Washington Township, NJ (June 1, 2023) - National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section (NCJW BCS), a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action, will be hosting their Centennial Installation & Awards Champagne Luncheon to honor the “Women of the Century'' award recipients and install the new Section officers. The event will be held on Thursday, June 15, 2023 at 11:30am at Seasons located at 644 Pascack Road in Washington Township, NJ.
Sheila Katz, CEO of National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), will attend the event to help honor the award recipients and swear-in the new class of officers. NCJW is a 130-year-old Jewish feminist civil rights organization with over 210,000 advocates working for the full equity and safety of women, children, and families in the United States and Israel. Under Ms. Katz’s leadership, NCJW has responded to threats to reproductive freedom, voting rights, childcare access, equal pay, and other civil rights issues. She was recently named as one of the top 10 faith influencers by Religion News Service and as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post.
To celebrate the section turning 100 this year, the “Women of the Century” award is being given to six members who have shown their commitment to the Bergen County community and NCJW BCS and embody the organization’s core values. To qualify, each honoree must have been a dedicated member of the Section for years, served a term as president of the organization, and previously earned a Woman of the Section Award or the Hannah G. Solomon Award.
“The section is eagerly looking forward to the luncheon and the chance to honor these six exceptional women,” said Elaine Meyerson, Co-President, NCJW BCS. “Each of these women have tirelessly and selflessly dedicated years to the Bergen County community and have touched so many lives. We are proud to name each of them as Woman of the Century and give them the recognition they truly deserve.”
The NCJW BCS “Women of the Century” include:
Bea Podorefsky of Teaneck, NJ has dedicated her time with NCJW BCS to the art and value of advocacy on local, state and federal levels and giving a voice to the voiceless. She trained the section Board on advocacy methods and started the annual advocacy forums that bring in 25-50 program partners annually. As one of the Section’s historians, she recently completed the Council Chronicle for the Section’s centennial.
Ruth Cowan now of Dallas, TX created the Post-Mastectomy program for NCJW BCS, which helped hundreds of women recuperate from mastectomies. She also founded the MS Swim-in program for the Section, the only free swim therapy program in New Jersey for those struggling with MS, which has helped hundreds of people with MS throughout the last 50 years and is still going strong today.
Ina Miller-Silverstein of Teaneck, NJ has been a member of NCJW BCS for 60 years. Ina spearheaded the creation of the Plaintiff’s Waiting Room, a safe haven for victims of domestic violence awaiting court appearances at the Bergen County Courthouse and has been running the MS Swim-In program for about 25 years. Ina is a passionate advocate for Women’s Rights and standing up to domestic violence.
Marcia Levy of Englewood, NJ has been a leader in strategic planning and community service for the section. She has dedicated her time to assisting victims of domestic violence through the national project STOP (Strategies To Prevent Domestic Violence) and feeding the hungry in Bergen County, serving as liaison to the Center for Food Action in addition to organizing the children’s Snack Pack program.
Nita Gottesman of New York City brought the HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) program, which helps promote childhood literacy, to Bergen County in the 1990s. 30 years later, the program is still run by the Bergen Family Center with help from NCJW BCS volunteers.
Ann Levenstein, Teaneck, NJ, has been a member for over 60 years and has served in a number of leadership positions including VP of Fundraising, VP of Community Service, VP of Membership and Co-President in 2010 and 2013. She also served on NCJW’s regional board for many years, helping guide several local Sections.
The day will also include a screening of NCJW BCS: The Movie, a film about the history of the organization and its major achievements, written and produced by members Sherry Bloom (West New York) and Nita Gottesman (New York City). For more information about the NCJW BCS luncheon, visit https://www.ncjwbcs.org/events-page.html.
About National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section:
Celebrating its 100th anniversary, National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section (NCJW BCS) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW BCS strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.
For more information about NCJW BCS please visit, https://www.ncjwbcs.org/