In Loving Memory of Cathy Silverman

Cathy Silverman

NCJW/Essex Executive Director
2000-2019

It is with heavy hearts that we share with you that our beloved Executive Director Emerita, Cathy Silverman, passed away on February 4, 2020.

Cathy was the epitome of an NCJW woman – compassionate, courageous, and caring. She was a lifetime member and volunteer for more than 20 years, serving as Division President and as Essex Section Vice President, followed by 18 years as Executive Director of NCJW/Essex. Her impact on NCJW/Essex was immense, increasing the section to over 3,200 members and transforming NCJW/Essex from a well-kept secret to a powerful force in the community.

At the Crown Jewels Gala held in her honor, Cathy shared how much NCJW/Essex meant to her: “There is no other organization more special than this one. I get to work every day with incredibly bright, articulate and passionate women. Whether it is the volunteers or my staff, it has truly been a dream come true. Every day I look forward to my job and the work we do. The depth of the support I receive from everyone goes beyond what is imaginable. This support and our work enable me to experience the pure joy of the women, children and families whose lives we improve with our services.”

During her time as Executive Director, Cathy sparked the growth of NCJW/Essex with many new and innovative programs and initiatives, including the Back 2 School Store, Chai Circle, Mitzvah-in-a-Minute, the Period.Project, the Kids Emergency Closet, the Women’s Seder, and the A-List for Advocacy. She doubled the organization’s professional staff, tripled the budget, and quadrupled assets. Due to Cathy’s leadership, NCJW/Essex has enhanced the lives of innumerable women, children and families throughout Essex County, New Jersey, and beyond.

Cathy inspired all of us to strive for excellence and innovation, and will be greatly missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to know her. 

It is impossible to think of NCJW/Essex without thinking of Cathy, who made the organization what it is today. She will be forever in our hearts.

Our NCJW/Essex community grieves with Cathy’s beloved family: her mother, Doris, her husband Lenny Dinnerstein, her children, and her grandchildren.

Lesley Greenstein, President, NCJW/Essex

Caitlin Higgins Joy, Executive Director, NCJW/Essex