NCJW August 2020 News and Events

John Lewis, civil rights leader and congressman, wrote this essay shortly before his death on July 17.

Though I am gone, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.
Please Welcome our New Members
Paula Wallrich
Jill Perlman
NCJW Print Newsletter
Check your mailboxes in mid-September for our print newsletter which will have a recap of the 2019-2020 programming year as well as information on our 2020-2021 programming year.

Make sure you receive the print newsletter by updating your contact information in our database. Click here and fill out the information form today!

To renew your membership (or join), click here!
NCJW Tribute Cards
An NCJW Chicago North Shore Tribute is a thoughtful way to acknowledge a life event while supporting NCJW’s many valuable projects. Send an NCJW Tribute Card for any amount (minimum of $15) to be sent by NCJW Chicago North Shore to the recipient of your choice.

To order a Tribute online, click here . If you prefer to purchase a tribute using a check, please make your check payable to: “NCJW CNS” and mail to: NCJW, 5 Revere Drive, Suite 200, Northbrook, IL 60062.

Please include the recipient’s complete name and mailing address as well as your complete name and address and either a phone number or email should we need to contact you regarding your tribute. Please also include the reason for Tribute (birthday, anniversary, in memory of, etc.) or any specific message you would like to include.
Recent Tributes
From: Mary Weinberg
In memory of Jeannette Weinberg 

To: Victoria Tejeda-Gervais and Trevor Gervais
From: NCJW CNS Board
Message: Welcome baby Nico!

To: Rae Luskin
From Amy Rubin
Message: In memory of Bob Luskin

To: Jill Lexier
From: Jan Schwartz
In memory of Debby Lexier
To: Jill Lexier
From: NCJW CNS Board
In memory of your mom, Debby Lexier

To: Jill Lexier
From: Frances Kraemer
In memory of Debby Lexier

To: Carole Levine
From: Eileen Gassman
In honor of Carole Levine - Get well soon

To: Rosa Burkman
From: Marcia and Larry Ross
Message: In memory of Gerald Burkman.
Tuesday, August 4, 12:00 pm
Courts Matter to Voting Rights
Join Courts Matter Illinois for the third in a series of webinars examining the role of the federal courts in some of the most important issues to the 2020 election. Courts Matter to Voting Rights features Colleen Connell, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union, Alisa Kaplan, Executive Director, Reform for Illinois, and Ami Gandhi, Senior Counsel, Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. Click here to register.

Series sponsors include Chicago Women Take Action, National Council of Jewish Women Chicago North Shore, National Council of Jewish Women South Cook, National Council of Jewish Women State Policy Committee, The American Constitution Society – Illinois, National Employment Lawyers Association Illinois, and the Citizen Advocacy Center.

Wednesday, August 12, 11-3pm ( 12-4 pm ET)
NCJW’s #AbortionAccess4All Digital Lobby Day
In early August 2020, the National Council of Jewish Women will host our #AbortionAccess4AllDigital Lobby Day calling on Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA, HR 2975/S 1645) and the EACH Woman Act (HR 1692/S 758). WHPA would invalidate onerous state restrictions blocking access to abortion while the EACH Woman Act would ensure the affordability of this care by ending political interference in public and private insurance coverage. Together, these critical bills have the potential to create a future where all can access the abortion services they need without cost barriers, delays, or burdensome limitations. Join us to urge your lawmakers to champion abortion access for all by supporting WHPA and the EACH Woman Act. Click here to register.

Monday, August 17, 7:00 PM
NCJW Salon: Police Accountability in Chicago
Adam Gross, Justice Reform Director of , will update us on the Legal Oversight and Accountability Working Group of the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force, which in April 2016 released a hard-hitting report, detailing a host of recommendations to reform a badly broken system. As a result, the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance creating two new stronger and better funded entities to investigate police misconduct: a Civilian Office of Police Accountability, and a Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety. Click here for information and to register.
Luggage for Freedom
To our Luggage for Freedom Volunteers,

We hope you and your loved ones are healthy and managing during this difficult time. After a lot of discussion, we have determined that we will not be able to proceed with our usual “Pack & Delivery” day this October. While we are saddened we cannot proceed as usual, we recognize that there are so many people in need during this time. Therefore, we are going to plan a modified Luggage for Freedom event that will allow donations to be safely delivered to shelters in October. The event will be on Sunday, October 18, 2020.

Unfortunately we will only need a small fraction of the number of volunteers we usually have and will be in touch with further details in the coming weeks about those opportunities.

We know this is a difficult time for everyone and have heard from shelters that there is an even greater need for donations this year. If you are able to purchase an item from Luggage for Freedom’s Amazon Wish List ( we would be grateful. No donation is too small but please note at this time we cannot accept donations of any luggage.

As always, thank you for your support of Luggage for Freedom.

Wishing you good health -

Election 2020
Follow the 4 Rs so you are ready to vote: Register, Request, Receive & Return!

Tuesday, August 4, 6:30 pm
Combating Hate: Confronting Antisemitism and White Nationalism Three Years After Charlottesville
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn about the work being done in the ongoing fight against white-nationalist extremists. Upstanders Christian Picciolini, Former Extremist, Peace Advocate and Founder of the Free Radicals Project; Amy Spitalnick, Executive Director, Integrity First for America; and Eric Ward, Human Rights Expert and Executive Director, Western States Center, will speak about their personal journeys and the work they are doing to break the cycle of hate. Their presentation will leave you energized with the knowledge that there are leaders across the country taking significant action to renounce violence, promote tolerance and inclusion, and safeguard democratic values. Click here to register.

Thursdays in August, Starting August 6 at 7:00pm
Jewish Women You Thought You Knew (or Never Knew!)
Join JWA on Thursdays in August to delve into the lives, challenges, choices, and innovations of Jewish women who changed our story. Each session will focus on a different historical figure, facilitated by a scholar of Jewish women's history. Sessions are designed to stand alone; attend as many as you’d like! No advanced reading or preparation required. August 6: Golda Meir with Francine Klagsbrun, August 13: Bertha Pappenheim with Marion Kaplan, August 20: Sarah Schenirer with Naomi Seidman, August 27: Bella Abzug with Leandra Zarnow. Click here for more information and to register.

Wednesday, August 19, 7:00 PM
Who Speaks for the Daughters of Africa? A Brief History of Black Women Suffragists
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, CNOW is hosting a special event to highlight the critical contributions of Black women in the fight for voting rights. Live Presentation + Q&A. Click here to register.

*** Did you miss the July 20 NCJWebinar, After the Dust Has Settled: The Supreme Court Term in Review — with Dahlia Lithwick. Watch the webinar recording here! To learn more about the Supreme Court cases of concern to NCJW during the 2019-2020 Supreme Court session, check out our What’s at Stake Wrap Up.

To learn more about NCJW’s work on the federal courts, visit our website:
NCJW Chicago North Shore Anti-racism is a Verb

Join us to make  Anti-Racism a Verb ! Learn, Do, and Act.

We are committed to educating ourselves, strengthening our relationship with Black community partners, lifting up Black voices in our community, supporting Black businesses and artists, advocating for policy change and working side by side in communities.

We want you and your families to join us on this journey. On August 21, we will launch our 18-week Racial Justice Challenge. Watch your in-boxes mid-August for more information and details on how to participate.

We all know that our actions speak louder than words. As advocates, we will continue our policy work, informed by a heightened awareness of its racial justice implications. Policy work is where we can make real change to eliminate systemic racism. Watch for action alerts and commit to adding your voice.

NCJW Gives Back
This fall, NCJW Chicago North Shore will be launching a new Community Service Initiative called NCJW Gives Back. Each month NCJW CNS will provide a way you can give back safely from your home. Watch your mailbox and inbox in Mid-September for more information.
Our vote is our voice, and our democracy is at its strongest when every voice is heard! Voting rights experts working in close consultation with state election officials have agreed upon a series of reforms to enable successful elections during and beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic. These reforms would also help us build a more inclusive democracy for communities of color, low-income people, women, and LGBTQ voters. We urge federal lawmakers to appropriate $3.6 billion in funding to states to make our elections safe by implementing and/or expanding voter registration (including pre-registration for 16 and 17-year olds), no-excuse absentee voting by mail, voter education, and safe in-person voting (including early voting) for remaining primaries and Election Day.

In April 2019, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act (NO BAN Act), challenging the Trump administration’s Muslim ban. The ban, and subsequent bans on African nations, have separated too many families and continues to have a devastating impact on our communities.
The NO BAN Act (HR 2214/S 1123) would repeal the Muslim and African bans and prevent similar blanket bans in the future. The bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to prohibit discrimination based on religion. When the US Supreme Court upheld the Muslim Ban in 2019, it cited a very broad INA provision that allows the president to prevent people from entering the US. The NO BAN Act tightens this provision and creates much-needed limitations and accountability for any president who wishes to use this authority. Future presidents would not be able to ban an entire community without culpability. The House passed this historic civil rights bill in July 2020, and it is time for the Senate to do the same.

On May 15, the House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (HR 6800), the fourth phase of federal coronavirus response legislation. The package directs more than $3 trillion to state and local governments, health systems, and a wide range of progressive initiatives. Urge your senators to take up the HEROES Act today to address the immediate public health emergency; to support families, workers, and those most impacted by the pandemic; and to prepare for a successful recovery.

National Updates:
This week, Senate Republicans unveiled a COVID-19 relief plan that falls far short of meeting the needs of the majority of people in this country who are struggling to survive the ongoing global pandemic, particularly Black, Latino, and immigrant households. At the same time, the House moved forward with the fiscal year 2021 appropriations process and the administration continued its shameful efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. 
Membership Renewal
Membership renewal has begun. If you are an annual member, you will be receiving a renewal notice in your inbox or mail box in the next week or so. We hope all of our annual members will renew their membership for another year. All NCJW annual memberships run from July 1 through June 30. Renew or join today for $50 and your membership will valid through June 30, 2021.

Your support makes it possible for NCJW to create meaningful social change for women, children, and families locally, nationally and internationally. Together with you, NCJW will empower women to educate their communities, mobilize the grassroots, and advocate for fundamental rights and freedoms.

Click here to renew your membership today or mail your check to NCJW, 5 Revere Drive, Suite 200, Northbrook, IL 60062. Questions? Email
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), you can even purchase an NCJW star necklace or hanger charm or become a monthly donor!

Put your dollars to work immediately by making a fast, secure online donation. Choose a one-time donation or give monthly and become an NCJW Sustaining Advocate.

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.

Looking for a gift or just a different way to support NCJW?

When you shop through AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Choose National Council of Jewish Women Chicago North Shore

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. 

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