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

We Stand with Israel

“The path to freedom, peace and safety for everyone, requires seeing everyone’s humanity and rooting for everyone’s liberation. That’s the way out. That’s the only way through.”

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, NCJW Scholar-in-residence

Members of our Executive Committee are sharing information about their departments and the work they are doing for NCJW/Essex. This month,

Lisa Santola, VP of Fund Development

I am thrilled to be in my second year as the VP of Fund Development, or as I like to refer to it “FUN” Development! I had so much fun in the past year working with all the chairs, volunteers and professionals on the Golf Invitational, Card Party and many other events and programs supporting NCJW/Essex. We are already hard at work planning many exciting 2024 events so if you want to get involved or know a business or other organization that wants to support NCJW/Essex… I am all ears!


I am especially excited about the Annual Campaign that we kicked off last month. Did you notice that it is also a MATCH CHALLENGE? That means every dollar you donate to NCJW/Essex is actually two dollars donated (up to $80,000)! Where else can you double your impact for such a worthy cause? While I acknowledge there are many needs in the world right now, I ask you to think about what NCJW/Essex means to you and to our community, and please consider being part of it this year. Together, we get things done.

Another fun change being introduced this month are our new Tributes. There are now eight online options for e-cards that are beautiful and easy to purchase and share. Your recipient will receive the e-card, with a personalized message, as soon as you hit send. Of course, paper tributes are still available, with two new, modern designs. Tributes are an important and simple way to show your support for friends and family – and champion and honor the work of NCJW/Essex.(Read more below or click here to see the new Tribute page.)


In these difficult times I believe that it is important to look for the joy and fun in the everyday and in any small act of kindness. NCJW/Essex has always provided me with a path to find this joy and I sincerely believe that together we can continue this journey, and that you too can feel the NCJW/Essex love.

~ Lisa

Calendar Snapshot

Lunch & Learn

Wednesday, November 29

12 noon - 2 pm

$32 includes lunch and a reusable silverware set

Join us as we come together as a community to learn how we can join the efforts to confront climate change, a movement rooted in Jewish values. Hear from national and local environmental experts helping turn angst to action.

RSVP Here 

* Exact location (in Livingston) provided following registration.

From our Partners

Sponsored by

Jewish Federation

of MetroWest



Progressive Antisemitism: What's Happening and How to Combat It

7:30 pm - 9 pm


High school students and their parents (and anyone interested) are invited to join Jewish social media influencer, journalist, and activist Blake Flayton for a conversation about the current trend of antisemitism coming from the progressive left, and how to combat it. 

*Exact location provided following registration

November 6 - Knitting Circle Monthly Meeting

November 7 - Election Day! Let's All Vote!

November 14 - Mitzvah-in-a-Minute: Fall Food Drive for Christine's Kitchen with items from this Amazon Wish List

November 29 - Lunch & Learn: Climate Crisis and Us - Turning Angst to Action

November 30 - Film Screening and Discussion: Under G-d

December 5 - Peace, Love, Pickleball & Lunch

December 6 - Books & Bites: Looking for Jane

December 15 - Mitzvah-in-a-Minute: Holiday Toy Drive and Gift Wrap

Volunteer and Member Snapshot

Chicken Soup for the Hillel Soul 

Last week's inaugural Chicken Soup for the Hillel Soul was a rousing (and delicious) success!!! NCJW/Essex volunteers and friends made and delivered dozens of quarts of soup with notes of love and support to students across five campuses in Essex County.


We were thrilled to partner with Hillel of Greater MetroWest to find students interested in our chicken soup.

"Thank you SO much to NCJW/Essex for doing this. The smiles on our students' faces were priceless. It really made a difference to them," said Rebekah Adelson, Director, Hillel of Greater MetroWest


"The students over here at Montclair State University were all so excited and these notes are so kind," added Phoebe Ellman, Jewish Life Coordinator, Hillel of Greater MetroWest.


It was a fabulous day, from soup collection, where we traded soup recipes and debated the merits of adding chicken fat to matzah balls, to meeting the students at their schools.

Night Out with NCJW/Essex: Membership Mixer

Fun conversations and fabulous art were on the agenda on Thursday, October 5 as NJCW/Essex took over the J. Nunez Gallery in Millburn for a “membership mixer.” Members and others interested in NCJW/Essex gathered to learn more about our organization, including advocacy, programs and our mission, over a glass of wine and delicious food.

The Story of Opening Event 2023

It was a great evening of conversation: reconnecting with old friends and meeting some new ones and listening to the insightful, thoughtful and often funny words of author and former Obama speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz on re-discovering her Judaism and what it means to be a good person. Thank you to Ellen and Donald Legow whose generous support made this event possible and to everyone who joined us. Can't wait until next year!

Read the Recap

Rally for Israel

NCJW/Essex members joined others in the community at a Rally for Israel on October 15. The group marched to the Livingston Oval and listened to speakers while showing their support for Israel, support for freeing the hostages and rallying against antisemitism.

Advocacy Snapshot

Demand a Ban on Assault Weapons

The news from Maine that transfixed the country last week of yet another mass shooting carried out with an assault rifle rekindled calls for a ban of these kinds of weapons.

Add your voice to the urgent call by contacting elected officials today.

Demand a Ban on Assault Weapons 

Period.Project Goes On the Road

The Period.Project hosted a pad packing event with seventh graders at Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield as part of their joint mitzvah project.

Participants packed 300 bags with pads that were delivered to the nurses at NCJW/Essex's Kids Emergency Closet schools in Maplewood and Orange.

The kids also learned about period poverty while doing their part to combat it. We look forward to returning for future events

NCJW/Essex Attends Bill Signing

for Reproductive Rights Website

Phoebe with Thrive partners Eiko La Boria (The Flow Initiative) and Jasmine Winters (Cherry Hill Women's Center).

NCJW/Essex Reproductive Rights Committee Chair Phoebe Pollinger attended the bill signing for S3275/A4829 which required the state to establish a website on rights related to and health benefit coverage for reproductive care services. Thanks to the bill's sponsors and co-sponsors, including Assemblywoman Mila Jasey and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter for their support.

The Reproductive Health Information Hub is live now. Check out the website here.

Advocacy Poll Question

Last month, we asked if climate change affected all communities equally. The results: 82% of respondents said that was false, and 18% said it was true. Learn more about climate change and how to turn our angst to action at our Lunch & Learn on November 29.

Our next question has to do with next week's election. Click on your answer below and we will share the results in the next Snapshot.

When does IN PERSON EARLY VOTING end in New Jersey?
November 3 at 8 pm
November 5 at 6 pm

Center for Women Snapshot

Rise in Eviction Rates Leads to

More Questions from CFW Clients

New Jersey conducts its “Point in Time” count each January to determine the number of homeless and unhoused people in New Jersey. 

The growth in 2023 was staggering. The study found homelessness increased 17% year-over-year, with Essex County reporting the highest percentage - 22% - of the state’s unhoused population living in the county. While unhoused people are more likely to be male, 21% are children under 18 and 12% are domestic violence survivors. 

An increase in evictions is just one of the reasons for the rise in homelessness. Moratoriums put in place during Covid were lifted, and more people now face the prospect of losing their home. New Jersey remains among the most expensive states to live with fair market rent of $1,628 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the Out of Reach report for 2022 from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Center for Women clients are feeling the impact of these trends. Case Manager Dana Miceli helps to find agencies and resources to guide our clients in their efforts to maintain their housing. And, this week, the CFW is holding a Tenants' Rights Workshop with Volunteer Lawyers for Justice. 

“Connecting our clients with these resources is one more way we work with the “whole” client,” Dana shared. “Having a secure place to live is one of the most important steps to finding a new job and caring for your family.” 

Click Here for More on Pack the Pantry

Pack the Pantry

Thank you to everyone who helped Pack the Pantry at Opening Event.

ShopRite gift cards, which can be purchased directly from ShopRite and sent to NCJW/Essex, allow us to help our clients who face food insecurity and empower them to choose the food and other essentials their families need with dignity.

Center for Women staff distribute the cards as needed, and the need is growing as the holiday season approaches.

NCJW/Essex Snapshot

Annual Campaign

You can help more women attain certifications to get a better job.

You can help a child go to school in a new outfit ready to learn.

You can make your voice heard on important policies affecting our state.

Join the journey to improve the lives of women, children and families and safeguard individual rights and freedoms. Your gift in any amount will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $80,000.

Double Your Impact.  Make Your Gift Today.

New Tributes Have Arrived

Visit the Tribute Page 

NCJW/Essex is excited to introduce new Tributes, including the option to send "e-cards" so your Tribute is delivered immediately.

Eight new Tributes (below) are available exclusively online as an e-card. Each of these Tributes are available in any amount, beginning at $10.00, and will be sent via email.

Two new printed Tribute cards are also available, with the option of an online purchase (in any amount beginning at $10.00) to be sent by NCJW/Essex on your behalf. A personalized message may be added to these cards.

You may also purchase printed Tribute cards for $10.00 each to have and send at your discretion. Stop by the office or call for more information.

Tribute E-Cards

Tribute Printed Cards

Snapshot from the Archives

Lunching and Learning in 2023

As we get ready to come together as a community at our next Lunch & Learn, here's a look back at the two previous events in 2023. Make it a trifecta -- see you on November 29!



Facebook  Instagram  Web  Email