by Barbara Shipnuck, President
At this time of year when we find ourselves looking both backwards and forward, assessing both the challenges and triumphs of the past year and opportunities for the year ahead, I found myself struggling with the opening for these Notes. Several lines kept repeating themselves in my head. Is it the “Best of times or the worst of times”? Are we in the era of “déjà vu all over again”? For NCJW members, and I include myself here, who fought for and thought we won the right of a woman to make decisions about her own body, the sayings seem apt. For others, who welcomed refugees and immigrants who fled from the horrors of World War II and the Vietnam War, the same would be true. For members joining our fights across the decades, there have been both gains and losses. 

Yes, we have made strides on many issues that NCJW champions to improve the lives of women, children and families but we clearly have a long way to go. It is imperative that we ontinue to push forward and not get discouraged by recent setbacks. We must also reach out, as individuals, and as an organization, across boundaries that may seem uncomfortable or even unconventional. In some cases, we must broaden our vision as well as narrow our focus. What can we do in this moment that has the greatest impact and affects the most people? 

For example, we recently supported a little heralded bill to eliminate the tax on menstrual products. In the grand scheme of things, that may seem pretty insignificant. BUT for a family living in poverty, struggling to pay rent and buy food, every penny counts. Do you buy peanut butter or tampons? What is the justification for taxing a necessity that only women and girls use anyway? Where could that thinking lead? 

As individuals and as a Section, we can also support a targeted issue through tikkun olam and community service and pair these with our advocacy efforts . Recently, a drive was held for hygiene products to donate to the local food banks so they can have those items to give out along with food. Look for more of these opportunities in the coming year, beginning with our focus this month on domestic violence. Even our Movie Night choices get in on the action by choosing a movie for discussion that touches on a current issue. 

While we work diligently on the local and state levels, we have to scale up to join the biggest National fights ahead; protecting a woman’s rights over her own body and protecting everyone’s right to vote. I know that we are up to it. The history of NCJW is rich with examples, and as we write the next chapter we will add to that list of accomplishments. 
by Dale Strok, Co-VP Communications
We finally have a delightful, friendly, knowledgeable new Digital Media Contractor onboard! 

Patrice Ellman was born and raised in a very small town in northern Vermont. She moved out to San Diego after graduating with a B.A. in Communications. Her background includes over 15 years in marketing communications, specializing in digital marketing in more recent years. Patrice lives with her husband, 11-year-old daughter, and her 8-year-old rescue dog in the Encinitas area of San Diego. Besides spending time with her family, her interests include paddle boarding, yoga, traveling and animal rights advocacy. 

Patrice will manage our website, handle our electronic communications and digital repositories, and create great new digital marketing avenues for us to stay engaged with you, our members, and to grow. If you need to reach her for any reason, please do so through our main email address, I will be guiding her in learning about our organization and Section and overseeing her assignments. She will be working for us remotely, but if on rare occasions we need her to come to an event, be sure to stop by and say Hi! 
by Linda C. Fox and Sara Millman Silva, Co-chairs of HugPacks 
Our hugpack volunteers
NCJW Greater Long Beach & West Orange County returned to the Alpert Jewish Community Center (AJCC) for its first HugPacking event of 2021-2022. All our volunteers were vaccinated, wore masks and were safely distanced in the spacious Lipeles Auditorium. It was such a treat to see some old and new members and their friends in person, though masked! Many thanks to the Alpert JCC, especially to Natalie Chernik and staff, and to Co-chair Sara Millman Silva and her staff from Compton YouthBuild for such a smoothly run evening. 

For new(er) members who may not know, our Section packs and fills 600 backpacks annually that we call HugPacks, 150 backpacks for each of the 4 grade levels (K-2, 3-5, middle school and high school). They are called HugPacks because we want the students entering the foster system in the South County of LA County Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) to know we care about them and are giving them a “Hug” as they begin this new journey in their lives. These vulnerable youth often do not have anything with them as they are processed into the system. Our project, now in its 18th year, is meant to support these students at this initial moment. 

Because the HugPack backpacks and “fillings” (age-appropriate toiletries, health care items, small toys, books) are almost entirely purchased with NCJW Greater Long Beach & West Orange County monies, we encourage and appreciate donations to the Donor- Restricted HugPacks Fund; you can either go to our website or send a check with HugPacks in the memo to NCJW, 6216 E. Pacific Coast Highway, #239, Long Beach. CA 90803. 

However, some items are acquired through direct donations and grants from truly “angel” sources. We wish to recognize the Children’s Dental Health Clinic, Long Beach, for the dental items for all levels, Compton YouthBuild for their donation of books at the high school level, and the Long Beach Rotary (their Literacy program Read by 9) for elementary students’ books via a grant for the past three years. The Lakewood office of DCFS, our recipient agency, gets an occasional donation of some backpacks that they gift to us. And this time around, we express a most sincere “todah rabbah” - thank you - to Temple Israel of Long Beach and its Social Action Committee for a special donation of 120 beautiful backpacks that were among those filled at our packing and all taken immediately that evening for distribution to high school foster youth. 

We had a great time together - snacks and drinks safely provided! Mark your calendars and join us with a friend or two to one of our 2022 HugPack events, all at the Alpert JCC, 3801 E. Willow St., Long Beach 90815 from 6 to 7:30 pm: Thursday, January 13, Thursday, March 10, and Thursday, May 12.

For more information, contact Linda C. Fox at or leave a message at (657) 235-2511. 
HugPacks Co-Chair Sara Millman Silva 
Judy Leff and our DCFS partner, Robert Wiltse

by Lisa Raufman, Economic Justice Chair, Advocacy Committee 
On September 7, our NCJW President, Barbara Shipnuck, spoke in support of the establishment of a Long Beach Commission on the Status of Women & Girls. The proposal before the Long Beach City Council was approved unanimously! This is so amazing because back in the mid-1970s, Renee Simon, then the only woman on City Council, could not get a second on her proposal for a Woman’s Commission. 

The letter that we wrote to the City Council included the following facts: 
The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls recently announced that the State budget includes additional funding of 7.9 million dollars to facilitate a statewide Women’s Recovery Response in the wake of COVID-19. By strengthening and expanding the existing network of local commissions, Long Beach will be part of building a more direct system of support for women. 

Women have suffered most of the pandemic-related job losses: 
  • Since February 2020, women have lost over 5.3 million net jobs, and account for 53.8% of overall net job loss since the start of the crisis. Since the onset of the pandemic 2.5 million women have left the workforce as compared to 1.8 million men. 
  • Nearly 50% of Black and Latino households reported difficulty paying for usual expenses in 2020 according to a survey by the California Budget and Policy Center. COVID-19 has made existing gender inequities worse, and women of color face compounded risks. 

We mentioned that we look forward to contributing to the development of this Commission. Barbara informed the City Council that NCJW was created to improve the lives of women and children. In synergy with the creation of a Commission, in February 2022, we will sponsor a webinar on how the pandemic has affected working women with a focus on job loss, pay equity, and childcare needs. We would hope to have someone from the Long Beach Commission on the Status of Women and Girls on our panel! 
WHAT YOU MISSED! 75th Anniversary Celebration
by Bobbi Horowitz and Tila Carrol, Co-VPs Resource Development
Over 50 members and friends of NCJW of Greater Long Beach and West Orange County gathered in person on August 29 for a Happy Hour
celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of NCJW in our area. 
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, at the lovely waterfront home of Deb and Dan Lelchuk, it was indeed a happy occasion! We enjoyed catered hors d’oerves, drinks and especially the company of friends we had not seen in a long time! A white elephant auction, led by Steve Gordon, was fun and raised funds for NCJW activities. 
A special thank you is included for the amazing committee (Ann Millman, Natalie Swit, Deb Lelchuk, Linda Fox, Dawn Haldane, Sharon Brannon, Judy Leff, Lisa Raufman, Ilsebill Wolfe, Tila Carrol, Bobbi Horowitz). 

Also a special thank you to Natalie Swit for her donation of the ingredients for the signature drinks and to Dawn Haldane for the donation of a case of wine. Both were huge hits! And a huge thank you goes to Dan and Deb Lelchuk for opening their beautiful home for our lovely event.
by Tila Carrol, Co-VP Resource Development 
Plan to join NCJW and Temple Beth David Sisterhood on Sunday, Nov. 7 IN PERSON from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. for a fun afternoon playing Bingo! Co-sponsored by both organizations, this fundraiser is open to the community and will be held safely at Temple Beth David, 6100 Hefley St. in Westminster. Tickets are $25, good for 7 games, and $12 for those 12 and under. 

Lots of goodies will be offered, including door prizes, snacks, and cash prizes. You don’t want to miss this special event! RSVP on the NCJW website by November 1. Hope to see you there! 
by Cynthia Gordon, Co-VP Advocacy
and Sherri Sobel, Advocacy Committee 

Wednesday, October 27 at 7 pm on Zoom 
On October 27, at seven o’clock, NCJW will be presenting an informative and interesting Zoom program highlighting domestic violence in our community. Most of us remain uninformed as to the possibility of abuse in a friend or relative’s home because of the intransigence of family secrets. This program will help us understand the dynamics of abuse, the cycle of violence, and how to recognize abuse signs. We will learn how to help, if we are involved with an abusive family. And how to assist with community activities.

This is a timely and needed program, given the striking rise of abuse through the pandemic, due to isolation, loss of income, loss of housing, and loss of community response. The Jewish community is not immune to these factors. Abuse occurs at practically the same rate as in the general community. 
We will hear from four experts about how to recognize domestic violence, what to watch out for, and how to help. In addition, a domestic violence survivor will share her story and how she’s now helping others who need help leaving domestic violence situations. 
Judge Jacqueline Lewis, who runs the domestic violence curt in West Covina, will talk to us about what legally constitutes domestic violence and how restraininorders work. Prior to this appointment, Judge Lewis heard cases centering around child abuse and neglect for 17 years in the Juvenile Court. 
Deidra King is the Community Based Services Coordinator at Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Long Beach. She will take us through the cycle of violence and discuss what signs we should watch for in our family and friends. 

Ellen Goldmith is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Long Beach. She was Director of the Domestic Violence Unit of Jewish Family & Children’s Service from 2001 to 2008. She will present information about domestic violence within the Jewish community. 
Julie Schwarz is the Executive Director of Project WomanGood, a non-profit organization which she founded in 2020. Project WomanGood helps those living in a domestic violence situation get out and stay out. 

They provide resources such as individualized advocacy, one on one counseling, and court system and paperwork guidance. She created this organization after struggling to leave an abusive relationship, with two young daughters and a minimum income in 2016. Julie will share her personal story with us. 
As a followup to this program, there will be opportunities to support Project WomanGood both financially and with donations of gently used clothing, used books, and other items for a vintage shop she owns. Watch our website for details! 
We hope to meet you in person soon!

Louise Shipnuck
Betty Zamost

Starr Da Mauer
Sharon Elefant
Marsha Jeffer
Bonnie Pecego
Tiffany Regecz
by Bobbi Horowitz,
Co-VP Resource Development 

Thank you to our Life members for their generous donations to our Annual Chai campaign. Life members no longer are billed for annual dues, but can make voluntary contributions to support our programs. The donations help ensure we continue our meaningful work for our Community and Advocacy.

Our Chai Donors include these special supporters: 

Audrey Zahler, Tila Carrol, Michelle Gordon, Joanne Levy, Judy Leff, Geraldine Landes, Joan Leb, Deb Lelchuk, Linda Fox,
Roni Love, Ana M. Luna, Diane Merrick, Cheryl R. Meyers, Barbara Millman,
Natalie Swit, Susan Philips, Janet Rosenblatt, Shirley Ross, Barbara Shoag, Sherri Sobel, Arlene Spatz, Stella Unger, Barbara Wolfe, and Ilsebill Wolfe. 
by Lisa Raufman, NCJW Representative 

On August 26, Women’s Equality Day, Lisa Raufman represented NCJW at the Long Beach Suffrage 100 celebration of 100 years of women voting as well as Women’s Equality Day on the way to the ERA passing the Congress. Over 50 Long Beach women representing many organizations had their final celebration of the vote at Ocean and Chestnut and attended a tea at the Bembridge House. Included were two City Council members, Cindy Allen and Mary Zendejas. The event was sponsored by all city officials and Congressman Alan Lowenthal and State Representative Patrick O’Donnell. 
Our big musical on the Suffrage Movement at Alpert JCC scheduled for March 15, 2020 was cancelled due to the Pandemic. We hope to reschedule it during 2022.