A Faith in the Future. A Belief in Action.
I am honored to write my first message as the President of this pioneering and powerful group. I must start this letter with thanks to the many people who have taught, supported, and mentored me and who have devoted their energy to the work of NCJW/Essex. The intergenerational relationships of NCJW/ Essex are the “secret sauce” that makes our voices so powerful and work so impactful.
I know, however, that I am stepping into this role at a very challenging time. The recent Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, overturning Roe v. Wade, demonstrates that the work we do together is more vital now than ever before. Even in the face of the ongoing attacks on the rights and well-being of women, children, and families, I remain energized and hopeful because I know that NCJW/ Essex is built for times like these. As Hannah G. Solomon said in 1911, an NCJW woman “dares to go into the world and do what her conviction demands.” With our values at the foundation, NCJW/ Essex advocates, volunteers, and employees know that when we connect with one another and collaborate in a way that honors the dignity of each human being, we have the power to transform our community.
I am inspired by the ancient and still relevant words of the Jewish sage Hillel:
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Although the challenges are large, and maybe because the challenges are large, I know that the time for us to act is NOW. This year especially, as we continue to advance our signature programs, we will keep abortion and voting at the center of our work.
I’m looking forward to coming together with all the members, volunteers, employees, and partners of NCJW/Essex over the next two years to renew our connections and to take action to repair our world.
In appreciation & partnership
Jennie Goldsmith Rothman