The Center for Women Receives Block Grant from Essex County

The Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women

Receives Block Grant from Essex County

LIVINGSTON, NJ, March 22, 2018 – The Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women received a $9,678 block grant from the Essex County Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment, Division of Housing and Community Development.  The grant will go towards expanding the programs offered by the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, which have helped thousands of women with computer skills, job searches and personal guidance.

Pictured (l to r) are George Serio, Director at Essex County Division of Housing and Development, Armando B. Fontoura, Essex County Sheriff, Beverly Trust and Barbara Hauser, both of Livingston, NJ, Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Executive, and Isabel Margolin of Montville. Trust, Hauser and Margolin are volunteer co-chairs of the NCJW/Essex Career Closet, which assists economically disadvantaged women in obtaining career attire appropriate for the workplace.  Sue Wasserman, Director of Community Services for NCJW/Essex commented, “We are very excited about the opportunities that this grant will give to the Center for Women and the various programs that fall under its umbrella.”

For more information about the Center for Women please visit, or call (973) 994-4994. Programs are nonsectarian and open to all women, regardless of religion.


NCJW/Essex Dessert and Dialogue to Feature Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

“Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity”
NCJW/Essex Dessert and Dialogue to Feature

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf – Author, Activist, Social Justice Advocate

The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) will present a special evening event, Dessert and Dialogue, featuring author Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, on the evening of April 25, 2018. The program will be held at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, 432 Scotland Road, South Orange, NJ, at 7:00 pm.

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf is a leader in the movement to make feminine hygiene products affordable, and accessible.  Her work to end the “tampon tax” and advocate for legislation that addresses the lack of menstrual equity in our communities has put her on the map as one of the nation’s “badass menstrual activists” by the publication Bustle. Menstrual equity is, in Weiss-Wolf’s opinion, a “gateway issue for feminism” and one that is intensely relatable by all women.

NCJW/Essex operates a community service project called “The Period.Project” which collects and distributes feminine hygiene supplies to local agencies and clients of its Center for Women. “Our community service work has shown us that more needs to be done to address the often overlooked issue of menstrual equity,” says Shari Harrison, President of NCJW/Essex. “We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer Weiss-Wolf to educate us and inspire us to continue engaging on this important issue.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Jennifer Weiss-Wolf. Writer, activist, social justice advocate, will be the speaker at an upcoming NCJW/Essex Dessert and Dialogue

Local Dentist Offers Services and New Beginnings NCJW/Essex Center for Women

Local Dentist Offers Services and New Beginnings for
Clients of the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women


Greg Scheier, DDS, of Scheier Dental Group in Millburn, NJ, knows that a smile goes a long way. He and his associate, Samantha Shapiro, DMD, have generously donated their services to help clients from the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women gain their confidence by obtaining dental work that they would otherwise be unable to afford.

“I wholeheartedly believe in kindness and giving back to the community and what better way to show that than by getting involved with NCJW/Essex,” said Dr. Scheier. Last spring he was introduced to Patty Kremen, Career Services Manager at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, which helps women in transition who may be looking for a new job, starting a business or recovering from a loss. “I learned about the life-changing work that is happening at the Center for Women and it is very much aligned with causes I believe in,” explained Dr. Scheier. “These are women who, for one reason or another, have come upon difficult times and I am thrilled to be able to help them make such a major, positive difference in their lives.”

Dr. Scheier and Dr. Shapiro have provided a variety of dental work for clients including routine dental exams, cleanings, x-rays, root canals, fillings and veneers, valued at over $20,000. “It’s a good feeling to know that what we can offer can make such a difference in someone’s life,” reflects Dr. Scheier. “Everyone on our staff feels good about making such a positive impact on the lives of these women.” As Dr. Scheier looks ahead, he anticipates expanding his pro bono work to continue to help clients of the NCJW/Essex Center for Women.

“Our clients cannot always afford costly but necessary dental work and will often put other expenses first, such as electric bills and food for their families,” explains Ms. Kremen. “Our clients who have benefitted from Dr. Scheier’s generosity have brighter smiles and greater confidence, which impacts their ability to obtain jobs. We know when we send our clients to the Scheier Dental Group they will be treated with the utmost respect and their dental care will be of the highest quality. It is an extraordinary partnership.”

The NCJW/Essex Center for Women offers many types of support programs for women in transition including career services, a Career Closet, computer training and self-empowerment programs. The experienced and knowledgeable staff helps create a personalized program that fits each woman’s individual needs, providing a safe place to go for help and support as their lives continue to change and improve.

For more information about the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, all (973) 994-4994 or visit our website,

PHOTO CAPTION: Samantha Shapiro, DMD (left) and Greg Scheier, DDS, of Scheier Dental Group in Millburn, NJ, got involved with NCJW/Essex because they believe in giving back to the community.

NCJW/Essex Lunch and Learn Featuring Jay Lassiter

NCJW/Essex Lunch and Learn

Featuring Jay Lassiter

~ Opioids in New Jersey: A Tragic Reality ~

NCJW/Essex is sponsoring a Lunch and Learn – Opioids in New Jersey, a Tragic Reality– featuring Jay Lassiter, writer, political consultant, and social justice advocate, and the host/author of the podcast “Heroin Uncut.” The program will take place on Thursday, April 19, 2018, from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange, NJ.

A database of opioid deaths in New Jersey found that at least 1,900 people died in 2016 from opioid overdoses in a crisis that has blanketed the state. Lassiter will offer a blunt, honest exploration of how opioids have tightened their grip on New Jersey and what can be done about it.  “Everyone talks about the opioid crisis getting more and more out of control, but too few really understand how we got to this point in the first place,” says Shari Harrison, President of NCJW/Essex. “This program will address the conditions that allowed the opioid problem to take hold and the legislative and community-based actions that are needed to address the problem.”

Throughout the year, NCJW/Essex Lunch and Learn programs provide an opportunity to hear interesting speakers in an informal setting. Pre-registration is required. The fee is $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers, and includes a buffet lunch. To register, please call (973) 740-0588 or visit

PHOTO CAPTION: Jay Lassiter. Writer, political consultant and social justice advocate, will be the speaker at the upcoming NCJW/Essex Lunch and Learn, Opioids in NJ: A Tragic Reality.

A Special Event to Commemorate the Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Decision

Danger: Pregnancy Ahead
Examining the Growing Number of Infringements on Women’s Access to Health Care

A Special Event to Commemorate the Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Decision

The threats to women’s health care are real. Today, in the name of fetal rights and under the guise of the war on drugs, women have been arrested for being pregnant and continuing to term in spite of a drug or alcohol problem. In addition, training and technological advances in the area of reproductive health care are under attack. If you share the concern that women’s overall health is being alarmingly jeopardized, plan to attend the NCJW/Essex Lunch and Learn, Danger: Pregnancy Ahead, on Thursday, January 18, 2017. This special event commemorates the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision ensuring a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion. The program, from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm, will be held at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, 1025 South Orange Avenue, Short Hills, NJ.

“Danger: Pregnancy Ahead”  will focus on the punitive and counterproductive child welfare interventions that threaten pregnant women with child neglect or abuse, restrictions faced by health care providers and how they impact patient care, and the challenges in New Jersey related to reproductive health care. The program will feature a panel of experts in reproductive health and advocacy including: Nancy Rosenbloom, JD, Director of Legal Advocacy, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Noa’a Shimoni, MD, Medical Director of Student Health Services, NJ Medical School Department of Family Medicine, and three speakers from NJ Medical School Department of OB/GYN & Women’s Health — Mark H. Einstein, MD, MS, Professor and Chair, Lauren Barlog, MD, Assistant Professor, and  Natalie Roche, MD, Assistant Professor.

Danger: Pregnancy Ahead is being co-sponsored by many community organizations supporting reproductive justice. The program is $20 and includes a buffet lunch. Pre-registration is required. Please call (973) 740-0588 or visit to register.

“$100 for 100” Event Benefits Families from the Center for Women

“$100 for 100” Event Benefits Families from the
Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women

Nineteen children from 9 different families identified by the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women attended a very special shopping event on Sunday, December 10, 2017 at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Union, NJ. Sponsored by Joyal Capital Management Foundation, Inc., the “$100 for 100” event helps young people in need during the holidays and gives them the opportunity to shop with a generous gift of a $100 gift card. Children enjoyed hot chocolate and donuts while shopping for sporting equipment, clothing, ice skates, boots, and hundreds of other items throughout the store.

Sixteen-year-old Bruce Armistead of Linden, NJ, picked out a snowboard and some other winter items. “I’d like to thank the Joyal Foundation for its generosity,” he said. “The spreading of love and positivity that you have shown through giving has inspired me to be more generous in my day to day life.” Another mother who brought her two children to the event said, “My kids were ecstatic to learn that they could spend $100 on items of their choosing at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I am all about making good memories and I know that this is something they will never forget.”

The “$100 for 100” began at a single store in 2008 and has grown to be an interactive community giving event which has expanded to 12 states and benefits more than 12,000 children each year. At each event, the Joyal Foundation provides gift cards to 100 children in need who have been nominated by members of the community or community agencies.

NCJW/Essex was included as a partner organization thanks to Matthew Stadtmauer of Summit, New Jersey, the state’s Lead Volunteer for “$100 for 100.”  Stadtmauer’s mother, Trudy Elwood, was an active member of NCJW/Essex and impressed upon him the importance of the organization’s advocacy work for women, children and families. “It was a natural fit,” says Stadtmauer, who adds that with each child who comes in to shop, his hopes for the program are realized.

The NCJW/Essex Center for Women, which offers career services, computer classes, workshops for women and support programs, was honored to partner with the Joyal Foundation for the third year in a row. “The generosity of the Joyal Foundation is truly inspiring,” comments Patty Kremen, Career Services Manager at the Center for Women. “It is wonderful to see how much joy it brings to children and families. Parents are able to grant wishes to their children and children feel exhilarated and empowered to be able to choose the items they really want.”

PHOTO CAPTION 1: Pictured (l to r) are Davanna Armistead of Linden, NJ, Patty Kremen, Career Services Manager at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, and 16-year-old Bruce Armistead who attended “$100 for 100” at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Union, NJ.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Pictured (l to r) are Chiquita Byrd of Newark, with Patty Kremen, Career Services Manager at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, along with shoppers Aniyah, age 14, and Shuntez, age 8.

Jenna Bush Hager at the NCJW/Essex Opening Event

Jenna Bush Hager Brings the Audience to Laughter and Tears at the NCJW/Essex Opening Event

An enthusiastic crowd of 600 people attended the NCJW/Essex Opening Event on October 25, 2017 at Brooklake Country Club featuring Jenna Bush Hager, teacher, author and journalist. Hager discussed her work as a teacher in Baltimore and working in Latin America where she learned about the power of education “to change lives and to save lives.” She encouraged the audience to tell the stories of people making seemingly small, ordinary changes that can ultimately impact people’s lives in a big, extraordinary way.

Hager, this year’s keynote speaker for the NCJW/Essex yearly kick-off event, is a contributing correspondent for NBC’s Today, an editor for Southern Living magazine and chair of UNICEF’s Next Generation which works towards reducing the number of preventable childhood deaths around the world.  She is the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

“There is no definition of a successful life without service,” said Hager to the audience of NCJW/Essex volunteers, relaying the message she learned early on from her grandfather, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush. With poise, charm and wit, Hager spoke of her own experiences as a teacher, author, journalist, daughter, sister and mother. She read a few excerpts from her just released book of short stories, Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life, co-authored with her twin sister, Barbara Pierce Bush. The mix of funny stories and more serious anecdotes brought the audience to tears in one moment and laughter the next.

Also addressing the audience was Deacon Francis Dixon of the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ, who shared his experiences with the NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store and the partnership that has been created between NCJW/Essex and the Church. Deacon Dixon reflected on the kindness of NCJW/Essex volunteers who believe in the work they do stating, “Long after the shoes and clothing provided by the Back 2 School Store no longer fit, the young people whose lives you touched will remember you for your kindness.”


“The messages from our Opening Event were positive and uplifting,” said Shari Harrison, president NCJW/Essex. “They give us renewed inspiration to continue our work of providing compassion and community support to change lives for the better.”

NCJW/Essex Annual Wonder of Women Film Festival

NCJW/Essex Announces the Annual Wonder of Women Film Festival

Progressive Independent Films Portray the Universal Spirit and Courage of Women

A Palestinian child’s only hope of survival is to cross the border into Israel for a liver transplant…  a Muslim spiritual leader takes an egalitarian view of Islam… and a girl refuses to let her gender define her…

These captivating stories and several others will be presented at this year’s Wonder of Women Film Festival, sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at the Maurice Levin Theater on the Ross Family Campus of the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, 760 Northfield Avenue in West Orange.  The 15th Annual Wonder of Women Film Festival showcases the universal spirit and courage of women of all ages, manifested through short films and documentaries created by independent filmmakers.  This one-day event will be held from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm.

Featured at the festival this year will be director Elizabeth Rose, whose film, Law of Averages, explores the relationship of a young woman with her mother after the death of her grandmother. Ms. Rose will be available for a Q&A after the viewing of her film.


Following are summaries of some of the planned films.  The final program is subject to change.

  • Grandma Learns to Drive: A determined 86-year-old grandma finally gets a license with help from her granddaughter.


  • Saving Nur: Afflicted with a rare genetic disease, nine-year-old Nur has only one chance of survival: crossing the border from Gaza into Israel, where doctors are capable of performing a liver transplant.


  • Everybody Else is Taken: Meet Mika, a girl who refuses to let her gender define her place in one of the harshest environments on Earth – the playground.


  • Law of Averages: Following the death of her grandmother, a young woman and her mother must deal with their own relationship.


  • al imam: Despite controversy and threats, a Muslim spiritual leader takes a stand for justice through activism and the progressive practices of Islam.

“Each year the film festival brings to the screen thought-provoking, relevant and entertaining films by women that shed light on many aspects of women’s lives,” says NCJW/Essex President Shari Harrison.  “We are extremely proud of our line-up this year.”

The fee for all day admission is $45 per person for NCJW/Essex members and $60 per person for nonmembers.  Nonmembers wishing to join NCJW/Essex can apply $15 toward a new yearly membership of $50.  Included with the cost of admission is a Kosher box lunch.  Reservations are required.  Seats will be available on a first-come basis on the day of the festival. For tickets and directions, please call NCJW/Essex at (973) 740-0588. Registration is available online at, or you may mail a check to NCJW/Essex, 70 South Orange Ave, Suite 120, Livingston, NJ 07039.

NCJW Receives Grant from Investors Foundation for Back 2 School Store

NCJW/Essex Receives Grant from Investors Foundation
in Support of the 2017 Back 2 School Store

 NCJW/Essex received a $2,500 grant from Investors Foundation in support of its 9th Annual Back 2 School Store (B2SS), an annual event where economically disadvantaged children are able to shop cost-free for brand new attire, school supplies and personal care items, encouraging a well-equipped and confident start to the new school year. The event, on Sunday, July 30, 2017, outfitted nearly 800 children with the help of 475 volunteers.

“The support from Investors Foundation is important to the success of this community-wide event,” said Shari Harrison, President, NCJW/Essex. “We rely on the generosity of many individuals, foundations and corporations to enable us to purchase brand new items for the children including pants, shirts, winter coats, gloves, socks, undergarments, hats and backpacks.” Harrison explains that the children are referred by over 30 social service agencies and are escorted through the store with a personal shopper. While the children shopped, parents and guardians visited the onsite Gaelen Family Resource Center which offered information from numerous community service agencies as well as health screenings and information.

The cost of school supplies is often overlooked as a major annual expense. Families that are living in poverty struggle with the rising cost demands of public education. In Essex County alone, 22% of households with children lived below the poverty level in 2015. NCJW/Essex believes that no child should start off the school year already behind, and has put together the B2SS for the past nine years to meet this need.


Mayor of Montclair Attends Back 2 School Store

Mayor of Montclair, NJ, Attends the NCJW/Essex 9th Annual Back 2 School Store

Robert D. Jackson, Mayor of Montclair, attended the 9th Annual Back 2 School Store, sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex). The NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store is held each year and provides an opportunity for disadvantaged children, grades K-5, to “shop” cost-free in a one-day pop-up store full of brand new clothes and school supplies donated by NCJW/Essex and its sponsoring partners. Each child is escorted by a volunteer “personal shopper” through the store to pick out his or her own new backpack with school supplies, and a new outfit complete with a winter coat, pants, shirt, sneakers, undergarments, and winter hats and gloves. Ths year the Back 2 School Store outfitted nearly 800 economically disadvantaged children with the help of 475 volunteers. Since 2009, the Back 2 School Store has benefitted nearly 4700 children and utilized over 3200 volunteers who were involved in planning, organizing and working at the store on the day of the event.