A quick look at NCJW/Essex activities, programs and members.

A parting message from NCJW/Essex President

Jennie Goldsmith Rothman


I can hardly believe it has been two years since I wrote my first President’s Message to this wonderful group. I am so grateful for the honor of representing NCJW/Essex as Section president, and so proud of the impactful work we do in our community.

A lot has changed in Essex County and beyond since 2022: some good like once again being together in person for our signature events including the Back 2 School Store and Card Party. Some less positive as we witness the roll back of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, ceaseless gun violence and the significant rise in antisemitism, both before and especially following October 7.

What has not changed are the Jewish values that illuminate our work and NCJW/Essex's commitment to promoting social and economic justice for women, children, and families. For more than 110 years, NCJW/Essex has strived to create a brighter future and to ensure that women, children, and families in Essex County and around the United States don’t merely exist, but thrive. I am confident that the passionate and powerful women of NCJW/Essex will continue to make a positive impact for the next 100 years.

I am keenly aware none of this can be done alone. While I held the title of President, it took a village to accomplish all we have together. I’d like to thank the many people whose support, hard work, and friendship made this journey such a meaningful one.

I could not have asked for a better group of volunteers and staff. I want to thank and honor our outgoing Executive Committee and Section Board members for their dedication, with special thanks to my partner, Executive Director Caitlin Higgins Joy, and to my predecessor and successor, Penina Barr and Andrea Mintz. And, of course, endless thanks to Eric, Benji, and Sam, who have supported my work here and made it possible.

I have been so inspired by the women of NCJW/Essex and the example of lifelong passion and action to improve the lives of women, children, and families and to safeguard individual rights and freedoms. I remain deeply committed to the mission and work of NCJW/Essex. I look forward to continuing the work by your side.

With great appreciation, affection, and admiration,

Calendar Snapshot

June 4 - TUESDAY! Primary Election Day in New Jersey

June 7 - Rally for Gun Violence Prevention in Summit

June 11 - Installation & Awards Luncheon

June 12-13 - Shavuot (Office Closed)

June 19 - Juneteenth (Office Closed)

June 28 - Back 2 School Store Volunteer Registration Deadline

July 4 - Independence Day (Office Closed)

July 16 - PACK- Post Abortion Care Kits

July 28 - Back 2 School Store (in person shopping) - scroll down for information on how to volunteer!


September 17 - Power Up the Vote, Community Day of Action

October 22 - 2024 Gala Honoring Phoebe Pollinger & Myrna Wertheimer

Last Call:

Join us for Installation & Awards on June 11!

Deadline to purchase tickets is June 4

Purchase Luncheon Tickets by June 4

Tuesday, June 11

12 noon - 2 pm

(doors open at 11:30am)

Cedar Hill Country Club


Join us as we welcome our new slate of officers and Section Board, thank outgoing members and honor our award recipients, Penina Barr, Beth Randall Branigan and Adrienne Lewin.

*Special Note to NCJW/Essex Members*

In accordance with the Bylaws of National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section, Inc. (the ”Bylaws”), this shall serve as Notice that proposed revisions to the Bylaws will be presented to the Membership for a vote at the NCJW/Essex Installation and Awards Lunch on June 11, 2024.


The Bylaws require that any proposed revisions be approved by the NCJW/Essex Section Board and the National Committee on Bylaws, Policies and Procedures prior to being presented to the Membership for a vote. Both of these approvals have been granted.

Click Here for the NCJW/Essex Bylaws

Center for Women Snapshot

Celebrate Women: Baubles, Bangles and Beads

“Best believe I'm still bejeweled

When I walk in the room

I can still make the whole place shimmer…”

Those Taylor Swift lyrics echoed throughout our Celebrate Women: Baubles, Bangles and Beads event in early May. 

Volunteers sorted hundreds, maybe thousands, of necklaces, bracelets, pins, earrings and scarves, then tagged each one with an NCJW/Essex tag. Thank you to everyone who took the time to go through their collections and donated these gently used pieces to NCJW/Essex.   

Opening hours for our pop-up store were on May 7 and 8, with more volunteers on hand to help our Center for Women clients choose exactly the items they liked or were perfect for an interview or special event, or just made them feel good in advance of Mother’s Day.

Big thanks to everyone who made this such a successful event, especially co-chairs Beth Randall Branigan and Isabel Margolin and the Center for Women staff, Patty Kremen, Dana Miceli and Sharon Stern.  

Advocacy Snapshot

Advocacy-in-an-Hour: Stop Jewish Hate

In 2023, there were 8,873 antisemitic incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism in the United States, for an average of 24 anti-Jewish incidents per day. This represents a 140% increase from 2022 - already a record-setting year - and the highest level recorded since the ADL began tracking this data in 1979. Antisemitism is in our schools and our communities - even when we don't see it!

NCJW/Essex members gathered on May 21 for the final Advocacy-in-an-Hour of the spring to write dozens of postcards to elected officials, keeping the pressure and focus on this important issue.

Take Action: Right to Contraception Act

Urge Legislators to Support the Right to Contraception Nationwide

In 2024, something as basic as the right to birth control is in danger. Poll after poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the right to contraception. Contraception is safe, essential health care, key to sexual and reproductive health, and access to contraceptive products and services is central to people’s ability to participate equally in economic and social life.

The Right to Contraception Act would override state policies blocking our access to birth control and ensure that we can continue to plan our families without government interference. 

Click Here to Contact Your Legislator

Gun Violence Prevention Proclamation

Laurie Kahn, VP Advocacy, and Rebecca Grossman, Director of Advocacy, received a proclamation on May 28 from the Livingston Town Council "reaffirming our commitment to remember all victims and survivors of gun violence, to support local communities' efforts to prevent gun violence, to honor and value human lives, and to declare that we, as a country, must do more to reduce gun violence."

Gun Violence

Awareness Day

Join Us at the Rally

in Summit

Friday, June 7

Join the Rally in Summit!

NCJW/Essex is proud to stand with other gun violence prevention leaders to honor gun violence survivors and advocate for common sense GVP legislation.

Join us at the National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, June 7 on the Summit Green.

Scan the QR Code in the picture or click here for registration information.

PACK Post Abortion Care Kits

Tuesday, July 16

11 am - 12 noon

NCJW/Essex Office

NCJW/Essex and its community partners have assembled more than 850 Post Abortion Care Kits at "packing" events over the past year. Join us as we start off our next cycle by packing more kits for abortion seekers in New Jersey.

Register to PACK Here 

Can't be there in person and want to help? Visit the Amazon Wish List to purchase items to be included in the kits. Be sure to choose NCJW/Essex PACK Kits as the delivery address at checkout.

Member and Volunteer Snapshot

Click Here to Renew Today

It's time to renew your annual membership!

New this year: beginning in July, members will enjoy discounted rates on most programs and events. That means your 100% tax-deductible membership fee is a donation that not only helps improve the lives of women, children and families in Essex practically pays for itself!

Thank you to everyone who has already renewed!

Contact Jackie Davidson, Manager of Engagement, with questions.

NCJW/Essex Snapshot

A Busy Month of Fun and Fundraisers:

Card Party and Golf Invitational

Two of NCJW/Essex's biggest events take place during May. We kicked things off with the annual Card Party, where close to 250 friends gathered to play canasta, bridge and mah jongg, shop at our great boutiques, dine on delicious food, and enjoy one of the most anticipated days on the NCJW/Essex calendar! Thank you to everyone who participated, and to our wonderful co-chairs Debbi Fine, Michelle Sachs and Lauren Scher.

The 20th Annual Golf Invitational took place on May 20, with a full complement of golfers setting off on a scramble around Mountain Ridge Country Club. The games and good times on the course were matched by the fun post-round cocktail hour and raffle, as all the players mingled and socialized after a rewarding day. Thank you to all our sponsors, including title sponsor ShopRite, to the volunteers, to the committee and to co-chairs Penina Barr and Deborah Legow Schatz for another memorable milestone event.

Snapshot from the Archives (and the Future)

Volunteer registration for 2024 is underway!

An email with a link to volunteer registration was sent in early May to everyone who has completed a background screening. As a reminder, background screenings are required for everyone who will participate in the in-person shopping day (Sunday, July 28). 

NOTE: If you completed a background screening last year, you do not need to do another one. If you have not yet completed a background screening, click here to get started.

Contact Jackie Davidson, Manager of Engagement, with questions.

Support the  Back 2 School Store Today! 

Did you know that $200 outfits a child who visits the store with a new winter coat, sneakers, a shirt & pants, socks & underwear, hats & gloves, personal care items, age-appropriate books and a backpack filled with supplies. You can be part of putting a smile on a child's face and helping empower them to learn by making a gift to the Back 2 School Store!



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