In the News

NCJW/Essex Center for Women Partners with Comcast Spotlight and DCH Auto Group to Host a Professional Networking Event for Women

LIVINGSTON, NJ, December 17, 2014 – The Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women, in association with Comcast Spotlight, held an inspiring professional networking event on Thursday, December 4, 2014 hosted by the DCH Professional Women’s Association at DCH Auto Group in Maplewood. A panel of professional women discussed their individual career paths and attendees had an opportunity to practice networking skills, brush up on fashion trends with a representative from Bloomingdale’s and win fabulous door prizes.

The event offered women an opportunity to network and become informed about career opportunities with Comcast Spotlight as well as improve their skills in making good first impressions in the business world. The panel, moderated by NCJW/Essex President Deborah Legow Schatz, included Aura Pascua and Carina Bandeira, Account Executives with Comcast Spotlight, and Sue Wasserman, Director of Community Services, NCJW/Essex. The panelists shared their experiences on how they succeeded in landing their positions and strategies and tips for balancing work with family and personal needs.

At the culmination of the afternoon a raffle was held for door prizes. Special thanks to Comcast Spotlight, Bloomingdale’s and Anthony Garubo Salon in Maplewood for generously donating gifts.

Photo captions:
Photo 1:
 Panelists (l to r) Aura Pascua, Account Executive, Comcast Spotlight, Sue Wasserman, NCJW/Essex Director of Community Services, and Carina Bandeira, Account Executive, Comcast Spotlight, spoke about their job search experiences at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women networking event.

Photo 2: Consultant Anne Wargo (standing) stressed the importance of planning, preparation and practice in helping attendees develop their plan for success at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women networking event.

Photo 2: A representative from Bloomingdales shared the latest interview fashions and styles with participants at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women networking event.

NCJW/Essex Mitzvah-in-a-Minute Holiday Shop and Wrap

LIVINGSTON, N.J., December 18, 2014 – A group of dedicated volunteers participated in the NCJW/Essex Mitzvah-in-a-Minute Holiday Shop and Wrap on December 16th to help brighten the holidays for children in need. The effort was coordinated by Toy Drive co-chairs Brenda Appelbaum and Debbie Merkin of Livingston. All gifts will be delivered to children in the foster care system through the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency. The Mitzvah-in-a-Minute program, chaired by Robin Kollin of Livingston, focuses on providing community service opportunities while helping the needy in the region. Most events require a one time, two-hour commitment. For information about future Mitzvah-in-a-Minute community service projects, please contact Dina Stambler, NCJW/Essex Director of Membership Outreach and Volunteers, at 973-740-0588, or


Photo 1: Pictured (l to r) are volunteers Lauren Scher, VP Volunteer Outreach for NCJW/Essex and Ellen Loventhal, both of Livingston, wrapping toys for children in need at the Mitzvah-in-a-Minute event in December.

Photo 2: A dedicated group of volunteers spent a morning wrapping gifts for the NCJW/Essex Holiday Shop and Wrap to benefit children in the NJ foster care system.

NCJW/Essex Sponsors a Panel of Religious Leaders to Discuss Roe & Religion on the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Livingston, NJ January 15, 2015 – NCJW/Essex will sponsor a panel discussion on the topic of “Roe & Religion” on Thursday, January 29, 2015, as the nation notes the 42nd anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision ensuring a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion. The program will begin at 7:00 pm and will be held at the First Congregational Church, 40 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ.

Religious leaders from the community will discuss ways in which moral decisions are made within each religion represented and how the decision in Roe v. Wade is supported by religious tenets and not in opposition to them. This year’s Hobby Lobby case and the topic of freedom of religion will be discussed in an effort to seek new ways of understanding and speaking out for reproductive justice and personal decision-making in the context of faith. Led by Moderator Belinda Lasky, NCJW Director of Community Engagement, the panelists include: Glenn Northern, Domestic Program Senior Associate, Catholics for Choice; Reverend Melissa Hall, St. James Episcopal Church, Montclair, NJ; Rabbi Amy Joy Small, Founder, Deborah’s Palm Center for Jewish Learning and Experiences; and Reverend Charles Blustein Ortman of The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair. Attendees will have the opportunity for a Q & A with the panelists.

The program is free of charge but registration is required. Please call 973-740-0588 or visit to register.

“Roe & Religion” is being co-sponsored by many community organizations including:  American Association of University Women (AAUW), Alliance for Justice, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, BlueWaveNJ, Catholics for Choice, Center for Reproductive Rights, Community Relations Committee of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, Deborah’s Palm Center for Jewish Learning & Experiences, League of Women Voters of New Jersey, National Organization for Women (NOW), NCJW/West Morris, New Jersey Abortion Access Fund (NJAAF), Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Reproductive Justice Committee of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, Sierra Club and Temple B’nai Abraham.

NCJW/Essex Career Closet Receives Major Support from

Livingston, NJ, February 5, 2015 –, the leader in pre-owned luxury goods, is delighted to support the NCJW/Essex Career Closet, believing strongly in its initiatives to assist women to present themselves effectively in job interviews and in the workplace.’s generous donation of designer handbags and shoes will help the Career Closet in assisting women to build a lifetime foundation of success as they embark on a career or re-enter the workplace by increasing confidence and style.

Portero ( is the ultimate online destination for pre-owned luxury handbags, jewelry and watches. Since 2004, Portero has provided unparalleled access to some of the most treasured brands, including Hermès, Chanel, Rolex, Cartier and more.

The Career Closet of NCJW/Essex, located in Livingston, NJ, is by referral only and provides needed interview and career-appropriate clothing to women who are returning to the workforce or starting work for the first time. Clients are referred by the NCJW/Essex Center for Women and other social service agencies in the Essex County area that are dedicated to helping women and families. Career Closet clients are assisted by volunteer personal shoppers who help select clothing suitable for that all-important job interview, and outfits to start a new job with confidence.  For more information about the Career Closet, please call the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, (973) 994-4994 or email

Portero, established in 2004 with headquarters in New York City, is the leading marketplace for authentic pre-owned luxury goods. Portero can be found using the following social media sites: Facebook:; Twitter: @porteroluxury; Instagram: @porteroluxury; and Pinterest:

NCJW/Essex Event To Address Sex Trafficking with Nationally Renowned Speaker

Livingston, NJ March 10, 2015 – The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) will present a special evening event, Dessert and Dialogue on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm, featuring nationally renowned speaker Lauren Hersh, Director of Anti-Trafficking and Advocacy at Sanctuary for Families. Sanctuary for Families is New York’s leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking and related forms of gender violence. The program will be held at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, located at 102 South Orange Avenue, Short Hills, NJ.

Ms. Hersh will discuss “Combatting Sex Trafficking in New Jersey, the United States and Beyond,” bringing her broad experience to the topic. Before her position at Sanctuary for Families, Ms. Hersh was the New York Director of Equality Now and prior to that served as the chief prosecutor of the sex trafficking unit at the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

This evening event is the first program sponsored by the Essex County Section in support of EXODUS, NCJW’s Anti-Sex Trafficking initiative which aims to create important social change through supporting the passage and enforcement of federal and state laws that prevent sex trafficking,  protect its victims and survivors, and punish its perpetrators. Ms. Hersh is one of the country’s foremost experts on human trafficking and was recently featured in the PBS documentary, “A Path Appears,” which takes viewers on a journey across the country and across the globe to drive home the universality of gender inequality and the roots of vulnerability.

For more than one hundred years, NCJW/Essex has worked tirelessly for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. NCJW/Essex is committed to help combat the extensive – and under-recognized – trafficking happening in the United States and in our own backyards. This Dessert and Dialogue is a first and necessary step toward raising awareness.

“Combatting Sex Trafficking in New Jersey, the United States and Beyond” is being co-sponsored by  the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking, the Community Relations Committee of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, Temple Emanu-El of West Essex Sisterhood, and the Rachel Coalition.

Pre-registration is required. Program fee is $15 and includes coffee, tea and desserts.  To register, please call 973-740-0588 or visit

NCJW/Essex Lunch and Learn Presents “Medical Research and Medical Ethics: My Body, My Consent”

LIVINGSTON, NJ, March 16, 2015 – The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) invites you to “Medical Research and Medical Ethics: My Body, My Consent,” a Lunch and Learn on April 29, 2015 from 12 noon to 2:00 pm at Temple Emanu-El in Livingston, NJ.

Our speaker, Paula Bistak, DMH, Executive Director of the Human Subjects Protection Program at Rutgers University, will discuss the ethical issues involved in the use of tissue taken from patients during diagnostic procedures. In addition, she will explore legal, regulatory and social safeguards that exist today to protect patients’ rights.  Dr. Bistak has a Doctorate in Medical Humanities from Drew University and a Master’s in Health Planning and Administration from the University of Cincinnati.

The story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor young black woman diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1951 and whose cells were used without her knowledge to develop the first immortal cell line know as HeLa cells, will serve as the starting point for discussion. Her story was chronicled in the award winning book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The book was hailed as a reporting tour de force and raised the question, “Who owns our bodies?”

Pre-registration is required. NCJW/Essex members: $18; Nonmembers:  $25; includes a buffet lunch. To register, please call 973-740-0588 or visit

Rebecca Daniel Loves to Bake

Livingston, NJ, March 30, 2015 – Millburn High School ninth grader Rebecca Daniel loves to bake while also giving back to the community. In honor of National Women’s History Month she chose to honor the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) and its efforts to help women, children and families by baking cookies for NCJW/Essex volunteers and clients of the NCJW/Essex Center for Women. Each month the 14-year-old takes the time to learn about a new organization in the community to honor with her baking skills.

Garubo Salon Co-hosts Event Honoring Mothers

Anthony Garubo Salon in Maplewood Partners with NCJW/Essex Center for Women  to Host an Event Honoring Mothers

Ten clients from the NCJW/Essex Center for Women (CFW) were pampered at the award-winning Anthony Garubo Salon in Maplewood, NJ on Monday, May 4th. Usually closed on Mondays, the salon opened its doors to honor these women as Mother’s Day approaches. In addition, the salon and staff donated their time and talents to help empower the CFW clients with a new look. Anything was possible, from a blowout to cut, color and even highlights, as the stylists consulted with each individual client.

The atmosphere at the Anthony Garubo Salon was truly inspiring. The stylists were honored to participate and help make mothers the priority. Moses, a stylist at the salon said, “I love what I do and it means so much to me to touch the lives of other mothers just like my own who means so much to me.” Mary Vega of Bloomfield , a client of the NCJW/Essex Center for Women commented, “ I have six children, and as a mom I am doing so much for my children and family, so to have someone give back to me is a privilege. I am being honored as a mom today and it is a wonderful feeling.”

Pat Kremen, Career Services Manager at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women explains that how you look and how you feel goes a long way toward building self-confidence. “It is our goal to help make Mother’s Day special for our clients at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women who have been struggling economically due to unemployment. These women received a well-deserved pampering and the Anthony Garubo Salon went above and beyond anyone’s expectations, bringing joy to the lives of our clients.”

The Center for Women is a resource for women focusing on growth and self-improvement. The Center offers workshops on a variety of topics, computer classes, financial and legal guidance, career services and peer support. Clients of the Center are learning skills to enter or re-enter the workforce, finding encouragement to cope with new or unexpected life situations, gaining the confidence to develop their own career path and improving personal relationships.

The Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women is located at 70 South Orange Avenue, Livingston, NJ. For more information, please visit or call 973-994-4994.

Four Essex County Students Win the Annual Nancy and Robert Eskow NCJW Volunteer Awards

The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County (NCJW/Essex) honored four extraordinary Essex county high school students with the Nancy and Robert Eskow NCJW Volunteer Awards. Selected out of an outstanding field of 52 applicants, the recipients of the awards were recognized for their contributions to many different causes ranging from donating and repurposing sports equipment, working with children with disabilities, and helping mothers with premature babies. This is the 12th year the award has been bestowed to deserving high school students.

The 2015 award winners include Isaak Lindenbaum of Nutley High School, Emily Shapiro of James Caldwell High School, Hayley Nagelberg of Golda Och Academy and Katherine Corwin of Mount Saint Dominic Academy. These high school seniors have shown a commitment and dedication to improving lives for others locally and globally.

Because of his passion for sports, Isaak Lindenbaum, a senior at Nutley High School, started SEEK (Sports Equipment Encourage Kids), a program that collects gently used sports equipment and donates the equipment to those children whose families cannot afford it. In addition, he participates in the CHAMP mentoring program at the John H. Walker Middle School and has played a huge role in his mentee’s life by giving him support through difficult life events. “Helping people requires initiative,” says Lindenbaum. “It requires someone who has the drive and willingness to put others before him, but it is not hard. Over the course of my experience helping others I have found this to be true.”

Emily Shapiro, a senior at James Caldwell High School, has dedicated her time to help children in her community. She is the founder of the Northern New Jersey Chapter of Kids Serving Kids, a program that collects used tennis racquets and donates them to children interested in playing the game but whose families do not have the funds. Not only did Shapiro collect the racquets, but she also helped raise funds to fix the donated racquets, using them to teach children at the Boys and Girls Club of Clifton the game of tennis. Shapiro discovered how much she truly enjoyed working with children and says, “I want to dedicate my life to bettering communities around the nation by helping children succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

As someone especially interested in children and animals, Hayley Nagelberg, a senior at Golda Och Academy in West Orange, volunteered at the organization Special Strides, helping to transform the lives of children with disabilities, ranging from spinal cord defects and cancer to autism and ADD, using animal assisted therapy. Her passion for animal therapy allowed her to travel to northern Thailand to become certified in Animal Welfare and Basic Pet First Aid through the Humane Society. Hayley states, “It has given me tremendous joy to help children speak words that might not otherwise have been spoken or take steps that might not otherwise have been taken. I sincerely hope that my future actions will make a difference in our world.”

Katherine Corwin, a senior at Mount Saint Dominic Academy in Caldwell, has been inspired to help mothers of premature babies from the hospital and has created the “Adopt-a-Baby Program” to give mothers the necessary items for basic baby care. The program holds a “baby shower” that she organized in her high school cafeteria and students bring baby items which are then hand-delivered by Corwin to Harlem Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in NY. “Adopt-a-Baby Program” has gone global, with an orphanage in West Africa requesting some of the “baby shower” items. Corwin states, “A leader is someone who, with a quiet confidence, can say that they have changed the world for the greater good. I may only be just one, but I have helped more than a few.”

Winners of the Nancy and Robert Eskow Volunteer Award reflect the mission and values of NCJW/Essex through their commitment and dedication to community service projects and advocacy experienced during their high school careers. In recognition of their exemplary contributions, each received a $500 scholarship and an award certificate from NCJW/Essex.

Honorees at Annual Installation and Awards

Three women were presented with awards for their leadership, service and contributions at the NCJW/Essex Annual Installation and Awards Evening, which took place Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at Cedar Hill Country Club in Livingston, NJ.

“These are extraordinary women,” said Deborah Legow Schatz, President of NCJW/Essex, about the three award winners. “Working with them on a daily basis is really at the core of why being President of NCJW/Essex is such a special experience.”

Phoebe Pollinger of Montclair, NJ, was the recipient of The Hannah G. Solomon Award, presented by NCJW/Essex to an individual who has changed the lives of others through leadership efforts and service on a community level. Pollinger is an avid lover of the arts and an outspoken voice for reproductive justice. At NCJW/Essex she has channeled her passions and made a difference on a community level, earning her the distinction of the Hannah G. Solomon Award.

Pollinger first joined NCJW/Essex in 1996 to work on the Focus on Art Show, and then extended her work in community arts by serving as President of Studio Montclair and a founding chair of the Montclair Arts Council. Since then she has taken a leading role in grant writing for NCJW/Essex and the Back 2 School Store, served on the Advocacy, Personnel Practices and Project Evaluation Committees, and was vice chair of the Nominating Committee. Advocating for reproductive justice, Pollinger served on the board of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ and has chaired two important community events for NCJW/Essex: Roe at Risk in 2014 and Roe & Religion in 2015.

Diane Beni of Maplewood, NJ, was the recipient of the Service to Section Award, recognized for her passion and dedication as a volunteer since 1999. Beni has contributed countless hours and talents to NCJW/Essex, most notably for the Teen Dating Abuse Project (TDA). Passionate about working to prevent domestic violence and seeing young audiences as the place to start, Beni serves as a presenter and trainer for TDA and has also served as chair of the committee. She was recently instrumental in developing a video for TDA entitled, “Crossing the Line.”

In addition to TDA, Beni has been on the House Tour and Nominating Committees, served as chair of Volunteer Recognition during the Centennial Celebration, co-chaired Installation in 2014, co-chaired the 2015 Golf Invitational and a day at the 9/11 Memorial . It is Beni’s broad spectrum of activities as a volunteer that has earned her the Service to Section Award.

Paula Green of South Orange, NJ was the recipient of the Henrietta Weiser Emerging Leader Award, presented to a promising NCJW/Essex member who has demonstrated leadership potential. Green is proof positive that you can work full time and integrate meaningful volunteer activities into your life. It wasn’t long ago that a friend introduced her to the Back 2 School Store and after several years of involvement, including co-chairing the Child Recruitment Committee, she has emerged as a leader for the event, serving as co-chair in 2014 and again this year.

Green’s leadership doesn’t stop there. In addition to working on such projects as Moving Forward, Mitzvah-in-a-Minute and the Investment Sub-Committee, she has served as Recording Secretary for the NCJW/Essex Executive Committee and Section Board. Green accomplishes all of this while working full time managing her husband’s busy pulmonary medicine practice in West Orange.

The three winners are as a different as “night and day” explained Schatz, “but, when all’s said and done, they share an intense desire to better the circumstances of women, children and families and exude a strong sense of social justice that permeates everything they do.” That, she explains, is the core of NCJW: different women, with different strengths, coming together to educate and advocate for others.