizing common areas, door handles, stair railings, elevator buttons, common furniture, common doors, etc. on a frequent basis.

Common Area Daily Sanitization

Building management has cleaned and sanitized all common areas of the building –  this includes all high touch surfaces in the atrium, cafeteria, dining seating areas, conference rooms, hallway corridors, door entrances handles/knobs/push bar, elevators,  staircases, etc. These areas have been cleaned at a level often referred to as “deep cleaning,” a level that was highly recommended, especially if there was a positive COVID-19 related contamination. Eastman Management decided to do this high-level cleaning as an extra precautionary action to ensure everyone’s safety, not due to any related contamination.

Also, we removed heavy fabric seating and reduced the amount of seating and attempted to separate seating where possible. We will monitor this and make updates as appropriate. All outdoor seating is being wiped down daily. The above common areas as mentioned have all been cleaned and sanitized with recommended sanitizers on a daily basis, 5 days per week, and we will continue to follow this schedule.

Our janitorial staff are following the recommended guidelines on proper cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces in public spaces and restrooms, as well as increased frequency of cleaning. As more current guidelines are issued, we will modify our cleaning protocols accordingly.

Building Entries & PPE Requirements

To help prevent the spread of this virus, we have installed hand sanitizer stations at most building entries. We have also installed signage to indicate that all tenants/clients/guests are required to wear proper PPE equipment, which is primarily masks, but may include gloves or other equipment as appropriate.

We want to emphasize that the requirement for wearing masks or facial coverings, particularly in common areas, is required for the protection of the health and safety of everyone.

Those that do not comply with the mask wearing policy will be noted and brought to the attention of their Manager/Owner of each office and will be asked to leave the building. Please help us enforce the mask wearing policy by notifying your team and visitors that masks are required in all common areas (i.e. hallways, entryways, bathrooms, cafes, conference rooms) of the building.

Ensure you wear a mask or facial covering in the Café, otherwise they will refuse to offer you food service.

Building Elevators

We will be adding “safe distance” signage to all elevators to ensure people comply with safe distancing guidelines. We encourage occupants to use the stairs or enter and ride the elevator car one or two at a time.

Stairways

Where feasible and if permitted by the Township of Livingston, stair doors are being modified to have “hold open” features that will close automatically in the event of a fire alarm.

Bathrooms/Plumbing

Restroom toilets that are not being utilized have been flushed regularly. It is recommended that your coffee/ice and water machines, if applicable, be flushed. If they have not been used for over 30 days, we suggest you contact your service provider. Sinks, toilets, and urinals that are not automatic are being updated with  automatic, touchless equipment.  In the majority of bathrooms, soap dispensers are being changed to automatic dispensers. Where space in the counter or sink does not permit automatic soap dispensers, we have ordered wall mounted automatic soap dispensers.

We are also exploring options to (a) reduce occupancy or close off every other sink; (b) close off every other urinal; (c) add attachments to the bottom of doors to allow for opening and closing without touching.

Common Conference Rooms

Please be aware, common conference rooms will be used on a limited basis and will follow rules as required in the common areas.  The building’s conference room(s)/lounge area must be scheduled with Property Management (Contact us via the following; Slavka Gonda; Slavkag@eastmancompanies) so we can check for availability.

Café and Cafeteria Seating

The café has remained open the entire time with limited service. The café vendor is enhancing service as occupancy is increasing. We have ordered plexiglass for the counters and floor stickers designate safe distancing. Regarding the café’s seating areas, we are continuously monitoring what government regulations are permitting. When restaurants and cafés are allowed to re-open for indoor seating, we will follow current CDC guidelines for distancing and occupancy along with extensive cleaning.

Fitness Center

The fitness center is closed until further notice. Once the government allows fitness centers to open, we will monitor how other gyms are operating  during the first two weeks. We will then finalize our plan and determine the best ways to provide a safe environment to re-open. This will not apply, however, for the private one-on-one training that occurs and is provided by Nikki Gnozzio of The Junction Body Works.

Air Quality – HVAC Units

Our team has performed a considerable amount of preventative maintenance on the property’s HVAC systems.  We have replaced the filters in all HVAC systems and fresh air units.  In the coming weeks when the newer MERV 13 filters arrive, where applicable, we will replace the air filters. 

As building occupancy increases, we will also be increasing outdoor air flow. The purpose of increased outside air flow is to provide enhanced air exchange dilution of the occupied office spaces.

Building Standards – COVID Spread Protection Measures

We acknowledge the new challenges that are ahead of us, and we appreciate that it has been a huge adjustment period for everyone. We want to make sure, whether you continue to work on site, or when you and your team members return, that the working environment is safe and pleasant. We strongly encourage you, your staff, clients, and guests to follow the directions and guidelines we have put in place. To accomplish this goal, we need your partnership and support in spreading the building’s new social distancing message to all employees, clients and visitors. It is also imperative that you alert Building Management immediately if you are notified that someone in the building has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. We will do our part to ensure this information will be kept confidential to comply with privacy laws.

Communication – COVID-19 Related

In our efforts to keep you informed, we will continue to issue updates on the latest information we receive regarding COVID-19 prevention. We are fully committed and prepared to handle any new COVID-19 preventative cleaning and sanitization procedures recommended.

Returning to the Building

1.      We are asking tenants to keep us informed as to when employees will be returning to the building – whether just a few employees are returning, or if your entire office will be working in the  building.

2.      If you need any assistance with modifying work areas (i.e.: plastic shielding, sneeze/cough barriers) receptionist area desk, furniture cubes, floor markings etc.), please contact the Property  Manager, Shea Nelson (shea@eastmancompanies.com) or Property Coordinator, Slavka Gonda (slavkag@eastmancompanies.com) as we have vendor resources that can possibly help you wherever possible.

3.      Make sure your staff has masks or facial coverings and sanitizer for your own office space areas. Let us know if you would like assistance to help source  these materials. We will gladly assist, but please understand, our stock and availability are changing on a daily basis.

4.       Please remind your team members and any visitors to comply with the  various requirements we’ve outlined in this letter.

A.      Wear face masks or facial covering

B.      Social distance

C.       Observe elevator occupancy

5.       Please make sure sick employees stay home and anyone exposed to the virus quarantines at home per their health care professionals and the CDC recommendations Inform us if anyone that has been on site and deemed to be COVID-19 positive so we can coordinate with your office for a deep cleaning at your cost, as well as, a deep cleaning of all common areas.  Again, ALL names and companies will be held in strict confidence.

Please be aware the above information is subject to change depending on State of New Jersey guidelines & mandates.  We look forward to having you all return to 70 South Orange Ave! Thank you, and please remain safe and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

The Team at Eastman Management