NCJW September 2020 News and Events
September is a great month. Or at least it used to be. Kids return to school, the temperature goes down, and I can trade shorts for sweats. There is apple picking and apples and honey and family get-togethers for the holidays. There is the welcome familiarity of prayers recited year after year, the pride I feel as I watch my son blowing shofar for the congregation.

But everything is different this year. My son is back at school in the room next to my office and my husband is working from home still - and until January! Services this year will be virtual - we will hook up the computer to our TV and sit on the couch with our prayer books. At least we won't have to worry about getting a good seat.

But some things remain unchanged - the traditional prayers and the fresh start I feel at the end of Yom Kippur are still there and last week, my son went to synagogue and pre-recorded the shofar. There will still be apples and honey and I guess there will still be family togetherness - even if it takes place in the backyard from 6 feet apart.

When our “new normal” is indefinite uncertainty we can take comfort in tradition. So I'm reframing my thoughts and focusing instead on the familiar. And there is so much in this month that I recognize and cherish. I hope that you can also find your own peace and calmness this month.

Melissa Prober, Executive Director, NCJW Chicago North Shore
Please Welcome our New Members
Susan Golovan
Andrea Metzl
Sylvia Meyers
Barbara Turner
NCJW Fall 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.

And if you don't receive your Fall Newsletter in the mail, email to make sure we have your correct information on file!
NCJW Tribute Cards
NCJW Chicago North Shore Tributes are a thoughtful way to acknowledge life events 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.

Click here for information on how to order tributes
September Tribute Special
Through September 30, use the link below to order packages of 6 Tribute Cards for only $18 per package (plus shipping) (tribute packs are normally $25 per package of 6)! Send a New Year Tribute with a purpose, welcome a new addition or just let someone know you are thinking of them.
Recent Tributes

To: Carole Levine
From: Eileen Gassman
In honor of Carole Levine
To: Jill Lexier
From: Beth Najberg
In memory of Debbie Lexier

To: The Family of Doris Guthman
From: NCJW CNS Board
In memory of Doris Guthman
All programs are virtual - Registration required to receive Zoom information

Tuesday, September 15, 3:30 pm
Promote the Vote Protect the Vote: A Conversation with Stacey Abrams
As we celebrate the hard-won right to vote, join us to learn more about racial justice and voting with Stacey Abrams, Founder of Fair Fight Action on September 15, 4:30-5:30 pm ET. Register today to hear from Stacey about how far we have come and what more we need to do to ensure access to the ballot in November. Click here to register.

Wednesday, September 16, 7:30 pm
When Bad People Do Good Things:
From Christopher Columbus to Woody Allen
What is our responsibility as good feminists and citizens of the world to live out our morals and ethics? Do we reject all of the creative works of people who act badly? Our September 16, 2020 Salon discussion will address such questions as: Are we “bad” if we still listen to music and watch films of people like Michael Jackson, Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey (and the list goes on and on)? Do we need to justify our actions? What lessons have we learned from their “wrongs?” Join us on Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30 pm for a lively discussion. Click here to register and save the dates for additional salons on October 21, November 19 and December 16.

Monday, September 21, 7:00 PM
NCJW Salon: Illinois' Fair Tax Amendment on November 3 Ballot
The Illinois Allow for Graduated Income Tax Amendment is on the November 3, 2020, ballot in Illinois. Come hear Emma Kagan of JCUA (Jewish Council on Urban Affairs) who will explain how this amendment will work and educate yourself on this important ballot initiative. Please submit your questions to or during the Salon. Register at and save the dates for additional salons on October 19, November 16, and December 21.

Wednesday, October 7, 7:00 PM
Letters To Voters Zoom Party
NCJW is partnering with Vote Forward to write letters to voters in targeted states urging them to vote this election day. Sign up at to get approved to receive a list of voter addresses a few days before our event. Gather your supplies: printer paper, blue pen, envelopes, snacks and a glass of wine. We’ll have a social hour together and chat while we write our letters. Click here to register and to join us on the October 7th Zoom Party.
Courts Matter in the 2020 Election Webinar Series
All Webinars begin at 12:00pm CT and end at 1:30 pm. Webinars are free but require registration. 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.

Tuesday, September 15, 12:00-1:30 pm
Courts Matter to Education

Tuesday, September 29, 12:00-1:30 pm
Courts Matter to Climate Change and the Environment

Tuesday, October 13, 12:00-1:30 pm
Courts Matter to Reproductive Rights

Redlined: A Book Discussion with the Author Linda Gartz
October 29, 7:00 pm; Zoom

Join author, educator, and archivist, Linda Gartz, for a discussion of her award-winning book . She connects the dots between today’s racial profiling and inequities to the government policy of redlining. Most recently we’ve seen Black Americans die at double the rates of whites from Covid-19, and George Floyd’s murder aroused world-wide protests against systemic racism, like redlining.

In this live Zoom talk and discussion, Linda will speak, read short excerpts from Redlined, and talk about the federal government’s redlining policies that separated America into Black and White. She’ll also share digitized versions of original 1940s redlining maps. There will be plenty of time for Q&A.

Visit for more information and to register.
NCJW Gives Back
NCJW Gives Back is a new Community Service initiative of NCJW Chicago North Shore during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our ongoing service projects are currently altered or on hold. Instead, NCJW Gives Back’s mission is to collect and donate items needed by Chicago and Suburban residents who are especially impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. To maintain the health and safety of all of our community service volunteers, these are a NO-TOUCH activities!

We will kick off NCJW in October - Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Coronavirus has significantly restricted peoples’ movement in order to slow the spread of the pandemic. Sadly, domestic violence against women and children has increased as homes and confined living spaces have become less safe. Our goal in October is to provide a little extra comfort for survivors.

Each October, our annual Luggage for Freedom (LFF) Pack and Delivery Date brings together several hundred volunteers from around the Chicago area to fill and distribute gently used luggage packed with new towels, sheets, and toiletries to women and backpacks to children. LFF has an incredible ability to directly impact women and children in a positive way, at a time when they are most vulnerable but because of COVID safety concerns, NCJW has to modify our plan.

LFF needs donations of assembled “Dignity Bags” of personal care products. Collect and assemble any number of bags right in your own home. Make it a family activity! (We are happy to provide community service hours for your high school students). Fill a 1-gallon Ziploc baggie with 1 of each of these 8 small or travel-size products: soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. Click here for collection and contact information.

If you are able, LFF also is always in need of new sheets and towels. If you are able to purchase an item from LFF’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.
Become a Sustaining Advocate and receive a free VOTE Facemask
Your ongoing support strengthens NCJW’s impact in our pursuit of justice and progressive social change for women, children, and families. Every gift makes a difference.Your scheduled monthly donation ensures the strength and impact of NCJW Chicago North Shore into the future.

New this year, become a sustaining advocate during the month of September with your minimum monthly donation of $18 and we will send you a special VOTE! Facemask! Masks are adult-sized, 100% Cotton 3-Layer Masks. Click here to become a monthly donor and help sustain our section!.
Rabbis for Repro
NCJW is thrilled to let you know that we have over 900 clergy representing 40 states (plus DC and the Virgin Islands!) who signed the #RabbisforRepro pledge. Our next goal is 1000 signers representing all 50 states. Here are the states we’re missing: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and West Virginia. If you know clergy and leaders in those states, please spread the word. And if your clergy is missing from the list, contact them and ask them to sign on. Click here for sample language and social media
Election 2020 - Your vote is your voice. Make sure you’re heard in November
Voting during a pandemic is complicated, but Illinois is rising to the occasion. The state’s emergency election law provides multiple ways for you to vote safely, by mail or in person, on Election Day or in the weeks before.

Are you worried about long lines in your precinct on Nov. 3? Take advantage of expanded early voting hours or request a no-excuse-needed absentee ballot to vote by mail. Don’t trust the post office to deliver your ballot on time? Take it to a secure drop box instead. Need someone to deliver it for you? The new law has that covered, too. And if you change your mind about that mail ballot, you can surrender it at your polling
place and vote in person.

If you’re most comfortable voting in your neighborhood precinct on Election Day,
know that sanitation and social distancing will be enforced, for the safety of voters and poll workers alike. Still, the more people who vote early or by mail, the less congestion in the precincts on Nov. 3.

NCJW CNS convened the Promote the Vote Illinois Coalition with Section Board Member Jan Schwartz as its chair. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions or contact for more information.
Follow the 4 Rs so you are ready to vote: Register, Request, Receive & Return!

National Voter Registration Day
September 22, 2020 is National Voter Registration Day. In honor of this, NCJW CNS is setting a goal to get 50 first-time voters to cast their vote in the 2020 election. If you have a college-aged student or new voter in your family, encourage them to register to vote in the state where they go to school, OR to vote by mail. For information on voter registration and voting by state, visit
And visit for additional National Voter Registration Day resources.
Volunteer as a National Poll Worker!
If you are healthy and low risk to Covid-19 — to join us by volunteering as a poll worker this November! Did you know that more than 57% of all poll workers in 2018 were over the age of 60? With extra vulnerability to Covid-19, this dedicated group is not encouraged to volunteer in the same way this election, leaving a gap of 250,000 poll workers needed around the country to help reduce voting lines and ensure a fair election. If you are healthy and low risk to Covid-19, consider signing up to be a poll worker through NCJW and Power the Polls here. If you are high risk to Covid-19, consider finding someone to be a Poll Worker in your honor.

Why are they so Angry? Systemic Racism: See it, Say it, Confront it
Thursday, September 24, 11 am-12:30 pm
Join NCJW Dallas for their opening meeting with Carol Francois. Dr. Francois is a distinguished educator who served as the Director of Learning for Learning Forward. Dr. Francois currently teaches a course that examines the deep-rooted racism in every institution of American life and will use the book, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson as the jumping off point for her discussion. The program is open to all NCJW supporters and will be live streamed on the NCJW Dallas Facebook Page

Take Action with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
ICIRR recently launched their Democracy Project 2020 and there are a number of ways to get involved! ICIRR’s 17 fellows and volunteers are working hard to get new voters registered for this year's election, reshaping the electoral map to be more immigrant-friendly, and getting people to vote without putting their health at risk. They know that a lot is riding on this year's election, and, given the COVID-19 pandemic, they do not want to have anyone choose between the right to vote and their health.

ICIRR is committed to doing the work that our communities need, and has big goals - they are striving to register 10,000 new voters and contact 275,000 registered voters. They are looking for volunteers that want to help them reach those goals. There’s plenty of opportunities to support this important work from the safety of your home. Visit their website and Facebook page for information.

Denying Abortion Coverage Is Not a Religious Value
We must ensure that each of us has quality health care, encompassing the full range of reproductive health-care options, including abortion. 

As leaders of organizations that represent countless people of faith across the nation, we want to set the record straight: We are people of faith and we are pro-choice. We believe in the dignity and worth of all people, and that belief drives our commitment to ensuring universal access to affordable health-care coverage, including coverage for abortion care.
Click here for the entire article co-authored by NCJW CEO Sheila Katz.

The Unfinished Work of the 19th Amendment
On August 26th, 1920 – exactly 100 years ago – the 19th Amendment was certified, at long last securing voting rights for women. 

The past 100 years have included important steps for women starting with suffrage and extending to today as we see more women running for elected office (and winning), leading national organizations and striving ever closer to equity. 

But as we celebrate this moment, we have to hold an opposing truth in our hands. It has been 100 years since white women gained suffrage – not ALL women. Access to the ballot was effectively denied to nearly everyone except white women. 
Click here for the entire article written by NCJW CEO Sheila Katz.
Shalva Lawn Sign Project
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), providing an important opportunity to raise awareness about intimate partner abuse and speak openly about the issue in our Jewish community. Advocate and stand with survivors by displaying a DVAM lawn sign in front of your home or business.
SHALVA staff and volunteers will deliver these lawn signs to your location or provide contact free pick up. Click here for more information.
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