May 2018
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” 
―  Maya Angelou
NCJW Upcoming Events and Information 
Welcome to Spring? I am hoping the snow is finally behind us. Trees and flowers are budding and blooming, and I hope the renewal of spring inspires us to renew our passion for social justice.

"We have an moral imperative to be the change we need to see.... What can we do...?

We speak up – we resist – we persist and we show up.
We vote, we organize; we get people, little by little out of their comfort zone to join the blue wave. ” 
―  Donna Gutman

Melissa Prober
Executive Director, NCJW Chicago North Shore
Updates and Information

Mother's Day Basket Project
This is your last chance to participate in our Mother's Day Basket Project. M ake this a special Mother’s Day for women in domestic violence shelters, and at the same time, honor a special woman in your life. For each donation of at least $18.00, we will send a Mother’s Day card to your mother, aunt, daughter or anyone else you choose. She will know that in her honor, NCJW delivered baskets and best wishes to the women at the shelter – a double mitzvah. Or, you may wish to send a card in memory of a loved one – and their memory shall be a blessing.

The women at the shelters so often arrive with little more than the clothes they are wearing. We fill Mother’s Day baskets with many items we take for granted each day: shampoo, conditioner, body soap, lotions, gift certificates, chocolates and other items that would be “luxuries” for them at this time. To help us help the women at the shelters and to support the ongoing work of NCJW on behalf of women and children, please click here.

Book Club
Have you wondered about NCJW's Moderated Book Club. Book club is a fabulous way to get to know a wonderful group of amazing women and participate in a lively, moderated discussion about great books! May 2 is our final Book Club meeting of the year and we are opening the meeting to anyone who would like to give book club a try.
The next meeting is on May 2, 2018 at Congregation Solel, 1301 Clavey Road, Highland Park from 9:15 – 11:30 a.m. The May book is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce and Book Club will also be discussing the novella The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman. If you are interested in attending, contact Marcia at

Encore & More
Have you stopped by Encore lately? Encore recently received a large donation of high-end designer items in smaller sizes in beautiful mint condition. Visit Encore and stock up on a "new wardrobe" for those upcoming weddings and graduations!

Encore is located at 1107 Central Avenue in Wilmette and is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

NCJW Leadership Retreat
You still have a few days to register for NCJW Leadership Retreat in St. Louis.
Want to strengthen your change-making abilities? Join us at Leadership Retreat in St. Louis on June 1-3. Learn new skills and connect with our national network of powerful activists and community leaders. Register today!

NCJW Chicago North Shore 2018 Installation Celebration
Monday, June 18, 2018, 11:30 pm
Ma ggiano's , 4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie

Featuring Alex Swerdlow & Marley Rosario,
Organizers for March to the Polls Chicago & Cofounders of Gather Activism

Enjoy a delicious brunch as we say thank you to our outgoing board members and welcome our new board.
Celebrate our award recipients and learn what programs are on the horizon!

V isit n for information
NCJW CNS Programs
We have some great programs to add to your calendars. Please save-the-date(s) for the programs listed below and scroll down for further details.

May 2: Book club
May 9: NCJW Section Board meeting
May 9: Women's Salon
May 16: Vineyard Food Pantry and Clothes Closet
May 22: Sip, Savor and Support with Elaine Soloway

June 10: Greater Chicago Jewish Festival
June 13: Women's Salon
June 18: NCJW Chicago North Shore 2018 Installation Celebration
June 20: Soup Kitchen at Beth Emet Synagogue

If you have a specific passion that you'd like to share with us or are interested in helping plan a program, email We would love to hear from you!
NCJW CNS Board Meeting
Wednesday, May 9, 9:30 am
Northside location given upon RSVP

Join the NCJW CNS Section Board at one of our bi-monthly board meetings. Get involved and learn more about our section. Each board meeting will focus on a different topic. Board meetings are open to all NCJW Chicago North Shore members. Email for location.

Vineyard Food Pantry
Wed., May 16, 5:00-8:00 pm
5:00 p.m. (orientation)
Vineyard Church Food Pantry
2495 Howard Street, Evanston

Each Wednesday, the Harvest Food Pantry of Evanston serves approximately 200 families, providing each with 3-4 grocery bags of fresh produce, meat, dairy and dry goods, including personal care products, usually of their choice. To volunteer email .

Sip, Savor & Support
Tuesday, May 22, 5:30 pm
Space 1858, 1858 W Grand, Chgo

Join NCJW for our spring fundraiser featuring Elaine Soloway, author of Bad Grandma and Other Chapters In A Life Lived Out Loud.

Enjoy sips and snacks and support NCJW Chicago North Shore as Elaine talks about her amazing life! Please use the form below to register. Cost is $150 per person and includes a signed copy of one of Elaine’s books. Bring a friend for twice the fun but not twice the price – $200 per couple (includes one book). Additional copies of Elaine’s books will be available at the event.

Elaine Soloway has lived the past four decades of her life out loud and in the public eye. At the age of 78, Elaine has four successful and widely-read blogs, has published three books, and most recently has seen aspects of her life immortalized on the Golden Globe and Emmy Award Winning “Transparent,” which is produced and written by her daughters, Jill and Faith Soloway. Through a combination of traditional and social media, Elaine shares her life generously with her readers — exposing both her successes and challenges to public scrutiny.

Click here to reserve your spot
Greater Chicago Jewish Festival
Sunday, June 10, 11:00 am
St. Paul Woods, Cook County Forest Preserve - Enter the Festival grounds through the free parking at Oakton Street west of Lehigh, in Morton Grove

The Greater Chicago Jewish Festival intertwines the sounds, sights and tastes of Jewish culture and celebrates Jewish identity. First produced in 1980, the Festival has always brought together every facet of the Jewish community, young and old, multi-generational and all segments of religious practice and political thought for a day of sharing, understanding and tolerance. We also reach out to our friends of other religions and cultures to come and share the experience with us. Enjoy 4 stages of music and dance, a juried art fair, a children’s activity fair, a strictly Kosher food fair and an organization fair with over 100 organizations.

NCJW Chicago North Shore is a co-sponsoring organization of the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival.
Click here for more information.

2018 Installation Celebration
Monday, June 18, 11:30

Celebrate NCJW at our annual Installation Celebration. This year we are featuring Alex Swerdlow & Marley Rosario, organizers for March for our Lives Chicago & Cofounders of Gather Activism

Enjoy a delicious brunch as we say thank you to our outgoing board and welcome our new board. Celebrate our award recipients and learn what programs are on the horizon!

Click here to let us know you will be joining us.

Soup Kitchen at Beth Emet
Wednesday, June 20, 4:00pm
Beth Emet Synagogue
1224 Dempster, Evanston.

Volunteers and Groceries Needed! Help shop, prepare and serve dinner and bag lunches. The evening is part of an ongoing collaboration between NCJW and Project Hamotzi to provide free meals to the area’s homeless and working poor. NCJW members and a limited number of children, ages six & older, may volunteer. Contact Lauren at .
NCJW Member News and Tributes
We Need Your News!

Whether you are celebrating a simcha or sharing your sorrow, your NCJW friends want to know!

Keep NCJW informed of your life events: weddings, babys, graduations, b'nai mitzvahs as well as illnesses and grief. We are here to share with you.

Email .

New and Returning Members
* Ellyn Mayer
* Janet Rohde
* Jackie Pomerantz

Mazel Tov!
* To Andy Amend on her Highland Park Humanitarian of the Year Award

For A Blessing
We mourn the loss of section member Bunny Oberlander
We mourn the loss of section member Erna Pilchen

* We send our condolences to section member Jackie Kopp on the loss of her husband David Kopp
* We send our condolences to section member Jean Meadows on the loss of her mother Jane Rothbaum
* We send our condolences to section member Rochelle Distelheim on the loss of her Husband Irving Distelheim
* We send our condolences to section member Susan Frolichstein, Tamar Frolichstein-Appel, and Gerry Keen on the loss of their husband, father and brother-in-law Seymour Frolichstein

NCJW also wants to acknowledge the passing of Aaron Elster, Illinois Holocaust Museum Vice President and Holocaust Survivor on April 11. Many of you may have been present at our program with Mr. Elster as he shared his inspiring story.

May their memories be for a blessing.
An NCJW Chicago North Shore Tribute is a thoughtful way to acknowledge a life event while supporting NCJW’s many valuable projects. You may purchase an individual tribute or packages of tribute cards.

To purchase Tributes visit

To: The Family of Bunny Oberlander
My heartfelt condolences. Bunny was such a lovely caring woman. Always willing to lend a hand. She will be sorely missed.
From: Susan Pristave

To: Naomi Fine
In honor of Naomi Fine
From: Marsha Swetin

To: The Family of Bunny Oberlander
In memory of Bunny Oberlander
Evelyn and Jerold Levin

To: The Family of Bunny Oberlander
In memory of Bunny Oberlander
NCJW Chicago North Shore Board

To: Family of Erna Pilchen
My heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your mother
From: Ruth Rose

To: Jill Lexier
In honor of Jill Lexier
From: Cynthia Summers

To: The Family of Erna Pilchen
In memory of Erna Pilchen
From: The Scarsdale Friends

To: Jean Meadows
In memory of your beloved mother. With our heartfelt condolences.
From: Ellen and Lee Gussin

To: Jean Meadows
In memory of your beloved mother
From: Lois Moss

To Mrs. Leonard Wood
In memory of Leonard Wood
From Donna and Richard Abelson

To: Andy Amend
Congratulations on being selected to receive the Highland Park Humanitarian Award. 
From: NCJW Board

To: Maureen Glassberg
Wishing you a complete and speedy recovery
From: Robert Romanoff

To: Norma Libman
Mazel tov on your bat mitzvah. We wish you all the best.
From: Billy and Sara Belkov

To: Joy Lending
Happy Mother’s Day! We Love you!
From: Dianne, Lesie and Ross Esbrook
Silent Witness Stories

The Silent Witness Exhibit of Illinois honors those who have died from acts of intimate partner violence. The Exhibit consists of life-size female figures, each bearing a shield telling the true story of an Illinois woman killed as a result of domestic violence. The figures provide a powerful visual impact to raise awareness of the tragedy and loss we all suffer when lives are taken senselessly through domestic violence. Groups may use the Exhibit for outreach, education and fundraising programs.

The Silent Witness Exhibit has been viewed in Illinois by thousands of people in dozens of venues since it was launched in 1997 by the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Chicago North Shore Section. The Silent Witness Exhibit of Illinois is part of the National Silent Witness Initiative, started in 1990 in Minneapolis. 

Click here  for more information about hosting the Silent Witness Exhibit.

Each Month in the NCJW E-News, we will highlight a Silent Witness Story, so that the victims of domestic violence will never be forgotten.

Briana Valle
Age 15
February 13, 2014

Briana and her family tried to get away from her former boyfriend, Erick Maya, 23, by moving from their Little Village residence to Romeoville. She first met him on Facebook when she was 13 and he convinced her to run away with him. After two weeks, she was found by Cicero police and returned home, prompting Briana’s mother, Alicia Guerrero to get an order of protection.

Unable to escape Maya’s harassment, the family moved to Romeoville, where Briana loved her new home and school. Maya found them and continued his threats. He shot them in the driveway of their home as Alicia was driving Briana to school. Alicia survived the attack. The order of protection was served 11 days after Briana’s death, as Maya sat in the Will county jail, charged with her murder.
If you haven't stopped by Encore lately,
you don't know what you are missing! 
Encore is conveniently located at 1107 Central Avenue in Wilmette - across the street from the Wilmette Theater. Encore is closed on Sundays and Mondays and open for donations and shopping as follows:

Tuesday: noon to 5:00 pm
Wednesday: noon to 5:00 pm
Thursday: noon to 5:00 pm
Friday: noon to 5:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Donate your Silver-Plate
Are you tired of looking at all that tarnish. Hate polishing your gravy bowl? Encore & More has a wonderful buyer for silver plated items and the proceeds go to NCJW! Just bring your items to Encore during business hours!

Encore's Online Store: Sometimes you just don't want to leave the house. We get it. In addition to the amazing items featured at Encore & More, some select items are also being offered for purchase online. Visit and see what treasures they have to offer!

Encore & More is NCJW's major fundraiser, supported by members and friends through donations of gently used men's, women's and children's clothing and accessories, jewelry, bric-a-brac, collectibles and small furniture.  

Donations are accepted during Encore's business hours. Deliver to the door at the rear parking lot off 11th St. Or, call for pickup at 847.853.8888. Please note that if you are dropping off a donation or picking up materials at Encore, you may park in the back against the building provided your car flashers are activated. If you park without activating your flashers - you may be ticketed.
Courts Matter Highlights
On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Kyle Duncan of Louisiana to a lifetime appointment on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Duncan has dedicated his entire legal career to rolling back the rights of marginalized groups, including women, LGBTQ individuals, and African Americans. This is a shameful day for the integrity and independence of our federal judiciary.
  • On Thursday, May 3 at 2pm, there will be a twitterstorm focusing on the 5th circuit nominees. Check out this google folder closer to the date for sample tweets and images.
  • A DC federal judge called the government’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program “virtually unexplained” and therefore “unlawful,” and ordered the government to both continue the program and reopen it to new applicants in NAACP v. Trump. The judge also gave the US Department of Homeland Security 90 days to provide a more sound legal explanation for ending the program. US District Judge Bates, nominated by President George W. Bush, is the third judge to rule against the Trump administration’s attempts to rescind DACA.
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) filed cloture on six circuit nominees: Kurt Engelhardt (5th Cir., La.), Michael Brennan (7th Cir., Wis.), Joel Carson III (10th Cir., N.M.), John Nalbandian (6th Cir., Ky.), Michael Scudder (7th Cir., Ill.), and Amy St. Eve (7th Cir., Ill.).
  • Advancing the nomination of Michael Brennan crosses a red line in the Senate: the hypocritical destruction of blue slips. Blue slips are the paperwork that give senators the right to weigh in first on judicial nominees from their home states, and determine if the nomination should go forward. One of Brennan’s home-state senators, Tammy Baldwin, has chosen to withhold her blue slip on Brennan. McConnell is breaking rules and norms by forcing the nomination process to proceed over Baldwin’s objections.  
  • Please call your senators about these troubling nominees, and urge your coalitions, networks, and friends to do the same. Call the Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or find your senators’ numbers here.

NCJW National Policy Updates
Vi sit for detailed information on the following:
  • Senate approves Duncan for federal court
  • Muslim ban at SCOTUS; NCJW sends petition to White House
  • #Courtsmatter to DACA
  • #Courtsmatter to sex education
  • Senator Tammy Duckworth makes history
  • Gun Violence Prevention
  • HUD targets low income and LGBTQ communities
  • Bill to strengthen protections for religious minorities passes committee
  • Unannounced rule change for young immigrants
  • Trump ends protected status for 9,000 Nepalese immigrants
  • Sexual assault awareness month resolution introduced

Other Events and Items of Interest
Illinois ERA Rally and Lobby Day
YOU can be a part of making sure that the ERA finally gets ratified! If Illinois ratifies the ERA that means that only ONE more state would be needed. Congress passed it back in 1972 but needed 38 states to ratify it before going into effect. Illinois could be #37!

The Rally begins at 12pm at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield at the Lincoln Statue! Let's show the Illinois General Assembly how many people from across Illinois expect to see this issue ratified in the House this May!! 

No, the Equal Rights Amendment *still* has not been passed, which means gender equality is still NOT part of the U.S. Constitution. 

Confirmed FREE buses you can join to get to Springfield and back:
From Naperville area:  

If you plan to help us lobby that day as well, please sign up here, it's imperative legislators hear from their constituents. 

NCJW Webinar: Learn how to build your advocacy base
A strong network of advocates is what propels our work forward. In our current political reality, we must create a sustainable base of activists. How do we do this? By creating campaigns that resonate with our base. And as a result our advocacy networks will be more connected, easier to mobilize, and have a larger reach.

Join us on May 16th at 1:30pm ET (10:30amPT) or 7:30pmET (4:30pmPT) for our webinar How to Build an Advocacy Base.

Jeannie Appleman, Senior Organizer and Trainer from JOIN for Justice, will lead this training. She has over 25 years of experience in doing broad-based, tenant, electoral, anti-intervention, and issue-based organizing.

In this 75-minute webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify and build relationships with potential allies
  • Build accountability among your activists
  • Start developing strong campaigns that resonate with your base

Speak out about guns during recess
While lawmakers are out on a two week recess, check out the town halls and community events near you by clicking here. And, once again, NCJW is supporting #WearOrange , the 4th National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Friday, June 2 will kick off #WearOrange Weekend, with community events across the nation.

Locally, Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety will be hosting the annual Wear Orange event to honor those whose lives have been cut short by gun violence and to give survivors a day where they can enjoy themselves in a fun, supportive, and safe environment. Email for more information.
Saturday, June 2, 2018, Approximately 10 AM- 4 PM
Hadiya Pendleton Park, 4345 S Calumet Ave, Chicago

What’s Jewish About BRCA?
On June 21, learn from a panel of experts about hereditary cancers in the Jewish community and gain life-saving information to protect your health and the health of your family. This event features keynote speaker Susan Domchek, MD, Executive Director of the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania and is presented by the Norton & Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics. For more information or to register, visit .

Support NCJW
Chicago North Shore has several new ways to support our section. As always, you can make a one time donation or purchase a tribute (links are below), but we now also have a lovely, hand-crafted necklace you can purchase for yourself or for a gift. Net proceeds from the sale of each  necklace   supports NCJW's mission.

You can also support NCJW as a Sustaining Advocate.  Complete and print this form  and mail it to our office, 5 Revere Drive, Suite 200, Northbrook, IL 60062 and your scheduled monthly donation will ensure the viability of Chicago North Shore for generations to come. Your support makes it possible for NCJW to create meaningful social change for women, children, and families in the US and Israel. Make a difference for women, children, and families by giving a generous gift to NCJW through a variety of options:

Put your dollars to work immediately by making a fast, secure online donation. Become a Major Donor by making a donation of $360 or more. 

Honor a family member, colleague, friend, or loved one by giving a gift to NCJW. A handwritten NCJW tribute card with a message of support, celebration, or sympathy will be sent to the honoree or the family of the person you wish to remember.

Canadian jewelry artist Hilary Druxman has handcrafted a beautifully designed necklace and has partnered with NCJW Chicago North Shore to bring her design to our members and supporters. Overlapping triangles come together to form a star, reflecting our belief in advocacy and action. Each necklace costs $44 ($40 + $4 sales tax) and can be shipped anywhere in the US. Net proceeds from the sale of each handcrafted sterling silver necklace support our mission.

NCJW is recognized as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Contributions to it are tax deductible to the full extent provided by the law. 

Create a Legacy!
Want to ensure NCJW's legacy for years to come? Are you a life member and want to extend your support in perpetuity? Have you thought out a bequest to NCJW?
Click here  for a sample form. It's that easy!

Already have a bequest to NCJW?  Please let us know that you put us in your will so we can acknowledge you!! Email .

Support NCJW with your Purchases
Save Gas. Save Time. Raise Money! 
Through iGive, Amazon smile and others, you can raise money for NCJW while you shop online. Use the links below and select NCJW Chicago North Shore as your charity of choice.

Every time you shop at any of the 1,000+ online stores in the iGive network, a portion of the money you spend benefits NCJW Chicago North Shore Section. It's a free service, and you'll never pay more when you reach a store through iGive. In fact, smart shoppers will enjoy iGive's repository of coupons, free shipping deals, and sales. To get started, just create your free iGive account at  
Start iGiving at:

You shop. Amazon gives. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support NCJW every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at  and select National Council of Jewish Women Wilmette, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to directly to NCJW.

You shop; you save; they give
Here is a simple way to make a difference -- each time you search the web (Goodsearch) or shop online (Goodshop), Goodsearch will make a donation to your favorite cause. Just visit Goodshop and select NCJW Chicago North Shore as your charity of choice.

If you have other fundraising ideas, contact us at