A Faith in the Future. A Belief in Action.
This is what the National Council of Jewish Women is all about. We are 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. NCJW comprises a national network of affiliates — we call them Sections — across the country that collectively have nearly 90,000 members, supporters, and advocates. Our national headquarters, NCJW, Inc., is located in Washington, D.C. Read below to learn about NCJW’s history and what the Essex Section is working on today.
In 1893, Hannah G. Solomon of Chicago was asked to organize the participation of Jewish women in the Chicago World’s Fair. When Hannah and her recruits discovered that participation was not substantive, but would consist of pouring coffee and other hostess duties, they walked out. Hannah then took matters into her own hands, building on the courageous action and volunteer work she had been leading for years. By the end of the World’s Fair, Hannah and the accompanying delegate body of women had founded the National Council of Jewish Women, changing forever the role of Jewish women and the nature of volunteerism. Today, over 120 years later, NCJW remains distinct among organizations — courageous, compassionate, powerful, and, above all, pioneering.
With more than 3,200 members, NCJW/Essex is the largest section in the country. Our programs and membership are nonsectarian and open to all, regardless of religion.
Founded in 1912, our section comprises a collaborative team including an executive committee of approximately 15 members, a section board with approximately 60 members along with an advisory board, 13 staff members, dozens of committee chairs, and hundreds of active volunteers. Our offices are located in Livingston, New Jersey.
Our work falls under three broad umbrellas:
- Community Services for women and children from Essex County, NJ, as well as surrounding counties of Union and Morris, and other parts of the state;
- Events and Programs for our members and the community at large;
- Advocacy, locally and nationally, on behalf of issues that affect women, children and families.