Healing the world can seem overwhelming: reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, human trafficking… Where do you start? When is it time to march? How do you fight for every important piece of legislation?

We can’t fix the world’s problems all at once, all day, every day. But as the saying goes: “Don’t do nothing just because you can’t do everything.”

That is why NCJW/Essex launched Advocacy-in-an-Hour.

We wanted a way for individuals with limited time but unlimited passion to be able make a difference.

At our first Advocacy-in-an-Hour last Spring, we wrote postcards of support to abortion providers around the country who provide caring and quality services to protect women’s health. These clinics contend with hate mail and protesters every day, and they bear the brunt of legislation coming down on abortion rights and access. Members wrote more than 200 postcards in less than 60 minutes! This fall we assembled correspondence packets so that male immigrant detainees, held here in New Jersey, can write to their families. 

New Event

This event is now full. For more Get Out the Vote letter-writing opportunities, or to be added to a waiting list, please email Stephanie Abrahams, Director of Advocacy, at

Wednesday, September 16 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., via Zoom 

Drive-through, contactless pickup of everything you need — postcards, stamps and address labels — in the NCW/Essex parking lot on Monday, September 14 from 1-2 p.m.   

FREE and open to members and nonmembers 

As a follow-up to our Election Crisis 2020: Pandemic at the Polls event, we will be partnering with Reclaim Our Vote to send postcards to disenfranchised voters. After picking up your supplies, join us on Zoom for instructions and the power of community as we fight voter suppression together! How many postcards can we write in 60 minutes?! 

Washington Institute

Raise your voice in our nation’s capital!

Join NCJW members from around the country in Washington, DC and learn from experts, strengthen your advocacy skills, connect with activists, and storm Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers and their staff on critical issues.

This amazing event only happens once every three years. The next one will be in 2022.

At Washington Institute you will:

  • Strengthen your advocacy and leadership skills through interactive trainings.
  • Deepen your knowledge of the most pressing issues of the day through expert briefings and programs throughout the conference.
  • Get inspired by our amazing speakers who are on the frontlines of making change happen.
  • Network with smart, outspoken, and daring progressive people from across the country.
  • Experience the dynamic energy of the nation’s capital as you take your message to Congress.
  • Return home reinvigorated and inspired to continue your social justice work with new skills, ideas, and knowledge!


NCJW/Essex recognizes menstrual inequity as a global issue and is working locally to do its part to address the problem in Essex County. As a progressive women’s organization, the NCJW/Essex Period.Project fits in with our goal of improving the lives of women, children and families.

The NCJW/Essex Period.Project focuses on the issue of menstrual inequity through the following initiatives:

  • Raising awareness and educating the community about the barriers women face in obtaining feminine hygiene products.
  • Relationship building with non-profit agencies, with the long term goal of making access to feminine hygiene products more attainable.
  • Providing community service activities to help distribute feminine hygiene products to those in need.
  • Community organizing, research and advocacy to promote legislative changes to address inequities.

What Can You Do?

  • Contact us if you work for a non-profit agency with clients in need of feminine hygiene products.
  • Contact us if you would like to volunteer with the NCJW/Essex Period.Project.
  • Contact us if you would like to organize a collection for our “Time of the Month” initiative.
  • Contact us if you like to drop off donations.
    For all opportunities, email

At Issue

Throughout the year NCJW/Essex tackles serious issues with dynamic educational programming. We bring these topics out into the open to start a dialogue and prompt action.

Israel Granting Program

The Israel Granting Program is designed to address the critical challenges facing women in Israel today and emphasizes empowerment and leadership programs for women and girls as well as gender equality. Each year NCJW/Essex designates a portion of funds in support of special projects.

In 2015, NCJW/Essex has designated its giving to support a special project of the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education: Training Bedouin Women for the Workforce as Educators in the Pre-School Sector. This unique project empowers Bedouin mothers who wish to work outside the home by training them for paraprofessional work and placement in the early childhood education sector in their communities.

A-List for Advocacy

An easy way to make a difference!  Each year we place a series of full-page advertisements in local publications to raise awareness among our community about the state and federal issues critical to our membership.  A-List members will be listed in the advertisements as champions of the featured issue and one of the premier NCJW/Essex “change-makers” leading the charge.

Sign up and let your voice be heard on vital issues that could include:

  • Judicial Nominations
  • Gun Violence Prevention
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Threats to our democracy including civil rights, free press, and voting rights

A commitment to the A-List is renewable each year and enables your voice to be heard as we continue to advocate on issues such as reproductive justice, voting rights, separation of religion and state, and funding for programs and services for women, children, and families.

NCJW/Essex “A-List” offers a powerful platform on which members can come together and continue making a difference into the next century.

Become an
NCJW/Essex “A-Lister”!

A $54 donation will highlight your name as a “Bold Advocate” in each of our ads for one year.
Become a Bold Advocate
An $18 donation will place your name as an “Advocate” in each of our ads for one year.
Become an Advocate

Our latest advocacy ads:


Politics and Pastry

We invite you to join us for our monthly meetings of Politics and Pastry to discuss current events and politics via Zoom. Each is a lively and informative session where everyone can express their opinion. There’s so much to discuss and all views are welcome!

For now, it’s BYOP (Bring your own pastries). 
Free. Open to members and non-members but you must register with Andrea Berger to receive your Zoom link.

Next meeting date: 

Tuesday, November 17, 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. 

Upcoming Politics and Pastry dates:

December 15

January 19

February 16

March 16

April 20

May – TBD

June 15

Lunch & Learn (Late Edition!)

Throughout the year, Lunch and Learn programs provide an opportunity to hear interesting speakers in an informal setting. Speakers include authors, advocates and community leaders. Registration for Lunch & Learn programs is available to members and nonmembers.

Lunch and Learn (Late Edition!) 

2020 Election Crisis: Pandemic at the Polls

Wednesday, September 9 at 7:30 p.m., via Zoom

With Jesse Burns, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters New Jersey, and Benjamin Dworkin, Director of the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship 

Four years ago we saw sweeping efforts to interfere in U.S. elections that included disinformation, stolen campaign emails and attacks on voting systems, as well as systematic voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering. 

And that was before Covid-19 made voting a public health issue.  

We’ve been scrambling to upgrade cyberdefenses, increase registration and educate voters about the safety of Vote By Mail. But with the threats to the 2020 election more numerous and more sophisticated than ever, how can we protect our electoral system? 

NCJW/Essex’s September Lunch and Learn (Late Edition!), “Election Crisis 2020: Pandemic at the Polls” will examine the efforts to undermine democracy in the United States and what we can do now to combat them. 

Registration is $10. This event fee helps sustain NCJW/Essex programs that improve the lives of women, children, and families.

Online registration for today’s event is now closed. You can register by email until 4 p.m. by emailing Gail Sample at

An email with the Zoom link will be sent the day of the event.

Jesse Burns is the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. Jesse has been with the League of Women Voters since 2007, previously serving as the organization’s Communications Director. The League of Women Voters of New Jersey has stood out as a critical and trusted voting rights and civic engagement organization, educating hundreds of thousands of voters about important election and policy information. In the last three years the League has added several new chapters, grown its membership, doubled its staff to better serve New Jersey’s voters, and has been instrumental in passing several pieces of voting rights legislation including online voter registration, automatic voter registration, and rights restoration for people on parole and probation.  

Dr. Benjamin Dworkin serves as the founding Director of the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. He also teaches courses in the Rowan University Department of Political Science. As one of New Jersey’s most astute and widely quoted political analysts, he serves as a non-partisan commentator on political developments for media in New Jersey and nationally. He has appeared on numerous network and cable news shows, and is frequently quoted by all of New Jersey’s major newspapers and radio stations, as well as The New York TimesWall Street JournalUSA Today, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times. In 2016, Dr. Dworkin was named one of the 100 most powerful unelected people in New Jersey politics. 

Pack the Pantry

In New Jersey, 1 in 10 people and 1 in 7 children live in households where there is no regular access to enough food to live healthy and active lives. The NCJW/Essex Pack the Pantry program is doing our part to help.

According to Feeding America, with rising unemployment and stay-at home orders in effect, the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted many individuals’ already fragile ability to put food on the table. We know that many of our Center for Women clients have had to use all of their resources to pay rent, choosing hunger over homelessness.

At this time, while the physical NCJW/Essex office is closed, we are looking for other ways to address need. Pack the Pantry is joining with other NCJW/Essex committees and community partners to increase collection of food items and grocery store gift cards. 

Starting in September, volunteers will be holding monthly food collections with donations being collected at specified drop off locations. Please contact Ellen Staple at for information. Please also continue to check the NCJW/Essex Facebook page for information about upcoming food and gift card collections.

Pack the Pantry is always looking for volunteers committed to helping to alleviate hunger for women and families in the communities where we reside. We need your help now more than ever! To volunteer please email

Please consider purchasing grocery store gifts cards to help our food insecure clients and their families.
Gift cards can be sent directly to NCJW/Essex, 70 South Orange Avenue, Suite 120, Livingston, NJ 07039 to be distributed directly to our Center for Women clients.

Click here to purchase ShopRite gift cards

Click here to purchase Stop & Shop gift cards